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EagleEye

Towing a Honda CRV

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I arrived at our destination tonight after a long day and the battery on our Honda was dead. I've only towed it a couple of times before and never this long of time. We bought the car already set up to tow and I had the Brake buddy that came when I bought the used Motor Home. Cable plugs in from the motor home and lights work fine. Brake buddy seems to work fine. It does plug into the 12V socket in the car. I'm assuming that it is what drained the battery. Should the cable from the MH keep the battery charged. Did it run down this time because it was hooked up for about 7 hours? What do I need to do to keep this from happening in the future? 

 

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9 minutes ago, EagleEye said:

Did it run down this time because it was hooked up for about 7 hours? What do I need to do to keep this from happening in the future?

In the CR-V's owner manual, it lists a fuse that you need to pull while towing. 

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3 hours ago, EagleEye said:

Should the cable from the MH keep the battery charged. Did it run down this time because it was hooked up for about 7 hours? What do I need to do to keep this from happening in the future? 

 

3 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

In the CR-V's owner manual, it lists a fuse that you need to pull while towing. 

In all three vehicles that I've owned with "factory" tow packages, none of them had the charging pin hooked up to anything.  I had to add the wiring for that myself.  Without charging, you can expect the battery to be dead in approx. 8 hours, give or take - less if you forget to pull the fuse.

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We tow a 2013 CRV, with brake buddy, with no battery problems. If you have the navigation display, you must pull the fuse indicated in your owners manual. Most owners with out the navigation display find pulling the fuse unnecessary.

Richard

Edited by rls7201

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20 hours ago, rls7201 said:

Most owners with out the navigation display find pulling the fuse unnecessary.

We have a 2014 CR-V EX-L without navigation and find it necessary to use a charging line while towing otherwise the battery will drain.  Believe me, if the charging line disconnects the battery definitely drains and that's with everything carefully turned off.  I'm probably going to put a fuse switch in this winter, but be aware that there is an error in the online 2014 CR-V owners manual (and maybe other years, also) that identifies the wrong fuse to bypass (this I learned from the Blue Ox website).

Edited by docj

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 9:24 PM, EagleEye said:

. I'm assuming that it is what drained the battery. Should the cable from the MH keep the battery charged. Did it run down this time because it was hooked up for about 7 hours? What do I need to do to keep this from happening in the future? 

 Eagle Eye, As you're towing that Honda down the road with the key on using a Brake Buddy there are a couple loads that could  eventually over a long enough time discharge its battery.

 1) Anytime the key is left on (such as when towing) there's a small current discharge but if you look at your owners manual under Towing, it describes pulling certain fuses which will prevent THAT particular discharge.

 2) The Brake Buddy draws current from the Honda battery which depends on how severe and how often the brakes are applied and the sensitivity and control settings on your Brake Buddy.

 3)    HOWEVER TO PREVENT THE ABOVE.  A) As mentioned pulling the fuse as described in the owners manual will prevent the Honda key/ignition discharge when the key is on.  b) That will NOT prevent Brake Buddy use from drawing down the Honda battery

 4) BUT to prevent the Brake Buddy use and the Honda key/ignition from discharging the Honda battery while towing, a correctly wired and operating charge wire circuit FROM the RV back TO the Honda will keep the Honda battery charged when towing.

 FWIW I suspect your RV to Honda charge wire circuit (usually via the rear 7 pole RV Receptacle and Plug) isn't wired proper and operating as it should. I can tow my Honda CRV AWD with my Brake Buddy night and day for hours and NEVER discharge the Honda battery AND I NEVER HAVE TO MESS WITH PULLING THE FUSE !!!!. If you put a voltmeter or test light on the RV rear receptacle at the 12 V Auxiliary pin/terminal see if there's voltage present ????  (Also, that has to be wired so it actually gets TO the Honda battery.)  If NOT then the Honda key/ignition circuit (UNLESS FUSE IS PULLED as described in your owners manual) and/or the Brake Buddy operation will eventually discharge the Honda battery...……..

 Another suspect is if you actually have the charge wire circuit in place THERE MAY BE A BLOWN FUSE OR TRIPPED CIRCUIT BREAKER or bad/open wire such that the RV isn't sending power back to the Honda battery for charging when towing.

 You didn't ask and this goes above and beyond how to configure the charge wire system to avoid discharging the RV battery when you're sitting not towing, but post back if you need more info. The easy simple cheap method is to simply UNPLUG the Honda when sitting or the more complex methods involve the use of diodes and/or relays, but that a whole other thread. 

 

PS for more info on Honda CRV Towing Electrical, see this thread below:

http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/133775-setting-up-cr-v-for-toad/

 

 John T   

 

Edited by oldjohnt

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Anyone contemplating installing a fuse switch in a 2014 CR-V ought to read this Roadmaster Technical Bulletin.  Apparently, the Honda 2014 owner's manual misidentifies the fuse that needs to be pulled!  Error in CR-V owner's manual

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13 minutes ago, docj said:

Anyone contemplating installing a fuse switch in a 2014 CR-V ought to read this Roadmaster Technical Bulletin.

That's GREAT info for some of the Honda owners out there Doc and its NOT the first time a mistake has been made in an owners manual I'm sure...………..I prefer an adequate charge wire system back to my Honda CRV so I don't have to raise the hood and fuse cover and remove and replace them darn fuses each time grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr lol 

 

 Best wishes, nice chatting with yall

 John T

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With regard to towing a CR-V, I have a question for the John T and other.  If I'm not using a Brake Buddy or other device that requires power., is there anything wrong with just installing a simple battery disconnect under the hood?  I really don't care it I have to reset the clock afterwards and I don't have any radio presets since I don't listen to the radio.  A disconnect is cheap and easy to use.  Why do we need to do all these other things instead?

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Doc, as I'm sure you already know, if you require absolutely NO power out of your Honda battery, a master battery disconnect switch will for sure prevent any other then normal self discharges. HOWEVER there may be issues with the Honda having to re set its brain and computer  if the battery is completely out of the circuit ?????????? There may be certain "learned" features inside the computer that get lost if the battery is off for an extended period???????????? and I just don't like the idea of very frequent long term battery disconnects on modern computer controlled cars BUT IM NOTTTTTTTTTTTT ANY NEW CAR OR CAR COMPUTER OR ELECTRONIC EXPERT so hope the other sharper new car electronic computer gurus can better answer your question, I'm the wrong guy to ask and the above is ONLY an uninformed pure guess ……….. I still like a proper adequate charge wire system and NOT having to pull and replace fuses so often, yet leave my Honda battery circuit in place.

I guess when you install a whole new battery the Honda isn't unduly harmed SO THAT MAKES MY FEARS ABOVE TOTAL UNFOUNDED LOL

 Hopefully some car computer experts will answer your good question ??????????  

John T

 

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3 minutes ago, oldjohnt said:

I still like a proper adequate charge wire system and NOT having to pull and replace fuses so often, yet leave my Honda battery circuit in place.

I have a charge wire and a Toad Charge diode setup and it worked well until the last couple of days of our ~65 day trip that had maybe a dozen towing days in total.  The Toad Charge diode still lights up indicating that it is charging when the MH engine is running, but two days in a row I had to jump start the CR-V at the end of the day. 

My assumption is that there might be a small amount of corrosion on the Honda's battery terminals which is reducing the effective charging voltage.  It's not enough to affect its ability to start, but it might be enough to keep it from staying fully charged when the effective charging voltage is only ~13.5 volts when the MH's engine is running.    That's when I started wondering, why not just disconnect it and avoid the problem altogether.

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1 hour ago, docj said:

That's when I started wondering, why not just disconnect it and avoid the problem altogether.

If you don't have an auxiliary brake or something needing power, it probably would be a good answer.  How old is the battery? That could also play a part. 

EDIT;  I just thought of a possible negative to lifting a battery cable. Would that not disable the ABS system?

Edited by Kirk Wood

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Thanks for all the replies. I've been on the road for the past  couple of days so haven't had a chance to read all the replies until now. I didn't see where to remove a fuse. I'll have to check into that further. Also I'll look into a charging circuit. 

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14 hours ago, docj said:

My assumption is that there might be a small amount of corrosion on the Honda's battery terminals which is reducing the effective charging voltage.  It's not enough to affect its ability to start, but it might be enough to keep it from staying fully charged when the effective charging voltage is only ~13.5 volts when the MH's engine is running.    That's when I started wondering, why not just disconnect it and avoid the problem altogether.

Hi again Doc, here's a bit more info regarding remote RV to car "charge wires"

The degree of charge the Honda actually receives is soooooooooooooo dependent on:  The total resistance in the wire and the many connections FROM the RV source TO the Honda battery. Line voltage drop V = I xR  is taking place in that charge circuit when current flows (wire and all connections) and if its excessive there isn't enough voltage and current getting to the Honda battery to offset other load use, so it could possibly discharge over a long time.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The actual SOURCE voltage WHERE the RV connection is made, that may be 13 up to 14+ depending on the RV operation and its alternator regulation and sensing circuitry.  BOTTOM LINE its hard to predict how many actual charging amps is delivered to the Honda battery. Regardless, with the Honda battery left in place the key/ignition circuit with key on doesn't consume a "lot" (no idea of actual current) of energy nor does my Brake Buddy because of my driving and braking habits and Buddy adjustments, its just not engaged that often, but use varies so its hard to say. My 10 gauge charge wire system (no diode) has always kept my Honda CRV (with Brake Buddy) charged despite any long term or night driving and NOT having to remove any darn fuses SO IM STICKIN WITH IT LOL.   

 You're right in that any corrosion or resistance in all that wire and all those connections reduces the Honda battery charge. I used 10 Gauge wire in my charge circuit and actually a bigger gauge (less resistance less voltage drop) is better. Sure a diode in that circuit will prevent reverse discharge and many gents use them successfully, HOWEVER a diode does yield a 0.6 voltage drop which is yet one more net charging reduction, there's no free lunch lol 

  If your system did work but isn't so well now, I agree a loose or resistive connection anywhere in all those connection and plugs etc etc may be at fault. Not being any car computer expert I still cant say if its a good idea other then SURE if disconnected there cant be discharges, but I just don't like the idea of taking the computer out of the circuit often and for extended periods when under tow.  I do NOT know how the ABS operates other then I DO KNOW when mine activates I hear it operating and think it possibly may require Honda battery power to operate?? Hope the car and computer experts can enlighten us all I just DONT KNOW !!!!!   

  Hey its YOUR RV and YOUR choice and if disconnecting the battery works for you who are we to say NO lol

 As always nice chatting with you Doc

 John T 

 

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14 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

 I just thought of a possible negative to lifting a battery cable. Would that not disable the ABS system?

With the key in the ACC position the brake system is unboosted and I'm pretty sure the ABS isn't functioning.  Furthermore, a car being towed is so constrained by the tow bar that I doubt it could go into a skid regardless of whether or not it had ABS.  

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Golly. I guess I’m a simpleton. After running my battery down after first towing our CRV ( new in 2012), I simply ran an additional wire ( I think about a #16) from our coach  battery to the positive terminal on the Honda. Put a spade connector near the tow bar hookup. Simply connect it when we hook up, unplug when we disconnect the umbilical cord. No switch, no fuse pulling, no dead battery. Has worked for 6 years.

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Jim, hey over 48 years, many different RV's, and many different toads, I've probably got by with even less then you're talkin about which still kept my toad battery charged. A wire FROM the RV battery TO the Toad battery like you spoke of is basically (don't forget overcurrent protection) all it takes.  Nowadays I try to do a quality job just to be on  the safe side. As they say if something works DONT FIX IT lol

 Take care n best wishes

 John T 

Edited by oldjohnt

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4 hours ago, docj said:

With the key in the ACC position the brake system is unboosted and I'm pretty sure the ABS isn't functioning. 

My CR-V did not unlock the steering if in ACC so it was towed in the on position and a Honda guy at the Dallas RV show (about 2001 or so) told me that the ABS does work if the key is on. I never checked to verify if that was true and am not even sure how you would check. On a slick road from snow or heavy rain, it would be quite possible for one wheel to be sliding due to auxiliary braking. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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Just now, Kirk Wood said:

a Honda guy at the Dallas RV show (about 2001 or so) told me that the ABS does work if the key is on.

I totally agree that the ABS would work if the key is in the ON position, but, for my car, that would result in a serious drain on the battery.

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This is NOT in response to any particular post above, but ONLY for general information FWIW.

Its hard to put a number on how much toad battery energy is used on a Brake Buddy, because: It depends on a) How often the Brake Buddy is  activated b) How "hard" (pressure/weight setting) it operates c) The Brake Buddys "Sensitivity" setting. For example, where I have my pressure/weight and sensitivity set my Brake Buddy is seldom activated, I drive like an "old man" and plan ahead and maintain a longgggggggggg safe distance behind others (don't have to use brakes very much) and its ONLY in  fast hard braking its used and it doesn't leak so it doesn't have to run to re build up air pressure very often. 

Also, while I don't have any exact figures, on my Honda CRV with the key ON while towing and the fuses NOT removed, that's still a "relatively" low current draw on the toad battery.

That being said, however, I still use a good charge wire system FROM the RV back TO the Honda battery so I can tow endless hours if needed and NOT have to worry and NOT remove and replace darn fuses. Regardless, I still stop after say 3 hours anyway, start the Honda and go through the pre tow procedures to lube up and prepare the Honda for another tow cycle.  

STRICTLY OPINION: It is my opinion when towing I think its "safer" (NOT saying how much) if the toads ABS is operative and iffff ???? that requires toad battery energy ??, that is one reason why I prefer a charge wire system VERSUS   say total battery disconnection to prevent any discharge. But if for whatever reason a persons toad battery would discharge in a short period AND THERES NO COMPUTER OR ABS OR AUX BRAKE SYSTEM CONCERNS ??? I can envision situations where total battery disconnect is a viable option. Heck even without rhyme reason or logic if that works and is preferred by someone that's THEIR choice, none of ours.   

OF COURSE this is ONLY what works for me and ONLY my personal preference. If other methods and other systems work and are preferred by others THATS FINE AND THEIR CHOICE. Wouldn't it be a boring world if we alllllllllllll had the same opinions and methods LOL 

 Take care n be safe yall

John T

     

Edited by oldjohnt

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