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Old 03-24-2016, 01:32 PM   #1
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Toad tail lights

I have a 1998 Rexhall Vision, on the Ford chassis, 460 ci motor. I recently got a new tow vehicle, a 2000 Ford Ranger, 5-speed manual transmission. My old tow vehicle was a 1997 Saturn. Now for the problem. I took the Ranger to my mechanic to have all the Roadmaster tow gear installed. I got it home and hooked it up to the RV and tested the tail lights and brake lights. I could hardly see them blinking at all. If I cupped my hands around my eyes i could see just a little flicker. I called my mechanic and he said that they worked in the shop. He said he tested them with a little control box that they made from scratch. Has anyone experienced this before? I just need a place to start looking. I am thinking that it is a grounding issue somewhere in the wiring on the RV, since he said the truck part worked fine. Thoughts?

Thanks, Mike

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Old 03-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #2
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With a multimeter and a jumper wire with spring clips you can easily test this. Check the ground pin in the Ranger front socket against a good ground in the truck. If no resistance is shown, that ground is good. Next do the same in the RV. Check the ground pin in the socket on the RV rear against a good ground on the RV. Again, if no or little resistance is shown, then check the ground pins in the umbilical cord.

Since you say the lights work, just too dim, it's most likely a ground issue. You could also use the multimeter to test and see that you are getting full voltage in the RV socket and at the tail lights on the Ranger.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:09 PM   #3
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It's a little hard to tell my remote control. If it's all the lights that are dim, then the ground connection is the most likely. Best way to tell if that is the case is to run a wire from the negative battery terminal on the Ranger to the negative battery on the RV. You'd need something like 16 gauge or heavier wire for that connection.

I find my biggest problem when connecting up is the plug and socket on one end or the other are dirty/corroded. You can visually inspect all four connectors to make sure they are clean. I usually plug them in and then unplug them 2 or 3 times to wipe the contacts clean.

Good luck.
Jim (NQ5L) & Chris
2007 Monaco Knight 40 PDQ
2011 Jeep Liberty
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:09 PM   #4
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All the contacts in the connector on the rear of the MH (and on the umbilical if it's not new) could be corroded and/or oxidized. If you can't find an issue with the ground, go to the auto parts store and get some contact cleaner.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thank you for your replies. I have the RV in storage, and I will bring it home this weekend and perform the checks you suggested.

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Old 04-02-2016, 07:51 AM   #6
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My toad is a 2001 Ranger and I bought bulb sockets from an auto store and installed them in my tail lights like the other bulbs. Due to the electronics of the Ford, that was the only suitable solution. I ran new wires from the mh connector to the new bulb sockers. Not easy to do, but doable.

Jerry and Barbara,
2005 Nat Sea Breeze 1321
2010 Honda CR-V toad
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light, lights, toad

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