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Roadmaster 4-Diode Universal Wiring Kit Installation - 2020 Chevrolet Suburban

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How to Install the Roadmaster 4-Diode Universal Wiring Kit on a 2020 Chevrolet Suburban


Hey everybody, Ryan here at "etrailer". Today on our 2020 Chevy Suburban, we're gonna be showing you how to install the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit. But before we do that, why don't we check it out and make sure that this is something that's gonna work for you So before we get too carried away, kinda talking about the diode wiring and how it works and things like that, I figured it'd be useful just to kinda refresh yourselves and touch base on the main components that we're gonna need to flat tow our vehicle down the road in the first place. So there's gonna be a total of five main components needed to flat tow your Chevy down the road safely. First one's gonna be the base plate and that's gonna provide us with a solid and reliable attachment point. That way, we can hook our tow bar up to it.

The tow bar is gonna be the second component and this is gonna be the physical link that actually connects the front of your vehicle to the back of your coach. The third main component will be safety cables, and these are pretty straightforward here. These are just there in the event of an unlikely disconnect. They're gonna keep everything paired together. The fourth main component is going to be tow bar wiring, and what this is gonna do is transfer the lighting signals from the back of your motorhome to the back of your suburban.

You know, that way people know what's going on behind you and you'll be safe and legal. And last but not least, the fifth main component will be the supplemental braking system, and what this is gonna do is apply the brakes in your SUV. Whenever you hit the brakes in your coach, helping to bring you to a more complete and predictable stop. So right now is a perfect example on how the diode wiring is gonna work. So we got the left turn signal going on our motor home, and it's being transferred to the back of our Chevy here.

And you're not just gonna get your turn signals, you're also gonna get your taillights and your brake lights. So you'll have all your bases covered and you'll be safe. With that said, you know, when it comes to tow bar wiring, I always like to recommend the diode wiring like we have here today, really because it's super reliable, really haven't ran into a ton of issues at all with them, and we've done a lot of them. More importantly, really easy to set up. Once it's installed, there's essentially one step to it and that seems like a lot of people are concerned with that.

And I think it looks the best to, it's just clean. You know, once everything's in, it's gonna look completely factory. You're not gonna be able to tell you really have anything modified, and that's compared to another type of lighting called magnetic lighting. Those work and get the job done but they're kind of a pain especially on a big vehicle like this, cause those you're gonna have, it's gonna require you to set them up and take them off every time you want to flat tow or disconnect, and that magnetic basis subtle stick to the body of your vehicle. You'll have to run wires all the way up to the back of your motorhome and it's kinda just a hassle, and then not to mention too, storing them. You know, when you're over the road, storage is key. It's huge, a huge deal to a lot of people and so anything you can do to free up some space is worth it in my opinion, and not having to deal with a big, huge bundle of wires and some lights definitely goes a long way. When you use diodes like this, you're not gonna have to worry about messing with that. So I talked about how easy it is to hook up and you're just gonna have a connector here at the front of your vehicle, and you're gonna take the ends of the cable. That'll plug into there. Then the other end of that cable is gonna run and plug into the back of your motorhome. So there are several different kits available and really, the only thing that changes with them is what type of cable you're gonna get, and I really just want to go over all of them. That way, you make sure you get the one that's most appropriate for your particular setup. So the one that we have here today is the kit that comes with a straight cable like this one here, and you want to use a straight cable if your tow bar has channels in it. So for exactly that reason, ours has the channels so we have the straight cable. That way, you can run the cable through those channels. Another option for you, if you have channels in your tow bar, would be the hybrid type, okay So the part closest to the motor home will have a coil in it and the rest of it will be straight. And this is useful for those of you that might have a really long tow bar or maybe use a high load after and it really makes the gap big in between your truck and your motorhome. This is probably the longest cable available so that's a good option for you. Both of these are gonna have a seven way around and it'll go into the motor home side and on the other end the six-way. That'll go into the vehicle side. If your tow bar does not have channels, you can get the kit that has the coiled cable. So again, seven and six. The coils will stretch out like this and keep it up off the ground when you're going straight, but then give you that extra length that you need. It'll stretch out when you're making those turns and things like that. By far, those are probably our three most popular kits, the most common, but there is some other ones available too for those of you that might have kind of a different scenario. This one here is a coiled cable. It has a seven-way round that'll go into the motor home and a four-way round that'll go into the front. You know, these work just fine. I always suggest the six-ways so the six-way rounds 'cause it gives you a couple more pins you can do things with if you ever want to upgrade in the future, anything like that. And if you're going through the trouble to install it, might as well go that route, at least in my opinion, but still an option. And then probably the least common is this one. So this kit just has a four-way flat connector. So a four-way flat. You know, maybe on some of the older motorhomes, this would be applicable, but really don't see a lot of these, but it is an option. And then last but not least, there's a kit that just kinda comes with the bare bones as how I like to refer it to, where it just comes with the main bundle of wire, some connectors, your diodes. It doesn't come with a cable or a connector plug and that's because some of the more premium tow bars actually come with those components already. So for example, the Roadmaster Nighthawk, it comes with the cable and the connector plug. So if that's what you're gonna end up using, or one that has those things already, you want to get that bare-bones kit 'cause it don't make sense to buy stuff that you already have so, but that said, depending on your setup, there's always gonna be an option available for you. But at the end of the day, a kit you really can't go wrong with, it's gonna look good, be reliable and most importantly, easy to use and set up when you ever you're all ready to flat tow, you're not gonna be wasting a bunch of time. As far as the installation goes, it's not too bad. Y'all are gonna have to hook up some wires and things like that but everything's really open and easy to see and understand. It is time consuming just having to route the wires from the front here to the back but I'll show you a couple of tricks that I use and hopefully, that'll speed things up for you. So as long as you take your time, really shouldn't run into too many issues, but speaking of that, why don't we go ahead, pull into the garage, and do that together nowTo begin our wiring installation, we're gonna be here at the front of our Suburban, and first thing we need to do is hook up our connector plug. And so what I've done here is just drill the small opening right here. We really don't have a ton of spots to mount this up so by drilling this out, it gives us a really clean, really clean setup here. So before we do that, we're gonna kinda get our wiring ready. So I just took one end of the wiring, threaded through the hole, and we're going to separate the wires from each other. We carefully cut in between them, pull them apart a few inches, and manage to get this one. And what I like to do is just put them all back together, kinda cut off maybe a half inch just to give everything a fresh start there. Then we're gonna strip back the insulation so like that'll work, and you want to give each wire a good twist to help out with that connection. Do the same thing for three remaining wires. Once you have the wire stripped, you're gonna take your dust cover, slide that on, don't push off kinda off to the side for now. Now, we can get ready to get our wires tucked up so if you grab the connector plug, you're gonna have set screws, and the trick is just to loosen them up pretty much all the way without getting them to come completely out. If they come out, they're are kinda hard to not only fine, but actually get back in there but we're gonna be using four of the six terminals. So this one here, it'll be labeled GD for ground so the white wire will go to it. This one here is labeled LT for left turn so the yellow wire will go to that one. This is labeled RT for right turn so the green wire will go to it, and then this one up top here is labeled TM for taillights so the brown wire will go to it. So we're just gonna take the appropriate wire, put it in the appropriate terminal, and simply just tighten down our set screw. Gonna go ahead and do the same thing to get the rest of our wires hooked up. So this is what the connector plugs gonna look like all hooked up. And once you have that done, we'll take our dust cover, slide that over. What I usually do is put some dielectric grease and some sealer on them terminals, but I wait till the very end of the flat tow set up to do that. Just that way, if I have to get back in here, it's not a huge mess, but for now, we'll do the trick, pop that through. I did a moment ago and I just highball everything and drilled a couple of holes in it. That way, I can take some of our hardware, you put this through and get it secured. So underneath our vehicle now, I started to route our wires so it comes out the back of the plug and then up and over, and when you're doing this to your best to avoid any hotter moving parts. Right at that side, I pushed the wire in through the frame rail and ran it through the frame, and I'll show you exactly how I did that here in a minute but for now, it just runs through the frame, continues on inside here. Like I said, I'll show you the trick that I use to make that a lot easier. And right here, to the coil out the hole on the side of the frame and what I want to do is just ground out our white wire. In that way, we can have the length of it for stuff here in the future and it's a good spot. So what I'm gonna do is take our wire and just very carefully cut just the white wire, all right Separate the ends, this end, that goes just to nothing, this to the end of the wire here, we're eventually gonna take all that off, just peel all this off and save the length of wire for later, but for now, let's focus on this. So this end is actually the side of the white wire that's going to our six-way connector plug and we're gonna strip back our insulation. So you'll grab the ring terminal, slide that over the baron of the wire and crimp that down. I was just gonna say, it's not a bad idea to give it a little pull too just to make sure, especially if you're using a pair of crimps like these. They're not the greatest in the world by any means, but we're making do here so. It's all in there nice and tight, and then we're gonna connect this to the body of our vehicle so metal portion here, and this is easy to get to and kinda out of the way. We'll take our self-tapping screw and run this down. So with that secured, we're gonna continue to route our wiring what's left of it towards the back of our vehicle. So the way I'm getting our wiring through the frame is I'm just going from like, hold the hole here in the frame rail and I'm using a pull wire. So this is a piece of nylon tubing. You can use a coat hanger or something like that, but I just taped one at the end of the wiring to that and this being pretty stiff just makes it a lot easier to kind of guide or wire where we want it to go. So that's how I'm getting this done here. I'll probably stop right here and just start to route our wire up now that we kind of cleared the danger zone if you will, and it's starting to get pretty busy, you know, the frame is there towards the back so this will probably be the last spot where I do this. I'll probably just shoot the wiring up and continue on back on our frame there. So I got the wire continued towards the back where it comes out of the hole and I just brought it up, zip tied it along the way and it's just gonna run. It's a little tricky to see but it's just gonna continue to run straight back towards the rear of our vehicle. So our wiring comes on out through here up through here and then at this point, I separated our green wire from the yellow and brown and then I attached that extra piece of white wire that we had saved. So our yellow and brown wire, I just taped that extra white wire to the end of it, and this is all eventually gonna run up to the driver's side tail light pocket. The green wire and that other end of the white wire, I taped those together and routed these along the back of our bumper over towards the passenger side so I ran them on along, really come down right here. And what we're gonna do is just kinda let these hang for now and you can go up top and get our tail lights removed. That way, we can figure out what wire does what and get everything hooked up. And on top here, we need to get our tail lights removed so we're gonna have this plastic cover. You can open up your hatch and you need to get this cover off to get access to the fasteners so I'm just using a plastic trim tool. Things are in here pretty good so you don't have to do some prying. I'm just gonna kinda try to work, work it up slowly. Thing's kinda just pressed in are these clips. So with that out of the way, now, we can get to our fasteners. So we're gonna have two. They're gonna be at torch that had, and they're gonna be a T15 in size. Get that out on the bottom and this one on the top, then you can get our light pulled out. So with these, sometimes it can be kind of tricky. This one actually come out pretty good. A lot of times, you can wobble and pull back and get it to free. Sometimes, you might just have to kind of use the palm of your hand and kinda hit it and put pressure towards the back to get it to pop free but guess that it's all kind of just the luck of the draw there. We're gonna have a few things you need to disconnect. One of them, there's a metal clip. It goes around our wire there. You know, drop that. So that's all that is. Just pop it off and we're gonna disconnect our lights. So these are quarter turns. You just turn them, a quarter turn and we'll pop free. Free of those. And last but not least, this one connector here, push down on the center of it, and then we can take our tail light assembly, set it off to the side and repeat the same process to get the other one removed. So now with the taillights out, we can actually get our wiring pulled up into the tail light pocket so all I've done is just use the fish wire, kind of the same deal that we did with our frame to get our wiring through the frame, just dropped it down through the taillight pocket, and now, we can pull it up where it needs to be to get all that slack pulled out of it. I'm gonna trim at the length. I like to give us maybe an extra foot of wire to work with 'cause why not Rather have it and not eat it than the other way around. And now, we can get these wires ready. Some much try to split these here and make do with this to strip back the insulation and all three of these ends, and start to crimp on some of our terminals. So the other one is gonna receive a blue terminal. So I crimp that one down and then the white and brown wires, we're gonna do something a little different with those. You're actually gonna twist these together nice and tight, And those, you're gonna take the yellow terminal, put that over both the ends, and get it crimped down. Just like that. So now what we can do is identify what factory wires do what and so we're looking for our tail light signal and our stoplight signal. So I tested the wires, I turned our signals on and used a test light to check each individual wire to see what one lights up and what I came up with was this skinny brown wire, this one that's going to plug here, that's gonna be our tail light signal and then the green wire is going to the bottom bulb, that's gonna be our stop and turn. That's what we're gonna hook into there. So with that said, we we're gonna get these ready. So we'll start with our brown wire and this was all taped up. I kinda like to pull everything apart just to give us more room to work. We're gonna strip that back. Put these ends stripped and all these that we're about to do, are all gonna receive blue terminals and what we're doing with this here is putting these on. That way, we can plug them into our diodes and ask you to complete the circuit so we can get everything to work. But with that one done, what we'll do is here to take the side closest to the connector plug. You're gonna take a diode and that'll be single term at all, it'll say out, that's the one you want closest to the connector plug. The other side can go to either one, don't matter, and some says controls are tail light signal. We're gonna take our new wiring and plug that in. So the white and brown wire will go there. Just like that. With the green wire being our stop and turn, I'm gonna essentially do the same exact thing, cut it into half, crimp on the diodes, and hook this up so I'll just do that now and since we already went over how to do one, I'm gonna have that one down and show you what it looks like. So I went ahead and got this other diode hooked up. So like I said, the green wire going to our bottom bulb. It's for the stop and turn so I cut it, crimped on the spade terminals, and hooked it up the same exact way we did the other one, plugged it into the diodes, single terminal, closest to the bulb so I want to set that up, and then our new yellow wire, that's gonna get plugged into that diode there. So that's how it should be all set up and what we can do now is grab our tail light and get it reinstalled. So this will just go the opposite way. Quarter turns, you just find it until I set flush and then you can lock it down. I'm pretty straight forward here once everything's plugged in and get through it. Just to make sure our diodes kind of sit, sit in a good position. Just get everything lined back up. So over here on the passenger side, we went ahead and did the same exact thing. So I set it up just like the other side essentially. The OEM or factory wire colors are the same. Brown wire controls tail light signal, and green wire controls stop and turn so did the diodes the same. The only difference is over here, the new white wire that we ran that's for our taillight so that'll get plugged into the diode with our factory brown wires and the new green wire that we ran, that's gonna be controlling for our stop and turn so that goes to the diode with the factory green wire so pretty simple there. This is how it turned out and once we have it done, again over here, we'll get our tail light reinstalled. So that's a good idea to test your wiring to make sure that it all works properly. So I'm using a test box. If you use your motor home, keep in mind, your motorhome has issues that's gonna translate back to here so that's something to think about, but with that said, we're gonna try our tail lights, our left turn, our right turn, and our brake lights. Okay, you're right with Gary and Phillips and we're gonna go over their flat tow set up with them today, show them how everything works and where we installed everything on the Suburban. So it's a 2020-2020. 2020 Suburban. Yeah, it's a really nice truck. So first of all, we've got the system I'll put on here. So I'll show you where everything is. So the guys hide things pretty well, and they do a lot of good work as far as putting wire loom all over everything and making it all really nice. So this is your battery disconnect, and that's the part that there's a momentary switch inside. We'll show you here in just a minute. And then this here is your fuse for your braking system so if the braking system's ever just not working, this is the first place to check. Okay. And you just pop the top off in the fuses inside there, and then the Air Force One is over here in the secondary battery tray location. So some of these trucks are diesel, so they have a second battery location usually, but since you don't have the second battery and you have the gas motor, that's your Air Force One right there, it ties into your vacuum booster right here with this hose, and then that's the only thing that actually ties into any systems on the car is that vacuum right there for the vacuum booster. Everything else is just the braking system itself and power from the battery over there. Okay. So then inside the car here, I'll show you the breakaway or the switch for the solenoid. It's really hard to see so I'm gonna point at it and then I'll let you get in here and look at it. It has a coin bezel around it so you'd be able to see it, but when you press it, you can kind of hear it. So if you want to-Hang on. Check it out there. So that's battery off. Everything in the truck went off. Okay. And you press it again and it's battery on. Man Okay. So that's that and then on, if you want to fly in there, on the brake pedal, you'll see a big cylinder and a cable that pulls the brake pedal to the floor and since you have adjustable pedals, always when you're setting up to tow, you want to adjust the pedals all the way out. That way, the pedals, whenever they're adjusted to any other person at any place, it could never affect driving the car. Man Okay. So that's why we do it at all the way out. And then other than that, we've got your tow bar and safety cables here so we got some really big safety cables because of the weight of the Suburban, and then the tow bar is pretty simple to use. When they're new, they're a little stiff to move. You can move them like this if you're gonna store it and store it either way. Most people will grab a tail bar cover and just kinda get everything up in the cover and just leave it on the motorhome when they're camping, and then, you know, it'd be good to take it off and store it like if you're not gonna be going anywhere for a long period of time. Right. Just to keep it out of the side and whatnot. This is your airline cable for your braking system and here's your breakaway cable for the braking system. So we'll just go ahead and get it hooked up. I'll let you do that side, I'll do this side. Let's pick it up, get it to where it'll swing down and then just pull them apart. And then this comes out and you always go, you put it outside in so that you're a pin certain here. Man Outside in. Yeah, I guess before we get too far there, I'll show you over here. So to remove this, these when you're not towing and you're just driving around town, you just pull this pin and turn. So you just pull out on the pin and turn. It'll pop right out. Man All right. And then put it back in, you don't have to pull on the ring or anything, you just push it in and turn and you feel it lock in so that's good. And you always want these ears to the inside, and just put it there, through there and make sure your snapper pin goes through there and make sure this always snaps down and you want to keep your fingers out of the way 'cause that hurts. I've done that a lot of times on tracking. And you've got your six round and the only thing I want to point out there is there's a ridge. That ridge is always 12:00. And that runs the lighting and then gives you your brake signal for the braking system and it runs through the tow bar here and goes to the seven-way and plugs right into the seven-way, and we've tested all that, made sure everything was working. Normally, the other thing is the safety cables. Now this is a black tow bar and if you ever decide to tow a smaller vehicle, you can run the safety cables through this channel. It's on here that this straight cables ran through but since these cables are heavy duty for the weight of Suburban, you're not gonna be able to do that. And these hooks are awful large for the safety chain loops that they give you here on the base plate so we got you these 10,000 pounds quick links to attach there. I mean just put them in there. And hang on a second, I'm sorry. So sometimes I'm not thinking. You're supposed to cross these cables just in case there ever is a breakaway of the tow bar and the cables are still hooked up. It'll kind of keep the tow bar off the ground and keep it from digging into the ground and causing you a problem so always make sure though that side goes to this side and this side go to that side. That was my fault. I should've remembered that. And you don't have to tighten these up with a wrench or anything, just finger tight really good. It'll actually probably be a little too tight. If you have run into any rain or road grime or anything, you might need a little pair of pliers to unreal, and you've got your airline there. I wanted to show the plastic caps. So you've got a small cap for the front of the car that you always want to keep on here when you're not towing and a large cap for this end of the cable for when you're not towing. That keeps all the dirt out of the air system and then you can stow your cord somewhere, but then go on, it's just like an air compressor check. There and then you can do the in front side. And this is one thing I always recommend getting a second set of these. Woman What do they doThey're just rubber caps for the air force, SMI Air Force One and they just keep the dirt out of the system. And then that's it except for the breakaway switch which is right here. And so this is not all the way out yet. So these are plenty. You don't have to worry about wrapping them around the tow bar or anything. They're not gonna drag the ground. If you do see them stretching out to where they do get that way, you could throw it around the tow bar one time just to make sure it's not gonna get involved here where it's pivoting and pinch the cables. So on the breakaway, it's just this right here. And this little wire cable means always stay on there with that plastic thing to keep the two contact separated so that it doesn't apply to Air Force One brakes. And this little box here store some air in case of a breakaway and then that'll apply the brakes. And then otherwise, there's a tank underneath that's tied into your air brakes on the coach that actually works the Air Force One system so you're not using the air for stopping the coach to stop the car. It's actually auxiliary air that's pushed into that tank while you're just driving along. And then, yeah, other than that, that's pretty much it for setting up and getting ready to go. Yeah, so that's. Just putting the truck in neutral is always something you always want to use your arms manual on so we don't give instruction on that, but we'll go through it with you with your owner's manual and that's different for every vehicle so we'll do that here in a minute right before you take off. All right. And that should do it. And that'll finish up our look at and our installation of the Roadmaster Diode Wiring Kit on our 2020 Chevrolet Suburban..


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