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Old 04-28-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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I got a new 07 Vue this week. I am moving from a tow dolly to a Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. I have an Even Brake system.

I installed the monitor for the Even Brake today. Because the brake lights work with the ignition off, I installed the brake light relay as the instructions showed. The wires to the brake light switch were very small, suggesting that they were for a sensor to the computer, not to the brake lights. After installation, the monitor and brake unit tested good, but the brake lights did not come on.

The instruction said that the relay would allow the brake lights and turn signals to work. I can see that maybe the brake lights would work, but I have no idea how the monitor would be aware of the turn signals in the motor home.

I got the accessory package with the tow bar. Blue Ox recommended the light package where an extra bulb is installed in the brake lights. After removing the tail lights, I am not sure these extra bulbs will even fit in them.

I have a couple of questions concerning the brakes and the lights:

1. Are the toad brake lights supposed to work when the Even Brake applies? Does it really matter if they don't since I am adding supplemental lights?

2. Where do you suggest I mount the breakaway switch? I don't see an obvious place to mount it.

3. Has anyone put an additional 1157 (large) bulb in the tail light? Where did you drill the hole and how did you run the wire?

4. Where did you mount the receptacle on the front of the car for the tail lights?

I am planning to have the bracket installed professionally,but I am not sure about the lights or breakaway switch.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:37 PM   #2
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I got a new 07 Vue this week. I am moving from a tow dolly to a Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. I have an Even Brake system.

I installed the monitor for the Even Brake today. Because the brake lights work with the ignition off, I installed the brake light relay as the instructions showed. The wires to the brake light switch were very small, suggesting that they were for a sensor to the computer, not to the brake lights. After installation, the monitor and brake unit tested good, but the brake lights did not come on.

The instruction said that the relay would allow the brake lights and turn signals to work. I can see that maybe the brake lights would work, but I have no idea how the monitor would be aware of the turn signals in the motor home.

I got the accessory package with the tow bar. Blue Ox recommended the light package where an extra bulb is installed in the brake lights. After removing the tail lights, I am not sure these extra bulbs will even fit in them.

I have a couple of questions concerning the brakes and the lights:

1. Are the toad brake lights supposed to work when the Even Brake applies? Does it really matter if they don't since I am adding supplemental lights?

2. Where do you suggest I mount the breakaway switch? I don't see an obvious place to mount it.

3. Has anyone put an additional 1157 (large) bulb in the tail light? Where did you drill the hole and how did you run the wire?

4. Where did you mount the receptacle on the front of the car for the tail lights?

I am planning to have the bracket installed professionally,but I am not sure about the lights or breakaway switch.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:37 AM   #3
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We have a 2006 Vue and a Brake Pro (earlier version of the Even Brake) so the system should be similar to yours. I will try to answer your questions the best I can.

1. The relay is supposed to turn off your toad brake lights as long as the key is off. If you don't have the relay you would have 2 sets of brake lights activating at different times - the auxilliary lights when the motorhome brakes are applied and the Vue lights only when the Even Brake is applied. Your toad brake lights should come on when your motorhome brake lights come on even if the Even Brake does not activate. For that reason they should be powered from the motorhome, not from the toad.

2. I mounted the breakaway switch through the lower slot in the valence behind the license plate. I had to make a small metal bracket (actually just a piece of sheet aluminum a couple of inches long with some mounting holes in it) to get it to extend far enough to reach. The ring on the switch sits just behind the lower edge of the license plate.

3. I chose to go with diodes and use the existing Vue turn signal and brake light bulbs for just the reason you state. The space seemed quite limited and even if you do find room, the new bulb will not be at the focal point of the reflector of the light assembly which would result in the bulb not being as bright as it could be.

4. The Blue Ox base plate for the Vue provides mounting posts for the receptacle.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:33 AM   #4
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Hi. Hope you are enjoying your new Vue. It really is a great toad. Also, the Aventa LX (formerly the Alexus) tow bar is an excellent choice!

I'll try to answer some of your questions, but since we use a US Gear tow brake I'm not so familiar with the Even Brake.

First off, I can tell you that the brake light switch in the Vue receives B+ voltage directly from the "BRAKE" fuse in the underhood electrical center and as you said it's hot even with the key off. There's no sensor or lamp outage monitor. The orange wire is the power feed INTO the switch. From the switch the light blue wire feeds all of the brake lights including the center high mounted lamp. It's a simple circuit. The light blue wire also branches out to the engine computer which monitors the brake switch status, but the computer doesn't control the brake lights.

I don't think you needed to install the "Brake-Lite Relay" because the brake lights on the Vue are separate from the turn signals. I looked at the Even Brake installation instructions and they read as follows...

<span class="ev_code_BLUE"><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">1. First, determine if you must install the Brake-Lite Relay in your towed vehicle:
a. Without starting the towed vehicle, press the
towed vehicle's brake pedal.
b. If the brake lights illuminate, you must install the Brake-Lite Relay, unless: 1) the towed vehicle has a "bulb and socket set" (also called a "taillight kit"), or magnetic lights, or 2) the towed vehicle has separate brake and turn signals.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE></span>

To answer your questions...

1. When the supplemental brake pushes on the pedal, the toad's brake lights will come on. paz gives great advice on this one. The brake lights should be wired so that they come on whenever the coach's brake pedal is pushed. I still have to set mine up this way.

2. I have yet to mount my breakaway switch, but have looked for a good place to mount it and just don't see anything. paz has a good suggestion I'm going to check it out. Thanks paz.

3. I didn't use 1157's, but rather single filament 921's that push into a small socket designed for a 194 marker bulb. I simply removed the turn signal bulb sockets and slipped the entire 921 bulb and socket through the hole into the lamp housing and let it dangle inside. I had to drill a small hole (about 1/8") adjacent to the original bulb socket opening, but still under the rubber seal area and opened this small hole up to the larger opening to allow the 2 small wires to slip under the seal of the original bulb socket. I then just push the turn bulb socket back into place and twist it to lock it in. This way if I ever want to, I can remove the auxiliary bulbs and the lamp housings remain basically un-modified. The single filament bulbs provide auxiliary brake and turn signals which I wired directly to the coach's trailer wiring. When the US Gear brake pulls on the brake pedal, the factory brake lights AND the aux. brake lights come on. The reason I did this is because after the MH & toad come to a stop, I think the tow brake releases the toad's brake pedal. This way I have multiple brake lights on for safety and turn signal functionality which is in-time with the coach. I may change this setup in the near future to allow the high mount stoplamp to stay on with the rig stopped. It should also be noted that the 921 bulb's brightness is greater than a running lamp, but slightly less than a stop bulb. Again, I may change this in the future.

4. I didn't mount a receptacle on the front of the car. However, the Blue Ox baseplate has a provision for mounting one. I made a wiring harness that's long enough to reach from under the hood of the Vue to the MH's 6-way trailer wiring connector. I simply coil up the harness over the battery under the Vue's hood when not in use. The harness easily fits between the hood and grill with the hood closed.

Oh, as far as running lights go, I simply wired the MH's park lamp circuit from the trailer connector to the Vue's park lamps at the L/F park lamp bulb. Whenever I turn on the MH's head or park lamps all of the park lamps illuminate on the Vue.

I hope this helps you out. Sorry it's so long.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:25 AM   #5
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I Have a HHR for a toad I used diods for the lights and think thats the way to go just the rear lights work and at night I have no glare in the rear or side camera from the toad.Just a point for You to think about.Also no extra bulbs and drilling to mess with neat and You are useing all the lights on the toads rear that are nice and bright as they were intended to be..Bushman have a great day..
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:47 AM   #6
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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 Horsepowerfan:
3. I didn't use 1157's, but rather single filament 921's that push into a small socket designed for a 194 marker bulb. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There's a lot of good information here. How did you route the wiring to the tail lights. Did you go under the car or through the passenger compartment?
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:08 AM   #7
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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 mrschwarz:
How did you route the wiring to the tail lights. Did you go under the car or through the passenger compartment? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
When I wired our Silverado several years ago, I went under the vehicle. I used a corrugated-type wire protctor and there were plenty of places to wire-tie the bundle to the frame and keep it protected.

On the Saturn there is no frame so I routed the wires through the passenger compartment. I went through the firewall (I think I poked a hole through an existing rubber grommet), under the door sills (there's already wiring there on the driver's side), and behind the interior trim in the rear cargo area. I had to drill a hole on each side in the inner panels in the back to get out to the tail light assemblies. Used rubber grommets to protect the wires and sealed them with silicone.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:36 AM   #8
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I put in separate bulbs (1157) by drilling a hole through the outside or the tail light housing just below the OEM bulb. This bulb comes in just under and at a right angle to the OEM. I ran the wires through the inside of the car; behind plastic covers and under the door sills. Youve several rubber grommet choices to pass through the firewall. Like and earlier comment, I had to make a small bracket (rebent a standard hardware store L bracket) to hold the breakaway switch. I like this solution since you get no running or turn signal light of the front of the toad. It did take the better part of a full day to get this done.
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:45 AM   #9
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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 Horsepowerfan:
I didn't use 1157's, but rather single filament 921's that push into a small socket designed for a 194 marker bulb.

Oh, as far as running lights go, I simply wired the MH's park lamp circuit from the trailer connector to the Vue's park lamps at the L/F park lamp bulb. Whenever I turn on the MH's head or park lamps all of the park lamps illuminate on the Vue.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Horsepowerfan, if you used single filament bulbs for brake lights and turn signals, are those filaments brighter than the existing Vue parking lights you are using for running lights? If not, you could be confusing drivers following you.

Also, when wiring up the MH lights to the Vue parking lamps, did you use diodes?
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:35 AM   #10
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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 mrschwarz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Horsepowerfan:
3. I didn't use 1157's, but rather single filament 921's that push into a small socket designed for a 194 marker bulb. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There's a lot of good information here. How did you route the wiring to the tail lights. Did you go under the car or through the passenger compartment? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

First off I have to admit my whole lighting setup is a bit hodge podge and I may change things in the near future. I basically used a bunch of stuff I had on hand 'cause I'm cheap. (And I was short on time trying to get setup to go to the Nor'Easter's Fall rally last year )

I routed the wires just as paz and BounderDan did, under the sill plates and carpet. It wasn't hard to take up the parts in the rear cargo area to run the wires. I didn't drill any holes, but used the OE grommets in each side 1/4 panel area to pass the wires through to the outside of the rear. These grommets were a bit difficult to get to, but since only 1 tiny wire was going through each side it worked out OK.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paz:
Horsepowerfan, if you used single filament bulbs for brake lights and turn signals, are those filaments brighter than the existing Vue parking lights you are using for running lights? If not, you could be confusing drivers following you.

Also, when wiring up the MH lights to the Vue parking lamps, did you use diodes?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The 921 bulbs (which are OE 3rd brake bulbs for a Toyota 4Runner) are brighter than the parking lamps and it is obvious when they come on. They are NOT as bright as the Vue's OE brake bulbs however and this does have me a bit concerned. And as you say it could be confusing to drivers behind. I'm working on adding a wire from the MH's 3rd brake lamp circuit to feed the brake lamps in the Vue so the Vue's brake lamps will come on ANY TIME I step on the brake in the MH.

I did not use any diodes for the running lights as the US Gear system connects the two vehicle's electrical systems together as one. When I turn on the lights in the MH the Vue's running lights come on OR if I turn on the lights in the Vue, the MH's lights come on . There's no difference in intensity as long as both vehicle's batteries are connected.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:01 AM   #11
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I had the bracket installed and while the were at it I had the lights installed, too.

They managed to stuff the 1157 bulbs into the tail lights so that everything works properly. I was amazed at how many different methods were used for getting lights in the back.

Thanks everyone!
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