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Cost of re-wiring a trailer?

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  • Cost of re-wiring a trailer?

    I realize that this would vary from region to region and job to job, but I'm just looking for a ballpark number.

    I'm having intermittent shorts in my trailer brakes (which are scary as %$#!) and suggested that we just take the trailer to get re-wired, but my husband insists this would cost "more than the trailer is worth"...the implication being multiple thousands of dollars.

    Surely that can't be right?

    It's a two horse bumper pull older model Hawk with an electric jack. I'd guess it's probably worth around $5k (with working brakes).

  • #2
    I don't think it would be that bad. $60 per hour is the going rate around here plus parts.


    • #3
      Do you want everything rewired or just the brakes? The brakes are just a single wire from the plug to the first wheel and then a wire connecting to each of the other wheels. Replacing all of it will maybe be 2 or 3 hours of work. To rewrite everything including all the running lights, brake lights, inside lights, turn signals etc could get pricey. I would instead bring it to a trailer shop and have them find and fix the short. There are only a few places it could reside and will be cheaper than a rewire


      • #4
        my trailer has a internal junction box in the tack area much like a house's circuit breaker panel but even if i were to rewire the entire trailer the cost of the wire would only be about $60 at retail cost.


        • #5
          My spotted mini donk (Milton the Monster) when he was around 5, chewed the cord that connects the trailer into the plug receptacle on the back of the truck. Took it in for fixing, and the trailer (2007 Trails West 2H slant bp) wire was "pig tailed" under the dressing room, so a really cheap fix. Don't remember how much it was--do remember kissing the ground in appreciation that it wasn't a major repair.


          • #6
            Originally posted by ecileh View Post
            I realize that this would vary from region to region and job to job, but I'm just looking for a ballpark number.

            I'm having intermittent shorts in my trailer brakes (which are scary as %$#!) and suggested that we just take the trailer to get re-wired, but my husband insists this would cost "more than the trailer is worth"...the implication being multiple thousands of dollars.

            Surely that can't be right?

            It's a two horse bumper pull older model Hawk with an electric jack. I'd guess it's probably worth around $5k (with working brakes).
            Before you take your trailer in, go buy a can of electrical connector cleaner spray (I'd have to go down to my tack room to see the actual brand and what it's called--just know it's in a red can) and spray the S$%T out of your truck's receptacle. I've had times of having my truck dash read "trailer connected" then "trailer not connected" a few minutes later, and it was caused by dirt and dust in the receptacle. I now just spray the receptacle every time I haul, and just chuck the can of spray in the backseat just in case I need it again while hauling. Solved the problem.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks, everyone! I knew it couldn't be as big a deal as he was making it out to be cost-wise.

              I will suggest the connector cleaner idea first!


              • #8
                Originally posted by ecileh View Post
                Thanks, everyone! I knew it couldn't be as big a deal as he was making it out to be cost-wise.

                I will suggest the connector cleaner idea first!
                I looked at the can when I went down to feed last night: CRC DQ Electronic Cleaner, about $5 a can.


                • #9
                  My go-to trailer place charges $75/an hour for work. Had some wiring connector issues underneath and got that fixed and all connectors replaced because why not, for about $140 in damages between labor and parts.

                  Another big thing that it seems horse people never seem to use is dielectric grease for the trailer plug to truck port connection. This small tube goes a long way and is specifically for trailer connections. Link to where I got it on Amazon. Another cheap insurance thing for good connections and keeping gunk out of the truck port.

                  Last edited by Aleuronx; Nov. 2, 2019, 11:46 AM. Reason: fixed link


                  • #10
                    Never heard of it, but will add a tube on my next Amazon order--thanks for the tip!


                    • #11
                      Have a complete check up of course, the brakes "just sit there" till they get a signal when you step on the brake... They would have to be getting a big shot of power to lock up, intermittently locking up I suggest your first check is the brake controller box on the truck side to see if it is shorting and sending power surging
                      second check is the plug to see if strand of wire from the neighbor pin is touching or close to it and off and on may touch
                      then check the brake magnet ampherage
                      Happy Trails Trailers
                      Balanced Ride Trailers


                      • Original Poster

                        They're not locking up at all. Quite the opposite.


                        • #13
                          Depending on how the wiring is run to brakes will depend on the cost. I had an old steel trailer that the wiring was run along the bottom of the trailer and at some point one of the wires coatings got a nick so when the trailer was on flat level ground everything worked because the nicked portion was not touching the trailer but put everything in gear the wire touched the trailer and grounded out so no brakes. A simple electrical tape fix and no more brake issues. I did have a shop do the trouble shooting and all in all $35 was well spent..