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Old 02-17-2018, 09:37 AM   #1
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Pull trailer w-out marine battery?

Hi, hoping yall can help. We need to bring our Jay Feather in for maintenance and our marine battery is dead. Is it possible to tow without the battery? When connected to the car the lights and brakes will work right? I think thats all wed need. TIA!
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:47 AM   #2
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It is possible to tow it without a battery, or with a dead battery (same thing) but some would argue not safe. Once the trailer is hooked up to the tow vehicle, it gets its 12V power through the wiring plug connection, so lights etc. will work. The battery is there mainly for the brakes - if the trailer somehow came unhitched, the breakaway pin would pull out and the trailer battery would apply power to the trailer brakes causing it to come to a stop. Without a battery, you will not have this safety feature. The tow vehicle may or may not provide enough 12V power for normal operation of the brakes, too.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:33 AM   #3
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It may be illegal to tow your brake equipped trailer without the battery installed.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:45 AM   #4
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It is likely illegal to tow without a battery. I've done it a few times though. ONLY when transporting my trailer home from storage though (about 7 miles on well known, easy roads). And usually it's because I keep my battery in the garage on a float charger and forgot to throw it in the truck before I went to pick up the trailer, or it was an "impromptu" pickup on the way home from work that I wasn't planning on.

Your lights will still work, and your brakes will still work, but if your trailer becomes detached from your tow vehicle, the brakes will not engage which can cause a VERY unsafe situation.

Bottom line I would say is don't make a habit out of it, and if you're going to do it, be extra cautious. A better option would be to take your "dead" battery to a parts house and have them see if they can put a charge on it. If they can, great; you're all set. If they can't, just go ahead and pick up a new battery right then since you'll need one anyway.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyBound View Post
It is possible to tow it without a battery, or with a dead battery (same thing) but some would argue not safe. Once the trailer is hooked up to the tow vehicle, it gets its 12V power through the wiring plug connection, so lights etc. will work. The battery is there mainly for the brakes - if the trailer somehow came unhitched, the breakaway pin would pull out and the trailer battery would apply power to the trailer brakes causing it to come to a stop. Without a battery, you will not have this safety feature. The tow vehicle may or may not provide enough 12V power for normal operation of the brakes, too.
Typically, the trailer's emergency break-away brake circuit and the tow vehicle's brake controller circuit work independently of each other. If the trailer's battery is dead or disconnected, it should not have any effect on the tow vehicle brake controller's ability to provide the necessary voltage/current to the trailer's brakes (as long as the trailer remains attached to the tow vehicle). However, as previously mentioned, if the trailer's battery is dead or disconnected, the trailer's emergency brake-away brake circuit will not operate (i.e., brakes will not be activated in the event the trailer becomes detached from the tow vehicle).
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Old 02-17-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
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To provide power for a possible emergency stop, any old 12v battery will do.
If you happen to have a regular car battery, lawn mower battery.. pretty much anything is fine, for the very short time it will actually be in use.

.. and certainly better than the risky, and illegal, alternative.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:09 PM   #7
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Towing without a battery is possible as other above have mentioned but for sure not the "right" was to do things.
Options that are preferred are to use any 12v battery for that one trip, or to do your best to charge that dead battery up for the trip as well.

If for any reason you do end up towing with no battery, double and triple check your connection to the tow vehicle and don't crash. That's what I've done in that same situation.

Stay safe friends.
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Old 02-17-2018, 05:37 PM   #8
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:19 PM   #9
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It is illegal to tow without a backup battery in any state or province. And since electric brakes are required in 'most' states and provinces above 700 kg (1500 lbs.). So think about this liability when the trailer brakes loose from the TV. Not to long a go it happen to a member on this forum......he was lucky to get of with a little damage.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:35 AM   #10
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Can you? Yes. Is it legal, probably not since the electric brakes require the battery to activate in and emergency such as the trailer disconnecting from your TV.

All that said, it's certainly possible I might chance it if I were just going from home to he RV repair center which is a bout 4 miles from home, and the max speed would be 45 mph.

I'd never consider moving the trailer any where else without a battery.
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