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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Battery wiring help, please

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logophile

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Posted: 06/04/22 08:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a new rv battery to replace one that has deteriorated in our Chalet Arrowhead. I made the mistake of not taking a picture of how the battery was wired and now I am not sure which wires go where. Do all back go to negative and all red go to positive? The lights don't work when I wire it that way. Please help, I am driving myself crazy trying to figure this out. There are no pictures that I can find online that show how a Chalet should be wired. Thank you for any help you can provide!

I have posted a picture of the wires here (there are five of them, two black and three red):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W0PIR073YdFaQaRx0ZUp4jFdF4JfgGup/view?usp=sharing

jdc1

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Posted: 06/04/22 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plug your RV in (shore power), then test the two battery cables using a multi-tester. If it reads -, you have it backwards.

bob213

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Posted: 06/04/22 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Might be a good idea to check if you have a reverse polarity fuse(usually a large fuse like 30 or 40amp). If you hook up your battery incorrectly the fuse will usually blow and then you get nothing no matter how you hook up.

Here's an easy link for your picture;
Battery picture


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pianotuna

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Posted: 06/04/22 11:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use a continuity tester to find out which wires go to the frame--those will be the negatives.

The reverse polarity fuse(s) may have blown.

There is often an automatic circuit breaker--it may have gone bad, too.


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Posted: 06/04/22 11:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can’t trust that all the blacks are neg and reds pos, check continuity from all the wires at the battery to the neg output of your converter. The ones that have continuity are negative.


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MrWizard

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Posted: 06/05/22 05:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could be a bad DC breaker between battery and tt dc circuit center, follow the wires from the battery to where they go under the trailer, one of the wires will connect to a little silver box under the tt not far from the tongue, another wire also connected to the breaker will be the main power feed for the tt RV systems, these can fail, but usually only after much us, but a loose wire connection acts the same way

* This post was edited 06/05/22 02:34pm by MrWizard *


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Posted: 06/05/22 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you called Chalet with your VIN? While black is often ground there is no real RV color standard. Continutiy may help but there may be loads on the positive wires that can't be turned off. Try the above test with the converter on then the best bet is to bite the bullet and trace the wires physically or with a wire tracer. Or with the wires connected and a voltmeter start tracing the voltage using frame ground. Maybe some one can help.

Per above you may have blown fuses with your reversed wiring, etc.

Always good idea to take pics and save them. Any non black non negative wires should be marked with black tape and non red positive wires marked with red tape. Also note how many wires on each terminals in case one develops legs and is hidden. Then take new pics.

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Posted: 06/05/22 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The red rectangular box to the right of your battery is a fuse. Check that.


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MitchF150

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Posted: 06/05/22 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If all else fails, follow a cable and if it attaches to the frame of the trailer, that's the negative or "ground" cable. If the other one goes into a 'box' under the rig, then that's gonna be the positive or "hot" cable.

If you did hook them up backwards the first time, you could have blown a fuse or 2 on the converter. Might be on the unit itself, and not in the "fuse box" you can easily access.. If that's the case, might need more help on it..

Good luck! Mitch


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naturist

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Posted: 06/05/22 06:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pro tip: NEVER rely on color coding "traditions." Not on electrical wires, not on fuel pump handles, not on NUTHIN'.

You never know when the guy ahead of you screwed it up. TEST, TEST, TEST. When doing anything involving electrical, you need a VOM, volt-ohm-meter, as a minimum. They aren't expensive, I've seen el-cheapo ones for $10-$15 that are perfectly adequate for the home handyman. Do NOT hook the battery up and pray. You have a 50% chance of being right, and chances are if you get it wrong you won't be able to disconnect until after you've put out the fire.

EDIT: how to use that VOM for this job. 1) hook up RV to shore power, being careful to have the two battery cables suspended in mid-air and not touching anything metal. 2) set the VOM to read voltage, and in a range that will cover 15 volts DC. 3) one of the VOM leads will be labeled + and the other labeled -. Take a guess and connect them to the two battery cables. 4) the meter should read something in the 13-15 volt range. If it reads +14 volts, you guessed right, the positive lead is connected to the positive battery cable. If it reads -14 volts, the positive lead is connected to the negative battery cable. Issue solved.

* This post was edited 06/05/22 07:06pm by naturist *





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