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Old 04-07-2021, 05:28 AM   #1
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MH Backup Lights Burn when Tail Lights are on and Toad is Connected

I own a 2015 Tiffin Open Road 32SA.

I recently bought a new to me 2006 Jeep Liberty to use as our toad. It already had Blue Ox baseplate and wiring harness installed. However, previous owner indicated he had experienced issues with the toad lights and had converted to a 4-wire flat connector.

I chose to convert back to a conventional round 6-wire plug. As I started this process I realized the wiring was intermingled with wiring from the Jeep itself. So I worked to isolate to the stand alone bulb as is recommended. I have opened the ends on my umbilical and traced each color wire and also tested for proper voltage. I also replaced the stand alone light sockets with new LED units yesterday. Before wiring in the new sockets I verified there was no leakage to ground on the wires for the tail lights and each turn signal/brake light.

My issue is that when I turn on the MH tail lights, the backup lights on the MH are also on when the toad is connected. If I disconnect from the toad the backup lights go out.

Any and all help would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:34 AM   #2
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Sounds like the toad is using the MH reverse light + wire as a ground.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogie_ View Post
Sounds like the toad is using the MH reverse light + wire as a ground.
Thanks for your input. However, I have verified that my ground connection from the MH is properly connected to the ground wire on the toad that goes to the back of the car and is properly grounded.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:13 AM   #4
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Put your voltmeter lead on the MH ground. Plug an extension cord into the mh and use the ground socket for the meter. Verify your connection by putting the positive lead on a known good 12 volts source.

Now with a sound ground, arg. With a good connection to ground that is, put your positive lead on a shiny place on the jeep/toad.

If you see voltage, your ground is not working corretly.

If your jeep towing lights are in no way connected to the jeep ground/frame then put your positive lead on each of the wires, one at a time on the bulb that is lit on the toad lights when you are in the fault condition.

You should see close to 12.5 on the hot side of the bulb and zero volts on the cold/ground side of the bulb. If you see voltage on the ground side of the bulb your ground is not working correctly as previously stated.

If things look normal there then you have a 12 volt source getting back to the backup lights and could easily be a wire touching or miswired in the umbilical.

I like to use a test light versus a voltmeter because it is easy to read/see. Pull the RV side of the connection out so you can touch the pins on the RV side of the setup.

It can be tricky connecting the umbilical to a dangling socket and getting it oriented correctly but you need to get to the wires on the RV side while things are plugged in.

These things can be tricky but your backup lights require 12 volts and ground. Where they get the power and ground is not important to them.

Post some pictures please of your setup.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:28 PM   #5
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Myron, Thank you for your detailed instructions. It will be Monday before I can do any additional testing. I will let you know what I find.

Thanks again.

Frank
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:18 PM   #6
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Myron,
I haven't been able to do any testing but plan to work on it tomorrow.

I do have a question about my ground on the motorhome. If there is any question about whether it is a good ground source would it be okay to simply terminate the ground wire coming from the plug at the back of the motorhome to the chassis frame there near the plug?

Let me know, thanks.

Frank
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:10 PM   #7
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Yes. Clean and shiny spot for sure. A dremel tool with a drum sander really does a treat.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:33 PM   #8
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Just make sure it is a frame ground, I found a wire on my coach that someone "grounded to a length of L shaped metal extrusion which itself was only bolted to fiberglass ans not connected to the frame.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:19 PM   #9
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Success!

First let me say thanks to everyone who replied with recommendations for a solution!

When I had been testing I had my volt meter connected to the mh frame and everything seemed to be okay. Today I opened the mh plug as Myron suggested and repeated testing using the ground that was connected to the plug. I had been testing against my hot lead which read 13.5v when connected to the mh frame. When connected to the ground lead, I was only reading 5v. So I terminated that lead directly to the mh frame and now everything is working as it should.

Many thanks again for everyone's assistance!

Frank
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:42 PM   #10
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It sounds like the wire you were using for a ground was for trailer back up lights, and you were back feeding through the coach back up lights.
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