Originally Posted by Camp CA
What is the concern with a trickle changer? I have had no issues towing for 6 hours.
It depends on what you mean by "trickle charger" precisely. Which make and model do you use?
Unless Chevy has changed the electrical on the 2021 Equinox, which I doubt, or unless RVi has changed the design of their Towed Battery Charger, which I doubt, the RVi TBC will not
deliver its rated full 10 amps to an Equinox but other brands do.
The Equinox draws almost 8 amps from the car's battery when configured for flat towing. While the RVi TBC should
be able to handle that requirement, barely, it didn't for me and for others.
From all of the testing I did on my 2020 Equinox with the RVi TBC it felt like their box cuts back on the supplied charging current due to the Equinox's high current needs. The two I got from RVi would not supply more than 3.5 amps to the Equinox but would supply the full 10 amps to a resistive load.
So 3.5 amps was going into the battery from the RVi Towed Battery Charger while the car was pulling almost 8 amps out. From its behavior it felt like the RVi TBC thought there was a short circuit so it reduced the amount of power it would deliver to avoid damage to the TBC.
"Why" is just speculation and experience on my part.
In addition, their specs page says the TBC only uses 16 AWG wire when that high a current drain by the Equinox should use 14 AWG minimum and preferably 12 AWG due to the length of the wiring.
With the RVi TBC installed my Equinox battery was low within two hours of towing. The car started slower but did start. Once I jumped the TBC out we have had no battery issues for three years.