Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Field Expedient Trailer Wiring. ie a Komplete Kludge

We bought a used waverunner which we got REAL cheap.. Chris and I were bringing it down from Toms River to LBI. The lights weren’t working and it was getting dark.

I found a Walmart and purchased a 4 prong 4′ connector kit. I also purchased 2 wires with alligator clips.

I got out to the car and realized I didn’t have a knife or any other blade, nor did I have electrical tape. I started heading back to Walmat when the lights went out… POWER FAILURE…. Right next to the Oyster Creek Nuke plant which is the biggest generating station in 50 miles.. go figure.

We had to split the ribbon wire to connect the two 4 prong plugs from the set.   Since I lacked a knife, I asked a couple of the people in the parking lot if they had one. After a couple of negative responses to “Hey, do you have a knife” from heavily tatooed, pierced 300 pound walmart shopper guys, I began to determine that my course of action might not be longevity enhancing. Believe it or not, a license plate makes a decent blade for separating the wires.   Luckily I had wire strippers from my network installation kit and was able to strip the ends of the wire.

Now, Connecting them was a challenge. We were working with rapidly fading daylight and no stores open because of an electrical outage… next to the oldest nuke plant in the country… A quick inventory of the assortment of stuff in my truck showed (1) Wall anchors (2) A couple of plastic bags..  We used the wall anchors as a half asssed substitute for wire connectors. I then ripped strips of plastic bag and wrapped that around the four connected wires. Then I completed the mummification with an additional bag.

The trailer lights depend on the trailer being electrically grounded to the vehicle. 20 years of salt water makes for some less than stellar connections. Couple that with the fact that the bracket for my ball.. (I mean the trailer ball).. was coated in black lacquer. A material not known to conduct electricity. We used the alligator clipped wires to complete the grounding by clipping them to bare metal on the trailer and bare metal on the Mountaineer. It’s amazing how much plastic is used in an SUV. I’ve seen less plastic on strippers.

We headed back toward LBI passing multiple cops on traffic duty. I kept wondering if (1) The lights were still on and (2) if the bearings had yet reached the temperature of the sun’s core.

We passed the Oyster Creek Plant. I suppose any grandchildren I might have are destined to have 2 or more heads now.

Right before LBI, we pulled into a Wa Wa. The lights were still on and all functions were working. The bearings were almost at room temperature…That was after about 40 minutes of driving.  We got back onto the road and completed the last 20 minutes of the drive. When we pulled into the driveway. The lights were still working… McGyver and the A-Team – EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!… VENIMUS VIDIMUS VICIMUS..


Afterthought. I did have a first aid kit. Had my car looked less like a Fema Disaster area I might have noticed it and realized Band Aids would be superior to shredded plastic.
I don’t recommend people trying this because it probably violates about 30 Federal Regulations, at least 20 People’s Republik of New JErsey Regulations and common sense.. But Hey, it worked!!!

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