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Old 12-01-2014, 11:53 PM   #15
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I have wondered if my F150 didn't have the tow relay charge installed.

How do I determine if it is installed? Sounds like I need a real battery monitor or will a volt meter work. I have neither so am looking for recommendations.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:21 AM   #16
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I have wondered if my F150 didn't have the tow relay charge installed.

How do I determine if it is installed? Sounds like I need a real battery monitor or will a volt meter work. I have neither so am looking for recommendations.
What year, model and engine F-150? As I said, mine is a 2010. The owners manual showed the location of the relay and mentioned that it had to be installed. The truck came with a bag that included the relay and a small jumper harness when new.

If you want to know if it is installed and working simply check trailer battery voltage when hooked up ready to tow and with the tow vehicle not running. Measure the trailer battery voltage, start the truck and measure the voltage again. It should go up to about the same voltage as the truck battery (actually just a bit less as there is voltage drop in the circuit). Let's say that the trailer battery is well charged and you measure 13.0 volts at the trailer, when running the truck the voltage should still move up into the 13.5 to 13.8 range after starting the truck. As long as you see the voltage go up the relay is installed and working.

The purpose of the relay is to prevent the trailer from connecting to the truck battery when the truck is not running (thus charging) so that you can not inadvertently draw down the truck battery as you draw down the trailer battery.
Think of it as a one way door for electricity to he trailer.

Bruce
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:03 PM   #17
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Many tow vehicle manufacturers provide battery charging to the socket which the trailer cable plugs into... however, many have not ENABLED the sockets +12 volt charge pin to actually charge the trailer battery. Ford is one of these... in order to get +12 volt battery charging actually at the socket, there is a fuse/relay kit which is purchased (From Ford) and installed... some, like mid-2000's GM full-size pickups had the power cable disconnected at the under-hood power center and some, just require a fuse... there is no rhyme or reason to it.

The easiest way to know if your battery is getting charged by the tow vehicle is to disconnect the negative or (-) terminal from all batteries while plugged into the TV and unplugged from shore power. If you get lights in the trailer when plugged into the TV, you are good. If not, look at the fuses (circuit breakers and relays fail rarely) as they blow a lot more frequently than you would think. Keep some spares on hand.

Many of my customers want faster battery charging without the use of a generator or solar... we have found that running a heavier 8 AWG (gauge) cable (with auto-resetting circuit breaker) really improves the charge rate. If you are not electrically proficient, consult an approved RV technician or automotive electrical professional.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:24 PM   #18
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When dry camping in the mountains for 4 days drive home, 375 miles my batteries are still low on charge...that is with the dodge diesel...
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:34 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 Flying Cloud. I'm new to all of this.

A couple of questions on the battery. I just had it hooked up over the Thanksgiving weekend. I then drove home 8 hours. It is 40 degrees. Everything was off last night in the store mode. I checked the battery today on the status monitor and it was showing half a charge.

Is this just due to the colder weather? Shouldn't the batteries be virtually 100% charged?

Going the other direction I took the A/S from storage and drove it 8 hours and thought it would get a charge from my F150 yet when I checked the status it just showed 1/2 to 3/4 charge. Now perhaps the status indicator never shows higher than this, but I'm wondering if something isn't working properly.

I figured my battery would get more of a charge from my F150 hookup and also wouldn't drain anything sitting over night in the store mode.
Your alternator is actually not a bad charger and would likely have brought you back to near full charge after that length of a trip. I would start with your truck owners manual and make sure that 30 amp "trailer charge" fuse is not blown in the fuse box under the hood.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #20
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On the F150s there is a fuse box up front in the engine compartment near the radiator. I would check the fuse, so noted in your owners manual, for the "charge wire" which runs from the fuse back to the seven point hook up.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:10 AM   #21
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Also, I would remind everyone the a description of' "my batt was low, I drove xxx miles and my batt wasn't full" doesn't tell you anything. How low? 50%, 40%, 30%, dead? How full when arrived home? 60%, 70, 90?

Your LED monitor tells you virtually nothing.

A volt meter on a disconnected and rested battery is accurate, but a hassle.
If you really need to know, and I suggest you might, you need to get a quality battery monitoring system that tells you the amp hours your are using while dry camping and the amp hours being restored by your TV. (among many other data points the monitors will provide).
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:42 AM   #22
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When dry camping in the mountains for 4 days drive home, 375 miles my batteries are still low on charge...that is with the dodge diesel...
Usually, when the trailer batteries do not get charged up from the tow vehicle, when traveling, it's because of poor wiring or corroded connector terminals.

Andy
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:36 PM   #23
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I had an issue with my 2008 Classic 25fb with the batteries not getting charged while connected to the tow vehicle. I have hydraulic disc brakes. When I traced the black 12v wire from the tow power cable I found it did not terminate to the 12v bus on the trailer but went straight to the hydraulic actuator. I cut the black wire and connected both ends to the 12v bus adjacent to the store/use relay.

If you get a 12v meter that plugs into a cigarette light socket located in your TV area when you have the tow vehicle connected and running you should see the volts rise from 12.x to above 13.x volts in a matter of a few minutes. You can also put a voltmeter on your trucks trailer connector 12v pin and see if there is any voltage showing. On my Tundra its over 13v.

Kelvin
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #24
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Like others have said you have to plug in the Charge relay on the F150's, its located in the glove box if truck is new. Also I thought in order for the batteries to take a charge the use/store switch has to be in USE. Right?
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #25
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Like others have said you have to plug in the Charge relay on the F150's, its located in the glove box if truck is new. Also I thought in order for the batteries to take a charge the use/store switch has to be in USE. Right?
Not on mine, but I know there are various iterations of what's shut off with the store switch and what's not.
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