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Old 01-26-2020, 09:20 AM   #1
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dead battery in towed vehicle

I am towing a 2019 Jeep Wrangler behind our Dynamax Isata 4. We are using a Blue Ox Patriot 3 braking system in the Jeep. Power to the Patriot 3 is supplied directly from the Jeep battery with the ignition off. Blue Ox and the dealer who installed the equipment assured me that battery draw was not an issue because of the small requirement. On our first trip towing the Jeep the battery was drained twice after towing 14 hours. Don't know if its a Jeep problem, a wiring problem , or if the braking unit uses more juice than they say.
Anyone with similar experience and knows what is going on.
Thanks
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:25 AM   #2
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I would connect the positive and negative from umbilical cord to your battery. That way technically your TV is providing some power to your brake unit.
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:41 AM   #3
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We tow a 2014 Mini Cooper manual trans with a road master tow bar and invisibrake. We were told to have the accessory on in the toad and lights on in the rv; twice the battery was dead in the toad. Question, if the brake, signal lights work on toad without accessory on, why have accessory on?
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Old 11-12-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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Putting the key in ACC most likely unlocks the steering so you can tow 4 down.
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. I thought the same thing but when acc is on, I feel no difference in steering; the steering is hydraulic and not elect.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:00 AM   #6
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But with the ACC, key out does does the steering wheel lock?
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:31 AM   #7
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With acc on or off, steering is locked
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:01 PM   #8
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An old post, possibly you have an explanation or answer by now.

But, your post caught my attention as I've recently started to tow my GMC Acadia.

On the Acadia, with the key in the Accessory position, the blue ox patriot 2 system is plugged into the lighter for power from the toad.

The Acadia owners manual states to pull the BATT1 50 amp fuse as part of the departure process. Pulling this fuse cuts the Acadias battery power to the dash lights, dome lights, etc. But the cigarette lighter still has power.

The Acadia owners manual also states to reinstall the fuse and run the car at every fuel stop to lubricate the transmission. Although the manual does not say this will also charge the battery, the battery will get charged in this process.

Curious if your toads owners manual says anything about running the vehicle at fuel or rest stops.

The patriot 2 owners manual does not state the amp draw but it does state not to leave it plugged in overnite (no reason provided) but 14 hours of draw without a charge could be an issue.

Btw, my Acadia is AWD and has electric steering.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:32 AM   #9
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I am towing a 2019 Wrangler. With the tow vehicle's ignition off the battery was drained after 10 to 12 hours. I am using the Patriot 3 braking unit which is the same as the Patriot 2 but has inertia brake assist. Blue Ox told me that their unit should not have depleted the battery in that time. It happened several times and did not find any other power drain except the braking unit. I installed a system that charges the tow battery from the RV for about $100 and have had no more problems.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:13 AM   #10
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Does anyone start their toad at rest or fuel stops?

We stop every 2-3 hours sometimes less depending on fuel level or availability.

I am new to toad towing and while i will follow my toads owner manual instructions on towing, I think it's going to be a bit of an experiment and will bring a battery charger until I know what works best.

I plan on taking an extra few minutes to run my toad at these stops, per my owners manua,l this is needed to lubricate the transmission, although not specifically stated in the owners manual this should charge the toads battery too.

I have read anecdotes of parasitic battery drain on toad vehicle systems despite owners following the toad owners manual and towing system installer instructions.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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Starting your tow vehicle every 3 hours or so will undoubtedly solve the problem but with my setup I would have to remove the braking unit and then reset it before continuing. I guess that I am either too forgetful or lazy to do that.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for those thoughts Fl gator

I wont know until next rv trip season. Covered my rv for winter yesterday
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:23 PM   #13
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When I set up our 2012 GMC Canyon, I installed diodes on the brake/turn and rear taillights. The motorhome supplies power to those lights when towing; no toad power needed.

However, the braking system pulls power from the toad's battery. In my case, my Demco Stay-N-Play braking system is built in (so it doesn't use a power port/lighter socket) therefore the battery still needs to charged. I wouldn't rely on the toad battery for a braking system unless it has a charge line to the tow vehicle.

Thus, I ran a charge line via the umbilical to the toad. On our Sunseeker, there's a tank heater circuit (Arctic package) but we don't have the arctic package:



(Red wire at the upper right corner; fuse not yet installed in this image)

This 20 amp circuit only operates when the battery voltage reaches 13.4 volts. This makes for the perfect charge line, as it is not enabled until after the house batteries reach that voltage, then power is supplied to the toad's charge line.


Tow setup on our Canyon: https://pbase.com/brucemac/202006toad
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:21 PM   #14
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Brucemc,

Professional and clean as usual!

I've got similar diodes, 4, blue ox, and of course tv powered. Just got setup for towing this fall so I have been practicing towing a few times this late in the season so I can engraine and document my check list. I've read a lot about dead batteries towing.

My Acadia towing instructions say to run it at least 5 minutes at the beginning of the day and at each fuel stop to lubricate the transmission - which for us fuel stops are usually at least twice a day.

I'll probably also run the car at lunch time.

I figure my Acadia battery should get topped off with a charge each time but I will travel with a charger until I can prove that out. If not I may install a line similar to yours .

Maybe this is true of all brake systems but the Blue Ox Patriot II, probably the III too, has an internal battery of some sort although the owners manual doesnt mention it. How long it would last under load is unknown.

The RF Controler will display a CHECK POWER CONNECTION if the input voltage drops below 10v. Obviously I'd be pulling over asap. So I feel well protected with this unit.

Chris
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:18 PM   #15
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First time towing our 2004 Jeep Wrangler using the Patriot II, the Jeep seemed a little sluggish starting after an eight hour tow. We purchased a jump box with a 12 volt socket. We have used the jump box for up to 11 hour tows. So far, any over night travel trips we have done, we had the opportunity to recharge the box overnight. I am not sure what we will do if we ever get in a situation where we can't recharge overnight... I guess we will worry about that if it ever happens.

Regardless, the box has been proven valuable to have it in our Jeep during non-towing situations also. Numerous times I was able to be a hero to stranded fellow motorist that needed a jump.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:30 PM   #16
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While I was researching the various setups to safely tow a vehicle, I learned there are three separate but interconnected systems:

1) Tail/Marker and Brake/Signal lights
2) Braking system that uses the toad's battery power
3) A method to keep the toad's battery charged

Tail/Marker and Brake/Signal Lights
Commonly, the Tail/Marker and Brake/Signal lights are controlled via either vehicle via the use of 2 input, 1 output diode packs, where either vehicle sends signals to the lights. No interaction is needed when the dingy is being towed or under its own power.

Braking system
The braking system uses a number of inputs and has a variety of outputs depending on the specific system. However, there are a couple of common items: Power input, and appropriate application of the toad's brakes. Therefore, the braking system needs a constant source of power.
Various interactions are needed depending on the system, but for the Demco Stay-N-Play, I simply turn on/off the power switch.

Thus:

Charge Line
To compensate for the draw on the toad's battery by the braking system and, in some cases, the toad itself (often compensated by pulling a fuse) as the key needs to be in ACC position to unlock the steering wheel.
In the absence of the toad's charging system (because the engine is not running while being towed), a charge line is run from the tow vehicle to the toad.

In my case, I have an interesting lighting setup, as the Sunseeker has combined brake & signal lights, yet the Canyon has separate brake and signal lights. Fortunately, the Chevy chassis provides both combined and separate outputs, so my umbilical cord carries:

1) Ground
2) Tail Lamps
3) Left Turn/Brake
4) Right Turn/Brake
5) Brake (dedicated brake lights plus CHMSL: Center High Mounted Stop Lamp)
6) Battery Charge Power

--Bruce.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:58 PM   #17
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Bruce,

A great synopsis. I enjoy the deeper and wider explanations so thanks.

After a little more research I've decided to install the RVi brake Battery Charger in my GMC Acadia. Looking at their promotional videos and detailed instructions I found on eTrailer, I think it's perfect for my toad and something I am capable of installing on my own.

Chris
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:44 PM   #18
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Starting the toad when stopping every 2-3 hours will do little or nothing positive for your battery. The energy used to start the vehicle will probably not be replaced by a short time idling during a rest stop.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisParise View Post
Does anyone start their toad at rest or fuel stops?

We stop every 2-3 hours sometimes less depending on fuel level or availability.

I am new to toad towing and while i will follow my toads owner manual instructions on towing, I think it's going to be a bit of an experiment and will bring a battery charger until I know what works best.

I plan on taking an extra few minutes to run my toad at these stops, per my owners manua,l this is needed to lubricate the transmission, although not specifically stated in the owners manual this should charge the toads battery too.

I have read anecdotes of parasitic battery drain on toad vehicle systems despite owners following the toad owners manual and towing system installer instructions.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:52 PM   #19
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Thanks flybob. I've decided to install the RVi Brake Battery Charger.
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