RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Toads and Motorhome Related Towing
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2020, 09:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
Wiring a 2020 Chevrolet Spark for flat towing

The 2020 Spark's ownerís manual requires that I disconnect the negative battery terminal before flat towing. This has been discussed in other threads. I will be installing a BrakeBuddy system, charge line to the towed battery, and a tail light wiring system using separate bulbs - not diodes. I believe I have worked out all issues except one: Since there is a metal to metal connection through the RV's receiver, the tow bar, and the baseplate bolted to the frame of the Spark, will the negative ground of the RV chassis end up completing the circuit in the towed that GM wants not powered (car's positive battery connection + negative ground from the RV's chassis = completed circuit)? Another alternative is to just disconnect the Sparks positive battery instead of the negative. I believe I know the answer but obviously need reinforcement. Please advise!
__________________

wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-03-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 40,916
Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I'm sorry that I can't answer that. Noticed you are new and wanted to say hello!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
__________________

MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 10:04 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Sebring FL via Newburgh IN
Posts: 66
https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wir...M-152-LED.html We went this way on our 2017 and new 2019 Spark. Drill a hole in each tail light,,insert the LED bulb, finish wiring and run the wire underneath to the front to a proper connector. Very bright, no need for diodes or any chance of interference with the Spark wiring. Power to the lights is supplied by your motorhome. It took less than hour to install and is not noticeable. Very happy with this solution.
Labrat46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2020, 11:04 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
Thanks

Thanks for your reply. That is the way I am going to go. The taillights will not be a problem as they will be electrically isolated from the car electrical. My problem is that the Spark's negative battery cable has to be disconnected because the traction control will remain activated and cause a problem with the steering. I just want to verify that the negative from the RV chassis via metal to metal contact will not somehow complete a circuit with the connected Spark positive battery terminal and then power the traction system.
wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2020, 09:01 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Sebring FL via Newburgh IN
Posts: 66
The Neg. cable doesn't move much on my Spark so to avoid a accidental re-connect I put an old Alpine radio faceplate case on the firewall and it holds my wrench and a black plastic cap that came with a battery. I put the cap on the Neg. post when towing and the wrench in the case. I don't remember any metal in that area that could become a ground other than the Neg. battery post.
Labrat46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 10:15 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Divingbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 146
Send a message via AIM to Divingbiker Send a message via Yahoo to Divingbiker
I did the EXACT hookup you are doing on our 2019 Spark. Installed separate brake bulbs in the Sparks brake light housings, disconnected the negative side from the Sparks battery with a knife switch and for the brake buddy, I pulled the power thru the plug from my motorhome. I did all of the work myself and it turned out great. The entire process to remove the body panels, install the tow plates, wire in the tail lights and install the 12v plug powered by my coach for the Brake Buddy took about 6 hours.

The Spark is a really good tow vehicle. We like the light weight of the Spark and how easy it is to attach/detach to our coach to be towed 4 down. Considering the price of this tow vehicle, its amazing more folks are using them as toads.

Bottom line, we have been very pleased with ours.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	spark.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	184.0 KB
ID:	277052   Click image for larger version

Name:	towbar install.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	144.3 KB
ID:	277053  

Click image for larger version

Name:	tow ready.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	146.7 KB
ID:	277054  
__________________
Wringing the most out of life, above and below sea level
2019 Entegra Insignia 40B2
Divingbiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 03:25 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
Thanks

Thank you for the photos. If you don't mind, I have a few questions.



1. I will also be using a BrakeBuddy. How did you get the BrakeBuddy power cable into the passenger compartment?


2. I do not see an emergency brake-away device on your Spark. Am I missing it?


3. Can you post a photo of the knife switch on the negative battery post?


I really appreciate your assistance!
wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 03:44 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
Followup to anoyone with a toad that requires a negative battery disconnect

Follow up: I believe my problem is not just confined to the Spark, but to all toads that need the negative battery disconnected. The problem is not disconnecting the negative battery cable - that in itself would be easy. It is because I also want to provide the car's battery with a charge line from the RV as well as have onboard power for the emergency disconnect switch.

If I just disconnect the carís negative battery cable and attach a + charge line to the car's positive battery terminal from the RV and then attach a separate negative line from the RV directly to the negative terminal of the car's battery, I am not only charging the battery and powering the braking system, I am also providing the car with a 12v +/- source from the RV through the + charge line and the metal to metal negative through the towbar (RVís chassis ground). The RV's battery/alternator would be providing the 12 volts +/- to the car's electrical system instead of the carís battery.

I see three alternatives:
1. Disconnect the Spark's positive battery terminal instead of the negative. This would work but of course this goes against best practices.
2. Put an auxiliary battery (i.e. Group 27) in a box on the floor of the Spark to power the braking system and emergency disconnect with the charge line from the RV going directly to the auxiliary battery.
3. Take my chances and not install a charge line to the carís battery.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?


wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2020, 07:46 AM   #9
Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbob5433 View Post
Follow up: I believe my problem is not just confined to the Spark, but to all toads that need the negative battery disconnected. The problem is not disconnecting the negative battery cable - that in itself would be easy. It is because I also want to provide the car's battery with a charge line from the RV as well as have onboard power for the emergency disconnect switch.

If I just disconnect the carís negative battery cable and attach a + charge line to the car's positive battery terminal from the RV and then attach a separate negative line from the RV directly to the negative terminal of the car's battery, I am not only charging the battery and powering the braking system, I am also providing the car with a 12v +/- source from the RV through the + charge line and the metal to metal negative through the towbar (RVís chassis ground). The RV's battery/alternator would be providing the 12 volts +/- to the car's electrical system instead of the carís battery.

I see three alternatives:
1. Disconnect the Spark's positive battery terminal instead of the negative. This would work but of course this goes against best practices.
2. Put an auxiliary battery (i.e. Group 27) in a box on the floor of the Spark to power the braking system and emergency disconnect with the charge line from the RV going directly to the auxiliary battery.
3. Take my chances and not install a charge line to the carís battery.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?


I am, as we speak, wiring my 2020 spark for towing. My plan is to install taillights as you suggest, but then install a 12V outlet (cig. lighter) down on the hump near the accelerator, where I will plug in my Patriot ll braking system when towing. The 12V plug will bring + and - from the RV plug, so it will all be separate from the Spark electrical. I will have a little twist-shutoff switch on the negative batt. pole for cutting power when towing.

With all power cut to the vehicle there is no need to to charge the battery, and the dedicated 12V RV power line (with + and -) eliminates any issues with the car's electrical.
__________________
2007 Allegro Bay 34XB 35' (gas)
2020 Chevy Spark on the hitch
Full time since June, 2018.
Iceman-31D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2020, 05:17 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
For 2020 (maybe 2019) Chevrolet Spark owners

I just started removing the screws from the front fascia on my 2020 LS Spark for the installation of the base plate. When I peek in behind the wheel well liner I see a different type of light connector than is pictured in the instructions with my base plate and different than the 2017 Spark videos on YouTube. Can anyone offer any suggestions/directions on how they disconnected the front lights on their 2020 (maybe 2019) when installing their base plate? I appreciate any and all suggestions!
wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2020, 05:36 AM   #11
Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbob5433 View Post
I just started removing the screws from the front fascia on my 2020 LS Spark for the installation of the base plate. When I peek in behind the wheel well liner I see a different type of light connector than is pictured in the instructions with my base plate and different than the 2017 Spark videos on YouTube. Can anyone offer any suggestions/directions on how they disconnected the front lights on their 2020 (maybe 2019) when installing their base plate? I appreciate any and all suggestions!
Have you looked at the video on the ETRAILER.COM website? They describe reaching in to disconnect those lights and the connecter has a part you push in, squeeze together, then pull apart. I haven't started on my base plate yet so haven't tried doing that disconnect yet. Here is a link to the etrailer video that describes unhooking those lights: https://www.etrailer.com/Base-Plates...leID=202044861
__________________
2007 Allegro Bay 34XB 35' (gas)
2020 Chevy Spark on the hitch
Full time since June, 2018.
Iceman-31D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2020, 09:25 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
I found the answer

I did see the etrailer video and there are differences between the 2017 Spark and the 2020. I can't speak for any other year but the front fascia on the 2019 looks to be the same. The connector for the lights is different and that is what threw me. I decided to go ahead and partially pull the fascia away from the vehicle. This is the best way to access the plugs. Each connector assembly is slid onto a small plastic rail and the whole plug assembly can be just slid off to give more cable slack to do the unplugging. There is a red tab that should be pushed in the direction shown in the attached photo. I had to use a screw driver to push on it as it was pretty tight. There is a gray tab that was locked by the red tab. Press down on the gray tab while pushing in the direction of the arrow. This worked for me.


Also, the horn assembly on the 2020 will obviously have to be removed as it blocks access to the rear hole on the bumper mounting frame (see attached photo). Again, this is not noted in the instructions or the 2017 video. The photo shows the horn blocking access to one of the holes that has to be widened to 3/8".


There are few other minor differences at the top and bottom of the fascia but it is obvious what screws and push pins have to be removed.


That is as far as I got as I don't have a lot of time each day to complete the project. Nevertheless, I will post any other "significant differences" as I proceed.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2016.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	268.0 KB
ID:	282602   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2018.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	273.1 KB
ID:	282603  

wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2020, 10:01 AM   #13
Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 43
Super photos! Thanks. I am waiting for Amazon to deliver my 6 pin receptacle for the car before I tie into mine. Keep those photos coming!
__________________
2007 Allegro Bay 34XB 35' (gas)
2020 Chevy Spark on the hitch
Full time since June, 2018.
Iceman-31D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2020, 02:18 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 22
More 2020 Spark Photos

I finalized the install of the base plate and will be soon starting the wiring for the tail lights and supplemental braking system. I'm not reinstalling the fascia until I get the 6-way connector and emergency brake wired.


The first two photos show the plastic bracing that I cut. The shape of these is different from the 2017 Spark eTrailer video and you can see this cut fits under the base plate.


The next two pictures show the safety cables installed. I didn't want these to be able to move at all. With a lot of zip ties, I used the large unused hole on both sides of the base plate to tighten bare metal parts against the base plate so not to chafe any hoses or electrical cables. I was also concerned about the metal pieces rattling.


The final photo shows the two front bolts of the base plate before the bumper was reinstalled. There was enough thread sticking out of the nut plates to put these on as "lock nuts." Maybe a little OCD, but what harm could it do. It's out of focus, but you can see the amount of thread sticking out of the nut plate on the rear bolt. For some reason, this photo got rotated when downloaded - Sorry.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2021.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	324.9 KB
ID:	282791   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2023.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	363.3 KB
ID:	282792  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2026.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	309.1 KB
ID:	282793   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2025.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	355.5 KB
ID:	282794  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2024.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	240.8 KB
ID:	282795  
__________________

wbob5433 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
tow, towing, wiring



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2020 Chevrolet 2500 4x4 fireinv202 Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 3 08-10-2019 04:44 PM
Chevrolet Spark Toad rperrym Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 68 11-18-2018 06:07 AM
Towing a Fiat 500 versus a Chevrolet Spark rperrym Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 3 05-25-2017 07:28 PM
Chevrolet Spark ChasL Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 12 03-24-2017 05:25 AM
Flat towing a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban msturtz Toads and Motorhome Related Towing 7 01-08-2016 07:41 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×