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Old 07-08-2015, 08:40 PM   #1
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2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 toad

I just got and fitted with a base plate and wired tail lights with diodes. All seems OK except I'm trying to understand the "remove the ground wire" instruction. Also, with the transfer case in neutral and the trans in park, I am putting miles on the odometer. Anyone else with these issues?

Jerry

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Old 07-09-2015, 12:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySat View Post
I just got and fitted with a base plate and wired tail lights with diodes. All seems OK except I'm trying to understand the "remove the ground wire" instruction. Also, with the transfer case in neutral and the trans in park, I am putting miles on the odometer. Anyone else with these issues?

Jerry

2008 Beaver Contessa
2015 Silverado 1500 4x4 extended cab
Jerry,
Well, we to a very similar toad. It's an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4. Ours does not acuumulate mileage during towing operations. In fact, I'm pretty sure that just about "0" authorized flat towed vehicles, from any manufacturer, DO NOT accumulate mileage, when being flat towed. I'm no expert but, that's what I understand.

As for your needed to disconnect the ground, this has been discussed here a time or two. Since we don't have to disconnect anything or, turn anything on or off for ours during towing, I've not had to be concerned about things like what needs to be done on the newer model Chevy and GMC trucks.
I think, again, no expert, that the reason for disconnecting the negative has to do with the electric power steering. Now, just what the connection between towing and, disconnecting that negative cable, and the electronic power steering is, not a clue.

By the way, if it were mine and I had to go through that disconnect negative cable crap each and every time, I'd put in a heavy duty battery disconnect switch, inside the cab, in an inconspicuous location. That way, it's simple, drive up to the back of the coach, hook everything up, make sure all the in-cab stuff is done then, shut things down and, turn that battery disconnect switch OFF.

When it comes time for driving the toad, simply turn that switch back on and, go through your procedure for driving the toad, DONE!

The one below is what we used on our Jeep to use as a theft deterrent. It would work fantastic for your situation too. Once the big red "Key" is turned to the off position, it's removable. That makes for good theft protection too.
Scott

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Old 07-09-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
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Read the Colorado/Canyon thread under toads on this forum. The battery disconnect issue is covered very good there. The thread is about the Colorado/Canyon but should apply to the Silverado. I use the Battery Brain from Summit Racing. It operates from a key fob, no need to open the hood. Good Luck.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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Not sure how much the newer Silverados have changed but my 2010 requires the fuse to the instrument panel be pulled to keep the odometer from running. 2001 had fuse in dash, 2010 fuse is under the hood. Neg bat disconnect might be a good way to go. Also, be prepared for some modest front tire wear--cant explain why but both Silverados I have pulled had tire wear [Blue Ox tow bar and proper bar angle]...
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's. There was a lot of info in the Colorado/Canyon thread. I will unhook the ground wire while towing until I decide on a disconnect switch.


Jerry
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:15 AM   #6
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Hi, a newbie question - I am looking at getting a 2015 GMC Sierra 1500, basically the same truck. The dealer told me as long as the drivetrain was in N it was fine. They never said anything about the neg battery cable. Then I read the manual on-line and saw that. My first thought was to add the switch, pretty much the same as pictured earlier.

My question is - if the battery is disconnected, how do the tail/brake lights get power?

I plan on getting the Blue Ox or similar system. I am doing things backwards here as well. First the new truck (because I need it now) and the MH in the spring. I am graduating from a 5er to a MH and this is all new to me.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:18 AM   #7
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OK--stop! Get a second opinion on towability----most GM RWD, 2-wheel drive products cannot be towed without modification--either auto or std tranny. Normally requires 4WD with fully disconnect transfer case, then tranny in Park or std tranny in gear.

Towing signal lights come into forms: 1] totally independent from the tow vehicle, separate wire and bulbs....all power from coach; and 2] uses the OEM bulbs in the tow vehicle but is wired with diodes and separate wire, again power comes from the coach...
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:50 PM   #8
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OK--stop! Get a second opinion on towability----most GM RWD, 2-wheel drive products cannot be towed without modification--either auto or std tranny. Normally requires 4WD with fully disconnect transfer case, then tranny in Park or std tranny in gear.
The Sierra I am looking at is a 2015 1500 4WD, the transfer case can be put in N, and a weight of 7200lb. The MHs I am looking at will pull 10K.

From the owner's manual:

1. Position the vehicle being towed behind the tow vehicle, facing forward and on a level surface.
2. Securely attach the vehicle being towed to the tow vehicle.
3. Apply the parking brake and start the engine.
4. Shift the transfer case to N (Neutral). See “Shifting into N (Neutral)” under Four-Wheel Drive on page 9-40 for the proper procedure. Check that
the vehicle is in N (Neutral) by shifting the transmission to R (Reverse) and then to D (Drive). There should be no movement of the vehicle while shifting.
5. With the transmission in D (Drive), turn the ignition to ACC/ACCESSORY.
{Caution Failure to disconnect the negative battery cable or to have it contact the terminals can cause damage to the vehicle.}
6. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery and secure the nut and bolt. Cover the negative battery post with a non-conductive material to prevent any contact with the negative battery terminal.
7. Shift the transmission to P (Park). {Caution If the steering column is locked, vehicle damage may occur.}
8. Move the steering wheel to make sure the steering column is unlocked.
9. Release the parking brake.
10. Keep the ignition key in the towed vehicle in ACC/ACCESSORY to prevent the steering column from locking.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scout View Post
Towing signal lights come into forms: 1] totally independent from the tow vehicle, separate wire and bulbs....all power from coach; and 2] uses the OEM bulbs in the tow vehicle but is wired with diodes and separate wire, again power comes from the coach...
OK - this is my question

opt 1- So this is the extra lights I see mounted to the top of toads - usually magnets I think?
opt 2- Can you point me in the direction of one of these diode kits?

I think the disconnect switch with the diodes would be the way to go for ease of use. I'm handy and plan to install everything myself as many posters have said it can be done if you can follow directions. MH dealer (two of them) told me it would run about $5000- $5500 for the setup. It seems it can be done for half if I do it myself and shop for bargains.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:37 PM   #9
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Kinda--with opt 1 you can either mount independent lights or find room inside the existing light lens housing to set another bulb--however, because the aux light isnt centered in the lens assembly, the aux light usually isnt quite as bright as the OEM.

Opt 2 -- uses electronic diodes that automatically tranfer power from either the OEM wiring, or the aux tow wiring to the OEM bulbs with no feed back to other lights on the towed vehicle. No manual switch is required.

Either option requires a standard trailer light [6-pin] connector on front of tow vehicle and a 4-wire ribbon wire to connect the front connector to the rear of the vehicle. The diodes are usually spliced in near to the tail light assemblies.

Finally, some motor homes use separate wires to power turn signals [orange] so a converter box is needed to allow the separate turn signals to power the combine brake light and turn signals on most towed vehicles.....good luck

PS--most/if not all of these parts can be gotten at Camping World or other RV stores....
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:42 PM   #10
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The reason you have to take the battery cable loose is because of the power steering
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:05 AM   #11
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Thanks Old Scout. It makes sense now.
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