Tow Vehicle Battery Dieing at the Park?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Wrenchgear, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    I recently picked up a 2013 F150 as a new TV. A problem I see happening with this truck is a dead battery at the camp ground. This thing has a ton of lights on it, interior and exterior, that come on every time you open or close a door. They all stay on for 15-20 seconds each time. I've investigated this, and there is no easy way to turn the lights off manually. I can go to Ford and have them flash it into 'Police Dark Mode', but that costs $$, and then the lights won't work at night when we want them to. We are heading off on a camping trip soon, and I'll have kids and people going in and out of this truck all day long, x2 weeks. We will be at one site for the whole time, so its not like the truck will be driven to charge the battery back up on a daily basis.

    Has anyone had a problem with a dead battery on one of these Fords, or had a problem boosting it later on because the battery management system didn't recognize your booster pack?
     
  2. sgip2000

    sgip2000 Member

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    Lock the doors and people won't be going in and out all the time. Aside from that, run the engine once in a while.
     
  3. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    Nothing that new, but in a similar situation I ran an extension cord into the 'sploder and rigged up my trickle charger with a cigarette lighter plug and let it trickle. Learned the hard way the first time, everyone in and out for a 4-5 days truck never moved...glad I carry jumper cables.

    The trick is to leave the charger in the drivers side so you wont drive away with it plugged into the post [;)] I guess that might not work if your's turns off the accessory jacks when the ignition is off, but it's an idea.
     
  4. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

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    Sounds like your battery is on its last leg. Most newer vehicles have the same kind of loads, but unless you're not running it for quite a while it should be good. Have you load tested the battery?

    Jeff
     
  5. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Yeah, Jeff, nothing wrong with the battery. It's not dead - Yet! It's basically brand new, with only 26,000 kms on it.

    The situation is about to happen in a few weeks, its not happening now. I'm wondering how people with the new Fords get around it. I like the trickle charger idea. Not sure that the power management system will recognize that the battery has been charged. I have a tender here that I could mount under the hood and connect directly to the batt.
     
  6. ND Mike

    ND Mike Member

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    Why would people be going in and out of it all day long for two weeks ? Unless its being driven. As long as its being driven or started once in a while it should stay charged with no problem
     
  7. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Either a bad battery or parasitic drains.
    GPS's left plugged in can drain the battery.
    I had a Scanguage II plugged into the OBD port and it was ok as long as the car was driven every couple of days, but when it was parked, the battery would go dead.
    Also make sure and converters (110v) and 12v phone chargers are unplugged.
    We have more and more things in these vehicles today.
    Unplug any of those when parked for an extended period.
    If it still happens you need to check out the battery and the charger.
    It also only takes one complete discharge to start the battery on a permanent downhill slide today.
     
  8. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    An option might be a small solar panel; you can find them on Amazon.com pretty cheap. I picked up one the other day; it came with a cigarette lighter adapter as well as alligator clips. I'm not sure if that will totally solve your problem, but it could help.

    Clay
     
  9. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    I've left interior lights on in my truck for literally DAYS and not had a dead battery. Something else is amiss.

    Never assume a battery is good. Your truck is a 2013. That battery could be up to 4 years old. Add in dealership lot life (started occasionally, only run for fifteen minutes a shot) and your "basically brand new" battery becomes a dud.

    Get a load test done. Only way to rule the battery out.
     
  10. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    He does not have a dead battery....he is however concerned that with the truck sitting for days and people in and out, the battery might go dead. he asked if anyone else has ever experienced that problem. He is trying to be proactive and not reactive.....
     
  11. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    Trickle charger is cheap insurance and keeps you from being the car door nazi. It'll easily replace the amps lost over night.

    Works great for us when we know the car isn't moving for a long time. I don't bring it all the time, but it can happen...I"d rather be the guy supplying the jump then having to ask for one.
     
  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    That right there is the problem .. [:D]

    As mentioned.. make sure things like cell phone chargers, gps and what ever else you have plugged into the outlets are all unplugged to prevent parasitic drain.

    Other then that... keep the doors locked..
     
  13. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    You won't have an issue, these things have a battery saver relay that turns off the power after 45 minutes. We leave the doors open for hours at a time with no issues. Also, the power ports are not powered with the key off.
     
  14. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    My 2013 F150 5.0 has some type of battery protection called battery management that supposedly prevents what you're worried about from happening. I don't know how it works as I don't think I ever needed it. The F150 doesnt sit much. On my new GMC and on my previous 2013 Chevy 2500 they have/ had "battery rundown protection". I know that worked on the 2013 as it was a dedicated TV and basically sat all winter other than I'd start it about every week or so and take it for a ride. The few times I forgot to do that or when I was out of town it never let the battery get low enough that I couldnt get it started. I'd know it kicked in because the remote lock would work but the lights wouldnt come on, or the radio etc, until after you started the truck. I think it also would cut off the power outlets. Not sure how Fords system works but you would think it does the same thing. Look in your manual in the maintenance section for battery.
     
  15. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Put some jumper cables in it and quit worrying about it.
     
  16. tcanthonyii

    tcanthonyii Member

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    You need a new battery. Plain and simple. If it's dying quickly it's bad. I can open and close my doors for days with no issue. Batteries are cheap comparatively.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. 3hooligans

    3hooligans Member

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    I have a 2012, lariat, it has the power management system, it will shut down into battery saver mode when it reaches a certain point, I have had it happen at the drive in for a double feature. The key was in the accessory position. I have replaced the battery only because a piece in the shifter broke, tricking the truck into thinking it was on. fixed, new battery and never a problem since... Fingers crossed. we have a week trip coming up as well. You can adjust the time delay on the instrument cluster on the dash.

    Good luck
     
  18. Ziggs76

    Ziggs76 Member

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    I have a similar problem when we camp, which is made worse by using the light in the cap at night. The only solution I have been able to come up with is to run the truck for 15 minutes every day. My battery is less than a year old. Jeff
     
  19. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    Thanks, I guess 1/2 the guys answering my concern didn't get my actual concern....

    I should've said "a potential problem I see happening is ........"

    Trickle chargers and small solar panels may be the way to go one this one.

    The battery is not dead, has not died, is not on it's last leg, is only 2 years old, .......

    Yeah Jeff, not sure if you remember my truck from the rally. I don't have a cap with a light like you do, but similarly, I have a cargo light that comes on all the time, so it's about the same as yours in that respect.

    I've been told about that power management system saving the battery. We'll see, just my luck it won't work properly when I'm out on holidays. Guys on Ford Truck Forum have some similar concerns. I am going to try to set the time delay with the dash controls, thanks for that.


    I knew that one was coming :)


    Yeah, Storm Trooper, you got it. I'm trying to prevent that dreaded first killing of the batt. That sets up what the rest of the life of the battery will be like.

    Speckhunter80, you hit it right on the nose.
     
  20. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    If your that concerned, carry a set of booster cables with you as well as the booster pack, that way you can find a nice Ram or General owner and politely ask them to boost your truck or as Zigg mentioned start and tun the truck a few minutes twice a day [:D]
     

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