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Old 02-09-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
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Toad battery charging problem

We are pulling a Cadillac CTS behind our 2002 HR Endeavor. A transmission pump installed on the CTS is powered by the MH chassis battery, however, the toad battery runs down after about 2 or 3 hours or less of traveling. The technition who installed the system told us this would happen and we needed to start the toad every time we stop or every couple of hours so the battery would recharge. We have to leave the toad ignition "on" so the steering is unlocked, thus creating a pretty substantial load on the toad battery. It runs down if I forget to stop and let it run for 15 to 30 minutes to recharge. Then I have to jump the toad or hook it up to a charger for an hour or so before I can unhook and use the toad. What a hassle. I have forgotten to start the toad several times and had to find a way to jump it. There ought to be a better way.

I went back and discussed this with the tech. who installed the transmission pump, running lights, etc. He said I could run a dedicated (12 guage) pair of wires from either the chassis battery or the house batteries (30 amp fused) to the toad battery and this would keep the toad battery up.

This seems fairly strait forward and an easy fix. You would think he would have done this as part of the original installation. Anyway, my question is will this work - mating the toad battery to the chassis? The tech. said this was not part of the original work order to rig up the toad. If this will work, I can run the wiring myself and save a shop bill for doing something I can do myself. Any advise would be appreciated.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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I would run larger than 12 guage.

You can get well made weaterproof connectors and fuses at well stocked supply locations.

Fuse BOTH ENDS and have the larger fuse at the MH end.

Connect to either Battery.

If Battery not "handy" then another fuse.

Why?

Say you use 10 guage wire, it is then fused at 30 amps due to capacity of wire.

If Battery is distant then the fuse located by the Battery blows and is pain.

So a 30 amp fuse or reseting breaker at Battery protects the wire.
At the rear end where the jumper goes to toad, a 20 amp fuse or breaker goes here.

At the toad Battery also 20 amp fuse or breaker.

If jumper shorts out it blows fuses at ends of jumper, fuse at MH Battery stay good.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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What aux-braking system are you using? IF none may I recommend the US Gear Unified Brake Decelerator..

WHY: Because it includes the wire you wish to install that's why.

Seriously, 12 ga should do it use 20 amp breakers (2) one on the motor home positive lead one on the car's positive lead. That way if anything happens to the wire, It will trip the breakers Note 2: That's how US gear does it too.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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I am using a Brake Buddy system. Everything works good, hardly know the toad is back there. Why a Caddy CTS as a toad? It is a 2005 with 150,000 miles. My other car is a Prius and the manual says you can't tow those period. Figure I couldn't hurt it (CTS) due to age and high miles and I didn't have to buy a more suitable toad. So far so good, after pulling it 3,000 miles. As far as I can tell the CTS tranny is holding up. Keeping my fingers crossed...new Caddy trans would probably send it to the junk yard. I am hoping I can get a couple more years out of it as a toad. Also, the chassis battery bank is only a few feet from the back of the MH...a short run to the toad. So would it be OK to run 12 guage? (already bought 2-20' rolls of 12 guage wire). Thanks for the advise.

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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It sounds to me that you are powering the pump from the car battery not the motorhome. I agree you need to run power from the motorhome but I would suggest you use the toad-charge unit. http://www.lslproducts.net/ToadChargePage.html
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Double checked...The pump is being powered from the MH battery bank, not the toad. The big draw on the toad battery is the computer, I guess. Lots of electronics fired up when the ignition is on. (yes, the headlights are off). About 2 hours and that's it. Dead. The brake buddy is powered by the toad but it hardly ever activates unless I am braking really hard, which I try not to do. The Brake Buddy works ,Like it is supposed to work from what I understand, so it's not the Brake Buddy drawing it down. Got to be the electronics in the Caddy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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Update...I just visited the web site suggested by Algoma for the Toad-Charge. Thanks, Algoma. This looks like the perfect solution for about a hundred bucks. A little pricey but maybe worth it if you consider what I paid for wiring, connectors, fuse holders and so forth which I haven't installed yet. I am going to ponder this a while to see if I saved the receipts and maybe return all that stuff and order the Toad-Charge. I am wondering if anyone else uses theToadCharge device? The web page says it includes a "10 amp charge regulator". Hum...what the heck is that and why do I need it? My doit yourself system didn't include a "charge regulator"? Is that important? Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:50 PM   #8
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The regulator limits the current from the motorhome to 10 amps. If the car battery was dead and you connected it to the motorhome battery you could draw a 100 amps or more and burn the wiring or even cause a fire if the current was not limited. It also has reverse voltage protection. Check rvupgradestore.com for a better price on the Toad-Charge.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #9
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Parkers,
I use the Toad Charge and love it. It solved my problem of a dead battery every trip. The regulator acts like a "mini-charger" for your toad battery. It regulates the electricity going TO the toad battery. If the toad only needs 2 Amps that's all it gets. If it needs more the regulator will provide more; up to 10 Amps. It also has diodes that prevent the process to be reversed, i.e., if the chassis battery was low it cannot drain the toad battery.
My toad connection is a 6-way so I took the positive and negative from there and didn't need all the other wiring or fuse. (My freightliner already has a 20 Amp fuse on the positive line.) So, I just ordered the charge controller alone (for around $55.)
Good luck with your project and let us know how you do.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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Thanks again, Algoma. At the risk of being a thread killer, my problem is solved. UPS is on the way. Yepeeee!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Algoma View Post
The regulator limits the current from the motorhome to 10 amps. If the car battery was dead and you connected it to the motorhome battery you could draw a 100 amps or more and burn the wiring or even cause a fire if the current was not limited. It also has reverse voltage protection. Check rvupgradestore.com for a better price on the Toad-Charge.
Whenever I have towed trailers, TTs, boats etc that had batteries I have always just ran a wire from pin 4 on the 7 pin connector. I think about 99% of TTs on the road are wired that way. Haven't checked my MH but my Ford pickup doesn't furnish 12 volts to pin 4 unless the engine is running. I always fuse for 20 to 30 amps & never had a problem. Never blew a fuse even charging a dead battery. Didn't know anyone designed a charge line for that purpose.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #12
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My toad is on a tow dolly, and during a trip from WA to AZ and back, twice I found the toad battery dead, so I installed a charging circuit on both cars I put on the dolly and have not had a problem since.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:13 PM   #13
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I must be missing something. With the MH powering the brakes and lights, why not lift the neg. cable off the Toad battery. I do that with my Dakota toad and haven't had any problems (yet). Toad battery can't go dead if it's disconnected. Key on of course to free steering.

Cheap cures can be good if they work.

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Old 02-11-2013, 01:03 AM   #14
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Wyorancher,
Yes, you can directly connect to the toad battery but then your alternator continues to charge (or over charge) your battery. It normally does not hurt it; just shortens its life cycle. And, like I mentioned above, if the chassis battery goes dead, it will take out the toad battery also. That's the nice feature of the toad charge; it just charges if needed and does not "de-charge."
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