Battery Connections - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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I've read the various battery forums, but unfortunately, the knowledge is way beyond what I require. I disconnected my battery for the winter and stored it in my garage. Now I am trying to hook it up but it sparks every time I try to connect the second cable (I have the positive and negative marked correctly, at least). Is this normal? I've read enough to scare me from proceeding before hearing from somebody who knows more than me.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:37 PM   #2
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I've read the various battery forums, but unfortunately, the knowledge is way beyond what I require. I disconnected my battery for the winter and stored it in my garage. Now I am trying to hook it up but it sparks every time I try to connect the second cable (I have the positive and negative marked correctly, at least). Is this normal? I've read enough to scare me from proceeding before hearing from somebody who knows more than me.
Depends on the size of the spark. If it's a spark that leaves a dead spot in your retina for more than 10 seconds, then you have a problem, or you have discovered how to weld.

If it's a small spark like you would get if you rubbed your feet on the carpet and then touched a lamp, then that's just indicative of some electrons that are really eager to get out of the battery and into your wire (well, vice versa actually but ... )

Make sure all the switches and appliances in the trailer are switched off and you should have no spark... Nowhere for electrons to go, no spark.. Unless you keep a bank of capacitors in the trailer .....
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:20 AM   #3
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If your trailer is plugged in to AC power, the converter/charger is probably causing the spark (trying to charge).

Unplug the trailer before connecting the battery in addition to switching everything off as Herb P said.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:38 AM   #4
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Herb is right, a little spark will be normal while hooking or unhooking the battery. If there is something trying to get power out or put power into the battery.
Don't worry but if your not sure if you have a slight short somewhere leave battery hooked up and test with multi-tester set for DC VOLTS and note the reading then being sure not to turn anything on test again the next day if reading is the same your A-OK
Gerry the canoebuilder
If not better start looking for a bare wire leaking power to the ground side.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:16 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information - I dropped out of engineering in college because I couldn't deal with electricity lab. Now, I understand that something in the trailer is trying to draw power. Since nothing is turned on, the AC is not plugged in, and I don't believe there are any shorts, I suspect it is the monitoring panel that is trying to get the power when I connect the battery. What I don't know is how to turn off that? Is there are master switch for all the power in the trailer?
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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...What I don't know is how to turn off that? Is there are master switch for all the power in the trailer?
The ideas already presented here are all good.

This is an Escape? If I were down to this last question, and my trailer was from a company which was still in business (Boler has been gone for two decades) and was as responsive as Reace and his crew are, I would just ask them.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for the information - I dropped out of engineering in college because I couldn't deal with electricity lab. Now, I understand that something in the trailer is trying to draw power. Since nothing is turned on, the AC is not plugged in, and I don't believe there are any shorts, I suspect it is the monitoring panel that is trying to get the power when I connect the battery. What I don't know is how to turn off that? Is there are master switch for all the power in the trailer?
Well, what you really care about is how much power is trying to flow across the gap when you connect the battery... A few hundred milliamp is not a big deal if it's only for a short time. It could be as simple as the capacitors in the 'monitoring panel' charging or something similar... It might draw a few mA for a few milliseconds and then that's it... If there's something drawing a few hundred milliamps indefinitely, then you have a parasitic load that will drain your batteries over time....

The trick is to hook up a multimeter between the battery and one of the battery leads, setting the multimeter in "A" (or current measurement) first. Then watch the meter. If it quickly goes down to 0, then everything's cool. If it blows a fuse inside the meter, then you have a short or the coffee maker is turned on...

You could also start by putting a light bulb on the battery post and touch the battery lead to the other side of the lightbulb. If the light bulb stays lit, then you have a draw of some sort. If the bulb flashes and burns a filament, check the coffee maker. It's just a quick inaccurate and cheap way to get an idea of what's going on before you blow a $25 fuse in your Fluke.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:37 PM   #8
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It's just a quick inaccurate and cheap way to get an idea of what's going on before you blow a $25 fuse in your Fluke.
There's the voice of experience. I'd wager those fuses are a pain to replace too. lol
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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There's the voice of experience. I'd wager those fuses are a pain to replace too. lol
Oh no, Fluke makes them quite easy to replace. 2 phillips screws on the back of your meter... It's about $25 for the 20A fuse or while you're in there you can upgrade to the 1/4" 200A bolt for $0.12...

:-) :-)
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:06 PM   #10
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Hi: If I wire anything up correctly the first time...it's a fluke!!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:45 PM   #11
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Oh no, Fluke makes them quite easy to replace. 2 phillips screws on the back of your meter... It's about $25 for the 20A fuse or while you're in there you can upgrade to the 1/4" 200A bolt for $0.12...

:-) :-)
Sounds much better then the Mastercraft equivalent, and I will definately consider the 12 cent upgrade.

The lightbulb as an ammeter never even occurred to me before, I'll be sure to pass this one on.

Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:20 PM   #12
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WAIT just a seccy here.....somethings wierd?!?!

Anchorage Alaska and you have ~ A I R C O N D I T I O N I N G ~ ?

Tell me you at least live in SOUTHERN Anchorage, LOL!!!!!
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:38 PM   #13
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Sounds much better then the Mastercraft equivalent, and I will definately consider the 12 cent upgrade.

The lightbulb as an ammeter never even occurred to me before, I'll be sure to pass this one on.
Please note, I was kidding about the 200A 1/4 bolt... That is a "bad idea™".
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #14
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What makes you think I have air conditioning? I've still got snow on the ground.
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