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Old 05-11-2015, 11:21 AM   #1
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Blue Ox Patriot System - Is Mine Defective?? (internal battery)

I need some quick feedback (if possible) from users here of the Patriot system. I just had my Mini configured for flat tow, using the Patriot system. Since the Patriot claims an "internal battery" ... my expectation is that if the unit looses its 12v external power supply that the internal battery should power it for some minimal period of time (for example to activate the brake in case of a breakaway, or at least to maintain its "setup" until the power switch is shut off. In my case, I am seeing that ***as soon as the external plug is unplugged*** the unit goes completely dark ... and if not plugged in when turning the power switch on, the unit stays completely dead. The instructions say "charge for 8 hours" ... but I have had it charging for something like 4 hours ... and after that period I would expect to see some basic power available from the internal battery ... but the unit stays dark and dead.

Is this what users of this system experience ... or is my brand-new unit dead-on-arrival (as far as the "internal battery" goes)????

Just got off the phone with Blue Ox ... and they actually were not very helpful on expected behavior (or at least not clear to me) .... so it appears that I need the wisdom and experience from this forum to figure out whether this unit is in fact defective.....

Thanks!!
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:32 AM   #2
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I have the same system. Was on the road and I got a Error code on the remote.
Stop the coach and checked the Patriot system. My Vehicle battery was dead but the Patriot system internal battery was working fine.

I did charge my unit for the 8 hours before using it. My unit is brand new and I used it for the first time this week.

Try calling Blue Ox and ask for Jerome, if not there leave a message and he will call you back.
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Old 05-11-2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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Some of these units sit on the warehouse shelves for many months wherever they are sold.

The little sealed wet cell battery inside must be charged every few months or it will die. By you r description, it sounds like it needs a full 8 hours of charge, or it may be a "New Old-Stock" unit, needing a new internal battery.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BeachDude View Post
Some of these units sit on the warehouse shelves for many months wherever they are sold.

The little sealed wet cell battery inside must be charged every few months or it will die. By you r description, it sounds like it needs a full 8 hours of charge, or it may be a "New Old-Stock" unit, needing a new internal battery.
This is kind of what I am suspecting (the manual in it dates from early 2012!!!) ... but I want to be as sure as I can before I start opening it to replace the battery .... if it is NOT the battery Blue Ox could just claim "I opened it so I broke it!!!!!".......
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #5
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Charged the daylights out of the thing on my kitchen counter (very much in excess of the 8 hrs recommended) ... and still no sign of battery activity at all (unplug the thing and it just goes totally dark and dead). My bet is that the unit has just been on the shelf for so long the battery is totally dead. Blue Ox does not want me to just try changing the battery (warrantee void if the box is opened)... though they were extremely helpful in agreeing to send a new unit from the factory directly to me (and I ship the old one back via an RMA). Very helpful in that regard ... looking forward to getting the new unit in and verifying its expected behavior.

I STILL do not have a solid answer as to whether the battery should allow the unit to maintain its settings for a 5-10 minute period when the MH is turned off (like at a rest area). I have the braking system directly powered via the cable from the MH (the electrical system in the Toad is NOT involved).... it will be a pain if I need to re-initialize the Patriot even if I shut down the MH for a minute or two,.....
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MN_Traveler View Post
I have the braking system directly powered via the cable from the MH (the electrical system in the Toad is NOT involved)

Does Blue Ox approve of this method of power? I would think you would need a rather large wire to supply adequate current without severe voltage drop - probably at least 10 gauge wire.
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:05 PM   #7
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Does Blue Ox approve of this method of power? I would think you would need a rather large wire to supply adequate current without severe voltage drop - probably at least 10 gauge wire.
Good question. The manual simply states "plug in to a 12V power source" ... no amperage statement made (which is why I did not have a concern powering directly from the MH). The unit DOES have a "low towed vehicle battery" error code that kicks in at 10V (if the draw is too high I should see this error I would expect). One consideration is that on my Mini the in-car 12-Volt sockets are NOT energized unless the engine is running ... so either way I need to do something other than power from the car's electrical system. One thing I have considered doing is cobbling together a local battery-powered source that I can set along side the braking unit, and charges from the connection to the MH 12V connection ... if needed this approach I think would solve all my problems (would be even better if there was an off-the-shelf solution to this, but am not sure if so. Anyone know of one??) (the "battery booster" being discussed in another thread would NOT solve this issue, as it needs to be charged from a 110V AC source, not a 12V...)
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pasdad1 View Post
Does Blue Ox approve of this method of power? I would think you would need a rather large wire to supply adequate current without severe voltage drop - probably at least 10 gauge wire.
I'm pretty sure the wire powering the unit from the 12v socket in the car isn't anywhere near 10 guage so why would it have to be any larger if it's coming off the mh battery. I've got a charge wire from my mh to my toad battery because the Patriot will draw down the toad battery. It's not meant to charge the toad battery.
I would say the OP's unit is defective and should accept a new one from Blue Ox. I recently had my unit returned to Blue Ox because it wasn't working correctly (it's 5 years old). I had to pay the shipping to their facility but for $125 they replaced the battery, installed updated software and serviced the unit so it was like new. They also paid the return freight. Considering a new one cost upwards of $1000 it was money well spent.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ret Syntst View Post
I would say the OP's unit is defective and should accept a new one from Blue Ox. I recently had my unit returned to Blue Ox because it wasn't working correctly (it's 5 years old). I had to pay the shipping to their facility but for $125 they replaced the battery, installed updated software and serviced the unit so it was like new. They also paid the return freight. Considering a new one cost upwards of $1000 it was money well spent.
Received the replacement Patriot unit last night (Fast service!!!), connected to charge overnight. In the morning, unplugged, turned on ... and the unit fired right up and went through its power-up cycle. Definitely looks like the original unit had something wrong (**probably** battery, but now it is up to Blue Ox to decide...). Now the only question I have left is whether the "low car battery" detection algorithm will cause it to need to be re-initialized every time I turn off my MH. Will figure that out as I go I guess - there are some battery-based options to address that issue....

Thanks all for your thoughts and inputs!
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:13 PM   #10
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A charge line from the mh to the toad battery is the simplest and most cost effective way (less than $50) to maintain battery operation. The term charge line is not exactly correct because you are not charging the toad battery per se but rather connecting the toad battery in parallel to the mh to run accessories in the toad. You're likely going to get a lot of opinions on how to set it up.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:12 PM   #11
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Blue Ox Patriot System - Is Mine Defective?? (internal battery)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ret Syntst View Post
I'm pretty sure the wire powering the unit from the 12v socket in the car isn't anywhere near 10 guage so why would it have to be any larger if it's coming off the mh battery. I've got a charge wire from my mh to my toad battery because the Patriot will draw down the toad battery. It's not meant to charge the toad battery.

Because the OP wanted to RUN the Patriot off this "charge line" without any help from the toad's electrical system.

I ran a calculation (see photo) on using just 15 feet of 16 gauge wire from MH to toad with an expected draw of 15 amps. There is so much resistance in 16 gauge wire at 15 feet long that nearly 2 volts is lost at the other end.

When I plugged in 10 gauge wire to the same calculation it showed voltage drop at an acceptable 0.4 volts.

Scroll down for the wire size calculator
http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm


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Old 05-15-2015, 09:14 PM   #12
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Like I said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ret Syntst View Post
You're likely going to get a lot of opinions on how to set it up.
The Patriot only draws 2 amps so the voltage drop over 15 feet with a 16 gauge wire is 0.25 volts. Given that a battery on an alternator provides upwards of 14V I'm pretty sure that 13.75 volts will run the unit just fine.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:06 PM   #13
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Like I said







The Patriot only draws 2 amps so the voltage drop over 15 feet with a 16 gauge wire is 0.25 volts. Given that a battery on an alternator provides upwards of 14V I'm pretty sure that 13.75 volts will run the unit just fine.

Folks ... Really simple answer here . First, my car (a Mini Cooper) does NOT) run the 12v plug unless the engine is running .. So powering the braking system from the onboard electrical system is NOT an option ( unless I want to go down the road with the thing idling). NOT.

Second, the braking system DOES work when powered directly from the MH ... And it does not complain about a low voltage situation .(which it has the capability to do) Sorry folks, these are Facts based on real. Life experience (at least so far). I guess if I really wanted to settle this I could hook up a voltage logger to the thing ...

lol ... Great discussion ... But from a practical perspective , until it tells me it does not have enough volts, I am going to conclude this setup "works"
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Old 05-17-2015, 12:53 AM   #14
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A good relatively inexpensive option would be to purchase a "jump start" box from Mills, Runnings or Northern Tool. Make sure it has a 12 volt plug and then plug in your patriot to the jump box. You can recharge your jump box at night as needed and you will also have the benefit of having the jump box for emergencies. These can be purchased for between $50-$150
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