Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-30-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 2,059
Wired new toad for "All" tail lights to work correctly.

Gents,
Well, after much discussion and thoughtful ideas and experience from many of you folks, I decided to wire my brand new Honda CRV so that ALL the tail lights, factory ones that is, work exactly as they do when driving it. That is, running and parking lights as normal, all three brake lights and, both right and left amber turn signals operate as normal. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD D/P with the 330 CAT, has a "two filament" system.

As many of you know, the CRV has a "Three filament" system. So, I used one of these to make the system work correctly:

Tail light converter

I also used some radio shack, 6 amp diodes to make sure there was no back feed to areas not needed. It was actually a simple surgery. Now, when I put a turn signal on in the coach, an amber one blinks on the CRV, as it should, and, when I apply the brakes, on all three brake lights come on while the amber turn signal is working, COOL!!

I even wired in a power wire through the plug(s) to keep the CRVs battery charged while we're cruising on down the road.

So, if anyone's considering a new Honda CRV for a toad, and if you'd like to know what was involved in correctly wiring it for towing, PM me and I'll fill you in.
Scott
__________________

__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-30-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
dengraham's Avatar
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Crossville, Tennessee
Posts: 706
Scott,
Great job. I did the same with my 2011 Ford Explorer. I used same adapter made by Draw-Tite #18158. I didn't know Kurt sold them. I also used the Toad Charge from LSL Products for keeping the battery charged. Glad to know someone else likes to see all the lights working the way there were designed. The explorer uses the LCD lights for both the running lights and brake lights, so you really cannot insert an extra "bulb" into the light case. Enjoy your travels knowing you can be better seen!
__________________

__________________
Dennis & Trish (and Sparky Doodle)
2013 Meridian 42E
2011 Ford Explorer
dengraham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2011, 03:46 PM   #3
Member
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Milton, Delaware
Posts: 77
Scott,
I'm really interested in how you did this. I'm using the portable magnetic lights, which are a real pain, and not that well seen from the side. 2010 CRV
Thanks, Doug
2003 JourneyDL 36GD, 330 Cat, 7 pin towing connector
__________________
p00ches is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 2,059
Quote:
Originally Posted by dengraham View Post
Scott,
Great job. I did the same with my 2011 Ford Explorer. I used same adapter made by Draw-Tite #18158. I didn't know Kurt sold them. I also used the Toad Charge from LSL Products for keeping the battery charged. Glad to know someone else likes to see all the lights working the way there were designed. The explorer uses the LCD lights for both the running lights and brake lights, so you really cannot insert an extra "bulb" into the light case. Enjoy your travels knowing you can be better seen!
dengraham,
Thank you for the nice comment. I knew there was a way for it to be done and look just like when your driving the toad. I forgot about the "2 wire to 3 wire tail light converter" that I had used over 20 years ago on our old '84 Toyota truck we towed. I finally remembered it and thought I'd try it again. It works!

Quote:
Originally Posted by p00ches View Post
Scott,
I'm really interested in how you did this. I'm using the portable magnetic lights, which are a real pain, and not that well seen from the side. 2010 CRV
Thanks, Doug
2003 JourneyDL 36GD, 330 Cat, 7 pin towing connector
Doug,
First off, sorry for the late reply, had some out of town traveling and just got back to the computer. Anyway, I drew up a plan and, I hope it's not too hard to read. It was done with Microsoft "Paint" and it worked but, not knowing how to do it so it looks professional, it's more "crowded" than it should be. But, I think you'll get the point. In the schematic, you'll not see the "tail marker" wire coming from the plug to the rear lights. That light wire does NOT go through the "2 wire to three wire" tail light converter. There's no need to. It comes from the plug, in front of the toad, travels along with the Rt turn/stop, Left turn/stop, and ground, to the left rear tail light area/ harness and then, it attaches to any of the lead-in running light wires to the two tail marker bulbs (not the brake or turn bulbs).

When energized, it will light up all the tail lights, on both sides, and it will light up the two front parking lights too. Now, you'll also see two diodes installed. Those are to prevent the signal from the motor home traveling to the front end of the toad and causing problems in the turn signal system. This way, only the rear turn signals (amber ones) will work and not anything else. There is no diode in the brake light circuit I wired because it was not needed and, even when you tie into the left rear brake light wire, and energize it, it will light up all three brake lights, including the third light, I was tickled at that!

99.9% of the work will be done in the left tail light housing area/harness. You will have to run a wire to the right turn light wire (as described in the schematic) and then bring that wire over to the left tail light housing area so you can connect it to the appropriate "out put" lead from the tail light converter. Now, I cleaned an area in behind that tail light housing and installed that "2 wire to 3 wire" converter in there with the double stick tape that came with it. If fit just fine and there was no interference with the back of the left tail light housing. Now, the ground in that tail light converter and, the ground from the plug on the toad, was put together and screwed to the body inside that tail light housing.

I installed a 10 GA wire from the plug on the toad, up to the positive post on the battery. That way, I don't have to pull any fuse or add any switches to cut out fuses because I've got power from the coach to the toads battery. We just tested the system out on a weekend camping trip and all went well with no issues of dead batteries or any other problems. Of course we only towed for two hours each way so, I don't know if the toads battery would have went dead for that short of amount of time anyway. But that power wire is fused and of high enough gauge that it will surely keep the toads battery charged even if we're on the road for 5-6 hours anyway.

So, take a look at the schematic and see what you think. Surely send me a PM or, even comment on here if you find an issue with the way I drew it or did the system. It's not a very hard system to build, just a bit of time, some solder, tape, wire ties, etc. I drilled one hole, for the grounds from the plug and the converter box. All the wires from the plug are secured to the underside of the car, along the fuel lines etc with wire ties about every 5-6", they're not going anywhere and there's no chance of movement (etching/chaffing) at any point in the run. They are very secure. The power wire from the back of the plug is ran along the first part of the frame, along with the other light wires, but, turns upward, and is ran along the firewall and emerges very close to the fuse box and ends up right at the positive post of the battery. I covered that power wire with corrugated black tubing so, it looks just like all the other wires in and around that battery.

Well, that's about it, take a look and see what you think.
Scott

__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Great job! I tow a 2010 Ford Fusion. I had Ryan at Master Hitch in Chicago install my hitch and wiring (with diodes, etc). My problem was keeping the battery on the car charged. I found that running a "charge line" from the large wire back by the MH generator (12 volts) was not good enough. My car battery dropped down to 5 volts in just a few hours (with everything turned off in the car that I could). I then ran #10 stranded from the coach battery post (14+ volts) back to the car with fuses on each end for safety. That solved my problem. I don't think it takes much amperage (about 1 amp) but I think the voltage drop has to be kept to a minimum. My 2 cents worth.
__________________
WITraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 2,059
Quote:
Originally Posted by WITraveler View Post
Great job! I tow a 2010 Ford Fusion. I had Ryan at Master Hitch in Chicago install my hitch and wiring (with diodes, etc). My problem was keeping the battery on the car charged. I found that running a "charge line" from the large wire back by the MH generator (12 volts) was not good enough. My car battery dropped down to 5 volts in just a few hours (with everything turned off in the car that I could). I then ran #10 stranded from the coach battery post (14+ volts) back to the car with fuses on each end for safety. That solved my problem. I don't think it takes much amperage (about 1 amp) but I think the voltage drop has to be kept to a minimum. My 2 cents worth.
WIT,
Thanks for the nice comment. This kind of stuff is fun for me. I figure if you're going to do a job, do it right. As far as your charge line is concerned, yep, you have to have a good size wire all the way from the charge source to the battery. That means all the connections etc. must be clean too. As stated in one my previous posts, we only towed for a short distance, around 2 hours, the battery on the brand new CRV was just fine when it came time for the disconnect from the coach.

Besides, just in case any CRV owners are reading this, you know just how much an incredible pain it is to disconnect that #34 fuse that Honda requires. It's just about the hardest one to get to. So, I decided to run the charge wire. We'll see in the long run if it's up to the task of keeping the CRV battery charged after say, about 5-6 hours of towing. It should be fine.
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Hi Scott, I have towed thousands of miles now without any battery issues on the toad. I do check the voltage on the toad about every 5 hrs just to make sure but it has always been about 12.7 volts (since installing the charge line). Ford recommended removing a fuse (before I installed the charge line); it was extremely difficult to do too.
Norm
__________________
WITraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
dengraham's Avatar
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Crossville, Tennessee
Posts: 706
WITraveler,
The only item I would be concerned about is if your chassis batteries were to go dead you can drain your car battery. Even if your chassis batteries were just low you could drain your car battery at startup because the chassis starter would pull from your car battery. Also, if your chassis batteries were to become overcharged by your alternator (or perhaps generator) you could also over charge your car battery. As long as the batteries are in good shape you would not have a problem but with the Toad Charge you would have added protection with the built in diodes and 10 amp controller. Just something to consider.
__________________
Dennis & Trish (and Sparky Doodle)
2013 Meridian 42E
2011 Ford Explorer
dengraham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-29-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
wlf00's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 165
Scott,

Nice write up. I would like to do something similar to my Buick LaCrosse.

I assume that isolation diodes are not needed between the turn signals and the tail light converter. Correct?

The converter you chose is made by Curt Manufacturing but I cannot seem to locate it on curtmfg.com. Am I missing something?

I found another converter made by Tow Ready described here. There is a video of it on etrailer.com here. In this same link, a review states that the Tow Ready converter flashes the turn signals out of sync with the coach's turn signals. Does the Curt Manufacturer unit that you used flash in sync or out of sync with your coach?

Thanks,
__________________
Bill, Elaine, Addie (Boxer Mix) & Rosie (Boxer Mix)
2008 Winnebago Tour 40WD, 2012 Buick LaCrosse
Blue Ox Tow Bar and Base Plate, US Gear Unified Tow Brake
wlf00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2012, 11:22 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 2,059
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlf00 View Post
Scott,

Nice write up. I would like to do something similar to my Buick LaCrosse.

I assume that isolation diodes are not needed between the turn signals and the tail light converter. Correct?

The converter you chose is made by Curt Manufacturing but I cannot seem to locate it on curtmfg.com. Am I missing something?

I found another converter made by Tow Ready described here. There is a video of it on etrailer.com here. In this same link, a review states that the Tow Ready converter flashes the turn signals out of sync with the coach's turn signals. Does the Curt Manufacturer unit that you used flash in sync or out of sync with your coach?

Thanks,
wfl00,
Well Sir, first, the tail light converter from Curt is:
Vehicle to Vehicle Tail Light Converter Curt Accessories and Parts C56196

I found it on etrailer.com. I don't know if you've ever visited that site before or not so, just type in the address bar on top, "etrailer.com" and it will bring you to their site. Then, in the right corner of their site is a search block. Type in "2 wire to 3 wire tail light converter and hit enter. Then, it will bring up all their converters. The first two are the ones you're interested in. The one you pointed out is the exact one I'm using and, the second one is the Curt one listed in the link above. That system works great.

Now, as for your question of diodes between the converter and the turn signals. Well, in my drawing, they're down stream from the intersection of where the wires from the converter "T" into the turn signal circuits. That way, when the signal from the motor home hits the converter, goes through the converter and then hits the actual wire to the intended tail light, it only goes to that tail light and not back into the rest of the system via the steering column. As stated in an earlier post, I did not use the fancy diodes for $20 or $30 dollars, I used $3.50 ones from Radio shack. They come in a four pack. I simply cut the wire from the harness that goes to the intended turn signal in the toad, inserted and soldered in the diode and then, I teed in the wire from the converter.

I did that for both sides. I only used two diodes. But, the converter does all the work and the thinking. It works flawless.

Now, one thing here. The primary reason I'm using the converter is because the motor home is a "two filament" system and the CRV is a "Three filament" system so, the circuits need to be split and converted in order for a simple system like the motor home tail lights to operate a more complicated system like the CRV lights. It's magic. Sorry for the late reply and I hope this helps some.
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
YC1
Senior Member
 
YC1's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,516
Excellent write up. My 2012 Ford Edge has the amber turn lights as well. I found dual filament bulbs in the running and brake lights so just used diodes and wired like a normal vehicle. Now that I have looked at your setup I think I will add the box and get my amber turn lights running. I know I'm legal because I have brake, running, and turn lights but having the amber lights would be nice.

As for battery charging. I installed the Invisi Brake that supplies two amps as long as you have the headlights on. However as a test I left the toad connected overnight after test towing and found the battery dead the next am. I had left the car in neutral and the push button start in the accessory position. The book leads you to believe it shuts everything off. This weekend I will get my trusty ammeter out and learn the proper way to leave it overnight. Turned off and in park of course but anyone could do that. Have to run it and the beginning and end of each day and at fuel stops to lube the tranny so leaving it in park is not an issue.
__________________

__________________
Myron & Deborah
08 HR Endeavor 40 SKQ
2012 Ford Edge Limited FWD 3.5L
Invisi Brake, Aluminator tow bar, Demco base plate
YC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lights, toad



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2004 Vectra no tail or marker lights lajuene Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 12 01-25-2012 11:18 AM
Lights on toad Mr John Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 42 07-01-2011 02:25 PM
No Tail Lights SailDJ Monaco Owner's Forum 5 11-16-2010 12:47 PM
no tail lights and dead wire harness teddy1 Monaco Owner's Forum 4 08-02-2010 06:13 AM
Toad Wiring with LED Tail Lights slabman Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 15 08-30-2006 10:16 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.