Tips for Wiring a Tow Bar

Written by tony oldhand
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Tips for Wiring a Tow Bar
Use wires designed for automotive applications. (classic car light image by Xavier MARCHANT from

Wiring lights and brakes in a tow bar can be confusing. Different coloured wires must be used, and different gauges as well. Furthermore, the wire must have the correct insulation. The task seems daunting at first. If you break it down into steps, and use some practical tips, the task that first looked daunting becomes easy.

Mount Lights First

Mount all the lights first. That way, you have good points of reference to run the wires to. Furthermore, by mounting the lights first, you are able to plan the routing of the wires accordingly.

Use Rubber Grommets

If wires must be ran inside the chassis, use rubber grommets on the drilled holes where the wires run through. You never want wires to rub on bare metal, since over time chafing occurs. Rubber grommets are inexpensive and readily available at any electrical supply house or trailer parts stores.

Use Correct Gauge

Use the correct gauge wire for the amperage load. For lights, 18 to 12 gauge wire is recommended. Eighteen gauge is the thinnest to 12 gauge being the thickest. RV manufacturers recommend 14 gauge for vehicle lights. If you are building a heavy duty electrical system, use 14 gauge wire for lights, and 12 gauge for the main power lines.

Understand Color Codes

Vehicle colour codes are standardised for trailers and towing equipment. White coloured wire is used for ground. Red coloured is used for main power. Green is used for right turn lights, and yellow for left turn. Brown wire is used for tail and marker lights.

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