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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > I can't find my battery hook-up

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Ryanbodnar

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Posted: 03/27/12 10:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good evening. I'm new to the forum and have read the rules, so please let me know if I missed something. I searched the archive and internet using various terms and can't find what I'm looking for, so here goes...

I recently purchased a 2000 Kit Espre 22' travel trailer. This is my first travel trailer and I have minimal knowledge of travel trailers. When I am plugged in to shore power, everything inside and out works great. As soon as I unplug, nothing works.

In the front basement compartment there was a small 12v battery (maybe 6" x 4") that was not hooked up to anything and was completely dead. There is one ground wire that is unhooked and a couple other wires that are unhooked there too. There are no thick gauge wires that look like what I would think should be hooked up to a battery.

Under the bed where the converter and fuse block are, there are two thick (probably 8 gauge or larger) black wires that are not hooked up to anything, but they disappear into the wall. There is an Inteli Power 9130 converter under there, but I can't follow the wires to where a battery should be. Here is a link to the diagram for the converter (http://manuals.heartlandowners.org/Electrical/Converter/Progressive_Dynamics/PD9100_Series_Progressive_Dynamics_Converter.pdf). The positive lead from the converter just leads to the DC distribution block and no other leads to a battery. The other side of the converter is plugged into an outlet with the wires from the outlet running up into the wall.

Sorry if the post is confusing, but I'm new to all of this and would like to get it sorted out before I head out camping. I'm thinking my best bet might be to just take it in to a mechanic for service.

hmknightnc

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Posted: 03/27/12 10:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can't help you with the extra wires under the bed that aren't hooked up to anything. The little battery sounds like your disconnect switch battery for emergency braking. Trace those wires and find out if they go to your emergency brake disconnect switch

There is some real possibility that a 2000 vintage small TT simply didn't have a battery installed especially if it didn't doesn't have slide. You can easily add a battery by running a thick gage wire from an unused positive connection on your DC distribution center to the front compartment where it would hook up to the battery positive. Get a 12v deep cycle/marine battery in a vented to the outside battery case put in there. Wire the battery negative directly to the frame. This will put a battery in the system and the converter will charge it when plugged into AC power. The battery will carry the 12v stuff when not plugged into AC power

This same new house battery can be used to power the emergency brake away system as well. Remember to disconnect the ground wire from the battery when storing to prevent battery discharge.

1995brave

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Posted: 03/28/12 06:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where's Home? If you could give us town and state maybe a RV.net member lives near you and could contact or come over to look at your problem.

skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 03/28/12 06:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would agree that the previous owner may have NEVER actually USED a battery in that trailer. A battery that size (about motorcycle size) would have little use other than to tun the emergency braking and possibly a short use of a light or the water pump but not much else.

If you plan on camping on battery power (as many of us do frequently) you'd need a LOT more battery power than that. A MINIMAL battery would be a group 24 Marine/RV battery (not the best but works fine if you always camp with electric hook ups). Two of those size/type batteries would allow for some dry camping without hook ups of any kind as long as you also have a means of recharging them after a day or two of use.

Batteries on travel trailers are ALMOST always mounted on the tongue (outside) since battery fumes (hydrogen is very explosive and Sulfuric Acid is HIGHLY corrosive) can do a WORLD of damage in an unvented storage compartment. It SOUNDS like the wires you've found are probably the battery wires that need to run outside to the tongue where you will be mounting your battery. Ground in an RV is usually white and all other colors would go to the hot side (positive) but don't get TOO hung up on the color. Someone has aparently been doing some mousing around with the electrical system if they're currently routed inside the storage compartment. If you hook up a battery be CERTAIN you know which wire is ground (find the connection point where it attaches to the frame) because hooking it up with reversed polarity can do damage to some sensitive items in the RV like the Fridge thermostat stereo etc.

Good luck / Skip


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Ryanbodnar

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Posted: 03/28/12 08:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you all for the replies - very much appreciated.

@hmknightnc - Yes, the some of the wires do lead out of the compartment and hook up to a break away controller. I believe I will get two 6v golf cart batteries (based on all the reading I've done). On the toungue of the trailer there are some ledges that appear to be the right size for batteries. So I'll just take the positive lead from the batteries (hooked up in series) and run that to the 12v distribution block, then run the negative to a ground and I should be good? Sounds much more straight forward than I thought it would be.

@1995brave - Home is Glendale, AZ. I'd be very grateful if someone could give me a good walk through of everything. I'd pay back with pizza and beverage of choice, of course.

@skipnchar - Yeah, I noticed a multitude of colors on all of the wires and was getting a little confused. I'm somewhat familiar with auto and home electrical, but was at a loss with green, light blue, red, pink, etc.

Thanks everyone.

RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 03/28/12 09:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most batteries are installed on the tongue between the propane tank and the fron t wall of the travel trailer.. Look for a couple of larger cables there not hooked to anything...

I also tried to find a listing for your trailer using the model name you provided. Didnt have any luck. If you could provide a better model number and even a manf name would help us possibly locate one online with photos. Should be a name tag up front on the frame with the specific name and model number. Your tag resistration info maybe???

Being only a 22-foot trailer the previous owner might not have ever had a battery installed. That would be the reason for the small electric brake battery you found which is a law you need to consider before getting on the roadways with this. Law says you have to have a working electric brakes pull switch to lock down your electric brakes in case your trailer becomes disconnected from the truck..

I was wanting to find a photo on google showing a battery tray between the propane tank and the front wall of the trailer. Batteries can be installed inside your trailer but they have to have a drain installed in case your battery boils over and also has to be intalled in a sealed battery box vented to the outside for the battery fumes to escape when being charged.

If you are going to install new batteries on the trailer tongue area you might consider getting a 48-inch side mount truck bed tool box which the Trogen T105 6V batteries fit very nice inside and this will be a more secure lock up box. Batteries and Porpane items are becoming a very popular amoung the Meth heads all over the country.

In the "RV trailer" world WHITE is FRAME GROUND and BLACK is +12VDC. In the automotive world Black is GROUND and RED is +12VDC so you got to do some tracing as both worlds are mixed together alot when it comes to the batteries. The battery wiring would be the heavier wires you have found. You really get excited to find a RED wire on top of a BLACK in a junction box in the RV trailer haha... The previous owner has already done a mod to add the electric brakes battery so who knows what rules he followed.

A good place on-line that discusses all of things trailers including wiring would be etrailers.com... Good place to purchase what connectors you might need to get setup. Be sure to check out etrailers generic trailer wiring diagrams to get an idea what you are up against.

Sounds like a fun project. Wish I was out that way. I like these kinds of projects.


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Ryanbodnar

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Posted: 04/01/12 08:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks again for the help. Got a marine battery box and a group 27 battery. Hooked it all up today and worked perfectly.

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