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Old 11-23-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Dead battery Jeep Trailhawk

I have a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk that I have flat towed for 2 years. I have the mopar death wobble kit installed. My original setup included the RVi braking system and I have never had an issue. Recently I decided to change to the demco AF1 system and had it installed at a hitch and tow shop. On our first trip of 450 miles, we found a dead battery on the jeep. The tech who installed the AF1 change said the existing charge line going to jeep should work fine. The jeep battery is less than 2 years old. Why am I having a dead battery now? Do I need to add a battery charger on the jeep?
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Old 11-24-2021, 03:30 AM   #2
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What kind of chargeline do you have installed now, many of them can't supply enough amps to keep the EPS system from draining the battery.
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Old 11-24-2021, 05:01 AM   #3
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The AFO system is mechanical for the normal braking function (powered by coach brake air) and only uses DC power for illumination of the brake notification light and to energize the breakaway relay during a breakaway event. So it shouldnít be the cause for the Jeepís dead battery if everything was installed correctly. If you previously had an adequately functioning charge line and did not have battery issues with the previous brake system system during long tows you should not have any with the AFO system. So a couple of thoughts come to mind, either the charge line was somehow rendered inoperable or degraded during the AFO installation, or the flat tow harness was left energized after towing and depleted the battery before the Jeep was attempted to be started. I would use a digital multimeter to validate that the charge line is functioning with everything connected and in tow mode by measuring > ~ 13.5 volts at the Jeep battery. You can also use a DC clamp meter to verify that the charge amps through the charge line can keep up with the Jeepís tow mode consumption rate.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:39 PM   #4
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The AFO system is mechanical for the normal braking function (powered by coach brake air) and only uses DC power for illumination of the brake notification light and to energize the breakaway relay during a breakaway event. So it shouldnít be the cause for the Jeepís dead battery if everything was installed correctly. If you previously had an adequately functioning charge line and did not have battery issues with the previous brake system system during long tows you should not have any with the AFO system. So a couple of thoughts come to mind, either the charge line was somehow rendered inoperable or degraded during the AFO installation, or the flat tow harness was left energized after towing and depleted the battery before the Jeep was attempted to be started. I would use a digital multimeter to validate that the charge line is functioning with everything connected and in tow mode by measuring > ~ 13.5 volts at the Jeep battery. You can also use a DC clamp meter to verify that the charge amps through the charge line can keep up with the Jeepís tow mode consumption rate.
I was at NIRVC today and they checked the charge lines into the jeep and everything checked out. So I am wondering if itís an operator error issue where I didnít completely turn off the jeep Run mode or acc mode or I tried to start it as before I removed the fuse and hit the switch. Sounds like I should remove fuse and flip off switch before starting the jeep as I may have depleted battery. We are headed out again in a few weeks so we can test it out again.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:51 AM   #5
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I am not sure exactly what process you are following but you should power up the flat tow harness to energize the power steering immediately before towing and then immediately power down the flat tow harness after towing (in the proper sequence with the console switch). If you donít do that you will keep the power steering energized which will deplete the battery. Your Prevost may be like my Freightliner chassis that has a relay to energize the charge line only when the ignition switch is on. So if after towing and you turn off the coach the charge the charge line will also be off and if you donít power off the tow harness, the Jeep battery will discharge until you do. That may not be your problem but something to consider.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:22 PM   #6
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I am not sure exactly what process you are following but you should power up the flat tow harness to energize the power steering immediately before towing and then immediately power down the flat tow harness after towing (in the proper sequence with the console switch). If you donít do that you will keep the power steering energized which will deplete the battery. Your Prevost may be like my Freightliner chassis that has a relay to energize the charge line only when the ignition switch is on. So if after towing and you turn off the coach the charge the charge line will also be off and if you donít power off the tow harness, the Jeep battery will discharge until you do. That may not be your problem but something to consider.
I follow the same sequence every time after the Jeep is hooked to the tow bar and everything is connected, I shift the transfer case into neutral, make sure itís in neutral, then shut down. The last steps are to release the parking brake and then energize the power steering and put the the 10 amp fuse in as the last step. I do the reverse when we want to unhook. Take fuse out, power down power steering switch in center console. Set parking brake and unhook.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:51 PM   #7
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I was at NIRVC today and they checked the charge lines into the jeep and everything checked out. So I am wondering if itís an operator error issue where I didnít completely turn off the jeep Run mode or acc mode or I tried to start it as before I removed the fuse and hit the switch. Sounds like I should remove fuse and flip off switch before starting the jeep as I may have depleted battery. We are headed out again in a few weeks so we can test it out again.



How did they test it? Without monitoring the charge level while towing their is not an easy way to tell if the charge line is providing more power than the EPS system is drawing while the Cherokee is being towed, as the EPS is not a constant amp draw, it varies with movement of the steering system. I find on our Cherokee that our charge line is likely marginal as I get low battery voltage warnings from my braking system (which has remote in cab voltage display) when we are towing on windy roads, but seems to do fine on long mostly straight roads.
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