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Here’s what we know about Pilot Automotive’s “trailer adapter with beep tester:” when you install it in place of a standard adapter, you can push the button, hop back in your vehicle, do some stuff, and it “beeps to tell you that everything’s working correctly.”  We’d love to tell you more — like whether it tests the trailer’s wiring for connectivity as well as confirming that the vehicle’s sending the right signals or how the beeps let you know what part of the wiring is bad —  but Pilot couldn’t tell us any more than this about their award-winning new product.

That said, if this does indeed test both light connectivity and signal distribution in some easy way, it sounds great to us.  I’m particularly interested in how the beeps identify problems.  Hell, for just $20, maybe it’s worth ordering one to find out.

Trailer Adapter w/Beep Tester [Pilot Automotive]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

3 Responses to Mystery Trailer Adapter With Beep Tester

  1. Myself says:

    I’m willing to bet the “do some stuff” involves a set sequence like: Tap the brakes twice, then try the left turn signal, tap the brakes again, try the right turn signal, press and hold the brakes while hitting reverse briefly, then shift back into park, release the brake, and go look at the tester.

    It’d be easy to watch for sequences of signals. If a signal doesn’t arrive, or arrives out of order, throw an error so the operator can go get another human to help diagnose the problem.

    It’d be worth checking out if it also worked on 4-pin plugs. That would require an internal battery though, and might bump the price a bit. 🙁

  2. Roscoe says:

    It only works for the flat 4-blade plugs, but I stumbled upon this cheap tester from U-haul a couple weeks ago an am impressed. It does just what it says it does. It would probably work with an adapter as well to test other plugs.

    http://store.uhaul.com/product_detail.aspx?id=4821

  3. So with the four-wire tester, you’d either need an extension cable, a mirror, or a helper. Not bad, though.

    When I took a trailer back to NationsRent to have the [poorly maintained and disintegrating] wiring serviced, the mechanic brought out a fascinating homemade tool: A small toolbox bristling with switches and indicators, with pigtails of trailer plugs extending from both sides. Plugged into the vehicle, it emulated a trailer and would show bright colored lights for each signal. Plugged into a trailer, its internal battery could drive any trailer lighting circuit at the flip of a switch.

    The only way to improve it would be a remote key fob to control it, so you could plug the box in at the tongue, then walk around behind the trailer and push buttons. Hmm.

    Okay, after a little Google work, it appears that TrailerTester.com already makes a number of remote-controlled testers just like that, for large semi trailers and RVs. Obviously priced for professional use, but that’s cool. We mere mortals will stick with the twenty-buck version, methinks!

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