How to Hook Up Trailer Lights on a Tacoma

While many Toyota Tacoma mid-sized pickup trucks are capable of towing small- to medium-sized trailers, some of these trucks are not equipped with factory-installed trailer outlet receptacles.

Toyota Tacoma trucks have separate turn and brake signals.Toyota Tacoma trucks have separate turn and brake signals.
Many small and medium-sized trailers are wired so that the brake and turn signals are displayed by a single bulb on each side of the trailer. Many Toyota vehicles contain separate brake and turn signal lamps; therefore, a taillight converter is required to connect to the trailer electrical system.

Open the tailgate. Loosen the 10 mm retaining bolts that hold each side's tail lamp housings in place. Pull the tail lamp housings firmly until they come loose from the truck body.

Loosen the bulb receptacles from the tail lamp housings by turning each bulb base and pulling each bulb out of its respective place in the lamp housing. Each wire color is marked as to its function at the base of the bulb holder.

Place the first splice connector over the left turn signal wire until it reaches the bottom of the run channel. Insert the yellow wire from the converter into the tap wire hole on the side of this splice connector. Crimp the u-contact down flush with the top of the plastic insulator on the splice connector. Close the hinged cover until it latches.

Place the second splice connector over the tail lamp signal wire until it reaches the bottom of the run channel. Insert the brown wire from the converter into the tap wire hole on the side of this splice connector. Crimp the u-contact down flush with the top of the plastic insulator on the splice connector. Close the hinged cover until it latches.

Place the third splice connector over the right turn signal wire until it reaches the bottom of the run channel. Insert the green wire from the converter into the tap wire hole on the side of this splice connector. Crimp the u-contact down flush with the top of the plastic insulator on the splice connector. Close the hinged cover until it latches.

Place the fourth splice connector over one of the ground wires until the wire reaches the bottom of the run channel. Insert the white wire from the converter into the tap wire hole on the side of this splice connector. Crimp the u-contact down flush with the top of the plastic insulator on the splice connector. Close the hinged cover until it latches.

Place the first splice connector over one of the brake signal wires until that wire reaches the bottom of the run channel. Insert the red wire from the converter into the tap wire hole on the side of this splice connector. Crimp the u-contact down flush with the top of the plastic insulator on the splice connector. Close the hinged cover until it latches.

Reinstall the bulb receptacles back into the tail lamp housings. Reinstall the tail lamp housings back into their body panel receptacle. Reinstall the retaining screws for each lamp housing and close the tailgate.

Things You Will Need

  • Crimp-type electrical tap connectors
  • Electrical pliers
  • Trailer light taillight converter
  • 10mm Socket wrench

About the Author

David Sandoval has served as a trainer and technical writer since 2000. He has written several articles online in the fields of home improvement, finance, electronics and science. Sandoval has an Associate of Applied Science in microelectronics from Northern New Mexico College.