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Old 10-07-2019, 06:21 PM
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Captain Skip's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Live Free or Die
Posts: 55
3rd brake light question/issue

I've finally got my JK all set up to tow behind my motorhome. I installed a Hopkins HM56200 plug and play wiring harness and a Hopkins brake light relay kit. The relay kit isolates the brake lights so that when the brake pedal is depressed when the Jeep is off, the signal lights will still function and not be overridden by the Jeep brake lights. (I'm using a NSA ReadyBrute Elite II tow bar with surge brake)

I added a flasher unit to my 3rd brake light that makes the 3rd light flash a couple times before staying on steady when the brakes are applied. Works perfectly when the Jeep is running. The other brake lights, tail lights and signal lights all work properly when the Jeep is shut off and being towed. The problem is the 3rd brake light will not work when under tow as the Hopkins harness does not connect to it.

The tow bar came with a small LED that I mounted on the dash of the motorhome and attached upstream of the brake relay so that when the brakes are applied on the Jeep while being towed, the LED will light up. This lets me know if the brakes are still on before I try towing the Jeep. Works perfectly.

I was thinking about splicing into the line for the dash LED and running a wire back to the 3rd brake light so when the brakes are applied the LED on the motorhome dash will light up as well as the 3rd brake light. But, when I'm unhooked and running the Jeep the 3rd brake light functions through the Jeeps wiring system.

My concern is when I'm running the Jeep if I put the jumper from the LED brake line to the 3rd brake light that I'll have power coming in to the 3rd brake light from two sources - the Jeep wiring and the jumper. Will having the two wires both providing power put 24 volts instead of 12 volts into the 3rd brake light? Or, am I better off to deadhead the power from the Jeep's harness to the 3rd brake light and just use the jumper all the time? I got the flasher unit to protect my azz when towing the Jeep to make sure people behind me see that I'm stopping and I really want it to work while towing.


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