Trailer Life Magazine Open Roads Forum: Fifth-Wheels: 12V Power
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laknox

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Posted: 08/19/19 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tersct wrote:

My 5th wheel does not power off of my vehicle when connected to it. A couple of times after it has set for a period of time, with no power connected to it, the 12V battery needs an assist to get the front jacks to raise for movement. This usually happens when I leave it at a dealership for repair work. When this happens they have had to use a battery pack (?) to raise the jacks. Who can tell me what type of pack they are using? Is it just a rechargeable battery pack or is it something else? Thanks.


From my experience:

Jacks and, usually, slides are directly connected to the battery and bypass any battery disconnect.

If you're not getting charge from your truck when running, then you likely have a battery disconnect that's OFF. I found this out the hard way with my old Komfort, so now make sure my disconnect is ON when towing. If you have a Ford or Dodge, the charge connector won't work with the key off. GM's plug is always hot, even with the key off.

Lousy dealer that's either not plugging your rig in or not using the disconnect, letting your batteries go flat. They do you NO favors and are killing your batteries by doing so. Make it absolutely CLEAR to them that they are to either plug your rig =properly=, i.e. with the disconnect ON (won't charge otherwise, as I personally found out), or to turn the disconnect OFF when it's not being worked on or plugged in. Tell them that they'll be giving you new batteries if they keep killing them.

There is parasitic draw (smoke, gas sensors, stereo, TV) on your batteries that will kill them in just a couple weeks if you don't have a disconnect. Be willing to bet that all but the cheapest rigs built in the past 5 years have factory disconnects.

Lyle


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laknox

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Posted: 08/19/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Terryallan wrote:

tersct wrote:

My 5th wheel does not power off of my vehicle when connected to it. A couple of times after it has set for a period of time, with no power connected to it, the 12V battery needs an assist to get the front jacks to raise for movement. This usually happens when I leave it at a dealership for repair work. When this happens they have had to use a battery pack (?) to raise the jacks. Who can tell me what type of pack they are using? Is it just a rechargeable battery pack or is it something else? Thanks.


What vehicle do toy tow with. "Most" need a relay installed to charge the trailer. and then will only charge the trailer when the ignition switch is on / motor running.


If you have a factory towing package, then that relay should be present. Ford and Dodge don't have a hot power connector with the key off; GM does.

Lyle

enblethen

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Posted: 08/19/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PNW:
Very common! The difference is whether the particular truck requires a wire to be terminated, fuse installed or hot from the factory.


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laknox

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Posted: 08/19/19 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PNW_Steve wrote:

Now I am curious....

I am aware of the designation of one of the pins on the 7 pin connector is 12v supply.

I assumed that it was not used as none of the truck/trailer combos that I have owned have charged the trailer from the truck charging system.

How common is it to have that feature from the factory?


I've never heard of that, except for small utility trailers that have brakes. They have a separate breakaway battery that has to be charged by itself. Every camp trailer I've ever heard of has a charger that charges the house battery while towing. One of the selling points of our 30' PJ flatbed was that it =did= have an on-board charger, but we also have a hydraulic dove tail with a full-size battery to power it. If you have a factory-installed trailering package, then everything should already be ready to go, including the hot 12v power connector.

FWIW, we have several PulseTech 10-12w solar chargers on our equipment and I use one on my FW. I was very pleasantly surprised that my batteries were still full of electrolyte and fully charged after sitting for 6 months.

Lyle

enblethen

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Posted: 08/19/19 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It depends on how the trailers are wired.

time2roll

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Posted: 08/19/19 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PNW_Steve wrote:

Now I am curious....

I am aware of the designation of one of the pins on the 7 pin connector is 12v supply.

I assumed that it was not used as none of the truck/trailer combos that I have owned have charged the trailer from the truck charging system.

How common is it to have that feature from the factory?
If you have a factory 7-pin trailer connector then you have the feature.

May need a fuse or relay installed in the fuse box to use the feature. Owners manual has details.


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