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Old 05-15-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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brake buddy draining battery !

Just got back off a trip brake buddy left me dead in about 8 hrs on the way up and on the way back also went dead in about 5 hrs ? never had happened before ! disconnected it for a bit but didn't like that reconnected just had to stop more often to start jeep ! ugh what do you do to avoid this ? thanks !
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Folks keep telling me the Brake Buddy can not do this.. However as you clearly know... It did.. There are several possible issues.

First: if the battery is nearing end of life it's capacity is greatly reduced, this means it runs down faster.. Have it checked.

Second as I recall the brake buddy uses compressed air, so it had an air compressor "on board" and if there is a slow leak.. this compressor (The major power hog inside the box) will run more and thus, run the battery down faster.

Third if you do not have the arm properly adjusted and properly positioned it may turn the brake lights on the vehicle on thus running them down (They suck over 5 amps and 5 times 80 is 40 amp hours, that's half a standard starting battery right there)

The solutions: First check everything, battery, and brake buddy, Review your install procedure when you tow (I hate a system you have to install every time you tow) and then goodle "Towed charge" and consider that.


Or, alternatively... Google US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator.

This is a INSTALL once and never look at again device which has the following advantages and ONE, just ONE disadvantage

First the disadvantage. It is bolted in becoming one with your towed.

Now the advantages:

"Hookup" (The installation you have to do every time you tow) takes about 2 seconds. Plug in a wire, that's all folks) this reduces the chances of "Oh it's too much toruble for this short drive" -its.

Second, it is fully transparent to the driver when driving.

Third, no need to blead the vacuum off the brakes, since it has a vacuum pump to maintain it this would, in fact, be counter indicated.

Forth, the two wire cable you plug in.. One wire is a "Towed Charge" lead, 20 amps.

Finally you have FULL control from the driver's seat.. You can do any of the following.

A: Adjust the GAIN (how hard it brakes the towed relative to how hard you brake the MH.

b: Manually set the brakes (Useful in some cases, such as when you hook up facing down hill)

C: Disable (Turn gain to zero)

And finally, since it is activated by pressing the brake pedal (Brake light switch) on the motor home, it does nto activate going down a steep grade and wear out your towed brakes.

That's if it's properly installed.. Disadvantage 2: Mine was not. (Idiot technician goofed up something.. I fixed it)

Porportional, Progressive (Good things to be) and full remote operation with alarm.. Other than a break-a-way cable (included) what more can you ask?
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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We have driven 4 or 5 days without disconnecting or starting the toad without a problem. We have the sensitivity at 4 and about 60 PSI. Thats over 9 years and about 100K with Jeeps and the Colorado.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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this is the first time i ever had a problem ? just curious on what i should do ? oh an im not changing systems either ! im trying to fix the problem thanks !
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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Hi fxdave,
Keeping the system you have consider,

1. Have the toad battery checked. Fully charge it and then load test.

2. Install a toad battery charging method. One can make one themselves or purchase one. I did the purchase route. Consider this product: TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer It is easy to install and one can forget about the toad battery being depleted.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #6
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Or... call Brake Buddy; I found them very helpful with a problem I had.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fxdave View Post
Just got back off a trip brake buddy left me dead in about 8 hrs on the way up and on the way back also went dead in about 5 hrs ? never had happened before ! disconnected it for a bit but didn't like that reconnected just had to stop more often to start jeep ! ugh what do you do to avoid this ? thanks !
BrakeBuddy killing the toad battery was SOP for me. This is one of the reasons that motivated me to getting my current system. Consider getting a new or bigger battery with more A/HR rating.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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I'd check for additional drains on the battery; i.e. auto headlights, brake lights, radio, fan, auxilary input (cell phone charger) and ensure the ignition key is turned to the most "off position" possible. If the key is in run, sometimes the igintion system will discharge the battery. Just my two cents
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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I too just had this problem. Our battery would be dead after even just a 3 hour drive. My unit came with our coach when I bought it, so I had no idea how old it was. I called Brake Buddy and they told me how to test the compressor. I pumped it up and watched the dial, it failed the test. I sent it back to them for repair/testing. This was a week ago. I called them yesterday and they told me they had to replace the compressor. It was on the verge of seizing up and was drawing WAY too many amps, thus killing my battery. The repairs cost me less than $200 including freight both ways. My unit should be back to me in a couple days.

This could be your problem also, Give Brake Buddy a call.

Kerry
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #10
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I had one burn up inside my wifes new car. Brake Buddy was toast but the smell is still in the car. Run a #12 wire from the center pin on the six way toad plug to the positive side of the toad battery and the coach will keep your battery charged up. The new brake buddy with the digital gauge isn't supposed to run the compressor if the battery gets too low. At least that's what Brake Buddy told me.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:25 AM   #11
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I had one burn up inside my wifes new car. Brake Buddy was toast but the smell is still in the car. Run a #12 wire from the center pin on the six way toad plug to the positive side of the toad battery and the coach will keep your battery charged up. The new brake buddy with the digital gauge isn't supposed to run the compressor if the battery gets too low. At least that's what Brake Buddy told me.
is that all u did was run that wire ? what pin was it ? they sent me a new outlet to hook to but i like the idea of more juice also
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:48 AM   #12
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I too just had this problem. Our battery would be dead after even just a 3 hour drive. My unit came with our coach when I bought it, so I had no idea how old it was. I called Brake Buddy and they told me how to test the compressor. I pumped it up and watched the dial, it failed the test. I sent it back to them for repair/testing. This was a week ago. I called them yesterday and they told me they had to replace the compressor. It was on the verge of seizing up and was drawing WAY too many amps, thus killing my battery. The repairs cost me less than $200 including freight both ways. My unit should be back to me in a couple days.

This could be your problem also, Give Brake Buddy a call.

Kerry
Is this test in the manual?

Can you share it please?
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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is that all u did was run that wire ? what pin was it ? they sent me a new outlet to hook to but i like the idea of more juice also
I decided to do this as well but took it to a camper hitch service company to have it done and he did not like the idea at all. What he did is remove the tiny charger from a battery pack that is used on a surge brake setup for trailers. He installed this permanatly on the toads battery. It seems to work and I have not had a problem since.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:26 PM   #14
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We tow two Jeep GC (but not at the same time ).

The 1999 requires the ignition to be turned to "on" (not accessory) and the 2005 allows the key to be removed because there is no steering column lock.

We experienced the dead battery problem on the 2005 until we realized that the ignition switch positions were different and began removing the key.

If neither of those ignition issues identify your problem, then the compressor may be working overtime and running the battery down.

We do turn off the auto headlight feature and the air system on the Jeeps when towing.
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