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Old 11-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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LED's, Bulbs or Diodes and Brakes?

I am new to the TOAD world, weighed the Coach, had the hitch checked and all is well for up to 10K, not that I would need that much. I have decided on a BlueOx Aventa LX tow bar, BX1660 base plate, but not sure of the wiring piece. The base plate install is straight forward, as is the bar, but which is better, the LED lights, the regular bulbs, or diodes?
The brake is yet another choice, was going to go with the Invisibrake, but will probably be switching vehicles in about two years. The Ready Brute will not work, it is only good to 8K, and I am a few hundred pounds under and want a larger margin. Hate to think someone threw something in the bed of the truck and put me over. I am looking at a used BrakeBuddy Digital.
I have a feeling both are a matter of preference, but not sure.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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What are you towing that is over 8,000 lb. ?
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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What are you towing that is over 8,000 lb. ?
It is a 4X4 diesel, empty bed, with a full tank and no one in it, 7,314 pounds at the scales. I am sure the family will be sneaking a few extra things in once we set it up, and a pound here, a few ounces there, it all adds up. Trying to build in a bit of a margin. Being only 686 pounds under 8K, I would rather set it up for worse case scenario, than not and need it .
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:59 AM   #4
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For lights I'd go with the diodes, very easy installation.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsualSuspect View Post
I am new to the TOAD world, weighed the Coach, had the hitch checked and all is well for up to 10K, not that I would need that much. I have decided on a BlueOx Aventa LX tow bar, BX1660 base plate, but not sure of the wiring piece. The base plate install is straight forward, as is the bar, but which is better, the LED lights, the regular bulbs, or diodes?
The brake is yet another choice, was going to go with the Invisibrake, but will probably be switching vehicles in about two years. The Ready Brute will not work, it is only good to 8K, and I am a few hundred pounds under and want a larger margin. Hate to think someone threw something in the bed of the truck and put me over. I am looking at a used BrakeBuddy Digital.
I have a feeling both are a matter of preference, but not sure.
UsualSuspect,
Wow, 7300 lbs, you got more guts than I do. We're dragging around 5300 lbs in an '11 GMC Sierra Extended Cab 4x4 and, in the bed of that truck, for much of our travels, is a "Rampage" motorcycle lift, holding a 900 lb. GL 1800 Honda Goldwing. So, all in all, we're cruising on down the road dragging 6500 lbs. We're towing it with an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 HP CAT and Allison MH3000 trans. So far, it's working just fine. We slow up on the grades a bit but, that's to be expected. I get about 7 mpg no matter what.

Your sig shows a Fleetwood Excursion 40E. Just wondering, what engine do you have in that beast? And, if I may ask, what does your coach actually weigh?

As for the lights, when you mention "Diodes", I'm assuming you mean that you might be utilizing your stock tail lights for toad lights, correct? If so, that's a piece of cake to do. I've done it for 11 different toads now. And, doing it on our '11 GMC could not get any simpler. If you're planning on that route, and have any questions, surely PM me and I'd be really glad to send any info you might need. And, by the way, there's no need to purchase high priced diodes from C/W or any other RV supplies store. I use regular diodes from Radio Shack, about $2.89 for a pack of four. They've worked flawless for decades.
Scott
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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For those wondering (Have a few PM's asking), the truck is an 07 Classic 2500HD 4X4 Crew cab long bed Duramax. The other vehicles we have are not flat towable, and are not recommended by the manufacturer to use as a TOAD, and I don;t want to drag around trailer, or a tow dolly. It is a bit heavy , but anyone in a Class A, B, or C is never in a road race to get anywhere. The engine is a Cat C7, 350 HP. The Coach dry is 24,703 pounds, and loaded ready to go with everyone in it is 29,409 pounds. The GCWR is 41,000, so I am well under that, and the hitch is rated at 10K. I was going to wait until we had a lighter TOAD, but that is at least 2 years out and hopefully a better economy.
This past summer we camped in the Sierra's, east side is really limited for car rental places, and the west side you can be 4-6 hours away from the closest rental place. During the winter running out to Borrego, Quartzsite, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree, and a few other places we end up driving two vehicles out, or renting a few hours out and driving both in.
Things I have to watch out for until we lighten up, the need for some in the house to want to take the kitchen sink. And length, but a 40E is almost 42' long, so I have to pay attention to the Caltrans length limits anyway.
I am also trying to decide if I should buy the bar now and baseplate now, or see if I can find a bargain at Quartzsite. Been checking CL for a used one, but almost all of them are within $50 of a new one. For $50 I will buy it new, get the warranty and know the history. If I could get a bargain, I would and send it in for a rebuild, or see if someone at Quartzsite can rebuild it for a few bucks.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:51 PM   #7
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We found a used Blue Ox system at an Rv dealership, it was 1/4 the cost of new. Installed it ourselves. But if you need to hire the installation it will be expensive, so check on price based on installed condition.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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I didn't look up your vehicle, on the blue ox web site under yours it will have a recommendation. ALWAYS go with bulb & socket when possible (either standard or LED) standard bulbs might not be bright enough during the day so LED's help with the voltage drop. Depending on the coach, if the batteries are at the rear of the coach, power will go to the front then to the back, thru the electrical cable back to the tail lights on the toad, so on a 40ft'er, that's around 100'. I've seen voltage from coach battery to toad tail lights drop over 2 volts... lights look pretty dim on 10 volts during the day...
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
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LED will last longer, cost more. Diodes are not recommended for SOME makes and models, check with Blue Ox for your particular model.
At 7300 pounds I personally would want an aux brake that energized the toads power brake system as opposed to just pushing on a dead pedal; SMI, M&G, Unified, etc...
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
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Great responses. I called Ready Brute surge brake, and they said I would probably be ok, I found they do not have an emergency break away switch that is standard should the TOAD become disconnected form the hitch. Out of all the auxiliary brakes I do like is the SMI, and I will probably install one in the next TOAD.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UsualSuspect View Post
Great responses. I called Ready Brute surge brake, and they said I would probably be ok, I found they do not have an emergency break away switch that is standard should the TOAD become disconnected form the hitch. Out of all the auxiliary brakes I do like is the SMI, and I will probably install one in the next TOAD.
I'm wondering something here. You say you found that they DO NOT have a break-a-way switch that is standard? They sell one on their site. And, they sell them at the Quartzsite event every year that we're there. I'm not sure what you mean by "Standard". Good luck.
Scott
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:46 PM   #12
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I found they do not have an emergency break away switch that is standard should the TOAD become disconnected form the hitch.
By standard I assume you mean it doesn't come with it. ReadyBrute does market an emergency break away system called the "ReadyStop" which is a second cable that is attached to your brake pedal and locks the brakes into an applied condition in the event of toad runaway. It was actually included with the ReadyBrute Elite for me when I ordered it.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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By standard I assume you mean it doesn't come with it. ReadyBrute does market an emergency break away system called the "ReadyStop" which is a second cable that is attached to your brake pedal and locks the brakes into an applied condition in the event of toad runaway. It was actually included with the ReadyBrute Elite for me when I ordered it.
Their website shows it is an additional $92, and you have to run a second cable for the brake from the RV.
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