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Old 12-03-2014, 08:50 AM   #1
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Are 2 brake lite feeds a problem?

I'm setting up my Ford Ranger as a toad behind my Class A Seabreeze and will use the Blue Ox Patriot portable brake system. This system will apply toad brakes by applying pressure to the toad brake pedal. This will apply the toad brake lights. At the same time the MH will be applying power to the toad brakelites via the electrical connection between the 2 vehicles. Which signal dominates in the toad? Toad brake lights work with any pressure on the pedal regardless of key position. This must be an issue with Brake Buddy also. Is it a problem that needs something done? What happens when turning and braking?
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:03 AM   #2
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You cannot have two brake light feeds without a problem. There are a number of diode kits on the market that will eliminate the problem. An alternative is to add a separate bulb to the tailight assembly. Search/read through this forum for more information.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman38 View Post
I'm setting up my Ford Ranger as a toad behind my Class A Seabreeze and will use the Blue Ox Patriot portable brake system. This system will apply toad brakes by applying pressure to the toad brake pedal. This will apply the toad brake lights. At the same time the MH will be applying power to the toad brakelites via the electrical connection between the 2 vehicles. Which signal dominates in the toad? Toad brake lights work with any pressure on the pedal regardless of key position. This must be an issue with Brake Buddy also. Is it a problem that needs something done? What happens when turning and braking?
Starman38,
Well Sir, I've been trying to explain this delimma for years to fellow RVers. As you've found out, there will be two signals for the toads brake lights if you're using a braking system in the toad and, you're using the toads original tail light bulbs as toad lights which, is a good way to go. The primary reason I like to use the toads tail light bulbs is, they act and appear to a following driver, the EXACT same when towing it, as they do when driving it. That's kind of what a following driver "subconsciously" expects to see.

Now, in reality, no, there's no issues with having two signals OF BRAKE LIGHT OPERATION only, being sent to the toads brake lights. Neither one will take priority over the other one. I mean, think about it, you're sending a 12V signal to the filaments in the bulbs, from the coach, right? Now, you're sending another 12V signal from the toads brake arm, to the same filaments, correct? You're not ADDING the voltage! 12 volts is 12 volts, period! You could have ten vehicles hooked in series to those toad lights of yours and all of them could be applying 12V to the brake lights and, nothing will happen, your toads brake lights will just light up.

But, where all this takes a turn, (no pun intended) is when you're utilizing the toads tail light bulbs (as you, and I are) and, you apply the brakes in the coach, the signal is then sent to the toads brake lights in the toad which lights the brake lights up and, so does your brake arm on the toad due to action from the auxiliary mechanism in your toad and then,

YOU APPLY A TURN SIGNAL!!!!!!!!! Now what happens? Well, you've got a brake light signal from the toads brake pedal and, a turn signal from the coach, being applied to the same filament in the toads tail light, hmmmm.

There are numerous ways of solving this problem. You'll get a ton of answers on this. Mine, I consider extremely simple. What I did was this. I found the outgoing wire from the brake switch on the toad and cut it. I then installed a small, two-way toggle switch in the door jamb of our Jeep at the time. I then ran that wire from the toads brake light output side to the middle of the toggle. I then ran a wire, through the pig tail between the coach and the toad, all the way to the dash and to an LED light I installed.

I then ran another wire, from the other side of the toggle back to the point at which I cut it at the brake light switch. Now, when I tow the toad, I flip the toggle to the front which, sends that brake light signal from the jeeps brake switch, to the LED on the dash of the coach, telling me the brake arm in the Jeep IS ACTUALLY BEING ACTUATED by the Ready Brake I was using.

But, when driving the Jeep, I flip the switch to the rear which, in turn, sends the signal from the jeeps brake switch to the jeeps tail lights, just like it's supposed to. That system works flawless. Now, as for diodes, diodes are only used to prevent back-feed down stream to the rest of the toads electrical system. And, you really don't need to buy the really expensive ones from RV supply outlets. All you need is the heavy duty ones from Radio Shack which, cost me a whopping $4.00 for a pack of three or four. They work great. Hope this info helps some.
Scott
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #4
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I use diodes and just pull the brake light fuse in my Ranger. Only the motorhome controls the Ranger's tail and brake lights. The diodes are as the previous poster said used to isolate the two electrical systems and avoid possible problems.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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LuvLabs is sort of right,, You need to feed the lights via diodes,

Think of check valves in a water system, (you actually have that)

you have check valves in your water pump
There is also a check valve on the city water inlet.

This is why when you hook up to city water the fresh water tank does not fill and... When you run your water pump it does not come out the city inlet.
Works the same with the tail lights.

The one problem you WILL have is this> When you stop to turn, the brake lights on the towed will "Override" the flasher for the turn side light. This has, far as I know, never gotten anyone in trouble.

And you can fix it with a fuse pull.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. The toad lights are 2 wire so there are 4 diodes back there. On the MH I have the Brite Lite 3 to 2 which has diodes in it I believe to prevent feedback.

I like Fireup's solution a lot. A toggle sw to reroute the signal to the MH cockpit. Gettin cold here now but spring is not far off! Thanks for the info.
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