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-   -   2014 Chevy Equinox (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/2014-chevy-equinox-212350.html)

Floridakamper 07-20-2014 12:59 PM

2014 Chevy Equinox
 
Just replaced the old Saturn Vue with an Equinox LTZ. The Vue was the third vehicle we've towed and we had it since 2006 and loved it. I have a Roadmaster tow bar and use a Brake Buddy. On the first 3 toads I've installed the base plates and wiring kits myself without incident. For the tail lights I've always used the kit where you install another set of bulbs in the tail light housing. I'm either getting lazy, old or both but this time I'm considering having it done by someone else. I've got a few questions for folks that are towing an Equinox. #1 Has anyone had a base plate and wiring done on a toad at Camping World and how much do they charge for labor? I know I can buy the parts for less than $400. #2 I think the front of the car looks cleaner with the Blue Ox brackets and I think I heard that you can buy an adapter to use a Roadmaster Tow Bar with the Blue Ox brackets. Has anyone done this? Long term plan is maybe to find a deal on a Blue Ox Tow Bar. #3 I haven't pulled a tail light housing yet to look but for someone that has installed the extra lights is it very tight to get them in or is there plenty of room? Any other advice from Equinox owners is appreciated. Posted on another forum too but want as much input as possible. Thanks Bob

Algoma 07-20-2014 01:09 PM

Can't help with the Equinox, but for the tails lights what on did on my car was buy 2 red led units and mount these on the rear bumper. Looks like some cars have reflectors mounted there now so mine doesn't look too odd. It saves you from drilling in to those rear lights to mount the extra bulb which I didn't want to do.

Hoegee 07-20-2014 06:05 PM

Toad
 
I'm towing a 2114 Equinox using a Blue Ox from my old Saturn Vue. I had the base plate and wiring installed at my local U-Haul for $400. Base plate and harness and diodes included.

Floridakamper 07-20-2014 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoegee (Post 2146614)
I'm towing a 2114 Equinox using a Blue Ox from my old Saturn Vue.

Just so I understand (I'm part Polish), are you saying you're using the Blue Ox Tow Bar that you used with the Vue or you took off the base plate from the Vue and are using that on the Equinox? The base plates are vehicle specific so if they used that they had to modify it in some way. If it was an exact replacement, I'm sorry I didn't take it off before I traded the Vue in.

Dennis4809 07-20-2014 07:08 PM

We recently purchased a 2014 Equinox LTZ V6. Supplied the dealer with the Blue Ox base plate and the wiring kit that uses two additional 1157 lamps. Can't tell you the cost as we rolled it into the purchase negotiations. Plenty of room in the housing for the additional lamps.
Tows great.
Also, owners manual says that if towing long distance to remove fuse 32 to avoid discharging battery. This fuse also controls to power outlet in the dash. I ran a charging line and leave the fuse in place. We tow all day with no issues. Does not rack up miles either.

Floridakamper 07-20-2014 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dennis4809 (Post 2146701)
We recently purchased a 2014 Equinox LTZ V6. Supplied the dealer with the Blue Ox base plate and the wiring kit that uses two additional 1157 lamps.

Dennis, your info was great! Is there any chance you could take a photo of the front of your car so I can see what it would look like when the tow bar is disconnected? I can send you my email or you could post the pic in this thread. Thanks again. We picked up the car yesterday and I'm anxious to get it set up. Bob

paz 07-21-2014 06:02 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2146816)
Dennis, your info was great! Is there any chance you could take a photo of the front of your car so I can see what it would look like when the tow bar is disconnected? I can send you my email or you could post the pic in this thread. Thanks again. We picked up the car yesterday and I'm anxious to get it set up. Bob

This is our 2013 with a Blue Ox base plate, but it should look the same as the 2014. This is looking straight in. It is even less noticeable when looking at the normal viewing angle. Everything is mounted except the electrical connector, which attaches to the 2 rods in the center. It sits behind the license plate, which isn't mounted yet either.

Attachment 68632

Floridakamper 07-21-2014 11:48 AM

If I'm not mistaken, that's what the car looks like as soon as the tow bar is disconnected. I've used Roadmaster products for the last dozen years and they have served me well. But when I disconnect the tow bar, I've still got the two arms and the cross bar sticking out from the front of the car. Even though I could remove/disconnect those arms and crossbar....I don't. Too big of a pain because I have pad locks on them. I've always noticed the cars with Blue Ox brackets in various campgrounds and thought how much better they looked. I'll continue using my Roadmaster Falcon tow bar with the Blue Ox adapters until it's time to replace it. At least that's the current plan. I'm waiting for our local Camping World to call with a quote.

paz 07-21-2014 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2147601)
If I'm not mistaken, that's what the car looks like as soon as the tow bar is disconnected. I've used Roadmaster products for the last dozen years and they have served me well. But when I disconnect the tow bar, I've still got the two arms and the cross bar sticking out from the front of the car. Even though I could remove/disconnect those arms and crossbar....I don't. Too big of a pain because I have pad locks on them. I've always noticed the cars with Blue Ox brackets in various campgrounds and thought how much better they looked. I'll continue using my Roadmaster Falcon tow bar with the Blue Ox adapters until it's time to replace it. At least that's the current plan. I'm waiting for our local Camping World to call with a quote.

The only thing missing are the 2 tabs that the arms of tow bar connect to. The tow bar itself, of course, remains on the back of the motorhome. The tabs are 1/4 turn disconnect and are easy to remove - I can do each with one hand. They are also small to store (about 8" long), unlike the Roadmaster cross bar. The cleaner appearance is the reason I went with Blue Ox. :thumb:

Floridakamper 07-21-2014 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paz (Post 2147690)
The only thing missing are the 2 tabs that the arms of tow bar connect to.

Do those two tabs come with the base or with the tow bar when purchased? I just discovered that Roadmaster now makes a base plate for SUV's that is hidden and does not have the crossbar. I'm going to investigate that a little more. And Camping world just called with a $900 estimate to install the Blue Ox base plate, the wiring kit and a charge line. I think it's 3 or 4 hundred too much. The parts can be purchased online for $400 so their charging $500 labor.

Easyrider 07-21-2014 06:34 PM

I know you really like using the extra bulb in the light housing technique, but I'm still going to urge you to look into diodes. They're easy to install and work great, and you don't have to drill holes into your light housings.

Floridakamper 07-21-2014 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easyrider (Post 2148210)
I know you really like using the extra bulb in the light housing technique, but I'm still going to urge you to look into diodes. They're easy to install and work great, and you don't have to drill holes into your light housings.

Over the years I've heard issues with the cars brain. And recently, with the Equinox, I've read of issues when the Brake Buddy actuates and turns on the brake lights and the motorhome is also sending the signal to turn on the brake lights. Supposedly there is some relay that can be added to prevent the conflict but it just seems easier/safer not use the cars wiring for lights. As I gather info my plan is always subject to change.

paz 07-22-2014 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2147703)
Do those two tabs come with the base or with the tow bar when purchased?...

The tabs come with the base plate.

paz 07-22-2014 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2148221)
Over the years I've heard issues with the cars brain. And recently, with the Equinox, I've read of issues when the Brake Buddy actuates and turns on the brake lights and the motorhome is also sending the signal to turn on the brake lights. Supposedly there is some relay that can be added to prevent the conflict but it just seems easier/safer not use the cars wiring for lights. As I gather info my plan is always subject to change.

It is correct that the computer in newer cars also controls many light functions. I got all the lights in our Equinox to work correctly using diodes, but if I had to do it over again, I would install separate bulbs. The only drawback to separate bulbs is they are not located at the focus of the parabolic reflector inside the light assembly, so they may not be quite as bright as the original bulbs.

There is a relay available that is used to turn off the power to the brake light switch from the car so the lights only receive a signal from the motorhome. However, the computer automatically cuts power from the car to the brake lights after 10 minutes, so I didn't bother with the relay.

Floridakamper 07-22-2014 10:43 AM

With all your help, I think I've got a plan. Instead of using my Roadmaster Falcon Tow Bar, I purchased a used Blue Ox Aventa II this morning. It came with 4 of the removable tabs, a Blue Ox lock set, safety cables and a 7 pin coiled electrical cable. I have an appointment to get the base plate, wiring kit and charge line installed. One more quick question, the Aventa II looks to be in excellent condition and both arms extend and lock properly but when spreading the arms to the right and left it took a little more force than I thought it should. Looking at the nylon washers/spacers, they appear to be intact and new looking. The owner said it's been like that since new. Is this something that needs attention?

chawkins99 07-22-2014 11:12 AM

Sounds like mine... Does take some strength to move the arms but then again, you don't want it sloppy. Once connected, that connection shouldn't move.

Floridakamper 07-22-2014 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chawkins99 (Post 2149193)
Sounds like mine... Does take some strength to move the arms

I was hoping it was not unusual. And I was comparing it to my well used Falcon 2. Thank you

Floridakamper 07-24-2014 07:41 PM

With all your help, I made some progress today. I had the Blue Ox base plate, a charge line and a wiring/Lights kit installed. Although I've done 3 Roadmaster installs myself, I'm glad I had someone else do this one. The place that did the work is one of four authorized dealers in Jacksonville Florida. With that said, even though we had agreed to install the external bulb kit, he strongly recommended and I reluctantly agreed to go with the diodes. We did not install the extra relay that I've read about. For the charge line, he looked perplexed when he looked at the battery setup under the hood. So was I. The battery has a cover and some other gizmo mounted on top of it. I looked in the book and it said the terminal with red cap on it at the fuse block was the + remote terminal and the negative remote terminal is located a little closer to the firewall clamped to a brake line or something. It's not a very large terminal. He wired the the positive charge line to the 80 amp fusable link attached to outside of the fuse block and the negative connection to a terminal you could see on the battery. There is a inline 30 amp self resetting circuit breaker on the positive line. While doing all this the ratchet he was using touched the positive to ground and arched and sparked for a moment. When he got done, I didn't have any power steering. Checking fuses and that 80 amp fusable link found the link had blown. I took his truck and went to the Chevy dealer to get a replacement. They did not have one and neither did any of the half dozen Chevy dealers in Jacksonville. The part is specific to the 2014. I ordered one and purchased the one for earlier models which is more than double the correct physical size. I took it back to the hitch shop and we wired it in place as a temporary measure to get me out of there. I don't think he ever did an Equinox with a Blue Ox before. He ended up with about 6 hours of labor total in the job and he bumped me on price too. Still cheaper than Camping World but I don't like being bumped. Sorry for the long post but I'm probably going to get a spare 80 amp fusable link to have a spare if they're that hard to locate.

walt2137 07-25-2014 03:12 PM

Bob if you have a toad brake that mashes or activates the toad brake pedel and the brake lights come on with the ignition switch in tow mode you will need a brake light relay or a brakelight bypass switch or your brake lights will cover up your turn signal.

Floridakamper 07-25-2014 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by walt2137 (Post 2153614)
Bob if you have a toad brake that mashes or activates the toad brake pedel and the brake lights come on with the ignition switch in tow mode you will need a brake light relay

I use a Brake Buddy so I need the relay or switch.

Floridakamper 07-26-2014 08:25 PM

Been thinking about that brake relay. Right now I don't think it's a big issue. If I understand the problem....When the Brake Buddy presses the brake pedal it turns on the brake lights and if a turn signal was sent by the motorhome it would not be visible because of the brake lights. My Brake Buddy is set to activate only if I really get on the brakes. The chance that I'd have a turn signal on when hard braking is slim and it would be momentary. Least that's the way it seems to me.

paz 07-27-2014 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2155314)
Been thinking about that brake relay. Right now I don't think it's a big issue. If I understand the problem....When the Brake Buddy presses the brake pedal it turns on the brake lights and if a turn signal was sent by the motorhome it would not be visible because of the brake lights. My Brake Buddy is set to activate only if I really get on the brakes. The chance that I'd have a turn signal on when hard braking is slim and it would be momentary. Least that's the way it seems to me.

I was going to install a relay in our 2013 Equinox, but I discovered the computer turns off the car's brake lights after 10 minutes. Therefore, there would only be potential interference between the brake lights and turn signals for the first 10 minutes of driving. After that, the brake lights are powered by the motorhome as they should be.

You can test this by setting up your Brake Buddy in the car as you would for towing (the car doesn't even have to be hooked up to the motorhome) and turning the car's ignition switch to ACC as you would for towing. Close the car door and wait 10 minutes. Then pull the pin from the breakaway switch so the Brake Buddy actuates the car's brake pedal. The car's brake lights should not be on. If they are, either you didn't wait long enough or Chevrolet has changed the wiring for 2014.

Floridakamper 07-27-2014 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paz (Post 2155613)
You can test this by setting up your Brake Buddy in the car as you would for towing (the car doesn't even have to be hooked up to the motorhome) and turning the car's ignition switch to ACC as you would for towing. Close the car door and wait 10 minutes. Then pull the pin from the breakaway switch so the Brake Buddy actuates the car's brake pedal. The car's brake lights should not be on. If they are, either you didn't wait long enough or Chevrolet has changed the wiring for 2014.

GM must have changed something. I just tried the test you suggested, with fuse 32 in and fuse 32 out. To put the shifter in neutral I had to go past the ACC position, put the shifter in N, then come back to ACC. I waited more than 10 minutes in both cases and pressed the test button on the BB through the open window. Brake lights came on. With fuse 32 pulled I expected the from 12V outlet to go dead as mentioned in some other posts, but it didn't.

Floridakamper 07-27-2014 05:23 PM

I need to do the test again with the fuse pulled. I was pulling fuse 31 instead of 32. I've always made an occasional mistake but lately I've been a real klutz.

Floridakamper 07-27-2014 06:58 PM

paz, you were right on the money. After 10 minutes with the correct "fuse" pulled, the brake lights do not come on when the brake pedal is depressed. The 12V outlets in the front are also dead. The 12V outlet in the back cargo area remains hot. Thanks for the education. Bob

paz 07-29-2014 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floridakamper (Post 2156696)
paz, you were right on the money. After 10 minutes with the correct "fuse" pulled, the brake lights do not come on when the brake pedal is depressed. The 12V outlets in the front are also dead. The 12V outlet in the back cargo area remains hot. Thanks for the education. Bob

I puzzled over that situation for hours when I was trying to see if the brake lights interfered with the turn signals. Sometimes the brake lights came on and sometimes they didn't. I finally figured out it all depended on how long it had been since I last closed the car door. I'm glad I was able to help.

You are correct that the 12V outlet in the back is the only one that stays hot. I installed a new outlet under the dash that stays hot all the time. There are a couple of blank fuse holders in the fuse panel on the passenger side. I tapped into the hot side of one of those and installed a 15-amp inline fuse for the outlet. In addition to providing power for the toad brake, we can also use the outlet to charge the phone if we need to even when the car is parked.

Floridakamper 08-04-2014 10:05 AM

Thanks for everyone's help, especially Dennis and Paz (Paul). I towed it for the first time today and it pulled OK except I noticed the car did not seem centered directly behind the motorhome. I'm going to start a new topic to ask for possible causes. Thanks again for getting me this far.


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