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Old 08-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #11
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Battery Switch

Larry
We have a heavy duty very positive on/off battery switch. We got the solar 150 panel and dual 6 v batteries installed in June at ETI. At our mini orientation on the solar and the surge protector, Nigel told us the only time we would need to shut the switch off was for winter storage so that's what we are figuring on doing. I should mention that our 19 is stored inside of a building here at the house and hooked up to a dedicated 30 amp service all the time. Therefore, I do not have to worry about "phantom" draws on the battery like the leak detector etc. My readout is always 13.4 even when camping after about 10:30 AM. Gets down to 12.8v by early morning with max fan, water pump, CPAP, and lights used after dark and until I get up to be " Gone Fishin". Za Zoo Za Za Za A Doo. With apologies to Louis Armstrong.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:01 PM   #12
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This thread was split off of Brake Controller, but posts #26 to #31 are still in that thread so this one doesn't make much sense yet.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #13
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And, posts 26 to 31 contained quotes and references to brake controllers, so I split it where the references to brake controllers ended. My preference was to do nothing actually, because threads stray all the time.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:52 PM   #14
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From the thread Brake Controller:
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Brian, you make an important point that travelers towing and Escape should note. Never tow with the master power switch turned off inside the trailer, the breakaway is now disabled!
Good catch - some circuits usually bypass a "master" shutoff, and it would be good if the breakaway didn't get shutoff.

There are two reasons for master shutoff, and accordingly two sets of logic about what might bypass them and what the consequences could be.

A safety shutoff makes the area safe to work in, so any circuit which bypasses the shutoff needs to be clearly labelled so anyone doing work understands that it is still "live" (power is on). I don't think that's the reason for the shutoff switch in an Escape, but it could be used that way.

A shutoff for storage keeps equipment from slowly draining down the battery due to features that keep going whenever the equipment is plugged in. This shouldn't be a problem for the breakaway because the trailer isn't being towed while in storage, but someone might forget to turn it back on before towing, or not realize that it needs to be turned on. A breakaway switch uses absolutely no power when not tripped, so to make sure the trailer always has breakaway brakes this one circuit could bypass the shutoff switch... but apparently it doesn't in an Escape.

Circuits which bypass the shutoff (for any reason) should still have appropriate fuses.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I would think the only time one would turn that switch to off is if the unit is going into storage, otherwise it should be on while out of storage.
Yes, it is for storage. The risk is that someone might forget to turn it back on before towing, or not realize that it needs to be turned on (because they hadn't read or didn't remember this thread )
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jxoco View Post
page 68 in the pre-travel checklist section..

• Position the battery disconnect (if equipped) to the “on” position. This is required to engage the trailer’s brakes in the event of an emergency
Good work on the reference.

The reinforces the importance of reading the manual... for anything, but especially for complex systems which can be harmful if operated incorrectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jxoco View Post
But it doesn't say that the brakes in a non emergency will work from the 12v power supplied on pin 4 of the trailer plug. I suspect they do.
As Carl explained, normal (everything except breakaway) brake operation with a tug-mounted controller is entirely powered by the brake circuit in the cable from the tug; with a trailer-mounted Tekonsha RF, it is powered from the charge circuit in the cable from the tug.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:07 AM   #17
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Okay, we now know that the shutoff switch cuts off the breakaway circuit. I think I would re-route power for the breakaway switch to a separately fused connection to the battery positive terminal. This would avoid any accidental operation without the breakaway feature, and would not cause any battery discharge in storage.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Yes, it is for storage. The risk is that someone might forget to turn it back on before towing, or not realize that it needs to be turned on (because they hadn't read or didn't remember this thread )
Turning the battery disconnect switch back to "on," is like anything when you tow... (is the door shut and locked? ) You'll remember by rote or if necessary put a note on the umbilical to remind you when you plug into the tug.

I try not to overthink things it takes away from the pleasure. YMMV
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Turning the battery disconnect switch back to "on," is like anything when you tow... (is the door shut and locked? ) You'll remember by rote or if necessary put a note on the umbilical to remind you when you plug into the tug.

I try not to overthink things it takes away from the pleasure. YMMV
That's always been my experience. Always put the note on something that you will "have to" touch, and therefore you will read it. Check lists can become too automatic and we can miss the important stuff!
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:15 PM   #20
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When we picked up our trailer in May, 2015, Reace told us that everything is cut off by the switch except for the solar which is wired right to the battery. And when I installed my Trimetric battery monitor, the instructions which I followed cause it to also be wired right to the battery, so the shutoff switch will not keep it from draining the battery. It is a very small drain, though.
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