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Old 06-14-2007, 02:00 PM   #1
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After struggling with my new Acadia for months and 5000 miles of towing with the battery repeatedly going dead, I have reached an impasse with GMC. They refuse to make the vehicle work as described to me before I bought it and as defined in the owners manual, i.e. remove a fuse for towing. GMC now says I have to remove the battery negative terminal to prevent battery discharge while towing. The battery in an Acadia is under the floor board behind the passenger seat and requires tools to remove the cover as well as to disconnect the battery. The dealer will not modify the vehicle and GMC will not pay for it if I have changes made elsewhere (it does not seem that some kind of remote battery disconnect would be too difficult, does it?)

Based on this, I have to warn RV owners against purchasing an Acadia (or its siblings, the Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave) for dinghy towing. Too bad - it's a superb car otherwise.

Note: See the thread on Saturn Outlook towing
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
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After struggling with my new Acadia for months and 5000 miles of towing with the battery repeatedly going dead, I have reached an impasse with GMC. They refuse to make the vehicle work as described to me before I bought it and as defined in the owners manual, i.e. remove a fuse for towing. GMC now says I have to remove the battery negative terminal to prevent battery discharge while towing. The battery in an Acadia is under the floor board behind the passenger seat and requires tools to remove the cover as well as to disconnect the battery. The dealer will not modify the vehicle and GMC will not pay for it if I have changes made elsewhere (it does not seem that some kind of remote battery disconnect would be too difficult, does it?)

Based on this, I have to warn RV owners against purchasing an Acadia (or its siblings, the Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave) for dinghy towing. Too bad - it's a superb car otherwise.

Note: See the thread on Saturn Outlook towing
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:41 PM   #3
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Gary,

Understand your frustrations regarding dealing w/ GM on this issue. You might try a Toad Charging device to keep the battery up while towing. Check this one out Here.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:30 AM   #4
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Roamer,
I know you've got the 5A toad-charge. Have you tried calling LSL Products to see if there is a 10A replacement available (thought I saw someone posting something about one...) Then again, I don't know what the accessory draw on your Acadia is and whether even 10A is sufficient to keep up the battery.

Understand your frustrations...Good luck
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:49 PM   #5
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Steve,
I emailed LSL to ask about a 10A version of the Toad Charge and they didn't even reply. I'll probably make one up myself - a diode or two, a fuse and some 14 gauge wire should do the trick. I'm thinking in terms of 15 amp supply form the coach.

Don:
I already have a Toad Charge - had it since day one. Too small for the job and it actually shuts down when the battery begins to get real low, so I can't even use it to recharge once we stop for the night. When the amp draw gets above 5A, it must think there is a shorted battery or something.

I just emailed LSL again to ask about an upgraded charger and also why the TC shuts down when the battery gets low.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:49 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
GMC now says I have to remove the battery negative terminal to prevent battery discharge while towing. The battery in an Acadia is under the floor board behind the passenger seat and requires tools to remove the cover as well as to disconnect the battery. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

RV Roamer, I'm sure you already thought about installing a disconnect switch somewhere to make the job of disconnecting the battery easier, but what about the ECM? My experience with disconnecting the battery is the driveability of the car suffers for a while while the computer "re-learns" its settings. Is this a problem and is this really the best GM can come up with? How sad. The Outlook and Acadia seem like they would be a good replacement for our Vue someday, but I'll have to reconsider unless GM comes up with something better before I'm ready to buy.

As I followed the other thread you referenced, I couldn't help but wonder what it is that is causing such a high current draw while towing. Since your 5 amp toad-charge can't keep up, the draw must greater than 5 amps. Is it possible to track down the current draw and then just disable that circuit instead of disconnecting the battery? If it were that easy, however, I suspect GM would have suggested it by now. They must be getting a lot of complaints.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:35 PM   #7
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I don't know where all the draw comes from, except that the dash lights stay on (and there are a lot of them). I can think of a lot of things that could contribute, but don't know whether they are all on with the key in Accessory or not - things like the ECM & BCM, traction control system, ABS sensors, tire pressure monitor, open door monitors, seat belt & air bag sensors, Onstar, etc. etc. etc. The car is loaded with electronics.

As for dropping power to the ECM, I have the same concern. There has got to be a better way and my interaction with GM so far does not lead me to believe they are looking for it. Or at least not looking very hard.
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:17 PM   #8
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Hi,
Posted the question on the Monaco site and consensous is to use 2- 20amp resettable breakers with the breakers mounted as close to the Moho battery and toad battery as possible. No diode
Remember to use a keyed line so juice is present only when engine on and to unplug when parked. 12-14 wire is ok
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #9
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I disagree with the Monaco group consensus, though my reasons are slight.

The diode makes it unnecessary to remember to unplug when parked and the Roadmaster Hy-power diodes have plenty of capacity for a charging circuit. A diode is an inexpensive addition that compensates for my often faulty memory.

I'm not clear why breakers are needed at both ends, unless there is some concern about a short in the wiring on the toad while disconnected. I think I would use a fusible link if that were the case, but it's such a low probability compared to other risks. Seems to me that a breaker or fusible link at the source (motorhome) end is entirely sufficient. No harm to an additional breaker, except that it is one more place for corrosion.

Using a key-switched source for the power is a matter of choice - you cannot charge the car battery while parked and on shore power if the source is ignition key switched, but it avoids the possibility of another draw on the coach batteries while boondocking. But with a diode on the charge line, that can happen only if the toad battery is in a low charge state and that's when I would want to charge it anyway.

I chose to hook my Toad Charge unit so that it was not switched and in fact it is powered from the house battery bank rather than chassis batteries. My chassis charging system supplies charging to the house bank when the engine is running anyway. As I said, a matter of individual choice.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:37 PM   #10
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Hi gary
Toad fuse was to prevent accidental shorts. No diode was because of switched power source. Question where would you put a diode in the charge line? Need to think about using a constant power source.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:34 PM   #11
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I'd put the diode anywhere convenient - perhaps in the toad near the connection to the battery. The idea is simply to prevent accidental backflow of current from the car battery to the coach source, either the house batteries (if that's the source)when boondocking or to the chassis batteries when you start the coach. Not a big deal, but it eliminates one possible source of trouble. With the diode, I KNOW that current is only going to the car - never the opposite way. And diodes are cheap.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:38 PM   #12
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I got some good news from Joel at LSL Products, the Toad Charge people. They have prototype hardware for a 10A charger and will provide a sample to me to try out. Maybe 10A is enough to keep the battery up. That's really fine customer service from LSL Toad Charge.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:48 AM   #13
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I guess I'm fortunate that my trusty RAV4 doesn't have any electrical draw when the key is in the off but not locked position (a very nice feature from Toyota that I wish everyone else would use).

Even if it did have an electrical draw the Mountain Master TowBrake I use for dinghy braking is specifically designed and installed to keep the battery charged via the connection to the controller in the MH cockpit. I don't know how the internal controller side is set up but the toad side has a 10A fuse within a couple of inches of additional connection to the battery.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Acadia/Outlook/Enclave Tow Procedure Update:

GM has issued a service bulletin updating the trailer towing and Recreational Towing (dinghy & dolly towing) procedures for these vehicles, as follows:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Subject: Supplemental Information on Recreational Vehicle and Trailer Towing and Trailer Wiring Accommodation for Non-V92 Equipped Vehicles #07-00-89-021A - (06/27/2007)

Models: 2008 Buick Enclave

2007 GMC Acadia

2007 Saturn OUTLOOK

This bulletin is being revised to add models and revise dinghy towing procedures. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 07-00-89-021 (Section 00 - General Information).

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform dealers of special procedures necessary when towing a trailer or when towing the vehicle behind a recreational vehicle.
Towing a Trailer

Trailer Weight Information
The following chart shows how much the trailer can weigh, based on the vehicle powertrain combination. Retailers should refer customers to the appropriate Owner Manual for important trailering tips, vehicle maintenance, and safety rules before towing a trailer.
Vehicle Maximum Trailer Weight
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with Front-Wheel Drive and 6-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MY9) with Trailer Provisions (V92) 4,500 lb. (2,041 kg)
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with Front-Wheel Drive and 6-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MY9), NO Trailer Provisions 2,000 lb. (907 kg)
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with All-Wheel Drive and 6-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MH6) with Trailer Provisions (V92) 4,500 lbs. (2,041 kg)
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with All-Wheel Drive and 6-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MH6), NO Trailer Provisions 2,000 lb. (907 kg)
Towing a Trailer with a Vehicle NOT Equipped with Trailer Provisions
2008 Buick Enclave, 2007 GMC Acadia and 2007 Saturn OUTLOOK vehicles that are not equipped with trailer provisions (RPO V92) must be modified with a new underhood bussed electrical center (UBEC) to provide full functionality for 4 circuits: ground, tail lamps, RH and LH stop/turn lamps. Refer to the Parts Information section in this bulletin for the correct part numbers. To find the original part number, remove the UBEC and look at the side of the UBEC.
This UBEC replacement should only be performed for customers who perform trailer towing. UBEC replacement for trailer towing is only covered under warranty for 2007 model year GMC Acadia and Saturn OUTLOOK vehicles, and 2008 Buick Enclave vehicles.
Towing a Trailer with a Vehicle with Trailer Provisions (RPO V92)
The following procedure may need to be performed to the backup lamp circuit. Perform this procedure only if the customer will be using the vehicle to tow.
1. Disconnect the X7 connector from the Body Control Module (BCM).
2. Remove the terminal for pin 3 from the BCM X7 connector. The wire to this terminal is dark blue and is the 38 circuit.
3. Re-connect the X7 connector to the BCM.
4. Cut the terminal off the end of this wire and strip the end of the wire.
5. Splice this wire into the 24 circuit wire that goes into BCM connector X6, pin 2. The 24 circuit is light green.
Recreational Vehicle Towing (Dinghy Towing)

Important: To avoid battery rundown while towing, remove the 50 amp BATT1 fuse in the UBEC. Refer to the dinghy towing procedure in this bulletin.
Recreational Vehicle Towing Information
Important: Vehicles with a 6-speed automatic transmission that are "dinghy towed" must be started at the beginning of each day and at each fuel stop for a minimum of five minutes.
Recreational vehicle towing means towing the vehicle behind another vehicle -- such as behind a motorhome. The two most common types of recreational vehicle towing are known as "dinghy towing" (towing the vehicle with all four wheels on the ground) and "dolly towing" (towing the vehicle with two wheels on the ground and two wheels up on a device known as a "dolly"). With the proper preparation and equipment, many vehicles can be towed in these ways. Refer to the appropriate model/model year Owner Manual for towing preparation guidelines and dolly and dinghy towing procedures. The Towing Chart below summarizes powertrain combination compatibility with dolly and dinghy towing methods.
2008 Buick Enclave, 2007 GMC Acadia, 2007 Saturn OUTLOOK Recreational Vehicle Towing Chart

Powertrain Combination and Towing Method Rear Wheels on a Tow Dolly Front Wheels on a Tow Dolly All Four Wheels on the Ground (Dinghy)
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with Front-Wheel Drive and 6T75 Six-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MY9) No Yes Yes*
3.6L V6 (LY7) Engine with All-Wheel Drive and 6T75 Six-Speed Automatic Transaxle (MH6) No No Yes*
*Notice: If the vehicle is equipped with a 6T75 six-speed automatic transmission, it can be dinghy towed from the front for unlimited miles at 65 mph (105 km/h). To avoid vehicle damage, never exceed 65 mph (105 km/h) while towing Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn OUTLOOK vehicles. The repairs would not be covered by the warranty.
Dinghy Towing Procedure
Notice: If you tow your vehicle without performing each of the steps listed under "Dinghy Towing," you could damage the automatic transmission. Be sure to follow all steps of the dinghy towing procedure prior to and after towing your vehicle.
Notice: Don't tow a vehicle with the front drive wheels on the ground if one of the front tires is a compact spare tire. Towing with two different tire sizes on the front of the vehicle can cause severe damage to the transmission.
Important: Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn OUTLOOK vehicles may only be dinghy towed from the front, with all four wheels on the ground.
1. Position the vehicle to tow and then secure it.
2. Shift transmission to PARK (P) and turn the ignition to OFF.
3. Set the parking brake.
4. Turn the ignition to ACCESSORY.
5. Shift your transmission to NEUTRAL (N).
6. To prevent your battery from draining while the vehicle is being towed, remove the 50 amp BATT1 fuse in the UBEC, and store in a safe location.
7. Release the parking brake.
Once you have reached your destination, do the following steps:
1. Set the parking brake.
2. Reinstall the BATT1 fuse.
3. Shift the transmission to PARK (P), turn the ignition key to OFF and remove the key from the ignition.
4. Release the parking brake.
Parts Information

Part Number Description
25784721 Underhood Bussed Electrical Center
(replaces 25784722)
25784723 Underhood Bussed Electrical Center
(replaces 25784726)
25784725 Underhood Bussed Electrical Center (replaces 25784724)
Warranty Information

For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:
Labor Operation Description Labor Time
N1730 Block Assembly, Wiring Harness Junction - Engine - Replace 0.3 hr

GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

WE SUPPORT VOLUNTARY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION

Copyright General Motors Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

" name=forward Document ID# 1993341 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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