Monday, June 21, 2021

Tow Equipment and Solstice

Saturday - I just ordered the tow bar and baseplate for our tow vehicle. For the tow bar, I had seen several installations of the Ready Brute Elite II which has a mechanical surge brake integrated into the tow bar. There is a cable connected to the brake pedal of the towed vehicle which runs to the front bumper. A cable is clipped from there to a lever on the tow bar. When the towed vehicle pushes on the tow bar, the lever pulls the cable which applies the brakes on the towed vehicle. I like the simplicity. For emergency breakaway, you connect a separate cable from the pedal to the front bumper, and a separate cable is clipped from there to some point on the frame of the motorhome. If there is a failure of any part of the hitch setup, the brakes on the towed vehicle will apply and will stop. An emergency breakaway is required in most states.

This is the baseplate for the tow vehicle. the arms are removable and are completely hidden from the casual viewer. If you know what you are looking for, it's still easy to spot. The claimed installation time is only a couple of hours but projects like this seem to take longer than expected. Additional tasks are integrating the lights so the towed vehicle lights always match the RV lights. The normal way to do this is to install diodes. But I think a better way is to install relays in the tail light housings to switch the bulbs between the RV and the built-in wiring. More on this when it's time to install. There is a 0.6VDC drop when using the diodes. Not an issue if the lights are LED but could affect the brightness with incandescent.

Sunday - No chores were done. Nothing to report...

 - Well, it’s the beginning of the end. We are starting to lose daylight as of today. At first only a minute or so per day though soon, it’ll be seven minutes per day. Winter is coming… 

This morning, I have been receiving alerts on my phone from the thermostat in the RV. If it is over 85°F, I'll receive alerts for when we leave the animals inside the RV while we are galavanting around out and about. I changed the notification to 95°F to minimize the alerts. It's a nice feature as I could, potentially, start the generator and the A/C remotely though I don't have the generator start function wired up to the thermostat.

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