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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re: What do I need to start towing

My installation of my brake controller, wiring and hitch is almost complete. Only things left are the replacement of the trim panels I removed during installation, and getting a shop with a hoist and power tools to tighten down the bolts of the hitch for me.

I do have one question, though. From searches, I am finding that there isn't consistency in what people say is the correct orientation of the 7-way vehicle end plug, or what colour serves what function (except all agree on what black and white are).

Could someone definitely post the correct diagram for a 7-way vehicle end plug, along with the wire colours? Do the 4-way wire colours correspond to the same colours on a 7-way? This is the one I'm inclined to believe: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Thanks again. I am working on a new write up which I will post here for anyone else who wants to tackle this on their own.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

weebl said:
My installation of my brake controller, wiring and hitch is almost complete. Only things left are the replacement of the trim panels I removed during installation, and getting a shop with a hoist and power tools to tighten down the bolts of the hitch for me.
Someone with a hoist is fine, but air tools are generally not used to tighten fasteners. These are comparable to wheel nuts, and no more difficult to tighten; it is an easy job by hand, ideally using a torque wrench to get the right tightness, but I doubt most hitch installers would bother with the torque wrench.

The last thing you need is some yahoo with an impact hammering these bolts to double the correct torque and twist the welded-in nuts breaking them loose from the body structure.

weebl said:
I do have one question, though. From searches, I am finding that there isn't consistency in what people say is the correct orientation of the 7-way vehicle end plug, or what colour serves what function (except all agree on what black and white are).

Could someone definitely post the correct diagram for a 7-way vehicle end plug, along with the wire colours? Do the 4-way wire colours correspond to the same colours on a 7-way? This is the one I'm inclined to believe: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx
No, the standard RV-style (flat blade contacts) 7-way connector colours do not match the 4-way colours. The eTrailer diagram colours are wrong for this 7-way connector, either because they wanted to use their slick chart, or because they are confusing the RV-style (or "Bargman") 7-way with the SAE-standard round-pin commercial 7-way (which does match the 4-way, as shown in the eTrailer chart).

The colours don't actually matter - the pin positions do - and I think the positions are correct in the eTrailer diagram. I will need to confirm this and post a follow-up.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

Thanks, I didn't match up colours yesterday from 4 to 7 as being the same yesterday. I found one chart online while working on the connector on my BlackBerry, and matched them up that way, but when I went to double check this morning, there seemed to be no consistency in colour coding.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

For the industry-standard assignments, I suggest The 7 Pole RV Electrical plug in the RV Tow Vehicle Wiring Guide from RVer's Corner. This, and even the eTrailer diagram, are consistent with every pinout I've seen published; the RVer's Corner guide is consistent with the colours used since at least the late 1970's (in my Boler trailer, other trailers, Dexter manuals, etc). It is unfortunate that these do not match the colours used in the 4-way flat connectors, and defined by standard J1239 from SAE, but that's how trailers are done and even the 7-conductor umbilical cable sold for use on RV trailers has the wires arranged in the same pattern as this RV 7-pole layout.

Wire colours used in vehicles vary, so even the Sienna had factory pre-wiring (which it does not), the colours would likely not match any trailer standard. The colours of wires in the OEM 4-way trailer connection follow the 4-way standard, not the RV 7-way standard.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!

Where in Alberta are you? I live in the Edmonton area.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

weebl said:
Where in Alberta are you? I live in the Edmonton area.
I am in the Edmonton area as well (and work in Edmonton); send me a Personal Message through the forum (or perhaps post in the Canadian Sienna's area) if you would like any Edmonton-specific information (sources, dealerships, etc).
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

weebl said:
Could someone definitely post the correct diagram for a 7-way vehicle end plug, along with the wire colours? Do the 4-way wire colours correspond to the same colours on a 7-way?
I found this diagram from Hopkins. They do say that color codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you must match the wires with the functions it performs, not by the color of the wires.

I had to replace my vehichle side 7 pin on my Ford Excursion and I mounted it 90 degrees counter-clockwise. It works the same. The cover for the socket has a protrusion that locks into the plug from the trailer to prevent it from disengaging. Hope this helps.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

jh818 said:
I found this diagram from Hopkins. They do say that color codes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you must match the wires with the functions it performs, not by the color of the wires.
That's a good point: the wire colour coding standards really only apply on the trailer side; within the tow vehicle, there are various schemes, which are available from the vehicles' technical manuals, from wiring guides published by brake controller manufacturers, and in some cases even in the vehicle owner's manual (sadly, not the Sienna).

The Hopkins diagram is nicely presented; unfortunately, it does the same as the eTrailer diagram (I suspect that eTrailer got it from Hopkins) and assumes consistent SAE J1239 colour coding for all connectors, even though the "7-Way RV Blade" connector was defined decades ago with a different colour assignment for the lighting circuits. It goes even further wrong, and labels the battery charging power pin as auxiliary, and the real auxiliary pin (the centre one) as "back up" (a legitimate aux function, but not the only choice).

The Hopkins drawing of a trailer wired with a four-way connector is both nicely done and consistent with industry standards... except that it assumes that the lighting circuits are completed by frame ground connections (not used for many RVs with bodies that are not metal) and it shows the frame ground terminal not connected.

So they're pretty pictures, but mostly cause confusion for the 7-way RV connector.
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

Good evening everyone!

I have a 2005 Sienna XLE and love it. We had an AWD XLE in Alaska, but have now relocated to Florida with the Coast Guard. My question is that we are looking at a pop-up Fleetwood E3 that has a GVWR of 4400. I have been reading everyones postings and understand generally regarding the 3500lb towing capacity. Can anyone shed some light on this? My apologies in advance, but want to ensure before making a big purchase that I will be able to tow this guy.

Have a great evening and chat soon,
Aaron
 

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Re: What do I need to start towing

The E3 I saw was a popup with a cargo deck (toy hauler style). The unloaded weight was about 2900lbs and with about 1500lbs of carge capacity. With options and camping stuff loaded up (water, propane, battery, etc) you'll probably be at or over the 3500lbs without adding a "toy" to the deck. The deck seems to be added to the front of the trailer without relocating the wheels which might make for a very heavy tongue weight. Only you can decide about towing over the Trailer rating of the Sienna, but I would be concerned mainly about the tongue weight if you are planning on loading anything on the deck. I got my info from here:

http://www.roamingtimes.com/rvreports/fleetwood-evolution-folding-camping-trailer.aspx


apm001 said:
Good evening everyone!

I have a 2005 Sienna XLE and love it. We had an AWD XLE in Alaska, but have now relocated to Florida with the Coast Guard. My question is that we are looking at a pop-up Fleetwood E3 that has a GVWR of 4400. I have been reading everyones postings and understand generally regarding the 3500lb towing capacity. Can anyone shed some light on this? My apologies in advance, but want to ensure before making a big purchase that I will be able to tow this guy.

Have a great evening and chat soon,
Aaron
 
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