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Author Topic: How do I install a battery on camper?  (Read 9220 times)
krjcamping
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« on: August 28, 2009, 05:52:51 PM »

Just purchased a 2005 Fleetwood Yuma.  Previous owner never used a battery.  I am looking at the trailer and confused on how to even hook one up?  I see where it will go but can not figure out the wiring.  I am sure it is simple but I need help.....

Thanks
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worokia
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 07:49:45 PM »

For the record, I would also like to understand this.  I see in the bin where the battery would go, and there are a couple or three wires with aligator clips attached to them in there that I assume I should attach to a battery but I am a bit unclear on the rest. 

We do not have a fridge (there is an icebox which I use as dry storage) and often camp in non-electric sites.  Can the interior lights run off a battery without re-charging, if so how long?  Does the TV charge the battery during towing?  How does it work?
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Kmikesell
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 11:02:02 PM »

We do not have a fridge (there is an icebox which I use as dry storage) and often camp in non-electric sites.  Can the interior lights run off a battery without re-charging, if so how long?  Does the TV charge the battery during towing?  How does it work?

All of our camping is dry camping (no water or electric hook ups). Our last camper had electric lights and a water pump. We would camp for a week at Yellowstone and the battery would be just fine.

As for the TV charging the battery, if it is wired to do so, it will!
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Diveninja
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2009, 04:33:20 AM »

Quite simply if you have the wiring in place already than generally the white wire that is their is the ground, or negative (verify that it is attached to the frame somewhere) the black wire is for the positive terminal.  If the have alligator clips they are not a good connection.  Crimp on some connectors (eye loop style -automotive section) and use wing nuts to attach to the battery Smile
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Diveninja
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 04:37:45 AM »

also on a side note if adding more than one battery remember that voltages in a series circuit add up example 2 - 12 volt batteries in series add up to 24 volts and this is bad for your camper everything is 12 volt that is battery powered so hook them in parallel...and this can give some nice extended trips without recharging.  I you need some more help just ask and someone will give you a hand.

Cheers'
Len Big Smile
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Outbound
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 05:36:14 AM »

If you're trailer is already wired, connecting a battery is fairly straightforward.  There are two standards tho, so make sure that you take a good look at what you have first:

a) Most commonly on trailers, you'll find a black wire and a white wire.  In this case, the black wire is attached to positive (+) and the white wire to negative (-)

b) Less often, you'll find a black wire and a red wire.  In this case, the red wire is attached to positive (+) and the black wire to negative (-)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 05:10:32 PM by Outbound » Logged

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rabird
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2009, 05:51:21 AM »

See item # 7 -battery harness w/breaker
http://www.fft-inc.com/korkwerks/2005/Destiny/05dp26.htm

While the factory battery harness uses a 15A breaker, I'd prefer a larger breaker if I have a properly sized charge line. Discharged batteries can accept large currents/charge rates if the charge voltage is suffcient and the wire large enough.

mine uses yellow scoth locks to 'butt' into the tongue to converter back 12v + and the ground (white).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 06:37:23 AM by rabird » Logged

ballard
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 05:59:20 AM »

Just purchased a 2005 Fleetwood Yuma.  Previous owner never used a battery.  I am looking at the trailer and confused on how to even hook one up?  I see where it will go but can not figure out the wiring.  I am sure it is simple but I need help.....

Thanks


I'm leary to say without a picture and question and answer process. Typical 12 volt dc wiring has red as possitive hot and black as negative ground, however as stated camper wiring is often wired with multiple colors in order to accomodate tracing the many different wires, for example the electric breaks are typically blue wire, a furnace may be orange.

Take a picture of the wires you think are meant to attach to the battery and I may be able to advise.

1) buy a deep cycle battery. Deep cycle batteries are rated in groups. You should purchase something group 24 or higher....If you need a battery box then also purchase a battery box for that size battery. If you already have a trunk area setup for battery storage then all you may need are some straps to secure the battery in place.

2)I made a wiring harness with heavy gauge wire leading to the wires hanging in place by the factory, I also installed an inline fuse on this line.....both these may not be necessary (especially the fuse) in yours.

3) I think it is a good idea to run a wire from the negative post on the battery to a bolt or screw on the metal chasis of the trailer. This gives proper grounding. In a good wiring system on a car you would have a ground wire running from the negative post on the battery to a point on the engine block or chasis. Then all grounding wires for the fixtures in the vehicle will run back to the negative battery post or to a wiring block meant to service all the grounds which would then lead back to the negative post on the battery. In your case you should run a ground wire from the negative post on the battery to the chasis then connect the negative factory wire that is hanging in the trailer and connect that to the negative battery post...this ensure absolute grounding...then connect the possitive hot wire that is hanging in the trailer from the factory and connect that to the possitive post on the battery.....with the trailer all setup you may have a switch on your converter panel that gives choices for Batt (dc), or ac at 20 or 30 amp or an off position....you will switch this to the battery dc choice. Now try a light and see if it works...if it doesnt then you may have the negative and possitive wires leading to the battery posts mixed up...simply switch them and try again.

Take pictures and post and I may be able to advise.....
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 06:00:26 AM by ballard » Logged
clemlaw
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 12:31:32 PM »

Most campers, assuming the factory did the wiring, will have a white wire for negative, and a black wire for positive.

But maybe someone else did the wiring, or maybe they decided to use different colors that day.

It's easy to trace the wires.  Assuming the converter is set up to charge the battery (which it probably is on a 2005), here's what you do.

One of the wires (probably white) will be connected to ground, probably very near the battery.  You just need to follow it and confirm that it is connected to the chasis.  This is the negative wire.

To confirm that the other wire is positive, you can do two things.  One way is just to follow it and see where it goes.  It will go to the back of the converter, to a terminal that should be marked "battery".  Or, you can plug the trailer in to 120 volts, and then use a voltmeter or 12 volt test light to see if there is 12 volts coming out of this wire.  If you don't have a voltmeter, you can just use an automotive light bulb.  Hook one side to the white wire (which you have already confirmed is ground) and the other side to the black wire.  If the bulb comes on, then this is the wire you hook to the positive terminal of the battery.
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HighLifeGuy
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 07:23:08 PM »

If you're trailer is already wired, connecting a battery is fairly straightforward.  There are two standards tho, so make sure that you take a good look at what you have first:

a) Most commonly on trailers, you'll find a black wire and a white wire.  In this case, the black wire is attached to positive (+) and the white wire to negative (-)

b) Less often, you'll find a black wire and a red wire.  In this case, the red wire is attached to positive (+) and the black wire to negative (-)


Glad I caught this thread,  I just bought a new Jayco that has a WHITE wire and a red wire, the tech said the white was negative, this must be even LESS often? 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 07:24:11 PM by HighLifeGuy » Logged

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clemlaw
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 08:01:23 AM »

Quote
Glad I caught this thread,  I just bought a new Jayco that has a WHITE wire and a red wire, the tech said the white was negative, this must be even LESS often? 

I would double check it using the process shown above.  Does the trailer have electric brakes?  If so, red is often used to power the brakes through the breakaway switch.

But basically, the electricity doesn't care what color the wire is, so it's a good idea to confirm things before you hook them up.
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rabird
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 08:14:57 AM »

My battery connectors are red (+) and white (-).

The solar panel charge controller is red (+) and black (-).

My converter use blue (+), red (battery +) and white (-).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 08:17:22 AM by rabird » Logged

HighLifeGuy
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2009, 05:00:47 PM »

Quote
Glad I caught this thread,  I just bought a new Jayco that has a WHITE wire and a red wire, the tech said the white was negative, this must be even LESS often? 

I would double check it using the process shown above.  Does the trailer have electric brakes?  If so, red is often used to power the brakes through the breakaway switch.

But basically, the electricity doesn't care what color the wire is, so it's a good idea to confirm things before you hook them up.

Thanks, I did just that, and the red is 12v.  probably wont be dry camping/boondocking untill next season, so no need to buy a batt. yet.    It sure is nice to have the fine folks here at pux!
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Unstable Tripod
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2009, 10:15:19 PM »

What concerns me is that the previous owner mentioned in the OP never used a battery -- and the Yuma has electric brakes.  (At least my 2007 Yuma does.)  If my supposition is correct, this means the previous owner had no functional trailer brakes when he used the trailer.  So, I suggest to the OP that you determine if the trailer has brakes and if so, check to see if there is a breakaway device on the tongue.  If so, be sure to wire it up when you install the battery.  If not, get one and install it.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 10:16:44 PM by Unstable_Tripod » Logged

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beacher
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009, 09:46:36 AM »

.......
But basically, the electricity doesn't care what color the wire is, so it's a good idea to confirm things before you hook them up.

But the electric water pump and the fans do!

The furnace has a fan, and any 12v accessory fans that you may own will run backwards if wired incorrectly.  The same is true for the water pump.
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