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etracing
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:52 pm
Delivery Date: 07 Feb 2012
Leaf Number: 7219
Location: Summerville, SC
Contact: Website

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

LakeLeaf wrote:If you are towing your Leaf behind your motor home - most motor homes have a generator in them. I don't think you are supposed the run the generator while driving the motor home --- but it you can - maybe you could plug in your Leaf and charge it via generator while you are driving the RV to your next destination.

The purist won't like the idea of either the motor home, or the generator, but if you have all of the above - it sure would be nice to end up at your destination with a full charge.

[ b.t.w. - nice job on the thread title! ]
I have used the generator while driving in an emergency when the main alternator died. It provided power for RV motor ignition
to get us home.
Not sure it is worth the fuel to charge while we are driving as we will be charging (for "free") at the RV park.

[and thanks!]
EV Ed
Electric Motorcycle Builder/Racer
Electric Car Drag racer
Never let being a responsible adult get in the way of passion and curiosity.
http://juiceddragracing.com
MaryC
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:43 pm
Delivery Date: 12 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1284
Location: SanFrancisco

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

TonyWilliams wrote:
MaryC wrote:When towing on a dolly did you leave the car on or will it tow allright in the off position? I would really like to set up the Leaf for towing behind my motorhome.
I'm not sure I understand the basis for the question. Are you worried about running the lights on the LEAF?

For that, you can mount lights that have magnets to stay mounted on the car, and plugged into your motor home. Or, you add a plug on your car that plugs into the motor home so that the motor home controls the LEAF taillights, brake, and turn signal lights.

All standard stuff. Yes, you could charge it while underway on 120v with an inverter that can handle 1.44kW continuous load. No generator.

The motor home will have to have the correct size alternator (big) and heavy wires to handle the load.

All easy and relatively cheap.
Tony

What I am unsure of is, will the park brake remain off if I turn the car off during towing? I thought it automatically engaged when you turn off the car. So I was wondering if you had to leave the car on and in neutral to leave the rear wheels free during towing on a dolly. Anyone here that can clear that up for me, I would appreciate it.
Blue SL, Res 4/20, RAQ 10/22, ordered 10/25, Delivered May 6th, VIN 1284, PD NorthbayTraded in
New Leaf 2014 White SV
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ebill3
Posts: 1400
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 1:23 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2011
Leaf Number: 7964
Location: Puyallup WA

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

MaryC wrote:
What I am unsure of is, will the park brake remain off if I turn the car off during towing? I thought it automatically engaged when you turn off the car. So I was wondering if you had to leave the car on and in neutral to leave the rear wheels free during towing on a dolly. Anyone here that can clear that up for me, I would appreciate it.
When you turn the car off, it automatically engages PARK, but the parking brake must be manually set.

Bill
All electric - red LEAF, green Tesla S. No ICE.
MaryC
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:43 pm
Delivery Date: 12 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1284
Location: SanFrancisco

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

ebill3 wrote:
MaryC wrote:
What I am unsure of is, will the park brake remain off if I turn the car off during towing? I thought it automatically engaged when you turn off the car. So I was wondering if you had to leave the car on and in neutral to leave the rear wheels free during towing on a dolly. Anyone here that can clear that up for me, I would appreciate it.
When you turn the car off, it automatically engages PARK, but the parking brake must be manually set.

Bill
Thanks good info to know. One of the reasons I am glad this topic showed up, I would like to be able to take the Leaf on some of the RV trips I take. Not all trips because my MH, a Winnie View, is on the small side and is easy to take to most places, but there are occasions when it would be nice to have a car to run around in.
Blue SL, Res 4/20, RAQ 10/22, ordered 10/25, Delivered May 6th, VIN 1284, PD NorthbayTraded in
New Leaf 2014 White SV
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planet4ever
Posts: 4674
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:53 pm
Delivery Date: 02 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1537
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

ebill3 wrote:
MaryC wrote:
What I am unsure of is, will the park brake remain off if I turn the car off during towing? I thought it automatically engaged when you turn off the car. So I was wondering if you had to leave the car on and in neutral to leave the rear wheels free during towing on a dolly. Anyone here that can clear that up for me, I would appreciate it.
When you turn the car off, it automatically engages PARK, but the parking brake must be manually set.
To clarify further, PARK engages a pawl in a sort of a gear in the drive train. This locks the motor and the input to the differential. The front wheels can turn, but only in opposite directions. PARK has no effect on the rear wheels. As for neutral -- there is no neutral in a gearing sense. The motor is always connected (through the differential) to the front wheels. Neutral is just an electrical state of the motor that allows it to spin freely without generating or using any electricity. So the faster you are moving in neutral the faster the engine is spinning. (There is also no reverse gear. Reverse is just when the electric motor is spinning backwards.)

I know, it's sometimes hard to wrap our brains around these concepts after years of virtually all cars being carbon belchers with engines that die if they can't keep spinning in one direction.

Ray
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.
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Ingineer
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Leaf Number: 6969
Location: Berkeley, California
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Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

In theory there is no problem towing the Leaf on all 4 wheels as a "Toad" behind an RV with the stipulation that the Leaf be left on and in Drive. This will be safe for the motor and electronics, and will have the added side-effect of fully charging the battery by using the motorhome. Once the battery is "full", (or if it is started with a full charge) the Battery ECU will instruct the drive inverter to disable regen until the Leaf is just coasting. As the Leaf discharges slightly over time while still on, the RV will provide the small amount of charge to keep the battery topped off. Just be sure to turn the Leaf off when you stop the RV and remember to start it back up and put it in drive before moving the RV. And of course, you cannot reverse the RV with the Leaf attached, but you should know that already.

This has already been tested by someone, and it is reported to work. (Disclaimer: Not me!)

Effectively it's no different than fully charging your Leaf and starting off the Day at the top of a very big mountain. The Leaf will "think" it's simply rolling down hill. The only one side-effect that can be considered is that the Leaf will accrue mileage while being "Toad". (But so would any car with all 4 wheels on the ground without a driveline disable)

-Phil
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garygid
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Leaf Number: 000855
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Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

If somebody wants to tow the LEAF frequently (with all 4 wheels on the ground), how about installing "lock/unlock" hubs on the two front wheels?

Better to tow with the front wheels on a dolly (if possible), I believe.
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

garygid wrote:If somebody wants to tow the LEAF frequently (with all 4 wheels on the ground), how about installing "lock/unlock" hubs on the two front wheels?

Better to tow with the front wheels on a dolly (if possible), I believe.
Except, you have to tow the extra weight of a dolly, pay for a dolly, and store a dolly.

Like I said above, you have to disconnect the front wheels from the gear box, and lock out hubs are a great solution. There hasn't been lock outs on four wheel drives for a long, long time (maybe heavy duty trucks), and I can't imagine a market big enough to attract a somebody to build a set for the LEAF. Plus, the front wheels would probably need to be changed or modified from the 66.1mm hub to something bigger.

The towing while in "READY" has been famously done, however the 20-30hp pull on a grossly inefficient motor home is a terrible waste of energy. I would do it, of course, if I needed the car charged at my next stop, but otherwise RV parks have plenty of places to plug in.

Having said all that, I would probably use a coupling at the half shafts where they enter the gear box, that can be switched on or off like the ARB air locker differential.

I'd put on a dash mounted switch. Now, I don't need a dolly, there are no miles being registered by the car while being pulled with the power off and half shafts disconnected. For those times I wanted to recharge the LEAF, I would leave the car In READY and ECO, with half shafts in normal mode.

Plus, now I have a standard tow bar on the front of the LEAF that could be used by any pickup or large SUV to pull the car if disabled on the side of the road. Always prepared.
Thanks,

Tony Williams
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etracing
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:52 pm
Delivery Date: 07 Feb 2012
Leaf Number: 7219
Location: Summerville, SC
Contact: Website

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

TonyWilliams wrote:
Except, you have to tow the extra weight of a dolly, pay for a dolly, and store a dolly.

I have a dolly and it is not that heavy (it has a handle and I can move it myself) does not take up that much space and will be
a lot less wear and tear than on the car. Beside that, where are you going to connect the car up for towing other
than a dolly or flat bed?

:) :) :)
EV Ed
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Never let being a responsible adult get in the way of passion and curiosity.
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planet4ever
Posts: 4674
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:53 pm
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Leaf Number: 1537
Location: Morgan Hill, CA, south of San Jose

Re: Hello Dolly! (Towing your LEAF)

etracing wrote:I have a dolly and it is not that heavy (it has a handle and I can move it myself) does not take up that much space and will be a lot less wear and tear than on the car. Beside that, where are you going to connect the car up for towing other than a dolly or flat bed?
I agree with you, but the answer to your question is on page 6-14 of the Owners Manual.

Ray
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.

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