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Old 04-15-2021, 08:48 PM   #1
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Towing Jeep Gladiator

We recently purchased a new Jeep Gladiator after having a Jeep Rubicon for years and towed it for the first time a couple months back. After 3 days on the road towing it, the battery was dead. Now I know that the negative post needs to be disconnected on the battery and we are about to hit the road for a few months.

Has anyone hooked up a trickle charger to the battery, powered by the coach instead of constantly disconnecting the negative terminal? I really donít want to mount a battery disconnect switch inside the already tight engine compartment, or disconnect and reconnect the negative terminal.

Any personal experiences with this topic are appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:06 PM   #2
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charging Battery

Go to rvibrake.com and you will find on their website the solution to your issue and more: tpms, toad brake system, and more. I have their systems on my rig towing a Jeep cherokee and Ford Ranger and all work excellent.

Safe travels....The Balladeer
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Old 04-16-2021, 05:44 AM   #3
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The slickest and easiest towed battery charging system by far is the Toad-Charge system. I have been using mine now for 5-6 years and have never had further problems with towed battery. The system charges the toad battery only when you are driving down the road, and does not then discharge the coach battery if the Cummins is not running.

Here is the link. Easy install DIY. Highly recommend.

TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer

Gary
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Old 04-16-2021, 05:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
The slickest and easiest towed battery charging system by far is the Toad-Charge system. I have been using mine now for 5-6 years and have never had further problems with towed battery. The system charges the toad battery only when you are driving down the road, and does not then discharge the coach battery if the Cummins is not running.

Here is the link. Easy install DIY. Highly recommend.

TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer

Gary
Yup, I have been using mine for three years with no issues.
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:26 AM   #5
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I just installed a remote battery disconnect for the battery. Works great, took about 10 minutes in install. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000...41754c4d6sWq00
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:00 PM   #6
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I've been towing numerous Jeeps over the years, including my Gladiator. I've never had instances where the Jeep's battery ran down, however I've always used the M&G auxiliary braking system which is pneumatic. If you are using a portable unit or something like the Stay-in-Play electric braking system then you will have a significant draw on the Jeep's battery. The only thing electric on my M&G systems was the breakaway switch. The tail lights run off the coach power.

However, my Gladiator is a bit different. Previously I used the M&G brake system which mounted between the Jeep's master cylinder and vacuum booster. Great system, foolproof and fail-safe and doesn't require any vacuum supply. But, it requires moving the master cylinder ahead a few inches and I don't have room for that on the Gladiator or our JL Wrangler. So, I went with M&G's 2.0 system, which uses a pneumatic actuator that connects to the brake pedal via a cable (similar to Air Force One but a bit nicer). This requires vacuum to be supplied to the vacuum booster when towing.

Fortunately, most recent Mopar products have a built-in electric vacuum pump so all I had to do was tie into 12 volt power when towing from the RV's hot power terminal on the lighting umbilical. But the motorhome also charges the Jeep battery via that line in order to activate the relays on the Mopar tow lighting harness. By connecting the vacuum pump to this line I would have 24/7 power to the pump, even when not towing. The solution was to add some sort of check valve (diode) to prevent the vacuum pump from receiving constant power from the Jeep battery.

I installed the RVI Towed Battery Charger to handle this. The RVI charger meters and allows current to flow from the coach to the Jeep battery as needed but acts as a check valve to prevent backfeeding from the Jeep to the coach. I connected my vacuum pump's tie-in wire to the coach side of the RVI wiring and everything works great.
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
The slickest and easiest towed battery charging system by far is the Toad-Charge system. I have been using mine now for 5-6 years and have never had further problems with towed battery. The system charges the toad battery only when you are driving down the road, and does not then discharge the coach battery if the Cummins is not running.

Here is the link. Easy install DIY. Highly recommend.

TOAD-CHARGE Dinghy Vehicle Battery Charger/Maintainer

Gary
Hi Gary,

Did you connect this to one of your chassis batteries or to a house battery? Did you go with the 40' or 60' harness?

I have been wanting to do this for some time for my Jeep Cherokee.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:18 PM   #8
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So I have been towing my Jeep Wrangler, with no additional charger. Am I going to have battery issues? None so far
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:42 AM   #9
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All I know is I installed a Cool Tech towing wiring harness kit that bypasses the Gladiator’s electrical system and then connected my Roadmaster Brake Master supplemental braking system. Checked everything and drove 3 days, towing the Gladiator Mojave. Disconnected and the battery was graveyard dead. Had to jump start. After which the auto stop/start warning light was on and the auto start feature would not work. Now this I enjoyed not having to push the auto stop/start feature. On our return trip, I disconnected the negative terminal and drove the same distance back home and no problems. So, with the new Gladiator, push button start, its apparent that there is enough draw on the battery, possibly from the Brake Master applying the brakes that drains the battery. The owners manual does say to disconnect the negative battery terminal while towing. However, no indication as to why and the brake master is a speculation on drawing down the battery.

So to prevent the Jeep from powering the brake lights using the Brake Master and the Coach providing power to the brake lights, I think it best to disconnect the negative battery terminal. I was going to install a trickle charger and keep the battery connected, but I will opt for the battery disconnect and keep it simple.

Maybe it’s the Brake Master applying the brakes proportionally when I apply the Coach brakes or it is the new Gladiator sophisticated electronics and keyless start. I did not have any of the dead battery issues when I towed our 2008 Jeep Rubicon.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:44 AM   #10
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My wiring harness brings 12 volts in from the coach and that keeps the battery charged for multi day drives
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:39 AM   #11
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My Wrangler is a 2021, so I donít think the Gladiator is much different. Further research required on my part.
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
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So I have been towing my Jeep Wrangler, with no additional charger. Am I going to have battery issues? None so far
Our Wrangler is a 2021 also and it's the same as the Gladiator as far as towing and electricals are concerned.

Tow lights always run off the coach so they won't drain the battery and you won't have any issues from the lighting.

Any drained battery issues will stem from the auxiliary braking system. If you have a totally pneumatic braking system, like the original M&G, there won't be any noticeable drain. If you have an electrically operated system, like the Stay-in-Play or a portable unit like the Brake Buddy style, you will have a drain because the braking system utilizes the Jeep's battery to function.

If you have a pneumatic system that requires a vacuum supply to operate the brake booster, such as the M&G 2.0 and Air Force One systems, then you will draw some power from the Jeep's battery to operate the vacuum pump. The AF-1 system has a larger under-the-hood unit that contains a vacuum pump. The M&G 2.0 system can be used with an optional vacuum pump or you can just use the existing vacuum pump in the Jeep, which is common to most recent Mopar products. Either way, you'll use the Jeep's battery power to operate the pump.

Running a charge line from the coach to the Jeep will supply power but you have to ensure that each end of the line is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker to prevent smoking the harness should a short circuit occur. The best way is to use a device such as the RVI Toad Charger or ISL Toad Charge which will regulate the charge rate and prevent any backfeeding from the Jeep to the coach. You can also use the coach side of the charger to power your Jeep's vacuum pump.
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:44 PM   #13
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Lo-Tech

The wire has to run from only the connector right at the rear of the coach to the engine compartment of the Honda, so the short connector wire is long enough (I threw it in the spares box). Actually, I have a wire already included in the wire that already carries all the lines to activate the stop and running lights on the Honda .... there is an extra wire that can be used for a light that shows the brakes being activated or whatever, but I use that wire to feed the ToadCharge system. I use the pig tail "curlicue" electrical wire available from DEMCO. This is set up then to only charge the Honda when I am pulling the Honda and the Cummins is running. The charge comes from the alternator that turns on the coach. What the electronics are doing is monitoring the voltage. If the alternator is charging, the voltage is above 13 VDC and the control box knows the Cummins is turning and it passes that current on through to the Honda to charge its battery. If the Cummins is not turning, then there is either no voltage or what it sees is the chassis (engine start) batteries and then it draws no more charge into the Honda battery.

Like Cruzer's set up, the system is designed so that the Honda cannot back charge the coaches batteries when the Cummins is at rest.... So it cannot drain the coach batteries and the coach cannot drain the Honda batteries.

Very slick... well engineered. Mine has two LED lights to show charging and operational status... I just read that the new ones have an alarm that warns that some battery (not sure which one) is discharging (I assume when the Cummins is not running). It says the alarm warns of wires not connected or other failures. Using the DEMCO culicue pig tail wire means that I have only one electrical wire from coach to toad and it installs nicely on an arm welded right to a main part of the Excali-bar.

Gary
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:33 PM   #14
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2012 Aspire - I use the Invisi-brake and have not had any battery issues. Used it for 7 years towing Jeep Liberty now 2021 Gladiator. I hook to the charge line from the coach and it has kept the battery charged for 3-5 day trips.

Hope that helps.
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