2019 F-150 7 pin charging potential - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:48 PM   #21
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Florida
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Not to belabor this point but I did not interpret his post, I simple read what he wrote. You interpreted his post as meaning something different from what he wrote, by adding something about a break-away switch being involved, which was not mentioned.
That is exactly what you did.....belabor a point.

Let me be clear about this. I stated in somewhat of a round about (trying to be polite) way that some people do not express themselves well in writing (or in speech, for that matter.), and some people who participate in the forum will “jump” all over them. I did not suggest you were doing so. I tried to make a point; give those who post a break and don’t simply assume from their writing style that they are unaware or dangerous. I did not, as you claim, add anything. I merely stated that sometimes things might be implied, in this case SPECIFICALLY and ONLY RELATED to Bryan’s comment about brakes not working without the house battery. That was only one small part of his entire post. And I have to wonder about the comment you just made about simply reading what he wrote. IMO, the post in question was so confusingly written and hit on different points that it was hard to comprehend what he was attempting to convey. I’m sorry if you disagree but anytime anybody (including me OR you) reads anything, there is a degree of interpretation involved. How many people have read the Bible and how many different meanings have been put forth by supposed “scholars?” Any time anyone reads a sentence that someone else wrote, they are interpreting what the intended meaning was, whether they take it literally (word for word) or “read between the lines.” We have a Supreme Court in this country because people read the Constitution and cannot agree on what it says, and this includes the justices themselves, otherwise every decision handed down would be unanimous.

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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Is that how the F-150's work now? That the tug thinks there is no trailer if the trailer's battery is dead? I rather doubt it but perhaps the truck is smart enough to know that a break-away battery is in use but it is dead, and to let you know that. But how would it even know there is a break-away switch on the trailer... many do not have a break-away switch at all.

On my vehicle with a P3 controller the controller does not tell me the trailer is disconnected just because the house battery is dead, not present or even if there is no break-away switch or battery for one at all.

I would like to know more about how the F-150 works and until I do, I have to suspect just a little that this dash light, when the trailer was in fact connected, might indicate a wiring problem. Perhaps an intermittent one, like a faulty ground.
I have owned two F150s and I will say they can behave strangely. The towing package includes Ford’s brake controller. When the vehicle is started with a trailer connected by the umbilical, a message pops up on the dash which says “default (or other) trailer attached.” It does keep track of the miles the trailer is towed. It is a good system as it applies the trailer brakes with a force proportional to the truck’s brakes. But I can say for certain that the F150 does NOT monitor the trailer battery’s voltage. I can also say with complete certainty that if the trailer brake module fails, a message stating “trailer wiring fault” will be displayed on the instrument panel every time the vehicle is started. And if you connect the trailer to the F150 it will tell you that the “default trailer attached.” And if you test the directional, running, and brake lights they will illuminate. But if you manually apply the trailer brakes a message will then pop up stating that “no trailer is attached” even though moments before you were informed that the default trailer was attached. I learned that in Durango, CO, about a day before the local Ford dealership told me that there were 600+ brake control modules on back order. Fortunately for me, they pulled one from an F150 on the lot so I could get on my way and not have to navigate mountainous terrain sans (trailer) brakes.
If Bryan did in fact get a faulty wiring indication, (while anything is possible) I would tend to doubt that it is a ground problem; I’d be more inclined to think it is an intermittent electronic problem in his Ford’s brake control module.
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:37 AM   #22
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Name: Tom
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
From what Iíve been told and read , the Ford F 150 is so advanced that when you put the vehicle in tow / haul mode the charge voltage is increased
So when you measure the charge voltage is your truck in tow/haul ?
Maybe Floyd will chime in , he is the resident Ford Guru

That is an interesting thought because you have to be in drive to put it tow mode. That would make it tricky to test without wireless remote gauges. If I was still working at that dealership that had a dyno I could do a real wild test.

Hmmm I am a real DIY electric bicycle nut and I actually have the stuff to do a test like that. Don't hold your breath though because the amount of work would definitely over power my curiosity.....Tom
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #23
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Name: Nigel
Trailer: Scamp 13
Minnesota
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This might be off topic but I just had Evelands install an auTOWbrake unit in my 1997 Scamp 13. My TV has a 4-pin flat which I connect to the 7-blade trailer hookup with an adapter (my reason in footnote below). I was surprised to find the brakes working on the drive back to Minneapolis.
I looked at the wiring under the front bunk and found that the black power wire for the controller was spliced to the black wire from the trailer battery. I called Jared and he said that once I have a standard 7-pin hookup from my TV, that black wire will be charging the battery as well as providing power to the controller. So I assume that is how all of the Scamps with auTOWbrakes are being hooked up.

Footnote - I am actively looking for a different TV (Outback) and didn't want to spend the money to have a 7-pin hookup installed in my present TV.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:32 PM   #24
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16
Illinois
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I have fallen down this rabbit hole and survived. THE F150 SHIPS WITH THE TRAILER CHARGING FUSE NOT INSTALLED!! Chances are if you check your glove box, it's in a little zip lock bag in there.

It goes in a slot in the big fuse block that is under the hood (at least in the 2012)

I think its probably a liability thing, because they don't know how many amps your trailer will potentially draw.

You can google to find out which slot it goes in. I don't remember. Sometimes the dealer will probably have done this as dealer prep, but only the internet saved me.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:10 PM   #25
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Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
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Originally Posted by jtweigandt View Post
I have fallen down this rabbit hole and survived. THE F150 SHIPS WITH THE TRAILER CHARGING FUSE NOT INSTALLED!! Chances are if you check your glove box, it's in a little zip lock bag in there.
my 2001 Ford Econoline E150 "Traveler" van, fully equipped with a class III hitch and 7-blade RV connector, came with both the trailer power isolation relay, AND fuse in a bag with instructions, in the glovebox.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:17 PM   #26
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigeleccleston View Post
This might be off topic but I just had Evelands install an auTOWbrake unit in my 1997 Scamp 13. My TV has a 4-pin flat which I connect to the 7-blade trailer hookup with an adapter (my reason in footnote below). I was surprised to find the brakes working on the drive back to Minneapolis.
I looked at the wiring under the front bunk and found that the black power wire for the controller was spliced to the black wire from the trailer battery. I called Jared and he said that once I have a standard 7-pin hookup from my TV, that black wire will be charging the battery as well as providing power to the controller. So I assume that is how all of the Scamps with auTOWbrakes are being hooked up.

Footnote - I am actively looking for a different TV (Outback) and didn't want to spend the money to have a 7-pin hookup installed in my present TV.
Based on your description I very strongly suspect a situation which should greatly concern you.

With only a four pin (via adapter or not), there is NO power for charging the trailer battery OR for the brakes. Based on your description is sounds like they did a kludge job, getting power for the brakes from the trailer battery instead of the tow vehicle as it should be done. This will work only so long as the battery's charge holds up. If you go easy on the brakes for short distances and frequently charge the trailer's battery then this might work OK for a time.. but when the trailer's battery gets discharged your brakes will fail altogether in short order. And that will likely happen when you need the trailer brakes the most (because you have been using them more).

So if you get a tug with 7 pin it might be fine.. I'm not sure what the best wiring practice is for the AuTowBrake but I also suspect that using one wire for both the brakes AND for the charge line is not the best practice. The AuTowBrake people can tell you for sure.

I am guessing that Scamp did this so you could make a single one-way trip from the factory, but with only a 4 pin connection you are headed for trouble if you go much further.

Unless I misunderstand something.. in which case I will gladly be corrected.
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Old 10-30-2019, 06:45 PM   #27
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 1983 Casita & 1972 home-built
Oregon
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With regard to optimally charging the RV or trailer battery despite what condition or constraints the charging circuit is under, these Redarc DC-to-DC 12-24 Volt Dual Battery Chargers are pretty amazing.



They take whatever voltage the TV charging system is capable of (9-32 VDC) and turn it into a perfect charging regime for any of 5 different battery chemistries.


https://redarcelectronics.com/produc...attery-charger



Smaller charging wire run from the TV battery because the rate is completely controlled; the arriving RV charging voltage is fairly immaterial.



This unit also acts as a low voltage battery disconnect, and it is a fully capable MPPT solar charge controller with a solar input preference over any other charging source.


All these functions in a small waterproof package.



Batteries should last longer when properly charged, so this should pay for itself over time.



I bought one for my van, but I have not had time to install it yet.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:33 AM   #28
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Escape 17B
Ontario
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My TV is a Silverado with factory towing package. According to the owners manual it raises the alternator set voltage 0.5 V when in tow mode.

I asked a mechanic friend who works at a GM dealer about adding a heavier wire to the trailer to reduce the voltage drop and improve the charge. I actually haven't ever measured the charge current when towing with a low battery. It just seemed like a logical thing from reading the forums.

He told me to be cautious doing that. He says the truck has a "load manager" that controls the alternator output to optimize gas mileage. It will do things like increase the alternator output during closed throttle operation if the battery charge is low. It will reduce power to non critical loads (heated mirrors) to increase the current charging the battery. He says the batteries negative cable has a module to measure current into and out of the battery so it knows the SOC. He cautioned that adding additional wiring without an understanding of how it all works may cause expensive issues.

Seems everything is more complicated these days. I notice the voltmeter on my dash reads 14.5 V after starting the truck, takes quite a while before it starts to go down. Eventually indicates about 13.8. I haven't paid attention to see if there is a difference while towing. My last Silverado behaved the same so I assume that's normal.

I don't know anything about Ford trucks and if they have anything similar.

Bob
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:01 AM   #29
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Name: Tom
Trailer: BigFoot 25B25RT
Massachusetts
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I like to say that these new vehicles are to smart for their own good. I am glad I am retired and no longer an auto or tractor mechanic. Buying a new truck is like getting a new phone or PC. You have a new system to learn.

I have signed up for AT&T's connected car so now my truck is a mobile hotspot. I called Ford with some questions and it seemed they didn't really know the answers either. They kept putting me on hold to try out some of the things that I asked them. It was quite annoying......Tom C.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:18 AM   #30
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 1983 Casita & 1972 home-built
Oregon
Posts: 58
We had a 2-year old battery die in our Subaru Impreza. The dealer replaced it, and I was hanging out with the service manager while he looked up service advisories on the car.



Turns out some Subarus are prevented from recharging the battery after starting for up to 20 miles, after which the alternator is allowed to recharge the battery. This was done to reduce the emissions profile after starting just enough to squeak under the federal PZEV limits.


There had been enough problems with owners reporting discharged batteries that the service advisory recommended installing a slightly higher capacity battery to reduce the likelihood of this problem.


Lead-acid batteries die young when not kept fully charged. Imagine being anywhere cell phone coverage and AAA are not readily available and having your car not start because Subaru decided to mess with the battery charging. They made some major life decisions for the car owners, but I guess that's what love is all about.
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