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Old 06-10-2018, 09:51 PM   #15
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Like they say about teaching old dogs new tricks. I have been dealing with big trucks since the mid 70's, and never heard of brake lights coming on with a jake, exhaust brake, or transmission retarder.



If someone rear ends you with or without brake lights, it is his fault. No way to even argue that one in court, unless you just cut him off.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:33 AM   #16
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In real hilly country it can bring down the battery. I still leave mine on and every 2 hours I stop and run the TOAD engine for 5 minutes. Manual says ever 4 hours anyway.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:01 AM   #17
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Am I understanding you guys, that the toad lights are powered by the toads battery?


Not sure if it can be done on these new c ars with the CAN system, but when I did my 79 Ramcharger, I used several diodes, and wired in a plug socket at the grill.I could run the tail lights off the tow vehicle, or the RC lights would work as normal.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:38 AM   #18
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My Spartan K2 brake lights are activated by the engine brake. I understand that on both Freightliner and Spartan the sensitivity can be programmed through the ECM. I believe it’s A good thing for the brake lights to activate while slowing down. the K2 has a light on the dash indicating when the engine brake is engaged. Stuart
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:40 AM   #19
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It is a good thing to activate the brake lights while slowing down, no argument there. In my mind its not a good thing for the brake lights to be on when holding speed that doesnt change. I see some buses have a flashing yellow light that i assume is engine brake activated, this is how it should be done and the brake lights for slowing or stopping.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:24 AM   #20
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It is a good thing to activate the brake lights while slowing down, no argument there. In my mind its not a good thing for the brake lights to be on when holding speed that doesnt change. I see some buses have a flashing yellow light that i assume is engine brake activated, this is how it should be done and the brake lights for slowing or stopping.


I see what your saying, maintaining constant speed down hill , got it
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:34 PM   #21
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Am I understanding you guys, that the toad lights are powered by the toads battery?


Not sure if it can be done on these new c ars with the CAN system, but when I did my 79 Ramcharger, I used several diodes, and wired in a plug socket at the grill.I could run the tail lights off the tow vehicle, or the RC lights would work as normal.
Superburban,
About 99.999% of the time, when someone wires the toads actual tail lights to be used as "toad" lights when hooked to the RV, the RV powers the lights, not the toads battery. You're sending power from the coaches lighting system, through the 7-pin plug on the back of the coach, through the pig tail and into the plug on the front of the toad, down the added wires, all the way to the rear of the toad and into the toads lights.

Now, this is the way it's been done for years and years. But, you are correct that, the later toads, as in say, around maybe '13 or '14 and above (not sure just when each manufacturer decided to delve into the CAN-BUSS systems) may be utilizing the CAN-BUSS system. I know our '15 Jeep JKUR is. So, tapping into the wiring on any CAN-BUSS system could quite possibly cause issues. This why folks that have the later model toads, as in our '15 Jeep, utilize aftermarket wiring harness's for toad lighting.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:24 AM   #22
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So the exhaust/jake brake does activate the TOADs brake lights.


When braking with the service brake some device is applying the brake in the TOAD and that activates the TOAD brake lights.



The seven pin connector is independent?


I have had a weak battery and in hill country/mountains the exhaust brake is used a lot. It draws down the weak battery and when I stopped to start the engine - I had to charge the battery. My TOAD uses the diode system of activation.


I think I have a question but I don't know what it is.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:11 AM   #23
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So the exhaust/jake brake does activate the TOADs brake lights.


When braking with the service brake some device is applying the brake in the TOAD and that activates the TOAD brake lights.

The seven pin connector is independent?

I have had a weak battery and in hill country/mountains the exhaust brake is used a lot. It draws down the weak battery and when I stopped to start the engine - I had to charge the battery. My TOAD uses the diode system of activation.

I think I have a question but I don't know what it is.
What type of supplemental brake system do you have in your towed?
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:38 AM   #24
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Superburban,
About 99.999% of the time, when someone wires the toads actual tail lights to be used as "toad" lights when hooked to the RV, the RV powers the lights, not the toads battery. You're sending power from the coaches lighting system, through the 7-pin plug on the back of the coach, through the pig tail and into the plug on the front of the toad, down the added wires, all the way to the rear of the toad and into the toads lights.

Now, this is the way it's been done for years and years. But, you are correct that, the later toads, as in say, around maybe '13 or '14 and above (not sure just when each manufacturer decided to delve into the CAN-BUSS systems) may be utilizing the CAN-BUSS system. I know our '15 Jeep JKUR is. So, tapping into the wiring on any CAN-BUSS system could quite possibly cause issues. This why folks that have the later model toads, as in our '15 Jeep, utilize aftermarket wiring harness's for toad lighting.
Scott
Does not seem right to me that lights would be powered off the toad system, without anything topping off the battery.

Seems like a poor workaround to tell the operators to stop every 4 hrs, and run the Toads engine. The alternator is not designed to recharge a battery, and may fail due to the heat build up. Also, proper charging of the battery should be at a lower amps, for an hour or more if it is run down.


Guess I'm just not feeling it.




Along the lines of the jake brake activating the lights, should we also have the brake lights come on when down shifting a manual tranny?
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:59 PM   #25
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So the exhaust/jake brake does activate the TOADs brake lights.

When braking with the service brake some device is applying the brake in the TOAD and that activates the TOAD brake lights.

Wayne,
Not always. There are some vehicles that have ignition powered brake lights or I should say, the ignition and or engine running, is needed for the brake light system to work. On other vehicles, the brake lights will work from the brake pedal on the toad, without the key in the ignition. One of our toads, an '11 GMC Sierra 4x4 Extended Cab, does NOT activate the brake lights with key out. On the other hand, our other toad, a '15 Jeep JKUR, DOES activate the brake lights without the key. Our last toad, an '11 Honda CRV, also activated the brake lights without the key. So, it all depends on what type/brand of toad you have.

The seven pin connector is independent?

The seven pin connector is independent of what? If you're talking about being independent of your toads tail lights, well, yes and no. Yes because it's not part of your toads wiring system. And NO because, it does carry signals from your coaches lighting (i.e. tail, turn and brake lights) to your toads tail lights which, if wired correctly, are DIODE protected from the coaches signals traveling to places they're not supposed to go, i.e. the front of the toad. So, in a way, the umbilical DOES tie into the toads tail light wiring, if that's the way one has setup the lights. I've done it that way for decades and have never had an issue.

I have had a weak battery and in hill country/mountains the exhaust brake is used a lot. It draws down the weak battery and when I stopped to start the engine - I had to charge the battery. My TOAD uses the diode system of activation.

Well, on that, I'd simply suggest you go get a new battery. A good, well charged battery should be able to sustain the draw of just some brake lights down some longer grades without depleting its strength. And, just for info, setting up a charge wire from coach to toad is pretty simple. With that, you'd keep your toads battery up to snuff 24/7/365 while towing it so, you could be descending a grade that's a hundred miles long (don't know of any like that in the Continental U.S.) and you'd still have a topped off battery.

I think I have a question but I don't know what it is.
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Does not seem right to me that lights would be powered off the toad system, without anything topping off the battery.


Not sure what you mean by "....lights would be powered off the toad system..." I answered that earlier. Now, as also stated, SOME vehicles do have their brake lights activated by the brake pedal in that toad, when the key is off. And some don't. That would be the only time any of the toads tail lights would be drawing off the toads battery. If you're hooked up to your coach, with the pig tail, and turn on the coaches parking lights, your toad's REAR tail lights will light up. But, only if there's a diode in the running light circuit of the toad. If not, you'll activate the front parking lights on the toad.

But, again, you're powering up the toads lights from the coach, not the toads battery.


Seems like a poor workaround to tell the operators to stop every 4 hrs, and run the Toads engine. The alternator is not designed to recharge a battery, and may fail due to the heat build up. Also, proper charging of the battery should be at a lower amps, for an hour or more if it is run down.

"The alternator is NOT designed to recharge a battery" Whaaaaat????? Of course it's designed to do that. That's what they're for. The basic electrical theory in most vehicles is, the battery runs everything. But, the alternator is there to put back, energy that's removed by things drawing on the battery. An alternator can charge fully depleted batteries without doing damage to either one, the battery or the alternator, done it a few zillion times and nothing's gone up in flames yet. If that were the case, you'd have damaged alternators all over the planet from folks leaving lights on when they went to work in the wee hours of the morning but, came out in the afternoon to go home, only to find out the battery is dead 'cause they left the lights on.

That happens thousands of times per day, every day, all across America, depending on just how many travel to work in the wee hours or, for some other reason, something's left on and, when the owner returns, there's a dead battery. Now, you are correct in that batteries SHOULD be charged at a lower rate but, it's not always possible. If owner return to their vehicle or, get ready to disconnect from a days towing and find a dead battery, they, for the most part, do not have time for a trickle charge rate, to apptly bring up their battery at a correct rate of charge. They must get things going and move on. The manufacturers know this and, therefore build strength into both the alternators and the batteries.

Sometimes in certain situations on the FD, folks would leave the emergency lights on the fire truck for extended periods of time, WITHOUT the engine running. Well guess what, you've got a DEAD FIRE TRUCK in short order. So, they'd call for assistance and, a shop truck would show up and give them a jump and, you'd have a running fire truck. And those 450 amp alternators didn't waste any time pumping juice back into the 6 Optimas. And no damage to any of our alternators or batteries, ever.


Guess I'm just not feeling it.




Along the lines of the jake brake activating the lights, should we also have the brake lights come on when down shifting a manual tranny?
Well, the theorie's a good one and, it's in practice every day, all over the U.S. by truckers. But, they're rigs for the most part, do not activate the brake lights via the Jake or, down shifting. As for private vehicles with stick shifts, this is one of those things that, if you plan on downshifting to keep your speeds down in your CAR or PICKUP since I don't recall any stick shifted motorhomes lately, and are descending a long grade, I'd suspect that it would be advisable to tap your brake lights if you have traffic approaching you from the rear at a higher rate of speed to let them know you're traveling at a slower speed.

Scott
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:23 PM   #26
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Yes, it is done many times a day. That is why fire trucks, ambulances, and others have a different then stock alternator.


Kinda like the old "I did it a dozen times and never had a problem" but that 13th time.




From the first link on a Google search. Not going to look further.


Quote:
Jumper cables can be a lifesaver, literally! However, when you use jumper cables to start your vehicle, you are placing a tremendous strain on your vehicle's alternator and battery. That is why we recommend fully-charging deeply-discharged batteries with a battery charger as soon as possible. We're not alone in that thinking either. Look at the first installation instruction on this alternator box, which is printed in bold text, for additional emphasis- "CHARGE BATTERY - (12.6 Volts min) The alternator isn't designed to charge a dead battery. Premature alternator failure can occur and may Void Your Warranty."
Alternator manufacturers know the same things about alternators that we do- they are designed to maintain batteries that are near a full state of charge, not recharge deeply-discharged batteries. We post this on message boards all the time, but there are still folks who are convinced their alternators are designed to recharge deeply-discharged batteries. We know this, because they call our tech support lines on a regular basis, because their battery keeps getting deeply-discharged (it is actually just staying deeply-discharged). The alternator manufacturers also get calls from these folks, because they've burned up their alternators, trying to recharge deeply-discharged batteries.
Does this mean you should never use jumper cables to start your vehicle? Absolutely not! We carry them in all of our vehicles, in case of an emergency. However, when jumper cables are needed, be sure to get the battery fully-charged with a battery charger as soon as possible.
As the alternator instructions suggest, our REDTOP® batteries are fully-charged at about 12.6-12.8 volts and our YELLOWTOP® and BLUETOP® batteries are fully-charged at about 13.0-13.2 volts. Failing to do this can lead to a cycle of dead batteries and jump-starts, until either the battery (expensive) or alternator (really expensive) fails.
https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-u...dead-batteries
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:42 PM   #27
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Scott,

I have a 2013 Lincoln MKX and I have not been able to stand behind it and activate the brakes. Just not enough stretch in me. I do believe that when I get in and it is dark out, the first thing I have to do (electronic push button ignition) is press the brake pedal. I'm thinking I see a red glow behind me


My umbilical cord set up uses the diode system and I do know that the TOAD rear lights are activated by the coaches lights. When I brake using the service brakes the brake pedal is depressed.



I am familiar with a charge line and it is on my list of to-do items. As for the weak battery, well I'm on my third one in 5 years. Most of our driving was mountainous, with lots of exhaust braking. It is peculiar that the Lincoln requires the electronic switch to be placed in the accessory position. After 10 minutes the system shuts down. I thought that would be the same as just leaving it in the off position but Lincoln Corporate said no. I didn't argue their design. I turn the auto-lights, windshield wiper off, and place the display in the off mode. The manual also states to stop and start the car and let it run for 5 minutes. I cannot go the 4 hours, I have to stop and start every 2 hours.


Charge line is on the horizon.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:45 PM   #28
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What type of supplemental brake system do you have in your towed?
Air Force One. Proportional Air Braking system. The more force on the coach brakes the more force on the piston.
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