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Author Topic: 2013 Honda CR-V battery discharged after tow  (Read 2919 times)
Bruce and Sharon
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« on: October 14, 2013, 01:14:59 am »

On our last leg of a six week trip, we towed our new 2013 CR-V for about nine hours.  We found that the toad battery was fully discharged when we arrived at our destination.  Because the built in GPS, etc. keeps running with the key in the accessory position, we had wondered if that would be enough to drain the battery.  None of our previous legs were more than five hours and the toad always started up at the end of the leg.  After reading the CR-V owner's manual, we see that we should have pulled Fuse 19 during an extended trip.  

Pulling that fuse will be too difficult for me to do on a semi-regular basis because of its location under the dash.  I suspect that a toggle switch could be installed that would accomplish the same thing as removing the fuse, and I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this?

Another approach might be to add a charging line from our coach back to the Honda battery, but that seems to be much more difficult.

Any ideas?

Bruce
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 11:45:44 am by Bruce and Sharon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 06:29:54 am »

We tow a 2013 CRV also.Have had no problems thus far,however we do not tow over eight hrs per the owners manual.If you do tow for longer periods,perhaps if you were to start the engine and go through the before towing procedure again while stopped before the eight hrs has elapsed.I believe that would work.Also,on the menu button,set that to a blank screen. Cheers
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 08:25:01 am »

We have a Chevy HHR tow car (which we love), and have to pull a fuse when towing.  Found this site, http://fulltime-rv.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-tow-car-installing-bracket-and.html,  explaining how to make your own for an HHR but it would work for any car (skip the first part on installing a tow bracket).  Always intended to do this, but never got it done.  An RV buddy had a friend who made one for him easy he says.

You can also buy one, but pricey!  http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Ox-BX88271-Bypass-Switch/dp/B009APJ2UU

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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 04:29:53 pm »

Another approach might be to add a charging line from our coach back to the Honda battery, but that seems to be much more difficult.  Any ideas?  Bruce
I believe it is quite easy to wire the tow vehicle into the PC 12V system for battery maintenance.  Power from the PC to the tow vehicle battery is run directly through the main red coily cable in my picture, which includes brake, tail, and turn signal lighting.


My Unified tow brake system diagram HERE does exactly as you describe.  I would follow the diagram 12V battery portion alone.  Just ignore the majority of the wiring diagram.  It should be extremely simple.  I believe the 2 terminal box is a diode, but I would need to confirm that.  You'll need only one (assumed diode) in the tow vehicle.  The other in the motor home is not needed because the PC is pre-wired, ready to tap 12V power at the connector in back.

Here is the diagram of the PC connector, an industry standard connector.
Terminal #4 would be the one to use for tow vehicle battery maintenance.


Here is an example of my wire harness.  One end mates into the PC, the other with round terminals, plugs into the tow vehicle.

It is seamless, very easy once setup properly.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 04:55:13 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 12:47:54 am »

Wow, great replies to my questions!  You've given us several ways to avoid the battery discharge.
The idea of turning down the display screens is good, and shows again that we had not read much of the Honda owner's manual.  Now we've learned more of the options available with those.  All the added technology in the new CR-V is a big surprise as we didn't realize how much was going to be different compared to our traded-in 2003 CR-V.
It was interesting seeing the modification to the accessory fuse by adding the toggle switch.  We're not skilled enough to make the mods ourselves, but maybe a Honda shop or an auto stereo shop would do that for us.
But, the best cure might be in Ron's reply.  What we understand from him is that our PC already has the 12V line installed in the outside rear socket used with the towing wire harness, and the standard coily cable that we are using has the 12v wire that connects to the Honda.  We're uncertain how to connect the 12v connection in socket on the Honda to the Honda battery for the battery maintenance.
Ron, what is the "2 terminal box is a diode" statement referring to?
Thanks to each of you,
Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 09:27:00 am »

There are at least two flavors of coily cables.  All have the same style connector by the PC that looks like this.  (note that this example has only 4 metal terminals)


The difference is at the other end by the tow vehicle having 4, 6, or 7 terminals.  If you have 6 or 7 terminals, then 12V from the PC is right there where you need it.  You'll only have to run a wire a few feet from that connector on your tow vehicle through the rectangular 2 terminal diode, then to your tow vehicle battery.  It is a very easy modification for someone who knows what they are doing.

This is the end of a 6 terminal coily cable.  You need at least this many terminals.  If you have this you are in great shape.


Here is a 4 terminal coily cable end.  If you have this one, you'll need to replace it and the socket at the tow vehicle.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 10:02:44 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 09:54:27 am »

To add to Ron's post, there are several types of 7 wire plugs, so check which you have on your towd.
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 10:04:37 am »

Tom, I was cleaning up my reply when you posted.  You are correct in that the socket at the tow vehicle needs to mate with the coily cable you buy.  So if replacing the coily cable, get the mating socket too.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 10:59:57 pm »

Ron and Tom,

Thanks for the additional posts that you've made.  I'm slowly learning how to set up a 12v battery maintenance system for the CR-V.  But, I'm still running into questions that might be too difficult to answer remotely on this Forum.  If so, I'll wait until I can bring both the PC and CR-V to a shop to do this for me.

In any case, if you are curious as to what I've determined so far, here it is:

The good news is that the coach end of our coiy cable has 6 metal terminals and the towd end has 6 terminals.

So, I guess I can plug the coach end of the cable into the coach socket and test with my multimeter to see that we have 12v at the towd end of the cable.  (Do I just insert the meter probes into terminals 1 and 4 to do this?).  

If the above is correct, then we need to run a 12v wire from the towd's socket through a diode to the auto battery.  Sounds easy!

The bad news is that we had Camping World install the tow bar and wiring on the CR-V and so far I haven't located a "rectangular 2 terminal diode" as mentioned in Ron's post.

Part of my problem in tracing the wiring on this project is that Camping World installed an Invisibrake at the same time.  I can see the white, brown, yellow, and green wires running down to the towd's socket (these are for the towd's turn signal, tail, brake, & running lights--no problem here).  

There is a red and a black wire attached to the towd's battery posts, but I can't see where they go (I'm guessing that they are for the Invisibrake control box located under the driver's seat).  

And there are two black wires in wiring bundle that I assume are to connect the Invisibrake control box to the coach's brake lights.  There is a single black wire (separate from the coily cable) that connects the coach and towd for the Invisibrake.  Maybe the "rectangular 2 terminal diode" is also used by the Invisibrake system and is buried out of sight somewhere (I don't really know what to look for).

If nothing else, this project is good brain exercise for an old guy!  Sharon always claims that I'm happiest when working on a project.  LOL

Bruce


« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 11:29:40 pm by Bruce and Sharon » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 10:22:48 am »

Hi Bruce,

It's good that you've got the standard 6 pin setup.  That resolves much.

As you have said, none of us here knows how Camping World wired things in your Tow-Vehicle/CRV .

You mentioned having a multi-meter so I suggest you probe a few simple things to see where you are at.

FIRST OF ALL
I think I gave you some bad information as to that 2 pin diode.  I read through my Unified tow brake installation instructions and they call it a circuit breaker, not a diode.  So the 2 pin rectangular box is there for protection, not for one-way voltage.

So with that given bit of information, try this with your setup.

- With coily cable plugged into PC with PC ignition switch on or motor running, but not plugged into the tow vehicle, probe each pin on the tow vehicle end of the coily cable to confirm you are getting a constant 12v from the pin there that is equivalent to pin #4 on the PC.

- Identify the mating pin inside the socket on your tow vehicle and mark it somehow so you can easily identify it later.

- Now probe all the pins in the socket of your tow vehicle with ignition on (and then off) and see what you get.  You might have one hot lead.

Hopefully that hot lead is the same hot lead on the coily cable.  If that is your case, then you are already setup for the tow vehicle battery getting maintained by the PC when being towed.  

NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT  (I think I suffer from an over-load of data in my head)
When we've towed our Jeep Liberty (it's been 4 years since the following condition), I recall that when we've stopped for the night in a Walmart or rest area with tow vehicle hooked up, with everything shut off, some things were still activated, though I can't recall what.  I remembering the need to unplug the coily cable at either end to completely kill all power to all things for the night.  That is one possible explanation why your tow vehicle battery is getting drained.

I think that is why the "Diode Thing" was in my head, thinking I'd like to add one to eliminate that condition.

Does all this make sense?  Let us know what you find.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 10:29:28 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 06:24:13 pm »

Hi Ron,

Again your suggestions are very much appreciated.  Here is what I found:

I confirmed with my multi tester that a constant 12v exists in the towd end of the coily cable when the other end is plugged into the PC.

Could not find any 12v existing in the socket of the towd vehicle. 

So, I guess the next step would be to look into the connections inside of the towd vehicle's socket to see what wires are connected there (I'd be expecting to see only the white, brown, yellow, and green ones that go the the towd's lights).  This step would be very difficult for me to do with my weak hands and fingers because of the small working space and tightly wound wires there--might get someone else to do this.

If we find any of the six connectors empty there (and they will match up to the 12v pins of the coily cable), do we just add wires there that will run directly to the towd's battery posts to complete the battery maintenance feature?

Thanks again for your help,
Bruce
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 06:37:24 pm »

If we find any of the six connectors empty there (and they will match up to the 12v pins of the coily cable), do we just add wires there that will run directly to the towd's battery posts to complete the battery maintenance feature?
I believe you are correct.  I think it is that simple.  But keep in-mind of my story one reply higher.  You might need to unplug the coily cable from either end when parked for the night.  The alternative would be to add a diode in that 12V hot wire inside the tow vehicle so 12V will travel from your PC to the tow vehicle's battery, but not from the T.V. back to your PC.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 07:42:50 pm »

On our last leg of a six week trip, we towed our new 2013 CR-V for about nine hours.  We found that the toad battery was fully discharged when we arrived at our destination.  Because the built in GPS, etc. keeps running with the key in the accessory position, we had wondered if that would be enough to drain the battery.  None of our previous legs were more than five hours and the toad always started up at the end of the leg.  After reading the CR-V owner's manual, we see that we should have pulled Fuse 19 during an extended trip. 

Pulling that fuse will be too difficult for me to do on a semi-regular basis because of its location under the dash.  I suspect that a toggle switch could be installed that would accomplish the same thing as removing the fuse, and I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this?

Another approach might be to add a charging line from our coach back to the Honda battery, but that seems to be much more difficult.

Any ideas?

Bruce
  I tow a 2006 saturn Vue and need to pull a 30amp fuse under the hood and put gearsift in nuetral, release the brake and put the iginition key on run and not accessory. I also have 6 hole cable for my lights on car and the unified tow braking system.  Do you think putting on accessory might have discharge your battery.  I am suppose to only travel  no more than six hours with the car, which is plenty time for me.
Never had a problem with my car battery discharging doing it this way. I know you can ad a switch put on to take care of the fuse and maybe some other pc owner can direct you on this.
Happy camping. Smile 
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 08:10:19 pm »


If we find any of the six connectors empty there (and they will match up to the 12v pins of the coily cable), do we just add wires there that will run directly to the towd's battery posts to complete the battery maintenance feature?
I believe you are correct.  I think it is that simple.  But keep in-mind of my story one reply higher.  You might need to unplug the coily cable from either end when parked for the night.  The alternative would be to add a diode in that 12V hot wire inside the tow vehicle so 12V will travel from your PC to the tow vehicle's battery, but not from the T.V. back to your PC.

Sorry Ron for challenging your response Smile, but Bruce may not need to add a diode or unplug the coily cable if his 2014 is wired the same as my 2010, and I would bet they are the same.  Ford runs the 12 volt charge line through a relay that is only energized in the run position of the ignition key.  So when the engine is off, the charge line is isolated at the relay which is in the fuse box under the hood.  You can verify this by checking with your multimeter that there is an open circuit on the charge line from the toad end of the coily cable to the frame of the PC with the ignition off and 12v when the ignition is on.  When the toad is connected and the ignition is off, the toad battery is not being discharged by anything on the PC, but there may still be something on the toad discharging the battery but at least the battery is kept charged while being towed.

Bob
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 08:32:14 pm »

Bob, I understand your point and surely take no offense at all.

You are both working with newer rigs which might be the reason for the descrepency.  In my case with our 2007 E350 chassis while towing, when everything is turned off, shut down, and parked for the night, my tow vehicle 12V battery power is finding it's way back into my PC, lighting up things there on the PC.  I always thought my rig was setup as you described with relay protection and such, but this is what happens with my 2007.  I cannot rule out that something is quirky with my Jeep Liberty or my wiring of my Unified tow brake.

Like I said before, it's been 4 years since towing overnight and I can't recall the details of it all.  I just remember needing to unplug the coily to turn off everything to prevent the tow vehicle battery from draining overnight.  The next time I tow overnight, I'll have to document exactly what's energized, what's lighting up.

Hopefully all of you with newer chassis, different tow vehicles, different tow brakes, don't have my power ghost.
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