Dumb questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2007, 07:33 PM   #1
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Trailer: 17 ft Burro Widebody / 2007 Explorer Sport Trac
British Columbia
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Now that the import process is finally complete (it's not difficult, just a pain) we finally have our new Burro, Harley, in our driveway (it's called Harley because the Registrar of Imported Vehicles here in Canada initially told us the VIN was that of a motorcycle, not a trailer) .
The first of my dumb questions involves the wiring. When we picked up the trailer and on the two-day journey home the battery was charged and all systems were go. When we left the trailer in storage for a couple of weeks (with nothing on) then brought the trailer home to our small island, the battery was dead or virtually so. On poking into the wiring connector (the tow side was done at the Ford dealership so I'm assuming it's correct) there are only six wires coming from the trailer end of the connector. Is that as it should be?
And the only wire going to the + on the battery is the black wire (actually it's yellow, but the yellow wire is connected where the black should be and there's no black). Is that the wire that comes from the alternator on the tug, which is supposed to charge the battery?
And if everything is in order, I guess that means the battery is toast?
I know everyone has answered these questions a thousand times, but it's a lot more daunting when you're looking at the wires going in all directions than it is reading it on a thread.
thanks for any help.
cheers
Ian
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:41 PM   #2
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Ian... a couple of questions. First, what year is your Burro? I can help with the Iowa late '80s vintage, but I know nothing about the wiring in the late '90s vintage Escondido units. Per and Gina can probably help there.

Second, do you have a hard-wired smoke or LP detector?

Roger
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Roger. The Burro is a year 2000 and yes (Blush) the prpane detector is hard-wired so that would be a draw. But would it be enough to slay a healthy battery in two weeks?
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Ian
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:28 PM   #4
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Maybe you could find or Google the propane detector specs and figure out what it would have sucked out of the battery in two weeks. I think mine would not devour anything near enough to empty even one of my batteries. I do use a cutoff switch for the detector but otherwise keep the propane supply turned off (outside and under the sink as well) when not in use. There is a point to keeping parasitic draws within reason.

Roger: any resemblance to stock wiring on my Burro was chucked years ago, so I can't answer what was. (And I am sure you know that to be a fact ).
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Old 08-13-2007, 01:13 PM   #5
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...On poking into the wiring connector (the tow side was done at the Ford dealership so I'm assuming it's correct) there are only six wires coming from the trailer end of the connector. Is that as it should be?
While I don't know specifically about the Burro, the standard 7-way RV connection includes one (the centre pin) which is designated as an auxiliary. If there are no separate brake and turn lights (only one combined brake/turn per side), no backup lights, and nothing else to use this connection, then it would be appropriate for the trailer to have only six wires.

My Boler's factory-stock wiring does have the seventh wire (yellow, as per the standard practice), but it does not connect to anything in the trailer... it's there for future use.
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Old 08-13-2007, 02:49 PM   #6
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Thanks Brian and all,
And would the black wire (+) go to the trailer battery to charge it?
thanks
Ian
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:24 PM   #7
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If it's connected to the positive terminal on the battery, then it's likely the charge wire. Disconnect it from the battery, connect the trailer to the tow vehicle and see if there's something like 12V on it.

Just because a battery seems fully charged because the voltage is up there, it still may not be good. Charge it with a battery charger, disconnect it, let it sit for a day or so and test again.

Amazingly, the battery in my '98 Ranger is the original Ford factory battery and it stills "seems" to be good, because it always starts the truck. However, it has one of those charge indicator gizmos in it where either a red or green ball shows and the red ball is almost always showing, plus the engine always starts right up, even in cold weather, so the battery never has to really work -- I expect it to die any day and if I was really smart I'd replace it, but I am curious as to how long it will work.

Hmm, if it was an AGM, I'd really be bragging about it going nine years already
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:39 PM   #8
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My Boler's factory-stock wiring does have the seventh wire (yellow, as per the standard practice), but it does not connect to anything in the trailer... it's there for future use.
What would such a future use include?
cheers
Ian
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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If it's connected to the positive terminal on the battery, then it's likely the charge wire. Disconnect it from the battery, connect the trailer to the tow vehicle and see if there's something like 12V on it.
Guess I'm going to have to figure out how the multi-meter works.
thanks
Ian
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:57 PM   #10
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...And would the black wire (+) go to the trailer battery to charge it?
Yes, the charge line normally goes direct to the trailer battery. In the standard, this is black. A fuse might be a good plan... although mine doesn't have one in the trailer wiring on this wire.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:01 PM   #11
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My Boler's factory-stock wiring does have the seventh wire (yellow, as per the standard practice), but it does not connect to anything in the trailer... it's there for future use.
Quote:
What would such a future use include?
Boler ran the yellow wire to the back of the trailer, in the vicinity of the tail lights. The idea is that if you add [b]separate brake and turn signals, the left and right wires are moved to the new turn signal lamps, and the yellow wire is connected to the brake/stop terminal of both of the original tail lamps. The yellow wire could also be used for white [b]reversing lights... again, the spare wire put in by Boler is in about the right place for that.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:14 PM   #12
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Or you can get a windshield wiper squirter and tank from a wrecking yard, install it behind the trailer bumper so it squirts up and back and connect it to battery and a switch in the tow vehicle.

Then when someone gets close enough to read the bumper sticker "You Tailgate -- I'll Flush", you can hit the switch
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:45 PM   #13
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Or you can get a windshield wiper squirter and tank from a wrecking yard, install it behind the trailer bumper so it squirts up and back and connect it to battery and a switch in the tow vehicle.

Then when someone gets close enough to read the bumper sticker "You Tailgate -- I'll Flush", you can hit the switch
I love it but if they get that close to the Burro, I can't see them!
cheers
Ian
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:44 PM   #14
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Or you can get a windshield wiper squirter and tank from a wrecking yard, install it behind the trailer bumper so it squirts up and back and connect it to battery and a switch in the tow vehicle.

Then when someone gets close enough to read the bumper sticker "You Tailgate -- I'll Flush", you can hit the switch
But then you need a rear-view camera or distance measuring equipment - connected to the tug - to see when they're at the right range... Per, a use for some of your extra connector terminals?
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