Boltstr
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:33 pm

so the money question is "how to disable the car's automatic application of the parking brakes" when it senses an incline.

it doesn't matter if the car is off, on, in park, or in neutral. if it senses the incline, it applies the brakes. so far the only work around is disconnecting the 12V.

wonder if it's easier just to pull a fuse. not sure if there is one associated with the parking brakes, but would definitely be easier.

iwatson
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:14 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:06 pm

SeanNelson wrote:Yes you can, but if the car senses that the wheels are turning and it thinks the car is on an incline then it can apply the parking brakes even when it's turned off. Hence the need to disconnect the battery to prevent the car from doing this when dolly towing.


Yes I understand. My plan is to install a quick battery disconnect switch, so that when I'm towing the battery is disconnected and the parking brake will not apply itself. This is already confirmed, as I have towed the car 450 miles from Texas, where I bought it.

I typically go to Florida in January, and I like to stop at a Walmart parking lot for the night. This way I can drive as long as I want and stop when I want. No need for reservations at a RV park, no need to arrive early before everyone quits for the day. Also no need to unhook the car if I'm given a back-in spot at an RV park. Now as for heat while parked, The RV uses a propane furnace with a 12V blower to circulate the heat. The 12V blower will quickly deplete my RV "coach" Battery. What I want to do is Jumper the 12V "coach" battery to the Bolt's 12v battery. If the car is off the 12V blower will deplete both batteries, so the car must stay running so that the HV pack will keep both batteries charged. I have already tried this with my other electrics. First the Volt which has a engine for back-up. In the Volt the engine never came on, and the battery draw pulled down the HV pack by 1/3. Roughly got the same result from the Mitsubishi i-miev, pack was depleted just over 1/3 down.

With the Bolt's much larger pack an overnight park should have much less affect.

So when I park for the night, the Bolt would still be strapped to the dolly so It can't roll, and I would reconnect the battery for the night, jumper the batteries, start the car and leave it running all night. Even if the parking brake comes on automatically it's no deal because I'm not moving. The trick is that the Bolt wants to power itself down after an hour of unattended use. I must find a way around this. If that were to happen, then the furnace blowers would pull both 12V batteries down to fully discharged.

I suspect I may be able to use neutral to prevent the car from powering down. However the book says that it should not be left in neutral for an extended period, and if it is the car will put itself in park. There is a mode called "car wash" mode that may hold it in neutral indefinitely. I need to experiment to find out.

GM - Chevrolet..... If you are reading this....The Bolt makes a great Toad for RV use. You can exploit this by creating an "RV Mode" and adding this feature through an OTA update. The "RV mode" would prevent the car's automatic parking brake from engaging and prevent automatic power down unless the pack was depleted less than 6%. A warning screen to pop-up when engaging which would cite the systems to be turned of and ask the user if he/she wanted to continue?
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - Cajun Red
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Raspberry
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Silver
2011 Chevrolet Volt - Viridian Joule
2002 Forest River Sunseeker 3100LE - White
2001 Buick LeSabre - Brown
1997 Chrysler Town & Country - White

iwatson
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:14 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:27 pm

I guess that was a long explanation....

Here's the shorter version......When towing, the car would be off and the battery disconnected to prevent the parking brake from applying.
When stopped for the night the battery would be reconnected and the car needs to stay running to supply power
for the RV furnace blowers.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - Cajun Red
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Raspberry
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Silver
2011 Chevrolet Volt - Viridian Joule
2002 Forest River Sunseeker 3100LE - White
2001 Buick LeSabre - Brown
1997 Chrysler Town & Country - White

Campfamily
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:56 pm

So here's a thought....if the battery was low on the Bolt, and you towed it in drive with the car turned on, would the battery charge from regen?
Current Ford Focus Electric Owner (since May 2015, 30,000+ miles)
Potential Chevy Bolt Owner (considering upgrade)

iwatson
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:14 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:50 am

I've not tried it but I see no reason why it wouldn't work. It's been documented to work on other electric cars. If you found yourself stranded with a fully depleted battery, this would be the preferred way to get home. Have another driver pull you with a tow rope while operating the Bolt in "drive" or "low". As you mention the action of being towed would charge the battery some through the regen braking.

The type of towing we've been discussing in this thread is different. This is about towing the car behind a motorhome on a tow dolly. With this type of towing you would not get any regen because the drive wheels (Front wheels) are not in contact with the road surface and are not turning.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV - Cajun Red
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Raspberry
2012 Mitsubishi i-miev - Silver
2011 Chevrolet Volt - Viridian Joule
2002 Forest River Sunseeker 3100LE - White
2001 Buick LeSabre - Brown
1997 Chrysler Town & Country - White

Campfamily
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:47 pm

RE: This is about towing the car behind a motorhome on a tow dolly. With this type of towing you would not get any regen because the drive wheels (Front wheels) are not in contact with the road surface and are not turning.

DOH!!!
Current Ford Focus Electric Owner (since May 2015, 30,000+ miles)
Potential Chevy Bolt Owner (considering upgrade)

Boltstr
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:01 am

here is someone towing the bolt while battery gets some regen

https://youtu.be/JDLsKGNgOEE

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1012
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:50 pm

iwatson wrote:So when I park for the night, the Bolt would still be strapped to the dolly so It can't roll, and I would reconnect the battery for the night, jumper the batteries, start the car and leave it running all night. Even if the parking brake comes on automatically it's no deal because I'm not moving. The trick is that the Bolt wants to power itself down after an hour of unattended use. I must find a way around this. If that were to happen, then the furnace blowers would pull both 12V batteries down to fully discharged.

I suspect I may be able to use neutral to prevent the car from powering down. However the book says that it should not be left in neutral for an extended period, and if it is the car will put itself in park. There is a mode called "car wash" mode that may hold it in neutral indefinitely. I need to experiment to find out.


I'm also interested in this, so please share what you find!

I had a backup power kit from https://www.evextend.com/ for my Leaf so that I could run some essentials at home in a blackout. I've actually used it more often when (tent) camping than at home. I'm told that the owner is working on a Bolt kit which I hope to have when it's available. But just like you are describing, it depends on the vehicle's DC-to-DC converter being powered on so that the 12V battery is being supplied by the 400V traction battery. The car would be stationary, so in park or neutral with the parking brake is just fine.

In summary, there are lots of things we could do with a multi-day supply of 12V at over 1kW. I hope GM provides an integrated solution via OTA eventually!
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

gpsman
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:10 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:18 pm

GetOffYourGas wrote:I hope GM provides an integrated solution via OTA eventually!



LoL! Too funny!
:lol:

ghoticov
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:48 pm

Re: Dolly towing a Chevy Bolt

Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:00 am

iwatson wrote:I just purchased a Used '17 Bolt from a dealer in Texas which was 450 miles from where I live. I used my Motorhome and tow dolly to go get it and fetch it home. Worked like a charm.

As mentioned above I was concerned about the loose cable bumping around, so I used some plastic zip ties to secure it to another wrapped cable bundle that was near the negative cable. Actually I don't think it would be possible to bounce around and touch the hot post due to the tension on the negative cable, but the zip ties offered extra security and peace of mind.

I plan to install a negative cut-off switch before my first extended RV vacation.

I also have two other mods that are rolling around in my head, just have to think them thru. One mod is to tap into the tail lights in the bumper so I can connect them to the motorhome while the vehicle is in tow. Second, and don't throw me overboard on this one....I've already tried this with my Volt and my Mitsubishi i-miev, I want to create a hard connection to the 12 V battery so that I can jumper it to the 12V RV "coach" Battery.

Why? You ask. In the winter when using the furnace, the 12V blowers pull about 8 amps when they cycle on. I have used my Volt and left it running all night and it's meager 16 KWH battery was enough to keep the 12V pair charged up and supplying power to the furnace blowers all night, without having to run the noisy generator all night. I know the owner's manual says the Bolt will power down if left in park, but I suspect If I leave it in neutral it will run all night. I will be testing it soon to find out.

Hey it's nice to be a part of this forum. I have owned my 2011 Volt since 2012 and have been on that forum, also owned 3 Mitsubishi i-miev's and have been part of that forum since 2014.


Interesting ideas for sure!

Quick question... where do you buy a negative cut-off switch? Is there a certain kind that I would need? I like this idea way better than having to unhook the negative cable every time.

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