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Old 10-13-2017, 10:15 PM   #1
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Patriot braking system problems

We have a Fleetwood Bounder with a Lincoln MkX as a flat tow. We chose the Blue Ox Patriot braking system. It has a cable from the Lincoln to the Bounder that I believe provides battery powered controls for lights. We have two types of problems one I believe is operator error, the other seems to be a problem with the Patriot unit.

The probable operator problem is the cable from the RV to the toad has come loose a couple of times requiring repair of the cable. The first time time the cable hung down a few inches above the ground and I suspect got caught when we drove over something. The other two times I suspect we wound it too tight about the tow bar to keep it well above the ground and motion of the tow bar increased its tension. Any suggestions for how to handle the cable would be appreciated.

The other problem is persistent and not obviously our fault. We charge up the Patriot battery, connect it to a 12 V outlet that comes with the toad, turn it on, and after about an hour of driving we get the error code 4 in the system monitor in the RV indicating a low battery. We can then reset the Patriot and an hour later we get the same error code. The car can start the engine after the error code (flat towing with the MkX is supposed to be with the drive train in neutral and the engine off) so we don't think it is the engine battery getting low on charge. It occurs whether or not the cable gets disconnected. The hour to the low battery mode is very consistent. The estimate may have some error or variation as accurate timing while driving is awkward. Any suggestions how to deal with this would also be appreciated.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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I don't know what style your cord between the coach and the toad is but this one by BlueOx is the one I use. It has a 7 pin connector on one end with a 6 pin on the other end that fits into the included plug that mounts on the baseplate.
The cord is an expandable type that will not drag when you lay it across the top of the tow bar.

As for the Patriot, from your description it sounds like you May not be leaving it plugged into the Aux socket in the car. Or, you do not have the Ign turned to the ACC position and the Aux 12V socket is not live.

When you set the Patriot in place, attach the claw to the brake pedal, adjust the seat forward so the brake lights are on, then move the seat back just enough to turn the brake litghts off.
Plug in the breakaway cord to the Patriot. Plug the Patriot power cord into the Aux (Cigar Lighter) socket. Ignition must be in the Acc position so the Aux plug is live.
Turn the Patriot on and allow it to go through its calibration sequence. Leave the power cord plugged in. Do not remove.
With the engine off, power cord plugged in, punch the set up button and the Patriot will cycle three times and give you a ready display.
At this point you can adjust the gain using the black knob. It defaults to 5 but I set mine at 3 which makes the device less sensitive. I find at the default 5 setting will cause the brakes to be too sensitive and apply the brakes when there is no need. The only time I want my toad brakes to apply is during a Hard Braking event or Emergency Stop.

So now you are ready to go. The Patriot must be plugged into the 12V outlet at all times. There is a little red indicator on the side of the 12V plug. This must be lit indicating it's getting power.

Hope this helps,
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Old 10-15-2017, 10:24 PM   #3
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Unfortunately the ones who installed our Patriot system hung the cable below the tow bar and we followed their example figuring that they knew what they were doing. Doing this resulted in a cable that was a foot or less off the ground. We lucked out for about a thousand miles on a trip to Canada, then we went over something that caught on it and sliced it in half. We now have a non-expandable cable that we wind around portions of the tow "bar" to keep off the ground.

Tomorrow I'll check on the setup in the Lincoln. I have been plugging the Patriot into an Aux (12 V) socket at all times. I have been doing the setup as described. I probably have had it at its default sensitivity setting. I don't recall an Ign Acc position.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:30 PM   #4
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Checking through the MkX manual I couldn't find any reference to ignition, let alone ignition Acc. There was a reference to ACC, but that was adaptive cruise control.
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