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Old 06-11-2019, 02:40 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
after an emergency situation a couple evenings ago where my trailer became unhitched (tow ball threads stripped!) on a darkening road with narrow shoulders, and realizing my battery powered emergency flashers were worthless. I had an idea for a simple product, a blinker circuit in a 7 blade trailer socket wired so the trailer battery powers the blinker which is sent to the running and brake lights so they all flash like an emergency flasher.
Quite a few people have had the same idea. It makes sense, and apparently works well.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:49 PM   #62
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I have a commercial made emergency flasher that plugs into the rv plug, as soon as I can get to it I'll post a picture. Here are some pictures
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File Type: jpg IMG_0807.jpg (136.6 KB, 15 views)
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:57 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Escape is apparently counting on the 40 amp fuse blowing being noticed because something else doesn't work (such as the jack, or that the battery doesn't charge while towing)... because we know that almost no one actually pulls the breakaway plug to test for power every time they hook up.
Found a breakaway switch with an LED that confirms power is at the switch. I knew something like this had to exist.

Breakaway Switch with LED Indicator Light-8507311-Reese Towpower
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:02 PM   #64
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I have a commercial made emergency flasher that plugs into the rv plug, as soon as I can get to it I'll post a picture. Here are some pictures
http://www.amazon.com/Products-006-1.../dp/B003CY95WK
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:06 AM   #65
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Hopkins also has a similar model https://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-20050...gateway&sr=8-4
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:04 AM   #66
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Reading the descriptions of both the Reese and the Hopkins products, it sounds like the LEDs only come on when the breakaway switch is activated, which eliminates using them as a quick visual-only check for power without popping the pin, which most folks don’t do as standard part of their preflight. I don’t. Maybe I should rethink that.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:46 AM   #67
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Reading the descriptions of both the Reese and the Hopkins products, it sounds like the LEDs only come on when the breakaway switch is activated, which eliminates using them as a quick visual-only check for power without popping the pin, which most folks don’t do as standard part of their preflight. I don’t. Maybe I should rethink that.
That is correct, but it still has value. Before hooking up the 7-pin one can simply pull the pin and look for the red LED to light up which confirms a complete circuit. Much easier than going back to the wheels and listening for the brake magnets or unchocking and trying to drag the trailer with the tow vehicle. Just as a point of reference I have attached what Escape officially suggests doing which is the latter.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #68
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That is correct, but it still has value. Before hooking up the 7-pin one can simply pull the pin and look for the red LED to light up which confirms a complete circuit. Much easier than going back to the wheels and listening for the brake magnets or unchocking and trying to drag the trailer with the tow vehicle. Just as a point of reference I have attached what Escape officially suggests doing which is the latter.
That underlined "Before" is important - some vehicles will have their electrical system damaged it the pin is pulled while the trailer is connected.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:46 PM   #69
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I also used a DC to DC converter (also known as a Battery to Battery Charger - mine is a Sterling). I installed a separate charge circuit of #4 cable with an ATV plug at the truck bumper for disconnecting the trailer.
This is what I had in mind for using a DC-DC converter, aka BtoB charger. This would fit my pattern of travel during long trips, when I tow for a day every week or two. But I'm concerned about BtoB failure making it impossible to charge the batteries via 120V plug-in, as you mentioned in a later post. Hmm.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:16 PM   #70
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Allan-

After installing your B2B charger did you notice a decrease in gas mileage when towing? The change if any might be too small to be noticeable, but I'm curious.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:23 PM   #71
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Allan-

After installing your B2B charger did you notice a decrease in gas mileage when towing? The change if any might be too small to be noticeable, but I'm curious.
No. No. No. (The forum wouldn't let me say it once)
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:19 PM   #72
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No. No. No. (The forum wouldn't let me say it once)

Loud and clear, thanks.

The forum promotes repetition because it has sensed my poor attention span.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #73
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I think I did something a bit different, and it has worked well for me. I also used a DC to DC converter (also known as a Battery to Battery Charger - mine is a Sterling). I installed a separate charge circuit of #4 cable with an ATV plug at the truck bumper for disconnecting the trailer. The standard charge wire in the 7 pin setup now just turns the charger on. It is far too light to accomplish much charging. The heavy charge cable supplies the BtoB charger directly. Even with the heavy cable, voltage at the batteries would be too low, and improperly regulated for a proper charge, hence the BtoB which raises the voltage as appropriate for a multi stage charge.

I finally connected my Sterling 30A charger, running #6 wire from my truck's battery to the charger, with a 50A plug at the bumper, similar to your setup. I took it for test run yesterday both to make sure that the new circuit would stay connected and to see how well it charged the trailer's batteries. I was a bit disappointed: the Sterling charger wasn't charging as much as I thought it should.
So this morning I did a static test, with the truck hitched to the trailer, using the trailer's battery monitor to check the charge rate:

No connection: -0.1 Amp parasitic draw
Engine idle, charging with only 7-pin connector: 0.1 Amp
Engine idle, charging with only B2B cable: 13.1 Amps
Engine idle, charging with both 7-pin and B2B cable: 5.1 Amps

So the two charging systems are interfering with each other. Before I disconnect the charge wire from the 7-pin plug from the WFCO, I thought I'd post this for feedback. I'd like to keep using the WFCO for charging the batteries while I'm on shore power, but perhaps I can't have everything. How should I proceed? Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:43 PM   #74
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Check the voltages before & after each source is connected. While I find it hard to believe, it is possible the direct battery connection through the 7 pin is raising the voltage at the output of the DC to DC converter so it is going into absorption or float.

The converter will still charge the batteries even if you disconnect the charge wire from the 7 pin connector. If you want to temporarily disconnect it, add a switch in the trailer. One point - the break away switch & power tongue jack (if you have one) is powered from the same charge wire going from the hot side of the trailer disconnect switch to the 7 pin connector. If you disconnect it, be sure you still have power to the break away & jack.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:22 PM   #75
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The converter will still charge the batteries even if you disconnect the charge wire from the 7 pin connector. If you want to temporarily disconnect it, add a switch in the trailer. One point - the break away switch & power tongue jack (if you have one) is powered from the same charge wire going from the hot side of the trailer disconnect switch to the 7 pin connector. If you disconnect it, be sure you still have power to the break away & jack.

Well, that complicates things, but thanks for the reminder. Perhaps I can bypass the WFCO with the trailer power line and connect it directly to the breakaway switch. I don't have the power jack.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:38 PM   #76
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So this morning I did a static test, with the truck hitched to the trailer, using the trailer's battery monitor to check the charge rate:

No connection: -0.1 Amp parasitic draw
Engine idle, charging with only 7-pin connector: 0.1 Amp
Engine idle, charging with only B2B cable: 13.1 Amps
Engine idle, charging with both 7-pin and B2B cable: 5.1 Amps

So the two charging systems are interfering with each other.
When both charging sources are connected you've built a loop, with the output of the B2B connected (via a lot of wire and connections) to the input - that's never going to be a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Before I disconnect the charge wire from the 7-pin plug from the WFCO, I thought I'd post this for feedback. I'd like to keep using the WFCO for charging the batteries while I'm on shore power, but perhaps I can't have everything. How should I proceed?
As Jon already explained, the WFCO can still charge the battery, regardless of the B2B charger. I would just disconnect the circuit from the 7-pin connector on the trailer before it connects to anything else, leaving the battery to breakaway switch connection intact, and perhaps inserting a switch instead of just breaking the connection, to allow for charging from the tow vehicle in case the trailer is towed by a different tug.

In an ideal world, a wire from the 7-pin and the output of the B2B would go to an A-B switch, so you could choose which one connects to the trailer's battery, since you never want both, but due to the breakaway switch that means an extra wire from the tongue area to wherever you put the B2B.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:54 AM   #77
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I make it a habit to always unplug the tow vehicle before I plug in AC to the trailer. and always unplug the AC to the trailer before I plug in the truck. There probably should be a safety relay on this, but there isn't. it's not the end of the world if you plug them both in the two power supplies won't fry each other they just won't work very efficiently together.

pretty much the same thing happens when you have a solar charger in parallel across your AC converter and you're plugged in and you're in the sun. Both are trying to charge the battery but whichever one puts out a slightly higher voltage will probably supply most of the current. Either way you won't kill the battery and you won't kill the chargers because they're designed to work like that. It's not the most efficient thing but it's not the worst either
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:49 PM   #78
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As Jon already explained, the WFCO can still charge the battery, regardless of the B2B charger. I would just disconnect the circuit from the 7-pin connector on the trailer before it connects to anything else, leaving the battery to breakaway switch connection intact, and perhaps inserting a switch instead of just breaking the connection, to allow for charging from the tow vehicle in case the trailer is towed by a different tug.
Okay. Am I correct in assuming that the house batteries will power the breakaway switch if there is no power from the 7-pin plug? It seems that this would have to be the case, as in a breakaway event the 7-pin plug would be disconnected. Just checking.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:39 PM   #79
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Okay. Am I correct in assuming that the house batteries will power the breakaway switch if there is no power from the 7-pin plug? It seems that this would have to be the case, as in a breakaway event the 7-pin plug would be disconnected. Just checking.
You are correct. The design is that the breakaway switch is powered from the trailer battery if the 7-pin disconnects. When you test your breakaway switch you are supposed to unplug from the tow vehicle first so that you do not damage your brake controller.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:46 PM   #80
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Okay. Am I correct in assuming that the house batteries will power the breakaway switch if there is no power from the 7-pin plug? It seems that this would have to be the case, as in a breakaway event the 7-pin plug would be disconnected. Just checking.
Yes, as Dave explained. This is normal for travel trailers; other types of trailers which don't otherwise need a battery have a small battery just for this purpose if they have electric brakes.

Also, if the breakaway switch cable is short, compared to the electrical cable and safety chains, it is possible for the breakaway switch to be tripped while the electrical cable is still attached. Of course, if your hitch fails this possible electrical issue is probably not your biggest concern.
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