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Old 06-19-2020, 04:24 AM   #1
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2021 Chevy Trailblazer as a Toad

The new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer can be used as a toad. Only limited to 70mph. Do not have to run vehicle at fuel stop. My only concern is one has to disconnect negative battery cable and isolate it from the negative post. I am thinking one could place an electrical tape wrapped cap over negative post and even wrap negative harness with rubber to keep them isolated. It is tight in there and upward movement of negative connecting harness is limited. Here are directions to convert to a toad.

1.Position the vehicle to tow and then secure it to the tow vehicle.
2. Apply the parking brake.
3. Put the vehicle into ACC/ACCESSORY by pressing ENGINE START/STOP one time without the brake pedal applied.
4. Shift the transmission to N (Neutral). The chime will ring continuously for
30 seconds. Leave the transmission in N (Neutral).
5. Release the parking brake.
6. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery. See “Negative Battery Cable Disconnection” under Battery - North America p 261.
7. Cover the negative battery post with a non-conductive material to prevent any contact with the negative battery terminal.

Any comments? Or a good way to cover/isolate the negative battery post?

Thanks

Ron
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:35 AM   #2
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I looked at the 21 Trailblazer & it looks to be an excellent choice for a toad. Some of the other Chevy's require a bit more rig ma roll. I actually prefer instructions that call for a battery disconnect over the one's that require a charge line. I believe some of the tow equipment companies (Roadmaster, Blue Ox, etc.) sell a nice handy battery disconnect switch that would make it very simple on a day to day basis. That is probably what I would do rather than disconnecting the battery cable. https://www.roadmasterinc.com/produc...disconnect.php
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twojayhawks View Post
I looked at the 21 Trailblazer & it looks to be an excellent choice for a toad. Some of the other Chevy's require a bit more rig ma roll. I actually prefer instructions that call for a battery disconnect over the one's that require a charge line. I believe some of the tow equipment companies (Roadmaster, Blue Ox, etc.) sell a nice handy battery disconnect switch that would make it very simple on a day to day basis. That is probably what I would do rather than disconnecting the battery cable. https://www.roadmasterinc.com/produc...disconnect.php
Good suggestion. I confirmed with Roadmaster their disconnect switch will work. It uses the positive terminal. Seems like a robust piece of equipment and will make it easy to tow. I also saw that Buick upped the rebate on the Encore GX which is the same as the Trailblazer. They are now priced very close. I like the Buick styling better. I will take it for a test drive. The Trailblazer was really quick for a 3 cylinder 1.3 liter turbo. The engine is small and weird to see so much room in the engine compartment. I am hoping the Buick seats are a little more comfortable than the Trailblazer. The interior of the Trailblazer had an abundance of room which was a nice surprise. It only weighs about 3250lbs.

I confirmed with Blue Ox that a base plate for the Trailblazer should be available in early August. Hopefully it will fit Buick Encore GX as well.

Ron
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Old 06-19-2020, 07:21 PM   #4
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Only the AWD Trailblazer is flat towable, the FWD is NOT.
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Old 06-21-2020, 09:47 AM   #5
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One thing to think about after the battery disconnect switch has been pressed is how to lock/unlock the car. On my Ford key fob has to remain in car for towing so I use the keyless entry (numerical keypad) to lock/unlock. I see GM has this feature also but I would think it wouldn't work if battery is disconnected.
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:41 AM   #6
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2021 Trailblazer Toad

I have purchased a 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD (Rally Sport all-wheel drive). It was accepted into the Blue Ox fit program for the design and install of the baseplate adapter. That work was completed June 25. I then towed the new toad 650 miles home without an issue. The baseplate should be available to the market soon.

The disconnect of the battery negative was done before we went to Blue Ox. I installed one of the inexpensive knob style disconnect switches. This introduced some other inventiveness to get the cables in the right places with the lack of slack. The switch forces the original battery post clamp from a vertical axis to a horizontal axis and a couple inches away. There is also another bolted on wire that had no slack. So, I had to fabricate a metal angle piece to connect the cable to switch and it was no easy trick. There is no simple solution. Removing the cable as recommended in the manual is not too difficult, but keeping it away might be. As mentioned, there is hardly any slack in the cables. As for preventing the cable from reconnecting? Ingenuity. You're going to have to figure it out.

Removing the positive connection is frowned upon for a safety reason. Metal tools on a hot positive to a negative ground can result in explosion, blindness, burns, fires and all sorts of fun things. If you mess with the positive terminal, be very, very careful. Besides, once you look at either connection, they're not like the cable connections of old.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:29 AM   #7
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Bydnar
Thank you for the update on your Trailblazer. It is an awesome vehicle. Perfect for what I want and towable. But the battery disconnect is what kept me from purchasing one. As you described it is not easy. However, I recently found an authorized blue ox installer that said they would have to look at but they are confident they could get a disconnect installed, much like you did. The other minor problem is trying to get tow hitch and roof cross bars from GM. They are backordered and they donít know when or if they will be available! So now I am torn between the Trailblazer or Ford Ranger to purchase as a toad.

I wish GM would dot the iís and cross the tís when they develop vehicles. I was hoping with an engineer in charge things would change. Maybe I will send CEO Mary Barra a letter.

Nothing is easy in the RV world,

Ron
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarz272000 View Post
Bydnar
... But the battery disconnect is what kept me from purchasing one. As you described it is not easy. However, I recently found an authorized blue ox installer that said they would have to look at but they are confident they could get a disconnect installed, much like you did. ...

Ron
I said it was not easy. It's not a simple plug-n-play, but not too bad. Just an angle bracket did it for me. The problem was this type of battery switch, changing the post axis and distance with no slack in the cable. Hopefully, these photos might help describe the solution I came up with.

A short battery cable could be used in place of the angle bracket.

This is a relative top view and side view of the switch. The side view is looking outward from the center of the engine bay. The green knob is the connect/disconnect portion that must be turned for functioning. The yellow is pointing at the original battery cable that can only move fractions of an inch. The red shows the bracket I made to return the clamp to the cable.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
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...

I wish GM would dot the iís and cross the tís when they develop vehicles. I was hoping with an engineer in charge things would change. Maybe I will send CEO Mary Barra a letter.

Nothing is easy in the RV world,

Ron
If a vehicle is developed for a purpose, and that purpose is to allow dinghy towing, but the battery negative is to be removed, then shouldn't there be a built-in provision for such a thing? At least an option? An aftermarket accessory? Sure, about .1% of these vehicles will be towed. BUT, the manual says it can be done, with exception. Please provide a solution for that exception!!

This is not exclusive to this vehicle, it applies to all vehicles that are reportedly dinghy towable.

Then, an accessory will become available, just like the trailer hitch and the roof rail cross arms...someday.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:36 AM   #10
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I said it was not easy. It's not a simple plug-n-play, but not too bad. Just an angle bracket did it for me. The problem was this type of battery switch, changing the post axis and distance with no slack in the cable. Hopefully, these photos might help describe the solution I came up with.

A short battery cable could be used in place of the angle bracket.

This is a relative top view and side view of the switch. The side view is looking outward from the center of the engine bay. The green knob is the connect/disconnect portion that must be turned for functioning. The yellow is pointing at the original battery cable that can only move fractions of an inch. The red shows the bracket I made to return the clamp to the cable.
Thanks for the excellent pictures and explanation. I am definitely considering buying one.
1) what brake system are you using?
2) Did you install charge line? Do you think that would be a problem? I have Patriot system and may need 12 volt outlet connected to battery along with charge line to keep battery charged.
3) At Blue Ox did they need your RV or would only the vehicle be sufficient?
4) Did they install diode lights?

We live in Clinton Twp MI. We are neighbors!

Ron
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:21 PM   #11
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Thanks for the excellent pictures and explanation. I am definitely considering buying one.

1) what brake system are you using?
I use an RVi3 also with their TPMS

2) Did you install charge line? Do you think that would be a problem? I have Patriot system and may need 12 volt outlet connected to battery along with charge line to keep battery charged.
I did not install a charge line. Towing an Equinox for roughly 22,000 miles, I never depleted the battery during sometimes 8 hours between starts. However, the braking systems are quite different and the Patriot might use/need more power.
Since the negative battery cable is disconnected for towing, I had to install a female cigarette lighter style socket to run the brake. I ran a dedicated line, fused at the battery and a discreet ground going back to the battery post. You can see the terminal end of the ground wire in the battery photos from before. That connection is NOT switched off during battery disconnect. I wired the socket so that I can stow it behind the left kick panel at the floor when not in use.


3) At Blue Ox did they need your RV or would only the vehicle be sufficient?
The only thing required from the RV is the hitch height at ride height. This is to determine if a drop hitch is required. In my case, I already had a 4" drop hitch, which is perfect for the 13.25" center attachment point on the Trailblazer. If you didn't already know, Blue Ox requires that the center of the towing vehicle hitch and the towed vehicle attachment center to be not more than 3" in difference.

4) Did they install diode lights?
They used their packaged light kit which does use diodes to prevent back-feed.

We live in Clinton Twp MI. We are neighbors!
east coast vs west coast...160ish miles, but still Michiganians!

Ron

Randy
By the way, the best place to find your Trailblazer is by using the Chevrolet.com "Build & Price" feature. Once configured the way you'd like your car, click on "inventory".
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:47 PM   #12
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By the way, the best place to find your Trailblazer is by using the Chevrolet.com "Build & Price" feature. Once configured the way you'd like your car, click on "inventory".
Where did you have trail blazer set up? We just picked up one tonight. I'm in Saginaw, MI. I'm thinking General RV?
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:08 PM   #13
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What a great addition to towable 4 down vehicles.
I just can’t give up my indestructible 2004 Jeep Liberty 4x4
It’s going to be 17 yrs old in October and I have been towing since I bought it.
It just won’t die. I think I towed it over 80,000 miles in the 17 yrs.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:26 PM   #14
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Where did you have trail blazer set up? We just picked up one tonight. I'm in Saginaw, MI. I'm thinking General RV?
As stated in earlier posts, the baseplate was part of the BlueOx fit program. So, it was setup by BlueOx in Pender Nebraska. The BlueOx baseplate is now on the market for the new Trailblazer. It can be installed at any installer that handles BlueOx. I know nothing about General RV.
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