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  • Ford / Gm not working lights and or brakes

    We have several members who are experiencing problems with newer Fords and GM's not operating the trailer braking systems and turning lights correctly. I believe the reason is that DRV uses a isolator /controller for the turn signal /brake lights. Because this removes the "load" from the truck system and the truck computer does not "see" the trailer. I have included a picture of this device located to the right of the hydraulic pump. The simple fix is to add 2 small 12v lights to each right and left input wires. (this can be accomplished with a replacement tail light socket w/ground wire and 1157 bulb!) These inputs are marked on the isolator. The "ground" wires for these bulbs must be attached to the trailer frame. There is usually a ground point very near. I personally fixed 1,2017 Ford with this and am aware of several others that have since done the same.

    Isolator.jpg
    Bill & Jody
    2018 Cumberland (modified!)
    2016 F450 DRW4X hauler

  • #2
    Must be something with the new trailers--my '15 RSSA hooked up and everything worked with the '17 . This is good info as several here at the rally have mentioned that the lights work correctly, the truck just indicates it does not recognize the trailer. Law of unintended consequences?
    2005 36TK3 #1869
    2010 F450 Lariat

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    • #3
      Wingnut, My "fix" just stops the annoying messages. I am aware of one that the turn signals went to "rapid" flash. So if something happens to one of the suggested bulbs the system should show you that a trailer turn signal is out which should alert to check the bulb(s).
      Bill & Jody
      2018 Cumberland (modified!)
      2016 F450 DRW4X hauler

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      • #4
        The following is from a reply on the DOG Facebook by Lynn Beenken;This was given by Ford electrical engineer
        Hey guys I covered this before last November, it is not only your turn signals and brake lights that are that are affected, it will also affect your turn signal Lane change, it will not increase to the five blinks instead of 3 when you change lanes, it will also affect transmission shift up and down shift, it will affect the exhaust brake operation, and it will also affect your adaptive cruise control if you have it, this is all controlled by a second trailer tow module that needs to be activated by stepping on the brakes and registering the lighting circuit in order to operate everything, and probably one of the most critical things is the charging system will not operate unless that second tow module does activate by stepping on the brakes.
        Also many people have experienced random error messages on the dash, trailer not recognized, also a variety of other brake control module failures error codes and also a variety of lighting error codes on the dash. there is also a charging system that is activated when you step on the brakes that monitors the charge state of the RV battery and adjusts output to charge but not overcharge the RV battery.
        Bill & Jody
        2018 Cumberland (modified!)
        2016 F450 DRW4X hauler

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WCodwise View Post
          The following is from a reply on the DOG Facebook by Lynn Beenken;This was given by Ford electrical engineer
          Hey guys I covered this before last November, it is not only your turn signals and brake lights that are that are affected, it will also affect your turn signal Lane change, it will not increase to the five blinks instead of 3 when you change lanes, it will also affect transmission shift up and down shift, it will affect the exhaust brake operation, and it will also affect your adaptive cruise control if you have it, this is all controlled by a second trailer tow module that needs to be activated by stepping on the brakes and registering the lighting circuit in order to operate everything, and probably one of the most critical things is the charging system will not operate unless that second tow module does activate by stepping on the brakes.
          Also many people have experienced random error messages on the dash, trailer not recognized, also a variety of other brake control module failures error codes and also a variety of lighting error codes on the dash. there is also a charging system that is activated when you step on the brakes that monitors the charge state of the RV battery and adjusts output to charge but not overcharge the RV battery.
          I'd like to hear most of that from the ford engineer directly and not filtered down through the net.

          As for my 2011 F-350, the trailer charge circuit is on when the key is on, and it does not get anywhere near enough current flowing back to the trailer. for long days. Have you ever looked at the wiring provided?

          We started getting similar problems on motorcycles 10 plus years ago when the craze to LEDs started.
          The bikes would not see enough of a load from the LEDs and would cause faults, fast blinks or no blinks from turn signals. The cure was to spend more money on "load equalizers"

          Ford pickups have had the "trailer disconnected" issue since the beginning of the 2011 model change (maybe longer)

          On Fords, the 5 blink feature is turned on when the system sees a trailer brake circuit.

          As far as trans shifting - engine load and programming determines that.

          Thanks,
          Duane

          2019 DRV MS 39DBRS3
          2011 F-350 DRW

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          • #6
            My 2016 F-350 and 2017 drv work just fine from the factory. Never any problems with this.

            Bill

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            • #7
              The attached pictures show the components needed to add additional resistance to the trailer light system so that those 2017-2018's that do not recognize the trailer. Attach black wire from lights to lug (ground), attach a split connector to the other wire from each light, remove right or left input wire, add double spade connector, repeat on the other turn input. put black wires under a ground screw, insert bulbs, done While there are other options like special load resistors (which draw 4 amps and generate 50 watts), I prefer these small lights which only draw 0.4 amps and generate 3.5 watts. Yes the bulbs may burn out, but the are available, even at Walmart!
              Last edited by WCodwise; 04-12-2018, 07:17 PM.
              Bill & Jody
              2018 Cumberland (modified!)
              2016 F450 DRW4X hauler

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              • #8
                I have a new 2019 ford super f350. Has anyone tried this and does it work?
                CURT 57003 7-Way RV Blade LED Electrical Adapter
                Bill & Linda Collier
                Betsey our Cocker
                2016 Ford Super Duty F350 LB 4WD
                2013 Mobile Suite 38TKSB3

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                • #9
                  My RAM had no issues but I HATED the way the rear lights worked! I ordered mine with all red lights for turn/brake. I liked my last DRV with ALL lights coming on when turning etc. So I dumped that module and rewired without it and now my lights work the way "I" like them to.


                  39TKSB3 "Highly Elited"

                  2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's 37,500# GCVWR "Towing Beast" "HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WHC View Post
                    I have a new 2019 ford super f350. Has anyone tried this and does it work?
                    CURT 57003 7-Way RV Blade LED Electrical Adapter
                    Yes I have 2018 F450 and 2019 40KSSB4. I had to have the internal brake controller reset then reflashed for it to work correctly with elec/hydr controller. Setting the towing option to elec/hydr brakes didnít do anything for it to work right. I called DRV and they gave me a contact with the manufacturer of the trailer brake controller. They worked with Ford who then issued a TSB. The trick then is to find a dealer willing to find the TSB and do it

                    With that done I still got the Trailer Disconnected and Directionals Fault messages. The adapter you mentioned took care of those messages. Apperently the truckís.computer knows the trailer is there when you plug it in. When you step on the brake pedal the computer looks at the trailer tailight circuit for a load. Not seeing a load it thinks the trailer is no longer there and displays those messages. The adapter puts that load itís looking for.

                    For those who are not intimidated by electronics, the other fix is probably cheaper. The adapter cost me 30 bucks. Had I known about the other fix then I would have done that.

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