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Old 02-13-2020, 08:40 AM   #1
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2020 Equinox LT First Towing Experience

My first long tow, 230 miles, did not go as planned.

I have a windshield cover that protects my windshield from rocks while towing. The windshield in my Saturn Vue sustained several rock chips, one causing a long crack requiring replacement so I purchased a rock shield cover.

I put my cover on my Equinox and we started our trip. When we stopped for fuel my wife noticed that the lights were on so I turned them off. When we arrived at our destination our toad battery was dead.

After a reread of my manual I see that there is a light/dark sensor that turns on the lights. I will need to make sure my lights are set to OFF and not AUTO.

I have a charge line but it must not carry enough flow to power the lights. Lesson learned.

Safe travels. JD
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:16 PM   #2
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Have you verified that your charge line is really functioning? I have towed my 2018 Equinox for up to 10 hours a day over consecutive multiple days with only a few short engine runs each day to lube the transmission (~ 5 minutes each which is not long enough to recharge the battery if the charge li e is not functioning and the battery is being depleted during the tow) and never had a problem with a dead battery. Initially, I only turned off the entertainment and climate systems and only later added the lights to that turn off list, but still never had a dead battery. After I installed my charge line, I did multiple verifications to ensure the charge line was functioning and providing adequate power to keep the battery charged. First, I verified that I had ~ 12.6 volts with a digital multimeter at the carís umbilical connector on the charge line and ground pins to confirm that the charge line had a good connection to the positive battery terminal and the ground pin had a good ground. Then I connected the car to the coach, started the coach, and confirmed the voltage across the carís battery terminals with the digital multimeter was ~ 13.5 volts indicating that the coach was providing charging voltage to the car through the charge line. Finally, with the coach running, I put the Equinox in tow mode (transmission in neutral, start switch in accessory mode, and the entertainment and climate systems and lights off) and measured the current flow in the charge line (amps into the carís battery through the charge line) and then the positive line from the carís battery (amps out and consumed by the car) with a DC amp clamp meter. I measured ~ 7 amps in from the charge line and ~ 6.5 amps out of the battery via the positive cable which indicated the charge line was keeping up with the consumption of the car in tow mode. I would recommend you verify operability of your charge line with at least the voltage tests described above.
Jim and Shelia
2017 Tiffin Allegro RED 37PA
2018 Chevy Equinox
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:56 PM   #3
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Thanks. Long story short.

I tested at my car battery and there was no difference between the static charge and when the car was connected to our motorhome.

After a call to my installer and a little detective work I discovered that they had connected the charge line on the car side to the pin that Roadmaster designates as a ground.

I'm 230 miles from the installer so we agreed that I could move the wire on the car side without voiding any warranty.

I now have power to my car battery when hooked up for towing.

Thanks again for your help.

Safe travels. JD
JD & Kathy and our Bichon Frise "Little Buddy Too"
2016 Winnebago Sightseer33C built on a 2016 F-53 Chassis
2009 Saturn Vue
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:49 AM   #4
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Pretty sad that a supposedly professional installer made a dumb mistake like that.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Pretty sad that a supposedly professional installer made a dumb mistake like that.

Agreed but this is the kind of service I usually get nowadays.
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