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Magnetic Toad Lights

honda fit towed vehicle lighting

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#1 lchenkin

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

I am a new Class C owner (Forest River 3121DS) and am going to tow a 2013 Honda Fit, which has a manual transmisison.

The RV shop wants me to use magnetic toad lights rather than the internal lights of the Honda.

Any pros and cons to this?
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#2 hermanmullins

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

Ichenkin,

Welcome to the Forum.

This is just my opinion.

Magnetic lights have to be stored when not in use.
They have to have long wiring to connected each time tow and removed when you want to drive the toad.
Those wires need to be secured to the toad some way so they wont flap in the wind and mark the side of the toad.

You can have your lights wired with diodes with just a pigtail under your hood. it will store when not in use and all you have to do open the hood pull out the wire and connect to you toad.

By using the diodes your lights will function and not feed back into your harness and possibly cause damage. But they are the best way to go in my opinion.
I have wired more then my share of my friends and my cars.

Hope this helps.
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#3 mrboyer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

I totally agree with Herman. If you are reasonably knowledgable in electrical wireing, you can do the job yourself. Count on 1 or 2 days to get the job done. The Wiring isn't difficult, but routing the wire from the front to the rear will be very time consuming. Complete circuit diagrams are available on the Roadmaster web site, www.roadmasterinc.com. I like to mount a connector on the front of the Toad. Roadmaster has a cable that has a matching connector to the coaches connector and the one on the Toad. They have complete wiring kits with diodes for different configurations required for different Toads.

If you decide to have someone else do the wiring, becareful to be sure they do not add another light by cutting a hole in your taillight reflectors for the sockets, doing so will reduce the light output of both the new and original lights.
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#4 Xplorer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

I have never liked tapping into the vehicle wiring harness.

I have used http://www.blueox.co...ulb-socket.aspx for the last 5 years on 2 vehicles. No Problems with bulbs, wiring etc.

They now have an LED version, cost about $50 more than the regular bulb system.

Lights are controlled by the Motorhome.
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#5 RVerOnTheMove

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

I would not recommend a magnetic installation unless you only plan to do this for a very short period of time (weeks). If you are going to use this towed for an extended period of time you will hate the magnetic option very quickly (my opinion) and end up having a permanent wiring option installed at a later date. It's so simple and non-intrusive that you will question why you ever listened to the "magnetic people" in the first place.
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#6 WhiteEagle

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

Like Xplorer, I elected to put in the separate bulb in the tailights.. separate wiring to the MH connection so no drain on toad battery, etc....
Regular bulbs remain as bright as they ever were and these added bulbs are excellent as well.
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#7 wingerphil

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

I have never liked tapping into the vehicle wiring harness.

I have used http://www.blueox.co...ulb-socket.aspx for the last 5 years on 2 vehicles. No Problems with bulbs, wiring etc.

They now have an LED version, cost about $50 more than the regular bulb system.

Lights are controlled by the Motorhome.


X2 and it is easy to install
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#8 desertdeals69

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:19 AM

I have been wiring with diodes for 35 years. Dozens of vehicles. I put a trailer connector on the front of the car and make a cord with a plug on each end for connecting between mh and toad.
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#9 nitehawk

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:31 AM

I made a light bar, with LED lights, in such a way that it will mount on our Geo Tracker OR our Ford Explorer Sport Trac truck. Wiring for each was accomplished by using three wire heavy duty extension cords with flat four connectors on each end and on the short wiring on the light bar. The wiring is mounted permanently by running it thru the undercarriage of each vehicle. The Blue Ox tow bar has a short wiring harness that has the converter box, the seven pin male connector, and a flat four connector.
Ground wires were run where necessary. The system works flawlessly and I can transfer the light bar easily from one vehicle to another and also use it on my utility trailer if necessary.
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#10 lchenkin

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

Thanks everyone. Your ideas are very helpful.
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#11 CrazyCruzers

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

I used the diodes on my Jeep. The only downside to this setup is that when you put on the turn signal and step on the brake concurrently, the light will stop flashing. The supplemental braking system will cause the steady brake light to override the pulsing turn signal. This doesn't apply to a toad with separate brake and turn lamps, but on my Jeep - and many other vehicles - the brake and turn lamps are the same bulb. Fortunately, the coach lights can be seen over the Jeep, so a flashing turn signal is still visible.
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Thom

#12 desertdeals69

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:35 PM

I think you have a problem with the wiring. All of them that I have done don't have that problem.
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#13 CrazyCruzers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:24 AM

I think you have a problem with the wiring. All of them that I have done don't have that problem.

No problem with the wiring. The diode is an "and gate." The pulsed signal is coming from the MH turn signal wiring, putting a pulsed 12 v signal to one input side of the diode. That 12 v pulse passes through the diode to the lamp filament giving you a blinking light. If (when) your supplemental braking system depresses the brake pedal, the towed vehicle brake light switch will activate the vehicle brake lights (including the third light). This puts a steady 12 v signal on the other input side of the diode, and thus a steady 12 v output to the filament. Since one 12 v signal will not override the other 12 v signal (that is, they are equal and therefore create an equal output), and the two 12 v signals do not add up to a 24 v signal, the filament sees only a steady, constant, 12 v source and becomes a steady light.

Of course there are other factors involved. I already said this does not apply to towed vehicles with independent turn signal lamps and brake lamps. Also, if you disconnect the battery on the Toad, there will be no 12 v brake signal to fill in the spaces between the pulses from the MH. And, as the battery on the Toad wears down, the pulsed signal coming from the MH electrical system will be stronger than the brake signal and you will get a slightly brighter flashing light, but it will be barely discernible, and certainly not as clear as on-off-on-off.

I installed the Air Force One supplemental braking system. This system activates the Jeep brakes whenever the coach brakes are applied, even when the vehicles are at a standstill. Electrically activated supplemental braking systems will probably do the same. However, if you have a momentum/inertia activated supplemental braking system, the Toad brakes are not applied when the vehicles are not moving, and you will not see this happen when you are checking your lights before leaving camp. It only happens when the turn signal is on and the Toad brake pedal is depressed.

Is it a major issue or a safety hazard? No, probably not. More often than not, I'm guessing, you'll have your turn signal on long before you apply the brakes. And, again I'm guessing but it's true on my coach, the people behind you will be able to see the coach lights as well as the Toad lights. The coach lights are unaffected by the installation, continuing to flash as expected.

No big deal.
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Thom

#14 jrwitt

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:44 AM

I used the diodes on my Jeep. The only downside to this setup is that when you put on the turn signal and step on the brake concurrently, the light will stop flashing. The supplemental braking system will cause the steady brake light to override the pulsing turn signal. This doesn't apply to a toad with separate brake and turn lamps, but on my Jeep - and many other vehicles - the brake and turn lamps are the same bulb. Fortunately, the coach lights can be seen over the Jeep, so a flashing turn signal is still visible.


Hey there, I am not sure I am understanding your problem correctly, but this website sounds like it might fix the issue. Check out this relay from Roadmaster: http://www.roadmaste...-lite_relay.pdf I have not used this product, just something I found while searching the web.

Lets us all know if this works.
Jack
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#15 CrazyCruzers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:17 AM


Hey there, I am not sure I am understanding your problem correctly, but this website sounds like it might fix the issue. Check out this relay from Roadmaster: http://www.roadmaste...-lite_relay.pdf I have not used this product, just something I found while searching the web.

Lets us all know if this works.
Jack

Interesting info. Thanks.

I got my towbar and diode wiring system from Blue Ox and they said nothing about requiring a relay, only that the lights have to be controlled by the coach. They originally recommended the additional bulb socket setup but I opted for the diodes. When I saw the new LED replacement for the bulb socket I called but was discouraged by the price. They wouldn't sell me just two bulbs. I'm now in the re-thinking mode ... !
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Thom

#16 desertdeals69

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

No problem with the wiring. The diode is an "and gate." The pulsed signal is coming from the MH turn signal wiring, putting a pulsed 12 v signal to one input side of the diode. That 12 v pulse passes through the diode to the lamp filament giving you a blinking light. If (when) your supplemental braking system depresses the brake pedal, the towed vehicle brake light switch will activate the vehicle brake lights (including the third light). This puts a steady 12 v signal on the other input side of the diode, and thus a steady 12 v output to the filament. Since one 12 v signal will not override the other 12 v signal (that is, they are equal and therefore create an equal output), and the two 12 v signals do not add up to a 24 v signal, the filament sees only a steady, constant, 12 v source and becomes a steady light.

Of course there are other factors involved. I already said this does not apply to towed vehicles with independent turn signal lamps and brake lamps. Also, if you disconnect the battery on the Toad, there will be no 12 v brake signal to fill in the spaces between the pulses from the MH. And, as the battery on the Toad wears down, the pulsed signal coming from the MH electrical system will be stronger than the brake signal and you will get a slightly brighter flashing light, but it will be barely discernible, and certainly not as clear as on-off-on-off.

I installed the Air Force One supplemental braking system. This system activates the Jeep brakes whenever the coach brakes are applied, even when the vehicles are at a standstill. Electrically activated supplemental braking systems will probably do the same. However, if you have a momentum/inertia activated supplemental braking system, the Toad brakes are not applied when the vehicles are not moving, and you will not see this happen when you are checking your lights before leaving camp. It only happens when the turn signal is on and the Toad brake pedal is depressed.

Is it a major issue or a safety hazard? No, probably not. More often than not, I'm guessing, you'll have your turn signal on long before you apply the brakes. And, again I'm guessing but it's true on my coach, the people behind you will be able to see the coach lights as well as the Toad lights. The coach lights are unaffected by the installation, continuing to flash as expected.

No big deal.

Install a switch fuse on the brake light circuit in the toad and the problem is solved. The toad brake light will not be active when toad brake pedal is depressed.
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#17 DaveDeb

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

I have used magnetic towing light ever since I started towing my Chevy Cobalt. I was told that the new wiring system in the Cobalt required a new computer chip that cost more than an $100 dollars, something about uni-wiring. If there is one thing that has to be said is that the base of the magnets will mare the finish on the car. To avoid this I Velcro two steel electrical connection box covers, one on each side of the interior rear deck. They will hold tight and will not have to be removed and are secure from theft. The cable can be wrapped around the tow bar a couple of times then close the hood on the wire then have your best friend hold the wire taught and close the door on it, it will not flap.
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#18 Habu978

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:53 AM

This topic is different for everyone opinion, so let me put in my 2cent worth. First I have towed with all towing systems. Presently I use the magnetic lights on my present auto. I feel it's the best for me, it's quick and easy. Don't have to worry about feed back to the motorhome electrical system or running down the battery when it's raining or driving at night and your running all your lights. All I did was installed a connector just below the tow bar attach point on the auto next to my air hook up. Ran the wires to the back bumper leaving the connector on. I them place the lights where I wanted them, ran the wire to the connector. I then made the connection, since I had some much wire left, I opened the individual light cut the wires shorten them to the proper lenght. So all I have is a short wire on the lights. When I don't tow I place them in the space tire compartment. Out of sight, Out of mind.. I had my Saturn wired into the electrical system and towed it for 4 years, had to pull fuses before towing and still had a ended up with a dead battery at the end of the driving day. The magnetic lights work well for me.
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#19 jvwatt

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:43 PM


X2 and it is easy to install


This worked well on many vehicles including my 06 Explorer, but i find now in my 2013 explorer there is NO room to install anything in the light housing. Will be using diodes to utilize existing lights.


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#20 jcbuf

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:17 PM

We tow a Saab on a dolly. The Saab has a extra light socket for a rear fog light My mechanic hooked a bulb that was seated into that extra socket. He ran a wire to the front of the car and I have an extension cable that attaches to the motorhome. Works fine.
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