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Parts Needed to Charge Battery of Towed Vehicle while Flat Towing  

Question:

Hello, I have received great advice from you and excellent parts and service from etrailor, so I am asking again! On our first tow adventure, we arrived home to discover we had a dead battery in our tow vehicle. I would like to avoid that in the future! I have been reading about systems that will help to maintain the battery while we are driving. I am currently using the Blue Ox Patriot II brake system. I am using magnetic tow lights that plug into the plug on the Coachmen Freelander RV.The Escape has to have the key in the accessory position while towing. Is there a relatively easy system to install for allowing me to charge the vehicle battery while we tow? If not, is there a more complicated system that might require some assistance for installing? Thank you

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Expert Reply:

I have exactly what you are looking for, but the ease of install can be a bit of a loaded question. If you are comfortable dealing with trailer wires such as the occasional splicing or battery terminal connection, then this install will be easier than falling asleep in a La-Z-Boy recliner. If you've never touched a trailer wire before, then I've attached a video that will hopefully put your mind at ease that you can do this yourself. This can definitely be a DIY type of installation.

To charge your battery while towing, you will want to add a battery charge line kit to your setup with part # RM-156-25. I attached a video of our installer showing this installation on a Ford Edge. This is not a vehicle specific product, so the installation process will be the same on your Ford Escape.

This process will require the trailer connector on your motorhome to have an active 12 volt battery charge pin too. Most of the time this isn't a problem on the motorhome side, but if you find that the battery isn't charging or that you don't have power on the 11 o'clock pin in your motorhome's trailer connector, then you will also want to install the the charge line kit for motorhomes, # RM-156-75. I've attached an installation video of this kit for you as well.

If you have any other questions or have any questions along the way, please feel free to reach out and I'll be happy to help.

expert reply by:
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John H

Ron H.

4/25/2020

Thank you John, but I think I need a little more information. It appears these installs require a 7 pin hookup on the tow vehicle and the motor home. Since I use the magnetic signal lights, I do not have a hook up on the Escape. My magnetic signal lights use a 4 pin that required me to install a 4 pin adapter to the 7 pin on my motor home. All parts purchased from E-trailer Is there some other type of adapter I could use on the motor home to give me access to charge wire and an alternate way to attach it to the Escape?

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.

4/27/2020

Since you don't already have a connector at the front of your Escape, you will just need to add the Roadmaster 6-Way # RM-910030-7 to the Charge Line Kit # RM-156-25 John mentioned above. This will allow for the cleanest charging setup and can be easily unhooked when you're done towing.

Damon G.

10/11/2021

@ChrisR When I add the 6 pin on the towed vehicle, do I need to ground to the towed chassis? I also have the magnetic lights on my towed escape. Thanks

Les D.

10/25/2021

@DamonG The white wire coming out of the back of the 6-pin connector (in the 2-o'clock position) should ground to the towed vehicles frame. I have attached a page concerning all styles of connectors.

Kelly B.

5/18/2020

I installed this kit on my 2015 Equinox. Do I need the Roadmaster Single Park Light Diode Item # RM-690?

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.

5/21/2020

The diode isn't needed when installing the charge line kit. The included circuit breaker will protect against potentially harmful backfeed.

Kelly B.

5/21/2020

@ChrisR I checked the circuit breaker with a meter and it has continuity both ways. How does this prevent backfeed?
Etrailer Expert

Chris R.

5/25/2020

@KellyB I apologize - I wasn't thinking correctly. To completely prevent any backfeed, you would indeed need to add a diode like the Roadmaster # RM-690.

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