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Old 09-29-2022, 02:36 PM   #1
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Trickle charger - toad battery issues.

After the first trip towing our 2018 Equinox flat, the battery was dead 4 ours later. I invested in a trickle charger (which the owner's manual recommends) and everything worked fine. Now, on normal days, the car has problems starting. Hit the start button and it sounds like the battery is going flat. Try again once or twice and it starts, no problem. This is getting to be an issue the wife is not happy with. Do we disconnect the trickle charger when we're not towing to avoid this type of issue? Thanks, and happy camping.
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:44 PM   #2
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A trickle charger isn't strong enough. I carry a regular battery charger for the toad in case I have to recharge the battery.

My toad alternator died when I was on a trip to Florida from California so I had to charge it every night for a couple weeks.

This stuff always breaks when you're a couple thousand miles from home.
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Old 09-29-2022, 03:46 PM   #3
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Just curious- Do you have a charge line connected from the MH plug all the way to the Equinox battery? I had to hook one up to my Kia toad ...... as others have. Many put a diode in the line; I didn't bother, and no more run-down toad battery.

If no reason to suspect that the MH is not providing 12v charging to the Equinox while touring, you might want to consider removing the battery from the Equinox and take it to a nearby parts house for load testing. If it is original equipment it may be getting "long of tooth".... they just don't seem to last as long as they used to IMHO.

On edit: I guess a simple voltmeter check is in order here. Measure the voltage at the Equinox battery with engine off. Then start the Equinox and measure it again ...... should be higher. Not a real figure of merit for the system, but if no increase you at least know you have a charging system issue with the toad.

Good luck on the fix. Good times and safe travels to ya.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:28 PM   #4
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Suggest that you install one of the large 7 pin connectors on your towed Equinox. On Amazon you can buy a 7 pin to 7 pin connector cable to use between RV and Equinox. Two of the connections are heavy duty. Add your charge line with a 20 amp circuit breaker from RV battery system to rear connector. Then add a charge line from connector on Equinox to its battery via another 20 amp circuit breaker. The charge line should be #12, but I use #10. Maybe overkill, but the difference in cost is very much.
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Old 09-30-2022, 06:13 AM   #5
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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.

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Old 10-01-2022, 05:04 PM   #6
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I tow a 2018 Chevy Equinox and experienced your same problem - had to replace a dead battery. 2018 and newer Chevy Equinoxs draw about 6 to 7 amps in tow mode. Even after upgrading my charge line to 12 gauge from the motor home back to the car, the motor home only provides about 5.5 amps and the car draws about 1.5 amps so that means that I am slowly draining the Equinox battery. You should measure your amp draws in tow mode for your situation - voltage measurements won't tell you much.



I purchased a "Toad Battery Charger" from RVI but found out later that they don't work when you have a glasmat battery like the Equinox has. RVi agreed and refunded my purchase. I just run a direct charge line from the motor home back to the car with a fuse on my motor home battery. I tried adding a diode to prevent inadvertent power backflow but that lowered the voltage and how much current could flow from the MH to the car, so I took it off and haven't had any problem with direct charging from the MH to the car.



Here is what I do to manage the situation:
a) take the car out of tow mode when motor home is turned off (lunch break, etc) If you don't, the Equinox battery is being drained at 7 amps since no power is flowing from the motor home to keep it charged.
b) carry a battery charger and charge my car battery every 2 or 3 days of straight towing
c) when in toad mode make sure all other power draws in car are off (car lights, displays, etc). I recently read that Equinox traction control and stabiltrack may be trying to brake the Equinox during towing so I turn those off before each tow
d) When my RV is plugged into 120v power when camping, I leave the charge line from the MH to the Equinox plugged in as it provides about 1 amp of charging to the Equinox overnight.


Hope these help.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:13 AM   #7
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TexasPaul, great information, thanks. We found taking the fuse out of the line to the toad trickle charger has solved the problem with daily use for now. When we pull in for an overnight on a trip and plug in to shore power, we leave the toad plugged in overnight so that is one thing we already do. I didn't think about the stabletrac and traction control so I'll look at those when we hook up for the Halloween trip to the coast in a few weeks. And I after the first dead battery event I always carry my DeWalt battery boost/air compressor in the motorhome. Again, thanks for sharing. Happy camping.
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Old 10-11-2022, 03:51 PM   #8
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We tow a 2017 Equinox and had nothing but issues with dead batteries even after pulling the fuse. I purchased a charge line (Toad Charge) form LSL Products and it works great haven't had any issues since. Just got back from six hour drive and the car started right up.
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