Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-25-2015, 02:33 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
SpaceNorman's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,144
Towing the Toad At Night

We're new to RVing - having taken possession of our new (to us) coach at the end of March. We just returned from a six day trip that gave us our first experience with driving our rig (coach AND toad) at night.

Shortly before midnight, we made a brief "get out are move around a little" stop at an Interstate rest area. It was the first time I've seen my rig at night. The coach's running lights did a nice job of illuminating the outline of the coach ... however, I was surprised to see how dark the toad was - especially when viewing it from the side.

I guess I never really thought about it before this ... the light hookup seemed to be working fine ... the rear running lights were on, the brake lights worked fine - as did the toad's turn signals. However ... without a single light on between the rear of the coach and the very back of the toad - our black jeep was NOT what I'd consider well lit.

What's the accepted practice when towing at night? Does anybody leave their toad's parking lights on so there's at least a little light up front to give some sense of the toad's presence - especially from the side?
__________________

__________________
SpaceNorman
2012 HR Endeavor 43' DFT, 2012 Jeep Liberty
www.penquinhead.com
SpaceNorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-25-2015, 04:32 PM   #2
Registered User
 
mel s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
We're new to RVing - having taken possession of our new (to us) coach at the end of March. We just returned from a six day trip that gave us our first experience with driving our rig (coach AND toad) at night.

Shortly before midnight, we made a brief "get out are move around a little" stop at an Interstate rest area. It was the first time I've seen my rig at night. The coach's running lights did a nice job of illuminating the outline of the coach ... however, I was surprised to see how dark the toad was - especially when viewing it from the side.

I guess I never really thought about it before this ... the light hookup seemed to be working fine ... the rear running lights were on, the brake lights worked fine - as did the toad's turn signals. However ... without a single light on between the rear of the coach and the very back of the toad - our black jeep was NOT what I'd consider well lit.

What's the accepted practice when towing at night? Does anybody leave their toad's parking lights on so there's at least a little light up front to give some sense of the toad's presence - especially from the side?
SpaceNorman
The red tail lights on my '07 Saturn ION toad are clearly visible from either side and are ON whenever the car is connected to the coach and the tail lights on my coach are ON.
If would want the toads front amber parking lights, (which are also clearly visible from either side), to be on with the coach lights they could easily be wired that way.
(in fact your post has given me the idea to do just that).
Thanks
Mel
'96 Safari , ('07 Saturn ION toad).
__________________

__________________
mel s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 06:31 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
SpaceNorman's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,144
My Jeep's rear running lights do wrap around a bit - so they're visible from the side as well. However, when looking at the rig from the side - that single red light is nearly 20 feet to the rear of the coach (176" (14.6') of jeep plus the 5' or so of space the tow bar setup adds). When I got my sideways look at it in a dark rest area lot ... the combination of black jeep and overcast night in the middle of nowhere made that 20' expanse seem like a black hole.

I'm not real skilled when it comes to vehicle wiring ... and don't intend to do a lot of night driving in the future. I think I may just pick up a half dozen "peel and stick" LED lights like somebody on another forum suggested - and stick 'em on the front lights on the rare occasions I find myself driving in similar conditions in the future.
__________________
SpaceNorman
2012 HR Endeavor 43' DFT, 2012 Jeep Liberty
www.penquinhead.com
SpaceNorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2015, 06:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
George Z's Avatar


 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,078
Just add a reflective magnetic white or yellow sign to each door. Does not need to say anything but be reflective to others. Cheap, no maintenance, no wiring
__________________
Kathy & George Zimm
Mickleton, NJ
2006 Coachman Epic & 2013 Chevy Equinox Toad
George Z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2015, 12:30 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
My Jeep's rear running lights do wrap around a bit - so they're visible from the side as well. However, when looking at the rig from the side - that single red light is nearly 20 feet to the rear of the coach (176" (14.6') of jeep plus the 5' or so of space the tow bar setup adds). When I got my sideways look at it in a dark rest area lot ... the combination of black jeep and overcast night in the middle of nowhere made that 20' expanse seem like a black hole.

I'm not real skilled when it comes to vehicle wiring ... and don't intend to do a lot of night driving in the future. I think I may just pick up a half dozen "peel and stick" LED lights like somebody on another forum suggested - and stick 'em on the front lights on the rare occasions I find myself driving in similar conditions in the future.
SpaceNorman,
One thing you don't say or, comment about is HOW your Jeeps wiring and toad lights are wired. The reason I mention that is, I've wired several Jeeps to be towed behind our coach and, all of them have been wired the same exact way. And that way is utilizing the stock tail lights as toad lights. And, the manor in which I wire it of course lights up the rear tail light running lights but, it also lights up the side marker lights on the jeeps front fenders.

By law, (FMVSS) law that is, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards state that there must be visible, side marker lights if and when a vehicle is operated at night. Now, on my Jeep, I changed the stock rear tail lights to 4" round, LED tail lights and inset them, inside the rear of the body. Well, when I did that, by removing the stock tail lights, I also removed the stock rear "side marker lights" that are built into the rear tail lights.

So I had to add some small, LED side marker lights. WOW! Those things are seriously bright and really made the Jeep stand out in evening and night time driving. I simply tied those LED side marker lights into the running light wiring in the rear, very easy.

But, again, by utilizing the stock tail lights as toad lights, that meant I also used the stock wiring and that allowed for the side marker lights on the front, to light up too. All the birds with ONE STONE so to speak. If you'd like more on this, PM me and I'd be very happy to help. Good luck.
Scott

P.S. If you look at the picture below, you'll see those additional side marker lights I installed, just behind the rear fenders.
Scott

__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 10:11 PM   #6
Senior Member


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 972
My toad is wired with a separate socket and bulb that has been inserted into the tail light assembly's housing that is used while being towed for tail and stop lamp function. Therefore, I have no rear side markers. I also have no license plate illumination.

I know this has been discussed before but I can't remember the consensus or what everybody does about this. When the OP mentioned running with the parking lights on, I have always done that as the battery in my toad is being trickle charged while underway. The reason being is that I believe most states require the license plate to be illuminated even on trailers. Therefore, I've always turned on the parking lights on the toad at night so the license plate is illuminated. And of course, by doing this, it also lights up the toad's side marker lights. If I didn't do this, I'd be illegal for 1) not having license plate illumination, and 2) having no rear corner red marker lamps.

However, I'm wondering if I'm legal having the front corner amber marker lamps on while doing down the road? Technically, it may not be legal but I just figure it's more important to have rear side markers and license plate illuminated.
__________________
theroc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 11:18 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Timon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 982
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
However, I'm wondering if I'm legal having the front corner amber marker lamps on while doing down the road? Technically, it may not be legal but I just figure it's more important to have rear side markers and license plate illuminated.
Its totally legal as trailers have front Amber lights and rear red ones. You can find all of this on the Internet, just scan for "trailer lighting standards".
__________________
John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix), Bella (Great Pyrenees) and Lance (Great Pyrenees).
Tustin, CA
Timon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 11:59 PM   #8
Senior Member


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post
Its totally legal as trailers have front Amber lights and rear red ones. You can find all of this on the Internet, just scan for "trailer lighting standards".
Ya know, I feel really stupid. Of course it's legal ...not only legal but mandatory according to NHTSA ...assuming a toad is legally considered a trailer:

Basic Lighting Equipment Required On All Trailers



Thank you. If I would have thought about it a bit more before I posted, I would have realized that all trailers have amber markers up front.

So how many of you have your toad's amber lights on in the front? ...how many do not have your license plate lighted?
__________________
theroc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 12:19 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Timon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tustin, CA
Posts: 982
We all have a brain f&?t moments

We the way newer cars are wired it's making it harder to turn on lights using the trailer wiring connector. I wish there was a standard so you could feed the CAN bus from the ODB-II connector under the dash with lighting signals.
__________________
John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix), Bella (Great Pyrenees) and Lance (Great Pyrenees).
Tustin, CA
Timon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 05:42 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
H. Miller's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,523
Turn on an interior light... If wired "correctly" there should be a 12vdc wire between MH & toad battery keeping it charged.
__________________
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
'04 Saturn Vue - US Gear Brake - Blue Ox tow
4"girls" (3 Irish Setters - 1 Retriever) - RIP Annie
H. Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
Registered User
 
mel s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
So how many of you have your toad's amber lights on in the front? ...how many do not have your license plate lighted?
theroc
I had never thought about that before reading this thread... but my toad's front amber lights and rear license plate light do not illuminate while towing.

If I ever get a "round tuit", I MIGHT change that....(but I'm not worried about it).

Mel
'96 Safari, 114k miles towing
__________________
mel s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #12
Senior Member


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 972
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
theroc
I had never thought about that before reading this thread... but my toad's front amber lights and rear license plate light do not illuminate while towing.

If I ever get a "round tuit", I MIGHT change that....(but I'm not worried about it).

Mel
'96 Safari, 114k miles towing

Sure, understood, Mel. There was a thread here a few years ago that I believe most who responded said that they do not have their license plate on the toad illuminated and like you, weren't worried. IIRC, the theory was that the majority of RVers drive mostly in the daylight so "who cares?"

However, I personally drive most of the time in darkness. Therefore, (again from a "personal" standpoint) I want to be legal as I never want to give an LEO reason to pull me over if possible ...not that I'm carrying illegal drugs, undocumented humans, or otherwise having a reason for not wanting to be pulled over. And I just like doing things legally if I can.

So, if the theory is (and I'm not completely sure but have to logically assume so) that a TOAD is in fact legally considered a trailer, then shouldn't it have all the lighting required of a trailer? I don't know.

If so, it means that it must have front and rear side marker lights (and reflectors ...all newer cars inherently have reflectors, however) and license plate illumination. Again, using the reference from the NHTSA a toad would probably be most like the first trailer shown (?) on the NHTSA illustration attached below. The "key" to the numbers can be found on what was previously posted HERE.

With all this said, this is the reason I run with my "parking lights" on at night. However, I have an older car. I'm not sure if the newer cars have a "parking light" switch nowadays or not.

Any others have thoughts on this?

.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	trlr2.gif
Views:	77
Size:	51.7 KB
ID:	95578  
__________________
theroc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 03:52 PM   #13
doc
Senior Member
 
doc's Avatar
 
Appalachian Campers
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Dixie !! (north Georgia) USA
Posts: 2,955
Our coach is an 08 Damon Essence and we tow a 13 Jeep Wrangler using CW magnetic lights. Brake lights and turn signals work fine, but when I turn on the lights I have no tail lights on the magnetic lights. I read someplace about the separate turn signals and brake lights not working when lights of the towing vehicle are on. I cannot recall the details and I hope I do not run into a situation where I have tow after dark. Anyone have any insight or know what I am referring to? Or have a solution or comment?
__________________
doc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 09:23 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by theroc View Post
Sure, understood, Mel. There was a thread here a few years ago that I believe most who responded said that they do not have their license plate on the toad illuminated and like you, weren't worried. IIRC, the theory was that the majority of RVers drive mostly in the daylight so "who cares?"

However, I personally drive most of the time in darkness. Therefore, (again from a "personal" standpoint) I want to be legal as I never want to give an LEO reason to pull me over if possible ...not that I'm carrying illegal drugs, undocumented humans, or otherwise having a reason for not wanting to be pulled over. And I just like doing things legally if I can.

So, if the theory is (and I'm not completely sure but have to logically assume so) that a TOAD is in fact legally considered a trailer, then shouldn't it have all the lighting required of a trailer? I don't know.

If so, it means that it must have front and rear side marker lights (and reflectors ...all newer cars inherently have reflectors, however) and license plate illumination. Again, using the reference from the NHTSA a toad would probably be most like the first trailer shown (?) on the NHTSA illustration attached below. The "key" to the numbers can be found on what was previously posted HERE.

With all this said, this is the reason I run with my "parking lights" on at night. However, I have an older car. I'm not sure if the newer cars have a "parking light" switch nowadays or not.

Any others have thoughts on this?

.
Well Sir,
Like my previous answer stated, I've wired all my toads, that's (7) Jeeps, (1) Toyota pickup, (1) Honda CRV, and our present toad, an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4, all the exact same way and that is, using the stock tail lights at toad lights. And, that means, as stated, all the side markers light up, the rear running lights and, the license plate light too. On my present toad and, the previous one, the '11 Honda CRV, I even had the third brake light work when the brakes on the coach were/are applied.

Now, some folks are deathly afraid of tying into the factory wiring to utilize the stock tail lights, citing the vehicle will burn to the ground, you'll "backfeed to the coach" (so what). I've had my toads back feed to the coach a zillion times and well, the coach is still here, didn't burn to the ground. And many folks are concerned about warranty if they mingle with factory wiring.

Well, if you've got any common sense, and even some basic auto electronics, and know how to solder, you'll make it work flawlessly and, the dealer or mfg. will never know. But, again, some folks just don't want to mess with it and, will add additional bulbs. I'm not fond of doing it like that primarily because, about 99.99999% of the tail light housings are not built for accommodating an additional bulb. There's more to this but, I won't go on.

Anyway, doing it the way I do can't always be done. The one main reason is, the newer vehicles have CAN BUSS (also known as Multiplexing) wiring and, that's a whole 'nother ball game pertaining to vehicle wiring. Good luck.
Scott
__________________

__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
toad, tow, towing



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing a toad and weights daydreamer36535 Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 1 05-22-2015 07:05 PM
California tow dolly tail light requirements for night time towing? TimSullivan Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 5 02-21-2015 10:49 AM
Ford F-350 6.7 V8 Diesel 4WD SRW Crew Cab & Long Bed and Towing Capacity pcuddeback Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 16 10-23-2014 08:37 PM
Toad towing? JBHERMANN Class A Motorhome Discussions 2 09-11-2014 05:17 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.