Tail lights on the toad?

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Ray D

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Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
OK, All I have left, to start towing my toad, is the hitch set up. I figure I can get that, in April. Give me some time to recover from all the purchases I have recently made - toad - scooters - loading ramps - etc.

I have read, here, about the brake lights, and understand some of it. It ocurred to me that there has to be a battery, somewhere, to operate them. Is this the coach chassis battery, or the toad battery? Inquiring minds want to know! Especially since the engine, and consequentially the alternator in the toad will not be running.

Also, running at night, it strikes me that the toad needs some kind of running lights. How is that done, and which battery supplies the juice?

Oh, well, the brakes, too. Something has to power the toad's braking system. I don't want to run the toad battery down. Same as lights? Seems to me that the power to the toad brake has to be on board the toad, since part of its function is to stop the toad if, for some reason, it comes loose from the motorhome. If so, what keeps it from running the battery down, on the toad?

Actually, I don't plan to ever drive at night. I plan to be laid out, sound asleep, every night. But who knows what will change my mind, some dark and dreary night, or for what reason? When I was trucking, (at a much younger age,) driving at night was the rule. Great time to listen to "White Line" music, and to get on down the road!

Ray D.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Mar 11, 2005
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2,985
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Camp Verde, AZ
Ray D said:
OK, All I have left, to start towing my toad, is the hitch set up. I figure I can get that, in April. Give me some time to recover from all the purchases I have recently made - toad - scooters - loading ramps - etc.

I have read, here, about the brake lights, and understand some of it. It occurred to me that there has to be a battery, somewhere, to operate them. Is this the coach chassis battery, or the toad battery? Inquiring minds want to know! Especially since the engine, and consequentially the alternator in the toad will not be running.

Also, running at night, it strikes me that the toad needs some kind of running lights. How is that done, and which battery supplies the juice?

When you plug the toad into the motor home, the toad lights are just an extention of the motor home lights (the toad lighting system will have to be wired to a receptacle on the front of the toad). Think of your trucking days. When you plugged in the trailer to the tractor. The tractor supplied everything to the trailer. The toad is a trailer to the motor home.


Oh, well, the brakes, too. Something has to power the toad's braking system. I don't want to run the toad battery down. Same as lights? Seems to me that the power to the toad brake has to be on board the toad, since part of its function is to stop the toad if, for some reason, it comes loose from the motorhome. If so, what keeps it from running the battery down, on the toad?

It depends on what type of braking system you get for your toad. Some units use the MH braking system to run the toad breaking system (IE. the M&G system). Others are self contained that use the toad battery for power but don't use enough that they would run your battery down in one days driving (IE. the Brakebuddy system). Look in the library for differant types of toad breaking systems. There are many.
 

Jeff

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Apr 8, 2005
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8,965
Location
SD/AZ
Ray:

Are you installing the toad lights yourself? There are installation kits that will walk you through it as there are diodes required to prevent backfeeding your toads light system.
 

Jim Dick

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Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Hi Ray,

There are several ways to get lights to the toad but, in all cases, the RV supplies the power. One of the easiest is to use diode blocks to feed the lights. The diode block has two inputs and one output. The car wiring is opened, usually near one of the rear light fixtures where all the wiring comes together. One input to the diode is from the car wiring and the other from the cable going to the jack on the front of the vehicle. The light itself is connected to the output of the diode. Now you will have lights from either source but they won't interfere with each other. The running lights, signal lights, and brake lights must all go through their own diode block. Once the wiring is done it's just a matter of plugging a cable between the jack on the coach and the jack on the toad.

If one vehicle has combined signal/brake lights and the other does not then a converter must be used to make it work. There is some information on the Blue Ox site and probably on the other tow bar manufacturer sites as well. I'm not fond of the Blue Ox diode block but I do like their tow bar and base plate. I have used individual blocks for my wiring. You can find them at Camping World.

Another method, if there is room, is to install a separate light in the tail light assembly and wire directly to the plug. Also external lights can be attached permanently or with magnetic mounts.
 

Ray D

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Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Not doing it, myself. Very limited, physically. Wish I could, but can't. I have trouble just getting down to check air pressure in my tires! (Actually, the problem is getting back up.) Used to, 30 some years ago, do most of the maintenance on my trucks. Newest truck I had was a 74 model I got in 75. Only thing on it that was electronic, was the radio. I have no idea how modern vehicles work.

All of it will be installed by my local dealer. I am trying to understand what's going to happen. I have a pretty good intellectual grip on the hardware, at this point. (Learned every bit of it, here.) The electronics, and the electrics parts have me a little bit puzzled.

The local dealer has walked me through it, several times, and they sell several major brands. At this point, I not onlly don't know the answers - I don't know the questions! So, I'm trying to get myself zeroed in, so to speak. So far, this thread is already very helpful, to me. I'll have more questions, later, as I "zero in" on the towing solution.

Back in the good ol' days, when I was still on my feet, I hunted, fished, and just backpacked in to get away from it all. I ate "camp-meat" and "dry-light" and slept on the ground, including in the winter. Had some backpacking tents, for when I didn't want to "rough it." Knew about "Recreational Vehicles" and wondered why people thought they were "getting away from it all," when they took "it all" with them! Used to laugh at that! Was a guest, from time to time, in one friend or another's RV. Pretty nice, but not my style. I'd kid them about it. I think the only reason they put up with me, was that I knew where to go, for whatever.

Not laughing, anymore! This is pretty nice! I'm in the final stages of "doing it right." Couldn't have done it without this board. I'm making fewer mistakes and saving the costs of false starts and other errors. I'm very appreciative.

Ray D

 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Karl: Thanks. That, I actually understand. That's about what I figured. My electronics experience goes back to the tube era - air to air, missile  fire control. You do a good diagram, simple, easy to understand. Right up to the point where I would have to go looking for the wires. And, I could probably find them. Then, I'd have to look for my soldering gun. I have  a hunch I even know which box it is in, in the garage. Oh, my!

Ray D.  ;D
 

Linda Tyger

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Posts
3
Jim Dick said:
Hi Ray,

There are several ways to get lights to the toad but, in all cases, the RV supplies the power. One of the easiest is to use diode blocks to feed the lights. The diode block has two inputs and one output. The car wiring is opened, usually near one of the rear light fixtures where all the wiring comes together. One input to the diode is from the car wiring and the other from the cable going to the jack on the front of the vehicle. The light itself is connected to the output of the diode. Now you will have lights from either source but they won't interfere with each other. The running lights, signal lights, and brake lights must all go through their own diode block. Once the wiring is done it's just a matter of plugging a cable between the jack on the coach and the jack on the toad.

If one vehicle has combined signal/brake lights and the other does not then a converter must be used to make it work. There is some information on the Blue Ox site and probably on the other tow bar manufacturer sites as well. I'm not fond of the Blue Ox diode block but I do like their tow bar and base plate. I have used individual blocks for my wiring. You can find them at Camping World.

Another method, if there is room, is to install a separate light in the tail light assembly and wire directly to the plug. Also external lights can be attached permanently or with magnetic mounts.
 

29er

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Posts
190
Location
2845 Sorrel Street, Las Vegas, NV 89146
Blue Ox's portable brake system (forget the name), is the kind you plug into the "cigarette lighter" now called 12v DC power outlet. They recommend you start the toad at least every 4th day to charge the toad's battery.

Someone should be able to utilize some of the dc power on the unused pins connecting the MH to the toad to charge the battery.  Or as Martha Stewart says "and that is a bad thing" (prison).
 
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