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Old 01-22-2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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Toad wiring, 4 wire, 6 wire

Getting the new toad, 2012 Jeep Wrangler ready to flat tow. Installed the base plate today and the Hopkins wiring kit. Relatively easy to install. The wiring kit comes with a 4 wire flat which I don't care for. I'm going to install a round plug but wonder if I should use a round 6 or 4 wire plug. I haven't decided on brake system but am leaning toward M&G. I don't have to leave the key on so battery depletion isn't an issue. Wondering what future wiring expansion I might find useful in the future that would need the 6 wire?

While wrapping up the work today, the tow bar came,, Blue Ox Avail.

As they say, inquiring mind wanna know.

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:02 PM   #2
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Blue Ox and other manufacturers make all types of sturdy, coiled umbilical cords. I have a 6 conductor round and use it for lights wiring and a battery charge line. If you invest in a 4 conductor round cord, you'll have no future ability easily add a wire or two between RV and Toad. The choice is really up to you.
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Blue Ox and other manufacturers make all types of sturdy, coiled umbilical cords. I have a 6 conductor round and use it for lights wiring and a battery charge line. If you invest in a 4 conductor round cord, you'll have no future ability easily add a wire or two between RV and Toad. The choice is really up to you.
Agree with Bob except for the "coiled Umbilical cord" comment. My preference is a straight cord and I attached the M&G Engineering air line to it. Everything is neat and tidy and easy to store.
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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If you're wiring for a 4 line, use a 4 prong plug. If and when you need to go to a 6, you can easily go to a 6 and do the necessary additional wiring. A high quality 6 pin is $15-20 and you'll need a new one anyway as the contact screws and internal pieces on the old 4 prong will corrode and need to be replaced once you disassemble it.
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:33 PM   #5
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drwwicks-

Go with the 6-pin receptacle. As Bob and Pete said, you'll want the option to use the charge line and the brake controller wires.

I agree with Pete, and used a straight umbilical. I vaguely remember that was Roadmaster's recommendation as well for the Roadmaster Sterling All-Terrain towbar I use. It has lift-up release levers. I was concerned that a coiled cord could catch on a lever and cause an inadvertent release. With a straight cable I was able to leave slack loops at both ends, and strap the cable to the towbar in between with larger Velcro straps. Did I say I tend to worry about things too much? :-|

But, there are many successful coiled-cord installations, so "to each his own" (although, see what Blue Ox recommends, if anything, in their documentation).

Thanks for keeping us posted on your progress.
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Old 01-22-2016, 04:41 PM   #6
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My thought was also the 6 wire. A cord isn't cheap and buying a 4 wire, coiled or straight, then deciding I need/want a charge line, extra light or what ever, I would need another cable. Being a cheap &$%&$&$, I only want to spend once when possible.

Didn't get a chance to talk to M&G but a fellow poster came me input on his set up. I need to educate myself on Freightliner Evolution air brakes so I know what and where I'm going.
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Old 01-23-2016, 05:14 PM   #7
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I installed the mopar jeep harness today. On this harness the pig tail also has a funcky plug. I plan to get a 7 way standard R plug and install it on the bumper, then a male on the pigtail. Being the camper has the 7 way plug I figured this was best, and if i wanted to charge something in the jeep it will also get power from the RV. Normally the 7way is actually cheaper than the 6 pin round plugs.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:46 PM   #8
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Gang,
I'll pitch in my 2 cents here. After taxes, it will be one cent but, anyways. I have the Blue Ox coiled 7 conductor cord and, well, it's been in use for about 5 years now and, well, if I had to do it again, I'll get a straight cord, not coiled. The primary reason is, the outer blue insulation has cracked and peeled in multiple places on that cord and I've had to wrap it with electrical tape for well over 25% of its length. The cord is still good and conducts all it's signals just fine. It just looks like crap. I pretty much believe that, that cracking and peeling of the insulation is due to the stress of the coils in that cord. It's just a guess but, that's what I believe.


Anyway, as long as I've been using that coiled cord, it's really never been a problem in terms of having any issues with the locking handles of the Blue Ox tow bars I use. I use both the Aventa and the Alladin, depending on which vehicle I'm towing at the time.

As far as which plug, and how many wires, Yep, I will join in on the majority consensus here and speak up for the 6 pin round plug and, at least as many wires in the cord. While the basics, Rt turn/brake, Left turn/brake, Tail/marker and, ground are primarily what's needed, as you (the OP) most likely already know, it's possible in the future, you may need additional wires for other purposes. They don't have to be hooked up for now. But, they'll be there if and when you may need them.

I have used four pin flat, four pin round, 6 pin round and 7 pin round. The four pin plugs, either round or flat, are just not that good of quality. Yep, they work but, they're on the bottom of the food chain. I've never had any problems with the 6 pin round plugs. They, like many of the 7 pin units are labeled on the back side for Rt turn, Lt turn, T/M, GND, B/U and all that so, it really helps when you're hooking things up.

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:29 PM   #9
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As the OP was trying to decide between a 4- and 6-pin connector, my previous post suggested going with the 6-pin. However, on our toad I installed a 7-pin receptacle, as "kb2ztx" says he'll do. For a cable I used one with a molded 7-pin end (I use that at the coach) and added an 7-pin plug at the other end.

Now, there's no practical benefit to having the seventh wire (backup signal) pass from coach to toad. I was thinking ahead, though, to the chance that I might want to tow a trailer later, in which case the same cable would work for toad and trailer.

The only knock I have against the Hopkins Endurance connectors that I used (both plug and receptacle) is that there is barely enough room in them to properly terminate the wires. I suspect this problem occurs with other manufacturer's connectors- none of them want to put any more material in their products, nor do they want theirs to be larger than the competition's.

Two more things. If you make up your own cable, as I did, be aware that not all manufacturers use the same color codes for the wires, so you have to wire by position in the plug/receptacle shell, not by color code. Second, look at the gauge used for each wire; the better ones go something like this:

Ground- 10 AWG
Battery- 10 AWG
Brake Controller- 12 AWG
Left Turn, Right Turn, Clearance, Backup- 14 AWG

Again, the six-pin connector is perfectly adequate. The only reason I brought up this 7-pin alternative is in response to "kb2ztx's" post.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwwicks View Post
My thought was also the 6 wire. A cord isn't cheap and buying a 4 wire, coiled or straight, then deciding I need/want a charge line, extra light or what ever, I would need another cable. Being a cheap &$%&$&$, I only want to spend once when possible.

Didn't get a chance to talk to M&G but a fellow poster came me input on his set up. I need to educate myself on Freightliner Evolution air brakes so I know what and where I'm going.
Freightliner makes a big deal out of hooking into the air with a 1/4 service line for the toad air brake but think about it if the 1/4 inch air line to the M&G or other type brake got cut the coach air compressor will have no problem keeping up. We all should do the air brake test two or three times a year at least then you will know if your air compressor is up to snuff.
I also like the straight 6 wire when I ran the Roadmaster tow bat it had a channel that I ran the wire in along with air line and safety cables.
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #11
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Use the flat four for now, When you make a final decision on the brakes you can upgrade. Nothing wrong with the flat 4, it works very well.

WHY? both six and 7 pin plugs the extra pins depend on WHICH brake system you use.
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