Preventing Battery Drain in Your Tow! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-11-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
Karen L.'s Avatar
Name: Karen L.
Trailer: 1982 Burro 13 ft (My Burrito!)
Posts: 65
.....!!My first foray with my new harness & brake controller was to Bandon...I had a dead battery because I didn't know to disconnect the 6 pin! Rick helped me with a battery charger & I got an extension cord from someone else!! I can't remember what he told me to have installed to prevent the battery drain....(sorry Rick, can't remember your last name & too many Ricks!)
I went to the trucking place (yes,...Truck!) that installed the harness because 2 of the pins broke off!They told me it must be defective so they replaced it & the fuse it blew in my car!! It's happening again, as my battery died when I stopped about 4 miles from home!! Cory had to jump my car but I was in morbid fear it would happen again!! Short of telling me to carry battery charger & LONG extension cord, which I have done & found handy 3 weeks ago for same problem, can anyone give me any information on what to do??? Steve, if you read this, I know you'll have ideas!!! I'm so afraid to take car and trailer to anyone else, as I always end up with more problems than anyone else or is it my imagination??? Thanks for any hints, etc.....Karen L

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Old 09-11-2009, 06:05 AM   #2
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Bill MacDermod's Avatar
Name: William
Trailer: 1999 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe ('Inn EggsIsle')
Posts: 611
Karen L, In our part of the country they call that an isolator and you should be able to get fixed up at any trailer hitch installation place. another way to prevent that is to wire it to your ignition so that when you shut your car down it prevents any draw from your car battery. When I did my Odyssey I didn't even run the wire for charging, most of the tow vehicle alternators don't have the power to run both. Toyota wires there vehicles from the factory with isolators.

Love being Inneggsile
heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:12 AM   #3
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Trailer: Casita
New River AZ
Posts: 1,043
Until you fix the problem you are going to have the fear of shutting off the vehicle and not being able to start it up again. The following link will show you a cheap way of keeping an eye on your battery condition as it just plugs into your cigareette lighter and can also be used in your trailer later for battery condition there..... I always have one of these handy and you can find this in wal mart next to the batteries and inverters.
Joe and Linda
2013 Casita SD
Dodge Ram 4x4
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft / 2001 Toyota Tundra V8 2wd
Posts: 320
Karen, I don't know the entire history behind your trailer wiring, but I'll throw out some suggestions because I just wired my truck up with a six-pin harness and Tekonsha Prodigy controller last week.

On the six pin there's a wire that provides auxiliary power from the tug to the trailer, meant to run things like the refrigerator on 12-volt while in tow. I wired that to a relay triggered off the truck's accessory circuit. That is, with the engine shut off and key in off position, there is no power supplied to the trailer. Is that how your vehicle is wired? If your auxiliary is directly wired to the tug's battery without a relay, that will drain it for sure even when parked.

On the brake controller, it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes or so of no movement, so at least with my Prodigy, it cannot drain the battery.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Name: Herb
Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 216
What you need is an isolator. This is a device that connects the 12 volt line to the trailer plug-in only when the ignition key is on. Key off, trailer is isolated from the tugs electrical system. They are not expensive and they work. I have been using one for 12 years.

Use the search function and you will probably find a lot of information.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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Name: Laura & Rick
Trailer: Had an Escape 21 ft
Posts: 134
Might try giving Mike's Auto & Electric, in Lacey, a try. Phone number is 360) 456-2277‎
2014 Escape 21
2008 Highlander
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:02 AM   #7
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Name: Karen L.
Trailer: 1982 Burro 13 ft (My Burrito!)
Posts: 65
Might try giving Mike's Auto & Electric, in Lacey, a try. Phone number is 360) 456-2277‎
Hi Rick & Laura!! Thanks for the response, and to all others who responded!! If I can't get the problem fixed with all this help, I'm truly beyond help! Thanks all! will keep you posted!

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