Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #1
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
I just had a strange experience this last weekend. I have a 2007 Itasca Sunova 35J and pull a 2006 Saturn Vue 4cly on trips. I have the US Gear Unified Tow Brake brake controller. The base plate, brake controller and all was installed by the dealer when I bought the rig.

We left the campground, and a couple of miles away while going over a speed bump the brake controller beeped a couple of times. I then noticed that my odometer on the dash seemed to lose it's backlighting, sort of like it does when the lights are on. I checked that the lights were not on.
We stopped about 10 miles away to fill up, and when I turned the engine off the warning bell kept dinging. While I was filling up DW sticks her head out the window and says "This thing is still dinging." I started walking around to the door and saw that the parking lights were on. I told her to turn the parking lights off. But the switch was not in the on position.

It was only about five miles to house (it had been just a short weekend trip) so we went on home. I was about to go out an pull the parking light fuse so that the MH battery would not die, when I decided to try unplugging the Saturn. When I unplugged the coiled cable between the MH and the car, the parking lights went off on the MH. I plugged the cable back in and they did not come on right away, but after about 15 seconds they popped back on.

I've given the article referenced elsewhere by Blue Ox about wiring gremlins a read. I've also put pictures of all the components on my Flickr page here .

If anyone has seen something like this before, or has an idea where to start looking into it I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks,

Steve
__________________

__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-18-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
I just had a strange experience this last weekend. I have a 2007 Itasca Sunova 35J and pull a 2006 Saturn Vue 4cly on trips. I have the US Gear Unified Tow Brake brake controller. The base plate, brake controller and all was installed by the dealer when I bought the rig.

We left the campground, and a couple of miles away while going over a speed bump the brake controller beeped a couple of times. I then noticed that my odometer on the dash seemed to lose it's backlighting, sort of like it does when the lights are on. I checked that the lights were not on.
We stopped about 10 miles away to fill up, and when I turned the engine off the warning bell kept dinging. While I was filling up DW sticks her head out the window and says "This thing is still dinging." I started walking around to the door and saw that the parking lights were on. I told her to turn the parking lights off. But the switch was not in the on position.

It was only about five miles to house (it had been just a short weekend trip) so we went on home. I was about to go out an pull the parking light fuse so that the MH battery would not die, when I decided to try unplugging the Saturn. When I unplugged the coiled cable between the MH and the car, the parking lights went off on the MH. I plugged the cable back in and they did not come on right away, but after about 15 seconds they popped back on.

I've given the article referenced elsewhere by Blue Ox about wiring gremlins a read. I've also put pictures of all the components on my Flickr page here .

If anyone has seen something like this before, or has an idea where to start looking into it I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks,

Steve
__________________

__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 06:53 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Mike Canter's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Freeport, ME
Posts: 4,707
It would seem to me that you need some diodes in the lights circuits going to the Vue. Most RV dealers have them and they are pretty easy to install. Some how power is getting back to the MH from the Vue. Not uncommon and that is why the diodes are available. In electrical engineering we call that a sneaker net. Something that sneaks around everything and we use diodes to stop it.
__________________
Mike Canter
"Gunner" USN Retired, Airdale
2004 Monaco Signature 44' Conquest. Detroit 60
Mike Canter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Dave Fernandez's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ontario, CA USA
Posts: 1,294
Hello Steve:

You want to try to isolate the problem. First I would connect the Saturn and wait until the lights come back on. Since you already disconnected the umbilical from the MH and that cured the problem no need to repeat. Next I would disconnect the umbilical cord from the Saturn and if the problem remains it is in the Umbilical cord. If the problem goes away the problem is in the Saturn. I hope this helps in finding where your problem is located.
__________________
Dave Fernandez
2001, 38ft FDDS, 350 ISC, Tow 2004 Yukon
http://www.alpinesocal.com
Dave Fernandez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 03:51 AM   #5
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Thanks Dave and Mike. I'll start with the umbilical cord isolation procedure. Should have thought of that one myself.

Mike. I've had this set up since April of 07 when we acquired the MH and Saturn. I would assume if it was a missing diode problem, this would have manifested itself before this. Assuming the dealer put the diodes in place (which I recall a conversation about the need for diodes when I dropped the Saturn off at the dealer to be "connected" to the MH). Is diode failure a common occurrence.

Thanks,

Steve
__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 04:54 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Mike Canter's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Freeport, ME
Posts: 4,707
Steve, I don't believe that the isolation diodes where installed so they have not failed. I am recommending that they be installed to provide a one way gate for current path between the MH and the toad.

You are correct in the fact that the problem should have been there from the start. Which means something has changed. One thing to check is the ground connection between the two vehicles. If the ground is not good or is loose it could cause the problem. One way to verify real fast if it is a grounding problem is to have everything connected up and have the problem be there then take a length of wire and hold one end to a good grounding point on the MH and hold the other end to a good grounding point on the Vue and see if the problem goes away.
__________________
Mike Canter
"Gunner" USN Retired, Airdale
2004 Monaco Signature 44' Conquest. Detroit 60
Mike Canter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
GaryKD's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,321
Hi Steve,
I have the same braking system you have. I had a similar (but not the same) problem about two years after having the USGEAR system dealer installed. After contacting USGEAR, they advised me to purchase a new set of umbilical cord ends. I did this and installed them. The problem has gone away and not returned.

The beeping from the USGEAR control unit (on the dash) is telling you the unit is loosing its' signal from the toad. It thinks a breakaway has occurred.
__________________
Gary
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
GaryKD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Thanks Mike and Gary. The MH is in storage, so I'll try and go out this weekend and diagnose with the car and MH hooked together. In the meantime, I'll see if I can test the umbilical cord by itself and see if there is a problem in there.
__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2008, 03:24 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
rmmpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 1,146
A shot in the dark here:
Does your Saturn have Auto-on lights?
If so and they are enabled when the ignition switch is in the Accessory position, the power could be flowing from the Saturn to the MH.

If that is what's happening, pulling the MH's light fuse would have no effect because the MH's lights are downstream of the fuse and getting their power from the Saturn. Pulling the Saturn's light fuse would kill the lights.

This may sound silly but I've seen some pretty smart, sneaky Gremlins in my day.
__________________
Bob (Squidly Down Under) & Peg - 2013 Ford Focus pushing a 2011 Phoenix Cruiser 2552S
"In God we trust" to preserve our country and bring our Troops safely home.
Carry on, regardless..................
rmmpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #10
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Thanks to everyone that responded so far. Now I'm more confused than ever.
Friday I tested the umbilical by putting a current down each line. Low and behold two of the holes didn't pass any current through.
So I took the covers off the ends of the umbilical cord and found a couple of things.
1) On the side I was hooking to the MH, the "cord holder" screw was not in place. The wire was just loose in the socket end, and based on the impression that was on the wire where the "cord holder" screw was on the car end, there seems to have never been anything hold the cord steady in the socked.
2) Two of the individual (red, gree, etc) wires were stripped and roaming free in the housing of the socket, and a third was not tightened into the socket so that when I pulled on it, it came out of the little tunnel that the wires fit into.

So I tightened all the wires into the socket, found a new "cord holder" screw and put it on the socket so that the cord was solid in the socket. Put a current through each wire, and found that it seems to run the length of the umbilical cord and come out in the right place at the other end.

Sunday I head out to storage. Hook up the car to the MH and bring it back to the house. Hooking up everything seems to be OK. Hit the first speed bump leaving the campground. Beep beep beep from the brake controller. Turn on the left blinker, everything OK. Turn on the right blinker, the brake controller beeps and the green light on the brake controller blinks in conjunction with the blinker. Press the brake and the vacuum pump comes on and the brakes seem to apply.

Get the whole mess home after a while. I went back to this wire mapping from the Blue Ox site and sat out behind the MH with a meter and hollered through the back-up camera to the wife. The left and right blinkers put current out the current lines when pushed so it would seem that works correctly. I'm guessing at this point the problem is with the socket or something else on the car.
__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 11:48 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
GaryKD's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,321
I'm a bit confused. Earlier in the thread I thought we were talking about the USGEAR umbilical cord. The last post talks about the umbilical cord controling the toad lights and blinkers. The loose screw problem in the toad lights umbilical has been around for years. It is something everyone should have on their annual maintenance check list to disassemble and retighten the screws. I put locktight on the screws and after a few years they remain tight.

Now for the USGEAR problem. If the control panel still beeps, there is something wrong with how the USGEAR umbilical is providing power (or not).
1. Do you get a green light when starting the engine with the toad hooked up?
2. If no, the USGEAR control box is not seeing the toad. Consider replacing both ends of the USGEAR umbilical cord (four connectors).
3. If yes, then the USGEAR control box is seeing the toad.
4. When the error occurs (beeping) is the green light on or off?
5. If the green light is on when the beep happens, there is feedback from the toad through the USGEAR. Your best bet is to call USGEAR and ask them for help.
6. If the green light is off when the beeping happens, we are back to my earlier post and recommend you consider replacing both ends of the umbilical cord (four connectors). Just to verify, call USGEAR.

If you call USGEAR, you'll need to know when the green light is on or off when you start the engine and when the beeping occurs.

You may have more than one problem. I think what you did with the toad umbilical cord solved one problem.
__________________
Gary
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
GaryKD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #12
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Gary,
Thanks for quick comments, and sorry about the confusion.
1) I believe that the brand of the umbilical cord is Blue OX. The brand of the brake controller/car braking mechanism is USGear.
2) The umbilical cord is a six wire cord, not a four wire cord. In the USGear instructions it says the installer must provide a six-wire umbilical, a seven to six adapter and a six-pin connector for the tow vehicle. My installer seems to have provided all of these, and they all seemed to function fine until about a month ago.
3) When I hook up and get in the cockpit, the green light is on.
4) When the beeps occur, the green light goes off. For example, earlier when I turned the right blinker on: green light on, blinker clicking noise/green light off/beep, green light on/silence, repeat... So beeping = no green light. Green light = no beeping.
5) I am reading the USGear installation this evening (since I had it installed) and tracking their wiring instructions.

Thanks,

Steve
__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 12:49 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
GaryKD's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wellington, Florida
Posts: 12,321
You have one umbilical cord and I have two. However, if you start the engine with a green light and the green light is lost, the controller beeps because it thinks a breakaway has occurred. This tells me the problem remains with a connector. Consider looking at the mating connector mounted on the coach and the one mounted on the toad. Their could be corrosion and loose connections in either/both of these connectors.

I have no experience with USGEAR and one umbilical cord. The USGEAR people should be able to help you with this.
__________________
Gary
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910 + GMC ENVOY XUV 37K lbs Moving Down The Road
The Avatar Is Many Times Around The USA
Nobody Knows Your Coach Like Somebody Who Owns One Just Like Yours
GaryKD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2008, 01:53 AM   #14
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Problem Solved. Like Gary it was suggested by US Gear that I put new ends on the umbilical cord. I was only able to find one end at the local Lowes, so I took the whole thing apart and carefully examined the two ends. One had a melted area next to the green wire. This was the same end which was missing the "cord holder" screw for however long, and on which a couple of wires had pulled out of the socket.

I replaced the end and tested the cord last week and all seemed well. Just got back from our Thanksgiving camping trip and made the whole trip with a solid green light on the brake controller and no beeping.

Thanks to everyone for their help,

Steve
__________________

__________________
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J
2006 Saturn Vue
http://www.curbcrusher.com
CurbCrusher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How NOT to hook up the lights to the toad........ SargeW MH-General Discussions & Problems 10 09-01-2008 05:37 PM
Toad Lights htbradley Country Coach Owners Forum 3 08-11-2008 02:11 PM
Toad lights not working BigRedLancer Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 8 07-17-2008 05:05 AM
Lights for the Toad Higgins Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 6 05-03-2008 02:52 AM
no power for toad lights Motorhome05 Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 6 06-25-2005 08:28 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.