Originally Posted by theroc
So sorry to offend you, Scott. I know I have a bad habit of doing that to you and others.
I will admit that I'm not good at wiring. I will do some elementary stuff now and then but I had my toad wired for the "extra bulb in the housing" primarily on the advice of the shop doing it because it was a brand new vehicle and they suggested running dedicated wires and drilling into the tail light housing to add the extra socket and bulb so as to not tamper with the factory wiring by adding diodes, etc. ...warranty issues was also their reasoning.
But no, my main question now is do we (I use "we" as RVers towing toads) need to comply with all the Federal lighting regulations? ...i.e. having side markers and license plate lamps?
And if so, is it acceptable to just turn on the parking light circuit as I currently do when I tow at night? I have seen several towing their toads at night with just tail, turn signal, and stop lamps only ...no side markers or license plate illumination.
You didn't offend me partner. My skins thick (and worn out for that matter)
The subject of toad light wiring always draws some form of debates due to the ideas of how things SHOULD be done, according to whomever. As I've stated to many on here, I'm not a fan of adding additional bulbs in tail light housings. I have my reasons. Let me try and explain something briefly without writing the re-writing the War and Piece novel.
In most cases where an extra bulb is added to the tail light housing, there is no partition between the stock bulb, and the added one. Rare, REALLY RARE cases, there is one but, by and large, there is none. And, based on the design of a tail light housing and, the rear refractor/reflector design built into the back side of it, it's designed to augment, the light emanating from the stock tail light bulb because, IT'S DIRECTLY BEHIND IT, centered.
But, by adding the extra bulb, the reflectivity is not accentuated near as much as the stock bulb due to it's location. Yes, it will work but, not as efficiently as the stock bulb. OK, that's one issue.
Now, on some toads/cars/trucks/ other types of vehicles etc., the brake lights are activated by the vehicles brake pedal, even when the key is in the "Off" position.
Now, if you're using, as many of us are, an auxiliary braking system, one of many, that push on the toads brake pedal, when the coach's brakes are applied. All good huh?
Well, through your coaches pigtail, is all the signals, from your coaches tail light circuits. And those signals go to the AUXILIARY bulb, in the tail light housing. Stilll good huh?
Well, let's say you're cruising alone, toad in tow, and, you're approaching a situation where, you'll be applying the brakes on the coach AND, you're going to apply a turn signal, at the same time. Still good huh?
But, what in fact is going to happen is, you're stepping on the brakes which is also causing the auxiliary braking system in the toad to activate and, therefore apply the toads brake pedal which, also activates the toads brake lights (again, if yours is one of those that activates the brake lights without the key in the "ON" position).
Well, if you're a following driver, behind your toad, what are you going to see? In reality, you're not sure of what you're seeing. Because, you have two bulbs, within an inch of each other, displaying TWO DIFFERENT SIGNALS. One being the brake light from the toads own brake light system and, the other, a signal (flashing), from your coaches circuit.
These are the main reasons I'm on a fan of that style of toad brake lighting. There's ways of remedying it, but, I simply choose a different route.
Originally Posted by Falcon190
Am I the only one to utilize a wiring harness with diodes? When towing, all the stock lights (except the headlights) are lit on my Wrangler from power from the MoHo.
No toad battery drain from the lights or the braking system (though that's another topic).
Well Sir, if you read my posts, you'd see that I too utilize the stock tail light bulbs as toad lights. And, I also use diodes. But, in my style/system of wiring, I only use TWO diodes. I'm not one of those that worries about back feeding the coach so, I don't install diodes for that particular reason. My diodes are installed so as to stop the signals from the coach, from traveling up stream, to the rest of the toads light wiring circuits, not the coaches.
I've utilized this style of wiring toads, for (1) Toyota pickup, (7) Different Jeep Wranglers, (1) 2011 Honda CRV EX-L All Wheel drive, and our present toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4.
And, in my way, I also install what's needed to utilize the stock AMBER turn signals, if they have it, along with the normal brake lights INCLUDING the third brake light. I just like the drivers behind my rig, to see the same lights and signals activated when towing it, as they would when someone is driving it.
Originally Posted by ahicks
Most vehicles are set up so all the running lights are on the same circuit. When wiring a toad, it's generally pretty simple to tap into that circuit (anywhere) to have all of the normal running lights turn on for towing at night.
It's the turn and brake lights where you need to get creative, but that's another story...
Just want to clarify your statement here, if I may. When you say "All" running lights, I'm assuming you mean everything BUT
the HEADLIGHTS, correct? I'm pretty sure that's what you mean.
Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
It's been awhile since I followed up on this thread. I was a little surprised to see how much discussion my question generated on this topic!
To Fire Up's question - I honestly don't know any of the specifics of how the my toad was wired up. The work was performed by the RV dealer as part of the total "towing prep" effort. I know that I've got a 7 pin connector making the connection between the coach and Jeep - and that the installation somehow ties into the Jeep's wiring such that it actuates the Jeep's "stock" lights. There were no modifications to the Jeep's light fixtures (i.e., no extra light bulbs installed, no additional light fixtures added, etc.)
I'm planning a visit to the dealership next month to have an issue with a "low temp cutoff" sensor/thermostat on the Aquahot addressed. I think I'll add this to my very short list of things that either need to be fixed and/or functionality confirmed/explained. I would like to see ALL the Jeeps running lights turn on when the coach lights are on.
As I've stated, I like using the stock tail lights as toad lights. But, the way I've done it in the past, is an "old fashioned" way. I "T" into each turn signal/brake light wire, close to each of the rear tail lights and, solder in, the wire from the front pigtail of the toad. Then, I cut that same wire, up stream an inch or two and, add my diode, one to each side. DONE! I then "T" into the running light circuit, in that same area. By doing it that way, as explained above, it activates all "tail/marker" lights, front and back. No headlights though.
Now, in the new and improved aftermarket systems, there are other ways of tying into the factory wiring, to utilize the stock tail lights without the need for cutting and soldering. So, I suspect that, your system is wired with one of the newer ways.