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Old 05-28-2017, 01:39 PM   #1
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7 pin plug for towing

I currently use an acme tow dolly with a 4 pin adapter. Since I need to leave the ignition unlocked for steering I disconnected the battery. This causes problems with my towed car. The computer has to relearn the settings for engine management causing my car to idle low and stall frequently until it relearns the settings.
My question is what do I need to keep the battery charged while towing? Is there a plug with a charging wire that I can run to the towed battery that will keep it charged while towing?
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:40 PM   #2
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Charles L-

Ford provides a charge line circuit on the E-series Class C chassis. It's up to the coach manufacturer to extend the circuit to the 7-pin connector.

I looked in vain at Forest River's online manual for any mention of the hitch connector pin assignments, so it's up to you to check with a voltmeter.

Here is a link to a diagram of a "standard" RV 7-pin connector (near the bottom of the page). The 12V charge line pin is at the one o'clock position and the ground is at the seven o'clock position. Since the 12V charge line is usually ignition-switched, you should start the coach, then put a voltmeter across those two pins. If you have a working charge line, the voltmeter will read 12V.

If that test doesn't work, let us know, and we'll go to the next level of diagnosis.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Charles L-

The 12V charge line pin is at the one o'clock position and the ground is at the seven o'clock position. Since the 12V charge line is usually ignition-switched, you should start the coach, then put a voltmeter across those two pins. If you have a working charge line, the voltmeter will read 12V.

If that test doesn't work, let us know, and we'll go to the next level of diagnosis.
Thanks for the link and tips. So will I need two more wires, one positive and one negative to attach to my car battery from the seven pin plug?
I am not sure that is how this is accomplished. An adapter with four pin flat for the dolly with two wires (+/-) for the battery?
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:57 PM   #4
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for any toad, you'd just need 5 wires for combined signal lights (turn light and brake share the same line), or 6 wires for separate signal lights.

for former, one for battery charging, the others are for grounding, left turn signal, right turn signal, and the running light. i just installed one for my toad (my second install overall).

for latter, one for battery charging, others are for grounding, left turn signal, right turn signal, brake, and the running light.

a 7-pole cable is perfect.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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Can you tell me how it works

I already have a 4 pin adapter On my 7 pin hitch. Does one wire go to the battery to keep it charged? I want to fix this before my June trip. Which adapter would I need to purchase? I tried looking on e-trailer website but could not find anything. Do I need a battery charger or will the hot wire to battery keep it charged? Sorry for all the dumb rookie questions but I am clueless on this problem. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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CharlesL-

I forgot to thank you for your 24 years of service. Thank you!

Should your coach provide a 12V charge line signal at the 7-pin hitch, to use it you would need to get that signal to your car. On the car, you would need to connect the 12V to the car battery, using a fuse or circuit breaker, and also connect the ground on the car battery to the ground wire on the coach hitch. You do not need a battery charger.

Details on how to do this can be worked out later. First, you should perform the test I prescribed in post #2.
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles L View Post
I already have a 4 pin adapter On my 7 pin hitch. Does one wire go to the battery to keep it charged? I want to fix this before my June trip. Which adapter would I need to purchase? I tried looking on e-trailer website but could not find anything. Do I need a battery charger or will the hot wire to battery keep it charged? Sorry for all the dumb rookie questions but I am clueless on this problem. Any help is greatly appreciated.
charles,
this is the illustration of my 5 pin combined harness layout:



if you still unsure how to do yours, please take a photo of the signal socket/terminal on the tail of your coach, and post here; i'll tell you precisely what you'll need. nevertheless, it's an easy job since you have already had the lights wires in place.

(Edit: i couldn't post the graphic to this message. just sent an email to you)
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:28 PM   #8
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I will check it tomorrow

I ran out of time today. Thank you everyone for all the assistance.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:14 PM   #9
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LSLProducts.net

This is what I use on my Ford Explorer.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:05 AM   #10
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Do I need a charger or

just use the +/- wires from the 7 pin plug?
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:35 AM   #11
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As I said in post #6, you do not need a charger, You do need a fuse or circuit breaker at the car battery. This protects the wiring between the car and the coach battery. If Forest River wired it as Ford intended, then the coach end has a fuse already. Consult your chassis manual to find out which Ford fuse feeds the charge line.

Some products, such as the "Toad Charge" to which "KCFDCapt" refers, have the breaker/fuse function built in, and may have other features, at a higher cost than just a breaker or fuse.

Others reading this post-

You can buy the LSL Products "Toad Charge" as separate components, rather than a kit. See this product page, lower right side. The specific link to buy the Toad Charge module by itself is here.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:03 PM   #12
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no charger. actually you just need one more wire to connect coach battery positive and toad battery positive, because you have a ground already.
make sure a 10a fuse close to each end.

that's it.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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actually you just need one more wire to connect coach battery positive and toad battery positive, because you have a ground already.
I do not believe this is correct. The current four-wire system, installed on the dolly, should give the coach and the dolly a common ground. But, the car, on the dolly, is not grounded- at least not reliably- unless there's some kind of ground strap that gets attached between dolly and car each time.

If this is the case, a charge line between coach and car will require the ground wire that passes through the umbilical to be connected to both dolly and car frames.

I could be incorrect, though.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:32 PM   #14
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Actually, if the umbilical cable is wired correctly, there is already a ground and you only do need the one 'hot' wire added with a circuit breaker at the + terminal on the battery.

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