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Old 07-27-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
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Couple of toad questions before I go too far

We have a 2006 Newmar Ventana (DP on Freightliner chassis) and a 1997 Geo Tracker 4 dr, 4wd, hard top. I purchased the Blue Ox baseplate, tow bars, safety cables and 6 pin coiled cable. Now comes the questions concerning the brake and light wiring.

I first started looking at the brake boxes that set in the drivers floorboard. I am now looking at the US Gear Unified tow brake. The motor home is wired at the rear with a seven pin receptacle and I already had the prodiogy brake controller for when we tow our enclosed trailer for the bikes. Before you correct me I know the prodigy does nothing for the toad!!!!

The guestion is, does the Prodigy now interfere with the US Gear tow brake controller and using the same wires to the rear of the MH? I know I would need a 7 pin to 6 pin converter.

The next question is .... concerning the tail lights on the Tracker. I know I can put magnetic lights on the roof (not the way I want to go but could), install (new) seperate light sockets in the housings or do the diodes on the existing stock wiring. I am leaning toward adding the new sockets! I have to add the new wiring from the front to the rear of the tracker anyway .... adding the new sockets would take no longer than adding the diodes. That would alleviate any diode issue later.

Am I on the right track? If not, point me in the right direction and slap me on the but!!!! Just kidding about the "but" thing.
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Old 07-27-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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I would run new wires for the U.S. Gear system.

Two pieces of equipment cannot share the same wire.

Diodes, sockets, or magnetic lights are all good solutions, although I prefer diodes over additional sockets as it uses the original bulb which is in the optical center of the light.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:51 PM   #3
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I recently installed the US Gear setup.

You can probably use your 7 pin. The US Gear has a two wire plug that has 12vdc and the controller signal wire. I would assume your Aux conductor on the connector is already wired as 12vdc (or you could wire it as such if not). The other pin you could use is the back-up connector (the center one). This could be the control wire from the US Gear controller.

Adding a separate bulb to your existing bulb housing would not be a bad idea. I probably would have done this if I had not already wired mine.

The seven functions on the connector are:
Ground
Right turn
Left turn
Tail lights
Brake
Aux
Back-up

By the way, I did not wire mine as above, because I had already set myself up for towing with the added brake controller. I had installed a four pin, so I just deal with the second two pin.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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I am an electrician by trade so a little wiring doesn't scare me. I also know there is more than one way to make this work. That makes sense about the optical center of the light. I guess why I started thinking about the seperate socket was, on the Tracker the turn signal is one bulb and the running and brake lights are different bulbs. I was thinking it would take 6 diodes but I have not made it that far yet.

The aux pin is already wired to 12 vdc. I use that to charge the battery in the enclosed trailer while underway (with diode on trailer side). The center pin (back up lights) is not being used. The part of using the existing 7 pin came from the US Gear website but it does not say anything about the wires if there are already in use by a brake controler.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingman02 View Post
The aux pin is already wired to 12 vdc. I use that to charge the battery in the enclosed trailer while underway (with diode on trailer side). The center pin (back up lights) is not being used. The part of using the existing 7 pin came from the US Gear website but it does not say anything about the wires if there are already in use by a brake controler.
You are gonna be good to go. Use the center for the wire from the US Gear controller (only one wire will go from the front of the MH to the rear of the MH). On my setup there was a two wire conductor (mine was the universal kit). I assume yours also has this, as there are only two wires between the MH and the tow vehicle. One will be 12vdc and then the other for the controller.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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Me and good to go normally does not go together. My stuff is usually more complicated than this LOL!!!! Thanks for the replies.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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After saying how I was going to add new sockets to the tail lamps ..... I pulled the lamps apart again and looked at how the existing bulbs and metal reflectors are placed in the housing. I have one spot to get the hole drilled and light socket added that will not causes problems re-installing the housing in the Tracker.

I may re-think the diode route again. The Tracker has seperate turn signal and brake light bulbs. This will also require a converter along with the diodes. I have the room behind the tail light ....
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #8
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If you have room in the tail light assembly for adding an additional socket and bulb, that is, by far the easiest solution. It works well and is electrically very simple.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:46 AM   #9
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I have used magnetic lights for 8 years with no problems. I ran a wiring harness from the front of my truck to the back, both ends have 4 way flat connectors and stay on the truck all the time and out of sight when not in use. No diods, no holes and no problems. The lights are removed when not in use.
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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My 2004 Grand Vitara which is the same as the Tracker does not have enough room for a second bulb. I would have gone that route but couldn't. I have the diodes which work well but the light output is a little less than I would prefer. My motorhome has tail lights that are high and wide enough that following cars can see those tail lights too which helps overcome the light output on the toad.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:30 PM   #11
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i bought the diode setup from blue ox and it took a little head bashing, but i eventually figured it out and it works good. all the lights had separate wires so it was confusing.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I have a set of the magnetic lights (don't know where they came from) already. I do have one spot that I can get a new socket in the brake light section. It would be in a OK spot, just not a great spot. The installation of the wires and diodes don't scare me .... it's if/when the diode/converter fails that concerns me.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:22 AM   #13
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The Two wires on the US-Gear.. Only one (The smaller one) is needed. the other one is a 40 amp "tie-Line" connecting the battery in the towed, via a circuit breaker, to the battery in the MH, also via a breaker.

I do not know if the US_Gear controller is compatible with the Prodigy, YOu should contact US-Gear and ask them.. It may be the Prodigy can replace their controller (or not, I truly do not know.. If I ever visit Terry (CEO Tekonsha Engineering at least at one time) I may ask him, I'd like to visit him some day, he's one of the few friends I had in High School)

Use the battery charge line in the 7-pin, I'd bring it out to the US-gear's Battery connector. not that big a hassle to hook up the 2nd cable every time

OH, and as for the boxes you wrestle in and out of the towed every time you hook/drop.. I can just imagine someone saying "Oh, I'm only going a few miles, It's too much hassle...... OH SH!!!!! (Sound of crashing vehicles).

With the US gear system. 1 second to plug in a plug. no hassle at all!!!
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
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wa8yxm .... you hit the nail on the head about the brake boxes. I also saw where people were saying it was messing up the front edge of their seat. I was afraid if it was to much of a hassle to hook up ... I would stop using it. Then I would fall in to the same category of folks that say they are not needed.

The Prodigy would have nothing to do with the US Gear brake contol other than utilizing the same wires from the front of the MH to the rear. Neither controler would/could be used at the same time anyway. When I am not towing the trailer I generally unplug the Prodigy controler anyway. So, if the US Gear conroller wires are plugged in, then I could do the same thing.
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