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Old 12-11-2016, 03:05 PM   #1
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Charging trailer batteries

A couple of questions:

If parked at storage (or a campground), can the trailer batteries be charged without the brake controller in place, as in, don't have it with you? Just hook up the 7-pin.

If parked on a trip with trailer hooked up and stop for lunch, do we know that the trailer is using the TV battery, or is that vehicle-specific? We have almost never unhooked the 7-pin and never had a problem.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
A couple of questions:

If parked at storage (or a campground), can the trailer batteries be charged without the brake controller in place, as in, don't have it with you? Just hook up the 7-pin.

If parked on a trip with trailer hooked up and stop for lunch, do we know that the trailer is using the TV battery, or is that vehicle-specific? We have almost never unhooked the 7-pin and never had a problem

.
Brake controller has nothing to do with charging. On a 4Runner there should be a isolation relay and it will not charge unless the vehicle is running.

The same relay will not allow you to use the TV battery unless the TV is running and you would probably not have a problem unless you are running the fridge on 12 volt.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:18 PM   #3
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The battery charge line from the tug operates independently of the brake line, so it doesn't matter whether there is a controller installed or not.

Whether the tug's battery remains connected to the trailer when the tug is not running is vehicle-specific. In my opinion the connection should be turned off either when the engine is not running, or when the voltage from the tug is below a cut-off threshold... but not everyone agrees, so I suggest checking your 4Runner's towing receptacle (with the ignition off and no trailer plugged in) to see if there is power - hopefully and probably not.
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
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Just wanted to make sure that not having the controller in did not possibly affect something the wrong way. Good.

Thank you both.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The battery charge line from the tug operates independently of the brake line, so it doesn't matter whether there is a controller installed or not.

Whether the tug's battery remains connected to the trailer when the tug is not running is vehicle-specific. In my opinion the connection should be turned off either when the engine is not running, or when the voltage from the tug is below a cut-off threshold... but not everyone agrees, so I suggest checking your 4Runner's towing receptacle (with the ignition off and no trailer plugged in) to see if there is power - hopefully and probably not.
I would do as Brian suggests......check to see if there is still power with the ignition switched off. But I would check it a few times at varying intervals. My F150 12v feed is live immediately after turning off the ignition and it stays live, but only for a short period of time. If I am making an overnight stop and I am not unhitching, I typically leave the umbilical plugged in because once it shuts down, the trailer cannot drain the tow vehicle's batteries.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:57 PM   #6
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Wiring seems to have some sort of "shelf life." Covering gets brittle, abrasion happens. When I tow my 28 year old Scamp, I always disconnect the umbilical. Grounds happen! I now have a "new" tug and a "new" trailer. Disconnecting (even overnight) doesn't seem so critical. The "old" trailer with "old" wiring.. yeah. Figuring out why the ignition key doesn't turn on the tug is a bigger PITA than just disconnecting the umbilical. YMMV
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:01 AM   #7
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Since my Ram does not turn off, I installed both a spare 7 way as well as a plug cover on my box, one for protection when disconnected and the other for turning on the trailer lights at night when stopped at a rest area, either way I am disconnected and there is no drain on the tow battery.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #8
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Tried to charge the trailer batteries with the TV. Nothing happening. Did this a few weeks ago with no problem. We have removed the solar monitor connections but that is all. Don't think it would need to be connected, right?
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #9
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Cathy, how did you determine nothing was happening?
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Old 12-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #10
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Cathy, how did you determine nothing was happening?
Ran the car hooked up for some time using the same tester to see the result. Previously went up significantly in a few minutes. This time, no increase, actually down a little.
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