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Old 03-22-2015, 05:38 AM   #1
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Car battery dead after towing

First long haul towing. We drove 7 hours yesterday with our Rav4 as a toad, unhooked and battery was too low to start car. We did have lights but just not enough umph to turn the engine. Got a jump and we are good to go now. The issue is how do we prevent it.

The place that installed all the tow equipment said we did not have to worry about the battery when we asked. We have a big umbilical cord that I thought was supposed to power the aux braking and keep the battery in the Rav from draining. Obviously I am wrong or the towing place did not wire it correctly.

Is there anything we can do to keep the battery going? Pull a fuse?

We do have to leave the key in accessories. Am sure my hubby may give you more info once he wakes up.

We have about 1.5 hours of towing today, but the return in a week.


Kris and Bert
2006 Beaver Monterey
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:27 AM   #2
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Several thoughts... one of the things I do not like about box in the driver seat brake systems is they eat battery power.. So do some others.

Towed Charge... This is a device that charges the towed via the motor home system... I have a version of it.

US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator Aux Brake system instead of what you use now.... This is the version of towed charge I have. (Though I no longer have the brake system,,,,,it went with my last towed).

Aging battery on the RAV-4 When I got my new towed... I had that problem...Of course never a problem while towing due to the towed charge line...But it was a PITA when parked (Pain In The Anatomy).

Home is where I park it!
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:04 AM   #3
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The RAV4 requires a lube pump, running the battery down could cause serious transmission problems. Your really NEED to have a charge line setup to maintain the toad battery from the MH. The seven pin MH connector has a pin available for that purpose. You will need to make sure that the pin is hot and that a fused line is connected from the toad connectors (6 pin?) to the toad battery.
Paul, Kathy, and Tux a 4 month Mini Schnauzer
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 42 LH, 2013 Honda CRV
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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Couple things come to mind.

1. Did your installer run a Charge Line through the umbilical cord? If he did, you will have a fuse at the MH end connection and one the the toad battery connection. Could be a blown fuse.

2. How old is your RAV? If it's like the CRV, the battery is only one step up from a lawn tractor battery and when you start to draw on it, you end up with a dead battery. I replaced our CRV battery with the largest battery that fits in the holder.

3. When you stop for lunch, start the toad and let it run for 20-30 min or so. On a long haul, this should be habit anyway.

Hope this helps.
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:24 PM   #5
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As suggested above, look at installing a Toad Charge.
John (N6BER), Joyce, Lucas (Golden Retriever mix), Bella (Great Pyrenees) and Lance (Great Pyrenees).
Tustin, CA
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:15 PM   #6
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A toad charge line is the way to go. It gets wired into your harness and you never have to worry about running the battery down again.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:09 PM   #7
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Stop and Run Engine every 4-5 hours of towing

I ran into this with my Jeep when we ran across country a couple of years ago. Many TOWED CARS must have the key ON (no engine running) so that the steering will not lock and the front wheels turn as necessary on the open road.

With the key on, all of your accessories are getting power; radio, AC, FAN, lights, etc. and after a few hours your battery can be drawn down enough that your engine will not start.

Its not an elegant solution, but most manufacturers recommend that you take the time every 4-5 hours, stop and run the engine for 20-30 minutes to get the charge back up on your battery.
And you definitely need to do this if your vehicle has front-wheel drive, this way you are not only recharging your battery, but you are running those internal pumps to get fresh lubrication to your wheel bearings and other parts in the front-wheel drive assembly.


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battery, tow, towing

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