Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old Jul 12th, 2010, 10:29 pm Thread Starter
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Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Hi there.
I recently purchased and installed a Dauntless hitch on my K1200LT. The kit was perfect and installed easily.

Here is the rub, the kit comes with a pre-wired 5 pin trailer wiring connection and my trailer has a standard 4 pin flat connector.

I purchased another 4 pin flat connector and plan to make an adaptor, since they don't sell one at the auto store.

Anyone ever made up a convertor? All of the lights work, however, I don't have the brake lights connected to anything on the 4 pin side.

Any suggestions?

H. Keith Murray

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post #2 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 8:28 am
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Does your trailer have electric brakes? If not, and you don't need to run any additional auxiliary power to the trailer, then you don't really need 5 pins/wires.

So your choices are to either make up your own adapter/pigtail, or simply change out that 5 pin round connector on the dauntless hitch to a 4 pin one. Maybe something like this.

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post #3 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 12:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

The problem is the LT has separate wires for the brakes and the turn signals. The Dauntless kit provides for this situation, however, my trailer doesn't.

If I wire like this I will have tail lights and turn signals, but no brake lights...

H. Keith Murray

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Troy, Michigan 48085
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2016 BMW R1200 GS Adventure - White (Thumper)
SOLD - 2014 BMW R1200RT - Quartz Blue (RockeT)
SOLD - 2007 Honda GL1800 ABS/Nav - Platinum (RV)
SOLD - 2014 Yamaha FZ09 - Volunteer Orange (Vol)
SOLD - 2002 K1200LT - Pacific Blue (Slick)
SOLD - 2005 HD Road King Classic - Chopper Blue & Sunglo Blue (Boss)
SOLD - 2001 Kawasaki Concours - Sonic Blue (Conc)
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post #4 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 12:48 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkeithmurray
The problem is the LT has separate wires for the brakes and the turn signals. The Dauntless kit provides for this situation, however, my trailer doesn't.

If I wire like this I will have tail lights and turn signals, but no brake lights...
Just my two cents and I may not fully understand your issue, but.... 1-Brake, 1- running light (tail) and 2- turn signal... What am I missing?

Hoss
'Stupidity has a knack of getting its way.' --Albert Camus
'05- K1200LT - Gretchen
R.I.P. - '00- K1200LTE- "Barbara" - Retired at 168K 9/2011
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post #5 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 1:11 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

european cars have the same issue, the brake light, is an additional circuit. There are converters made that integrate the the brake light signal to the proper place in the pigtail.

Go to your local trailer hitch place, they can fix you up.......or get the other side of the 5 pin connector and wire it to your bikes lights just like they came.......
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post #6 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 7:47 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

ok, here we go again.....
Standard trailer wiring configurations are 4 wire
tail, brake and two turn and of course the ground
the brake and the turn signal share the same filament,
in other words both turn signals light up when the brake is applied.

The LT has a separate brake light circuit,
you cannot wire it into the turn signal filament.

you must, yes must have a separate brake light (or separate turn signals) on the trailer
there is no way around it.

also... the LT has some very sophisticated electronics,
to protect all those expensive electronics you should spend another $60 and buy the isolator relay kit.

That's cheap compared to anything electronic on a BMW


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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post #7 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 8:53 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkeithmurray
Hi there.
I recently purchased and installed a Dauntless hitch on my K1200LT. The kit was perfect and installed easily.

Here is the rub, the kit comes with a pre-wired 5 pin trailer wiring connection and my trailer has a standard 4 pin flat connector.

I purchased another 4 pin flat connector and plan to make an adaptor, since they don't sell one at the auto store.

Anyone ever made up a convertor? All of the lights work, however, I don't have the brake lights connected to anything on the 4 pin side.

Any suggestions?
hkeithmurray;

I had the same questions about 1 year ago!!
I had some great info from some of the wiring guru's here ( Silverbuffalo and others).

I installed my Dauntless hitch ( and the 4 relay kit under the passenger seat) and did the wiring as follows:
The dauntless 5 wire plug ( goes into the plug on the bike) and made a connection for a 5 wire flat ( attached picture). I then did the HF wiring and kept it as a 4 wire system with a 4 wire flat plug. I then made a 5 to 4 wire ( with a converter 5 to 4 ) portable cable, so I could use the the trailer for both the 5 wire bike harness and my 4 wire plug on the truck ( attached picture).

Works flawless for both!!
anything else, just ask!! There is a lot of guys with ALL the info you need.

REgards,
Bowdon
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post #8 of 14 Old Jul 13th, 2010, 9:00 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

You can go to any u-haul place and buy an adapter off the shelf to convert your 5 wire system to a 4 wire output. I have also seen them in several walmart stores in the auto dept. I have ben using these for years. On every BMW I owned.

Jim Davidson

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkeithmurray
Hi there.
I recently purchased and installed a Dauntless hitch on my K1200LT. The kit was perfect and installed easily.

Here is the rub, the kit comes with a pre-wired 5 pin trailer wiring connection and my trailer has a standard 4 pin flat connector.

I purchased another 4 pin flat connector and plan to make an adaptor, since they don't sell one at the auto store.

Anyone ever made up a convertor? All of the lights work, however, I don't have the brake lights connected to anything on the 4 pin side.

Any suggestions?

Jim Davidson
2007 R1200RT
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post #9 of 14 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 10:23 am
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp1bmw
You can go to any u-haul place and buy an adapter off the shelf to convert your 5 wire system to a 4 wire output. I have also seen them in several walmart stores in the auto dept. I have ben using these for years. On every BMW I owned.

Jim Davidson
Yup, I burned up two of them (instantly) $12-14 each
before I figured out what I described above,

if this works for you, (on an LT)
I would appreciate it if you'd describe how (in detail)

I'm always willing to learn,
so here's your chance to prove me wrong.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
BushtecGenesisTrailer
"Our preferred long distance carrier"



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post #10 of 14 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 12:51 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

If it is made, you find it at www.etrailer.com

Wolfgang

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post #11 of 14 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 1:48 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

The OP is probably thoroughly confused now. The bottom-line here...the wiring depends on two things. The pulling vehicle, and vehicle being pulled. Since you can't do much about the pulling vehicle as has been said, the LT has separate turn/brake lights. This equates to a five wire setup (ground, left turn, right turn, brake, tail/running lights). To really make matters confusing, some refer to this 5 wire/prong arrangement as a 3 wire setup as they don't count the ground and tail/running light wires...and some refer to the other 4-wire/prong arrangement as a 2 wire setup. Confused yet?

If your trailer does not also have the same (i.e. separate turn and brake lights...which means separate bulbs for each), then you have no choice but to use a converter. As was also mentioned, you can find these at Walmart. I've used this one and like it, because it's compact and integrates the converter into the plug itself.

One word of caution though...unless your trailer uses LED lights (which are very lower power draw), you may, as others have, experience problems with blown fuses or CAN BUS issues, unless you use a relay setup. Other have experienced no problems at all...so your mileage may vary.

Now, if the trailer also has electric brakes....then that's a whole 'nuther discussion (and wire)!

Another thing....if you choose to wire things up using a converter, then you'll need to be mindful of this should you ever buy, need to use, or borrow a different trailer...that has separate brake/turn lights. I'm just sayin'.
Have fun dude.

P.S. etrailer.com doesn't have EVERYTHING as the previous posts suggest....just the most popular trailer stuff. For example, they don't carry that 4 prong covered receptacle I linked above.

Cheers, Toolman

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post #12 of 14 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 4:59 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

All I have ever done is folow the directions that came with the converter. No matter what type I bought. The RT that I have now with the Canbus system required a powered converter that is also available several places. It adds a lead that gets power from the battery directly to the Trailer lamps and the converter uses the bike circuits like a relay to turn on the appropriate lamp. The powered ones are more expensive, but will isolate your bike wiring from your trailer wiring.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Yup, I burned up two of them (instantly) $12-14 each
before I figured out what I described above,

if this works for you, (on an LT)
I would appreciate it if you'd describe how (in detail)

I'm always willing to learn,
so here's your chance to prove me wrong.
CaliDefector likes this.

Jim Davidson
2007 R1200RT
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post #13 of 14 Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 9:37 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Had the same problem with my HF Tag-Along trailer. Originally had a 6 pin plug on the dauntless Hitch I purchased used, but when I tried to purchase extra trailer side connectors, they did not work. Had to bite the bullet and replace everything with a current 5 pin round connector set. then after two converters, I gave up. Switched to a straight 5 pin set up using a separate 3rd brake. Now it all works.

Hanshi
Reading, PA
Current Bikes:
2007 BMW K1200LT (Black)
2008 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic (red)
HF Tag-Along Trailer
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2004 Suzuki Intruder (Black)
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post #14 of 14 Old Aug 9th, 2010, 9:08 pm
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Re: Converting a 5 pin round to a 4 pin flat...

Well an update on my trailer lighting situation. In checking over the requirements for trailer registration in PA, I found that as the trailer was over 30 inches wide, brake lights on both sides of the trailer were required. The central brake light is acceptable as a 3rd brake light but not as the lone brake light. Tried a different converter and it worked. Got the trailer inspected today and everything passed. Now waiting for the new title and license plate so I can put it into use.

In driving the trailer around to get a weight certificate as well as for the inspection, I found the trailer to handle quite well even empty and with the tires at full 60 lbs. Plan on reducing the tire pressure down to 30 lbs later.

Installed a cooler rack on the front as well as a rubber lining to the bottom of the trailer and a cargo net.

Plan on using it at the end of this month to attend the Finger Lakes Rally.

Hanshi
Reading, PA
Current Bikes:
2007 BMW K1200LT (Black)
2008 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic (red)
HF Tag-Along Trailer
Past Bikes:
2004 BMW K1200GT (Grey-Green)
2004 Suzuki Intruder (Black)
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