As I loaded Speedy up for a show the other weekend, I realized that my trailer's running lights weren't working. I check them every single time I load up, so I know they were working on our last haul which was to Sacramento for the Western States Horse Expo. But there we were, horse loaded with a ride time coming and no trailer lights.
The truck lights were working and so were the trailer brake lights, but that was it. I gave the plug an extra little push, pulled it out and stuck it back in, pulled it out and blew on it, and then nothing. I suddenly remembered that I have a second plug socket down by my bumper, so I plugged the cord in down there and was relieved to see my lights pop on.
I had to use a twist tie thing to secure my cord as it was a little sketchy to have the cord hanging so far down over the tailgate, but it got us safely to Tehachapi and back. I let a week go by without dealing with it, but by this past Friday, I knew I had to get it taken care of.
Since the lights worked when plugged into the bumper's socket, I figured I simply had a bad connection from the truck bed. The ranch owner suggested I use some sandpaper to clean off the plug's pins which might have some corrosion, inhibiting a connection. After consulting my pal Google, I grabbed some sandpaper and a flathead screwdriver.
Both the trailer plug and the truck socket looked clean and corrosion free, but I wrapped the sandpaper around the screwdriver and carefully rubbed each pin in the plug anyway. I then pushed the sandpaper down into the trailer plug hoping to rub off any dust or corrosion that had built up in there.
When I plugged in the trailer lights, I gave a little woot! woot! when I saw a happy red glow coming from my running lights. And just because I am cautious, I unplugged them and gave them an even more rigorous sanding. A couple of my wheel well lights have had the covers knocked off (ahem, Speedy G, I wonder who was responsible for THAT?!), so in the name of thoroughness, I even went and bought replacement covers.
I really hate fixing vehicle stuff, but since it's my trailer, and I am the one hauling all over the state of California, it's my responsibility to do it safely. While I detest doing repairs myself, it does make me feel empowered to walk away from a job well done.