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Old 03-23-2016, 11:19 AM   #1
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Tow lights

When I tow my jeep wrangler behind motorhome the turn signals and all lights work fine, but, when I hook up a set of aux turn signals to the jeeps light plug, I have no power, unhook the jeep from the motorhome they work. What is the secret to get both to work while jeep is being towed....is there a "diode", something that needs to be by passed?
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:09 PM   #2
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First, if the lights work, why are you adding auxiliary turn signals? It depends on how your toad's lights were wired. Your lights might not work when plugged in because of a ground. Likely your lights by-pass the toad's wiring completely, so if you're plugging into a trailer plug on the back of the Jeep, they won't work. Adding more blinkers can over-load the blinker, I'd only add LED lights. They should be wired from where the turn signal lights when towing get their power.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
First, if the lights work, why are you adding auxiliary turn signals? It depends on how your toad's lights were wired. Your lights might not work when plugged in because of a ground. Likely your lights by-pass the toad's wiring completely, so if you're plugging into a trailer plug on the back of the Jeep, they won't work. Adding more blinkers can over-load the blinker, I'd only add LED lights. They should be wired from where the turn signal lights when towing get their power.
Your first sentence is what I wondered. Then it dawned on me. He wants to tow a second trailer? To the OP...if that's the case, please don't. Against the law in most states. Double tow is legal in some states if the first trailer is a 5th wheel.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:46 PM   #4
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When I tow my jeep wrangler behind motorhome the turn signals and all lights work fine, but, when I hook up a set of aux turn signals to the jeeps light plug, I have no power, unhook the jeep from the motorhome they work. What is the secret to get both to work while jeep is being towed....is there a "diode", something that needs to be by passed?
lp5151,
Well Sir, (assuming you're a "Sir")
We'd kind-a need a bit more info on your situation. That is, year/make/model/chassis of coach and, year of Wrangler. The reason I ask for all this is, many coaches sport a "Three filament tail light system" while others, sport the more traditional "Two filament system". A three filament system utilizes RED brake and running lights while the turn signals are AMBER.

A two filament system utilizes ALL RED tail lights. Now, what does all this mean to you? The wiring up to the trailer plug on either coach, must be done correctly so that the proper signals are sent to the toad. In either case, about 99.9999999999% of the trailer plugs are wired in such a manner that, one pin in the plug represents right turn/brake, another pin represents left turn/brake, a nother pin, tail/marker, a fourth pin-GROUND.

Now, to start this investigation, what's needed is, you get your little trusty test light out and, make sure it's properly grounded with the alligator clip. Then, test the tail/marker light pin to make sure the test light is working correctly. (that's the easiest one to check since you can turn the parking lights on and do the test without any help).

Now, if you get a correct signal from the correct pin for tail/marker, then move on to test the other two, left/brake and right/brake.

If all those test correctly, your motor home side of this equation is performing as it should. As a "sub-test", you could perform all the same tests with the pig tail hooked up to the COACH ONLY. Do the same tests for the opposite end of the pig tail, the one that plugs into the toad. If all those test out just fine, you can rule that part of the system out too which, leaves the JEEP!!!

Now, you say the Jeeps tail lights work correctly WHEN NOT HOOKED TO THE COACH, correct?

First off, how long have you owned this setup? Did you purchase the two together or, the Jeep separately from the coach? If you purchased the Jeep separately then, WHO did the wiring of it? And, more importantly, HOW WAS/IS it wired for "toad" lighting? That is, was it wired to utilize the stock tail light bulbs as toad lights? Or, were separate sockets and bulbs installed in the tail light housings, to act as toad lights when hooked up to the coach?

If your Jeep is wired in such a manor that it uses the stock tail light bulbs as toad lights, then yes, it will need DIODES in the system to prevent feed-back TO THE JEEPS other part of the lighting system. In case you're not aware of what a diode does, think of it as a "One way valve, for electricity". That is, a signal can go through it in one direction but, if electricity tries to go through it from the opposite direction, IT CAN'T.

The diodes (at least two) are installed in the Jeeps, one in each leg of the turn signal/brake light wires to the rear. The diodes are installed to prevent the coaches turn/brake signals, from entering the forward lighting of the Jeep. You want those signals to go to the rear tail lights only, not the front. Some will install diodes to prevent the Jeeps lighting signals from back-feeding into the coaches lighting system. I've never done that in 35 years of towing and, haven not had any motorhomes burn to the ground yet.

Anyway, while this answer is long, I thought it might help you in searching down this issue you're having. And of course, ALWAYS make sure that all GROUNDS are as good and clean as possible. Hope this helps some.
Scott
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:10 PM   #5
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I'm not sure why others challenge the OP's motives here--there are great reasons to run additional marker lights in addition to his Jeep. For example, my 4-bike rack that mounts in my Jeep's hitch extends at least 4' behind my Jeep, so I mounted a set of running/break/turn-signal lights on it to draw attention to it. It increase the safety factor because with 4 bikes on the rack itself, the view of the Jeep's tail lights is obscured somewhat. And when I'm running at night time, those bikes and black bike rack aren't easy to see. And that's just one application of additional lights. I have seen and admired other RVers who mount additional tail lights on TOP of their Jeep or other toad too. As long as we don't go crazy here, a little additional signalling lights can enhance our safety.

Now to the OP--I used the LLCoolTech wiring harness for my Jeep. This is a harness that is "plug-and-play" with your Jeep. It has the right-size plugs that fit inside the rear driver's side light fixture of the Jeep, connect to a a long wire that you route to the front of the Jeep to connect to a jack for your RV-to-Toad whip. I was able to route mine inside the left side frame struts (hollow rectangle steel tube) running from front to rear so the cable is completely protected and invisible.

With this system, any additional lights that I plug into my Jeep's "trailer" plug (near the Jeep hitch) are illuminated properly via either the Jeep (when disconnected from the RV) or the the RV (when connected) running/brake/turn signals.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:37 PM   #6
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I'm not sure why others challenge the OP's motives here--there are great reasons to run additional marker lights in addition to his Jeep. For example, my 4-bike rack that mounts in my Jeep's hitch extends at least 4' behind my Jeep, so I mounted a set of running/break/turn-signal lights on it to draw attention to it. It increase the safety factor because with 4 bikes on the rack itself, the view of the Jeep's tail lights is obscured somewhat. And when I'm running at night time, those bikes and black bike rack aren't easy to see. And that's just one application of additional lights. I have seen and admired other RVers who mount additional tail lights on TOP of their Jeep or other toad too. As long as we don't go crazy here, a little additional signalling lights can enhance our safety.

Now to the OP--I used the LLCoolTech wiring harness for my Jeep. This is a harness that is "plug-and-play" with your Jeep. It has the right-size plugs that fit inside the rear driver's side light fixture of the Jeep, connect to a a long wire that you route to the front of the Jeep to connect to a jack for your RV-to-Toad whip. I was able to route mine inside the left side frame struts (hollow rectangle steel tube) running from front to rear so the cable is completely protected and invisible.



With this system, any additional lights that I plug into my Jeep's "trailer" plug (near the Jeep hitch) are illuminated properly via either the Jeep (when disconnected from the RV) or the the RV (when connected) running/brake/turn signals.
Thank you, exactly what I'm looking for....my situation exactly
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:49 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why others challenge the OP's motives here--there are great reasons to run additional marker lights in addition to his Jeep. For example, my 4-bike rack that mounts in my Jeep's hitch extends at least 4' behind my Jeep, so I mounted a set of running/break/turn-signal lights on it to draw attention to it. It increase the safety factor because with 4 bikes on the rack itself, the view of the Jeep's tail lights is obscured somewhat. And when I'm running at night time, those bikes and black bike rack aren't easy to see. And that's just one application of additional lights. I have seen and admired other RVers who mount additional tail lights on TOP of their Jeep or other toad too. As long as we don't go crazy here, a little additional signalling lights can enhance our safety.

Now to the OP--I used the LLCoolTech wiring harness for my Jeep. This is a harness that is "plug-and-play" with your Jeep. It has the right-size plugs that fit inside the rear driver's side light fixture of the Jeep, connect to a a long wire that you route to the front of the Jeep to connect to a jack for your RV-to-Toad whip. I was able to route mine inside the left side frame struts (hollow rectangle steel tube) running from front to rear so the cable is completely protected and invisible.

With this system, any additional lights that I plug into my Jeep's "trailer" plug (near the Jeep hitch) are illuminated properly via either the Jeep (when disconnected from the RV) or the the RV (when connected) running/brake/turn signals.
Can you clarify where the connection is made up front of the jeep, did instructions come with the kit?
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:05 AM   #8
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If he is trying to plug into the 4-way or 7-way plug by the hitch on the toad, to power the additional lights, he will not get the signal being sent from the coach. Their are diodes in the wiring harness used for the toad lights that will keep the signals from the coach back-feeding to the toads electrical system. The only choice is to tap into the harness from the coach and run the wires to the new lights, thereby extending the coaches wiring harness.

As others have said, it matters not why he wants to do it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #9
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The towing lights installed in your Jeep are powered by the RV and independent of the Jeeps wiring system except where there are diodes to prevent the electricity from flowing back into the Jeep's system.

In order to add lights, you'd need to tap into the wires from the socket on the front of the Jeep where the umbilical connects. You could splice into those wires at the front and run wires to the back of the Jeep. You could tap into them where they attach to the light fixtures on the back of the Jeep. Just make sure you're not hooking in after the diodes are installed. You'd take those wires and connect them to a new trailer plug to power the auxiliary lights when you're towing the Jeep. If you wanted to use the auxiliary lights when driving the Jeep, you'd plug them into the plug already wired into the Jeep's system mounted near your receiver on the car.
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Instructions came with the kit. You install the front of the wiring kit anywhere you want on fYour front bumper of the jeep.
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:39 PM   #11
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Most toad light systems, the wiring and diodes you use to turn a vehicle into a toad, contain diodes. It's an electrical box about 1" long x 3/4" wide X 1/4" thick with two connections on one end, we'll call them a and b, and one connection on the other we'll call c. Draw this on a napkin as I explain. Power from the vehicle electrical system comes in a and out c, shutting off power entering from b and not allowing power from a to exit via b. Likewise, when connected to the rv via the toad wiring and the pigtail to the rv's trailer plug, the diodes allow power to enter via b, exit via c, and not exit via a into the vehicle's electrical system. This is why you get no power at your toad's trailer plug when power is present from your rv, power at b is shutting off any connection between a and c, as well as b and a. Unplug your rv and the power is available a to c. There is a diode just prior to each taillight, pull your taillight and see. Don't bypass these diodes, just add a flat 4 socket to them to run your aux lights.
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Old 03-27-2016, 11:53 PM   #12
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Most toad light systems, the wiring and diodes you use to turn a vehicle into a toad, contain diodes. It's an electrical box about 1" long x 3/4" wide X 1/4" thick with two connections on one end, we'll call them a and b, and one connection on the other we'll call c. Draw this on a napkin as I explain. Power from the vehicle electrical system comes in a and out c, shutting off power entering from b and not allowing power from a to exit via b. Likewise, when connected to the rv via the toad wiring and the pigtail to the rv's trailer plug, the diodes allow power to enter via b, exit via c, and not exit via a into the vehicle's electrical system. This is why you get no power at your toad's trailer plug when power is present from your rv, power at b is shutting off any connection between a and c, as well as b and a. Unplug your rv and the power is available a to c. There is a diode just prior to each taillight, pull your taillight and see. Don't bypass these diodes, just add a flat 4 socket to them to run your aux lights.
Thank you,
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:15 PM   #13
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I'm not sure the harness to setup my GM terrain has diodes. the trailer lights seem to work both ways and am not sure where else the power to the tail lights goes, it does not go to the front parking lights and the current draw is only what I'd expect with the rear tail lights.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #14
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I stand corrected the kit I'm looking at does have diodes.
I'm not sure why they are needed.
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