dashboard trailer light

Jul 14, 2006
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Hi all. Long while since I last posted. I have a (new to me) 2011 sterling eccles topaz fitted with LED road lights which I tow with a 2014 T32 nissan xtrail with 13 pin plug with dedicated wiring. The probem I have is that the trailer light on the dashboard is not flashing with the indicators on the caravan. On my old van which had 12n & 12S which connected to the car via a converter cable the trailer dash light flashed OK with caravan indicators. Has anyone any ideas what could be causing this and any remedies.
 
May 24, 2014
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There is a known issue with LED road lights and the canbus system on some cars (not all seem to be affected). I was one of those that was, in my case, my indicators flashed very rapidly as if a bulb had blown. Sargent Electrical, who do a massive amount for the Swift Group produce a Vehicle Lighting Module VLM4, that plugs into the caravan. Its an easy job technically though on many vans space causes problems due to the location of the road lights fuse box. The VLM4 has a very short set of leads. Note, VLM4 is vehicle specific, so you would need to contact Sargent for it.

See
https://sargentltd.co.uk/shop/product/led-road-light-electronic-control-unit/240

If you bought the caravan from a dealer recently, I would ask them to pay for it. It seems ridiculous, that even with the number of problems reported on this issue, half of the dealers seem to have no idea the problem exists, unless we are back to the old chestnut of "let the end user sort it out as we cant be bothered".
 
Feb 23, 2018
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When you say "trailer light on the dashboard" is this an additional dashboard light to the green arrow indicator lights?

I must have been lucky in this regard; my 2014 XC60 has the Volvo towbar/electrics and has had no issues with the LEDs on the Sprite. I don't get any positive feedback from the car when things are OK, only the rapid 'bulb failure' indicator flash. I do miss the beep from the old Witter aftermarket towbar.
 
May 24, 2014
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I must have been lucky in this regard; my 2014 XC60 has the Volvo towbar/electrics and has had no issues with the LEDs on the Sprite. I don't get any positive feedback from the car when things are OK, only the rapid 'bulb failure' indicator flash. I do miss the beep from the old Witter aftermarket towbar.

Luckily, Volvos seems to be one of the makes that doesnt suffet this issue. As well as my Shogun and other Mitsubishis suck as the L200 and Outlander, I am aware that Toyota, Landrover, Ford and Nissan have had this issue. I undertsnad there are many more, but only these have I come across personally.

If anyone does fit a VLM4 themselves, be aware the edges of the aluminium backing plate are like razor baldes. Working in a very confined space, my hands were cut to ribbons.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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I fitted LED lights to my trailer which I use for tip runs at the house and I have now lost the beep on inside of the car when indicators are on , all still work though .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Mine had an oem harness to its Witter towbar and all aspects functioned correctly. Indicators work, it tells me stop/start is inhibited, reversing lights good and everything as it should be. Can’t find any box within the caravan so I guess it’s dealt with in the cars system.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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Problems with led road lights can be solved by fitting a ballast load in the feed wires to mimic the current draw of a normal incandescent bulb.
The current draw of leds is too low to be recognised by some vehicle sensors such as dashboard warnings.
Ballast loads are available to purchase in kit form.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Guzzilazz said:
... Which defeats the objective of using LED's in the first place..

Surely no one buys LE Ds for a car or caravan as a fuel saving measure. The significant benefits are their intensity, speed of achieving full intensity and longer life compared to incandescent bulbs.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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New technology, I think I have changed mabe three , rear light/ indicator bulbs in the last 15 years, but now how much do LED' bulbs cost, ??.
 
Jul 14, 2006
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Thanks for all the replies. I have been advised by Sargent that their vlm box will sort out this issue. Can anyone tell me where you fit it and if it involves electrics knowledge. Nothing on the van looks easily accessible to me.
 

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