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Old 06-07-2014, 01:18 AM   #1
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Battery cutoff switch on/off when towing?

I've been searching a few sites for this answer but have come up empty. My friend with a new TT asked me today, when you tow, does the tow vehicle charge the TT battery even if the battery cutoff switch located inside the camper is turned "OFF"..meaning battery power is off for all systems. I am curious also as I have a 2014 Rockwood, and this is my first TT with a battery cutoff switch. He asked his dealer, and received conflicting answers. I've seen alot of questions regarding IF the TT is charging, but for this example we both have F250's with the 7 pin and integrated brake controllers/tow packages. Just wondering about the position of the switch and will the battery charge if both positions.

Thanks for you help in advance.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:37 AM   #2
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Best way to know for sure is to test with multimeter: Connect trailer electrical cord to towing vehicle, start vehicle and take voltage reading at battery with battery disconnect in "off" position, now put battery disconnect switch in the "on" position and take voltage reading again. Are voltage reading the same or different? Normal voltage of battery when not charging should be around 12 to 12.6 volts and while charging at 13.5 volts and higher.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:29 AM   #3
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X2 with fonzie.

If you don't have a multimeter, turn on all the TT lights and fans to put a load on the 12 volt system, then start the tow vehicle. The lights will probably get a little brighter and the fans will probably run a little faster when the tow vehicle starts running.

Ford (and maybe others) sends the power to the 7 pin connector through fused relays. That way if the towed vehicle has a short it just blows the affected fuse but does not affect the tow vehicle's lights or electrical system. If you don't have power to the TT battery when the tow vehicle is running, check the fuses and relays.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:38 AM   #4
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I have always towed with the cutoff switch in the "on" position reason being the fridg is on when traveling and just to be sure the brakes have power should the brake away switch be activated. Another very valid reason is for potty stops, need that water pump.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
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I'm with presley01, my fridge is on. I would hope breakaway switch is not going through disconnect switch and is powered all the time just like the landing gear. I see no reason to turn it off when traveling
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Not sure about the breakaway switch but I know the landing gear on our unit goes through the disconnect. When the plunger of the disconnect is pushed in the landing gear is disabled. Next time I'm at the RV I am going to check if there is power to the breakaway switch with the disconnect sw in the disconnected position.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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The breakaway switch (and power jack) are on their own circuits, straight from the battery. A separate wire runs into the camper to the cut off switch. A third wire runs from the Bargman plug to the battery. This is the charging circuit. So, the cut off switch inside the trailer affects only the 12V supply to the DC side of the fuse panel.
The reason you don't see 4 wires on the positive battery post is that there is a junction block under the trailer where the power jack, charging and house circuits all connect. The break switch is wired straight to the positive post.
So feel free to open the switch. Your battery will still charge and the emergency breakaway will still work.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replys. I'll try and check both ways.....with the switch off and on when I get a chance. Just wondering if anyone knew for sure without going out to the camper...since many of these new TT's and 5rs have the cutoff switch now they should all probably work the same way. We are not questioning specifically if ours works or not...but in general what is the way most of the brands are set up. Just trying to confirm more of an "OK...I thought so"...lol Thanks again.

Ken
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:51 PM   #9
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Still not sure why you would leave it off when towing. You will be using power of you run your fridge. Worse you can do is charge your battery

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Old 06-08-2014, 01:41 AM   #10
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Davel1971...the question wasn't weather to leave it off or on...it was DOES it charge the battery with "OFF". I personally did not have a choice on my last two TTs since I didn't have the switch..and I always ran my fridge on Propane when I traveled and yes the battery charged. Now that I, and my friend now have the switch in the camper, just curious if anyone had the answer. The first two times I have camped I left it "power on" when travelling...just wanted to see if it works both ways. After all of these posts, technically I still did not hear the answer I was looking for. I understand about running the fridge, understand about the break away cable..which some still did not know had dedicated power. We just wanted a yes it charges or no it doesn't with the switch OFF. Thanks.


Ken
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