European trailer Q's?

T- Bone

So I am thinking of buying a european trailer.
The dealer showed me the unit. The trailer has a 7 pin plug. Not the same as our 7 pole class2 or 3 style. My truck has a 7 pole class2 or 3 and a 4 pin flat class1. The trailer plug has 7 pins. 4 female and three male IIRC (24V?). I dont know what the seven pins are for. It only has tail, turn and brake lights, no brakes.

Hitch ball? The dealer has no idea of the options we have, and has never seen a receiver. After a quick measurment, it looks like about 6cm is needed.

Any Ideas?
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Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
US trailer 7 pin is going to be:
Battery charge
Reverse light/aux.

My understanding is in Europe they do not allow electric brakes like we use here. They use a hydraulic serge brake. I think they also require a seperate turn signal. They may also have a standard required plug so some of the leads may not be in use.

I would think it would not be all that far off from ours except the turn signals. I think you will find the following.
Turn Right
Turn left
Battery charge

T- Bone

Anyone know of an easy 4pin trailer wire kit?
I guess I am going to have to rewire it. I don't know yet if it has double fillament bulbs or seperate brake and turn bulbs. I may need to buy light's also. What a pain! Oh the joy of living in europe.:rolleyes:

T- Bone

Got it! It looks like a complete 4 pin light kit will do the trick on the cheap.
Anyone have a use for some eurotrash trailer lighting?


Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0004
Having imported many trailers from abroad there are a few things you need to know and be sure are in place before you potentially have an expensive headache on your hands:

1- Is the trailer compliant with NHTSA regulations? A quick call to their office will confirm that they are registered as a manufacturer and who their agent of process is. If not, the process of running a trailer through a registered importer as an individual is expensive. Importing as an individula requires putting up a bond agreeing to bring the unit into commpliance or have it destroyed. More info at Note that all of the lights, reflectors etc will need to be DOT approved in order to be compliant.

2- Is the VIN compliant? If not you'll have some hoops to jump through with the state motor vehicle department where you'll end up registering it. A non compliant VIN can also get held up in Customs.

3- Can you get parts? Bearings and brake pads wear out. When we were importing trailers, we did so without axles so that we could source them here along with the parts. We had a failure with one of the mechanical surge brake units and had to source parts from the country of origin...a real pain.

Your 7 wires for the european 12N wiring code will be:
Yellow = left turn
Blue = fog
White = ground
Green = right turn
Brown = side light
Red = brake
Black = side light (yes there are 2)
Just like the US, there are a couple of different conventions, find out before you buy which one they are using.

IMO this should not be of concern to you as if the dealer is selling you a NHTSA compliant trailer it should be wired to US specifications.

In short, if I were in your shoes, I would put all the responsibility of compliance and registration on the dealer...and get that acceptance of responsibility in writing.

Good luck with the purchase. I hope it goes well and you get years of enjoyment from it.

T- Bone

Excellent points! Thanks a bunch.

This is only a utility trailer (wagon really). No battery, no brakes.
I already have plans to upgrade the axle and spindles ( U.S source) and plan to wire it to meet U.S. specs when I do move back to the states.
As far as importing, I was considering it household goods (military term), but I am still checking this out.

Could it really be any harder to register than a DIY kit or home made type?

Thanks for the wire info. I did forget about the fog light requirement for some european countries( including the one I live in). Although none of my U.S. spec vehicles have the rear foglight, I suspect the trailer will be required and equiped with one. I will have to keep this in mind while I figure out how to plug it up to my truck.

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
T- Bone said:
Could it really be any harder to register than a DIY kit or home made type?

Depends if they notice it coming back to the states. If it's in a container with the truck and being handled by the military it will porbably slip right through.

DIY registration is starting to become a little more difficult I am hearing. Seems the Police have figured out that in many places it is VERY easy to walk into the DMV and get handed a vin and then take that VIN and stick it on a stolen trailer.

As an example I have a modified trailer that the VIN was stamped in a place that I made inaccessible. I walked into my local DMV and told them I had a modified trailer and they handed me a vin badge no other questions asked beyond its size. That was 5-6 years ago.

Now I am hearing you need to present bills of sale for the materials used (axle, steel) to build the trailer in some places. Then have the trailer visually inspected by either the DMV or in GA the state patrol would do the inspection.

Might want to check your requirments where you will be registering the trailer at when you come home.

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