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-   -   Tail lights not lit when towing. (http://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/tail-lights-not-lit-when-towing-11261.html)

Letsgoagain 01-08-2007 02:39 PM

Hello,
On our last trip out as we were doing the light checks before pulling out noticed that the tail light on the toad weren't coming on.
My thought is that there is a wire loose for the tail lights at the plug connections either on the motorhome or on the toad. All other lights are working and the tail lights work on the toad when its unhooked.
Would appreciate anyone's thoughts on what this problem might be.
I took a chance and towed at night without the tail lights on the toad because I had to get to my destination. Whenever I occassionally stopped I would turn the light control on in the jeep but this only lasted 15 minutes or so each time.
I don't want to take that chance again so I could use the help.
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Letsgoagain

Letsgoagain 01-08-2007 02:39 PM

Hello,
On our last trip out as we were doing the light checks before pulling out noticed that the tail light on the toad weren't coming on.
My thought is that there is a wire loose for the tail lights at the plug connections either on the motorhome or on the toad. All other lights are working and the tail lights work on the toad when its unhooked.
Would appreciate anyone's thoughts on what this problem might be.
I took a chance and towed at night without the tail lights on the toad because I had to get to my destination. Whenever I occassionally stopped I would turn the light control on in the jeep but this only lasted 15 minutes or so each time.
I don't want to take that chance again so I could use the help.
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Letsgoagain

paz 01-08-2007 04:30 PM

I assume the lights worked at one time, thus eliminating the possibility they are wired incorrectly. You say the toad lights work when unplugged form the motorhome, so that eliminates the possibility the tail lights are both burned out.

When I had a problem with light(s) not working on the travel trailer we previously owned (haven't had the problem yet on the motorhome), it was invariably due to oxidation or corrosion on the contacts on either (or both) the male and female plugs. The brass contacts will appear dark, blackish, or sometimes greenish indicating oxidation or corrosion. A thorough cleaning of the contacts with fine sandpaper and/or cleaning with spray contact cleaner (available at auto parts stores) solved the problem for me.

If the amount of oxidation is small, there is one thing that may provide a temporary fix in the event you find yourself in the same position of having to tow and not having time to do a proper cleaning. Plugging, unplugging, and wiggling the connector will sometimes break through the oxidation sufficiently to let the lights to work for a while allowing you to get safely to your destination where you can clean the contacts properly. Don't forget to try wiggling the plugs on both ends of the cable to the toad.

The other possibility is that there is a loose or corroded wire inside either the male or female plug as you suggest. You should be able to check this with either a 12V continuity light or a volt meter. A broken or loose wire somewhere else is a possiblity, but not as likely as at the plug.

Good luck.

Cruzer 01-09-2007 04:52 AM

Thats' the first place I'd look. If you find that the wiring is good and you do have power coming out of the backside of the toad's wiring socket then it's farther down the line. You state that the lights work otherwise so I'm assuming that you are using the OEM taillight bulbs rather than a separate set of bulbs. In that case you probably have a diode pack installed to prevent them from backfeeding. If this is the case I'd check the diode pack. There could be a blown diode that's not allowing the power to pass through to the taillights.

Garbageman 01-09-2007 05:48 PM

Have you had any electrical (wiring) work done on your MH? I had a headlight switch replaced on mine and then had no tail lights on toad. Turned out they left off a wire on the new switch. Just a thought.

E Z Livin 01-11-2007 05:26 AM

I had this problem and found that a fuse was blown. My RV has separate fuses for tail lights and then a fuse for left brake/turning and right brake/turning.
Matter fact, my Ranger has the same set up as my utility trailer running lights were out and a fuse under the hood had blown.
Checked fuses?

paz 01-13-2007 04:30 AM

Letsgoagain - Any updates on the problem with the lights? Please let us know what the results are when you find the cause. Your solution may help someone else down the road.

Letsgoagain 01-16-2007 07:30 PM

Hello,
Sorry I haven't posted on this but I had to work a few days and its rained for the last three, part of the same system that socked Missouri and Oklahoma with the ice. Now its cooold out there and I'm not going to go lying on the driveway in this weather. I will post a follow up, hopefully this weekend when I get a chance to do some more troubleshooting.
Letsgoagain

paz 01-17-2007 05:40 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Letsgoagain:
Hello,
Sorry I haven't posted on this but I had to work a few days and its rained for the last three, part of the same system that socked Missouri and Oklahoma with the ice. Now its cooold out there and I'm not going to go lying on the driveway in this weather. I will post a follow up, hopefully this weekend when I get a chance to do some more troubleshooting.
Letsgoagain </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No problem. All that rain, ice, and cold is making things difficult almost everywhere. Stay warm.

GaryKD 01-23-2007 07:03 PM

While the weather is bad, there is something you can check. The big cable that goes from the large plug on the coach to the small plug on the toad. These cables are notorious for the screws holding the wires, in the socket, coming loose. This can cause a variety of problems. Check the toad plug first. You'll need small screw drivers. Put a white cloth down, on a flat surface. Do the work using the white cloth as your work area. If the screw(s) are loose they may fall out of the socket when you remove the outer casing. A lot of time can be spent crawling around of the floor looking for the screws (don't ask how I know this). http://irv2.infopop.cc/images/smash.gif

Letsgoagain 02-05-2007 12:37 PM

Hello again,
Just wanted to follow up on the problem I have with the tail lights not being lit on the toad while I'm towing it.
I picked up a inexpensive test light and Sunday I started troubleshooting the problem.
Here is what I found so far. Clipped the wire to a ground, turned on the light switch in the motorhome and then used the test light to contact each pin in the motorhome wiring socket. I only got one pin to light which I assume would mean that since only the tailights should be lit at that time then everything is okay with the motorhome. I'm not an electrical genius so correct me if I'm wrong. Seems the problem must be in the Jeep wiring at this point but now I'm trying to figure out a way to use the tester on the Jeep but can't figure out a way to contact the pins in Jeep socket while the cord in between the motorhome and Jeep is in and energizing the system. Really don't want to cut into the wires to get a contact point.
Any help appreciated.
Letsgoagain

paz 02-05-2007 07:32 PM

Letsgoagain - It sounds like you are on the right track and that the motorhome plug is OK for the tail lights. The next thing I would do is to plug the wire into the motorhome and repeat the test on the pins on the toad end of the wire (without plugging into the toad). This will tell you if the problem is in the wire or its plugs.

If the wire checks out OK, you are left with the toad. Unfortunately, I can't think of a good way to check out the toad without taking something apart. Maybe someone else has a better idea, but I would start with the plug on the front of the toad. There should be a set screw in back of the plug which will allow you to remove the core from the plug. You may have to remove the plug from the toad to be able to see the set screw. After loosening the screw and pulling the core out from the front of the plug, you will be able to see the place behind the contacts where the wires to the toad lights are attached. One or more of these connections may be loose of corroded.

Letsgoagain 02-08-2007 02:42 PM

Hello again,
Found the problem with the tail lights not working. Ends up its the plug on the front of the jeep. No loose wires or anything but the umbilical from the motorhome to the jeep is loose in the fitting on the jeep. Thought it was several other things but in the process of elimination while wiggling the plug around got the light to light and then go out. Don't know how I missed it before as I moved that plug around dozens of times but its definitely the receptacle. Now I have to figure out a way to snug it up or wire another receptacle on there. Any one have any suggestions on how to secure it?
Thanks for the help up to this point.
Letsgoagain

Letsgoagain 02-08-2007 02:45 PM

Another thought about the receptacle is that its only year and a half old and seems unusual that it could have worn in that amount of time but I guess it is subject to a lot of vibration and being pulled on by the umbilical as I'm towing. I'm wondering do they make metal receptacles as that might be more durable.
Letsgoagain


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