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Old 09-18-2014, 03:24 PM   #1
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Toad Blinker Function when using a Brake Buddy

I am using a Hopkins lighting adapter which supplies power to the toad rear lights while isolating power feedback to the motorhome. Basically a diode pack. I also use a Brake Buddy which applies pressure to the brake pedal during braking. Standard tow setup.

Here is my concern, during braking, the MH and the BB (via brake pedal) both send 12 volts to the toad brake lights which is no problem unless you are using the MH turn signal, then the MH blinks but the toad doesn't until the BB releases the brake pedal.

Unless you remove the toad break light fuse, this issue most likely occurs on most if not all similar installations.

Has anyone else noticed this or am I just the only one bothered by it?

I can't see having to pull and replace the fuse every time I attach or detach the toad but I also don't like sending conflicting messages to those behind me.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
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You are correct in that the Brake Buddy pressing the brake pedal does turn on the brake lights, negating the turn signal lights sent from the motor home. The solution I used on my previous toad was to install a switch in the brake light wiring from above the brake pedal and just turn it off while towing. This way, the motor home only sends the signal to the brakes and the Brake Buddy doesn't turn on the brake lights.

I have since purchased another toad and have the problem you do. I am debating whether to install another switch or install more diodes in another configuration to eliminate the problem.

Good luck with your solution.

burfurd
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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burfurd, I like the switch idea but I would have to have something to remind me to turn it back on. First time I forgot to flip the switch, I would get a ticket or worse. You have me thinking on this one.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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Can't really see this as a problem. I think your BB is set-up incorrectly if you are worried aout the turnsignal operation when the BB is being actuated. My BB actuates so infrequently it is not a concern. I do not use the BB for routine braking, only for heavy duty/panic/emergancy situations. If you BB is being activated to often, I don't think it is set-up properly or your driving above a safe speed for the conditions. JM2...
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:52 PM   #5
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teddyu, my observations are all driveway testing and not based on actual operation. I just bought the current toad and Brake Buddy and assumed based on what I read that the unit if adjusted properly would cycle during normal braking. If the scenario you describe is the norm then I'm OK with that. I just think it's odd that based on the manufactures description of the unit that this condition would not have been addressed.
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Old 09-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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I actually think that Road Master has addressed the issue. I remember seeing something they have for sale that disconnects the brake lights on the toad. Don't remember if it does it automatically or not. Possibly could be wired in with the ignition switch.

Here is a link to the Brake Light Relayl http://roadmasterinc.com/products/br...ght_relay.html

That is really easy to wire up, just break the wire from the brake switch that becomes hot when the brakes are applied.

The switch I used was placed near the steering wheel, just above the brake pedal and I always made it a practice to turn off when installing the brake and on when removing the brake. Easy! I use the pneumatic brake system so that it works every time the brakes are engaged in the motor home. Truly progressive. It is a Brake Master from Road Master. Nope, I don't work for them or own stock in them either although I wish I did.

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Old 09-18-2014, 10:46 PM   #7
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Road master does make the Brake-Lite Relay to address this issue.

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Old 09-18-2014, 11:26 PM   #8
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Thanks burfurd and gr8grumpy. This lets me know that I have a legitimate concern here. I'm thinking of going with burfurd's switch idea using a SPDT (on/on) switch on the hot leg of the brake switch but include a panel mount LED to let me know that the brake lights are turned off. Sounds like a good project for tomorrow.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Wheels View Post
I am using a Hopkins lighting adapter which supplies power to the toad rear lights while isolating power feedback to the motorhome. Basically a diode pack. I also use a Brake Buddy which applies pressure to the brake pedal during braking. Standard tow setup.

Here is my concern, during braking, the MH and the BB (via brake pedal) both send 12 volts to the toad brake lights which is no problem unless you are using the MH turn signal, then the MH blinks but the toad doesn't until the BB releases the brake pedal.

Unless you remove the toad break light fuse, this issue most likely occurs on most if not all similar installations.

Has anyone else noticed this or am I just the only one bothered by it?

I can't see having to pull and replace the fuse every time I attach or detach the toad but I also don't like sending conflicting messages to those behind me.
BigWheels,
You've found out something that I've proven that a very large percentage of RVers out that, DON'T EVEN KNOW IT'S HAPPENING! The ones I'm primarily talking about are the ones that utilize the stock tail light bulbs of the toad, as toad lights when towing. I've been doing it that way for decades.
Now, one of the answers you received eluded to the adding of a switch for control of the signal from the toads brake lights. Well, I too added a switch for just that purpose. I installed a very small, two way toggle in the door jamb of our toad, which was an '04 Jeep Rubicon. I simply cut the out-going wire from the Jeeps brake switch, and sent it to the toggle.

Then, on one side of the toggle, I wired it (through the pigtail) all the way to the dash on the coach and, tied it into a tiny LED I installed in the dash. Now, I then wired the other side of the toggle right back to where I cut it, next to the brake switch in the Jeep.

Now, when towing, I flip that toggle to the front, which means that, when the Jeeps brakes are being applied by the Ready Brake system I use, that signal from the Jeeps brake light switch goes right to the LED on the dash of the coach, telling me the brakes are ACTUALLY BEING APPLIED on the Jeep.

But, when it comes time to drive the Jeep, I flip the toggle to the rear, which, sends the Jeeps brake light signal, to where it's suppose to go, to the Jeeps brake lights. Now, In all the years I used this system, we never forgot to switch the toggle, no matter if we were towing it, or driving it. It just became a habit. It's a simple and ULTRA CHEAP system to install and, it works flawless. Maybe this info might help you.
Scott
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:27 AM   #10
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Scott, thanks for your input. All information is good as far as I'm concerned. I will be making some type of change today and will be reporting back with my results.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:47 AM   #11
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This is a good reason to use the "extra bulb" way of wiring your tail lights. That is the way my Honda CRV came wired form the previous owner.



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Old 09-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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Actually the 'extra bulb' hookup does nothing to eliminate the problem. The vehicle brake light still comes on when the brakes are applied and the turn signal is on. There is 2 bulbs in the same housing, one on bright for brakes and the other is blinking to signal a turn.

Someone following might be paying close enough attention to notice the difference but don't count on it.

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Old 09-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Actually the 'extra bulb' hookup does nothing to eliminate the problem. The vehicle brake light still comes on when the brakes are applied and the turn signal is on. There is 2 bulbs in the same housing, one on bright for brakes and the other is blinking to signal a turn.

Someone following might be paying close enough attention to notice the difference but don't count on it.

burfurd
burfurd,
I have tried to explain that scenario to many folks who've used the "two bulb" operation. There's a couple of scenarios that can happen here.

1. You have amber turn signals and red brake lights on the toad. The toad can be wired in such that, the ambers are not used and, there's "two bulbs" in the RED portion of the rear tail light lens. And, as you've (and I have in the past) pointed out, in many cases, there's NO separation (partition) between the added bulb and the factory bulb so, when one flashes and the other is displaying a brake light, WHICH ONE IS BRIGHTER? The answer is, NEITHER is brighter because, they both use the brighter filament of the bulb.

2. Same as above only, there's no ambers and, the tail lights are wired the same but, there's a partition which is better.

3. Wire it the way I and many other do and that is, to utilize the stock tail lights as toad lights. And that includes the use of the ambers if, so equipped. But, that CAN (but no always) present another problem. That is, if, the toad activates it's own brake lights, via auxiliary braking system (Brake buddy, Ready Brake, AF-1, and others), then you will have conflicting signals being sent to the rear tail lights. Now, this all depends on how the toad is setup form the factory. Some toads DO NOT activate the brake lights if the key is in the "Off" position. Some do.

The situation can be remedied in a couple of ways. One, install a switch (as I did) on the output line of the toads brake switch. That way you can turn "off" the toads own brake light signal to the rear tail lights when it's being towed and, receiving signals from the coach for turn and brake etc.

The other way is by utilizing a relay which does all the switching for that brake light, automatically so the driver doesn't have to remember to flip any switches when changing from towing to driving a toad.

There's a number of ways in which folks wire toads for towing. Every one has to decide what's best for them. I like the use of the stock tail lights(bulbs). To me, it's completely natural back there when someone's following my toad, when we're towing it down the road. Just an opinion here.
Scott
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