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Bargman LED tail light wiring?

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Hello there.
I decided to upgrade the tail lights on my 1986 21' Sunrader. Heading towards an inspection here and was told that even one crack in any of the exterior lights can be enough for it to fail.
I had fixed up the originals, and they were working and looking pretty good except a few noticeable cracks/ho;es.

Of course LEDs are far brighter/safer in the long run so it makes complete sense to change.

I am not an electrician. And beyond simply finding the right wire combos through trial and error, I am wondering if anyone here can tell me what goes with what?
I have looked at a bunch of different threads here, and there is quite a bit of information, but nothing that directly says "this black wire goes with that yellow wire...." :)
I had to build a plexi template to cover the old hole and cut a bit of fiberglass out here and there, but I feel like it has all come together now. I am just in time with a few days rain here now.
Plan to caulk and prime as soon as the sun comes out next week.
In the meantime it would be nice to wire them up and get them working.
Thanks in advance. Rick
Here's a photo of the original tail lights with wires. The little jag below is the licence plate light.
I bought a ground terminal block. Do I just screw this down nearby? Or does it somehow have to be connected to the frame to ground properly?

This is the Bargman that I bought:

Taillight with Red/Amber LED, Incandescent Backup with Black Base #84/85 Series

LED triple lights for either vertical or horizontal mounting.1 red LED tail light, 1 amber LED turn signal light and 1 incandescent reverse light. Radius corners. BLACK BASE. Incandescent backup light lenses surrounded by a Class "A" red reflex lens. Incandescent lens, red w/red insert, for clearance/side marker applications only. Lenses meet FMVSS/CMVSS 108 requirements. Prewired (supply and ground) for easy installation. Cutout: 12 11/16" X 5 1/2", Overall: 14 1/16" X 6 15/16" X 1 1/4" w/ 1" depth


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Your white wire is the ground.  Look on the rear of your Sunrader and match up the wires to the existing lights.  The new ones can be in a different order than your existing ones.  You shouldn't need a ground terminal. Tie all the existing grounds, looks to be two, to the one coming from the main harness. In your picture it is the white one and it looks like it goes to a black one.  You don't need that short wire going to the harness ground. Try to tie them together in a single connector, if you can.  I used heat shrink connectors on all my connectors.

You should have ground, Turn signal, reverse, brake light, and marker/tail lights.  The license plate light comes off the marker lights.  From your picture it looks like your marker/tail light are on the right since that wire also leads to the license plate light. That is the black wire next to the red.  Red wire is likely the brake/stop light. I looked at one of your old pictures and your turn signal is currently in the middle so the yellow wire is likely your turn signal.  Your reverse is on the left.   It is really a matter of looking at the outside of your current lights and looking at your new lights and matching the function of the old to the function of the new.   Based on the color of wire you have there are likely splices underneath of your sunrader.  The wires are never the same color coming to a light. So look at function and match them up.  Hope I am not confusing you.  

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Posted (edited)

Reverse works. Signals work [need to replace the blinker at fuse box to regulate flashing], but no brake lights. Tried a couple different wire combos but no brakes.

Trying combos until I find the brake lights working, but nothing yet.

Well, I should say there is a faint bit of light but nothing of note when brakes depressed.

Also, there is an intermitent chirp, click coming from the green box near the fuse box, even when key not engaged. Seems weird. Life of its own.

Not on a regular pattern, but chirping here and there.

I tried removing that green box but must be a trick. The cover popped off, but that's it. Do I just force it off?

Here's a couple of photos.




Edited by canadasunrader
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Chances are if you have a faint light you have a bad ground.  On mine I had to follow the wires through the floor under my vehicle and found several crimp connectors that were severely corroded and had to be replaced. Don't worry about that relay at this point. If your lights were working properly before they should work now.    Once you get everything working you can replace the relay. Electrical can be tricky but with a basic understanding it is very straight forward on 12v.

You have a ground, a load, a switch and a power source. What electricity has to have is a path. The path to ground is your white wire, the load is the light, the switch is the brake pedal switch or head light switch. and power source is the truck battery.  Work on one at at time.    You will always use the ground.    It comes from the power source, through the switch, to the load/light and then to ground.  If the path is interrupted at any point the light/load will not work. Do you have a 12v test light?  Post a complete photo of the back of the new light with all the wires and your wires coming out of the floor showing.  Also check under your sunrader for bad connectors or broken wires. I had several and when I messed with my wires a couple pulled out of the connectors. So, I replaced my wires all the way to the original harness. You can follow the wires back to the where they connect to the original harness.

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Yeah, it started raining here. I got my Sunrader out of my workshop today and with the rain I found two small leaks. So I am tracking them down.

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Jim, good luck with those leaks. I, too, have discovered one at the end of this big spring rain we are experiencing. I thought I had the roof all buttoned up, but apparently not.


I finally got underneath. I don't see anything that stands out as amiss. Although I don't have jacks and had to squeeze in wherever I could.


Here is what Bargman says about their lights:

"... Our white wire is going to be our ground wire, so we can go ahead and make that connection. The black wire is going to be for our stop and turn signals. And then that would mean that our green wire is going to our taillight."


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I think I screwed up and caused my own problem on the leaks.  I had taken the plate off the inside of the ac to put some furring strips on the ceiling. It is a plate with all the electrical and duct in it.  I plan to make a change so I did not put it on when I brought my Sunrader home.  Since the plate has long screws to it I am pretty sure it sandwiches the roof between the roof mounted and the inside controls/ducts.  This would squeeze the gasket and create the seal. I plan to put it back today. It is still raining here so I will know.  It looks like the state is going to let me open around June 1 so I have a lot of permits and licenses to renew today.  I delayed as it was looking like they were closing us for the summer. They are expensive and a waste if we do not open.


Anyway, were your lights all working before you started this conversion?  The first thing I do when things are not going right, on 12v, is to verify my ground. This makes sure the path to ground is complete and has always been a problem on campers and trailers, due to moisture and corrosion.  To do this you clean off the wire coming through the floor, that all your white wires are connecting to and expose clean wire on the end of it.  Turn on your lights. This will put power on your marker lights wire.  Then with a test light, clip the test light lead to the exposed wire on the cleaned ground and tap the end of each of the wires coming out of the floor. On your original picture that would be the black wire that feeds the license light and tail lights. Your test light should light up on the wire for the tail lights.   Turn your lights on and off a couple times to be sure you have the right wire.  If that works then connect up the green wire from the light, the wire from the license plate and the black wire you just tested.  Those wago connectors I see connecting all the white wires work good. The wire insulation should go slightly into the wago.  They should be taped when done. Cripping is better, if you have all the tools.  Make sure and tape every connector. Cover the connector and at least an inch of wire sealing both ends of the connector. Use good tape (Scotch 33 is good)  Waterproof heat shrink are the best.  If you have the tools.


 If this does not light up your test light you could have a bad ground.  This being fiberglass it makes it a little harder. On my sunrader there are bolts in the floor mounting to the frame. Scrap one to expose clean metal.  Connect the clip on the light to the tail light wire and touch the bolt.  If it lights up you know you have a bad ground and you will need to follow that wire underneath until you find the bad connection.  Couple things if this is the case.  Do not probe through wire insulation with the 12v tester.   A lot of people will.  That pokes a hole in the insulation and allows water in to corrode the wire.  That kind of problem can be hard to find later.  Do not use the wago push connectors under your Sunrader.  Those must be crimped and taped.  You should have a jack came with your sunrader.  Blocked up you could raise it an inch or so to give you a little room. I wouldn't trust it any more than that.

My wires ran down the inside of my frame. I hope I am not making this overly difficult. You said you do not have any electrical experience and I am trying make it clear.  Since your just starting on your electrical, if you do not have a 12v test light you should get one.  Any auto parts store, or home center will have one. They run $5 and up. You can use a volt meter but I find the test light quicker and easier.

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Thank you, Jim.

I realy appreciate this.

There wasn't a jack with this rig.

It's on the list.
For now, I will just crawl around as best I can.

I do have a couple of test lights in the tool box so I will follow your perfect instructions and see where it leads me. :)

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Tested the white wire on both sides coming up through the floor as you suggested.

All good on each side. Lit up as you said when I touched the black wire.

Connected the black wire to the green.

Now what? Apologies for my lack of knowledge.
And.... yes, the lights were all working on the old tail lights before I began.
And.... I do have heat shrink that I used to finish all the new marker lights.

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I would keep the test light connected to ground and test each wire coming from the floor. Do them one at a time. Turn on your turn signal and find the wire that flashes the test light like a turn signal. Then connect it to the wire coming from the amber section of your new light. Then do each wire testing as you go.  Brake light have some one step on the brake pedal and find the wire that lights up. Connect each wire immediately to the light before moving on or tape and label them so you do not get confused.  Do the same with the reverse. Set the emergency brake and put the Sunrader in reverse and find the wire that has power.   Once you find them all and connect them you should be done.  

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