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Old 12-09-2016, 05:16 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Electrical Fail

Last weekend, I pulled a float in a Christmas parade, and blew the fuse in my Nissan Titan that gives tail light power to the trailer connector. I was using a 7-pin to 4-pin (flat) adapter, so the only circuits used were tail, and left/right turn/brake. Getting to the fuse was the hard part, but once I did, replacement was easy.
Modern trucks use fuses, links, and relays to supply circuits to the trailer connector. They do that to isolate the vehicle. Remember when adding a trailer would cause turn signals to flash faster?
While checking everything out, I noticed the battery status didn't change much after I disconnected shore power, and plugged in the truck outlet. Verified with a voltmeter, it seems the relay that gives 12V+ to the trailer, to keep the trailer battery charged while driving, had died. I now have one on order. But here's the key point: When did it die? I don't know! The last several trips have been 100 miles away, about a two hour drive. The battery probably discharged some, but got charged back up when I plugged into the campsite and later, when I returned home.
But what if this was a long trip across several states? Where I depended on battery power for overnight stops?
I think I'm going to install a 12 volt voltmeter somewhere, where I can see battery voltage, which should rise when either the converter is on or tow vehicle is connected and running.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:12 PM   #2
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Good points. I have never really thought about checking for this once the initial plug installation was made. If you deplete the RV battery while traveling, you will also lose the RV emergency brakes.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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If I am correct , you should be able to test your battery status on the trailer monitor panel. Unhooked may be 3 of 4 lights and hooked up to truck should be a full 4 lights. You can also add a digital gauge to that panel.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
If I am correct , you should be able to test your battery status on the trailer monitor panel. Unhooked may be 3 of 4 lights and hooked up to truck should be a full 4 lights. You can also add a digital gauge to that panel.
Yes, Harley, you are correct. That is exactly how I was first alerted to this. The status went from 4 lights to 3 when I disconnected shore power, but did not go back up to 4 when I connected the truck and started it. A voltmeter across the battery terminals showed no difference with the truck running or off.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:32 PM   #5
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I installed a couple of digital battery gauges in our unit so I could see the statues of both of our battery banks. We have 2 - 12v batteries for our house power and 2 - 6v batteries for our inverter power. The way I have it set up I can see which bank is charging and what the voltage level is of the bank that isn't being charged.

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Old 12-12-2016, 03:45 PM   #6
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Did you run your wire directly to the battery, or did you tap onto the "battery level" wire on the control panel?
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:04 PM   #7
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Did you run your wire directly to the battery, or did you tap onto the "battery level" wire on the control panel?
The power comes directly from the batteries and is connected to relays and then the gauges are connected to each relay, a signal wire is ran to each relay so when I turn the battery switch on/off the gauges will turn on and off with the power. The relays don't seem to affect the accuracy of the gauges any and they are within less then a quarter of a volt +/- of what I get with a voltage meter at the batteries. The gauges I got are able to be calibrated so I adjusted them to read what I got on my voltage meter. Here is a schematic of the electrical mods for a remote on/off switch, battery bank isolation and remote inverter power switch.
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File Type: pdf wirring diagram for inverter and battery switches.pdf (103.5 KB, 22 views)
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