Your Airstream travel trailer and tow vehicle work in concert with one another while traveling down the road, syncing turn signals, brake lights, and daytime running lights. The connector that makes this possible is called a 7-Way Cable. Here is everything you need to know to connect and maintain your Airstream travel trailer’s 7-way Cable.
What is a 7-Way Cable?
A 7-way cable is the cable that runs from your tow vehicle to the Airstream which transmits braking and turning signals between the two. Each time you hitch your tow vehicle you'll need to plug in the 7-way plug and confirm that your travel trailer lights and brake lights are working properly.
This cable can sometimes be referred to as the "7-pin" cable.
How do I plug in the 7-Way Cable?
The 7-way plug on your trailer needs to come underneath the A-frame and connect into the tow vehicle. Make sure there is enough slack so that when you turn around corners that you have enough slack that it won’t pinch or pull it out of the socket of the tow vehicle. To insert, open the plug door on the tow vehicle. Insert the plug and make sure it snaps into place. Most tow vehicles have a locking latch near the plug to lick it into place. The 7-way controls your brake lights, turn signals and running lights. If your truck has a charge line equipped, it will charge your battery as it is going down the road and has a ground connected.
Now that the travel trailer and tow vehicle are hitched and your 7-way cable is plugged in, check the brake lights, turn signals, and running lights to ensure everything is operating correctly.
How do I keep my 7-way cable clean?
You also want to make sure the 7-way plug is clean. You can spray dielectric grease proactively on the plug and the port to prevent corrosion.
If you already have corrosion on your 7-way cable, spray an electrical contact cleaner on both the port and the plug and use a small brass pipe cleaner to brush off the build up. Once it’s clean, spray it with dielectric grease or fluid film. Do not use WD-40 or vaseline, as this can deteriorate the rubber parts of the plug.
You also want to ensure the 7-way cable and plug are kept dry. You can put a cover on the 7-way cable when it is not in use, which also keeps dust and dirt out of it, or you can ensure it is always stored facing down so that it doesn’t catch and hold water.