Allied Wire and Cable carries a wide range of trailer cables. We have trailer cable options made with four, six, or seven conductors, all of which are available in many different sizes. All of our trailer wire features stranded copper conductors that are color-coded in order to make identification easier. These varying constructions and gauge sizes make our trailer wire able to handle different and more complex electrical signals. Additionally, all of our trailer cables feature a PVC jacket. Additional configurations are also available.
Trailer cable is ideal for use in many applications but is most often used to hitch and tow trailers to trucks or other heavy equipment in order to tow them. Trailer wire supplies power to the brakes, taillights, and other trailer lights, making it integral to the safety system of the trailer. Since these cables are designed for outdoor, heavy-duty use, it is especially important that they are protected against damage. It could be extremely dangerous if this cable failed to power the trailer lights of an attached trailer. Our trailer cable is able to withstand many outdoor elements, including heat, cold, weather, abrasion, grease, and oil.
Important Mistakes to Avoid with Trailer Cables
- Insufficient Gauge Wiring
- Inadequate protection from the elements
- Poor quality materials
Insufficient Gauge Wiring
For both professional installers as well as the DIY trailer owner, knowing and using the right gauge of wire is critical. When doing professional installation or when replacing sections of wire it is critical to have the proper gauge of wiring, as measured by the American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard. Electrical wiring can be compared to a water pipe – if it is not large enough, it will not be sufficient so that the electricity can flow through the wire. The general standard for trailer wiring is between 12-16 AWG, but this is largely dependent upon how long the wiring run needs to go and how much power must go through the wire.
Inadequate Protection from the Elements
Trailer cable, both for travel trailers as well as boat trailers, must endure rough conditions. Boating wiring is especially susceptible to damage from exposure both to water and especially salt water. While using a crimp connector is ok for boats that would be exposed fresh water, boats that must go into saltwater require additional protection due to the corrosive nature of saltwater. In these cases, crimp connectors with heat-shrink tubing should be used. Shrink-tubing comes in a variety of options. The best for protection against corrosion in trailer wiring is shrink tubing that has an inner wall that melts to create a sealed connection.
Poor Quality Materials
One word about cheap wiring: don’t buy it. Wiring that goes to trailers, whether they are for utility use, travel, or boats, is subjected to extreme conditions including abrasion, dirt, oil, heat, cold, water, and other environmental factors that can cause the insulation to become damaged or break down. Your only assurance is purchasing wire and cable from reputable firms such as Allied Wire and Cable who hold multiple certifications and have been independently verified to meet strict standardization processes. While boat trailers are not required, either by the Coast Guard or the American Boat & Yacht Counsel, to use tinned copper wire, many professionals in the electrical industry prefer to use tinned copper cables because they do not trust waterproof connections to be truly waterproof and prefer the extra level of protection offered by tinned copper wire.
When towing a piece of heavy equipment, a multi-conductor trailer cable is ideal. Our Trailer Cable is available in gauge sizes 16 AWG to 8 AWG. While the standard jacket material is PVC, other configurations are available. If you need an extremely heavy-duty, abrasion-resistant trailer cable, please contact us. We also offer a wide variety of value-added services and custom cable options to ensure your trailer lights, trailer connectors, and hitches perform accurately in your next towing application.
 Chris Caswell, “Trailer Wiring Mistakes,” Boating World, 2016.
 Ibid.; John Tiger, “Bad Trailer Wiring,” Boating Magazine, 2021.
 John Tiger, “Trailer Wiring,” Boating Magazine, April 2017.
 Caswell, “Trailer Wiring Mistakes.”