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Old 12-09-2018, 05:51 PM   #1
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Anyone towing a 2015 or newer Ford Edge or other Ford with LED taillights?

A question about disconnecting the battery on our new to us toad. It is a 2015 Ford Edge with LED tail lights. The LED taillights are a bit different but that is easy and described below. My question is that the owners manual says that in order to tow four down, you put it in neutral and disconnect the battery.

I can do that but don't understand why it's necessary. I will have a charge line because somehow I will have to power my brake buddy. This car has a pendant and start/stop button. When you put the car in neutral you have to have it running but then you press the stop button and all lights go off. This is the base model Edge. No proximity cruise or even power seats.

I'm THINKING that the reason the battery disconnect is in the owners manual is because your brake system may drain the battery without a charge line and rather than say that the owner will have to have a charge line or a way to run the braking system, they just take the easy way out and say disconnect the battery.

That said, there could be something powered with the 'key' off (motor not running) that gets voltage just to keep things hot or something??? I don't know but don't want to ruin something expensive by not disconnecting. On the same hand, it will be MUCH simpler to not disconnect and just hook up the charge line.

What do you folks with LED taillight Edges or similar Ford toads with LEDs do?

Regarding the wiring installation, the LED tail lights complicate things a bit but Etrailer has a solution that involves using two 50 ohm resistors to drop the voltage and therefore the brightness on tail lights. The brake and turn signal lights are nice and bright. Some installers tell folks they gave to use a light bar (royal pain in the arse) because it can't be done. Find another installer because it can certainly be done and it's actually easier than normal bulbs. A friend with a 2016 Edge towed with a THOR was told the light bar bit and did use one for a couple years.

A few months ago he was up at the THOR factory for some work and a tech there asked him why he had a light bar? When he was told it wouldn't work with the car lights he said, "Bullcrap! Go across the street and talk to Joe. He'll fix you up." And he did.

2015 Edge Toad
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:55 PM   #2
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I flat tow a 2016 Lincoln MKX which is Ford Edge based. My owners manual makes no mention of disconnecting a battery cable. We've towed the MKX for nearly 2 years without ever once disconnecting a battery cable.

Zero problems or issues.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:33 AM   #3
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I tow a 2014 Ford Explorer with LED taillights. Like you, I needed to leave the battery connected for my toad brake system. At first I installed a fused line from the MH to the toad. After doing so, I was concerned that if there was a problem with the MH charge system it would drain the toad battery and I would be stuck on the side of the road with 2 dead vehicles. Purchased a "Toad Battery Charger" from RVI and have not had any problems keeping the toad battery fully charged.

https://rvibrake.com/collections/acc...ant=8804388741
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:47 AM   #4
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2017 Ford Fusion with Blue Ox light kit and no problems.

The toad charger or diode to isolate the toad battery is a good idea. Depending on your coach, the toad battery can energize ignition side circuits with the coach ignition off. This can affect things like slides and stairs so that the stairs will not stay out and slides will not move with the toad attached.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkertonk View Post
A question about disconnecting the battery on our new to us toad. It is a 2015 Ford Edge with LED tail lights. The LED taillights are a bit different but that is easy and described below. My question is that the owners manual says that in order to tow four down, you put it in neutral and disconnect the battery.

I can do that but don't understand why it's necessary. I will have a charge line because somehow I will have to power my brake buddy. This car has a pendant and start/stop button. When you put the car in neutral you have to have it running but then you press the stop button and all lights go off. This is the base model Edge. No proximity cruise or even power seats.

I'm THINKING that the reason the battery disconnect is in the owners manual is because your brake system may drain the battery without a charge line and rather than say that the owner will have to have a charge line or a way to run the braking system, they just take the easy way out and say disconnect the battery.

That said, there could be something powered with the 'key' off (motor not running) that gets voltage just to keep things hot or something??? I don't know but don't want to ruin something expensive by not disconnecting. On the same hand, it will be MUCH simpler to not disconnect and just hook up the charge line.

What do you folks with LED taillight Edges or similar Ford toads with LEDs do?

Regarding the wiring installation, the LED tail lights complicate things a bit but Etrailer has a solution that involves using two 50 ohm resistors to drop the voltage and therefore the brightness on tail lights. The brake and turn signal lights are nice and bright. Some installers tell folks they gave to use a light bar (royal pain in the arse) because it can't be done. Find another installer because it can certainly be done and it's actually easier than normal bulbs. A friend with a 2016 Edge towed with a THOR was told the light bar bit and did use one for a couple years.

A few months ago he was up at the THOR factory for some work and a tech there asked him why he had a light bar? When he was told it wouldn't work with the car lights he said, "Bullcrap! Go across the street and talk to Joe. He'll fix you up." And he did.

2015 Edge Toad
I have a 2016 edge loaded . They put a cut off sw on mine and I used it for a year. I kept having computer problems/check eng light coming on. Ford tech told me to stop cutting the battery off just put the car in neutral. I have been doing that for a year now and all is fine.
As for the lights they put a wiring harness on mine and a charging wire. I have never had any trouble since I have been towing. Hope this helps. You could check with you Ford tech for verfacation he told me that Ford motor just hadn't updated the owner manual.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:32 PM   #6
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Ford's documentation sucks! My 2015 owners manual says disconnect negative side battery. The 2015 Fleet towing guide says nothing about disconnecting the battery. The 2015 Lincoln MKX (same vehicle) says nothing about disconnecting the battery. Talked to two Ford dealer service managers today and both told me that I didn't need to disconnect the battery if I had a charge line. Works for me.


I was told that the cig lighter would turn off after 15 minutes unless I left it in accessory. I may run a dedicated lighter receptacle off the battery so I can just put it in neutral and go.




Thanks
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:51 PM   #7
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My 2018 Edge SEL manual said to disconnect the battery. I called the Ford help line and asked why. They told me it was to avoid damage to the transmission. I installed a battery disconnect solenoid.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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Carlos, the Ford Helpless Desk told me the same thing but wouldn't even attempt to explain how the transmission would be damaged when it was in neutral and all the 'key' is off. I agree there are some circuits energized but having a small 'awake' voltage on the ECU shouldn't effect the transmission.

The reason the Edge etc is towable four down is because the transmission pump is in the rear portion of the transmission and is turned by the wheels turning the tail shaft of the transmission. That keeps transmission fluid moving and the bearings lubricated. Front pump transmissions can't be towed four down without a lube oil pump like those from Remco. The reason we bought the Edge was because of problems with our Remco equipped 2005 Envoy.

If the other two 2015 Ford/Lincoln sources had said that disconnect was not required and the dealer techs hadn't told me it doesn't matter, I'd do the disconnect and just deal with it.

I have never heard any good things about the help desks technical knowledge. Mainly they just read what it says in the owners manual. Anything deeper than that they refer to the dealer. In fact, one of the two help desks did just that.

The Lincoln and Edge have the EXACT SAME ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION. If it works for the Lincoln, it should be the same for the edge.

Time will tell.
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:15 PM   #9
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Ford dealer told me it was because of the electric steering - it is connected straight to the battery according to them and must be cut off when towing???? I've never heard of the "death wobble" on a Ford but who knows - the dealers certainly don't seem to know, seem to be making some of it up.

MY 2013 Edge did not require a disconnect, but after a long day of towing with lots of braking the battery was dead. I bought a booster battery from Harbor Freight put it behind the drivers seat and plugged my Patriot brake into that. Charge it every night and had no problems.

Chris
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Old 12-12-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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I downloaded the 2018 MKX owner's manual. The Edge and MKX have different engines and transmissions and the procedure for 4-down towing are different.

I tend to believe your dealer Chris. It makes sense that the electrically assisted steering would be affected.
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Old 12-13-2018, 03:59 PM   #11
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Our Ford Focus Titanium's owner's manual says to disconnect the negative battery cable to tow. I just put a disconnect switch in the line and fastened it to the battery cover. We then raise the hood and turn the switch as part of our towing hookup/unhook procedures. The negative cable was hooked to the switch and a new cable was run from the switch to the ground. It's easy to change back to factory if ever needed.
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Old 12-22-2018, 06:18 AM   #12
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2016+ Edge Battery Cutoff Solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy4441 View Post
I have a 2016 edge loaded . They put a cut off sw on mine and I used it for a year. I kept having computer problems/check eng light coming on. Ford tech told me to stop cutting the battery off just put the car in neutral. I have been doing that for a year now and all is fine.
As for the lights they put a wiring harness on mine and a charging wire. I have never had any trouble since I have been towing. Hope this helps. You could check with you Ford tech for verfacation he told me that Ford motor just hadn't updated the owner manual.
I seem to have a solution that works at least on mine 2016 Ford Edge Sport. I installed a battery cutoff switch from Roadmaster. The Ford manual said to disconnect the ground side but Roadmaster said their product only works on the hot side and it works fine.

When I initially switched off the battery and later switched back on I’d throw a code that would give me a “Check Engine Light” (CEL) with various codes. What I found out is when I switched the battery back on it takes 30 sec to 1 minute for all the various computers to “boot up”. I wait until the Ford splash icon on the Nav radio has appeared and then replaced with other symbols and then start the car. I haven’t had a CEL in over a year and a half. Maybe my Edge is unique, but that’s what works for me.

When I have been too quick to start the car after repowering as long as I have waited a while, the CEL light goes out after the second or third start.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:59 AM   #13
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Closing the loop on our 2015 Edge towing setup. Two day drive to Florida Grande near Webster, FL with zero problems. Charge line provides more than enough power to keep the battery up and run the Brake Buddy. I did not disconnect the battery and there were zero issues. Instead I put it in neutral and turned off the engine. The only thing lit up on the dash was the gear shift indicator after a few minutes. Apparently the dealer mechanics were correct and no harm was done. I checked the transmission fluid after a days run and it was barely warm which means no damage to bearings in the tranny.

I suspect that the technical writer was just covering their butt because without a charge line, you'd have a dead battery. Rather than print the disclaimer and have someone screw it up and get mad at Ford, they just said to pull the battery connector.

I did do one thing that I'm really happy with. My charge circuit runs from the hot pin on the RV trailer plug through a diode, then a 15 amp fuse, before it gets to the positive battery terminal. The diode is basically a one way electric valve that keeps any current or spikes from going through it backward. A check valve basically. This means when I am not hooked up, no voltage is present on the RV side of the diode and when I am hooked up, current flows down the line, through the diode and to the battery. What I did was get a small LED and hook the hot side to the RV side of the doide and the ground side to a good chassis ground on the car. Now when the charge line is hooked up and the RV engine running, the LED lights up. Not hooked up or engine off equals no light. I positioned the bulb under the back edge of the hood and the glow is enough that I can easily see it from inside the car and even see the reflected glow in the windshield from 10 feet away.

The only other thing a bit unusual is that I did not use the cigarette lighter plug on the car and Brake Buddy. Those plugs and trouble prone and I've had them lose connections, come apart, and generally be problematic. Instead, I ran a dedicated line from the battery where the charge line attaches under the car and came through under the drivers seat. I then connected a 4 wire flat towing connector using two pins for the hot side and the other two for ground. (Keep track of colors used for what.) Works great. Nice positive connection and no fiddling around trying to get power or worrying that the brake system had lost power while driving.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:42 AM   #14
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Kerry, when you said you "put it in neutral and drove" I was concerned. You mean you put it in Tow Mode using the on board computer for vehicle settings and then put it in neutral. Right? Just checking. Because it must be in Tow Mode within the Vehicle Settings.
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