Lighting is one of the most important parts on a trailer. Not only are they are such a huge safety factor but imagine coming home from that long trip in the middle of the night, in the rain and having your lights go out. It happens. When purchasing a new or used trailer one of the most important things you can do is to get under the trailer and see how the wiring is. The wiring should be fastened well to the main frame of the trailer so it doesn’t get the opportunity to hang. Hanging wires ask for trouble. Trailers are usually not that high of the ground and a hanging wire is just waiting to be caught as you are backing into or out of your driveway. Don’t be afraid to really look this over before you buy. Think about how the wiring is going to hold up after 6 months and even 6 years. If for example the wiring is fastened to the trailer with staples it won’t be as strong as if the wire is put through welded on washers. This added effort from the manufacturer will give you a life long wiring harness.
Here is another important part of your new trailer to look at before buying. Check out how the wiring connections are made, off of the main harness. Some companies use black electrical tape, others use connectors wrapped in a plastic case filled with silicone. This is a really important part to look for. If the connections won’t hold up it can cause shorts in your trailer and that can turn into a wiring nightmare. If proper connectors are used, the wiring harness should last the life of your trailer.
Trailer lights come in all shapes and sizes. Almost all manufactures now are offering LED lights as a standard lighting package on the trailer. LED or Light Emitting Diodes have some nice advantages over the incandescent bulbs previously used. LED lights are typically smaller and more robust and they offer greater reliability and longevity than the incandescent bulbs. A great question to ask when getting your trailer is if LED lights come with the trailer. One little tip is to also look at the physical size of the lights. Will they break during use? Some manufacturers now offer really small side marker lights and tail lights but with the same (sometime brighter) brightness. This is a really nice feature. Smaller lights means less of a chance of getting dinged and smashed as you are putting your trailer to use.
To recap, make sure that you are comfortable with how your wiring harness is mounted to your trailer. Ensure that the trailer comes with LED lights and that they are protected from being broken, either encased in steel or by being small enough to hopefully eliminate them getting hit.