Battery Disconnect Switch and Travel - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-26-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 20,685
Battery Disconnect Switch and Travel

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.
__________________

__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 12:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
LarryandLiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 17B;2012 Nissan Frontier SV 4
Posts: 634
regardless of the switch remaining on/off my expectation would be that a detail like this would be highlighted in the Owner's manual (which I plan to re-read) and emphasized during Orientation. I recall nothing like this and it is a detail I believe we would have noted.

- unless we have something in the fridge - the switch is usually off. I recall Forum conversations about something called - silent drain on batteries by the items in the trailer which over time can drain batteries. hence that is our default mode.

- luckily most times we have towed there has been something in the fridge and the fridge was running on battery

- learning suprize details like this is disconcerting - although, now that I think of it - we are dealing with electric brakes - so it stands to reason that power must be somewhere.

- this issue could be covered in the manual and it could be all on us.

Larry
__________________

LarryandLiz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 12:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 14,197
Perhaps somebody with a shutoff switch should call ETI and confirm that this speculation is either true or not true.

For instance: At home I have a hard-wired smoke detector in the kitchen. The power to it doesn't run through the light switch.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Trailer: 2013, 17B 'Mini Pearl' and a 2010 Highlander
Posts: 393
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

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.
__________________
____
John
jxoco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
LarryandLiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 17B;2012 Nissan Frontier SV 4
Posts: 634
thanks my bad

maybe it should be highlighted in red.
LarryandLiz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Sandra L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Antelope, California
Trailer: 2009 17B "Suite Escape" pulled by a 2005 Toyota Sienna
Posts: 1,525
Good information. I had an on/off switch installed at the time of pick-up (2009)(it was not done ordinarily at the time), because in another trailer, the battery would drain between usages and the electric jack wouldn't work. I did not know that the emergency trailer brake would or might not work, but fortunately I turn it to the "on" position to charge the battery anyway when I pick it up from storage.
__________________
Peace and Sunshine
Sandra L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 02:40 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,496
Jim,
I agree that the only time the switch should be off is when in storage. But I might define storage more than over the winter. Some owners, myself included, run 12 volt devices other than the standard propane detector. I have a 12 volt clock and a Trimetric battery monitor, neither have an off switch. My procedure is to turn the master switch off when ever the trailer will be idle for more than a week. Now if you do not have a switch or are fortunate to be able to plug into shore power while stored it is not necessary.

There are also those situations where a light may be left on, very difficult to detect during daylight hours, especially those outside lights. Using the master switch gives me peace of mind that everything will remain fully charged.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
bdornbush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Trailer: 2015 19 foot
Posts: 416
With a solar panel, I don't worry about the switch being off in storage as the solar panel keeps the battery charged. I would have had to leave a lot of things on to drain more than the solar panel can recharge.
bdornbush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 05:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA, Extensively Personalized
Posts: 1,687
The purpose of the shut-off switch is to prevent the battery from going dead when in storage, and there is no source of power (shore or solar) to keep the battery charged. If the trailer is plugged into shore power when stored, there is no reason to turn off the battery switch and it is probably better left on to keep the battery fully charged, as an unused battery will discharge at a slow rate. And yes, the brakes get power from the tow vehicle; that's how they "know" when you step on the brake pedal. The reason the battery cut off switch must be on when towing is in the event of catastrophic uncoupling, the breakaway cable gets pulled, starting the braking process in the uncoupled trailer, which has most likely yanked out the trailer's connection to the TV. Since you now have no braking control over the trailer, the breakaway mechanism applies the electric brakes using the only available power source, the trailer's on-board battery.
__________________
What a long strange trip it’s been!
C&G in FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 09:21 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
LarryandLiz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 17B;2012 Nissan Frontier SV 4
Posts: 634
After reading this tread Leaving the battery switch on seems like a good idea. Especially since we have solar and 2 x 6 volts.

Since we test the brake control settings each time we start up and have the controller set aggressively we can be sure our brakes are working. But of course that wouldn't help the breakaway cable.

That being said, we will add checking the inside battery switch as part of our check list.

Thanks for this conversation.

Larry
LarryandLiz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 4,582
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.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 11:01 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,268
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 14,197
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.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 11:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,268
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 11:55 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,268
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 )
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 12:03 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,268
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 12:07 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,268
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 07:12 AM   #18
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 8,689
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
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 09:26 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
kstock11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 809
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!
__________________
Kevin
Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything - Charles Kuralt
kstock11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2015, 02:15 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
bdornbush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Trailer: 2015 19 foot
Posts: 416
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.
__________________

bdornbush is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×