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Discussion Starter #1
I have added a hitch and want to tow a kayak trailer. I've added the lighting converter for a few vehicles before, but I'm nervous about poking around for the required +12 and turn signal, brake (if separate from turn signals) and running lights.
Anyone accomplished this and have advice?

Thanks,
-Robert
 

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I haven't been into the rear interior of the car but I would suggest running a new 12v+ direct from the 12v battery (fused of course) and ground rather than trying to tap into an existing circuit. Perhaps that's what you meant. I've also done a pile of 12v wiring including most recently this exact project in a '15 Jetta and I wouldn't expect the job to be any different in the Bolt.

Sorry not much help but good luck! Send us a photo of the trailer on the car when you're done!
 

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I have added a hitch and want to tow a kayak trailer. I've added the lighting converter for a few vehicles before, but I'm nervous about poking around for the required +12 and turn signal, brake (if separate from turn signals) and running lights.
Anyone accomplished this and have advice?

Thanks,
-Robert
Don't be nervous, but stop by your friendly Chevy dealer's service department and ask if they wouldn't mind copying the page with the tail light, stop light electrical circuit for you. That will at least give you a starting point. Once you've identified the wires to tap into, check them with a voltmeter to see if they are in fact what you expect (brake light, right turn signal, left turn signal).

Or just take the vehicle down to your nearest U-Haul store and they'll set you up with a working connector for a very modest price.

U-Haul also has all the wiring kits so you don't have to scrounge for parts. A small kayak trailer with LED taillights shouldn't be a problem wiring directly to your existing taillights but if you are really concerned they also sell a kit that gets power from your 12V battery. That's a major job wiring power from the front of the car and I personally wouldn't bother with that.

Take a picture of your kayak trailer connector so they can match the connectors.
 

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You have nothing to worry about at all. @sparkyps broke it down perfectly. If you've been handy with electrical work before, this will be no different. It's just getting the wiring diagram to ensure you have the right wires to tap into or just being good with the multi-meter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't be nervous, but stop by your friendly Chevy dealer's service department and ask if they wouldn't mind copying the page with the tail light, stop light electrical circuit for you. That will at least give you a starting point. Once you've identified the wires to tap into, check them with a voltmeter to see if they are in fact what you expect (brake light, right turn signal, left turn signal).

Or just take the vehicle down to your nearest U-Haul store and they'll set you up with a working connector for a very modest price.

U-Haul also has all the wiring kits so you don't have to scrounge for parts. A small kayak trailer with LED taillights shouldn't be a problem wiring directly to your existing taillights but if you are really concerned they also sell a kit that gets power from your 12V battery. That's a major job wiring power from the front of the car and I personally wouldn't bother with that.

Take a picture of your kayak trailer connector so they can match the connectors.
Thanks sparktype, I think I'll forgo the converter and wire directly to the taillight wiring. Good advice on U-Haul too.
 

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U-Haul wiring on my Bolt

I installed the Draw-tight hitch, if I had known at the time that U-Haul installed the identical hitch I would have them do it. Today I had them do the wiring, 5 pin plug, compatible with the 4 prong plug but adds backup lights. I test towed one of their 4x8 closed trailers, got 153 miles/60KWhr at 65Mph, vs 254 Miles w/o trailer. Plan to tow 2K lb gross each weekend with an improved custom trailer. See pix on the photo gallery of the U-Haul trailer behind the Bolt.
 

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I installed the Draw-tight hitch, if I had known at the time that U-Haul installed the identical hitch I would have them do it. Today I had them do the wiring, 5 pin plug, compatible with the 4 prong plug but adds backup lights. I test towed one of their 4x8 closed trailers, got 153 miles/60KWhr at 65Mph, vs 254 Miles w/o trailer. Plan to tow 2K lb gross each weekend with an improved custom trailer. See pix on the photo gallery of the U-Haul trailer behind the Bolt.
Nice work! I have to give you serious props for doing what we all know the car can do despite what the owners manual says. What is the steady state power draw pulling the trailer at 65mph?
 

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Part of the trailer load ratings for vehicles these days are dependent on safe braking distances at highway speeds.
So, yes- your Chevy Equinox could probably tow 4,500 lbs... but it will have a crazy long braking/stopping distance at 60mph speeds... so they down rate it to 3,000lbs towing capacity and cut the stopping distance in half.

Keep that in mind when towing w/the Bolt.
 

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Good advice, a person absolutely has to be aware of the way a trailer will affect the dynamics of a tow vehicle. And while we're on the subject, when towing at highway speed proper distribution of weight over the trailer's axle is also crucial for safe towing. Plenty of good articles out there on the web so I won't bother repeating them here.

25ish kW is not bad for steady state load. I was pulling more than that for sustained periods when I did my test run into Manning park and I wasn't particularly heavily loaded or traveling unreasonably fast on the climbs, well within the design limits of a regular passenger car. The Bolt's power train should have no problem handling that load (in terms of cooling).

This spring I'll probably throw a receiver in the car so I don't have to take the Jetta when I go mountain biking, and it probably won't be long after until I sneak a trailer light controller in there.

Once again, good job giving this a try. I'm sure the Bolt made an excellent tow vehicle with tons of torque, all its considerable mass low down, and regenerative braking to help slow the load.
 

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John Ramming: excellent and thanks for posting the pic. From what it looks like, the wiring is coming out from under the bumper / fascia and so not connected to the lights in the liftgate? I just had a trailer hitch installed at U-Haul in St. Catharines, Ontario, but they wouldn't do the wiring, said they didn't have anything listed for the Bolt. So I'm a bit stuck because I'm supposed to be towing a small trailer with it this coming weekend. Any advice or direction would be appreciated if you see this!
 

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Hi redpoint5, is there any documentation on which wires to use? Did you have to connect to the lights in the tailgate at all? I was trying to test the lower level (non-LED) tail lights, but couldn't get the red ones to come on at all with the brakes, which was odd. Couldn't figure out what they're for.
 

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Hi redpoint5, is there any documentation on which wires to use? Did you have to connect to the lights in the tailgate at all? I was trying to test the lower level (non-LED) tail lights, but couldn't get the red ones to come on at all with the brakes, which was odd. Couldn't figure out what they're for.
Open the hatch. Then the lower brake lights work. DOT requires that brake lights can't be on a movable part. A loop hole, is when the movable part i.e. hatch is open, the lower brake lights become active.
 

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Where to access for trailer wiring

There have been a few posts about installing wiring for a trailer but I haven't seen any that tell where on the Bolt they made the connections. Could those who have done the wiring provide details for those of us who are planning on wiring?
Were did you access the Bolt wiring, in the rear hatch or somewhere further upstream? We know that the bumper lights alone can't be used.
Were plug-in connections possible, e.g. at the taillight, or did you need to splice into the Bolts' wiring? I'd like to avoid splicing if possible.
Has anyone used the Tekonsha product that clips onto the vehicle wiring without cutting into it?
The more details the better. Pictures or drawings would be great.
 

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Hi folks!

If you are like me and am unable to find any literature or instructions online for installing a trailer lighting module to your Chevy Bolt, you need look no further! These are instructions for installing a Tekonsha Modulite HD Protector Trailer Light Power Module (p/n 119148) to a 2017 Chevy Bolt. The information below could also likely be used for installing any other trailer light module from other manufacturers.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER!!: These are NOT official instructions and are not endorsed or verified by Tekonsha or Cheverolet and as such, you follow these instructions at your own risk. The author is not responsible for any damages of any kind resulting from the use of these instructions.

I trust that you will find these instructions clear and concise. Most importantly, I hope you are able to realize the full potential of the Chevy Bolt and demonstrate to the world that BEVs are fully capable of being utility vehicles!

Use the link below to get to the document. Let me know if there is a better way to share files on this forum though and I'll put it there as well. Feel free to PM me with any questions and I'll do my best to answer! Good luck!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OdlXkOxxJLZBquvj7EIUvjS0n4rYjMzp/view?usp=sharing
 

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Great document, I've saved a copy in case I ever need to do this. Thanks for taking the time to put this together for everyone!
 

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For anyone who's just going to la-de-da around locally pulling something, you can avoid wiring and put a SMV (slow moving vehicle) sign on instead of lights. Note that you then have a max of 45 mph and daytime only, but you're only out $8 for a sign.
There's a night version with battery powered flashers, put I'm not sure the criteria for those.
Perfectly valid approach for something like moving your fishhouse, getting mulch, etc. where you're not going far or fast anyway.
 
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