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Old 05-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #1
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Will TT Kill Truck Battery When Rig is Parked?

Hi, Everyone! I just bought a new(er) truck to pull my 20-something foot TT. When I first got the truck, I hooked up the TT in order to see how well my new truck would pull it (compared to the old van I'd used before). It did great, so I was very happy!

Well, I left the TT and truck connected in my driveway for one week, expecting to take 'er out the following weekend on an excursion.

I plugged the TT into the wall outlet, but did not unplug it from the truck.

On Friday, I went to start it up and get ready for a quick weekender trip!

Ah, but my truck's battery was dead. D.E.A.D. dead.

There was nothing in the truck left on (dome light, etc.) that I could find so I don't know why the battery died.

So, did my TT kill the battery? Or do I possibly have something wrong with my truck? I don't want to take the truck out unless I know it's reliable.

Thank you,
Tom
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:25 PM   #2
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A check of the charge pin in the trucks 7 way connector ( with the key off)with a volt meter or a 12 volt test light will tell you if the connection is a constant hot .

And yes if it's a constant hot feed the trailer could run the truck battery down .

BUT! If the trailer was plugged in the whole time , it shouldn't have .

Pull the truck battery out , have it charged and load tested.

Is this a brand new truck , or, new to you?
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:36 PM   #3
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TT will drain tow vehicle battery over time (like a week). As previous post said, if TT was plugged in to electric, that shouldn't happen, unless the camper wasn't getting electric to charge the batteries run the inverter.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:05 PM   #4
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I would take your new(er) truck to an auto parts place and have them test the battery.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:19 PM   #5
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On my Ford Excursion when you turn the key off there is no way the Travel trailer will get battery power from the truck. What I understand most of the Fords are like that.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:21 PM   #6
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Thanks. The truck is a 2013, and new to me just 10 days ago. Naturally, I don't know everything that might be wrong with it yet. :|


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
A check of the charge pin in the trucks 7 way connector ( with the key off)with a volt meter or a 12 volt test light will tell you if the connection is a constant hot .

And yes if it's a constant hot feed the trailer could run the truck battery down .

BUT! If the trailer was plugged in the whole time , it shouldn't have .

Pull the truck battery out , have it charged and load tested.

Is this a brand new truck , or, new to you?
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #7
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Thanks. This is a Ram. I have never had a vehicle with factory 7-pin plug for towing, so I don't know how it behaves. I will try the advice above to test the charging pin.

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Originally Posted by parcany2 View Post
On my Ford Excursion when you turn the key off there is no way the Travel trailer will get battery power from the truck. What I understand most of the Fords are like that.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karoshi View Post
Thanks. This is a Ram. I have never had a vehicle with factory 7-pin plug for towing, so I don't know how it behaves. I will try the advice above to test the charging pin.
The battery should be isolated from the trailer (key off) it shouldn’t draw down. As stated earlier, check the 12v supply on your 7 pin (key off) there should be no voltage coming through. Start truck, you should have charge..ish voltage. 13+v Start batteries your lucky if you get 7-8 years out of them. As long as you hit those perameters, and your tv charging system is good, you had a bad/worn out battery.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:16 PM   #9
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My 2014 RAM was hot all the time so I suspect your 2013 is as well. As others have suggested, test the connector to confirm that. Any time we were traveling long distance and staying overnight in a rest area I'd pull the plug to avoid the potential draw down of the TV battery (leave a note on the steering wheel to remind you to plug it in before leaving the next day....).

Attached is a diagram of the pin-out for the 7-pin connector for reference - pin 4 should be the one you test with the key off.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:25 AM   #10
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I have seen TT kill the tow vehicle battery before. Most I know unplug the trailer when they set up camp. If it was plugged into shore power, it shouldn't have killed the truck battery.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:15 PM   #11
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My truck uses a solenoid to connect the truck electrical to the trailer electrical. When the key is off the connection is open and no power flows to the trailer. Saves the TV battery from draining. The same arrangement that my truck and camper used for the house battery so the house battery would not drain the starting battery.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:27 PM   #12
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OK, thanks for this.
I have tested for power to the indicated pin by touching the + from the multimeter to the pin and the - to body ground and, separately, to the ground pin.

I could not get any voltage reading in any case. I tested without the key on and with the key on, and with the engine running. No voltage whatsoever.

I am getting a new TT deep cycle battery so I will try again tomorrow once I have it installed, just in case it makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttavasc View Post
My 2014 RAM was hot all the time so I suspect your 2013 is as well. As others have suggested, test the connector to confirm that. Any time we were traveling long distance and staying overnight in a rest area I'd pull the plug to avoid the potential draw down of the TV battery (leave a note on the steering wheel to remind you to plug it in before leaving the next day....).

Attached is a diagram of the pin-out for the 7-pin connector for reference - pin 4 should be the one you test with the key off.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karoshi View Post
OK, thanks for this.
I have tested for power to the indicated pin by touching the + from the multimeter to the pin and the - to body ground and, separately, to the ground pin.

I could not get any voltage reading in any case. I tested without the key on and with the key on, and with the engine running. No voltage whatsoever.

I am getting a new TT deep cycle battery so I will try again tomorrow once I have it installed, just in case it makes a difference.
Why are you getting an new TT battery if your truck battery is the one that died?

If your battery disconnect on the TT was turned off, if you have one, the TT battery will not charge from shore power and theoretically parasitic draws could deplete the TT battery and the Truck battery over time but most of the 7 ways do disconnect power with the key off.

If you have no power to the charge line pin with it running you may need to replace the fuse on the truck. I lot of them come from the factory prewired for that charge line but no fuse or the wire is disconnected from the fuse box. If that is the case there is no way the trailer drained the truck battery.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:26 AM   #14
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On Fords, at least from 2014 and newer, come with isolators. Juice will flow from the alternator through the isolator to the trailer while the TT is plugged into the truck. However, once the key is turned off on the Ford, all electricity from the truck to the trailer if it's still plugged into the truck is killed.

Even plugged in, the TT battery can't drain the Ford chassis battery.
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