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Discussion Starter #1
Virginia has state mandated inspection for all trailers with brakes and my trailer needed a new inspection. Everything worked when I left the house but when I got to the inspection station the running lights were out. Dang. . . Checked the trailer plug and it was obvious one connector on the plug was bad. Changed the plug out and thought I had mixed up the wires. Changed wires around, rinse and repeat.

Finally got the bright idea to hook up to a second trailer- same thing. Ok, maybe the truck plug was bad. I had another one and had been meaning to swap it anyway. Made the swap which wasn't bad except of course getting dirt in my face and around my eyes- glasses stopped most of it. Go back to the trailer and. . . . nope. WTF? I've got turn signals, brake lights and trailer brakes but no running lights but only 4.5 volts on the running lights connector. Finally my rather dim bulb brightened up a bit and I swapped out the fuse on the truck- all is good.

I could have fixed the issue in 15 seconds but the fuse showed almost no resistance when out but evidently was doing something flaky when installed.

Somebody else can kick my butt for a while, my legs are getting tired of doing it myself. Check the simple stuff first, dummy! I did check resistance but didn't actually change it until the very end of the process.

Treefarmer
 

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Virginia has state mandated inspection for all trailers with brakes and my trailer needed a new inspection. Everything worked when I left the house but when I got to the inspection station the running lights were out. Dang. . . Checked the trailer plug and it was obvious one connector on the plug was bad. Changed the plug out and thought I had mixed up the wires. Changed wires around, rinse and repeat.

Finally got the bright idea to hook up to a second trailer- same thing. Ok, maybe the truck plug was bad. I had another one and had been meaning to swap it anyway. Made the swap which wasn't bad except of course getting dirt in my face and around my eyes- glasses stopped most of it. Go back to the trailer and. . . . nope. WTF? I've got turn signals, brake lights and trailer brakes but no running lights but only 4.5 volts on the running lights connector. Finally my rather dim bulb brightened up a bit and I swapped out the fuse on the truck- all is good.

I could have fixed the issue in 15 seconds but the fuse showed almost no resistance when out but evidently was doing something flaky when installed.

Somebody else can kick my butt for a while, my legs are getting tired of doing it myself. Check the simple stuff first, dummy! I did check resistance but didn't actually change it until the very end of the process.

Treefarmer
Don’t mean to laugh but I am, been there, done that


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Yep, me too. Would have started with the same things as you.

Remember borrowing a snowmobile trailer. Lights didn't work. Sat at home and rewired plug connector. Still wasn't working. Finally crawled under truck to find splitter Y had corroded. :banghead:
 

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Don't feel bad. Sam's Club left us stranded in a Florida parking lot (with frozen food) last year after changing my car battery. They refused to even come out and look at the vehicle. After finally getting it started with the emergency procedure from the manual, we called our dealer, who recommended bringing the car in. After a 30 minute trip downtown the next day, the checkup revealed nothing more than a blown fuse. I felt foolish, but when I informed the Sam's manager how her folks screwed up, at least we got a free membership renewal. LESSON LEARNED: Call your buddies for advice. I guarantee you that my brother would have instantly identified the problem.
 

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Virginia has state mandated inspection for all trailers with brakes and my trailer needed a new inspection.
Treefarmer
I have seen people come in with trailers for inspection with the same concern and they fix it in the parking lot before they bring it in some figure it out right away and others do the same thing you did we don't see a lot of trailers just a few a year that come to us every year
I am a licensed va state inspector and just so you know the law sates that all trailers require inspection whether they are equipped with or without brakes so if you have any other trailers without brakes you will need a sticker on them also :bigthumb:
 

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Yep, been there. I rewired my whole trailer because I only had lights on the right side. After I rewired I still only had lights on the right side. Figured it was in the truck somewhere. Traded the truck a year later. Last year I worked on the trailer to redo all the wood flooring and paint the trailer. Thought that as long as the floor was out and nothing but the steel frame I'd check the wiring one more time. Took the light off and put it back on. Still the same. Took the ground wires off and redid them. All lights work. :banghead: All that was needed was a good ground. :banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Didn't know that

I have seen people come in with trailers for inspection with the same concern and they fix it in the parking lot before they bring it in some figure it out right away and others do the same thing you did we don't see a lot of trailers just a few a year that come to us every year
I am a licensed va state inspector and just so you know the law sates that all trailers require inspection whether they are equipped with or without brakes so if you have any other trailers without brakes you will need a sticker on them also :bigthumb:


Since that was different from what I had heard, I just checked the State Police Vehicle Inspection website. If the actual gross weight is over 3,000 lbs it is required to have inspection. If the actual gross weight is under 3,000 lbs neither brakes nor inspection are required however if the trailer has brakes inspection is required regardless of weight.

http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Safety.shtm#InspectionProgram

Treefarmer
 

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Since that was different from what I had heard, I just checked the State Police Vehicle Inspection website. If the actual gross weight is over 3,000 lbs it is required to have inspection. If the actual gross weight is under 3,000 lbs neither brakes nor inspection are required however if the trailer has brakes inspection is required regardless of weight.

Virginia State Police - Safety Division

Treefarmer
You are correct based on the VA website. VA basically is saying, if your trailer has brakes, it must be VA state inspected. :good2: Good research!!! :good2:

FAQ section......
I have a small trailer and I would like to know if it is required to be inspected.
It depends. If the "actual gross weight" is 3,000 pounds or more, it is required to have brakes and is required to be inspected. (The "actual gross weight" is the weight of the trailer plus the weight of any load that the trailer is carrying.) If the "actual gross weight" is less than 3,000 pounds, it is not required to be inspected; however, any trailer under 3,000 that is equipped with brakes is also required to be inspected.
 

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Since that was different from what I had heard, I just checked the State Police Vehicle Inspection website. If the actual gross weight is over 3,000 lbs it is required to have inspection. If the actual gross weight is under 3,000 lbs neither brakes nor inspection are required however if the trailer has brakes inspection is required regardless of weight.

Virginia State Police - Safety Division

Treefarmer
you are correct I wonder why we have people bring in utility trailers without brakes for inspection :dunno: I will start letting them know they don't need it I just figured all trailers needed inspection its so hard to remember all the requirements in the book and we don't see a lot of trailers only a few a year we inspect mostly cars and trucks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It certainly doesn't hurt

you are correct I wonder why we have people bring in utility trailers without brakes for inspection :dunno: I will start letting them know they don't need it I just figured all trailers needed inspection its so hard to remember all the requirements in the book and we don't see a lot of trailers only a few a year we inspect mostly cars and trucks
Well it doesn't hurt to have someone look over a trailer and make sure the lights work, the license tag is there etc. It's a bit of a PITA to check lights by yourself. My hats off to anyone doing inspections, when done by the book it's a lot of work for a minimal payment. I know it also brings in repair work but the first and last week of the month, it's tough for our local shop to get anything else done because of the inspections.

Treefarmer
 

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Well it doesn't hurt to have someone look over a trailer and make sure the lights work, the license tag is there etc. It's a bit of a PITA to check lights by yourself. My hats off to anyone doing inspections, when done by the book it's a lot of work for a minimal payment. I know it also brings in repair work but the first and last week of the month, it's tough for our local shop to get anything else done because of the inspections.

Treefarmer
the inspections aren't that bad once you get a routine down entering all the information in the computer is a pita the emissions is crazy the last week of the month because people need to pass before they can renew there tags and they like to wait until the last minute and deq does not like to give extensions if its not ready or fails we have 6 state inspectors but only 3 emissions inspectors
 

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Virginia has state mandated inspection for all trailers with brakes and my trailer needed a new inspection. Everything worked when I left the house but when I got to the inspection station the running lights were out. Dang. . . Checked the trailer plug and it was obvious one connector on the plug was bad. Changed the plug out and thought I had mixed up the wires. Changed wires around, rinse and repeat.

Finally got the bright idea to hook up to a second trailer- same thing. Ok, maybe the truck plug was bad. I had another one and had been meaning to swap it anyway. Made the swap which wasn't bad except of course getting dirt in my face and around my eyes- glasses stopped most of it. Go back to the trailer and. . . . nope. WTF? I've got turn signals, brake lights and trailer brakes but no running lights but only 4.5 volts on the running lights connector. Finally my rather dim bulb brightened up a bit and I swapped out the fuse on the truck- all is good.

I could have fixed the issue in 15 seconds but the fuse showed almost no resistance when out but evidently was doing something flaky when installed.

Somebody else can kick my butt for a while, my legs are getting tired of doing it myself. Check the simple stuff first, dummy! I did check resistance but didn't actually change it until the very end of the process.

Treefarmer
I've been there as well. The main reason for me is that on my main tow vehicle the effort and under dash contortions to check fuses requires more effort from me than removing plug corrosion or swapping bulbs or plugs. Only as a last resort will I crawl under a dashboard.

Back when vehicles had just one fuse panel it was sure easier. On my oldest vehicle, an '86, there is one panel staring me right in the face when I open the hood, and it has a clear plastic cover with every fuse function labeled on it. With my newest vehicle , a 2017, I need to find the 500 page owner's manual to see which fuse does what, and then in which of the 3 fuse panels it's located. And then it's an adventure to figure out how to get the panel cover off. And, then I usually find that although I have 4 types of spare fuse kits, the bad fuse is type number 5, and only can be found at the dealer, and it's Sunday.
 
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