Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Feb 28th, 2012, 9:19 pm Thread Starter
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Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

I recently purchased a used Dauntless Hitch with wiring harness from another member of this forum. I have installed the hitch and connected the wiring inside the tail light. The harness that came with this hitch has the single relay and it is for the brake light. My question is; why is this relay necessary? I have wired hundreds of pig tails on cars and trucks; even the ones with amber turn signals which required the converter box to make the turn signals and brake lights work on dual filament bulbs and no relays were necessary. The only thing I had to change was to a heavy duty flasher. I also had trailer hitches on my K100RT and K1100LT and did not have to install relays in the harness on them. Why is the K1200LT different? Why is the relay only on the brake light? Why does the newer harnesses that Dauntless offers have 4 relays? I understand general principals of both AC & DC power but this relay thing has me puzzled.

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #2 of 13 Old Feb 28th, 2012, 9:25 pm
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

I can't answer your first question, but I just bought a Dauntless hitch (last week). A single isolator was inclded. I got the four-relay isolator, a $70 option. Can't speak intelligently about why it's "better", but I read about it on this site and was convinced.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #3 of 13 Old Feb 29th, 2012, 7:48 am
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

I read that the 1200 LT's wiring was a little light duty, and the relays would protect them, this is why I installed them. Had no problems with the wiring for the last three years.

I heard ( here somewhere) that someone set fire to his bike, don't know if it had anything to do with the trailer wiring but...........

I have the 4 relay one installed.

Bowdon
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post #4 of 13 Old Feb 29th, 2012, 8:53 pm
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by K12smitty
I recently purchased a used Dauntless Hitch with wiring harness from another member of this forum. I have installed the hitch and connected the wiring inside the tail light. The harness that came with this hitch has the single relay and it is for the brake light. My question is; why is this relay necessary? I have wired hundreds of pig tails on cars and trucks; even the ones with amber turn signals which required the converter box to make the turn signals and brake lights work on dual filament bulbs and no relays were necessary. The only thing I had to change was to a heavy duty flasher. I also had trailer hitches on my K100RT and K1100LT and did not have to install relays in the harness on them. Why is the K1200LT different? Why is the relay only on the brake light? Why does the newer harnesses that Dauntless offers have 4 relays? I understand general principals of both AC & DC power but this relay thing has me puzzled.
You don't "have to" use a four relay isolator,
but there are a few reasons why you may choose to,
mostly it's cheap and good "insurance"

1. it is not a car or a truck, it is a B$M$W$ motorcycle
2. the wiring harness costs well over $1200
3. anything else electrical also cost's mucho dinero
4. the LT has a five wire system, brake, tail, left, right, ground
cars and trucks use the turn signal filament for their brake lights,
with the LT you "must" have a separate brake light circuit.
5. yes there was someone right here on this forum that burned up his ($1200) wiring harness right after wiring up a trailer without relays,
and yes he was also "advised" to spend the extra $70 on the isolator relays but chose not to.
sooo....the decision is entirely yours, do whatever you want, what could possibly go 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 #5 of 13 Old Feb 29th, 2012, 9:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Hans, I know my BMW is a motorcycle and I know how many wires are in the system. Many years ago I worked for a trailer hitch company and installed trailer hitches and wiring systems on hundreds of vehicles. All the foreign cars required the converter kits to make their 5 wire systems compatible with their four wire trailers. I am not doubting you when you say the K12LT wiring harness can burn up without isolator relays, I just don't understand why. What makes them different than cages with 12 volt negative ground DC wiring harnesses? I finished the installation of my Dauntless hitch and the wiring harness with the single relay on the brake light circuit. Do I really need to replace it with the 4 relay harness?
Lennie, did you have any issues with this harness when it was installed on your bike?

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #6 of 13 Old Mar 1st, 2012, 2:38 pm
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Steve,

It's all about power. The wiring in the LT is gaged for the stuff BMW attached with very little margin for additional load. When you add more load you add power ( ie heat ), also know as IR drop ( Power = Current squared time resistance), across the wire from the battery to the load ( the light ). Once you add heat to a wire it tends to increase it's resistance, which adds more heat to the wire, which adds more resistance...etc. Then after a while the insulation MELTS, and then you have a fire you can not put out until the battery goes dead or the wire meats in half.

It is just a bad experience you need not have. Hope this helps.

John Baker

2005 BMW K1200LT
1979 Suzuki GS1000E
1978 Honda CB350
1975 Suzuki GT380
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post #7 of 13 Old Mar 1st, 2012, 4:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Thanks John. I can't imagine BMW being so cheap as to guage the wire with such close tolerances. My cargo trailer is small with only two 1157 dual filament bulbs and two small side marker lights. I think I will try my luck with the supplied single isolater relay harness and just keep close tabs on the wiring. I probably won't pull a traile but once or twice a year. I know, it only takes once to burn it up.

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #8 of 13 Old Mar 1st, 2012, 4:48 pm
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Steve,

As a alternative you could think about replacing the lights with Led's lights, that would reduce the load to almost nothing.

John Baker

2005 BMW K1200LT
1979 Suzuki GS1000E
1978 Honda CB350
1975 Suzuki GT380
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post #9 of 13 Old Mar 1st, 2012, 8:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

LED lights is a great idea. Thanks for reminding me of that alternative. I will check in to doing that.

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #10 of 13 Old Mar 1st, 2012, 9:25 pm
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by K12smitty
Do I really need to replace it with the 4 relay harness?

did you have any issues with this harness when it was installed on your bike?
Steve when I first read that you had installed "hundreds" of trailer hitches
I immediately assumed you were full of s.... and that was an exaggeration,
now that you've clarified that by telling us you worked for a hitch company
that sounds a lot more 'believable"

so I'll start by apologizing for the "sarcastic tone" of my original reply,

Like John explained (better than I could have) the wiring of the LT is very thin like 18 or 20 gauge,
it's not going to take much to have a problem with it.

I tried several 5 into 4 wire converters without success
and became convinced that you need a separate brake light on your trailer for it to work with the LT,
wiring that up with LED's is a great idea,

I've used the Dauntless 4 relay isolator system on both of my LT's and that's what I would use again,

there's probably quite a few out there with a single relay system
and probably a few without any relays that haven't had any problems
and may not ever have a problem.

It's not worth the risk "to me" I am the only one that works on my motorcycles
and I'm going to do it once and do it right.


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 #11 of 13 Old Mar 2nd, 2012, 11:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Apology accepted Hans. I have read enough on this forum to respect your advice and opinion. I have started looking into the LED lights but am not yet certain this is the solution to my problems. It seems LED lights have certain pros and cons. I will ultimately order a new multi relay harness.
Thanks to all for your feed back.

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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post #12 of 13 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 8:04 am
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by K12smitty
Apology accepted Hans. I have read enough on this forum to respect your advice and opinion. I have started looking into the LED lights but am not yet certain this is the solution to my problems. It seems LED lights have certain pros and cons. I will ultimately order a new multi relay harness.
Thanks to all for your feed back.
Hi Steve, when you get the relay pack and extra brake lights, PM me (I am sure also Hans) with your phone number and best time to call. I for one would be happy to share some of the tricks I did for successful install. Sometimes it is easier than typing hundreds of words...

2013 BMW Damask Red K1600GTL
2014 BMW K1600GTL-E EXCLUSIVE
2001 Honda C-250 Helix
SOLD 2006 BMW K-1200LT "The Manatee"

Smokin'


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Last edited by SmokinJoe; Mar 3rd, 2012 at 8:15 am.
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post #13 of 13 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 12:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dauntless Trailer Hitch Wiring

Thanks Joe, will do.

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
'03 K1200LT (totaled out 3-16-11) "The Beast"
'97 K1100LT (104,000) "Red Ryder" (Sold Feb 2013)
'09 KLR 650 "Killer"
'05 KLR 250 "Lil' Killer"
'09 Kymco People 200 S "Wife's Trainer"
'09 Kymco xCiting 500i "Wife's next step"

It is amazing what a little "throttle therapy" will do for you.
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