What Gauge Is Trailer Wiring?

In general, trailer wiring uses 16-gauge wire. However, longer trailers require different sizes, like 14-gauge or even 12-gauge wire.

No matter which size you buy, each one is sold by the foot. It should also be noted that trailers need clearance lights on either side.

Below, we’ll be going over more trailer- and wire-related information, such as the best brands for wires, where license lights are placed on a trailer, the different types of adapters, and trailer insurance and registration.

Table of Contents

What are the best brands for wires?

There are many brands that sell high-quality wires. They include:

Powerpole connectors
  • Deka – As one of the best-known brands for wires, Deka has been producing quality electrical products, such as batteries and wires, for seven decades. Deka, which is a combination of “Karl” and “DeLight,” was founded by Karl Gasche, who used to work for DeLight Breidegam, Sr. The Breidegam family founded East Penn, which eventually joined forces with Deka. Together, they introduce new electrical products every year.
  • InstallGear – A premium manufacturer of power and ground cable, speaker wire, distribution blocks, amp kits, and power wire, InstallGear is a leader when it comes to producing electrical products. Not much is known about the history of this brand, but its products, which are easily accessible, can be found on sites like Walmart and Amazon.
  • Pacer – The self-proclaimed top US manufacturer of battery cable, marine wire, and boat cable is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Founded in 1979, Pacer boasts a selection of about 9,000 products, which can be found in a variety of sources, including its own website. The company, which prides itself on integrating engineering, wire and cable manufacturing, and distribution, serves individuals as well as large-volume consumers.
  • ParaWire – Established in 1998 by Paramount Wire Company, ParaWire offers a wide selection of products that includes jewelry wire, craft wire, and related products such as sheet metals, tools, and instructional books. Although ParaWire has a heavy focus on jewelry- and craft-related products, it also carries products that are known for being functional heavy-duty items, such as standard trailer wiring.
  • Powerwerx – Offering a wide selection of products that includes power supplies, powerpole connectors, wire cables, battery charges, and mobile timers, Powerwerx is based in Yorba Linda, California. Its featured items include Bioenno batteries, Powerpole connectors, crimping tools, and low-voltage cables. There isn’t much information about the company’s history and mission, but it appears to dominate the communications and DC power products industry.

If my trailer has a license light, will it be on the left or right side?


License lights always go on the left side of the trailer. They never go on the right side.

The lights are meant to illuminate the license plate as well as the registration tags on your vehicle. It also makes it easy for law enforcement to see.

In many states, a burnt-out license light can result in you getting a ticket, so it’s always important to make sure your light is working properly.

Different types of trailers

Believe it or not, there are dozens of types of trailers. However, we’ll be narrowing down this list to a select few, including the most familiar kinds of trailers.

  • Travel trailer – For people looking for a more affordable way to enjoy the RV lifestyle, the travel trailer is the way to go. Also known as bumper pull campers, fifth-wheel trailers, camper trailers, and truck trailers, travel trailers require a pickup truck or tow vehicle to use them. Travel trailers, which are known to outsell all other types of recreational vehicles, are popular among travelers and outdoor enthusiasts because you can simply park the trailer at a campsite and then explore the surrounding area.
  • Enclosed trailer – Also known as dry vans, enclosed trailers have a container that encloses the load – hence its name. With its ability to contain material that’s being transported, the enclosed trailer can transport anything from band equipment to tools. Compared to other types of trailers, enclosed trailers are usually quite affordable, and they’re quite effective at protecting the material from weather elements and other threats.
  • Flatbed trailer – Like enclosed trailers, flatbed trailers are a popular means for transporting goods because of their enclosed structure. In fact, they’re the most commonly used kind of trailer, thanks to their versatility and ability to transport anything from lumber to steel coils. Because flatbeds are open from every side and don’t have a box covering the load being transported, it’s quite easy to load and offload the material. Because there’s no container, the material needs to be covered by a tarp.
  • Specialty trailer – As you might expect from the name, specialty trailers are produced for specific purposes. These trailers are built to specification, which means that no two specialty trailers are the same. For example, a specialty trailer built for transporting large quantities of liquid will greatly differ from a specialty trailer designed for food or medical services. Requirements for these trailers include a special permit, and the driver needs to have a special license that will allow him or her to tow the load.
  • Lowboy trailer – Lowboy trailers, which are also known as low loaders, low beds, double-drop trailers, and floats, are semi-trailers that have a drop deck. The lowboy trailer has two drops – a drop right behind the gooseneck and one right in front of the wheels. The type of trailer, which sits very close to the ground, is ideal for shipping very large items, such as heavy-duty construction equipment that exceeds the maximum weight limit of other kinds of trailers.
Lowboy trailer

Are 5-4 adapters still available?

No, 5-4 adapters are no longer available. You’re still able to plug the 5-prong into the 4-prong. However, the reverse won’t work.

What if my trailer has dual bulbs and my vehicle only has one?

If your vehicle only has one bulb but your trailer has two, use a 118158 reverse converter and make sure you wire the bulbs for a 6 or 7-way.

Is there such a thing as a 24V to 12V adapter?

No, there’s no such thing. Rather than using an adapter, you need to change the bulbs to 24V bulbs as well as use a 24V converter in order to hook up the running lights.

Trailer insurance coverage

Whether you’re required to purchase trailer insurance depends on your state. While some states require trailer insurance, others don’t, so it’s important to check your state’s legal requirements concerning this type of coverage.

Your trailer type will determine the kind of trailer insurance you need, but generally, you can expect your insurance coverage to include collision, comprehensive, and liability.


While comprehensive provides coverage for things like theft, vandalism, and storm damage, collision covers damage resulting from an accident.

Because a trailer lacks its own engine and you tow rather than drive it, people often overlook the risk of liability.

However, there have been cases of trailers becoming unhitched and causing an extensive amount of damage – even death.

Auto liability may not cover damages from your trailer if it’s involved in an accident, so you might need to consider liability insurance coverage specifically for your trailer.

Registration requirements

Most states require that trailers be registered for commercial or personal use. This also applies to trailers with insurance coverage.

But registration requirements vary from state to state.

You have to register the trailer within 30 days of purchase in most states. Although laws regarding registration and title differ from state to state, the penalties for failing to register your trailer can be quite hefty in the states that have this requirement.

And the longer you put off registration, the more expensive the fines and penalties for your untitled trailer.

Which companies offer trailer insurance?


Here are some national insurance companies that offer trailer insurance, which can cover travel trailers, campers, pop-ups, and motorhomes.

  • Geico – Geico, which stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, is a private insurance company headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland. As the second-largest auto insurance company in the US (after State Farm), Geico is known for its affordable rates that are offered to consumers over the phone or online.
  • Progressive – Like Geico, Progressive is also known for its fairly low rates. According to its website, over 33 million drivers take advantage of Progressive insurance, making it one of the country’s leaders in auto insurance. The company, which is based in Mayfield, Ohio, was founded in March 1937 by Joseph Lewis and Jack Green.
  • Farmers – With 48,000 agents and 21,000 employees, Farmers is one of the go-to companies in the US for home, automobile, and small business insurance. Headquartered in Woodland Hills, California, the company serves more than 10 million households around the country with over 19 million individual policies.
  • Nationwide – Nationwide offers a wide range of insurance and financial services, including home and auto insurance and investing and retirement products. Over its 90 years of existence, it has grown from a tiny mutual auto insurer to one of the biggest insurance and financial services companies in the US and around the world.
  • State Farm – State Farm, which is headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, is actually a large group of mutual insurance companies scattered across the US. With 100 years of service under its belt, State Farm, founded in 1922, offers competitive rates for home, life, and auto insurance and accounts for 84 million policies around the country.