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Old 10-11-2011, 08:07 AM   #1
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Dead battery on toad after being towed

A new problem. On the last 2 two-day tows the battery on our 2009 HHR has been drained. We think we are doing the same hook-up routine but not sure.

Here's our routine: 1) Hook up the tow bar and the electric wires to the toad, 2) Put the transmission in neutral, 3) Install the Model 9700 Brake Buddy, 4) Pull the #8 fuse, 5) Put the ignition on accessory (one click from the off position, not all the way on).

Can anyone tell us what we're missing or what to check to end this problem? Thanx

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:19 AM   #2
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Is that the original battery in your HHR? Your battery may be marginal for 2 days of the BB drawing off it. JM2

FMCA# 266040 HRRVC# 84109
2000 32' HR Vacationer w/Banks
'98 Subaru Outback 5 spd toad
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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buy a small solar panel at Costco that plugs into the cigarette lighter and let place it on the dash. It should keep the battery charged.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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I'm assuming that the owner's manual suggesting pulling the fuse that you are doing. Is it possible that some other accessory is running on the HHR?

In your shoes, I'd hook up the HHR as you normally do and get a clamp on DC ammeter and attach it to the main postive battery cable on the HHR. I got my ammeter from Sears for about $50 and have used it to trouble shoot a number of things so I consider it to be a good investment. It is certainly better than taking your vehicle into a garage and paying someone else.

The ammeter will show current draw. Just remove all of the fuses, one at a time until the current draw stops. If the current is sufficient to kill the battery after just a few hours of towing, it is high enough for the ammeter to detect. When you have the right fuse, you'll know why your battery is dying.
2000 Georgie Boy Landau 36' DP
2005 Saturn Vue toad
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SRT View Post
Is that the original battery in your HHR? Your battery may be marginal for 2 days of the BB drawing off it. JM2
Good thought. Might be time for a new one.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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disconnecting ground terminal solved that problem for me.
2008 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 340 Cummins
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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I also had the same problem with my toad battery. I ran a 12 VDC line with fuse to the toad battery through the RV cable and a separate ground wire from the coach batteries to the toad battery. After being hooked up for several days without starting, the toad the battery would be drained. I finally purchased a quick disconnect for the toad negative post and no more problems.
Bob Retired Army Traveling alone now.
2008 Camelot 40 PDQ 4 slides ISL400 towing a 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 Quadcab
Western MT in summer, AZ, NV in winter
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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I had this happen to me once also. My solution was two-fold. First I ran an additional 12 vdc power wire, fused with a 5 amp fuse) from the MH to the Positive side of the battery of my Jeep. This provides a maintenance charge to the Jeep battery from the MH. Second I provided a new 12 vdc accessory outlet for the Brake Buddy wired directly to the Jeep battery, thus bypassing the ignition switch and negating the requirement for the key to be on. Hope this helps.
Craig & Donna
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:32 AM   #9
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LSL Toad Charge Battery Charger

I'm installing one of these.
I do all my own stunts
03 Dolphin LX 6355, Workhorse W22, 8.1 vortec, 04 CR-V, Blue Ox, Brake Pro----Norm, Barb and
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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I had the battery charger removed from a battery pack that you find on boat trailers wired to my toads battery. It seems to work. The cigarette lighter powered solar charger failed to work the last time I tried it. The whole trip was in a heavy rain and the windshield was covered with road dirt causing it to not do what was promised!
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:38 PM   #11
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Does your toad have automatic headlights? I tow a 2009 Saturn, had no problems till fall of the year. It is a little darker now and my headlights were turning on and draining my battery. Just a thought.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #12
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The Brake Buddy eats electricity, likely the brake lights also eat it when the break buddy activates, If the battery in your HHR has a few years on it, then capacity may be dropping, dropping, dropping.

This is ONE of the two reasons I don't like teh brake buddy and units like it. The other is the fact you need to install it every time you tow so for a short hop say to the dealer there is a tendency to say "Ah It's just too much trouble so I'll forget it for this short..... CRASH.... Gee I wish I'd installed it"

The solution may be a new battery for the towed.. OR a product often called Toad-Charge here, Basically this is a link from the towing vehicle (motor home) to the car to keep the battery up. Even if you replace the battery.... Consider one.

Short side story: In Jan (2) 2006 I pulled off my lot in Detroit, did the walk around and found my tail lights not working on the towed.... Well, the brake system I choose (US-Gear) INCLUDED a Towed charge circuit... I pressed the PARKING LIGHT button on the towed, thus activating the tail and parking lamps, and drove to Las Vegas, no problems. No dead battery either.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:05 PM   #13
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We bought a battery disconnect from Camping World like this one.
Now, if we are going to be towing for more than about 3 hours we just disconnect the battery and the battery is good to go when we arrive at our new location. It takes about 0 minutes to open the hood, raise the knife connection and close the hood again. The reverse is true as well.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #14
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I have a GMC Envoy. Good toad, but if I didn't stop ever hour to 1-1/2 hours it would be deader than a door-nail.

I put one of these Accessories | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle and have had no further trouble!

Traveling America In
"God's Grace"
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battery, toad

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