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Author Topic: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...  (Read 434 times)

Blaise

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Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« on: June 29, 2017, 11:17:12 PM »
OK, dumb newbie question here.

When flat towing a toad, the car manual (2015 Chevy Sonic) says to pull the DLIS fuse, put the car in neutral and turn the key to the ACC (accessory) position.

I have to power my supplemental brake (blue ox Patriot). Between the Patriot and what ever gets power with the key in ACC, the car's battery can run down. To avoid running down the toad's battery, you can use power from the MH to run the Patriot, or even to connect a toad battery maintainer.

Is there any reason not to simply run the toad's engine? With the car in neutral and engine idling, the battery should remain charged.

Other than a slight waste of gas (it's just idling), what is wrong with this approach?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 11:18:58 PM by Blaise »
2016 Winnebago Vista LX 30T
2015 Chevy Sonic toad

JoelP

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 11:45:38 PM »
It is not clear to me why you would want to run the toad in idle rather than turning it off as the manufacturer recommends. You are already planning to use a battery trickle charger to maintain the toad battery charge.  That said, one issue might be with the brakes.  It is not entirely clear to me if the Sonic has Active Assist brakes, but from a quick look at the online manual it does refer to "assist" for the brakes.  If it has active assist it make the brakes much more sensitive.  I suppose if your toad's Patriot auxiliary braking system were set for this active assist sensitivity it might not matter.  These braking systems should also be able to work if the engine is off and the active assist is not powered.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

taoshum

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 12:04:09 AM »
Not sure about the Sonic but for our Jeep, we have to leave the key in that position to unlock the steering for turns so we pull a fuze, probably like the one you mentioned for the sonic.  With that fuze pulled, the Jeep battery lasts for days or more.  Surely there's a way to power the braking system from the coach?

I guess running the Sonic engine at idle would work but seems like there's a better way, especially if you have plenty of power a few feet away.  Even a four cyl engine probably burns half a gallon per hour, roughly?  On top of that, so many things could go wrong with no one in the Sonic to turn it off or whatever.  LOL, I guess if you keep the engine running you could run the AC and have it cool when you get there...

07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

Greg Barker

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 07:51:15 AM »
If you are going to leave the toad idling, you might as well just have someone drive it. I would figure out how to tow with the engine off.
Greg & Kristina
2016 Winnebago Sunstar 31 KE
2015 Toyota Tacoma 4wd
Rocklin California

Blaise

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 08:44:25 AM »
Thanks to all for the feedback. I'm going to tow with the engine off ... I'll figure out the rest  :)
2016 Winnebago Vista LX 30T
2015 Chevy Sonic toad

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 08:57:30 AM »
That used to be a safe fallback if there were problems with battery or power, but probably not in newer vehicles.  In the newest vehicles there may well be reasons it should NOT be running, even though that may solve some other concerns.  One reason is that the power brakes are active, which is a no-no for most auxiliary brake systems. Another is that computerized features like "auto traction control" will try to manage what the car is doing and may take unexpected actions, e.g. apply one wheel brake or boosting steering assist.  There is a lot of adaptive management in many of today's vehicles that can interfere when towing, so the safest approcah is to have everything off. Some vehicles even recommend disconnecting the battery altogether if it needs to be towed, just to be sure that no onboard system tries to take control.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2017, 09:05:10 AM »
Not sure if this will help, but we have a kill switch in our toad.

https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wiring/Blue-Ox/BX88272.html
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

Ron.Deb

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2017, 08:30:16 PM »
For one of the same reasons you would not want to buy a used taxi cab or cop car. Idling for hours on end is bad for your engine.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Dumb toad question ... Yes. I'M dumb, not the toad ...
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2017, 11:51:29 AM »
That "idling for hours" is nowhere near the problem it used to be. Modern injected engines meter the fuel like a miser and the "wash" from excessive fuel at idle is not much of a concern anymore. Obviously any time the engine is running there is wear, though, so keeping it off can only be goodness.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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