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ELeland

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I picked up a new Explorer Sport AWD last evening and traded the Tacoma.  I had 2 different Explorers in the late 1990's.  Boy have they come a long way.  Part of the deal was to have the dealer set it up with Blue Ox base plates, lights, break away cable and 6 pin connector.  I already have the RVi2 brake system and BO tow bar.

I've read where some folks have added a charge line from the coach like I did for my Tacoma.  Is it needed?  It's probably good insurance to have and is simple enough to install.

Ed
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I would.  Modern vehicles use a lot of power, some even when the ignition is off.  I had an SUV that sucked almost 10A from the battery when under tow (ignition in ACC).  Eventually GM identified another fuse to pull that reduced the draw to something more reasonable. 
 

ChasA

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Ed,
Ford says to disconnect the battery for towing. But they don't  say what will happen if you don't.
I have a new Edge and don't really want to be disconnecting the battery. Maybe it's just a matter that Ford doesn't want us complaining about batteries dying. If that's the case, I would think a charge line would alleviate that problem.  But maybe there's another reason. Like maybe damage to the electrically assisted steering.

I have a friend who tows a 2015 Explorer. He was unaware that he was supposed to disconnect the battery and has had a dead battery after towing. So far that's the only thing he's noticed.
 

kdbgoat

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There's nothing in the 2015 Explorer manual about disconnecting the battery. At least my manual didn't have it. I believe it came out in the 2016 manual. Those that towed Explorers that I conversed with just hooked up a charge line from the coach to keep the battery charged.
 

ELeland

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ChasA said:
Ed,
Ford says to disconnect the battery for towing. But they don't  say what will happen if you don't.
I have a new Edge and don't really want to be disconnecting the battery. Maybe it's just a matter that Ford doesn't want us complaining about batteries dying. If that's the case, I would think a charge line would alleviate that problem.  But maybe there's another reason. Like maybe damage to the electrically assisted steering.

I have a friend who tows a 2015 Explorer. He was unaware that he was supposed to disconnect the battery and has had a dead battery after towing. So far that's the only thing he's noticed.

I just ordered a remote battery disconnect to be safe.  If I read this correctly, it say it charges too?  That would kill 2 birds with one stone.  Anyone used this?

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Roadmaster-766-Automatic-Battery-Disconnect-p/20-1358.htm 

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think you misunderstand the charging description.  The Roadmaster Disconnect switch doesn't charge anything - it has no power source to do anything like that. It merely allows the charge circuit from the coach to function if there is one.  It's just a solenoid, and not even all that automatic (you have to manually switch between Drive and Tow modes).

Also, did you note that Roadmaster says this device is NOT recommended for diesel powered coaches?  The potentially high power surge when the diesel engine cranks for starting can cause damage. It doesn't say what can be damaged, but I'm guessing the auto-switch itself.
Read the installation and operation instructions here: http://www.roadmasterinc.com/pdf/766.pdf
 

ChasA

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I looked at the installation instructions for that Roadmaster 766 and don't see any way that it would charge the battery. There's no connection to the motorhome. The Roadmaster materials don't indicate it also charges the battery.  I think the seller's information is wrong.

I read somewhere that Ford came out with battery disconnection requirement mid-year in 2015.
I have a ToadCharge I took off my Saturn and will use that on the new toad. I'm still undecided whether to disconnect the battery or not.
 

ELeland

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Jupiter, FL
Thanks for the feedback.  I called and spoke to a tech at Roadmaster. 

Gary - Thank you for the link!  He said the coach being a diesel is fine.  They do not recommend using this product if the towed vehicle is diesel.

With your link I also saw that the disconnect goes on the positive terminal as opposed to Ford saying to disconnect the negative terminal.  I questioned him on that and he said something to the effect that Ford has approved it that way as it accomplishes the same thing. I should have asked him why it needed to be disconnected in the first place but forgot. 

I assume the charge line from the coach and the RVi brake outlet in the cab will go direct to the battery (both fused of course).

I also ordered an RVi Towed Battery Charger because like ChasA said, per the diagram, there is no charge.
https://rvibrake.com/products/towed-battery-charger?variant=8804388741 

Thanks for the help!

Ed
 

Kevin Means

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Hi Ed. We have an RVi2 aux brake as well (I love it.) I've also installed the same RVi chargers you mentioned on our Jeep and Acura MDX, and they've worked great. I found no need to install a battery disconnect system, but I don't think installing one would hurt anything .

Kev
 

ELeland

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Thanks Kev - I had to install a disconnect on my Tacoma to keep the steering unlocked because it was a keyless ignition with no accessory position.  The new Explorer is also keyless, maybe that is the reason.  Either way, the manual says to disconnect it so why take a chance?  With the remote connection it can be done with just a push of a button from inside the towed (as long as I remember to do it ::) )
 

ChasA

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I just got off a chat with Ford.  They said the reason is to prevent draining the battery and to prevent damage to the transmission.  That does it. I'll be putting a cutoff on my battery too. I found one on Amazon that is wireless. (About $50.) That will allow me to lock the car and unlock it without using that funky  key from the fob. My engine/transmission is the 6F50, I suspect your Explorer has the same.
 

ChasA

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Hi Kevin,
In order for the keyless ignition to work the car has to sense that a coded key fob is inside the passenger compartment.  Press the brake and  press the start button.  The steering column doesn't lock. No fobee, no startee.
 

ELeland

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Jupiter, FL
Kev - On my Tacoma, like ChasA said except I don't press the brake and it goes into accessory mode.  The steering unlocks and then disconnect the battery.  If I push the brake the engine starts.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm curious, how do you unlock the steering wheel for towing when you have a keyless ignition?
Few, if any, vehicles with a keyless ignition have a locked steering wheel.  The steering wheel lock is just one possible form of anti-theft device (which is what the law requires).  Keyless systems meet anti-theft requirements by preventing ignition and/or fuel flow until the digital encoded key is present.
 

Tom

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FWIW our 2004 Suburban (without keyless ignition) does not have a key-locked steering wheel. I didn't know this when we first bought the Burb, but I was educated by forum member Terry Brewer during a stop on our maiden voyage towing it.
 

ELeland

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I just had to go outside and check the Explorer - No locked steering.  My Tacoma with the keyless ignition did lock and disconnecting the battery was the only way to free it.
 
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