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Author Topic: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)  (Read 915 times)

Mark-M

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Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« on: April 30, 2018, 02:03:30 PM »
Friends,

I'm preparing to make our 2008 Honda CRV our Toad behind a Class C Motorhome and looking at ways to wire the lights (Running, Brake, Turn, etc).  I already have a 4 wire flat connector that I use for when I tow a small utility trailer behind it and was wondering if I could somehow utilize that plug to connect to the RV (rather than the CRV driving the utility trailer lights, have the RV lights power/Trigger the CRV's lights).

Electricity and wiring is not in my skill set but this seems logical to me.

Your thoughts?

.\Mark
.\Mark
2018 Leprechaun 319MD
2008 CR-V Toad
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar

John From Detroit

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 06:04:04 PM »
There are basically 3 ways tow lights are done on a Car or Truck you plan to tow. I've used 2 of 'em

The one I have not used.. "Stick on" (Magnet or a flap you close the trunk on) lights. also called Portable lights.. These you have a wire slapping the side of your towed as you tow. I do NOT recommend

2: Add-a-lamp  (My current car) they drilled a hole in the tail light housing and "Snapped" in an additional stop/tail lamp.

3: Diode packs.. Two versions A: Vehicle specific, You locate a connector, usually under the dash, Disconnect the plug from teh socket and plug the adapter into the socket and the plug into the adapter. A wire runs through the firewall up to the front

3B: Universal diode packs, route the wire all the way to the rear and cut the wire, crimp on connectors and plug into the diode packs (2 or 3)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

grashley

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 09:04:54 PM »
Mark,

Yes, you can use that for hookups.  Next is what you hook it to.

1.  The magnetic lights John does not like.  Wires can be run inside the car from the lights, either visible or tucked behind trim panels, then thru the firewall to the grill and to your plug.

2. "Add a lamp" as John described well, with wired run to your plug.

3. A portable light system that hangs inside the CRV, showing thru the rear window and wired as in option #1.

If you wish to do it yourself, skip the diode pack!

What are you doing for toad brakes?
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

NY_Dutch

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  • Following the warm weather!
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 08:46:21 AM »
I used diode packs when I wired our RAV4 lights for towing. Instead of routing wires all the way to the back, I tapped in behind the driver's side kick plate. Unlike most, I have the RAV fully wired, so the red lights are the brakes, the amber lights are the directionals, and the high center brake light also works normally, as do the tail lights of course.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

judway

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  • We are at the house in West Melbourne, Florida
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 03:18:39 PM »
I purchased a wiring kit from Hopkins for my 2017 Equinox. It made the wiring job the easiest that I have ever done.


I have one for my pickup truck but haven't installed it yet.
Wayne & Judy
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2017 Chevrolet Equinox LT
Remco Towbar, Demco Baseplate & Air Force One Brake
1995 GMC Sierra Z71
No Dogs!      No Cats!
Retired Electrical Engineer (University of Cincinnati)
W4SRR

judway

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  • We are at the house in West Melbourne, Florida
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 03:26:26 PM »
Wayne & Judy
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2017 Chevrolet Equinox LT
Remco Towbar, Demco Baseplate & Air Force One Brake
1995 GMC Sierra Z71
No Dogs!      No Cats!
Retired Electrical Engineer (University of Cincinnati)
W4SRR

Old_Crow

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  • Former Phantom Fixer
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 07:32:37 AM »
I wired my Jeep TJ with the diode packs.  It's worked fine for a year an a half, and it's a lot neater than the plug system I "engineered" for my former YJ.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

judway

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  • We are at the house in West Melbourne, Florida
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 03:16:55 PM »
The Hopkins package costs about $65 at etrailer.com. Read the instruction book for your package before ordering.
Wayne & Judy
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2017 Chevrolet Equinox LT
Remco Towbar, Demco Baseplate & Air Force One Brake
1995 GMC Sierra Z71
No Dogs!      No Cats!
Retired Electrical Engineer (University of Cincinnati)
W4SRR

Mark-M

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 02:05:02 PM »
Friends,

Thanks for all the replies.  That's what makes these forums great.

I was hoping for a shortcut to plug the 4 wire flat connector into a 6 connector at the front of the toad then using a 7-6 coiled cord to connect the RV to the toad lights.  But... further reading into this I can't really do that because of power coming from the RV blows back into the car (my non-electrician description) and can apparently screw-up toad electronics. I was trying to avoiding splicing wires, putting in diodes etc...  ok just being lazy.

So... what I figured I had todo was use a kit something like this from eTrailer (others make the same kinda kit).
https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wiring/Honda/CR-V/2008/RM-15267.html?vehicleid=200843845

That really doesn't look that tough so... that's the plan.

In response to the Braking system, I'm installing a Ready Brute Elite tow bar with the NSA Ready Brake Surge Brake system along with the NSA Break Away kit.  I selected that based on two things, one was price but the primary was reading posts in this forum, particularly where the discussion topic was Blue Ox Vs. whoever.  Many people seemed to like and have had a good bit of confidence in the Ready Brake system.  The baseplate will be Roadmaster.

Ordering all the gear this weekend and hope all comes in shortly.  This is the last project before we hit the road.

.\Mark

.\Mark
2018 Leprechaun 319MD
2008 CR-V Toad
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar

grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 07:47:43 PM »
Sure sounds like you have done your homework!  Thanks for letting us know the status!  Good Luck on the install.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

gjddyal

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018, 12:14:24 PM »
I amtrying to see how,to do this myself. No one wants,to do it.

grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2018, 05:35:17 PM »
Welcome to the Forum!

This thread offers several suggestions.  You may also search the topic with the SEARCH button near the top left of this page.  If you have a specific question, start a new thread.  It will get better response than what it will get on the bottom of another thread.

Hope this helps!
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Mark-M

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2018, 08:15:19 PM »
Friends,

To close out this post, here's a link to a post where I describ all of the gear I installed including the light kit.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,114228.0.html

Thanks for all the really useful replies!

.\Mark
.\Mark
2018 Leprechaun 319MD
2008 CR-V Toad
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar

8Muddypaws

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2018, 10:57:33 PM »
When I did our 2008 CRV I added lights and a completely separate wiring harness for them.  It's easy to snake a flat 4 wire down the front fender well, around the door frame and down to the floor.  Then it goes under the carpet all the way to the rear.  The only place the wire shows is where it goes around the door frame.   It took about 3 hours to do my first one and about an hour for the second. No diodes to fail but you will be drilling holes in the tail light assemblies.
Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter and music director
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad

Mark-M

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 06:41:18 AM »
We were wiring a 6 contact plug attached to the baseplate in the front of the car so we continued the wiring on the underside (outside) and came up into the taillight fixture from the underside back bumper.  We didn't have to drill any holes except for one just to attach a ground wire.  All of the diodes were spliced into the existing wires on the taillights.  I entertained a separate system but I preferred using the existing lights.  All power for the lights comes from the RV so other than some parasite items that run when the car is in accessory position, no drain on the battery.

Sounds like you've towed your CRV a good bit.  Have you detected any impacts on the transmission from that?

.\Mark
.\Mark
2018 Leprechaun 319MD
2008 CR-V Toad
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar

NY_Dutch

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  • Following the warm weather!
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 06:44:29 AM »
I don't know what the average failure rate is for diode packs, but I've been using the set that came with our Remco transmission pump since 2008 without any failures, even moving them from one toad to another. I tied into the tail light/brake wiring behind the driver side kick panel under the dash, so no need to route wires all the way to the back. Even our high center brake light works properly, as do the amber directionals.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 06:56:26 AM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Mark-M

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  • Posts: 11
Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2018, 06:48:05 AM »
Good to know on the Diodes!
.\Mark
2018 Leprechaun 319MD
2008 CR-V Toad
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar

8Muddypaws

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Re: Wiring Lights on the Tow Car (Toad)
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2018, 10:46:39 PM »
Towing a 2008 CRV:

Make sure the navigation/radio display is off or it will drain your battery.  Same for either of the seat warmers.  (Learned the hard way)

Before you move double check everything.  Towbar, safety cables, electrical connections, transmission in neutral, brake off, all after following the manual 'to the letter'.  (Also learned the hard way)

Change your transmission fluid twice as often as the manual says.  Some change 1/3 of it every oil change.  (Which sounds weird but if you service your own CRV and know how the transmission fluid is changed it makes perfect sense.)
Retired computer professional
Musician, songwriter and music director
2006 Bounder 34H, 2008 CR-V Toad