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Old 04-08-2016, 08:50 PM   #1
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Toad light options

We just got our MH, and setting up to tow our 2007 CR-V. Our plan is to sell the S&B home and tour the country full-time for a couple years (or so).

I've browsed through this and other forums, and I've managed to get really confused. From what I gather, there are essentially 3 options for toad lighting (theme and variation within them):
1) wiring kit with diodes to direct-connect MH electric to toad electric.
2) lights mounted on back of toad (usually magnetic) that use the MH electric without connecting to the toad's.
3) wireless system with a battery-operated light bar on the back of the toad.

For a balance of low cost (both equipment and installation) and functionality, I'm leaning toward my #2 (magnetic lights wired from the MH, not the toad).

Can someone help clarify advantages / disadvantages of that option? As always, guidance for this newbie is really appreciated.

(2004 Newmar Mountain Aire 3778 gasser, Workhorse chassis)
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Old 04-08-2016, 08:56 PM   #2
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Depending on the brake system you are using there may be another option.

I have a Brakemaster brake which depresses the brake pedal and illuminates the brake lights. I bought the kit that requires you to drill and mount an additional bulb in each of your rear lights for the turn lights. It uses the standard 4 prong adapter or 7 prong, you just snake the wire from the front to the rear.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:02 PM   #3
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The magnetic light option has been troublesome to some owners because.

The wiring MUST be carefully routed to the rear of the toad ; preferably underneath; because if any section of the wiring can move over the painted surfaces of the toad; and it will move in the wind behind the coach; it will damage the paint.
I did the direct wiring with diodes, the wire and diodes were included with my fluid pump kit. Took a little time, about three hours, but 5 years later no issues.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:02 PM   #4
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The CRV is one rig that has room for the extra bulb. That is how our dealer set ours up (2012]. No diodes needed. Works fine.

We used mag lights on our prior car with dolly. I much prefer not having to string the wires when hooking and unhooking.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arboldt View Post
We just got our MH, and setting up to tow our 2007 CR-V. Our plan is to sell the S&B home and tour the country full-time for a couple years (or so).

I've browsed through this and other forums, and I've managed to get really confused. From what I gather, there are essentially 3 options for toad lighting (theme and variation within them):
1) wiring kit with diodes to direct-connect MH electric to toad electric.
2) lights mounted on back of toad (usually magnetic) that use the MH electric without connecting to the toad's.
3) wireless system with a battery-operated light bar on the back of the toad.

For a balance of low cost (both equipment and installation) and functionality, I'm leaning toward my #2 (magnetic lights wired from the MH, not the toad).

Can someone help clarify advantages / disadvantages of that option? As always, guidance for this newbie is really appreciated.

(2004 Newmar Mountain Aire 3778 gasser, Workhorse chassis)
aboldt,
Well Sir, as you've stated, you have options on which way to run your toad lighting system. I personally have never been a fan of drilling holes for additional sockets and adding extra bulbs as toad lights. It's a preference thing.
We've towed 11 toads in our RVing life and, every single toad has been wired the same exact way, by using the stock tail lights and bulbs, as toad lights. My whole reasoning for doing it this way is, I want anyone who is following my toad, to see the same exact tail light function when we're towing it, as they would when I'm driving it.

Tying into the factory wiring to some, is like a death threat. Many run and hide. In all reality, it's pretty darn simple. I setup our '11 Honda CRV EX-L the same way. And, when it was all done, I had AMBER turn signals working and, the THIRD BRAKE LIGHT TOO!

I won't go into any of it unless you ask. But, setting TWO diodes is about as simple as it gets. I'm including a drawing of my wiring for our 2011 CRV which, may or may not, be the same as your '07. I don't know the tail light arrangements on an '07 even though that was the same basic body style as the '11 version. Let me know if you'd like help on this. Glad to assist. Your choice.
Scott

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Old 04-09-2016, 06:10 AM   #6
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arboldt-

In case you want to "run and hide," as Scott says, you have the option of buying a "plug and play" harness for your CR-V. Here is a link to a "plug and play" harness from etrailer.

I used a similar harness on our Fit. When it comes time to sell the Fit, or if the electronics in the harness fail, I can remove the harness from the circuits by plugging the original tail light connectors back together.

Depending on what brake system you install in the CR-V, you may need to install a brake light relay, and you may want to install a 12V charge line between the coach and toad. There are a number of threads on iRV2 on these topics. More for you to think about.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:37 AM   #7
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We tried magnetic lights when we changed from our 2012 Equinox to a 2014. The magnets where not strong enough to hold then in place.

Brakes lights only are not enough for the lighting laws. You need to have tail lights, brakes lights, and turn signals at the end of the rig.

Best solution we found is a plug and play diode light harness.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arboldt View Post
We just got our MH, and setting up to tow our 2007 CR-V. Our plan is to sell the S&B home and tour the country full-time for a couple years (or so).

I've browsed through this and other forums, and I've managed to get really confused. From what I gather, there are essentially 3 options for toad lighting (theme and variation within them):
1) wiring kit with diodes to direct-connect MH electric to toad electric.
2) lights mounted on back of toad (usually magnetic) that use the MH electric without connecting to the toad's.
3) wireless system with a battery-operated light bar on the back of the toad.

For a balance of low cost (both equipment and installation) and functionality, I'm leaning toward my #2 (magnetic lights wired from the MH, not the toad).

Can someone help clarify advantages / disadvantages of that option? As always, guidance for this newbie is really appreciated.

(2004 Newmar Mountain Aire 3778 gasser, Workhorse chassis)
If your toad has a hitch receiver you can set up a light bar that will slide into the hitch receiver and tie the plug in the front into you hitch plug in the rear.

That's the set up we run and it is very simple and convenient.

We can use a hitch splitter and can add a bike rack if we want to carry bike on the rear of our toad.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:57 AM   #9
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Great explanation Scott. One question: When you connect into the circuit that powers the tail/parking lights, does that provide power to the license plate light as well? I would assume so, but ....

One other question: Is there any need for a diode in the tail/parking light circuit before you splice in the wire from the MH?

Thanks, Jack
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwitt View Post
Great explanation Scott. One question: When you connect into the circuit that powers the tail/parking lights, does that provide power to the license plate light as well? I would assume so, but ....

One other question: Is there any need for a diode in the tail/parking light circuit before you splice in the wire from the MH?

Thanks, Jack
Hey Jack,
Yes, when I tie into the "Tail/marker" wire for the tail lights of the factory wiring, it will also light up the license plate light. It will also send power to the front parking lights which, I like because it gives plenty of notification of lighting, not only to me but, anyone else in a dimly lit situation. And, it does not bother me in my rear view camera at all.

And, NO, there is no reason to install a diode in the tail/marker light circuit for reasons explained above. Some folks will install diodes in the circuit leading back to the coach, to prevent "feed back" to the coach, should the lighting from the toad, be activated prior to disconnecting the pig tail from between the coach and toad.

I have never worried about that. The wife is the one that does all the prepping for backing the Jeep (or truck, depending on which we're towing at the time) while I do all the disconnecting of the tow bar, the pig tail, air brake line and cables. Sometimes she beats me to the disconnecting of the pig tail. When that happens, especially if we're towing our '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, when the motor is started, the lights automatically come on in the truck and, that AUTOMATICALLY lights up all the marker and clearance lights on the coach, BIG DEAL!!!!!!!!!

None of our coaches have burned to the ground yet.
Scott
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:14 PM   #11
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You should check the Etrailer web site they may have a ready made harness for your car. I just did my terrain and it was the easiest toad lighting I.ve ever done. they even have a video to show how its done
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