Not Again . . .

Jan and I first stayed here at Billings Trailer Village RV Park in March 2008 on our way to Alaska. When we got here it looked like this.

Billings 2008 - 1

Billings 2008 - 2

And this is what Mister thought about snow.

Billings 2008 - 3

Not so much. He put one paw down in it on the step, then pulled his paw back up and looked at it. Then he refused to budge any further.

Billings 2008 - 4

Smart cat.


Under the ‘Not Again’ heading, I noticed on our way up from Cody yesterday that somewhere along the way the toad taillights stopped working. So this morning I first used the toad taillight test box that I built this past March.

Taillight Test Box 2

Using the test box showed that the toad lights are working fine. So it was time to check out the rig side of things. I went inside and turned on the rig’s headlights and emergency blinkers. Then going back outside, I checked the 4 pin output plug that connects to the toad. It has LED’s built into it that show if the taillight converter module has the correct output. And it showed nothing.

So my next step was to check the fuse in the 12volt line that feeds the module. And it was fine. Then using my auto test light I checked the voltage on wire feeding directly into the module.

These test lights have needle point on it that allows you to poke a tiny hole through the wire insulation and check the voltage.

Auto Test Light

You connect the alligator clip to a ground and then if you touch voltage with the tip, the light in the handle lights up.

The test light showed that I had power going into the module, and also taillight and blinker signals. But the light showed no output from the module.

So the $40 that I bought 3 months ago is dead. And it’s supposed to be short circuit protected and impossible to kill. Yeah, right!

So now I’ve got to decide what I’m going to do.

Buy another $40 module from U-Haul?

Or find another one from somewhere else?

I’m almost tempted to just build one of my own design. That way if I do have a problem, it’ll be easy to repair. In fact I would like to think that I can design and build one that won’t die so easily.

We’ll see what I come up with.

About 3pm Jan and I headed out to get our hair cut at a Great Clips. Then after that we stopped off at a nearby U-Haul store to check out what else they had in taillight converters.

Answer: Not much.

At 5:30 we met our friend Linda at the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant that we’ve eaten at in the past. And as before, the food, the company, and the conversation were all great. We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 7:30 because we had a lot of catching up to do.

Tomorrow we’ll be getting together for lunch with other RV friends who live in the area.


Thought for the Day:

Quality generally outweighs quantity, but quantity sometimes has a quality all its own.



4 Responses

  1. Greg,

    I had to make my own converter, we have a 24 volt coach, so the “standard” module wouldn’t work.

    A few mechanical relays along with some fuses (or circuit breakers) and an enclosure is all it took.Probably less than the $40.00 unit and certainly less than a few of them.

    I added a couple of extra circuits also for future use. One is for charging an auxiliary battery the only connects when the coach engine is running.

    It would be very easy for you, if you want more info, let me know.


  2. Too bad you are not near your favorite electronics store in Houston– but then you wouldn’t be in such a beautiful part of the country.

  3. Thanks, Butch.

    I’ve already sketched something out that I think will work OK.

    I’ve already got a charge wire built into my cable harness.

    I don’t worry about whether the engine is running or not as it’s usually only connected when we’re ready to roll.

  4. George,

    Actually the parts I need can be bought at an auto parts store so I don’t need Fry’s

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