How to Wire a New Plug on a Trailer

Written by jay angel
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How to Wire a New Plug on a Trailer
Keep your trailer lights in working condition to avoid being stopped while driving. (boat trailer image by wiladayvo from

Trailer owners don't think about their trailer's lighting system until it fails. What usually happens is that a police officer stops you to inform you that your lights don't work and then you are given the task of figuring out why. One common problem is that the plug from your trailer has become corroded over time and simply needs to be replaced. Replacing the plug is neither difficult nor time consuming and will save you some heartache down the road.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4-pin trailer light plug
  • Wire stripping tool
  • Crimping tool
  • Butt connectors (6 or 7)
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Remove the old plug by cutting the wires on your trailer with your wire cutting tool approximately one foot away from the plug. Make sure that you cut each of the wires straight through and make a clean cut. There should be between four and seven wires depending on what kind of trailer you own.

  2. 2

    Take the plug into the hardware store and find a plug that is identical to the old one--i.e., that matches the number and colour of the wires. If you are unsure about whether a plug is right, have an employee help.

  3. 3

    Strip half an inch of the insulation off of each of the wires that you snipped off on the trailer, using a wire stripping tool.

  4. 4

    Insert a butt connector into each of your stripped trailer wires and crimp twice with your crimping tool. Match the colour of each wire to the wires on your new trailer plug and then insert each coloured wire into its respective butt connector and crimp. Now you have like coloured wire connected to like coloured wire. Tape up all of your wires and butt connectors with electrical tape.

  5. 5

    Insert the trailer plug into the vehicle receptacle to test your trailer lights.

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