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Old 01-07-2014, 08:51 PM   #1
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Charging tow vehicle battery

I am towing our new 2013 ford explorer with my 2005 National Tropical and wonder what is the best way to keep the battery charged while towing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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I used the center pin in a 6 wire umbilical cord and ran a wire (heavy gauge) from battery (+) in RV through cord to battery in toad. Near each battery I installed a 20 amp auto resetting circuit breaker to protect from shorts or over powering the wires. Has worked great from coast to coast. Toad battery is maintained by alternator in RV just like adding a battery to the chassis battery system. No need for expensive Toad charger Toad-Charge Towed Vehicle Battery Charger & Maintainer Kit - RV Power Supply
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
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Seems logical that the center pin would be for charging but it isn't in a standard setup. The middle pin on a 7 pin is for your reverse lights or brakes.
On a 6 pin it is for battery power.
Here's a link to the wiring info: Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com

That's what I like about "standards", there are so many of them!! Ran into it all the time as a transportation engineer before I retired from it. Then went to computers and ran into the same thing!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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That's what I like about "standards", there are so many of them!! Ran into it all the time as a transportation engineer before I retired from it. Then went to computers and ran into the same thing!!
Not sure what you are getting at in your post. the 7 pin connector uses the 6pm position pin or spade for 12v (+). These wires are to provide a charging circuit for break-a-way battery in electric braking system. I'm using it to maintain a Toad battery. The wire is used to maintain the battery, not jump start or charge from a discharged state. The 20 amp auto reset circuit breakers prevent too many amps going either direction.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:43 AM   #5
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charging tow vehicle battery

Your tropical should have a 7 pin connector. My 12v is on 11:00 position on the motorhome end and 1:00 position on the umbilical cable. I would check with a multi meter on yours to make sure which is 12v position. You need to have ignition switched to on to make this test. From that determine the pin connection on the towed vehicle then install a 10 gauge wire to that pin on the towed vehicle, put in a wire loom and pull to the battery, put a 20amp fuse in line and attach fused line to positive terminal of battery. You will now have charged battery when you tow.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Not sure what you are getting at in your post. the 7 pin connector uses the 6pm position pin or spade for 12v (+). These wires are to provide a charging circuit for break-a-way battery in electric braking system. I'm using it to maintain a Toad battery. The wire is used to maintain the battery, not jump start or charge from a discharged state. The 20 amp auto reset circuit breakers prevent too many amps going either direction.

X2.

FWIW to the OP, a tow vehicle is one that is doing the towing (ie: your mh), a towed vehicle is one that is being towed (ie: your toad). Just thought I'd mention it.

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:36 PM   #7
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Here is a cheaper source for the Dingy charging kit.

LSL Products TOAD-CHARGE-60 Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger 60' Wire Harness
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:42 PM   #8
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Here is a cheaper source for the Dingy charging kit.

LSL Products TOAD-CHARGE-60 Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger 60' Wire Harness
Cheaper than a piece of wire and a couple of fuses?
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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Cheaper than a piece of wire and a couple of fuses?
$82 could buy a lot of wire! I don't understand the advantage of the Toad Charge 60 over a wire and 2 auto reset circuit breakers. The yellow or green LED? If you have charged batteries in RV and toad, there is very little current flow between the two systems. When you start RV, a momentary high voltage imbalance is created, if current exceeds the circuit breaker's capacity, it shuts down. Seconds later, as RV alternator kicks in CB resets and all is right in the world. Leaving the two plugged in overnight, neither battery will leach off the other, unless one is bad, then you need to go buy a new battery....for about $82!
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:08 AM   #10
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$82 could buy a lot of wire! I don't understand the advantage of the Toad Charge 60 over a wire and 2 auto ...... ...... ...... ..... ....... world. Leaving the two plugged in overnight, neither battery will leach off the other, unless one is bad, then you need to go buy a new battery....for about $82!

All good points .. I'll have to reconsider getting the Toad-Charge. . . . I did like the idea of a total solution delivered ready to install.. Besides, the other hurtle I face is the umbilical from MH to Toad is only a 4-wire. No constant 12 volts lead being passed to the Toad.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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You could use these connectors to make a 2 wire connection:
Sea Dog Corp 4268801 2 Wire Polarized Connector w Leads | eBay

I was going to do this, then I found a good price on a Blue Ox 6 wire coiled umbilical cord and used two 6 pin sockets to make a one piece connection between my RV and Toad. I liked the coiled cord to keep it off the road.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #12
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With the key turned to ACC, just pull the ignition fuse.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:49 PM   #13
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Check the FMCA website for Dinghy towing on 2013 Explorer. Our toad is a 2010 Fusion Hybrid. We tow 4 wheels down. When I stop for gas I start it up and run for 5 min. Have never had the battery go down. If we stop at a rest stop I will start the car while DW takes the dog for a walk. Just remember to put it back in neutral and turn key to ACC
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #14
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Hi there,
Not sure what towbar / braking system you have . We tow a 2013 Honda C-rv behind our 2001 Surf Side. We use the Roadmaster Falcon all-Terrain towbar and the InvisiBrake. In the manual for the InvisiBrake it states...

"Turn the motorhome park lights on — this will activate the InvisiBrake charge circuit, which will provide a constant trickle charge to the vehicle’s battery during towing."

So I always drive with my MH lights on (as I do for safety with all my vehicles) and have never had a problem (knock on wood) with a dead battery in the Toad. I added a "Headlights are still on" buzzer that reminds me to turn them off when I turn the MH engine off so I don't drain the engine battery by accident.

Rich
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