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Old 12-23-2017, 09:20 AM   #1
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Thumbs down brand new 5.0TA - trailer electrical system problem

I began driving it from Chilliwack Dec 16. Forgot to disconnect 7 pin after 36 hours stationary. Registered "low battery" on my F150 but I could start the truck. Remembered to disconnect henceforth overnight. December 22, woke to find pickup completely dead. Had it jumped and towed. Battery and alternator checked out. Service man at Ford said it's likely a electrical problem with the trailer. When I plugged into 120 at the site, the overhead battery between the two vents wouldn't switch on from main switch near door. All the other lights, fridge, microwave work.

Nothing's open until the 26th. I bought a portable battery charger. Anyone have any ideas of reversible (by me or an RV "consultant" actions to be taken before I continue on my way home to St. Paul MN?

I am completely unskilled in all things mechanical and electrical. So do keep any explanations simple! Thanks for any insights. Rachel Frazin
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
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Good luck on your trip home. We will be heading home to St Paul for Christmas with the family . Just be aware that they are predicting 13 to 15 below this weekend so be careful not to get yourself stranded . We will be keeping ourselves warm on Christmas Eve by sitting around a campfire and singing carols

God Bless and Good Luck
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelfrazin View Post
When I plugged into 120 at the site, the overhead battery between the two vents wouldn't switch on from main switch near door.
I assume you meant the overhead light fixture. Be sure that the fixture is turned on at the fixture, too. Both switches need to be "on" for the light to work.

Congratulations on your new Escape and good luck to you on the remainder of your maiden voyage!
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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Hello Rachel, Sorry your trip has been a challenge. The two situations may not be related. Like Karen said the light has the door switch and the one at the fixture. Flip the door switch up and check the switch on the light and see if it goes on (let us know). Keeping your truck hooked up for 36 hours can definitely drain the battery. You have in your camper an internal battery charger and when plugged into 120volt it should charge the batteries itself. You do not need an external charger. Even if that does not solve it you can tow the trailer with a dead battery in it. Do you have solar? If so it can tell you your battery voltage in yuour Escape. Let us know what you find out. Merry Christmas to you! Bill
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #5
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Hi Rachel,

I'm sorry to hear that your initial trip is presenting difficulties.

The fact that your truck went dead when not connected to the trailer is a bit puzzling. It leaves me a bit suspicious about the condition of the truck battery itself. How old is it? I would take the Ford dealer's opinion on the battery condition with a grain of salt. In my experience, batteries rarely get tested properly. A simple voltage reading is more or less useless. Starter batteries need to be checked while under serious load. Maybe the dealer did this, and maybe the battery is new, but if they didn't, and the battery is old, I would in your position just put a new high quality starter battery into the truck. You do not want to get stranded in winter conditions.

The other precautionary thing I would do on your way home is not leave the trailer connected to the truck for more than five minutes or so when the truck is not running. It is possible, that something in the trailer is drawing a significant load that can draw the truck battery down more quickly than you might expect. Is the fridge set to run on 12 volts? If so, that might be part of the picture.

Good luck with your trip Rachel, and keep us posted on any new information.

Best regards,

Allan Edie
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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Rachel,
You did not mention what model year your truck is. My 2015 F150 disconnects any power going to the trailer after it has been shut off for 10 minutes or so. Are you sure it isn’t just an old, failing battery?
I agree with Karen that you check to make sure the switch on the light is on. I know that I occasionally switch mine off at the light absentmindedly.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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Definitely ask for a load test on the truck battery. Even a fairly new battery can fail - Toyota replaced the 18 month old battery in my Tacoma (for free) when it failed a load test during a normal service check.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Rachel,
You did not mention what model year your truck is. My 2015 F150 disconnects any power going to the trailer after it has been shut off for 10 minutes or so. Are you sure it isn’t just an old, failing battery?
I agree with Karen that you check to make sure the switch on the light is on. I know that I occasionally switch mine off at the light absentmindedly.
Like C&G said...unless it is a real old F150 it has a relay that shuts off the connection between the two units to stop this very thing from happening. If it is an old ford without the relay then the trailers 12 volt power converter could likely charge your Ford when hooked up to AC.
Personally I never trust a standard vehicle battery once it hits the 6 year mark.
Keep in mind that you can use your 12 volt trailer battery in your Ford if it is an emergency and it has some power left in it. Or park your truck nose to hitch so you can jump from your trailer battery.
Just looking back to his 1 post and it is for 5...maybe whoever put the wiring in the box went directly to the battery for the power and did not use the stock plug on the rear for that. This would be a problem if he was not hooked up to AC for several days.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:58 PM   #9
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Batteries

Your truck battery may be failing as in having one dead cell. The remaining 10.6 or so volts will start the truck ( sometimes with a grunt) and run you down the road but any draw on the vehicle battery by the trailer or leaving a dome light on or whatever will kill the truck battery in short order. This happened to me on a top end Delco battery in my Highlander that was just under a year old. The battery was replaced free with one like it and I’ve had no problems since. Just before I had it replaced I stopped to talk to a neighbor at the top of my driveway. I shut the engine off but left my foot on the brake. Ten minutes and it would not start. Rita hand pushed me about twenty feet and I rolled the Highlander down the driveway dead stick. Jumped it and drove to the battery dealer next day.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:35 PM   #10
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I'd suggest you ask at the office if they know of a mobile tech you can call. Maybe run it by ETI as soon as you can get a hold of someone. It'll work a lot better if you have someone on the phone that can walk you through a few things step by step.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:43 PM   #11
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I'd suggest you ask at the office if they know of a mobile tech you can call. Maybe run it by ETI as soon as you can get a hold of someone. It'll work a lot better if you have someone on the phone that can walk you through a few things step by step.
If you got ETI to arrange the power hookup then that company should be able to tell you if is a direct line to the battery if you can not see it for yourself.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:59 PM   #12
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If you are in a campground and there are others nearby. Campers are for the most part very helpful and willing to lend a hand. I suspect most any of them that have been at this hobby for a while could help.
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolCampingKid View Post
... Even if that does not solve it you can tow the trailer with a dead battery in it. ....
Realize that if such a circumstance arises (traveling with dead battery in trailer), you'll have no emergency brakes on your trailer should it become disconnected from your tow vehicle. Best of luck....
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:53 PM   #14
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I'm not sure the OP has a battery issue with the trailer. Her tow vehicle has a dead battery. They mentioned being plugged in to cg ac power thus the trailer should not drain the tug while plugged in. But they need to unplug and see if they have 12v power in the trailer, if so then they can tow after getting a new truck battery for the tug.
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Old 12-23-2017, 10:13 PM   #15
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Without speaking to the specific issue the OP mentioned, this is a good opportunity to point out that you should not leave the 7-pin plugged in to the tow when using the trailer, or it can draw down the tow vehicle battery. You can do so however with no impact to the tow vehicle battery, if you have a battery isolator solenoid installed.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:28 PM   #16
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As others have mentioned, the recent F150s have isolation relays that prevent the trailer from running down the TV battery.

I leave my trailer plugged into my 2013 F150 all the time with no problems.
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