Trailer Electrics & Water Crossings

Submitted: Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:16
ThreadID: 57445 Views:3374 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Yet another post cause due to recently buying an off-road camper. Searched a bit – can’t find much on the subject.

We have dual battery set up in camper; isolator for circuit running from car to camper; 12 pin plug; earth return from plug is into chassis; compressor fridge in camper can run independent of camper master electrical switch.

My question is, are there any risks driving through water crossings in terms of trailer electrics. Mainly concerned about wiring at plug which I don’t think can ever be fully sealed. Should you just disconnect plug? Or if fridge on direct feed should you turn off fridge?

Thanks JD
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:40

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:40

I have seen plenty of vehicles tow campers thorough water crossings with out a problem.

When a vehicle goes through water a bow wave is made and the water is low at the back of the vehicle. As long as the vehicle keeps moving the water should not effect the trailer plug, but if the vehicle stops water will get in to everything.

Keep the vehicle moving through the water crossing and you should not have a problem.

AnswerID: 303016

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:06

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:06
I wouldn't worry about it.

That is what fuses are for, if water ingress happens to cause a short.

You could say the same for any trailer that is plugged into the towing vehicle to power lights, etc.


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AnswerID: 303018

Reply By: ob - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:13

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:13

If you are going to do deep water crossings on a regular basis maybe you could look at relocating the plug higher on the tow vehicle. I dont see any reason why it has to be on the same level as the tow bar. The other way I can think of is replacing the existing setup with a water proof one. You can buy plugs that are sealed with an o ring such as the tail light plugs on Cruisers. Also putting some dielectric grease in the plug helps a lot

AnswerID: 303020

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:54

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:54
Most non electronic stuff that work of 12 or 24 volts wont mind being submerged in water and will still function with out a problem.

It is no different to driving a vehicle in heavy rain.

The biggest problem is the water corroding terminals over a period of time and then causing a problem.

On all connectors we use a high grade electrical silicone grease to help stop corrosion and repel water.

The biggest thing about water proofing electrical gear is it has to be sealed 120%.....if you seal it 99% water will still get in and seeing it is nearly sealed water will not be able to drain......just like you see in some tail lights!

If you are concerned about water getting into electrical connectors on your trails how are you going to stop water getting into connectors on the vehicle.

I would stop worrying and just enjoy your trip.

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 303029

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 12:08

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 12:08
If your that worried, I would disconnect then spray WD40 and reconnect after crossing....IMHO....cheers...silverback
AnswerID: 303032

Follow Up By: dedabato (SA) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 15:47

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 15:47
I totally agree with you.Nice and simple but not to technical and 100% effective.

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FollowupID: 569215

Reply By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 06:57

Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 06:57
thanks all for your responses - i'm better informed about things now for sure. cheers JD
AnswerID: 303169

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