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Old 09-12-2016, 10:04 PM   #29
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You may wish to consider disconnecting the positive side battery cable as well. An issue has been discovered with the '15 and later models with the newer electronics package. What is happening is a user disconnects the negative battery cable. Unfortunately, what happens is the electrical connection between the motorhome, the tow bar and the braking system provide a ground through the motorhome while connected. Most people don't notice that the vehicle electronics are partially powered up. This is easily reproducible, connect the motorhome and toad including disconnecting the negative battery cable at night. Open the door to the vehicle and you will see a faint glow from the DIC and or NAV system. Another method is to use a multi-meter turn the ignition on accessory and check the voltage at the cigarette lighter adapter. Note: if any power is present then the computer is getting power somehow. Fortunately, this problem is easily solved. Simply disconnect the positive battery cable from the battery isolating the vehicle from any source of power. The reason GM is having customers disconnect the negative cable is to prevent the customer from accidentally shorting out the battery.
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Old 09-14-2016, 06:47 AM   #30
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That makes a lot of sense. With the toad hooked up to the MH and the battery cables connected you have 2 batteries in parallel. Disconnect the toad negative cable and you still have 1 battery connected to both vehicles. Glad I disconnect the positive.
Great Catch, thanks.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:44 AM   #31
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Yeah, I'd be curious to check this out. Next time the truck is hooked up I'll put a multimeter on it and see what I find. Frankly I think it would horrible if there was still vehicle battery current running through it via the hitch. I have my doubts, but I suppose it's possible.

I also worried about the screw-type disconnect terminal, that it might unscrew itself out and get lost, or screw itself in and reconnect. After the first 700 mile trip it doesn't appear to be an issue.

On the first leg my brakebuddy also got jostled out of position and that concerned me. But I readjusted the bar that hits the seat and moved the seat up tighter and didn't have a problem with it after that. Seemed to work just fine - I have it setup for hard braking only - don't need it for general driving.

I also got the hitch-vice tool and installed that and now all the play I had in the tow-bar is gone. Have not tried it over the road yet.

Latest project has been removing the tube tv's and put led flatscreens in. Way cool. Next is a solar array for off-grid charging.
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:07 PM   #32
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Disconnecting the negative cable may not be an issue unless you have a charge wire from the MH to the toad battery as I do. In that case some toad systems could be powered by the MH battery. Since I disconnect the positive cable with the Battery Brain this is a non issue for me. But interesting.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:25 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by redcolorado View Post
Disconnecting the negative cable may not be an issue unless you have a charge wire from the MH to the toad battery as I do. In that case some toad systems could be powered by the MH battery. Since I disconnect the positive cable with the Battery Brain this is a non issue for me. But interesting.
I can see how a power lead from the coach could connect a circuit through the hitch that way. Interesting.

My BB doesn't run enough to worry about battery drain, it's lucky if it runs at all on a towing segment. In traffic then maybe a few times, but it's a pretty low draw so my estimation is it could run for some 10 hours straight before it ran the battery down.

We're going to Zion next month so we'll have a good test out again towing it. Looking forward to it.

I've decided I'm only good for about 250 miles a day or so driving, so would rather do the stint with a stop over each way. It's a much more relaxed pace that way.
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Old 10-20-2016, 10:18 AM   #34
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I found these today at hitchrider.com, ordered one out. It's a tool to lock the tow-bar receiver-insert into the receiver. This will stop the toad from whipping back and forth as I think that may be a lot of the issue. I'm hoping this will help - will post back after I get it and try it out.


Okay, thought I would update this thread as well, just got back from another thousand miler with the truck in tow.

The clamp thingy above worked out REALLY well. But I still had some wandering going on. As I had mentioned previously, I had tried pumping up the tires on the toad to about 45lbs to reduce rolling resistance and also thought it would cause less grip for pulling the back of the coach back and forth.

We unhooked after the first leg on an overnighter and I had aired the tires back down to the 35psi spec for some driving around and when we hooked back up to tow I thought I would leave them and see how it changed the towing. Low and behold we were now like on rails. All sway and wander was completely gone. Happy Camper!

On the return leg though it was really windy for about 250 miles. The wind would push everything out of alignment - truck and coach - so I had to continually steer it back into the lane. Quite fatiguing. Driving in the wind is a chore anyway, made worse with the toad. Oh well, as soon as the wind quit we were back to easy driving.

Oh, and mileage into the wind was horrible too - likely about 6mpg. The leg going over was over 8, so a 40mph headwind makes a huge difference.

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Old 04-03-2018, 02:37 PM   #35
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The charge line does charge the battery if it bypasses the battery disconnect switch as mine does. In my setup the disconnect switch isolates the truck from its battery. It does not isolate the truck battery from the MH or the aux breaking system in the truck. This ensures a fully charged battery in the event of a brakeaway. Also the aux breaking system in my Colorado runs off the truck battery.
This is the way I am going to do my 2015 Silverado Crew Cab 4X4 Z71 long bed. There are a variety of switches/disconnects on the market, direct and remote operated. But, besides isolating the truck electrical systems from the battery via the disconnect device (direct or remote), you need a separate charge line to the truck battery from the RV and a separate line from the battery to the inside of the cab to operate any brake system that requires 12V power to operate. For my braking system, I also require and separate line from the emergency braking switch (attached to the truck front and connected to the RV by small coiled cable) that plugs into my Blue Ox Patriot braking system. I do not like the adding of a separate line and bulb to the existing read lights due to substantially diminished lighting for reasons previously mention on this topic. I am tapping into my trucks wiring system to the rear lights and using the supplied diodes to avoid electrical feedback issues. I still have to decide best way to run juice to my RV certified bike rack the attaches to my truck's rear hitch in order to hook up some additional rear running lights. I leave a spare key copy in steering column and set to accessory position to ensure steering wheel does not lock up. I then lock the truck with my factory key and keep it close to me. Just adding my two cents because I am aware that these issues continue generate question for those who chose to flat tow a late model Chevy/GMC truck, full size or compact.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:54 AM   #36
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A BrakeBuddy doesn't need an external charge source for your battery - unless you just don't set it up right. It should only activate on hard braking, and then the compressor runs long enough to pump the air pressure back up - that is a very low draw and your battery can do that for many hundreds of miles of towing. I've been doing it this way for the past 12 years without an external charge source and have never had a low battery in any of the past handful of toads. Start and run the toad for a time after a day or two of towing - good to go.

I don't know about you, but I rarely ever have to brake hard - my braking system is along for the ride unless there's some kind of emergency stop.

For other systems that may be a power hog - all bets are off.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:35 AM   #37
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2016 Canyon Diesel with SMI Air Force One braking system

Hi, I'm in the process of moving my Air Force One braking system from a 2012 Canyon (gas) to my 2016 Canyon diesel and, because the diesel does not have vacuum assisted brakes, I'm trying to understand if the brakes on the 2016 are electrically assisted or not. Specifically, how are the onboard brakes affected by disconnecting the battery?

Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:56 PM   #38
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"coneheadnm"......I have the gas model, so I can't help you. My neighbor has a diesel Canyon, but uses, the ReadyBrute brake system. I never realized the diesel did not have a brake booster with vacuum.

No matter what you do, the battery has to be disconnected. I laughed as I read through the old comments by "CJBROWN". He was adamant that no one could prove to him that his battery had to be disconnected, yet he complained of a wobble in the front end. DUH.....his wobble was the power steering fighting him while towing his truck. I wonder if he's had t replace his steering system yet?

The power steering is "live" on most new GM vehicles. Even when the key is off, the steering electrically wants to center itself. When it gets out of center, it will fight to move back. There was no documentation on this, because GM wasn't willing to release any.

I would call SMI and see if they can help you with your set up. I use the Air Force One, but I have a vacuum booster.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #39
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"coneheadnm"......I have the gas model, so I can't help you. My neighbor has a diesel Canyon, but uses, the ReadyBrute brake system. I never realized the diesel did not have a brake booster with vacuum.

No matter what you do, the battery has to be disconnected. I laughed as I read through the old comments by "CJBROWN". He was adamant that no one could prove to him that his battery had to be disconnected, yet he complained of a wobble in the front end. DUH.....his wobble was the power steering fighting him while towing his truck. I wonder if he's had t replace his steering system yet?

The power steering is "live" on most new GM vehicles. Even when the key is off, the steering electrically wants to center itself. When it gets out of center, it will fight to move back. There was no documentation on this, because GM wasn't willing to release any.
Ridiculous. It was a question. Mine has always run disconnected and stated so up thread. For thousands of miles.

This forum never ceases to amaze...
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:56 AM   #40
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Thank you. I received a reply from etrailer after posting my question to this forum. Here is a link to their reply: https://www.etrailer.com/question-288847.html?fb=yes
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:39 AM   #41
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I use the Roadmaster disconnect on mine with the switch in the cab. This works well with my SMI Air Force One. The only model you can't you the electric disconnect (solenoid) is the diesel version of the Canyon/Colorado. The diesel draws too many amps for the solenoid.

"CJBROWN".....It's funny, you're the only one with a wobble issue out of all the Canyon/Colorado owners who tow their trucks and disconnect their batteries. I wonder why that is?
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:57 PM   #42
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CJ,

FWIW...

Don't know if this will satisfy our ever curious wonders or not but I just read in the May issue of Motorhome Magazine in the Tech Savvy department regarding the purpose of disconnect for the Canyon/Colorado.

A reader with a 17 Colorado posed the question why the disconnect is necessary.

The Tech answer was simply "This is to prevent the battery from becoming discharged during towing"

No mention of the electric steering.

Now then, I don't know if I would take that as a complete knowledgeable legitimate explanation but take if for what its worth...

I'll still ponder the question and continue to disconnect

I did ask the service mgr at my dealer months ago. He replied "just disconnect it!!!" lol

Cheers
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