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Recreational Towing (behind a motor home)


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206 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   zhackwyatt

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:24 PM

Why does the battery die exactly? Because it's left in accessory mode when towing?









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#42 OFFLINE   Sparky

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 01:35 PM

The C-MAX has terminals under the hood for jumper cable connection.  See page 255 of the owner's manual.  I would definitely connect these to the 12v system on the motor-home.   This will keep the C-MAX 12 volt battery charged. 

 

When (not if) you replace your 12v battery, ask the dealer for a Motorcraft BXT-96R-590.  This battery is listed on page 350 of the owner's manual.  The 96R has 590 CCA and 95 RC, 50% more capacity than the OEM BXT-67R. 

 

If your battery has been completely discharged more than a few times, it will probably not pass a battery load test.  Your OEM battery has a free replacement warranty for three years.

 

The C-Max has parasitic loads which are not completely understood, such as the high voltage battery cooling fans.  The fans (12v ?) draw air from the car interior to cool the lithium battery.  If the interior air becomes too warm, the system may start the air conditioner to provide  cool air for the lithium battery.  See page 179 and 184 of the manual.  The transmission has an electric coolant oil pump.  There is an electric vacuum pump.  Questions: Is vacuum used for power brakes, and is the vacuum maintained with the system off?  For more info, see "Battery temperature controls": http://ev.sae.org/article/11705


Edited by Sparky, 18 March 2013 - 07:05 PM.

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#43 OFFLINE   zhackwyatt

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

The C-MAX has terminals under the hood for jumper cable connection.  See page 255 of the owner's manual.  I would definitely connect these to the 12v system on the motor-home.   This will keep the C-MAX 12 volt battery charged. 

 

When (not if) you replace your 12v battery, ask the dealer for a Motorcraft BXT-96R-590.  This battery is listed on page 350 of the owner's manual.  The 96R has 590 CCA and 95 RC, 50% more capacity than the OEM BXT-67R. 

 

If your battery has been completely discharged more than a few times, it will probably not pass a battery load test.  Your OEM battery has a free replacement warranty for three years.

 

The C-Max has parasitic loads which are not completely understood, such as the high voltage battery cooling fans.  The fans (12v ?) draw air from the car interior to cool the lithium battery.  If the interior air becomes too warm, the system may start the air conditioner to provide  cool air for the lithium battery.  See page 179 and 184 of the manual.  The transmission has an electric coolant pump.  There is an electric vacuum pump.  Questions: Is vacuum used for power brakes, and is the vacuum maintained with the system off?  For more info, see "Battery temperature controls": http://ev.sae.org/article/11705

What I'm saying, is why is towing behind something any different than the car just sitting there not being used.  I can not use my car for a weekend and it will start Monday morning.  Sounds like if I towed it behind an RV for a weekend, it will not start.  What's the difference in the car between towing behind something and just sitting there unused?



#44 OFFLINE   Sparky

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:57 PM

What I'm saying, is why is towing behind something any different than the car just sitting there not being used.  I can not use my car for a weekend and it will start Monday morning.  Sounds like if I towed it behind an RV for a weekend, it will not start.  What's the difference in the car between towing behind something and just sitting there unused?

While being towed, the CVT transmission is turning, it requires lubrication and cooling.  Could it be the 12v electric transmission coolant oil pump running while being towed?  A recording amp-meter would show that.  (I have one.)


Edited by Sparky, 18 March 2013 - 07:06 PM.


#45 OFFLINE   alanstri

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:42 PM

The owner's manual instructs that you leave the key in accessory position while towing.  It does not speak to keyless system but one would assume that you would do

the "touch button without your foot on the brake" thing. I think that this imposes enough drain to kill the battery over a days' time.

 

 

Could it be the 12v electric transmission coolant pump running while being towed?  A recording amp-meter would show that.  (I have one.)

 

This raises an interesting question - I manually defeated the shift interlock (by pulling off the shifter boot & moving the interlock lever).  The car is free to roll and the steering is not locked.  (I don't think the the C-Max locks the steering column at all.)  All this, without having the ignition on at all.

 

But if there is a trans lube pump that needs to run while being towed, my idea would not be too bright :(

 

Does anyone from Ford visit this forum?



#46 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

Wow! Scary thought on the transmission cooling pump needing to run while towing.

 

This needs an experiment.  My ScanGuage monitors transmission temperature on my motorhome, so I suspect it will do the same when hooked to the C Max.  It also records a max temperature for the day or since reset. So a tow with ignition in accessory position and then a repeat with the manual interlock tripped and ignition off should reveal a possible transmission temperature difference.

 

Now who wants to volunteer to run the experiment? We need someone with a C Max, a motorhome and a ScanGuage and some free time.



#47 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:28 PM

Whoops, I just had a really scary thought.  If the cooling pump needs to run when being towed, then what happens after the battery pukes after 150 miles.  No pump after that.  If it's really needed, then my trans is probably already trash since it has been towed probably 1,000 miles with the battery dead.



#48 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:20 PM

I'll be towing my CMAX behind our motorhome for the first time this weekend and I've just discovered this forum about battery discharge.  Has anyone installed toad-charge or any type of charge system from their motorhome to the 12 volt battery? 

 

By the way I went to my dealer and after reading the owners manual he just advised to tow the car on a dolly...not the advice I was looking for after having the tow bracket installed!  I also spent about 30 minutes on the phone with Ford and got worthless advice.  First she suggested I disconnect the high voltage batteries.  After informing her it was the 12 volt that was discharging she said to disconnect that.  I then asked about how the cooling fans and transmission pumps would work...that quickly ended the discussion because she didn't understand what I was talking about.

 

I'm considering either running a solar charger (I live in California so sun is usually available) or a Toad-Charger to keep the battery charged.  I don't see how this could hurt anything but I thought I would check with those who have had the car for a while.



#49 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:39 PM

I didn't run a charge line to the C Max because I was afraid of weird electrical interactions between the motorhome system and the car.

 

After dragging this thing around for 3,300 miles and having to hook up the battery booster who knows how many times, I'm going to go on and install a charge line.  After being run down about 30 times, I'm sure my 12V battery is ruined so i'm going to try to get Ford to replace it, hopefully with the larger version.



#50 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:26 PM

Are you buying a toad charge are coming up with your own?

 

By the way I had a K1200LT for years...great bike.  Picked it up in Germany and rode it all over Europe.



#51 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

I just spoke to the folks at LSL who make the Toad Charge and he said I was the first person who had called about installing their product on the CMAX.  He doesn't believe there would be an issue since we're only supplying power to the 12 volt side the same as an alternator would.  He also said if I had any problems with the product he would give me a full refund and I didn't need to return the kit.

 

I think I'm going to give this a try.



#52 OFFLINE   alanstri

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 11:46 AM

Whoops, I just had a really scary thought.  If the cooling pump needs to run when being towed, then what happens after the battery pukes after 150 miles.  No pump after that.  If it's really needed, then my trans is probably already trash since it has been towed probably 1,000 miles with the battery dead.

 

Second that... 

 

I was reviewing the owner's manual last light.  The listings of fuses, relays etc.  lists a transmission lube pump, but it notes that it is only for the Energi and not the Hybrid.

 

I'm thinking with all the reports of towing with a dead battery, someone would have toasted a transmission by now if battery power was necessary to keep things from melting down.

 

I will stay tuned, but I'm going to try towing with the key off & trans interlock manually overriden to get to "N".  I have a 400 mile trip planed towards the end of next month - Will report back.



#53 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:21 PM

Second that... 

 

I was reviewing the owner's manual last light.  The listings of fuses, relays etc.  lists a transmission lube pump, but it notes that it is only for the Energi and not the Hybrid.

 

I'm thinking with all the reports of towing with a dead battery, someone would have toasted a transmission by now if battery power was necessary to keep things from melting down.

 

I will stay tuned, but I'm going to try towing with the key off & trans interlock manually overriden to get to "N".  I have a 400 mile trip planed towards the end of next month - Will report back.

 

Get a infrared thermometer.

 

here's one for $36 at Harbor Freight.

http://www.harborfre...tact-69465.html

 

After you drive a while, stop open the hood and test.

If you find any heat then you know you have a problem.

 

ab&jb



#54 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:41 PM

Is anybody using a brake buddy in their c max hybrid to tow it behind their motorhome? Do you plug
It into the c max electrical system for power or from the motorhome electrical system?
I am concerned about the battery going dead quickly , so would like all power to come from motor home.
Or would it be possible to charge the battery in the c max from the motorhome, I understand there are
Connections to hook up jumper cables.
Will be using a blueox base plate and tow bar . They have a wiring kit for the rear lights but I am not
Sure if there is room in the tail light assembly for the extra tail lights using power from the motorhome
This way you avoid having to using diodes for the c max tail lights to work and no need to tie into
The c max electrical system.

#55 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

I installed new bulbs in the outer taillights   Plenty of room in there for the socket of your choice.  I used 3157 which seemed to fit the best of the ones I looked at.

 

I'm going to install a charge line before next trip.  Too much hassle recharging the battery every day and it's too hard on the 12v battery.



#56 OFFLINE   air463

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

Just finished a 2600 mile trip and I lost count how many times I jump started the car.  I too will be installing a charge line, can't wait for the Ford people to come up with a fix for this problem of the battery going dead.  I have opened a customer complaint about this issue and all I get told is the check is in the mail.



#57 OFFLINE   wab

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:13 PM

Is anybody using a brake buddy in their c max hybrid to tow it behind their motorhome? Do you plug
It into the c max electrical system for power or from the motorhome electrical system?
I am concerned about the battery going dead quickly , so would like all power to come from motor home.
Or would it be possible to charge the battery in the c max from the motorhome, I understand there are
Connections to hook up jumper cables.
Will be using a blueox base plate and tow bar . They have a wiring kit for the rear lights but I am not
Sure if there is room in the tail light assembly for the extra tail lights using power from the motorhome
This way you avoid having to using diodes for the c max tail lights to work and no need to tie into
The c max electrical system.

 

I read somewhere that "Brake Buddy" systems don't work with hybrid cars.

So I googled "brake Buddy" hybrid and got 101,000 hits.

https://www.google.c...type=&as_rights=

 

Then I went to the Brake Buddy web site, looks like their "Vantage Selectâ„¢ Boostâ„¢" is OK for hybrids.

http://www.brakebudd...ge-Select-Boost

 

I'm still looking.

 

Currently looking at Unified Tow Brake TVH-1000K for motor coaches pre-wired and towed vehicles equipped with electric hydro-boost power brakes ???


Edited by wab, 22 March 2013 - 11:14 PM.


#58 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

Brake buddy has a unit for hybrids with electric brakes; I just traded the conventional one we've been using for years. Unfortunately the plugs in the car aren't hot when the ignition is off so I'm either going to install a plug wired directly to the battery or buy a booster. I only plan to use for emergency stopping if the car breaks away. I'm also installing Toad Charge and plan to connect to the jumper wire connections under the hood.

#59 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:12 PM

Towed our C-Max for the first time this weekend and everything was fine.  Only went 120 miles so no battery issues but I plan to install a Toad Charge before our next trip.  Also need to get a hot socket for the brake buddy. 

 

I have the Roadmaster hidden tow bracket and also had the light kit installed with diodes.



#60 OFFLINE   z32k12

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:51 PM

One other thing I found out...I can't leave the removable tow bar attached to the car because of the proximity sensor setting off the alarm chime.  Oh well...it's ugly anyway!








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