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Old 02-06-2014, 03:12 PM   #1
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Some Thoughts On Auxiliary Toad Brakes

Once you decide to have them, the issue of knowing when the toad brakes are applied needs to be addressed. That objective is best served with a light that comes on when the toad brake is actuated (brake indicator light). Most agree that a brake indicator light is desirable, but brake manufacturers use or recommend different methods to actuate the light, and this discussion is about those differences.

Here are the requirements I think are necessary:
1. The indicator must be easily visible at all times while underway.

2. You should not have to make a conscious effort to see the indicator give you a signal. To me, that means that the indicator must be mounted in the MH on the dash or elsewhere that makes you see it when it operates.

3. The indicator should alert you when the toad brakes are operated. This may seem obvious, but not all systems do that.

Some systems alert you when the brake mechanism on the auxiliary brake system operates and make the assumption that such action caused the toad brakes to operate. I believe that to be an unsafe assumption. Any number of things could keep the toad brakes from operating after the auxiliary brake system actuated.

As an example, in its standard configuration, the very popular and highly regarded ReadyBrute systems provide a function to operate the indicator because of the surge movement of the brake mechanism on the tow bar. If one forgot to connect the necessary cables or they were out of adjustment, the indicator light would be of no value. They do sell a kit that operates the indicator when the toad brake light is activated. That is a worthwhile addition. This is not to speak badly about ReadyBrake, but to alert you to the fact than you can improve the system at small cost.

The key here is that with most systems, you can always actuate the indicator by running a line from the cold side of the toad brake switch to the toad brake indicator in the MH.

The only system where the installation would be a problem is where the toad brake pedal isnít depressed to actuate the toad brakes.

Most MH electrical systems actuate the toad brake light whenever the MH brakes are applied independent of any axillary toad brake system. To make the system work as described in this section, diodes must be wired into the toad brake light system to prevent feedback from the MH brake circuit to the toad brake light circuit.

4. The toad brake indicator should warn you if you have any cable connections problems between the MH and toad. This requires that the power source for the indicator come from the cold side of the toad brake light switch and continue through the 12 volt electrical cable connecting the toad to the MH.

With this arrangement, if the indicator does not light up when you depress the MH brake pedal, you know you have a problem with the auxiliary brake system itself, the auxiliary brake connection or 12 V cable between the MH and toad.

5. Obviously, the indicator should warn you if the toad brakes are actuated while the MH brake system is not actuated. I know of no way to achieve this except to get the indicator feed from the cold side of the toad brake light switch.

You may have different thoughts, and Iíll be looking forward to seeing them.

Good Luck!
Wil
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
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Here is what I did to address this matter. I installed the BlueOx
BX88269 Clear LED Tail Light Wiring Kit that does not tap into the
toads electric system. Then I ran a wire from the toads brake
light at the rear of the toad (Ford says don't mess with the
brake light switch at the pedal) with the ground up to the front
of the coach and installed an LED low on the dash that lights
up only when the brake pedal on the toad is depressed. So, when
the coach brake lights activate, they power the BlueOx bulbs
in the toad. When the SMI auxillary brake system activates,
it lights up the toads brake lights and my LED indicator.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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My goodness, that is a very complicated system, but seems to include all the things I think that are required if your wires from the toad brake light gets back to the MH through the normal 12V MH to toad cable.

Connecting the source to the brake indicator at a rear toad brake light is electrically the same as making that connection directly to the cold side of the toad brake light switch.

Your installation would most likely have been easier to use diodes at the toad brake and turn signal bulbs instead of installing additional brake and turn signal bulbs. But the important thing is that you got all the important things covered. Gives your peace of mind!

Good Luck!
Wil
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
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Will ithink you would need to answer these questions to see if you need a brake light relay RM88400

Is a Relay Required?
To determine if a brake light relay is needed to properly wire your vehicle to be towed, answer the following questions.

Are you using a supplemental braking system that depresses the brake pedal in your towed car?
No - You do not need a brake light relay.
Yes - You may need a brake light relay. Continue on to the next question.

Do the brake lights on your towed car illuminate while the engine is off?
No - You do not need a brake light relay.
Yes - You may need a brake light relay. Continue on to the next question.

Do your towed car's brake lights act as both the brake signals and the turn signals?
No - You may need a brake light relay. Continue on to the next question.
Yes - Your towed car has a combined lighting system. You will need a brake light relay to ensure proper activation of its signal lights.

Does your towed car have separate brake lights and turn signals?
No - Your towed car has a combined lighting system. You will need a brake light relay.
Yes - Your towed car has a separate lighting system. You may need a brake light relay. Continue on to the next question.

Are you wiring your vehicle with a six-diode kit or a TowDaddy custom wiring harness?
No - You will need a brake light relay to ensure proper activation of your towed car's signal lights.
Yes - You do not need a brake light relay.

Installation of the Roadmaster Brake-Lite Relay
Most towed cars require the normally open installation method. Ford and Lincoln models with neutral tow kits and most automobiles that have a push-button start function will require the normally closed installation.

Mac the led add on lights are real nice but on the Ford vehicles the brake light will still light up when your toad brakes system mashes the brakes on the toad over riding your turn signals or at least it would on our Edge and the F150 toad without the brake light relay.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Every time we pull off the road and stop I shoot my tires and brakes with an IR gun.

If I have a dragging brake problem, etc the excessive heat will give me a clue.

I also accomplish a walk around then to kinda keep an eye on things such as tow bar connections and such.
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