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Old 04-13-2015, 06:13 PM   #1
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To disconnect or not to disconnect

On this last trip I decided not to disconnect the AS from the truck as we had a second vehicle available. I did disconnect the plug for the lights and brake. So I was wondering what is the advantage of disconnecting.

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Old 04-13-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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Disconnecting the umbilical will ensure the TV battery doesn't get drawn down if you are 'boondocking'.

Staying 'connected' with the hitch is good in event you need to make a quick departure. This may happen if you are near a creek and the water rises...and threatens you.. or other reason ...
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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If you can level the trailer, and you don't need the TV, leave her hitched and unplug the umbilical as you are doing. We often stay connected while traveling and staying a single night.

The biggest reasons to unhitch are because: 1) you need to either raise the tongue so much you're lifting the rear of the TV significantly, or you need to lower the tongue below the normal hitch ball height in order to get the trailer level; or 2) you need to use the TV while camping.

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Old 04-13-2015, 08:36 PM   #4
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If it's only a night or two I usually stay connected, stopping at a store before we get to the campground. Any longer and I prefer to not have that load on the TV.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the response.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:45 PM   #6
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We often stay hooked-up when just stopping for one night. In addition to unplugging, we loosen the weight distribution bars. This makes leveling the trailer for the night much easier. We also level side-to-side with leggo blocks.

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Old 04-13-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
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We boondocks unless we are at a Rally. Rarely do we disconnect.

Level the trailer while hooked. Then unfold the stairs and done. Speeds up the light the BBQ and open a beer protocol.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:14 PM   #8
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We leave it hooked up for one night travel stops, but any more than that we usually need the tow vehicle to sight-see or get groceries. We leave the cord attached and usually stabilizers up.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #9
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When I do not need the TV, I do not unhitch and do not unplug. I seem to remember reading that there was a diode or something in the circuit so you would not drain your TV battery. Plus, leaving it plugged in to the AS keeps blowing dust and bugs from getting into either end of the connection.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:21 AM   #10
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My F150 had a relay so that power for battery charging was only connected when the engine was running. My Ram does not; the umbilical is always energized, at least it was when I checked it right after turning the engine off. It may have a timer that turns it off after a while.

We leave the TV connected for overnight stops, but I will now disconnect the umbilical with the new truck.

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Old 04-14-2015, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urnmor View Post
On this last trip I decided not to disconnect the AS from the truck as we had a second vehicle available. I did disconnect the plug for the lights and brake. So I was wondering what is the advantage of disconnecting.
As others point out, with some tow vehicles it is possible for the battery in the tow vehicle to become discharged. The circumstances under which this will happen are when ALL of the following conditions hold:

1) The tow vehicle has a working charge line. Many do not, by design, as shipped from the factory.
2) The trailer's converter isn't operating, either because the shore power line isn't connected, or because the converter is switched off or not working
3) There's enough of a load in the trailer to deplete the battery. Most often, this requires a multiple-day stay, or extensive operation of the furnace.

Sure Power Industries makes a line of battery disconnects that, if properly installed, prevent this sort of thing from happening while still allowing the charge line to work as designed. I have one in each of my tow vehicles.

Minno and others have a mostly complete list of reasons to unhook. I would add that there are some campsites that are short enough that the tow vehicle will block traffic if hitched.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:31 AM   #12
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We leave it hooked up for one night travel stops, but any more than that we usually need the tow vehicle to sight-see or get groceries. We leave the cord attached and usually stabilizers up.
Ditto
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:34 AM   #13
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When I do not need the TV, I do not unhitch and do not unplug. I seem to remember reading that there was a diode or something in the circuit so you would not drain your TV battery. Plus, leaving it plugged in to the AS keeps blowing dust and bugs from getting into either end of the connection.
This may not be true for all TVs. I am unaware of any GM vehicle that has more than a fuse in the line.

But, I just thought of something. Our products have battery rundown protection which shuts down unintended draws after 20 minutes of ignition off, or so. I'll have to check if the trailer charge line is a "protected" circuit or not.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:40 AM   #14
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I'm another who leaves it hitched for a one night stop. I may put down the tongue jack because that seems to take out a lot of the movement when you move about the trailer.
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