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Old 09-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
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Charging while towing

newbie question...

I have a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder that I installed the OEM 7-pin connector onto. And I installed a relay so that the trailer brakes would work. I have a Tekonsha P3. Then I rented a popup over the 4th of July and all went well traveling from Denver CO to Custer SD.

I have a 2014 Roo 183 coming in a few weeks. If I understand correctly, the batteries in the Roo will not charge while hooked to the TV unless I do something.....add a fuse, connect a wire....something. Any idea what to do for this? Thanks!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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If your seven pin trailer connected is wired correctly, one pin provides 12v to the trailer from your TV. You can confirm using a multimeter or test light or verify that the 12v accessories on your trailer work when connected to the TV AND the trailer battery is disconnected. Check online to verify pinout of 7 pin connector; 12v constant is wired independently of your brake controller, which supplies variable DC voltage to the trailer brakes only.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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A lot would depend on whether your Pathfinder has the factory tow package. Some trucks come from the factory without the fuse installed for the 12v power to the trailer harness. On my Trailblazer, I had to connect a buss wire inside the fuse box and install the fuse. On my Ram I didn't have to do anything. +1 on what rbneron said.

My Roo 183 has a battery disconnect switch inside. Make sure the switch is on, but otherwise you shouldn't have to do anything there. And I learned the hard way, if you discharge your camper battery too low, it will blow the fuse in the tow vehicle when you hook up.

We have had our 183 for over a year and really like it. We towed it over 1300 miles on a trip to Virginia just a few weeks ago. Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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You stated that you installed the 7 pin connector rather than the factory. It's a separate circuit for the constant 12v; I protected it using a relay as opposed to a fuse. Did you wire this?
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:38 PM   #5
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Here's a link to a standard wiring article: Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com
You should have 12VDC on the blade at the 1 o'clock position looking into the 7-blade jack on the back of your Pathfinder. If you don't you'll need to wire it to a FUSED 12VDC power source. (Try googling "Pathfinder tow wiring."

In my Silverado, I also ran it through a relay that I can open/close from a switch on the dash, since my 12VDC source is ALWAYS on, even with the ignition off. This lets me kill the power if I'm at hotel for the night, or something like that. You don't want to have something you left on in the trailer kill your TV battery.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Sorry; I stated relay instead of circuit breaker. Definitely needs overload protection. On my vehicle used circuit breakers for overload protection as opposed to fuses using this kit:

http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-...ler/ETBC7.html
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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All that was said x2!

With a 12v connection to the trailer, make sure you unplug the trailer connector if you stop for an extended period of time. I had a pop-up before and the fridge was DC and on during towing. So it would discharge the battery in the truck in only a couple of hours. Same possibility for a TT but DC loads are lower there in many cases.

The Suburbans I've had came with the jumper wire and fuse for the pass through 12V. My old Trailblazer did not come with the fuse. But they all had factory
Bargman 7 pin connectors.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:52 AM   #8
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Find a Pathfinder forum on the Internet. I'm sure there would be a wealth of information on towing.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:00 AM   #9
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We just bought our 1st TT last month and after pulling it into the driveway my neighbor came over and shared some helpful information. He said in every truck that he bought the +12 contact on the 7-pin connector has been disconnected. We checked mine with a volt meter and NO +12 volts on that pin. My connector had the pin diagram embossed on the cover so it was easy to figure out which pin to check. My tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150. After reading the owners manual I found the open relay and fuse socket in the fuse panel under the hood right above the radiator area. Checked the glove box and found the relay and matching fuse in a little zip-lock bag. After inserting these parts the +12 pin was positive, however only when the ignition is turned on.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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To the OP. As you can see all trucks are different. Some require you to
plug in fuses or relays and some will have 12v at the battery pin from the
factory. Some trucks supply engine battery to the connector all the time
and some only do this when the ignition key is on.

You asked about charging so I'm gonna step up and say that some folks
find they get little actual charge to the trailer from the truck.
The reason is the engine alternator/voltage regulator sees the engine
battery as being charged and it lowers the alternator output voltage so
as not to fry your engine battery.
The trailer battery(s) are many feet "down stream" and often do not
get much charge even when the engine is running.

I have run my trailer batteries down to the point of dim lights in the
trailer. (Bad for the battery but it happens once in a great while...)
I drove 2 hours home. You might think I would have got some charge
while on the road but we unplugged the trailer at home and turned on
a light inside to unload. Within 5 minutes the light was dim in the trailer
demonstrating that I got very little charge on the way home.
I plugged back into the truck and lights went back to bright. We unpacked
and I put the truck in the garage.

So my long story is just to tell you that even once you have your battery
lead connected at the plug, you might not get much of a charge thru it.

OTOH, I've been known to plug my truck into the trailer to steal a little
power from the engine battery when I needed it in the trailer. Be careful
or you can wind up with a no-start situation but it's an option if you need
just a few hours more power and have neighbors who can give you a
jump if necessary.

Happy Camping!
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbneron View Post
Sorry; I stated relay instead of circuit breaker. Definitely needs overload protection. On my vehicle used circuit breakers for overload protection as opposed to fuses using this kit:

Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires etrailer Accessories and Parts ETBC7


Man... I was all sorts of ready to correct ya! ... jk...


But yes to the OP what everyone has said has been great... Looking into the 7 pin on the back of the TV youre top right should be the +12 and the bottom left should be ground. Also, you may notice that these pins are larger than the others...
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:19 AM   #12
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All sorts of good info! Looks like I have an excuse to get out my multimeter this weekend.

I'm not really PLANNING on charging the battery in my TT from the car, I just want to know HOW to do it if really needed, and how NOT to do it by accident. I don't want a dead TV battery either.

To someone that asked, I did not wire in the 7-pin by hand. I bought a kit from Nissan that had it all wired for me, and I just plugged it in. Also, it did come with the towing package (upgraded cooling, hitch, etc), but that package only came with a 4-pin. The 7-pin was a dealer installed option, which is essentially what I added on, along with the relay to fire the brakes.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #13
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While you got the multi meter out go ahead and leave it in the camper.
You'll thank me later.


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Old 09-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
While you got the multi meter out go ahead and leave it in the camper.
You'll thank me later.


Turbs
X2. I have noticed the camper to home multimeter use ratio has not been anywhere near what I would have thought. (Honey, are these batteries dead? Honey, I just ripped the outlet out of the wall. Honey, the lights just went out...along with the microwave, electic heater, and blow dryer...do you know why?)

ok, I didn't really need a meter for the last one but you get the point.
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