View Full Version : Unhitch or not?

07-16-2012, 09:46 AM
I've seen posts in other forums or campground reviews indicating some folks don't bother to unhitch when they only stop for 1 night and leave again the next morning. Is this OK to do as long as you can level the trailer to keep propane flowing? Any other issues/problems to consider?

07-16-2012, 10:01 AM
We do it all the time. As long as it fairly level, you should not have problems with your fridge,WH or heater. The only thing you might do is, unplug the cord from the truck. You could kill the truck battery, unless yours is isolated. I dont think the Big 3 have that built into there trucks.

07-16-2012, 11:07 AM
we do it whenever we are fairly level. In my case I still have to deploy the leveling jacks as they're a requirement for putting the slider out. I always disconnect the electrical from the truck before I hook up to shore power or a generator.

07-16-2012, 11:19 AM
We always leave it hooked up for a one night stop. I would just drop the landing gear to steady everything up.

Never worried about getting it to perfect level and never had a problem with the fridge.
And the fridge is the only thing you have to worry about, although it is the gas in the refrigerant system, not the propane.

Bob, only know about the 2011+ Fords, but they are relay controlled with the ignition for the trailer connection.

07-16-2012, 11:37 AM
For one night I never unhitch from the truck. I try to find a fairly level site if possible. Have never had a problem using the slides or fridge. I disconnect the power cord from the truck although it is not suppose to be necessary.

07-16-2012, 11:53 AM
I also unplug my cord from the truck, even if I am not going to unhook the trailer.

I know, there is an isolator so the battery is not drained by the trailer.
Also, it's not supposed to allow power to back-feed into the truck when I am plugged to shore power, or running the generator.

I do it in case something fails. (Murphy's law?)

I don't want to come out in the morning and have a dead truck battery. Trace

07-16-2012, 01:24 PM
We will unhook on an overnight stay only if we feel the site won't accomodate truck and trailer together. We prefer pull throughs, and sometimes to get the trailer in the best spot for hookups, the truck ends up in the road. If we feel we will be in the way of others, we unhook.

Did not know that about the trailer/truck connection, will start unplugging from now on.


07-16-2012, 06:37 PM
I usally don't unhook, just level a little with tongue jack and put the stablizers down, slide out and say goodnight. My tow vehicle has an override to prevent battery discharge. GMC 2009 Serria 1500 XL

07-16-2012, 10:09 PM
We too do not unhook for one night. Also do not unplug trailer from truck...7 years and have never had an issue....

07-16-2012, 10:20 PM
I agree with Ken and Kathy. We never unhook and its never been a problem.

07-16-2012, 11:00 PM
MountainTop, If we are staying only one quick night, as a rule,no we do not unhook.
If we can't get a long enough spot, occasionally we have to.

I guess my concern stems from way back when.........
I had an SOB truck camper and theoretically it was supposed to isolate the camper from the electrical system of the truck. It plugged in basically the same as a trailer.
Well, it went haywire and on several occasions left me with a dead battery in the truck.
It was always when I was out in the middle of nowhere.
So now, I guess some might say I'm into overkill, when it comes to thinking about potential problems.....

Thank you for listening. I feel much better now. Trace

07-17-2012, 06:21 AM
Trace, typically the only significant draw on the 12v system would be a three way fridge on 12v. Make sure your fridge is running on AC or propane for the night, and even if you're using your furnace or lighting, you won't use enough DC power overnight to kill the deep cycle RV battery much less your tow vehicle's battery. A 12v fridge, however, can in fact drain both in about six hours.

I have left my unit (and I've had many over the years) hitched for overnighters for years now. I do typically put the tongue jack down to take the tongue weight off the suspension for the night (even though I use a sway control/weight equalizing hitch.) If it's windy I'll deploy the stabilizers, otherwise I typically don't even bother with that.

07-17-2012, 07:47 AM
If our overnight space is long and level enough and we do not have to go anywhere (such as fueling up) we will not unhook or unplug from the truck. Many times we do not even hook up the sewer but do hook up electric and water. We do request a 50 amp site though. And we will put down the front legs and rear stabilizers to help stabilize the unit and relieve some pressure from the truck hitch.

07-20-2012, 10:02 AM
Per the original poster's question, I'm making some assumptions here. First, the site is reasonable level front-to-back; second, we're only staying the one night; and third, we don't need to go anywhere else that night. With those assumptions, I'll leave the mpg hitched to the car. I usually pull the electrical plug, but I've forgotten a time or two, and nothing bad happened. Of course, we were hooked to shore power, so if anything, the car battery was being charged.

Back to the leveling, I've had sites where it was level front-to-back, but off side-to-side. A board or two takes care of that.

If it is late when we arrive, and we're going to leave right away in the morning, I'll just hook up the electricity and maybe water, and not even worry about the stabilizer jacks. Yes, the trailer may rock a bit, but we're headed to bed anyway, so there isn't much of an issue.

07-20-2012, 12:42 PM
Regarding unplugging the truck:
It seems to me, if you do not have isolation in the truck wiring, and the truck/trailer are connected, that the trailer convertor would try to charge the truck's battery some while the trailer is plugged in overnight. The way to test this is to have a voltmeter connected to the truck's battery and take readings before and after you plug in the trailer to AC power. If the "after" reading is higher, the convertor is charging the truck battery. Of course, the amount of amps of this charging current is limited by the small size of the wiring involved.
Boondocking (without AC power to the trailer) is a whole different story.

07-20-2012, 02:17 PM
For us unhook. It only takes 5 minutes or less and gives us a stable camper. But then again lot of nights I can sleep will be up moving around. Don't want to wake my wife as she has no trouble sleeping.

07-24-2012, 06:11 PM
For us unhook. It only takes 5 minutes or less and gives us a stable camper. But then again lot of nights I can sleep will be up moving around. Don't want to wake my wife as she has no trouble sleeping.

I agree ... It doesn't take long at all and frees-up the TV if needed ... There is also the safety factor if (God forbid) something happens and the trailer catches on fire (electrical, gas, etc) ... that's NOT the time you want to practise a speedy unhook

08-05-2012, 05:02 PM
Good point, Bwk2000. I hadn't thought of that, especially with the manual tongue jacks on our trailers. It really doesn't take that long to unhook, so maybe we ought to rethink our practice.

The trailer is level front-to-back when hooked up, so obviously it will have to be nose-high to pull out from the hitch. Pulling ahead just enough to clear the tongue, though, would keep the hitch safe and ensure that the tow vehicle was already properly lined up. In fact, putting a piece of wood behind the rear tire before pulling ahead would make hooking up again a breeze. Just back up until the wood is found.

08-05-2012, 09:35 PM
First, we seldom stop at a campground only for one night.
But if we do I just lift the front to level the unit.
The truck has always been setup so that when I level the trailer, most of the time the hitch weight is off the truck. I usualy travel with the trailer front 2.5" lower so when unhitched the trailer ends up level.
Lot less guessing when hooking up. Besides we do seldom unhook for short stays, so trailer level equals weight of the truck ready to unhook.
Been setup like that for 20 years and it has been working for us. And whats 2.5" on 35-40 feet unit.

I have added a seperate pos. 12v line to the trailer, 16Ga wire did not do it for me as I now have 10Ga to the trailer connection. But the trailer wire is far from 10Ga, so draining the batteries has never been my problem.

When truck Idles the charging to trailer batteries is equal to the converter amperage, while using a power plant. So its a tosup of ideling the truck at 2.5 Litres per hrs or using a powerplant at 3000 RPM.