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Towbars, Hitches and Braking Systems for your Toads, etc. Questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding what equipment to use to tow your Toad with are discussed here.

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  #1  
Old 06-28-2019
talton talton is offline
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Default 2-to-3 Toad Wiring Converter for Separate Turn and Brake

I need some suggestions on toad wiring. Last night, I finished wiring up a 1991 Toyota Land Cruiser to flat tow behind our 1989 WB40. We've previously been using a tow dolly with a smaller car.

The issue at hand is that the Land Cruiser has separate markers in the back for turn signals and brake. Most trailers carry the brake signal along the same wire as each of the turn signals. A couple of companies make little converter boxes that separate the brake and turn signals, notably the Reese 118158 and Tekonsha 118158:

https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/118158.html

https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-1181.../dp/B001GKQZQG



Unfortunately, I mistakenly ordered a Tekonsha 119130 which converts in the opposite direction, 3-to-2 instead of 2-to-3.

https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-1191.../dp/B005S572FI

We're trying to get on the road this afternoon, so ordering the correct part isn't feasible in the short term. I've called half a dozen tow, trailer, and RV places, but no one has the part in stock.


I see a few potential solutions:

1. Wire everything to the stop lights on the toad instead of even touching the bulbs for the separate turn signals. I was getting odd output with this option and it didn't seem the best, but I might just need to troubleshoot it a bit more.

2. Buy some bulbs/connectors for normal trailer signals. Find some way of drilling into the existing markers on the toad on the inside so that I have a totally separate light system that connects to the Wanderlodge during towing. This assumes I can't get the bulbs to work right for option number 1 after troubleshooting further.

3. Run a separate wire from one of the brake lights on the Wanderlodge and wire this directly to the Land Cruiser temporarily.

4. Just let the RVi brake system handle the brake lights. This is probably not a great idea from a safety perspective. The RVi physically presses the brake in the toad, but I assume there is likely a slight delay here based on the way this system works. I'm not 100% confident this would signal the brake lights in the back every time or quickly enough to alert drivers behind me, but I could be wrong.

5. Put up some magnet tow lights. I actually started to do this last night but the cord was just a little too short to reach all the way. I'll need to buy or make a five foot extension for this to work.

I'm very open to suggestions here. My preference is always to do things right the first time, but due to time constraints, I really need a temporary solution at a minimum, but if anyone has ideas on a long term solution I can implement quickly, that would be ideal.
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Old 06-28-2019
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NealinNevada NealinNevada is offline
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You could use this system. I have used it for a number of years and it works great. No wires to hook up.
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Old 06-28-2019
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Talton, I recently wired my '06 Wrangler toad for flat towing. I know the Land Cruiser has a separate yellow turn signal above the stop lamp. My suggestion is ignore the turn signal on the toad and wire only to the stop lamp. I'm assuming you are connecting to the actual toads wiring harness. Are you disconnecting the toads rear harness or are you okay with back-feeding the electronics? Paul
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Old 06-28-2019
talton talton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealinNevada View Post
You could use this system. I have used it for a number of years and it works great. No wires to hook up.
Getting a towing light bar is definitely on my list, but probably not in the short term. The ones that I've seen commercial truckers and tow truck drivers use look pretty nice. Same for the one you linked.
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Old 06-28-2019
talton talton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbqdm View Post
Talton, I recently wired my '06 Wrangler toad for flat towing. I know the Land Cruiser has a separate yellow turn signal above the stop lamp. My suggestion is ignore the turn signal on the toad and wire only to the stop lamp. I'm assuming you are connecting to the actual toads wiring harness. Are you disconnecting the toads rear harness or are you okay with back-feeding the electronics? Paul
That's basically my option number one. I tried messing around with doing exactly that late last night. However, I stopped getting any output for brakes on either the bus or the toad about that time.

It was too late to turn on the engine without waking up my neighbors, so I'm not sure if there was something else preventing the brake lights from coming on at that point. The bus was pretty much aired down at that point. I wouldn't expect the lack of air for the brakes to also prevent the brake lights from functioning, but I never actually tested it before, so maybe that's all it was.

For the wiring, I basically ran all new wires from the front of the toad, through the firewall, and to the back tail lights. I'm spliced into the wires for each light there, but I put diodes in line on each of the existing wires to prevent feedback. I'm not sure how much back-feeding would impact the electronics on the toad, but I didn't want to risk it. The diodes were pretty cheap, but it took a little time to attach connectors to them and the wires.
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Old 06-28-2019
talton talton is offline
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I did ultimately find something that looks like it will work. If anyone runs into the same issue, Uhaul sells a kit for $50 that splits off the signal for brake and turn signals.

That said, I'm probably just going to try wiring things as Paul suggested. I can order the less expensive Tekonsha 118158 later if this works for now.

If I can't get past the problems, Uhaul is open until 7pm as a last resort. I already confirmed they keep their kits in stock, but it's a bit overkill for where I'm at now and costs twice as much as the Tekonsha.

I appreciate the suggestions everyone.
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Old 06-28-2019
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No air-no brake lights. 4-ways and turns signals on the coach should use same lights, right?
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Old 06-28-2019
talton talton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
No air-no brake lights.
Thanks for the confirmation. They were partially working while I was wiring things up, but finally ran out of air in the tanks during the process.

It makes sense, but I also thought I might have messed up a relay or something somewhere along the way. Good to know that shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
4-ways and turns signals on the coach should use same lights, right?
When you say "4-ways", I'm assuming you mean hazard lights, but correct me if I'm mistaken.

I believe so, yes. I'm not near the bus right now to confirm, but I'm almost positive they are the same lights.
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Old 06-28-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talton View Post
Thanks for the confirmation. They were partially working while I was wiring things up, but finally ran out of air in the tanks during the process.

It makes sense, but I also thought I might have messed up a relay or something somewhere along the way. Good to know that shouldn't be a problem.



When you say "4-ways", I'm assuming you mean hazard lights, but correct me if I'm mistaken.

I believe so, yes. I'm not near the bus right now to confirm, but I'm almost positive they are the same lights.
Yea,I meant the Hazard lights. Brake lights use two pressure switches in parallel mounted on the treadle valve assembly. . One for the front brakes and one for the rear.
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Old 06-28-2019
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Harbor Freight has magnetic tow lights for less than $20 that plug into a 4-way connector. I think even Wal-mart has a 7:4 adapter that will fit the 7 blade connector on the Wanderlodge. If you were closer you could have mine, as my current toad plugs into the 7 pin and has separate bulbs installed in the rear lights for brake/turn (red only, 2x1157 dual filament bulbs)
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