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Old 10-23-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
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Wiring TOAD vehicle

I thought I would be smart and experimented with a short wire with 2 male ends. I plugged one end to the female end on the motorhome and the other on the TOAD vehicle. When I powered up the MH, nothing would work on the TOAD. When I powered up the TOAD, everything worked on the MH. I got brake lights, tail lights, flashers, but when I hit the turn signals, the flashers come on in the MH.
Anyone been smart and tried this? Why will it work one way and not the other?
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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Before you break anything, stop doing what what you are doing. Your motorhome uses a 7 wire harness to connect to anything towed. Wiring your car will take anything from 4 wires to 6 wires depending on what.

The reason that what you tried to do didn't work is that 12V circuits need a ground to complete the circuit. So you were lucky that you didn't fry something with your little experiment.

The proper way to wire your car is either via separate lamp assemblies for turn and brake lights or using diodes which block the car and MH circuits from interacting. All of the major companies involved in motorhome towing have information on how to wire your car properly.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Thanks, luvlabs. I've gone to Plan B!!
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larmarler View Post
I thought I would be smart and experimented with a short wire with 2 male ends. I plugged one end to the female end on the motorhome and the other on the TOAD vehicle. When I powered up the MH, nothing would work on the TOAD. When I powered up the TOAD, everything worked on the MH. I got brake lights, tail lights, flashers, but when I hit the turn signals, the flashers come on in the MH.
Anyone been smart and tried this? Why will it work one way and not the other?
Well Sir,

What luvlabs told you is mostly true. With the exception of the part about the "proper" way to wire is with separate light bulb assemblies". That's not necessarily the "proper way". It's A WAY, but not the only way.

What you don't say in your post is,
1. What kind, make, model, year type of motor home you have, diesel/gas what?
2. What kind of toad you have, make, model year, etc.

Does your motor home have separate turn signals, as in "Amber" turn signals? Or, does it have combination turn/brake lights "Red"? Does your toad have separate Amber turn signals or, combo units with turn/brake in one bulb? (Red)?

There's a lot of info you need to add here for us to properly help you. But, what lublabs stated about you possibly goofing up something either on the motor home or toad by "reverse" signaling the system, that is, trying to make the motor home lights work by sending it signals from the toad is definitely a NO-NO.

And, also, "Diodes" are not just for INTERACTION protection between the toad and motor home. Yes, you can install them for that but, there's many other places and reasons for them in toad wiring. One of the primary places and reasons is:

If you utilize the stock tail light bulbs in the toad as toad lights, which many do, then, you install diodes just a bit "down stream" (on the factory toad wiring, not the wires you just installed) of the intersection of where you tied into the toads tail light wiring. That way, the signal being sent from the motor home, be it a turn or brake light signal, hits the intersection, then heads towards the bulb that you want to work, but, that same signal cannot travel backwards, down the factory toad wiring to the components not needed in the operation.

It's an easy system to set up, if, done correctly. The only time it does not work is on some, 2012 vehicles/toads and newer. But, the rest, I've done it to many without one single issue. Your choice.
Scott
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well Sir,

What luvlabs told you is mostly true. With the exception of the part about the "proper" way to wire is with separate light bulb assemblies". That's not necessarily the "proper way". It's A WAY, but not the only way.
Scott. You did something I am often guilty of (And I apologize to any reader I did it to)

You stopped reading

LuvLabs said, (Slightly re-written) Seperate lamps OR DIODES

WHen I got the Remco LP-1 Installed on my Towed I read the destructions,,er, instructions, and they stated it came with a Diode kit.. I got add-a-lamps.

Had to improve the grounding cause they were causing feedback between the tail lights and turn signals. Major PITA till I added a bit of wire to the MH. (I really do not like punch down,, Scotch-lock and other similar connectors where current flows in quanity So I exposed a bit of wire on the Outlet pigtail on the motor home and soldered another lead to it and bolted the other end of that lead to a handy frame rail bolt.. Very solid ground).
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Scott. You did something I am often guilty of (And I apologize to any reader I did it to)

You stopped reading

LuvLabs said, (Slightly re-written) Seperate lamps OR DIODES

WHen I got the Remco LP-1 Installed on my Towed I read the destructions,,er, instructions, and they stated it came with a Diode kit.. I got add-a-lamps.

Had to improve the grounding cause they were causing feedback between the tail lights and turn signals. Major PITA till I added a bit of wire to the MH. (I really do not like punch down,, Scotch-lock and other similar connectors where current flows in quanity So I exposed a bit of wire on the Outlet pigtail on the motor home and soldered another lead to it and bolted the other end of that lead to a handy frame rail bolt.. Very solid ground).
wa8yxm,
Well Sir, I thank you for your explanation of what I MAY have thought when answered. I'm certainly no expert at all this, just been doing it for a few decades. The way folks wire toad lights, or, have them done by any establishment they choose, is of course up to them. Every one has their ideas of what's right, wrong, easy, and hard or "Proper" or "Improper".

There are many who don't have a clue as to ANY way of wiring a toad and, so, they ask here or other forums or, their local RV Service center. I'm not a fan of adding sockets and bulbs for my own reasons. I've "Tapped" into the factory wiring on 10 different toads lighting systems and utilized the stock tail light bulbs for over 25 years and have never even blown a single fuse or caused one miniscule issue by doing it that way.

It has always worked flawlessly for me and so, if someone asks, I tell them the way I do it and that if done with care, that system will last for the life of the car. And, by the way, I too HATE those "Clamp on" blue scotch-lock connectors. I have a bunch of different wire strippers. One pair in particular is a MAC tool, and they're the "separating jaws" type. They will even strip insulation off of wire in the middle of a strand, WITHOUT CUTTING IT!

I then very carefully, wrap the intended wire around the stripped section, usually about 3/8" of an inch or so, and then, solder things up nicely. It's then taped up very securely. Pretty tough to get a better connection than that.

But, again, it's up to the individual as to the method of creating toad lights. Extra light sockets and bulbs, tap into the factory wiring and use diodes for downstream "toad" protection, magnetic light kits, Light bars (almost the same as magnetic lights, only attached to the toad differently) or, the newest method, I understand there are some "Plug and play" kits out there that do basically the same method I do only there's less work involved. I don't have any experience with the last method.

And, as you found out, a bad ground is the root cause of about 95% of the auto issues since Henry Ford had his first one roll off the assembly line.

Anyway, to the OP, you have options on methods of wiring toad lights. It's your choice on which method you would like to use. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:20 AM   #7
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Oh I would agree, There are two ways to do it right, Which we both covered) and an unlmited number of ways to do it WRONG, (one of which the O/P covered)

The diode kits are not that hard to install. The universal kit that Roadmaster sells is very easy.

But of course that's not what I got.

Given my choice, I'd rather have the add-a-lamp. But then.. I got it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
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i still don't see what mh and toad he has... for different pairs, the recommendations may not be the same. for example, if his toad is like mine, honda fit, there is a ready kit for the wiring - just plug the harness to the toad's sockets and make a connection at front. simple as that. however this is only for honda fit though.
without telling the whole story, other people can only give general info, or can't help .
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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I spoke of the Roadmaster Universal Diode kit which is nearly as easy to install as your Honda FIT.

For most cars and light trucks made since 2000 you will find a ready made harness.

You dig around under the dash or near by and find a plug and socket, Seperate them, Plug in the harness and plug the plug into the harness' socket route the flat 4 to the front and job done.

They charge way too much for those harnesses. Folks it is like six diodes, each diode costs what, about 4 bucks tops.

Plus the connectors (over half the cost of the harness) and wire.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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I should clarify something - I use a Tow Daddy system to handle the lights on my Honda Fit. Now that they have a plug and play kit for the Fit, wiring of the lights is really easy. We used the universal kit but it was still pretty simple.

Also, it handles 2 light to 3 light systems with no problem. Something to consider if you don't like messing with diodes, adapters, or adding lamp assemblies.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:43 PM   #11
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Well,
If the OP ever gets back here to tell us just what coach/tail light system and, toad/tail light system he has, then we'd all throw in our two cents as to what we'd recommend and, whether or not it would for his application.
Scott
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:34 PM   #12
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Just bought a ram 2500 with led taillights. What am I up against in getting taillights working.
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