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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I'm considering buying a Bolt this winter to replace my '13 Volt. Does anyone have experience installing the trailer hitch wiring on a Bolt? Are there easy connections by the rear tail and brake lights or is this a bigger project?
I know the hitch itself is easily installed and I know about the "void warranty" warning for Bolt and Volt from GM, so no speeches please.
I didn't install a hitch on the Volt since I plan to sell it soon. Right now I tow my kayak/paddleboard trailer behind a 2001 Toyota MR2 with no problems, but the car has very little room other stuff. The Bolt should be a much better vehicle for towing than my tiny MR2.
 

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I first posted months ago about hitch wiring for a Bolt, without a response. Well, I finally made the move and replaced my '13 Volt with a '17 Bolt Premier, which I love so far. The Bolt is a closer fit to my driving needs than was the Volt, which I liked very much. My daughter and son-in-law will get their first taste of EV driving with the Volt.
Meanwhile, I'll be installing a roof rack (Thule) and trailer hitch (Draw Tite) in the coming weeks. I WILL BE TOWING A very light kayak trailer (no lectures please). I'll ask again: does anyone have experience with wiring for a trailer with the Bolt? Any insight would be very helpful. I'm looking forward to the adventure.
 

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I haven't taken the time to figure out the pinout yet, but I found connectors that will let me wire lights into the taillight harnesses without modifying the stock wiring.

Here's the parts:
Screenshot 2017-12-26 at 12.59.23 PM.jpg

This is a photo of the connector on the car (under the rear of the car):
IMG_20170809_192615.jpg

We either need a wiring diagram, or to craw under there with a test light while someone inside the car operates the lights. I won't get around to doing either myself until the weather gets warmer.

I'm planning to wire in this kit: https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Curt/56146.html
 

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We either need a wiring diagram, or to craw under there with a test light while someone inside the car operates the lights. I won't get around to doing either myself until the weather gets warmer.

I'm planning to wire in this kit: https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Curt/56146.html








Has it previously been confirmed that there is not already equipped a Trailer Interface Module on the Bolt!?:confused:

Reason I ask is because the Bolt Owner's Manual does list fuse location(s) for a Trailer Interface Module pictured above...





GDS2 v17 also has a Trailer Interface Control Module populated for the Bolt in the software...




You should be able to browse your specific VIN over at https://tis2web.service.gm.com to verify your Bolt is equipped with the K101 as shown in the example picture above...





You could also try looking for any cable/connector in the rear of your Bolt similar to what is pictured above that you could plug a trailer into...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wish I understood what these diagrams mean but I'm hoping that whoever does the wiring for me, probably in the Spring, will find them helpful. Thanks.
 

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Has it previously been confirmed that there is not already equipped a Trailer Interface Module on the Bolt!?:confused:
According to this, those fuses are for all of the tailgate lighting, not a separate trailer module. I'm guessing someone selected the wrong label in the design phase and no-one caught it before production.
 

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Well, I dug into this a bit more today, and accessing what I need from the connector I was planning to use is not the slam dunk I expected. The turn signal is there (the blue wire on each side), but the red light only is used when the tailgate is open, and there's only 1 wire for both marker and turn lights there (they must vary the voltage - the bulb only has 1 filament).

So that means we need access to both the under-car wires and the tailgate wires.

@somms - is there any indication where that trailer module is located in the car? I wonder if I can access all the signals I need there? There's a module under the driver's seat which looks like it could be the one, but I don't want to go disconnecting random modules
 

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I too am wanting to add a light hitch on a Bolt and wire it. I was wondering if you had found out any more. I am not wanting to cut into the cars wiring harness. I have talked to etrailer on the phone and they feel the Tekonsha 119250 kit should work. You run 12 volt power from the small battery and then there are clamps that you put over the appropriate wires to get the signals. You would have to use both the lift gate wiring and bumper lights so the controller would have to be located in a spot before these wires get too far apart. I was hoping under the rear seat but I haven’t starting seeing where the wiring goes. I would be really interested in how you end up wiring the trailer. Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This thread has been inactive for months but since it might be where Bolt owners who want to install a hitch plus lighting look for information, I thought I might share my experience.
This Spring I installed the Tekonsha 119250 light kit and it works great! Remember though that tapping into the bumper lights alone won't work since the brake/taillight function is in the tailgate except when the tailgate is opened. Access to those lights is by removing a back side panel. We used the left panel.
I've carried my kayaks and paddleboards using a light trailer or the roof rack. I prefer the trailer when I can. EV range is much better with the trailer, especially at higher speeds. Said differently, the battery draw for the same speed on the same road is much less with a trailer than the roof rack, especially with larger items like my kayaks. I think this means the battery/motor is actually under more stress using the roof rack than the same hauling on a light trailer. So much for the idea of no trailer towing with the Bolt. To be clear, I'M NOT CLAIMING THE BOLT CAN BE USED TO TOW LARGE TRAILERS, but it works great for light trailer use.
 

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This thread has been inactive for months but since it might be where Bolt owners who want to install a hitch plus lighting look for information, I thought I might share my experience.
This Spring I installed the Tekonsha 119250 light kit and it works great! Remember though that tapping into the bumper lights alone won't work since the brake/taillight function is in the tailgate except when the tailgate is opened. Access to those lights is by removing a back side panel. We used the left panel.
I've carried my kayaks and paddleboards using a light trailer or the roof rack. I prefer the trailer when I can. EV range is much better with the trailer, especially at higher speeds. Said differently, the battery draw for the same speed on the same road is much less with a trailer than the roof rack, especially with larger items like my kayaks. I think this means the battery/motor is actually under more stress using the roof rack than the same hauling on a light trailer. So much for the idea of no trailer towing with the Bolt. To be clear, I'M NOT CLAIMING THE BOLT CAN BE USED TO TOW LARGE TRAILERS, but it works great for light trailer use.
Great job! My son and I wired his Volt for a small trailer (wood from store, moved riding mower once, lawn mulch, etc). Works great!

I did a quick search and saw that Tekonsha 119250 light kit here:
Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/Tekonsha-119250-T-Connector/dp/B00HHRYPFK?sa-no-redirect=1
Company site: http://www.tekonsha.com/products/el.../!FQHI|fPlggjiHowRSguPcjrncZzUklC|6GB1|7SN4c=
 

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Yes, I'm pretty sure you need to buy a light kit specifically made for your car

https://www.etrailer.com/t1-2018_Chevrolet_Bolt+EV.htm

Most all newer cars will NOT let you power the trailer lights directly from the tail lights on the car. like we're all used to doing - The ECU won't put up with that. Instead, the trailer lights are powered from a separate, fused 12 volt source and that 'magic box' in the kit uses the car's tail lights only as a signal to switch the trailer lights on and off, powering them from the aforementioned fused 12 volt source

Don
 

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Yes, I'm pretty sure you need to buy a light kit specifically made for your car

https://www.etrailer.com/t1-2018_Chevrolet_Bolt+EV.htm

Most all newer cars will NOT let you power the trailer lights directly from the tail lights on the car. like we're all used to doing - The ECU won't put up with that. Instead, the trailer lights are powered from a separate, fused 12 volt source and that 'magic box' in the kit uses the car's tail lights only as a signal to switch the trailer lights on and off, powering them from the aforementioned fused 12 volt source

Don
That looks to be the exact same ... kit except $62.22 ($189.21-$126.99) cheaper on Amazon. Amazon picture tucks/hides extra wiring length behind box or 'photoshops' it out.

Etrailer 119250 direct link: https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit...lt+EV/2018/119250KIT.html?vehicleid=201865882 (note site does not say it is custom only 'Confirmed to Fit')
Amazon 119250 direct link: https://smile.amazon.com/Tekonsha-119250-T-Connector/dp/B00HHRYPFK?sa-no-redirect=1
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You are correct. Don, the light kit doesn't have to be specific to that vehicle it just needs to be compatible with that vehicle, hence the Tekonsha 119250 works for many vehicles. I also saw the price difference between Amazon and etrailer. Etrailer has a "best price" offer. Their kit included a circuit tester but they adjusted the price to be close to the Amazon price.
Finally, I think pretty much all of the kits for newer cars require their own power source, i.e. a direct connection to the 12v battery. The Tekonsha kit doesn't tap into the vehicie's wiring at all, i.e. no splicing or other damage to vehicle wiring. It uses the current passing through the vehicle wiring only as a signal to send current down the analogous wire in the trailer kit.
 

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For most new cars, there is a 'plug and play' kit where you unplug each of the tail lights and the kit has a plug/socket that goes in between them, so there's no need to tap any wires. I've bought these kits for my last couple cars in the $50 range, but it appears nobody makes one like that for the Bolt . . . . yet. Check the Curt hitch kit for $55 just below the Tekonsha kit on eTrailer. The custom fit kit I put in my Ford was marketed by Curt and it was a breeze to install

Don
 
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