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Old 10-31-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Dim lights in Toad

We are setting up my wrangler to tow, and yesterday just completed the tow lights and umbilical (7 to 6). We installed extra bulbs and ran wiring from the front to the back bypassing the jeep wiring.
When we connect to the motorhome the lights are dim. I read somewhere this could be caused by a bad ground. Could this be the cause, and if so how would I go about finding the actual location of ground in my coach?
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:03 PM   #2
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Bad ground is the #1 plague of light systems.

If you are using the "Flat 4" then the "odd" pin is the ground, it is no way at all heavy enough in my not very humble opinion.

But make sure it's well connected (Most systems rely on at least SOME coupling via the hitch itself, I don't)
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:14 PM   #3
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Thanks. Is the ground location on the coach typically near the hitch or in the engine compartment? Can I establish another ground on the jeep?
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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Check the voltage at the toad plug at the rear of the coach. If you're below 12V, then you need a relay system to power the toad lights. They are available at any RV store.

Many coaches have a problem as they use the same wiring to power the tail lights and the toad lights. Thus the voltage drop. Newer coaches have the relay system which power the tail lights, and have a dedicated 12V line to power the toad lights via relays.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info pusherman. My coach is an '06 for the record. I will check the voltage, but would also like to check the ground/frame connection to verify good ground. Is it likely the "connection" is at the back near the hitch or right off the battery terminal to frame?
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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You'll most likely find the ground at the rear of the coach rather than near the battery. A good ground connection would be anywhere the ground wire is connected directly to the frame or other sheet metal surface.

A really quick way to verify if it's a bad ground is to run a jumper wire to the ground of the Jeep battery to a clean ground on the frame or trailer hitch itself (scrap rust if any from the inside of the hitch square until the metal is silver then hold or clamp the end of the ground wire to that spot) and if and when your light problem improves you know you've found the problem.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:36 AM   #7
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Your on the right page, as everyone has given you good advise. Simple process, find a spot on the frame near the hitch, wire brush really good, drill a hole and fasten a good wire to it, and go straight to battery ground on your toad using a good plugable connection somewhere between. Good Luck, happy trails and travel safe.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
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In addition to having a good ground on the motorhome (if the motorhome lights are working properly, chances the ground is OK), you need a good ground connection from the coach to the toad. As Pusherman says, the auxiliary lights you added to the toad run off the motorhome's electrical system. Our light system uses a 6-wire plug - 2 for the left and right turn signals, 1 for the tail lights, 1 for the brake lights, and 1 for the ground. There is 1 pin that is not used.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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thanks to all, I will be checking out the ground this weekend and let you know what I find.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #10
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When you checked the lights was the toad fully hooked up to the coach with the tow bar and cables? If not you might try that first.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:03 PM   #11
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Spent some time this weekend checking the ground, cleaning it off and wire brushing the connectors. Seems to have helped, with the jeep lights while connected. thanks
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