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Old 12-31-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
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Temporarily Powering a 5th Wheel from a tow vehicle.

In the winter I remove both batteries from my 36CKTS.
I thought for the few winter inspections I make at the storage facility I would just plug the tow power cable from the 5th wheel into my tow vehicle to provide power for lighting only. When I attempted this the interior lights didn't come on. The battery disconnect switch was in the ON position. I have not had time (and it's too cold) to trouble shoot.
Shouldn't what I tried work?
The tow vehicle charges the batteries successfully when towing.

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Old 12-31-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Did you leave your tow vehicle running when trying the lights? Maybe it needs to run....also are all your 12 volts cables connected together at the battery box eg: all positives together and all negatives together?

2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
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Another thing to check is if you have the relay or fuse installed in the truck to provide 12V power at the 7 way plug. Easiest way is to check at the truck's plug for 12V power between pin 4 and pin 1 (ground) with the truck running.


Nights camped in 2013 - 55, 2014 - 105, 2015 - 63
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. The battery cables for both batteries are isolated (insulated) during storage.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:49 PM   #5
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Cant do it! Charge line only supplies minimal current to recharge the house battery while under way. Leaving it connected without a battery in place does not complete the circuit for lights. Take a battery with you and if nothing else using jumper cables connect it. Take it home with you when your done
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Guess it must depend on the unit. I store my battery on a trickle charger in the garage over the "winter" here while at our winter home in southern Arizona. The trailer is at a storage unit without power. Lights and slides operate when plugged into the 7 pin off the truck. Slides are a little slower maybe, but they work!
Jim & Kathy

2012 Crusader 290RLT TE, TrailAir flex pin: 2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7 SR5 Dbl cab 4X2 Tow, 4.30 gears, RideRite air, TRD cold-air induction & dual exhaust: Reese 16K Slider: TST tpms
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:13 PM   #7
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Ours will power up also, truck must be running but that is how we winterized, off the truck 7 pin.
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:02 PM   #8
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Should it work - yes.

Sounds like a wire is not connected, possibly a ground wire from the pigtail into the rig.

It should provide basic lights, might operate the slides on a good day, and some leveling systems. The size wire for the "charge" line in a tow vehicle is too small to provide much (even for charging really) power to the camper. Again it should work just be careful with the power use.

Using a volt meter check the power at the battery terminals - should be 12 Volts. If not check power at the plug.
Walter & Donna
2011 CC LB RAM 3500 CTD 6.7L DRW
2013 Cedar Creek 38FL
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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Using a volt meter check the power at the battery terminals - should be 12 Volts. If not check power at the plug.
OK, I think the OP said his batteries are removed from the coach and are in his garage back home. In my CC, the battery has to be installed (or at least in the circuit) for this to work. The 12V lights are operated from the battery. Plugging in my truck without the battery installed will not power the lights. It will however, slowly charge the battery if it is installed. So, at least for me, donniedu is right. Some of the responders in this thread are not CC owners and the OP is.
Skip & Susan Orrell
Hurst, Texas
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:47 AM   #10
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I also need a battery installed for anything to work in my unit.

Tim and Bev
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5th wheel, power, tow vehicle, wheel

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