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Old 05-31-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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Dead Battery in HHR

I'm on my first long trip towing a 2009 Chevy HHR. I have run the battery down twice in three days. Have a switch for fuse #8, am shutting off auto lights, and all that I've been told to do. I have an RVI Brake system for the toad. Any suggestions on other things I should be doing. Fortunately, I have my charger along.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slapfoot
I'm on my first long trip towing a 2009 Chevy HHR. I have run the battery down twice in three days. Have a switch for fuse #8, am shutting off auto lights, and all that I've been told to do. I have an RVI Brake system for the toad. Any suggestions on other things I should be doing. Fortunately, I have my charger along.
It doesn't happen with my SMI brake system so my guess is it may be your brake system
Of which I'm not familiar with or it could be that your fuse switch is not doing its job. With the key turned to the first position , you cannot take it out until the fuse is reinstated. Check that out first.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Clifftall: I could get the key out no matter the position of the switch. Took panel off and wires from the switch had fallen off fuse so yes, the switch was not working. So much for professional install. I will pull fuse for the rest of the trip and work on it when I get home. Thanks again.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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There are two systems I know of which include towed charge curcuits.

1: US gear Unified Brake Decelerator (This unit connects the towed battery to the towing (motor home) chassis battery using a power lead protected by circuit breakers at both ends)

2: The Invisible Brake system from Roadmaster (Siphons power off the tail light circuit)


If you have any of the "Box in the driver's seat" systems, they eat battery power off the towed and no way to replace it.


NOTE: A NEW towed battery may have the capacity to handle the load.

Note 2: The "Towed Charge" system (Google it) is somewhat better than the US-Gear or Invisible brake method.. It works well too.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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Thanks wa8yxm. I have bookmarked the website and am going to seriously consider it when I get back home.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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I always unplug 12v brake unit power at night.

In addition to pulling recommended fuses, I always unplug 12v power at night. Never had a low towed battery.

I had an early BrakeBuddy I used for several years. Then upgraded to a Roadmaster Brake Pro. Now have the RVi Brake. Love it's small, light weight & simple set up.

My problem with the two earlier units was they would wander if I hit rough roads, sometimes working up to press the brake pedal. Also I don't like using the soft seat as the brace. My RVi Brake pushes on solid metal and 'so far' stays put.

Lest you think I am totally satisfied with RVi let me tell you about their Stupid, no thinking ahead, RV cockpit reciever. Who has a dashboard 12v socket anywhere handy for viewing this thing? I had to use a 12v extersion and velcro.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
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Slapfoot,

After your fuse switch is installed properly, ensure that the ignition key is turn as far off as possible (position 1). In the run position (2) the ignition system receives power even if the auto is not running. JM2...
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #8
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I'll Second That

Quote:
Originally Posted by teddyu View Post
Slapfoot,

After your fuse switch is installed properly, ensure that the ignition key is turn as far off as possible (position 1). In the run position (2) the ignition system receives power even if the auto is not running. JM2...
teddyu is correct. I ran my HHR down today because I had the key in the wrong position. I've had it properly set in the past and had no problem.


More
Refering to the HHR owners manual, there are four positions:
O - Position allows key removal with auto. trans in park. Steering wheel will lock up when turned past a certain point.
ACC - Position runs some of the accessories. Steering wheel is unlocked. Key is trapped.
I - Position runs accessories and panel warning and indicator lights. This is the engine running position after an engine start.
START- Engages starter.

I ran my toad down 'cause I used "I" instead of "ACC".

If your type of brake controller runs off of the toad battery, "ACC" will eventually run the battery down too but not as quickly as "I"
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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Smile HHR Update

The responses to my problem have been interesting and helpful. I am not very happy to have to report that my problem was operator error for the most part (Although I did discover that when I had some work done on the car, the mechanic disconnected the fuse switch by placing the fuse from the switch into its location in the fuse panel without saying anything to me). To take care of operator error I have installed a device called Toad-Charge which charges my HHR's battery from the MH. It was not very expensive, easy to install, and although I've not taken any long trips yet, all the indicator lights and testing indicate it is working as designed.
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