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Old 12-07-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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GMC Terrain and a Brake Buddy

After smoking the MH brakes driving down New Mexico mountains we quickly bought a Brake Buddy for our 2011 GMC Terrain toad. Picked the GMC because it is advertised to work well with 4 wheel flat towing and after 7500 miles I'd say we are very satisfied with the vehicle. To connect the GMC for towing the manual says to remove a fuse to eliminate unnecessary draw on the battery. That's fine in theory, but the Brake Buddy requires 12 volt power so we have to leave it connected and the key in the ACCY position. Problem is after about 300 miles or 6 hours on the road the toad battery charge drops so low that it won't start when we get to our destination. Anyone else out there have a similar problem and if so have you come up with a satisfactory solution? I note that the Brake Buddy manual mentions a second 12 volt battery to power their product in some circumstances. Sure hope this isn't the only solution! Thanks in advance for all the information and feedback.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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You could hook up a charge line from the RV battery. I used an unused wire in the 6 pin connector to run a wire from the battery in the RV to the toad. Near each battery I put an automatic reset circuit breaker (10 amp) in the wire to protect against shorts or overload on the wiring harness. It's worked great for 2 years.

Another solution is get an auxiliary battery like this: 3-in-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Starter

It has an outlet to plug your BB power cable. For a little more, you can get one with an air compressor!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob for such a speedy reply. I hadn't thought of a secondary wire from the coach battery. We really are just newbies at this with only 7500 miles under our belts and there's so much to learn. Appreciate the help.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Running a 12v charge line from the MH to the toad is the best solution in my experience. We've towed two vehicles for probably 25,000 miles with never a flat battery.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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I installed a "Toad Charge" and no more problems. I first tried to just add a charge line myself, but the electronics involved were more than I could manage.
I also have a booster pack with air compressor. It's a great back up.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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I installed a "Toad Charge" and no more problems. I first tried to just add a charge line myself, but the electronics involved were more than I could manage.
I also have a booster pack with air compressor. It's a great back up.
What electronics? A wire from RV battery (+) post, auto reset CB, wire to rear bumper trailer outlet, wire from toad front bumper trailer outlet to auto rest CB, to toad battery (+) post.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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On my 2012 Equinox the plug in the dash goes dark after 10 or so minutes, I'm told the plug in the rear stays on but I've never checked this out. I was going to run a line for a dedicated plug, instead I use a portable power pack for my Brake Buddy, I've not had a dead battery since.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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I would probably go for the affordable and easy method. Just run a fused wire from the + post of the toad battery to the passenger compartment. Connect another wire to chassis ground of toad around dash area. Use these two wires to power brake buddy by connecting them to female cigar lighter receptacle. You can always clip off male cigar plug and just use any old two wire connector. If toad battery is in good shape you should be able to tow 4 or more days without starting toad engine to replenish battery. Just disconnect when parked for night to save battery. I tow 4 or more days and never start our Saturn car.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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As above
Run a wire from a spare trailer pin to the car battery + terminal
Add a resettable 20 amp fuse
Run a wire from coach ignition box to same position on the coach trailer plug. That way it's only active when the coach ignition is on.
You will never have a flat battery in the towed.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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well it seems to be a consensus. I'm going to run a wire from coach battery probably via the trailer wiring harness so I don't have to plug anything else in when hooking up. Sounds neat and effective. Thanks so much for all the helpful feedback. Safe and happy travels to all...
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:46 AM   #11
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well it seems to be a consensus. I'm going to run a wire from coach battery probably via the trailer wiring harness so I don't have to plug anything else in when hooking up. Sounds neat and effective. Thanks so much for all the helpful feedback. Safe and happy travels to all...
Just be sure that the ground wire in the 'trailer' harness is also connected to ground in both vehicles to complete the circuit. No fuses or circuit breakers needed!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
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What electronics? A wire from RV battery (+) post, auto reset CB, wire to rear bumper trailer outlet, wire from toad front bumper trailer outlet to auto rest CB, to toad battery (+) post.
My 2012 Ford Explorer has some sophisticated electronics and a straight charge line just didn't work, but the "Toad Charge" does. Your old VW is no doubt a little more simple? And of course, I may just be too stupid? Is that really your point?
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #13
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Jim, I was in no way thinking you were challenged. I was curious as to what electronics interfered between the batteries of the two vehicles. Are you talking about between the toad battery and the power outlet? I know many of them are controlled by the car computer to turn off minutes after the car is turned off, so that could be an issue. In my Subaru with power outlets that go off like that I rewired one so I could continue to charge my iPhone if I step away from the vehicle for a few minutes.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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OP, Your battery is draining due to the ignition in the TOAD in the ACC mode. Install a seperate receptacle or make one receptacle in the TOAD an always HOT receptacle. Then pull (or install a switch) the fuse to de-energize the circuit in ACC mode, and TURN-OFF Auto lights, radio, fans, etc. Should solve your problem. JM2...
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