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Old 08-26-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
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While hooking up the Jeep a few days ago when leaving Indiana, I put away most of the outside gear the night before because the weather looked pretty dark, and rain was predicted that night and the next morning. Sure enough that morning the weather was thick dark clouds. We got all secured and were just about to hook up the toad when the rain started pouring. We decided to pull the MH and Jeep out of the gravel and mud onto the entry driveway which was asphalt to hook up. I started the rig and the DW drove the Jeep up behind the MH. I had turned the windshield wipers on to see my way out of the campground and had also switched the parking lights on while I got the rig positioned in case another MH were to try to pull in while I took up most of the entry drive.

The DW positioned the Jeep and I started the hook up in the steady rain. I realized that the parking lights were still on in the MH. I learned long ago it is usually not a good idea to plug in a light cord to your trailer or veh with the lights of the towing vehicle illuminated. It is an easy way to blow a fuse or burn out a light bulb. I went to the rig and switched off the lights. The motor of the RV and wipers were still on. I hurried back out side, feeling pretty happy that I remembered to turn off the lights. I plugged in the umbillical cord to the MH which was my practice, then as I reached the plug to the Jeep hook up, I lifted the Jeep trailer connection cover which is metal. A blue electrical spark jumped from the umbillical cord to the metal Jeep trailer plug. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT? Sure enough when I checked the tow lights on the Jeep there was no power

It wasn't until then that I turned around and saw the lights of the MH still turned on. At first I thought that the DW was "helping" me and turned the lights back on. I went to the rig and found that was not the case. Then it dawned on me.

I remember reading in the owners manual for the MH that when you turn on the wipers, the lights will automaticly turn on, as a safety feature. So even though that I turned off the dash switch, the lights stayed on. Even when I turned off the wipers the lights stayed on. It was not until I shut the motor down that the lights reset.

Fortunately I had blown a fuse once before when I was wiring up the toad lights for the first time, so I knew to look in bay door that the WH cabinet was in to find the fuse block for the tow vehicle circut. So after finding my spare 20 amp fuses and replacing the one I fried, I finally got on the road.

Note to self: The next time I hook up the toad in the rain, Shut the MH down.........

Sarge
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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While hooking up the Jeep a few days ago when leaving Indiana, I put away most of the outside gear the night before because the weather looked pretty dark, and rain was predicted that night and the next morning. Sure enough that morning the weather was thick dark clouds. We got all secured and were just about to hook up the toad when the rain started pouring. We decided to pull the MH and Jeep out of the gravel and mud onto the entry driveway which was asphalt to hook up. I started the rig and the DW drove the Jeep up behind the MH. I had turned the windshield wipers on to see my way out of the campground and had also switched the parking lights on while I got the rig positioned in case another MH were to try to pull in while I took up most of the entry drive.

The DW positioned the Jeep and I started the hook up in the steady rain. I realized that the parking lights were still on in the MH. I learned long ago it is usually not a good idea to plug in a light cord to your trailer or veh with the lights of the towing vehicle illuminated. It is an easy way to blow a fuse or burn out a light bulb. I went to the rig and switched off the lights. The motor of the RV and wipers were still on. I hurried back out side, feeling pretty happy that I remembered to turn off the lights. I plugged in the umbillical cord to the MH which was my practice, then as I reached the plug to the Jeep hook up, I lifted the Jeep trailer connection cover which is metal. A blue electrical spark jumped from the umbillical cord to the metal Jeep trailer plug. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT? Sure enough when I checked the tow lights on the Jeep there was no power

It wasn't until then that I turned around and saw the lights of the MH still turned on. At first I thought that the DW was "helping" me and turned the lights back on. I went to the rig and found that was not the case. Then it dawned on me.

I remember reading in the owners manual for the MH that when you turn on the wipers, the lights will automaticly turn on, as a safety feature. So even though that I turned off the dash switch, the lights stayed on. Even when I turned off the wipers the lights stayed on. It was not until I shut the motor down that the lights reset.

Fortunately I had blown a fuse once before when I was wiring up the toad lights for the first time, so I knew to look in bay door that the WH cabinet was in to find the fuse block for the tow vehicle circut. So after finding my spare 20 amp fuses and replacing the one I fried, I finally got on the road.

Note to self: The next time I hook up the toad in the rain, Shut the MH down.........

Sarge
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:42 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your situation. It seems like it always happens when ones in a hurry due to weather or other circumstances.

But as long as the connections, grounds, etc. are clean and good I'm not sure why this would make any difference. I've hooked mine up with the the moho lights on lots of times, and never had a problem. Your connector acts just like a switch which makes and breaks as you turn it off and on.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:31 AM   #4
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Because the receptical on the toad is bolted to the frame making it a ground. Most of the pins on the umbillical cord are hots, already being energized. So one end is hot, the other is not.

Electricity has the habit of jumping from one conductive surface to another. Thats why all computer techs will tell you to ground yourself when installing things like hard drives to prevent static electicity from jumping to a close metal part. And adding water to the equation makes it worse.

By turning the lights off on the MH you take the power away from the umbillical and reduce the chance of arcing or sparking and overloading a fuse.

Sarge
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the good information. In California, you must have your lights on if your windshild wipers are on, and soon I suspect that the auto makers will make this automatic (likes yours did).
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:17 AM   #6
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Yep, in Ca it just became law this year for any time your wipers are on. The MH was built that way though, and it's a 06'.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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Never would have occurred to me.... Thanks for sharing your experience
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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This is good info, thanks Sarge. I never knew this was a bad practice. I can't say I have ever done it, but there have been many times that I have dis-connected the umbilical cord in the dark with the parking lights on. Is the reversal of this tabu as well?

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Old 08-28-2008, 04:20 PM   #9
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Unplugging doesn't seem to make the surge that plugging in does. I can't ever think of a time when unplugging caused a fuse to blow. And plugging in doesn't always seem to blow it either. Just when it is really inconveinent for you that is seems to happen...
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #10
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Good advise Sarge. I use magnetic base lights on my Cherokee and did the install after dark on my last night of camping. Next morning, I just made the Blue Ox connections and plugged in the lighting harness. About 20-minutes later, I happened to notice that I had turned one of the mag lights backwards! Nice bright signal and brake light facing the back of the coach instead of traffic behind the toad. Duuuuhhhh!
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:37 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RonNBama:
Good advise Sarge. I use magnetic base lights on my Cherokee and did the install after dark on my last night of camping. Next morning, I just made the Blue Ox connections and plugged in the lighting harness. About 20-minutes later, I happened to notice that I had turned one of the mag lights backwards! Nice bright signal and brake light facing the back of the coach instead of traffic behind the toad. Duuuuhhhh! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Heeerees your sign Ron.


(you don't even want to hear some of the bonehead things I've done while towing.)


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