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Old 09-12-2021, 08:17 PM   #1
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Question I have 2017 equinox Will not stay charged when towing

I have a 2017 equinox that will not stay charged while towing by my 2002 Itasca Horizon 39QR.
It will allow a tow for about 2.5 hours before car battery goes dead, then when you get in car to start it you have to jump start it.
The company that installed the tow system along with Dios to prevent MH from drawing down the battery. They did a check out of the system and it shows everything is good. But can tell me what the Amp draw is on the car when it is being towed and amps going from the MH.
I have to run the car for 30 minutes to charge the battery.
Has anyone else had this problem and what fixed it?
Thank you in advance
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:32 AM   #2
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Several things to review, perhaps?
One is that the motorhome should never be drawing power from the car for a very basic reason. Voltage always flows from higher to lower and the motorhome should always be higher when the engine is running, if it is working correctly.

When the RV engine is running, the coach battery group and the start battery are connected together through the mode solenoid and that allows the RV engine alternator to put some charge back into the coach batteries as we drive. Since the normal engine alternator can be putting out as much as 14 volts when running at highway speed, it should always keep the start battery, coach batteries as well as the tow car charged.

Perhaps a check of things in the Rv is needed but there are a couple things that are not right somewhere. One is that if the towed battery is dead after driving and it is connected to the coach, that battery should also be dead! Some checking on that is needed?

But that coach battery should be getting charged, not discharged as above, so the charging when driving is needing a check and that is pretty simple to do if a meter is on hand.

To check the mode solenoid is connecting for correct charging, leave the RV disconnect6ed from power for a couple hours and not running to let all the battery systems level out and become stable, then test the voltage of the start battery and each of the coach batteries, before starting it. Watching the start battery voltage as somebo0dy cranks the engine to start, you should see the voltage dro radically as it cranks but immediately come up to show somewhere much higher, possibly as high as 14 volts as the alternator begins to charge it. Then swap the meter over to the coach batteries and you should also see that much higher voltage there as well.

Note that these voltages are not going to show the true state of the batteries but only the "surface charge" from the alternator trying to bring them up to normal. They may show 14 volts now and show 10 volts an hour later if there is a defective one in the group, so don't trust voltage readings too far!

I would expect to find weak/ damaged batteries or corroded/dirty connects! You've got a great big alternator that should be trying to keep a little bitty load charged and not doing it!

Tow car battery may be unable to hold a charge? Do the same test on the car, before and while it is connected to the RV, check the tow voltage, then start the RV engine and test that high voltage is getting to the car.

Check back with results and any questions?
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce Dixon View Post
I have a 2017 equinox that will not stay charged while towing by my 2002 Itasca Horizon 39QR.
It will allow a tow for about 2.5 hours before car battery goes dead, then when you get in car to start it you have to jump start it.
The company that installed the tow system along with Dios to prevent MH from drawing down the battery. They did a check out of the system and it shows everything is good. But can tell me what the Amp draw is on the car when it is being towed and amps going from the MH.
I have to run the car for 30 minutes to charge the battery.
Has anyone else had this problem and what fixed it?
Thank you in advance
Not sure if this will apply to a 2017 model, but it may be that the charge line from the MH to the Equinox does not provide enough amperage. In my 2020 model, a 12 gauge wire is required, as the Equinox pulls about 8 amps while being towed (even when all accessories are off). If the charge line doesn't support the amperage required, it will not keep the battery charged. I've towed my Equinox more than 8,000 miles to date, often all day long, with no battery issues.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:41 AM   #4
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Did the installers put in a switch for you to disconnect fuse 32 as instructed in the owners manual?

Page 264
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam...ox1stPrint.pdf
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:07 AM   #5
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I have 2017 equinox Will not stay charged when towing

some added info.
The wiring is all 12 ga.
There is a Diode installed to prevent the car from trying charge the MH and it has been tested
MH is putting out 13.2 volts to the car.
Can not find any corrosion
All the batteries in the MH have been changed

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Old 09-16-2021, 07:42 AM   #6
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With that info, you can stop thinking about the RV as a problem as all it can do is provide the voltage to charge the car and 13.2 is more than enough to top the car battery to 12.8!
Depending on what point that 13.2 was found, the remaining points are the connector at the car front, the wire from that connection to the battery, and anything on the car which would run the battery down.
Silly , totally simple things are sometimes the easy to miss! things like leaving the dome lights on after we disconnect from the RV? Yup! Anybody that has not done that is in for a thrill on finding it the first time! Easy to miss on a bright sunny day after you get the car started. The saving grace of that is that it will also kill the car battery when NOT connected to the RV so that we stop blaming the RV!
So do some thinking about how the car acts? Does it ONLY go dead when towed? Or does it go dead after a couple days even if not towed?
Sounds like the RV is doing all it needs to do but how about the car?

One quicker test that doesn't require waiting is to connect the car as if towing, Remove the wire from the RV to car setup at the point where it connects into the car battery and see if the voltage coming from the RV is 13+ when the RV engine is running. If that voltage at the last point before being connected to the car battery is 12.8+ and then goes higher when the RV engine is running above idle, the RV is okay!

Maybe as simple as the car battery will not take and hold the charge well enough? Or is there a drain killing the car battery?
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompwil View Post
Did the installers put in a switch for you to disconnect fuse 32 as instructed in the owners manual?

Page 264
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam...ox1stPrint.pdf
This make prefect sense to me and here is why. The RV wiring to the seven pin connector on the RV is likely 16 Gage. Depending on the distance of the cable to the rear connector you will likely read 13.2 or greater. But in reality the voltage is hollow or offers little usable current. I would follow the instructions in your auto owners manual and pull the fuse.

Good luck and I look forward to hear more about this one.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:54 AM   #8
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ok i am not sure we have enough info...

What type of tow brake are you using? Some of these draw a lot and must be powered by the motorhome not the car. A portable electric brake system plugged into the 12 volt car system may be the problem.

Are you disconnecting fuse 32?

Are you towing with the key in the acc position and not the on position?

I have towed my equinox over 20000 miles never had a charge issue. When I installed my system I added an RVI towed battery charger. My brake system is permanently installed and powered by the MH. As far as I can tell with fuse 32 bypassed and the brake system powered by the MH the tail and brake lights are the only draw on the car battery when towing.
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:57 PM   #9
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Yes the switch is installed it disconnects the Pwr steering and the all wheel drive
as directed by owners manual. I have also had the manf. of the tow bar and connector check out system but they have not been able to test it for 4 hours.
Had battery tested at Chevy service today and they said it's not THEIR PROBLEM but said CCA is 425 and battery should be CCA of 525a
said this should not be an issue. guess when I get to my destination I will get the battery tested at a battery shop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrueth View Post
This make prefect sense to me and here is why. The RV wiring to the seven pin connector on the RV is likely 16 Gage. Depending on the distance of the cable to the rear connector you will likely read 13.2 or greater. But in reality the voltage is hollow or offers little usable current. I would follow the instructions in your auto owners manual and pull the fuse.

Good luck and I look forward to hear more about this one.
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Old 09-17-2021, 05:02 PM   #10
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AIR FORCE ONE brake system
I have a switch in place of removing the fuse 32.
yes in acc position.
I turn off radio and all other switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by Park Super View Post
ok i am not sure we have enough info...

What type of tow brake are you using? Some of these draw a lot and must be powered by the motorhome not the car. A portable electric brake system plugged into the 12 volt car system may be the problem.

Are you disconnecting fuse 32?

Are you towing with the key in the acc position and not the on position?


I have towed my equinox over 20000 miles never had a charge issue. When I installed my system I added an RVI towed battery charger. My brake system is permanently installed and powered by the MH. As far as I can tell with fuse 32 bypassed and the brake system powered by the MH the tail and brake lights are the only draw on the car battery when towing.
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Old 09-18-2021, 04:28 AM   #11
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Bruce-

The proof of the pudding is “how many volts?” at the car battery when the coach is running and the coach and car are connected. You should disconnect the charge line at the car battery before testing.
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Old 09-18-2021, 07:02 AM   #12
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Bruce-

The proof of the pudding is “how many volts?” at the car battery when the coach is running and the coach and car are connected. You should disconnect the charge line at the car battery before testing.

This makes sense to me. Too many try to make charging way more complex than needed as it is much like water in that it runs downhill or at least from high potential (voltage) to low and if there is higher voltage from the Rv than the tow battery has in it, it will charge!

If we look for what might be the most obvious reason for the car going dead, something simple like corrosion on one of the tether connections is a real easy one to imagine but less easy to spot if we are not using a meter to chase the question.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:50 PM   #13
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Diode backwards

If the diodes are in backwards....no charge to the toad so the braking system will bleed down the battery....and then if the toad ignition is left on during towing...even more unhappiness.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:53 PM   #14
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Are you turning the key off after you put it in neutral, and leaving it in the ignition?
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:43 AM   #15
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I had a similar problem and tracked it down to the neutral line not providing a good solid connection to the tow vehicle. I ran a line directly from the RV to the car ground (both via screwed down connections). The charging issue went away for me.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:32 AM   #16
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I had a similar problem and tracked it down to the neutral line not providing a good solid connection to the tow vehicle. I ran a line directly from the RV to the car ground (both via screwed down connections). The charging issue went away for me.
When checking connections, there are both battery and ground connections in the 7 pin and 6 pin and those should always be checked as the ground missing would cause an open circuit.
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Old 09-20-2021, 03:04 PM   #17
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Hi Bruce, my two cents would be to confirm that your 12 volt terminal on the motorhome is still "hot". Simple 12Volt test light at the plug can confirm. I have a different motorhome and a different towed vehicle, but in the past I have had that fuse blow. So while I thought I had power going back to my tow vehicle battery I actually did not and I ended up doing a bunch of troubleshooting on the towed vehicle before figuring out the blown fuse on the motorhome.....
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