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Old 04-18-2016, 07:20 AM   #1
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I Give Up!

After a couple of tows with the dolly I decided that I'll do anything to avoid crawling on the ground to hook and unhook the Toad.
I plan to use the Blue Ox system and will be ordering the base plate for my 2016 F-150 and the new Avail towbar since it claims to offer a better turn radius.
For ease of use and transportabilty between vehicles I guess I'll go with the Patriot from Blue Ox unless there's a better system out there.
I can wire the tail lights with an LED harness that adds the bulbs to the truck tail lights without tapping into the truck wiring so no diodes needed.
Only question is the need for a charge line to keep the truck battery topped off.
The Patriot plugs in at a 12VDC power point but I don't know how much juice it actually uses. I can always carry an external battery charger but a charge wire would be best.
Is there any special requirement other than a wire from the 12V pin on the RV 7 pin plug to the + terminal of the truck battery?
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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JohnH12-

If your 12V 7-pin connector is active, then you need to make sure there is a fuse or fast-acting circuit breaker at each end, as near to the batteries as possible. A common size is 15A, but that depends on the wire size used in the coach and the toad. 10 AWG is common, I suspect primarily to reduce voltage drop. The coach end may already have a fuse or circuit breaker.

I assume you have a 6-pin or 7-pin connector on your toad, as that's what (with standard wiring) is needed to pass the 12V charge line.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:25 AM   #3
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Take a look at the Brake Buddy if you have not purchased yet. Its just another option and portable like the Patriot. We went with the Brake Buddy Vantage unit and like the proportional setting it offers. I purchased ours from Amazon. Setup and go in two minutes.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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For me, there is plenty to do when breaking camp, or hooking up for a trip.
I did not want to add the task of installing something on the seat and atraching to the pedal everytime. Be sure to consider that.

My AF1 is great if you have air brakes.

Regards,

Dan
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:40 AM   #5
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I also have a Blue Ox Base Plate, but after my Blue Ox tow bar fail as did the Blue Ox, no longer made brake system, I switch the a Ready Brute tow bar with the brake system built in for the same price as a new Blue Ox. ReadyBrute™ Elite RV Tow Bar

I couldn't be happier, easy to DIY install, no 12V power required, lifetime warranty, not so with Blue Ox, great customer service. We have about 30,000 miles with it and have never had a single problem. If it's your first towing system, it is well worth looking into. This forum made me a believer.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #6
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If you are concerned that the aux. brake system will discharge youre truck battery, I have been using the Brake Buddy for 12 yrs now.Currently on my 2nd unit[vantage] and have never had a problem with the system discharging my Jeeps battery and I haven't used a charging line ever. We recently got home from a 3 mo. 8000 mi trip w/o battery discharge problems. Just to add there have been times when we were on a mission to arrive at a destination that I did not disconnect the toad or started it for 2 days and the battery was still good. Could be that your truck has a current draw from within but I wouldn't worry about the brake system draw [ at least the Brake Buddy] unit.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:00 AM   #7
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I use a Brake Buddy Advantage because I have two toads and it allows me to transfer it to either one.

If I didn't have this I would use the AF1 as I have air brakes, the hook up is easier and foolproof.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:59 AM   #8
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Why not run a line from the 6-pin to the interior and skip the truck battery completely?
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:26 PM   #9
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Installing a charge line is not difficult. Just need a 30A fuse on each end for protection. Google 7 Pin connector to see which pin to use for Aux Power.

If your F150 is like other Fords, you need to leave the Ign in the Aux position for towing. Check with your owners manual on this. If so, you should put in the charge line.

Also, I have been using the Patriot for about five years. I'm on my 2nd one after an internal battery failure on the first one.
BlueOx offered to replace the battery at the factory and update it for $150 but I was on the road at the time, I had them send me a new unit to my next destination and they made me an offer I could not refuse.
FYI, it is a fully adjustable and proportional system as advertised.
If you are using two different vehicles for a toad, the Patriot is a very good choice. IMHO.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:35 PM   #10
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I know that 4 down is much easier but it's just not in the cards at this moment.

John,
This is a quote from your other thread. This is why some of us tried to coax you into going ahead and setting up your '16 F-150 for flat towing, right off the bat. As you have experienced, IT'S A PAIN, to do it the way you're doing it. In life, you want to make things easy, NOT HARD. Everyone's got to decide what's easy and hard. For me, it's a pretty EASY choice. Tying into the trucks wiring for tail lights is just about as easy too. But, some have a hard time dealing with that endeavor. Again, whatever floats your boat. Besides, the '16 F-150 may have what's called "CAN-BUSS" or, MULTIPLEX type wiring/control so, tying into the wiring on that year/model, may need to be questioned to a local Ford tech, (NOT A SERVICE WRITER OR SALESPERSON)

Anyway, good luck on setting up your F-150 is a piece of cake. Our '11 GMC took me about a full day to the base plate(s) and, about a couple hours to do the wiring for the tail lights.
Scott
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
I know that 4 down is much easier but it's just not in the cards at this moment.

John,
This is a quote from your other thread. This is why some of us tried to coax you into going ahead and setting up your '16 F-150 for flat towing, right off the bat. As you have experienced, IT'S A PAIN, to do it the way you're doing it. In life, you want to make things easy, NOT HARD. Everyone's got to decide what's easy and hard. For me, it's a pretty EASY choice. Tying into the trucks wiring for tail lights is just about as easy too. But, some have a hard time dealing with that endeavor. Again, whatever floats your boat. Besides, the '16 F-150 may have what's called "CAN-BUSS" or, MULTIPLEX type wiring/control so, tying into the wiring on that year/model, may need to be questioned to a local Ford tech, (NOT A SERVICE WRITER OR SALESPERSON)
Anyway, good luck on setting up your F-150 is a piece of cake. Our '11 GMC took me about a full day to the base plate(s) and, about a couple hours to do the wiring for the tail lights.
Scott
Fire Up: Thanks for the "I told you so" lecture.
I may be slow to the table but am not entirely stupid.
Actually my son-in-law saw all that was required to do the dolly thing so he came up with the funding as a surprise early birthday gift.

MonkeyClaw: Great suggestion! I might just do that and add a separate 12V plug for the Patriot.

Thanks to all who replied. The Blue Ox towbar, base plate, light harness, and Patriot brake setup is on order.
BTW: Ford still hasn't come forth with a real answer to my question.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:14 PM   #12
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John,
I was not implying you are "stupid". People approach towing a dinghy, many types of dinghies, in different manors. Many of us have been through all the trials and errors of the learning curve and, in the end, try our best to end up with the easiest and most efficient way of towing. Flat towing it by far, the easiest and cheapest, all depending on who does the install of the base plates (if required) and the wiring etc.

Dolly towing is the next toughest, and more expensive way. And finally, trailer towing is the most complicated and most expensive. First, you have to acquire the trailer. Then, acquire all the tie downs and whatever's related to that operation. Then, and this is really important to me, what to do with the trailer, each and every time you stop for a night or, even a few days, while traveling???

Some camping spots, RV parks, U.S. Forest Campgrounds just don't have the extra room for a trailer. Some do.

But, in any case, you should be able to setup your '15 F-150 fairly easy. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:10 AM   #13
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If crawling around underneath the towed car is the only reason I have another suggestion. Newer cars have a tow recovery receiver in the front frame member. Usually on the right side, passenger, there is a small plastic cover and behind that is a threaded receiver to put in a tow recovery hook. You may have one around your spare tire, if not you can get it from the dealer. When we towed the Ford Escape I would use it for the safety cables, no crawling underneath to connect them. Word of caution when using it, wrap some old socks around the chain to protect the bumper finish and the tow recovery hook is LEFT hand threads.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:24 PM   #14
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Currently flat towing a 2015 F150. Blue Ox base plate, Demco tow bar and Patriot brake. No need for the charge wire if you go the Patriot route. I ran 12 volt plug straight from the battery to power the Patriot as the ones in the truyck all shutdown after about 30-60 mins. Had the Patriot for another vehicle and coach so we just kept it. Once you get used to getting it setup, it really doesn't take all that long. We went with diodes for the lights and have been happy with that. Assuming you have the push button start, you will need to use the spare key to lock the drivers door from the outside. Otherwise the alarm will go off when you start towing it.
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