Can-Am Spyder Hitch Kit 4-pin Adapter

The Hitch Kit for the 2013 Can-Am Spyder, Sport Touring Model STS, has a custom wiring loom to connect to the trailer wiring harness of the RT-622 towing trailer for the Spyder. That wiring loom ends on the right side of the hitch near the rear of the hitch in a square 4-pin connector rather than the flat, standard trailer, 4-pin connector. Can-Am BRP offers an adapter cable to connect the hitch’s 4-pin square end to the standard trailer 4-pin flat for a mere $65.00, for year 2013 hitch, and for years prior to 2013, a mere $145.00. After looking around the internet for an after-market adapter, and finding none, I decided to try to fashion an adapter myself.

The picture below is of the square 4-pin connector on the hitch of the Spyder. A close examination of the square 4-pin connector reveals that its dimensions between holes are exactly the same as the flat 4-pin (standard) flat connector, with two of the holes being side-by-side with the other two holes, rather than in a single line, as is the case with the flat 4-pin standard connector.

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The picture below is an extension cable wired with the standard trailer / vehicle 4-pin flat connectors at opposite ends. These can be purchased for less than $5.00 at any trailer supply store or over the internet (plus shipping, of course!).

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The picture below shows the ‘vehicle’ end of the extension cable with a pencil mark centered between the inner two pins of the connector. Care must be taken to get this centering line exactly located equally distant from the inside two pins! Use an Exacto knife or (very sharp, thin) carpet knife to cut the connector into two equally sized pieces along this line, vertically, so the edge of the cut surface is perpendicular to the sides of the connector. Accuracy here is critical to achieve alignment when the two pieces are reassembled!

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The picture below shows the connector cut in half.

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The connector that I purchased has two ribs on each side for gripping purposes. A picture of those ribs is shown in the picture below. They must be removed to achieve the proper distance between the pins when the two 2-pin sides are reattached.

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The picture below shows the two 2-pin connectors with the ribs carefully sliced off using the same sharp knife that was suggested above.

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The picture below shows the two 2-pin connectors reconnected, temporarily, with a piece of black electrician’s tape. NOTE there is only ONE way the two pieces are to be reattached, and that is where the ribs have been removed from one side of the original connector. A test fitting of the reattached, taped, now 4-pin ‘square’ connector will verify the correct alignment of the connector. Incorrect reattachment will result in the turn-signals on the Spyder blinking on opposite sides as the sides blinking on the trailer! The camera angle is causing a distortion of the image such that the pins look mis-aligned… they are all parallel to each other!

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The test fitting of the newly fashioned 4-pin square connector on the Spyder trailer hitch is shown below.

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Note that it may be necessary to remove additional material on the newly fashioned 4-pin square connector where the two sides meet since the combined width of the sides of the original 4-pin flat is likely greater than the distance between the pins, on center, of the original 4-pin flat connector. Sandpaper can be used, carefully, to thin each side, independently, equally.

Permanently attach the correctly sized sides using an appropriate permanent glue with black electrician’s tape wrapping for additional strength and integrity of the connection.

Additional pictures and remarks may be added after testing this modified harness on a after-market, non-BRP trailer that is on order at this writing.

Revisions / Addendums:

The tow-behind trailer arrived in pieces, and after assembling the parts there were ten wires coming out of the front that controlled all of the lighting of the trailer. Those ten wires were attached to the 4 wires of the modified 4-flat trailer wiring connector.

Additional sanding of the sides of the connector that meet to form the square was required to achieve the correct dimensions of the part. Note that the rubber tends to roll against the sandpaper so some care must be exercised in this operation to maintain the ‘flat’ of the surface being sanded.

The picture below is of the modified 4-flat connecter plugged into the 4-square of the hitch of the Spyder Can-Am with an electrical tie added to maintain the connection in rough highway conditions.

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About justanoldguy

Retired Computer Programmer. Born and Raised in Missouri. Graduated from Missouri School of Mines in 1964. Retired in 2003. Moved to Colorado in 2010. Enjoying good health and 'front range'. Touring frequently on Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. Skiing during the Winter months at Monarch Mountain Ski Area (for free!).
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8 Responses to Can-Am Spyder Hitch Kit 4-pin Adapter

  1. Mike says:

    Great idea. I never thought of doing it this way. Thanks

    • justanoldguy says:

      Mike,

      Thanks, and the modified connector really works. Spliced it into the wiring of my new tow-behind trailer and passed the vin inspection with flying colors.

      Carefully sanded the surfaces of the sides that meet to form the square. Rubber tends to roll against the sandpaper so it’s hard to maintain the ‘flat’.

      Used electrical ties to secure the modified connector to the square connector on the bike. (Pictures in the blog.)

      Be safe on the roads…. we have at least one fatality per week here on the front range.

      Regards,

      Don

      • Frank says:

        Where did you find the wire? I am having a hard time finding it.

      • justanoldguy says:

        Frank,

        Not sure about your question… I first modified a 4-way flat connector by cutting the 4-way in half as shown in the blog. But there’s a 4-way square adapter available at http://www.DelCity.Net specifically engineered to fit the 4-way square connector of the Spyder Trailer Hitch. There are two available, with varying length of wire… Items 74055 and 74075. They fit perfectly into the Spyder Trailer Hitch connector.

        Hope this helps…. I’m planning my first trip in the next few weeks towing my new trailer. It will be nice to have all the ‘stuff’ one needs on a long trip.

        Ride Safe,

        Don

  2. Dax Games says:

    Getting ready to try this hopefully it works out.

    • justanoldguy says:

      Dax,

      Since I wrote this article I found an actual 4-wire square female / male adapter that fits the spyder hitch without all the electrical modifications to a flat 4-wire. Search Google for “4-wire square” and you should find sources of the adapter at several websites. Hope this helps and decomplicates your life. Love my spyder ST and hoping that the weather improves soon for my first tour of 2016.

      Be Safe out there,

      Don

  3. Pete Nixon says:

    Do you know if the OEM 4-square wiring harness has an isolator built in to protect the Spyder’s wiring from any faults in the trailer side wiring? I’m going to use a KompactKamp trailer with my 2014 RT and feel fairly safe adapting the 5-wire loom on the trailer to a square-4 connector but would feel much better knowing that I’m not going to accidentally fry the electronics on the Spyder.

    • justanoldguy says:

      Mr. Nixon,
      My trailer is NOT OEM so no ‘protection’ was available. The article you reference notes my alteration of a 4-flat to 4-square connector. I have since found a source of 4-square adapters. The wiring loom that comes with the OEM hitch for this bike FAILS after one or two trips…. a CURT wiring loom control box fixes that problem. FYI
      Safe riding,
      Don

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