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Old 06-22-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
David Bott
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Default ? Wiring at hitch connector - Tour Master or in General

Ok, here is one for you all as it has me nervous.

I bough a Toad-Charge to keep the new Outlook battery charged while towing so I do not have to pull the 50 amp Batt 1 fuse per the instructions.

http://www.lslproducts.com/ToadChargePage.html

So, I want to use the 12v DC power coming from the coach itself from the line I already have coming for the lights. Well, the 12V and the Ground.

Reading the instructions on this Toad-Charge, they say I can do it, but give a warning. Here it is...

Quote:
Q: Can I use my motorhome's existing DC power wiring and trailer hitch connector, instead of your 40 foot motorhome wire harness?

A: Yes, provided that your existing wiring and hitch connector are adequate for supplying up to 10 amps for the TOAD-CHARGE? Charge Controller, plus any other loads (i.e., transmission lube pump, supplemental braking system, etc.). Our TOAD-CHARGE? dinghy kit (sold above) is available separately for this purpose, and contains only the parts that install in the dinghy vehicle (i.e., charge controller, nylon wire ties, battery spices, mounting hardware, etc.) - You simply connect it to your motorhome's existing hitch connector and tow bar interconnecting cable.

Note that the motorhome wire harness included in our complete TOAD-CHARGE? kit includes a dedicated ground wire and connector pin, in order to minimize voltage drops. If you use your existing motorhome wiring and connector instead, this important advantage may be lost. Also, note that a circuit breaker MUST be present on your existing motorhome power wire - Without it, a fire hazard exists in the event of a wiring fault. If a circuit breaker isn't already present in your wiring, please consider purchasing the 10 Amp Thermal Circuit Breaker (sold above).

So, the questions is....

Does anyone know if the 12V line coming from the coach is already protected? I can not seem to find anything about this. They want the breaker as close to the coach battery Isolator as possible. (Thus not inside the dingy.) So just being concerned here for they mention "DO NOT OMIT THE DUAL THERMAL CIRCUIT BREAKER, OR A FIRE HAZARD WILL RESULT" (yes, in all caps and bold)

Thanks all.

David
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:06 AM   #2
RJ82much
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David,

I really like the idea of the LSL Toad-Charge. It looks interesting.

I have arrived at destination only to find my car battery fully discharged. It shouldn't be because I have a completely separate lighting system for brake, running & turn signals, powered by the MH. However, the auxiliary brake system is plugged into the car cigarette lighter, and the ignition switch must be left on (positioned just before the "on" & the "off") I believe this keeps the car control modules & security system powered. Anyway, the load is enough to discharge my auto battery in 24 to 48 hours.

When my lighting sytem was installed (by others), I requested that the unused pin in the 6-way connector have 12VDC wired off the MH engine battery, via a dedicated, available, unused auxiliary circuit. It is protected. I think it's fused rather than circuit breaker. The tech forgot to add a ground return for this charging circuit - probably a good thing. You see, without some means to limit the current, one battery is capable of charging far in excess of the 10 amps into the dead battery. That's where the fire-hazard warning comes into play. I have measured approximately 9 amps in my ground return which I connect only during rest stops during trips to recharge the car battery. Another occasion for a large slug of current could occur when you start the car engine - Your MH engine battery will add current, possibly more than 10 amps given the right (or wrong) conditions.

This LSL Toad-Charge claims to have a regulator to prevent overcurrent. That's a good thing. I would definately wire your charger per the manufacturer's directions, using the dedicated lines. Try to use an auxiliary power tap from the MH system. It is likely already fused - if more than 10 amps, you could change the fuse size. Since you have the 10 amp circuit breaker with the kit, it's a good idea to use it as directed even if there is a fuse.

I think this is a useful add-on. Let us know how you make out .
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:17 AM   #3
Curt Krueger
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Default Toad Charger

David and all,
I have this charger on my toad, 2000 Blazer, 2005 Crescendo. I also had a dead battery at the end of every day of towing. I installed this device and never had another problem. This was about two years ago.

I installed mine in the battery compartment,placing the circuit breaker on the compartment wall with the supplied screws, running the wires out of the vent located on the back wall of the compartment, tie wrapped along the frame and ending at the hitch. I left enough wire to just leave it hang at the back. I attached the leads directly to the coach batteries. It will charge even if you are stopped for the night.

On the car I attached the leads to the battery as instructed, mounting the charger on the fender well to a bolt already there. I am sure you can find a mounting place for yours. I then ran the wire to the area of the front license plate. When not in use, the wire is tucked behind the plate.

If the device is working there is a small LED located on the charger which flickers when you have it plugged into the system. Also, they supply covers for the leads when not in use. I always cover both ends when not in use.

Good Luck, and if you need more info let me know.

Curt
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:37 AM   #4
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Curt,

It's interesting that the battery runs down on your Blazer like mine does. Glad to hear the positive report on this device.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
Curt Krueger
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Default Toad Charger

RJ and all

On my Blazer it is recommended that fuse number 19 be removed to help, not stop battery drain. I have found that I can tow for perhaps six hours and still have enough to start motor, but anything longer and no go. I have the brake buddy and that takes alot to keep it going. Even without the brake buddy and the key on , my battery goes down quickly. I do not use my light circuit on the car , I use external lighting , mag lights on the roof supplied by the MH. I was not crazy about running my lights through the car as I was worried about a problem feeding back into the computer.

Anyway, the toad charger took care of all my problems.

Curt
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
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I use the Blue Ox Apollo Tow Brake System. I'm sure it is very similar to the Brake Buddy system. There is a direct connection to the Blazer brake light circuit that activates a rf transmitter when the Blazer brakes are applied. The signal is recieved in the MH to indicate that the brakes are applied in the Blazer.

My lighting consists of separate lamp sockets inserted in the reflectors of the Blazer, with completely independant wiring to the front connector.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:41 PM   #7
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I tow an H2 hummer behind my 06 Tourmaster 40A. What i did was instead of using the trucks lighting system, I simply ran a wire from the dinghy plug to the back lights and drilled a separate hole in the tail light so the motorhome is connected only to that light thus not relying on any part of the electrical system in the Hummer, meaning no draw.

This truck also goes into complete neutral so the keys do not need to be left on at anytime.

Will
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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Will,

How do you unlock the steering column lock?
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:12 PM   #9
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Bob:

On the Hummer H2 and same goes for the other 4 wheel drive (not ALL wheel drive like Denallis) like Tahoes and Yukons, you have to put in neutral electronically. You go through a few steps with the high and low knobs which used to be buttons and the whole entire truck is free.

you then put your truck into park, take the keys out and everything is free. The steering wheel moves, the keys come out, the doors can lock, etc. You just have to make sure you are hooked up to the MH or your car will roll on you. This is an awesome setup that takes 1 minute with no driveshaft work or pumps. this comes from the factory like this

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Old 06-23-2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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Will,

That's the big difference between your vehicle & we Chevy-Blazer guys (Curt & I). We MUST leave the keys in the ignition & turned to the 1st detent (between remove-key & on) in order to unlock the steering column. Unfortunately, this position apparently leaves some electronics fired up in the vehicle.

Since the steering column lock is a theft deterent system for when the vehicle is unattended, do you even have such a lock?
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:53 PM   #11
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WOW, I just confirmed the statement in the H2 tech bulletins:

"Notice: On 2002 and later model year vehicles, the steering column LOCK was removed from the steering column."

That does make towing soooo much simpler. We all have to worry about the embarrasment of a runaway toad if wheels aren't chocked or tow-bar not connected.. Hope I never forget.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:35 AM   #12
David Bott
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Hi...

Well, I hooked up the Toad Charge Sunday and all is well. I did use the 12V and the ground coming off the the coach. More or less the 7 pin connector on the coach is converted to a 6 pin at the other end where it hooks into the toad. The center on mine was ground and the other pin was 12V, the other 4 were wired for lights. (Dedicated lights, did not tie into the toads lights.)

I am happy to report that when the RV hooked up but not running, the light shows MAINTAINING on the Toad-Charge, when I start the coach it then shows CHARGING. So, all seems well.

So we sent off on Monday without pulling the fuse and drove 3.5 hours. All seems well.

I am still not sure if the the coach is fused or protected for the 12V feed. I still need to ask someone who may know here at the Gulf Stream Rally.

David
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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Good!

And don't forget to write us a blurb on your experience/impression of the rally. Put it under "Rallies & events".

As you are mingling, keep your eye out for Scott Pullin. He is the Gulf Stream VP of operations & very approachable. Do not hesitate to introduce yourself. Also, don't feel you need to be shy about mentioning our GSowners forum either. The more he hears about us, the more he will take our comments & concerns seriously.

Safe travels
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:06 AM   #14
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On the H2, I just lock the locks with the key fob and then the go ahead and tow. When i get some place, the truck is the first thing i unhook and then it is put into normal operation until I am ready to leave. So i never worry about anything with it, plus if someone is smart enough to unhook it without me hearing or seeing them, unlock the doors and figure out how to get into drive mode and get away with it, best of luck to them.

It is the absolute easiest thing for towing. I was going to use my wife's denalli at first, but you had to run the recirculator pumps and keep the ignition on, etc. Thats too much like work.

Take care, The Muellers are off for a weeklong trip
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:10 PM   #15
David Bott
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Well, update.

The Toad charge does what it should. The issue is now with the Saturn Outlook. You see, the idea of doing this was so I did not need to pull the fuse each time I hooked up to tow. Well, the is, IF YOU DO NOT PULL THE FUSE THE OUTLOOKS ADDS MILEAGE!!!! Can you believe it?!?!? Without it running, the miles are added!!!!

I AM SO TICKED OFF AT THIS for it makes for a quick disconnect in case of an issue a lot slower. AUGH!!!!

Other than that, Toad Charge works great.

The Break Buddy Select however MUST GO! Two times it locked the brakes and most of the time it offered no help. Calling them the tech said, "yeah, on a coach that size it does not always work as it should." Hummm, NO KIDDING!
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:46 PM   #16
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Hi David,

My Blazer adds mileage as well. That's not good if you're still on warantee or lease. For me, (& Blazer with over 100k miles), I'll just try to sell a story (as well as the car) that I've been towing it 20k of those miles. Will M. doesn't have to worry with his H2 Hummer because everything is turned off when being towed.

I don't understand "Brake Buddy Select" I have the Blue Ox Apollo brake system. I set the sensitivity so that it doesn't operate except in extreme brake situations or "breakaway". What isn't working due to the size of your coach?

David, it seems as though you are having a really bad day - sorry.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:37 PM   #17
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I have it sent at a level of 7 and sometimes it still does not come on. Called the company, they said it should be on 7 for that size of a coach and because the coach is so large, it may not kick in unless it is a panic stop.

Well, 4600lbs and trying to stop to make the right turn at the rest stop resulted in me going past the turn as it never kicked in and I was more or less "pushed" past the turn as I did not want to lock up my brakes.

Other times it worked as it should, and I did not even feel the Outlook behind me. But one other time, during a start up test (Drive a little and stop) it locked the brakes right up and I dragged it!

I am now looking into the Air Force One by SMI.

Not a bad day, just frustrated with the number of issues I have run into. Still do not have the steering issue resolved.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:02 PM   #18
Curt Krueger
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Default Wiring at hitch connector

David and RJ

I am reading the latest post, about the mileage being added during towing. I have the 2000 Blazer which I tow behind a Crescendo, but mine does not add miles. I am curious how you have your Blazer set up to tow. Mine has the electronic trans, I just push the two buttons and hold until it goes into neutral and I am good to go. I do have to remove a fuse to eliminate the idot lights on the dash.Never racked up any miles.

Regarding the brake buddy, this is the unit I use also. At first I played with the settings and finally found where it wanted to be. Mine is about 5 years old now. I do have to watch the length of the stroke on the pedal as it will keep the tail lights on if it is too short. I think you have to the sweet spot for your particular driving style. I do not want this to come on unless I brake hard enough to energize the pendulum. This is done with the sensesitivity setting.


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Old 06-30-2008, 07:50 PM   #19
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Curt,

I do the same with my transfer case (hold 2 buttons to get neutral). I don't know if it's the difference between your 2000 & my 2003 Blazer, but between the "remove-key" position and the "on-with-idiot-lights" key position, I have an "Idiot-light-off but steering-column-still-unlocked" key position. They claim there isn't any electrical load at this position, but the dead battery indicates something is going on. Also, the miles continuing to register proves it as well. The security system is still active (flashing "security" light & at least one of the computer modules (ECM for the brakes/ABS system).

We agree with the braking system - set it only to come on in a panic stop. I allow more stopping distance when dragging a couple thousand pound vehicle behind - I can definitely feel the difference & drive accordingly.

David, I don't believe you want to risk having your toad brake come on & possibly trying to do all the stopping for toad & MH. You'll be replacing Outlook brakes very often. Granted I'm not familiar with Brake Buddy brand, but it sounds like, unlike a modulated trailer brake, your Brake Buddy is either off or full on? 7 sounds like a good setting for my Blue Ox....
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:01 AM   #20
David Bott
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The new Brake Buddy is FULL or PROPORTIONAL . The sensitivity is from 1 to 7 and I was told by support to have it on 7 and either of the other two settings should work.

Well, I am sorry, but I should not have to PANIC stop to have the brakes kick in. The coach as enough to do stopping itself vs 4600lbs more. So I would like some assistance with stopping the Outlook itself. Sometimes it kicks in nicely and I do not even really feel the Outlook, then other times it is like "WHERE ARE THE BRAKES!!!!" and the Brake Buddy is not even kicking in. Kind of hard to get used to the braking like this.

David
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