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Old 08-18-2014, 11:37 AM   #1
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Car battery dead after towing on tow dolly

Towing front wheel drive car. Owners manual states car must be in neutral. Can't turn key off when in neutral so must leave it on accessory. It needs a jump every time. We are brand new rv owners and frustrated.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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What kind of car is it?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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I'm sure others smarter than I can offer better advice, but how easy is it to pull fuses and kill volts going to whatever powers up with ACC position? Radio, GPS, theft alarm??
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:46 AM   #4
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A front wheel drive, you shouldn't need to have it in neutral. I have driven many a mile towing a front wheel drive car on the wheel lift of a ramp truck and or a wrecker and have never had an issue leaving it in park or in gear.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:53 AM   #5
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We usually run a charge line from the coach to the car to keep the battery alive on cars that need to be left on to flat tow. The same when we use a lube pump or some of the braking systems.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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We tow a Honda CR-V 4 down so ours is a little different than yours but hopefully this helps. Always make sure the "Auto" feature on your headlights is turned to the off position. Also look in your owners manual for how to turn off the display on the radio. On ours, even if the radio is off the display stays on so I have to go into the clock settings and turn the display off.
We bought a product called "Toad" and it uses the MH batteries to keep the car batteries charged. You can google it for more info.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
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I agree with if it's front wheel drive with the wheels up on the tow dolly there is no reason to be in neutral. Those wheels are locked down and the tranny is not doing anything.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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A Hyundai elantra...
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Thanks so much everyone!!!!
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shydi View Post
Towing front wheel drive car. Owners manual states car must be in neutral.
Read it again. It probably says it needs to be in neutral only if towing with 4 wheels down. When the front wheels of a front-wheel-drive vehicle are on a tow dolly, there is no reason to have the tranny in neutral.

However, you need to have the wiring configured so the tail lights and brake lights work on the toad when the parking lights are turned on and when the brakes on the tow vehicle are activated. The 7-pin RV plug on the back of your tow vehicle includes one wire that is a 12-volt "hot" wire used to maintain the charge in the toad's battery. So you need to be sure that wire somehow goes to the positive (+) terminal of the toad's battery.

Read this for a start:
Wiring a Tow Vehicle to Tow a Dinghy | etrailer.com

A "dinghy" is also called a "toad" or a towed vehicle.

Probably with a tow dolly, the tail lights and brake lights work on the dolly but not on the toad. That may be legal, but if I'm the guy doing the towing , then for my own safety I'm going to have the tail lights and brakes lights work on the toad as well as on the dolly.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:11 PM   #11
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I have moved your thread from the "trailer" forum, here to the motorhome toad forum.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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I would just disconnect the battery after you get everything set up. They make quick disconnect terminals you can buy at NAPA auto parts.

If you've drained the battery several times, the plates are probably sulfated over, so you probably need a new battery now.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
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I would recheck your manual. On the surface there seems to be no requirement for your tranny to be in neutral when on a dolly. 4 down different story. I tow my Sebring on a dolly, in park no worries.
Just a FYI;
I have also added a seperate wireing harness for brake lights, wiring them into the dolly's harness, through a 4 pin plug, which is inturn wired to the coach through the 7 pin plug.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:49 PM   #14
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Hi,

When towing on a dolly with Front wheel drive vehicle leave gear shift in Park, remove key from ignition in lock position and lock doors and you are ready to go.

You will not need to worry about battery discharge at all. If you want to hook up lights in toad so they activate when motorhome lights are activated then you will need to install diodes in toads light circuits. You can also buy magnetic lights if you like however most dollies have their own lights which should be sufficient.

Hook it up and go enjoy this great country of ours.


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