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Old 06-04-2014, 04:05 PM   #1
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Toad Brake, turn and tail lights


I am about a week away from having the base plate and lights installed on my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee toad. I have been reading the forum to learn about toad lights. My RV mechanic, who I trust and have used for years with trailers, likes the method of adding a socket and hardwiring the added socket for use with the coaches 7pin. He is not a fan of diodes due to failures that confuse your ability to figure out why the lights have stopped working, especially on the road.

If he cant add a socket to my jeeps tail lights, he is a fan of "portable lights". I have read a lot on this forum but I would appreciate hearing from some folks with experience before I give the go-ahead. I am a retiring police officer and am more concerned with safety and properly working lights. We are living in an apartment right now so I do not have the tools or space to complete this job on my own.

Thank you in advance for your time and advise.


Dave and Anita
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2015 Itasca Sunova 33C
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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My are wired with diodes. Others will post the pros and cons of the this and other approaches

2003 Forest River Cardinal Platinum 37' 5th Wheel
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:23 PM   #3
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Had both, no problems with either. Simplest in my mind would be the bulb and socket setup but on some toads they won't fit in the taillight assemblies. So then there's Plan B.

Ron & Kathy
2009 HR Endeavor 41'
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:27 PM   #4
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I've been wired with diodes for 4 years on this Jeep and never had any lighting issues.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
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I don't know about the '12 JGC, but for my '14 Overland, my installer had to use diodes. He said there's just no good place to install extra bulbs in the housings. He did say you have to use heavy duty diodes (I think he sources his from a marine supply shop) or you can have problems. I have not had any issues with mine, but the install was less than a month ago.

I would not use portable lights. Just something else to find a place to store.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
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While not there yet myself I'm sort of leaning to a wireless system, where a transmitter is plugged into the coach's plug and the lights have a magnet on the bottom and built in receivers in each light.
2012 Journey 40U (Our Incredible Journey)
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:06 PM   #7
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Either way works but I prefer the separate bulb if you can fit it in the taillight housing over the diodes. It just makes for less chance of a problem and easier troubleshooting should that be needed later. I would not want poratble lights: that's just one more thing to mess with, break, or lose.
Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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A diode is a diode, the less expensive ones are the same as the expensive ones, just less expensive. It's easy to wire in the diodes, and I don't really think anything more or less can go wrong with them than an extra socket and bulb. It just comes down to what you are more comfortable going with.
Steve & Nancy
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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Are you installing a aux toad braking system? I sure hope you are. If you are it should take care of the brake lights.
I have had my turn and tail lights wired with diodes for about a year and a half with no problems and I did not have to disfigure the tail light housing.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:18 PM   #10
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We went for the wireless. Works great and we can use them on any vehicle. No muss no fuss with diodes or xtra lights or wiring and drilling holes. If you travel at night or in inclement weather when you need to have the tail lights on for extended periods of time you will have to replace the batteries often. The connector on the coach is a combination 7 blade rv connector and a 4 pin trailer connector for use if we need the extra lights.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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I traded my 2002 Jeep Grand C for a 2014. Decided I did not want anyone messing with the lights / wiring so I purchased H D Custer Products Lite kit like tow truck operators use when they tow a vehicle.
Custer Products makes a wide varity of aux lites for your towed vehicle. Much simpler to use and they take up very little storage space.

Custer Products Limited
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #12
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Tow truck lights

My husband welted a support that fits in the hitch of our Envoy and the magnetic tow truck strip fits on top. When it is not in use the support is removed from the hitch.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:49 PM   #13
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You might have your mechanic check the tail light assembly. In my 2008 Jeep Liberty, there was room for an additional socket and light. In fact, there was markings on the tail light fixture where the additional socket should be installed. It was the least expensive light method for me.

On my 2013 Dodge Dart, I used the wireless, magnetic mount lights. They work very well, however, they do eat batteries. I like this, because it is easy to move them from car to car.

I've never had any experience with diodes, although friends of mine have used them with no problems.

W8RLM - Bob
2006 Winnebago Journey, Model 39K, 2013 Dodge Dart
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave1956 View Post
He is not a fan of diodes due to failures that confuse your ability to figure out why the lights have stopped working, especially on the road.
You know, I keep reading/hearing of people saying they've heard/seen where diodes have failed.....but I have never heard of anyone first hand who have said "they" have had a problem with them.

In my case, I've had three toads and I've used diodes on each of them without one failure of any type.

The wireless sounds interesting...


Ron, Sandie, and Maggie May
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH
2011 GMC Terrain SLT-2
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brake, lights, toad

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