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Old 10-08-2019, 01:59 PM   #1
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3rd brake light question/issue on toad

I bought a 2015 Jeep Wrangler JK for a toad and I've finally got it all set up to tow behind my motorhome. I installed a Hopkins HM56200 plug and play wiring harness and a Roadmaster brake light relay kit. The relay kit isolates the brake lights so that when the brake pedal is depressed when the Jeep is off, the signal lights will still function and not be overridden by the Jeep brake lights. (I'm using a NSA ReadyBrute Elite II tow bar with surge brake)


I added a flasher unit to my 3rd brake light on the Jeep that makes the 3rd light flash a couple times before staying on steady when the brakes are applied. Works perfectly when the Jeep is running. The other brake lights, tail lights and signal lights all work properly when the Jeep is shut off and being towed. The problem is the 3rd brake light will not work when under tow as the Hopkins harness does not connect to it.


The tow bar came with a small LED that I mounted on the dash of the motorhome and attached upstream of the brake relay so that when the brakes are applied on the Jeep while being towed, the LED will light up. This lets me know if the brakes are still on before I try towing the Jeep. Works perfectly.


I was thinking about splicing into the line for the dash LED and running a wire back to the 3rd brake light so when the brakes are applied the LED on the motorhome dash will light up as well as the 3rd brake light. But, when I'm unhooked and running the Jeep the 3rd brake light functions through the Jeeps wiring system.



My concern is when I'm running the Jeep if I put the jumper from the LED brake line to the 3rd brake light that I'll have power coming in to the 3rd brake light from two sources - the Jeep wiring and the jumper. Will having the two wires both providing power put 24 volts instead of 12 volts into the 3rd brake light? Or, am I better off to deadhead the power from the Jeep's harness to the 3rd brake light and just use the jumper all the time? I got the flasher unit to protect my azz when towing the Jeep to make sure people behind me see that I'm stopping and I really want it to work while towing.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainSkip View Post
....
I was thinking about splicing into the line for the dash LED and running a wire back to the 3rd brake light so when the brakes are applied the LED on the motorhome dash will light up as well as the 3rd brake light. But, when I'm unhooked and running the Jeep the 3rd brake light functions through the Jeeps wiring system.

My concern is when I'm running the Jeep if I put the jumper from the LED brake line to the 3rd brake light that I'll have power coming in to the 3rd brake light from two sources - the Jeep wiring and the jumper. Will having the two wires both providing power put 24 volts instead of 12 volts into the 3rd brake light? Or, am I better off to deadhead the power from the Jeep's harness to the 3rd brake light and just use the jumper all the time? I got the flasher unit to protect my azz when towing the Jeep to make sure people behind me see that I'm stopping and I really want it to work while towing.
Feeding power from 2 sources to a single light calls for a diode pack, like the ones typically used for taillights.
https://www.rvplus.com/roadmaster-di...All%20Products

And the voltage is not additive. You would still have just 12 volts, not 24.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:40 AM   #3
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I added a flasher unit to my 3rd brake light on the Jeep that makes the 3rd light flash a couple times before staying on steady when the brakes are applied.
I would check your state's laws on 3rd brake light flashers. They are outlawed in MANY states.

Some are OK for motorcycles, but not for other motor vehicles.

I added one to my small Miata towed car that ONLY flashed when the car was in-tow, not when being driven. I got stopped twice for it, then removed it.

Tim
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:01 PM   #4
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I would check your state's laws on 3rd brake light flashers. They are outlawed in MANY states.

Some are OK for motorcycles, but not for other motor vehicles.

I added one to my small Miata towed car that ONLY flashed when the car was in-tow, not when being driven. I got stopped twice for it, then removed it.

Tim
I think they're a good idea. I have one on my Bullitt Mustang and have driven it across the country. It only flashes a couple times and then stays lit. Pennsylvania doesn't have an issue with it.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Healeyman View Post
I would check your state's laws on 3rd brake light flashers. They are outlawed in MANY states.

Some are OK for motorcycles, but not for other motor vehicles.

I added one to my small Miata towed car that ONLY flashed when the car was in-tow, not when being driven. I got stopped twice for it, then removed it.

Tim

Tim,
Wow, you actually got stopped for a flashing 3rd brake light? When I moved the factory third brake light on our Jeep, from its location just above the spare tire to the center of the roof, I added a flashing unit that, just like many, flashes for a second or two then, goes solid. Waaaaaaaaaaay more attention getting then the factory unit. And, we've towed and driven that Jeep all over the western U.S. including in front of State troopers, local P.D. cruisers, sheriffs, etc.
And, also as has been stated, my Honda GL1800 Goldwing also has a flasher on it and has been all over this planet and also, has not been stopped. Maybe I just got lucky huh?
Scott
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #6
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Well I got it all figured out. I tapped into the wire from the brake switch that runs to the motorhome LED that shows the Jeep's brakes are applied. I ran that back and connected it to the "in" wire on the flasher unit with a spade connector. I cut the original 3rd light wire, which only 18ga, put a female spade connector on it and wrapped it with electric tape. I can switch them back if need be without issue. I've been running the Jeep for the past week and everything is working fine. As far as being stopped and ticketed for having a 3rd brake light that flashes quickly 3 times then goes steady, I'm not too worried about that. With everything else going on I don't think that a flashing 3rd brake light is very high on law enforcement's hit list. I know it wasn't when I was working (40 years, retired L.E.O.). They don't have time to enforce the death ray blue, purple and green super LED headlights so a rear facing red light that is a brake light won't bother them unless they're looking for an excuse to stop me. The state police in the state where I retired from even have a quick flash unit added to their brake lights - that's where I got the idea from. Yes, I know, they are emergency vehicles but they flash every time they step on the brakes emergency or not, including when they have their families in the vehicle when using it off duty. I would rather have the extra flash to notify the zombies behind me paying more attention to their cell phones than the road.
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