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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: ragoodsp on May 08, 2014, 07:28:29 pm

Title: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 08, 2014, 07:28:29 pm
Just getting my new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk ready to be towed behind the PC.  Just got Roadmaster base plates installed and the Jeep appears to be nearly 2"s lower at the tow bar connection compared to the Liberty.  2" riser made tow bar dead level from coach to vehicle.  With all of the new tech stuff I had some reservations about cutting into the lights so went with new wireless lights and they appear to work great.  Transmitter attaches (magnet) to the hitch and turn the switch on and the lights will work for up to 16 hours on the 8 double A's.  Time will tell!
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: JimDenny on May 09, 2014, 12:31:28 am
Can you provide any additional information regarding how the wireless lights work?  For example, for turn signals and brake lights.  I admit I had not heard of this type of set up.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: TomHanlon on May 09, 2014, 07:30:44 am
Yes, more information please. The brand name and or a website would be helpful.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: KB9OMH on May 09, 2014, 08:17:21 am
Yes, Please more info on them.

Jim
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 09, 2014, 08:56:32 am
There are several manafacturers that make wireless light bars and individual wireless lights.  Wreckers have been using such set ups for several years.  i ordered the cheapest set up by Blazar Manafacturing that ran $129.00.  Units can go up to over $600 offering more durability, etc.  The lights afix to the vehicle with 90 lb rated magnets, and each light takes 4 double A batteries.  the transmitter utilizes a four blade plug and I simply use the PC's 7 lug plug with and adapter that goes to a regular 4 blade.  You merely plug the very samll transmitter in and then situate it  somehere (hitch/steel) that allows for the signal to get to the back of the toad vehicle, I think the signal will go like 50'.  The lights are LED, very bright and all fuctuions have atleast this far worked flawlessly.  what is nice  is I can use the lights on my utility trailler, etc. as well.   I did order some DiamondShield material that I cut into 5" circles and placed each on the roof of the Cherokee, the lights have a padded material over the magnets but I know dirt and movement will get under and i did not want any scratching.   Tractor Supply, AWDirect, and others all have wireless light products.  i think I should have spent a little more money and actaully gotten a light bar that would have absoutely no wires flapping around between the two light bases.  I really like the idea of no corrosions, cutting in to the tail light housing, etc.   Time will tell.   thanks
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: medgilmore on May 09, 2014, 11:01:00 am
I USE A BOARD WITH LUMBER CLEATS ON IT IN SIDE TOTE. THE MAGNETIC JUMP RITE ON IT AND ARE NOT SCRATCHING
THE PAINT OUTSIDE, BEEN DOINGIT FOR 20 YEARS WORKS FOR ME (WH)

ED &BEV
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 09, 2014, 03:40:32 pm
I always wondered about making a tail light bar that attaches to the trailer hitch of the tow vehicle.  Run a wire harness right over the roof with magnets to hold the harness in place.  Ideal for a very light weight car like a Spark or Smart where secondary braking is not required.  The trick is to find a trailer hitch for such a tiny car, I suppose marketed to support a bike rack.  But even a class-I hitch is likely unavailable.

I feel that once you are setting up for secondary braking, just wire up everything once and be done.  It bothered me to tap into my 2000 MR2 and later my wife's 2006 Liberty.  But so glad I did for each.  I splice into OEM wires carefully using a razor blade and then solder the tow wires to the uncut original copper wire.  This for best reliability.  I avoid the "piercing" connector method below, though it is commonly practiced.  If I recall, our Liberty wires are very fine, quite delicate by comparison to older cars.  I was shocked to see so many wires bundled together so far back in the vehicle, behind the rear hatch threshold.

(http://www.newark.com/productimages/standard/en_US/4735410.jpg)
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: TomHanlon on May 09, 2014, 03:57:47 pm
On our 2004 liberty they ran wires to the back and added light bulbs keeping them seprate from  the normal ligths. Todays Jeeps have a lot more electronics all inter connected. I have to say I would be concerned about tieing them to the motorhomes wiring. Wireless does sound like the better way, even if it means a little extra work each trip.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: 2 Frazzled on May 09, 2014, 05:06:18 pm
I guess I have a string of questions on this so I'll list them out.
- If using wireless lights do you fore-go the electrical cable from coach to toad?
- Does the Phoenix 7 prong wiring port on the back include a trickle charge to the toad?
- If yes to both questions above, then using wireless lights means no power to toad.

Now for a somewhat separate issue:
- If yes to #2 above, I don't think our trickle charge is working, we've already replaced the toad battery after killing it 3x (though we now know how to turn off the display in the car so we don't drain it as much)
- Somewhere on Forum I saw someone talked to Kermit and he told them there is a fuse that can blow and you no longer get a charge to the toad. I can't find that post now that we need it. Does anyone know which fuse this might be and where we'd find it? The Ford manual lists 6 or 7 fuses that reference power to a towed vehicle. If no one has a clear answer, we may just have to start pulling fuses.

Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Barry-Sue on May 09, 2014, 07:03:01 pm
John and Holly

Here is a good reference for trailer/toad wiring.

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Here is a diagram of the 7 pin connector on the PC.  Pin 4 is the battery power from the van battery.

(http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/pics/f/a/faq043_tt_500.jpg)

To check the fuse measure between pin 1 and pin 4 with the PC running.  You should see 12VDC.

If you see 12VDC there is no need to go any further.

I can only comment on a 2011 E450 fuse arrangement.  The fuse you want is in the high-current panel.

The manual mentions 2 fuses #17and #63 for trailer battery charge.  Based on the description in the manual my guess is fuse #63 is the one you want.

In addition to the fuse you will also need to make sure there is a relay the #4 position (also in the hig-current panel).



 


Barry
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: 2 Frazzled on May 09, 2014, 07:08:31 pm
Thank you! AHFY. John started tracking fuses and decided to leave it for another day. We'll check the ones you mentioned first if the fuse numbering matches our model year. The way we read it, we have to disconnect the battery before playing with the high currency fuses.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Barry-Sue on May 09, 2014, 07:50:50 pm
John and Holly

I checked in a 2013 owners manual and the fuses are the same.

Here's a web page you can go to and get the owners manual for other model years.  Just select the year you want and follow the prompts.

http://owner.ford.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Owner%2FPage%2FOwnerGuideSearchPage

Barry
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Barry-Sue on May 10, 2014, 08:05:06 am
One of these testers would come in handy if there is a problem with the toad/RV wiring.

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=trailer+tester&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=3527182776&ref=pd_sl_8vo1xmagr9_ee
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 12, 2014, 09:24:29 am
2 frazz.. and others:

Obviously, there are some trade offs with the wireless appraoch in that there really are no wires running to the toad (other than the Brake Buddy break away set up and that carries no power) and all of the wireless light functions run off a standard four blade plug.  with some rework I am sure you could re-engineer easily and tap into the live wire feed from the seven lug PC plug and run a wire to the toad for your break buddy.  i have never had a problem with my toad battery going dead so think I am OK with the lights operating in basic format...taillights, brake lights, blinkers and four way.  Not sure this wirelss approach is the right one and I may be back drilling holes to place bulb sockets in the taillights like I have done in the past.  I am some what optimistic that  the amount of toad pulling i do I think this approach may just be right.  Will keep you posted.

Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 12, 2014, 03:48:59 pm
It is quite convenient to plug in one umbilical cord and the entire tow vehicle is electrically ready.
Having power to the tow vehicle battery keeps it in good condition.
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2885/9398957260_f31c2c27f1_b.jpg)

I ease the pain with the rest of the setup through the use of super-strong padlocks keyed alike, instead of using these.
Hook-up and unhooking is fairly quick and painless for on-the-move vacationers like us.
The locks are also a deterrent for thieves thinking about our tow vehicle, especially when they see a key in the ignition.
(http://www.reliance-foundry.com/Chain_Links.jpg)
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 13, 2014, 08:33:47 am
Ron D.....your set up is the exact same one i have utilized on my last two Liberty's and will use on my new Cherokee! That is excluding the wiring since i have selected to go wireless this time around.  While you have everything technically correct I notice one oversite IMO....I was told by Roadmaster that the safety cables should run all the way back to the base plates on the vehicle and therefore should not be terminated where yours are.  This protects in the case that there is failure in either of the "push in and twist" components  .  I have run small cables from where you terminated yours back to the holes on the base plate connected to the chassis utilizing high strenth connectors to accomplish what Roadmaster recommends. The new base plates I just got from Roadmaster have  and improved set up compared to the old set up (yours) in that there now are new large eyes that are right out front on the base plate recievers and very handy to hook the cables to and bypasses completely the termination hole you have chosen to use.   Just my two cents but if you think about it makes sense to hook directly to the chassis.  thanks
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 13, 2014, 09:43:23 am
ragoodsp, I do utilize mini safety cables like these to bridge the area of concern.  If you look real close at my setup, one is suspended just to the left of the lock there.
(http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/pics/R/M/RM-910648-12_3_1000.jpg)

You do have me wondering if I can eliminate the short ones and hook the long cables all the way to the tow vehicle.  This assuming they are long enough.  If I need just a little extra slack in the safety cables, I could add a link to each.  It would simplify things nicely and as you say, it would be a safer setup.

Thanks for the tip...a "Helpful" for you.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 13, 2014, 10:01:17 am
Ron D......Oh my lord ...I totally missed  those little devils hanging down..you are as safe as you can be and Roadmaster would be proud of you...I stand corrected.  Thanks, Ron
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: TomHanlon on May 13, 2014, 12:20:24 pm
Ron I have the Blue Ox tow bar and base plate with cables. The base plate has eyes that stickout toward the front for the cables. I cross the cables under the tow bar and connect them to the base plates eyes. I heard that this crossing would craddle the arms if they came off rather than allowing them to hit the ground and dig in or drag. I use locking pins at the three points so I don't need locks on the cables.

It looks like you would have enough cable if you did not wrap them around the bars, to reach the base plate. Just my looking at your picture, so I could be wrong again.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 13, 2014, 01:12:35 pm
Tom,

My Liberty's Roadmaster bracket hardware is detailed HERE (http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdfinst/521423-1.pdf).  My brackets have the holes you and ragoodsp  mention for the cable attachment of which I use the short ones as instructed in that diagram.  I just don't know if my main safety cables are long enough for direct-connect if reducing my wrap around the tow bar one less time.

Historically when I disconnect the Liberty from the tow bar, I disconnect everything except the two short safety cables.  They simply hang down below the front bumper, still quite high up off the ground as not to worry about them interfering with anything.  I leave them hang to keep it simple when it's time to head to the next destination with the PC.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Barry-Sue on May 13, 2014, 01:17:24 pm
FYI - Here is a link to Roadmaster's instructions for using safety cables.

www.roadmasterinc.com/pdf/85-2715-04.pdf

Barry
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: ragoodsp on May 13, 2014, 02:41:16 pm
The new Roadmaster base plates do not utilize slide in recievers and pins (had on my 2002 Liberty) or the later style (2006 Liberty) that had the twist style, the new one still twists but simply has a small spring loaded catch pin that is much easier to deal with.  And like I said previously a large ring has been brought out to the front of the plate for cable hitch up.  Nice that improvments are consatntly being made.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 13, 2014, 04:33:53 pm
I apparently have an earlier design.
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: backroadcruiser on May 16, 2014, 08:09:45 am
Saw this on Facebook thought I'd share.

Bill G    pyho
Title: Re: wireless toad lights
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 16, 2014, 09:52:26 am
It appears to be one of those cheap $40 tow bars sold at auto parts stores.  I was told from a store manager that those tow bars are most often bought by people to transport vehicles one way from USA into Central & South America.  The tow vehicle switches hands multiple times before reaching it's final destination.  At that point the tow bar gets tossed.

Your picture demonstrates one risk in using such a bar.....Ouch!