Battery Issue with newly purchased Bigfoot trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
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Name: Kerri
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Battery Issue with newly purchased Bigfoot trailer

We were so excited to purchase our 1992 15B17G bigfoot that we probably overlooked a few issues. Hoping this one is not too serious. Here's scoop:
The Trailer lights do not work using 12V battery. (initially we chalked that up to requiring a new battery but replacing the battery didn't fix the problem.
We referred to an online Owners Manual which mentions a battery disconnect switch. We don't have the manual for our older model but we sure couldn't find such a switch. Does anyone have a similar age of Bigfoot/owners manual that could confirm not all Bigfoot trailer have disconnect switch.
Also - our Grand Cherokee's battery was completely drained. We had left the trailer hooked up overnight. (throwing that in there in case it's all related and some smart person has some answers). Thanks
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:47 PM   #2
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Name: Martin
Trailer: 1993 CASITA 16SD
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Do the 12v lights work when you're hooked up to shore power? Do you have a refrigerator that's set to 12v power?
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:56 PM   #3
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Yes - lights work when plugged into electricity. 2 way fridge - LP/Electric - does not run off battery. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:24 PM   #4
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Yes - lights work when plugged into electricity. 2 way fridge - LP/Electric - does not run off battery. Any thoughts?
Most likely, your 2 way LP/Electric refrigerator is a newer unit that requires 12 volt power to run the electronic igniton and thermostat control.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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There might be an in line fuse in the wiring where it comes into the trailer. It would be under the left side dinette seat along the front bulkhead. A previous owner could have installed a fuse or disconnect close to the battery, or the battery may be dead.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:37 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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Bigfoot main fuse.

The Bigfoot has a Main Fuse located at the cable entrance from the Battery under the front driver's side Dinette Seat, near the Hot Water Heater (if installed) inside the trailer. It may be taped up partially, on the cable, or very hard to find but it's there. It is probably corroded or, maybe, the 30A fuse is just blown.
I'll bet that's the problem as it will separate the tongue battery from the internal system. Also, if the converter is still the Magnatek 6300 unit, you should plan to replace it ASAP. There are many other manufacturers replacements and or, even an upgrade kit (which I don't at all recommend).
Do a Google search for Magnatek Replacements or even a search on this usegroup and you will find a few threads on this.
Good luck.
Mike .....>
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:44 PM   #7
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As other expect this answer I won't disappoint.
Although nothing suggests that you need a need a new converter, you might consider the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 mini power center. It combines an A/C distribution section, a 45 amp converter, and a 3 stage smart charger. I have installed a number of them, as have others on this site, without any problems.


But yes, if you have an original Magnatek unit, it is time to upgrade.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:47 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1993 CASITA 16SD
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Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the converter convert the 120v to 12v making it possible for the 12v lights to work under shore power?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #9
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Yep, but it also has to charge the battery when plugged into shore power.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:51 PM   #10
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I have the original manual that came with my 94 Bigfoot. The original owner was one of those guys that saves everything. When it comes to electrical information it is 100 % useless. In all other areas it is 95 % useless. You'll get better information from forum members.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:53 PM   #11
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Name: Francois
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92 and 97...

first thing to keep in mind is that "somebody" has had 23 years to do some changes to your electrical system since it left the factory...so manuals, at best, will only give you some clue as to the extent of the changes, if any, were made and where.

My 97 is close enough in age that the general arrangement should be the same as yours. Mine is a CB model however....I'm thinking your layout will make it easier to figure things out....

as stated before you should be able to find a main fuse ("coach fuse") under the left dinette seat....in that bundle of wires that comes in through the floor there should be an obvious larger black and white wire...the fuse (barrel type, in a plactic holder) should be a foot after the run enters the trailer....on the black wire

from there those two wires (in my trailer) are part of a bundle of wires fastened to the floor....it was difficult to do but I traced these main wires...instead or running to the power center which is right there under the same seat, they run towards the back of the trailer and "dissapear" behind my bathroom and after that my fridge!!!! somewhere back there they are connected/power the ceiling lights of the trailer (more !!!)....the ceiling lights are therefore "main fused" only.....a second set of black/white wires comes back from the rear of the trailer somewhere and enter the power center/connect to the two blocks on the DC fuse panel.....I know it sounds odd but that the way it is on my trailer and it looks very much "original"...

since you do not have a bathroom right there you might find it easier to trace these wires on their "return trip to the back" before making it to the power center...lemme me know what you find out.......good luck
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:37 AM   #12
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1] Does your converter have a manual switch from 12V to 120V ?
2] Does the battery in the trailer go dead when the vehicle battery dies ?
3] Since something is killing the battery it is necessary to find the cause , it could be the fridge , could be the battery to battery connection , or a dead short somewhere in the system.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bigfoot1992 View Post
Also - our Grand Cherokee's battery was completely drained. We had left the trailer hooked up overnight. (throwing that in there in case it's all related and some smart person has some answers). Thanks
Unplug the tow when camped until you can get an isolation relay installed on the 12V charge line.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:35 AM   #14
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Boler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
As other expect this answer I won't disappoint.
Although nothing suggests that you need a need a new converter, you might consider the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 mini power center. It combines an A/C distribution section, a 45 amp converter, and a 3 stage smart charger. I have installed a number of them, as have others on this site, without any problems.


But yes, if you have an original Magnatek unit, it is time to upgrade.

I put a PD-4045 in my Boler. Well worth it

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