Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Towing | Hitches and Toads
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-05-2020, 01:39 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Trickle Charge instead of Battery Disconnect?

Hey, all. Our new rig is built and we pick it up in the coming weeks. I have made an appointment to have our baseplate and wiring kit installed into our toad, which is a 2018 Ford Explorer Limited. The owner's manual for this vehicle says all I have to do is start the engine (push-button start), place the transmission in neutral, and stop the engine. Then, it tells me to disconnect the battery.

When I made the appointment and got the final installed price, I asked if it included a battery disconnect switch or would I need to disconnect manually. The person told me that I did not need to worry about either as they install a trickle charger to keep the toad battery charged from the RV.

Does this sound correct to you? I guess I was thinking the battery had to be disconnected to avoid damage to components, but is it really just to keep it from getting completely discharged while being towed?

Please feel free to share your towing expertise with this towing noob. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

t
__________________

__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 02:27 AM   #2
Site Team
 
16ACE27's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 4,161
THOR #7035
I have no experience with your toad but have seen posts regarding Ford changing the procedure for towing. If the current procedure says to disconnect the battery I'd disconnect it. It may not be to keep it from discharging (heck, you turned the vehicle off) but maybe it has to do with electric power steering or insuring the vehicle can not accidentally be put in gear.
__________________

__________________
Ted & Melinda
2016 ACE 27.1
2016 Chevy Sonic Toad
16ACE27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 02:43 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
I have no experience with your toad but have seen posts regarding Ford changing the procedure for towing. If the current procedure says to disconnect the battery I'd disconnect it. It may not be to keep it from discharging (heck, you turned the vehicle off) but maybe it has to do with electric power steering or insuring the vehicle can not accidentally be put in gear.
Yeah, that was exactly my fear. Maybe I better do that, just to be safe. Thanks!
__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 03:06 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 24F
State: Michigan
Posts: 4
THOR #18247
Fwiw, I started past summer with our new class c with our 2016 ford flex setup with a blue ox baseplate. Manual says start it, put it in nuetral, turn it off and disconnect the battery.

I started skipping the battery disconnect towards the end of the summer because of a few really aggravating things when the battery is disconnected. It all seems to be fine from a discharging standpoint.

I hadn't thought about the shifting thing. I'd really love to hear from Ford on why they want the battery dissconected. It makes it a real pain in the ass to start it up and idle it for 5 min every few hours like they want in the manual. The really aggravating thing is the locks not working if you shut off the RV before you try to unlock it. The clock resetting constantly is also annoying.

If it keeps it from shifting or something safety critical I can see it. It sounds like it's just to keep the battery from discharging though. Which doesn't seem to be a problem.
__________________
jlentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 05:28 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Aria 4000
State: Utah
Posts: 171
THOR #15943
Our 2014 Rubicon instructions include disconnecting the battery before towing. Not sure of the impact if you don't as we had to leave it connected on one trip when our TOAD wiring didn't work (adding the ground wire fixed it).
GVP
__________________
GVP-The Boxcar Children is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2020, 12:16 PM   #6
I Think We're Lost!
 
Bob Denman's Avatar
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 13,439
THOR #8860
If you add a battery disconnect switch to one of the battery terminals (the ground...): it'll simplify the process.
__________________
Good Sam Member 843599689
FMCA Member F473304
Current coach: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
"Nobody helps him. Now he has his revenge"
Bob Denman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2020, 12:27 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Baileyra's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 30FE
State: Mississippi
Posts: 25
THOR #14190
I might have missed something but just wondering how you power your toad braking system. Does it get its power from the MH? If disconnecting the battery
__________________
Baileyra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2020, 12:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baileyra View Post
I might have missed something but just wondering how you power your toad braking system. Does it get its power from the MH? If disconnecting the battery
The way I understand it, when you have a battery disconnect, they actually run a second 12v outlet into the cabin that comes from the RV which connects to the toad braking system. If I don't have to do all that, I'll be just as happy!

I did call the Ford dealer here in Sarasota and talked to their service department. The advisor actually went over to their aftermarket guy and he said he never installs a battery disconnect, and he always puts in a trickle charge device. Never had a problem. I guess I'll go with that.
__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2020, 12:39 AM   #9
gmc
Senior Member
 
gmc's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 32A
State: Florida
Posts: 1,834
THOR #2829
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baileyra View Post
I might have missed something but just wondering how you power your toad braking system. Does it get its power from the MH? If disconnecting the battery


Toad brake systems requiring power need to be connected to toad battery... otherwise they are useless in a ‘break away’ situation.
On my Wrangler, it is connected directly to the battery (bypasses the disconnect used for the rest of vehicle.)
My Invisibrake also gets power from RV and handles charging the toad battery as well.
__________________
Greg
Not yet retired...
Florida (Michigan transplant)
2014 Hurricane 32A
2000 Infinity (previous)
gmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2020, 12:48 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Toad brake systems requiring power need to be connected to toad battery... otherwise they are useless in a ‘break away’ situation.
On my Wrangler, it is connected directly to the battery (bypasses the disconnect used for the rest of vehicle.)
My Invisibrake also gets power from RV and handles charging the toad battery as well.
Yes, you are correct. I went back and looked at the Patriot braking system article on etrailer.com and they describe it exactly as you said. Thanks for the clarification.
__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2020, 12:54 AM   #11
Site Team
 
16ACE27's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 4,161
THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyB View Post
The way I understand it, when you have a battery disconnect, they actually run a second 12v outlet into the cabin that comes from the RV which connects to the toad braking system. If I don't have to do all that, I'll be just as happy!

I did call the Ford dealer here in Sarasota and talked to their service department. The advisor actually went over to their aftermarket guy and he said he never installs a battery disconnect, and he always puts in a trickle charge device. Never had a problem. I guess I'll go with that.
I wouldn't trust anything the dealer tells you unless they put it in writing on Ford letterhead. Have you heard of the recent class action lawsuit Ford lost over Focus and Fiesta dual clutch transmissions? This may have nothing to do with towing 4 down but as I read about the suit I couldn't help but recall the multiple horror stories of Focus and Fiestas transmissions blowing up (as well as the engine) while they were being flat towed.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a3...ssion-lawsuit/
__________________
Ted & Melinda
2016 ACE 27.1
2016 Chevy Sonic Toad
16ACE27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 07:45 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Palazzo 33.2
State: Georgia
Posts: 163
THOR #8078
Your vehicle may be different but on my Honda CRv some of the circuits are live when the transmission is in neutral rather than park. We do not have a trickle charger from the RV. I did a battery voltage check and after 8 hours of towing we lose about 20% of battery power. You can pull the fuse for circuit #34 but it's a pain to get to it, so we simply run the vehicle if we don't plan to use it after a day of towing. Works for us.
__________________
rudyhehn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 07:59 PM   #13
MLP
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: California
Posts: 59
THOR #17478
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudyhehn View Post
Your vehicle may be different but on my Honda CRv some of the circuits are live when the transmission is in neutral rather than park. We do not have a trickle charger from the RV. I did a battery voltage check and after 8 hours of towing we lose about 20% of battery power. You can pull the fuse for circuit #34 but it's a pain to get to it, so we simply run the vehicle if we don't plan to use it after a day of towing. Works for us.
We too have a Honda CRV. When I had a class C with a toad and now my Class A, I use a DC to DC charger. The current one I just installed is called "Toad-Charge" with a 10A output. This isolates the coach from the toad. It will allow you to not have to pull any fuses. Comes with a 15A breaker and all the wiring.
__________________
MLP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 09:21 PM   #14
Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport 29m
State: California
Posts: 31
THOR #5564
On my 2017 Chevy Colorado, instead of the battery disconnect, I went with the trickle charger. Three years and thousands of miles later all is good. The trickle charger works great, very simple, nothing to mess with and never a dead battery!
__________________
Bob and Marian
Camarillo, California

2017 Windsport 29m
2017 Chev Colorado Crew Cab Diesel 4X4 Toad
pengoquin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 10:36 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor four winds SF 35
State: Texas
Posts: 109
THOR #13025
What they are talking about is a charging line from your motorhome.
__________________
Glensouth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2020, 10:04 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: California
Posts: 7
THOR #6420
I just purchased a 2019 Canyon 4 wheel drive and it also states disconnect the battery, I am having the dealer who is setting it up for towing grab the hot power off the 7 pin plug on the back of the RV, I think that is the same as a trickle charger. Is there a power issue with the transfer case possibly come out of neutral or am I missing something
__________________
bcdg8103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2020, 10:24 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcdg8103 View Post
I just purchased a 2019 Canyon 4 wheel drive and it also states disconnect the battery, I am having the dealer who is setting it up for towing grab the hot power off the 7 pin plug on the back of the RV, I think that is the same as a trickle charger. Is there a power issue with the transfer case possibly come out of neutral or am I missing something
They did mine a week ago with just a trickle charger. They assured me that this is the way it is done and the ONLY reason they tell you to disconnect is so that you don't run the battery down. The aftermarket specialist located inside my local Ford dealer told me the same thing. We've had it out three times for testing, once on the interstate. No issues to mention.

Not sure what you steps are but with the Explorer, you simply start the engine, put it in neutral, then turn the key off. It will chime for about 60 seconds because you shut the engine off with it not being in park, but that's no problem because no one is in the car to hear it.
__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 02:40 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport 27K
State: Florida
Posts: 198
THOR #2154
Most of the Ford models in recent years that are published to be acceptable for towing include the instruction to disconnect the battery as the final step. (I tow a 2018 Ford Focus, with this same instruction specified by Ford). This is specific to certain Ford models - no correlation at all to Honda or Chevy cars!

The reason for Ford specifying the battery disconnect is NOT to prevent the battery from being drained by towing! The reason is that the newer automatic transmissions are electronically controlled. If the battery is left connected, there is every possibility that the transmission will be severely damaged.

You can easily find cases both within this forum and on the internet in general where this has happened when the battery disconnect rule is ignored.

Adding a "remote" battery disconnect is easily done. I added it to my Focus and with a push switch under the dash I can easily disconnect (and reconnect) the battery when towing behind the RV.
__________________
Tom N3EQF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 04:10 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Fleetwood Bounder 35P
State: Florida
Posts: 469
THOR #15054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom N3EQF View Post
Most of the Ford models in recent years that are published to be acceptable for towing include the instruction to disconnect the battery as the final step. (I tow a 2018 Ford Focus, with this same instruction specified by Ford). This is specific to certain Ford models - no correlation at all to Honda or Chevy cars!

The reason for Ford specifying the battery disconnect is NOT to prevent the battery from being drained by towing! The reason is that the newer automatic transmissions are electronically controlled. If the battery is left connected, there is every possibility that the transmission will be severely damaged.

You can easily find cases both within this forum and on the internet in general where this has happened when the battery disconnect rule is ignored.

Adding a "remote" battery disconnect is easily done. I added it to my Focus and with a push switch under the dash I can easily disconnect (and reconnect) the battery when towing behind the RV.
I have searched and searched. I cannot (easily or otherwise) find cases of this, which is why I asked the question. Would you please be able to direct me to a link or two? Thanks much!

t
__________________
TimmyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 04:54 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport 27K
State: Florida
Posts: 198
THOR #2154
https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...print/true.cfm

Before we go trying to prove or disprove what we read on the Internet ("...it must be true then"), I am of the belief that if the auto manufacturer spells out a step-by-step procedure for towing the vehicle they designed, I am going to follow their procedure.

In the case of my vehicle, I can see that the transmission is electronically controlled as the dash display tells me if the transmission is "ready". It seems to me that leaving power on the vehicle in any fashion leaves open the possibility of that transmission doing something different than "Neutral" while towing.

Adding an Auto or Manual switch on a main battery lead will satisfy the requirement for little expense compared to the whole towing package. If your aux braking system requires power, that's easy to wire directly to the battery and/or a charging line from the RV.

__________________

__________________
Tom N3EQF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 04:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×