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Old 03-09-2021, 08:22 PM   #1
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TOAD brake lights DIY not working

I am at a loss as to what to try here, so I am looking for ideas. I just finished (or at least thought I had finished) setting my wife's 2017 Cherokee up for TOAD duty, I went to hook it up to the motorhome, and no tail lights, brake lights or turn signals. I used a CURT brand towed vehicle wiring harness with integrated diodes, have tested the connections with a multi meter, also tested the TOAD at the front connector plug with a 9V battery, which makes the turn signals light up when bridging negative to ground with positive to LT or RT pins. Motorhome socket works with an integrated LED tester, and I get power at the end of the new umbilical cord with multimeter (reading around 12.5VDC). Yet when I plug the umbilical into the TOAD I don't get any lights on the TOAD.


My only thought is maybe the umbilical is not making good contact, but it is plugged in all the way, and seems good. I have not tried I higher amp draw bulb at the umbilical cord plug, that is next on the testing for tomorrow morning in case there is a marginal connection somewhere.


p.s. just thought I should check continuity of the pins on the umbilical in case it was miswired at the factory.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:23 AM   #2
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Isaac-1-

Which model of Curt harness did you use? And for the umbilical?

The best method is to use a 12V test light or a voltmeter to:

1) test each pin at the coach connector, then
2) insert the umbilical in the coach connector, and test each pin at the toad end
3) insert the umbilical in the toad connector, and test each pin at the rear of the toad connector
4) test each pin at its "destination"

This link shows the correct pin locations for "trailers," which includes toads.

Finally, if nothing works as wired the place to start is with the ground. It must be continuous from coach to toad.
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Old 03-10-2021, 05:09 AM   #3
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To answer your questions, the Curt TOAD harness is this one https://smile.amazon.com/Curt-Manufa...dp/B074RNS6BL/ the umbilical is this one https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B079HNVTHB (6 pin on both ends, one of those hidden Amazon bargains, same heavy duty coiled connector sells for $53 at walmart online, MSRP is $84).


I have done steps 1,2 with multi meter, and with a plug in LED quick tester, will re do this morning with a bulb with a higher amp draw. Also at the end of the umbilical with the multi meter.



I have not fully done step 3, as I had limited time with the car at the shed where I keep the motorhome before my wife needed her car back. But did test TOAD turn signals with a 9V battery and jumper wires at the front bumper connector, at our house, which did work. (umbilical was stored at the motorhome)


I also used that same etrailer wiring guide to confirm pins were wired right, though I have done so many 6 pin connectors over the years I can almost do them by memory (grew up on family cattle ranch with at least 5 or 6 trailers with 6 pin connectors at any one time).


Hopefully if the day goes as planned I will have a couple of hours with my wife's car (TOAD) at the motorhome to do testing with either a test light or real 12V bulb load.
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Old 03-10-2021, 06:51 AM   #4
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Does your coach have separate or combined turn and brake lights. If you have a converter box like this one check to make sure it is getting a good ground connection on the white wire. Check all volt meter readings to the white wire not chassis ground to verify ground wire is good.

After you get the light issue resolved you really need to convert it from a 4 pin to a 6 pin on the toad. A 2017 Jeep Cherokee needs a charge line to the battery and the Mopar kit for the steering to avoid getting the death wobble when flat towing. We have a 2019 Cherokee and it was the first year that the Mopar kit came pre-wired on the vehicle.

I used the Roadmaster RM-15267 cable and RM-156-25 charge line kit.
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Old 03-10-2021, 07:31 AM   #5
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Check for a good ground.
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Old 03-10-2021, 07:39 AM   #6
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I do have a 3 ware to 2 wire converter on the coach, and have converted to a 6 pin on the TOAD with charge line. I will double check the grounds again today.
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2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland & 2007 Toyota Yaris TOADs with Even Brake,
Demco Commander tow bar and Blue Ox / Roadmaster base plates
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:51 AM   #7
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Its working now, and I have no idea why, the only thing I have done since I last tried with the TOAD hooked up was swapping the position of the red 12V positive with the trailer brake (blue) wire in the 6 pin connector (there are 2 standards out there for 6 pin, the more common and the way the TOAD is wired has the +12 aux power on the center pin, the other (the way the motorhome was wired) has the blue trailer brake connector on the center pin. This should not have effected turn signals though, only the chargeline. I wiggled the wires that I had touched, not drop outs, and gave the grounds at the motorhome end a once over. If it happens again I will dig into it more then.
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2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L w/ 400 watts solar 420Ah LiFePo4
2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland & 2007 Toyota Yaris TOADs with Even Brake,
Demco Commander tow bar and Blue Ox / Roadmaster base plates
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Old 03-10-2021, 10:39 AM   #8
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Just a note for future reference. Many years ago, I watched my dad cuss and swear at our trailer for about two hours as the lights were not working. He had backed the station wagon up close to the trailer and plugged the trailer plug in. He couldn't get the lights to work. Finally, he actually hitched the station wagon to the trailer and everything worked.

Lesson learned.....When there is an issue with trailer wiring, the first thing I do is use a pair of jumper cables to a good ground on the trailer/toad and RV. Then work from there.
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Old 03-10-2021, 11:38 AM   #9
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Been there done, that though this morning the tow bar was not hooked up, so not an alternate ground path
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Demco Commander tow bar and Blue Ox / Roadmaster base plates
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