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Hello hopefully I am posting this in the right place, if not please move my post to the forum where it should be. My problem is recently we took a rather long trip pulling our camper and noticed that there was low voltage in the camper and the refrigerator was having trouble operating.

My truck is a 2016 Ford Lariat with 2.7 eng. 4x4 supercrew cab. It came equipped to tow with trailer brakes, receiver hitch, & 7 pin connection. I contacted the shop foreman from dealer where I purchased the pickup at and asked him how to remedy the problem and he was clueless. He said that the 12 volt terminal on the 7 pin plug in was basically just for trickle charging. He said if I hooked anything to the terminal in order to get it to charge my trailer while the frig was running I would need a bigger alternator.

I am sure some of you on here have had this issue, I just want to find out what you have done that worked and what was an easy fix?

I noticed on etrailer that they mention running 10 gauge wire to the terminal on the 7 pin plug on pickup and putting a solenoid on the fender attaching the 10 gauge wire on one side to the battery the other side of it going to the 7 pin plug and the middle terminal to a 12 volt connection that would only be live while the pickup was running to keep the battery from being drained when it was shut off.

I have not been able to find anyplace in my owners manual telling me where the fuse is located for the 12 volt accessory to the terminal on the 7 pin plug. Does anyone know which fuse it would be?

Thanks in advance.
 

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2013 Ford F150 XLT 3.5 Ecobeast SuperCrew 4X4
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All I know is I had to install a relay in a vacant slot in the fusebox under the hood. It is the same size as the rear window defrost relay. I am able to keep the battery charged and keep food and drinks cold in the fridge now while towing.
 

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Are you running the fridge on gas or 12v or is it running on 120v from an inverter?

Running on gas will still require some 12v power, but not a whole lot. There are some RV fridges that will run on 12v only, but not very well, and will suck a battery down pretty quick.. Running a residential fridge on 120v with an inverter will suck even more from a 12v battery setup...

My RV fridge runs on gas or 120v only. On gas, it does need some 12v battery power, but should last DAYS without being connected to anything other than the RV battery.

To tell if your truck is charging the RV battery while connected is to connect it up and run the truck and check the battery voltage and if it's over 13v when the truck is running, it's charging the RV battery..

Good luck! Mitch
 

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2013 Ford F150 XLT 3.5 Ecobeast SuperCrew 4X4
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The gas tanks are valved off, the fridge is cold and fridge lights are on, and battery is charged, when I get home. No way I would run it on gas while towing !
 

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Why not? That's what an RV fridge is designed for??
 

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2013 Ford F150 XLT 3.5 Ecobeast SuperCrew 4X4
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It's just skeery to me 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

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Someone mentioned a relay and a fuse up in the engine compartment fuse box that had to be installed, it was in a plastic bag in the glovebox of my truck when I bought it. I don't remember if it had something to do with the auxiliary power or for the trailer brakes but I know I have a 12V battery in my horse trailer that will power all the interior lights that I have never had a charge issue with. Granted I don't have many lights in the trailer nor do I have them on often.
Another thing I did on my truck was ran a #2 welding cable from a heavy contactor, switched inside the cab, placed near the battery to an Anderson plug mounted on the hitch to power a winch on a trailer and another winch that I can slide into the hitch on the truck. With the proper connection I could power anything 12V back there from the truck if I needed to.
 

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Not possible to run it off your electrical system while running. Just run it on gas, I've done it for years with no issues, that's what's it's designed for.
 

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Not possible to run it off your electrical system while running. Just run it on gas, I've done it for years with no issues, that's what's it's designed for.
Wrong. I do it routinely on 12 V while towing.
 

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I charge my camper and any electronics that are on at the time in the camper (ex. Fridge) from my tow vehicle, but then again I don’t use the 7pin to charge, I have a separate 30A anderson plug outlet on the bumper.


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I charge my camper and any electronics that are on at the time in the camper (ex. Fridge) from my tow vehicle, but then again I don’t use the 7pin to charge, I have a separate 30A anderson plug outlet on the bumper.


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Nice.

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My TT fridge only works on 120 or gas. I was told the old 3 way 12v capable absorption refrigerators were a thing of the past due to low voltage damage (fires?) to the heating unit. Mine's on auto with 120v as priority. Once I disconnected from shore power it goes to LP. If that has been approved by the safetycrats it's OK with me. You might be asked to turn off you LP tanks when on a ferry but that is to lessen the chances of a leak. I think the reason is that over many trips LP which is heavier than air could find its way into the bilge and collect to dangerous levels. But who knows, some ferries I have been on don't require the valves to be closed.
 

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A 2016 has the new "smart" trailer connector if you have the tow package. It doesn't have nearly the amount of current charging capability of the pre-2015 trucks and there is no specific fuse or relay that need to be installed.

The "smart" trailer connector on the 2015 and up doesn't energize the charge pin on the seven pin socket unless the trailer is connected, you have set it up in the trailer menu and you have pressed the brakes after connecting it. To the OP:
1.Try to set up the trailer in the dash trailer menu and make it the active trailer. set it to "connected".
2.Connect the trailer via the plug
3.Step on the brakes once to activate the brake lights on the trailer.

Not guaranteed to work, but your best hope using the "smart" connector.
If this doesn't work, I would change the type of brakes you have the trailer set up for, ie. "electric" vs "hydraulic over electric", "none?"
then try step 2 and 3 again that way.

I hope it works for you.

We have always run the fridges on propane while driving. In college I spent my summers renting RVs to Euros and we always sent them out running on propane during driving. Must be turned off during fueling, on ferries and in certain tunnels...otherwise leave it on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A 2016 has the new "smart" trailer connector if you have the tow package. It doesn't have nearly the amount of current charging capability of the pre-2015 trucks and there is no specific fuse or relay that need to be installed.

The "smart" trailer connector on the 2015 and up doesn't energize the charge pin on the seven pin socket unless the trailer is connected, you have set it up in the trailer menu and you have pressed the brakes after connecting it. To the OP:
1.Try to set up the trailer in the dash trailer menu and make it the active trailer. set it to "connected".
2.Connect the trailer via the plug
3.Step on the brakes once to activate the brake lights on the trailer.

Not guaranteed to work, but your best hope using the "smart" connector.
If this doesn't work, I would change the type of brakes you have the trailer set up for, ie. "electric" vs "hydraulic over electric", "none?"
then try step 2 and 3 again that way.

I hope it works for you.

We have always run the fridges on propane while driving. In college I spent my summers renting RVs to Euros and we always sent them out running on propane during driving. Must be turned off during fueling, on ferries and in certain tunnels...otherwise leave it on.
Thanks for the info that is kind of what I have been finding out about my 2016 pickup. I do run my camper on propane while traveling, I never had any problems with my first camper. But for some reason on this camper it either takes a lot more 12 volts for charging the battery and running the fridge at the same time. I havent set up my camper before using the set up procedure you mentioned but never had any problem with our previous camper. I will have to try that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for the responses I have done some checking on the internet and found the info that the 2015 and newer ford f150's use this smart trailer connector. I had tried to test the 12 volt terminal on the pickup and didnt find any voltage there, I will try testing my voltage at the camper battery using the suggestion that Mitch mentioned and see what kind of voltage I have there. But from what I have found is that the smart trailer connector does not supply voltage to the camper unless the voltage on the camper drops some, so I will probably need to check it a few times to verify if it is charging. So much for new technology.
 

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Thanks everyone for the responses I have done some checking on the internet and found the info that the 2015 and newer ford f150's use this smart trailer connector. I had tried to test the 12 volt terminal on the pickup and didnt find any voltage there, I will try testing my voltage at the camper battery using the suggestion that Mitch mentioned and see what kind of voltage I have there. But from what I have found is that the smart trailer connector does not supply voltage to the camper unless the voltage on the camper drops some, so I will probably need to check it a few times to verify if it is charging. So much for new technology.
I read somewhere long ago that 15-up (at the time) supply less charging power to the trailer than prior generation.
Also, make sure that your relay is in place... Ford supplies (or used to supply) the relay separately in a baggie in the glovebox.
 

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It's strange to me why Ford doesn't just install the relay.
Any idea why they don't ?
Maybe just another Ford wierd lack of common sense thing like when TBC wasn't part of the Max Tow package.
 

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It's strange to me why Ford doesn't just install the relay.
Any idea why they don't ?
Maybe just another Ford wierd lack of common sense thing like when TBC wasn't part of the Max Tow package.
Like tow mirrors came with on14 and below. And think all max tow should have 36 gal tank.......🤔
 
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Got two Domestic Fridges in the ole Outback....and we always turn the gas on while traveling. Obviously, you've got to have COLD beverages upon arrival!?-lol
Never had an issue, and yeah my `14 had the relay unattached sitting in the glove box back in the day. Max tow, payload pack, tow mirrors, 36gal fuel tank. Setup to tow .....and relay not attached from factory?
20200802_072352.jpg


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Discussion Starter #20
There was no relay in either the glove box nor the owners manual on my 2016, nor any information regarding installing a relay in either fuse panel. So not for sure where it would go on the 2016 or if it would make any difference.
 
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