To grease the ball, or not?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-15-2006, 10:39 PM   #15
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Going against the grain, I guess, because I run a trailer frame ground....a wire from the trailer frame runs to my trailer negative terminal strip which is used for 12V trailer lights and running lights....I also have a wire from my trailer battery to the same strip.....I run 2 separate ground wires thru my trailer connector.....one from my regular trailer connector pin and the other thru the aux trailer pin which is normally used for hi-level brake light......I know it`s over kill .....but wire is plentiful.......also because my trailer frame is grounded, the coupler ball and coupler also supply another backup ground, in case I lose a ground someplace else in the system, albiet possibly intermittent....nothing like enough grounds, LOL .......Oh, also I think that my trailer hitch, with the platform and ball on, makes an excellent bumper and protects my chrome bumper from minor rear end bumps....and parking lot dings......last year had an impatient fella in a sports type Lexus, I think it was, at a gas pump behind me as I was being fueled tried creeping forward to get closer to the rear of my truck for whatever reason and pierced his plastic front bumper with my stinger.....he wasn`t too happy! ...yep, makes a good bumper......and never a Coke can ball cover stolen yet either, .....Benny
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #16
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WOW!! Why don't you run extra wires for the positive side too?
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:50 AM   #17
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I believe that some converter designs internally connect the 120VAC and 12VDC "grounds" -- In this case, because the 120VAC ground is connected to the trailer frame, the 12VDC "ground" or return is connected to the trailer frame. This may not be true for all converters, and the connection would be lost in the case of a plugin converter (as I had on my 91S13 and a previous Jayco 16) that was unplugged.

If anyone has a converter schematic, it would be interesting to check the above out.

Beefing up the ground wire in the tow-vehicle to trailer connector is not a bad idea because it is possible for the following to all be sending simultaneous +battery which all comes back on the same return wire (and hitch ball that is not bouncing around):

1. Tail lights
2. Brake lights
3. Brakes
4. Battery charge

As part of my upsizing the battery charge wire on my tow vehicle, I also ran a ground/return wire from the truck battery to the connector, plus I grouded that pin on the connector to the truck frame. It was not convenient to upsize the charge or ground/return wires on my Scamp's wiring harness between the egg battery and the connector, so that short distance is still original wiring.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:46 AM   #18
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I'm with Pete on this one...

99% of all 12v trailer electrical failures are ground-related. Often in these fiberglass trailers, the ground is a single wire that is daisy-chained (hooked up in series) to all of the 12v electrical parts throughout, and then connected to the pigtail for grounding to the tow vehicle's electrical. Although it generally is, it may or may not (depending on the brand) be connected to the trailer frame. Corrosion and vibration are the enemies of grounds. It can never hurt to be 'over-grounded'.

As far as greasing or not the ball... I've done both. I have yet to wear out a coupler that wasn't greased, but I have seen the effects of a worn-out coupler. If you occasionally inspect your coupler and ball for damage and wear (which should be done anyway) you won't experience any ill-effects. If it isn't creaking, it's not a big deal. If it's noisy, grease it.

Roger
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:45 AM   #19
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I'm with Pete on this one...

99% of all 12v trailer electrical failures are ground-related. Often in these fiberglass trailers, the ground is a single wire that is daisy-chained (hooked up in series) to all of the 12v electrical parts throughout, and then connected to the pigtail for grounding to the tow vehicle's electrical. Although it generally is, it may or may not (depending on the brand) be connected to the trailer frame. Corrosion and vibration are the enemies of grounds. It can never hurt to be 'over-grounded'.

As far as greasing or not the ball... I've done both. I have yet to wear out a coupler that wasn't greased, but I have seen the effects of a worn-out coupler. If you occasionally inspect your coupler and ball for damage and wear (which should be done anyway) you won't experience any ill-effects. If it isn't creaking, it's not a big deal. If it's noisy, grease it.

Roger

One indication of a intermittent or partial ground is to turn on a blinker, left or right, with the tail lights also on. All the lights will blink.

With proper hitch weight, I don't think greasing the ball would interrupt grounding, if that were your only ground connection. But the rust and paint on the stinger/coupler could be a factor.

I've never had a ground problem using a weight distributing hitch, and I don't use a ground connection in the plug. When you pull those chains up, you are connected.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:50 AM   #20
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Just to throw an international flavour into the greasing question, most Yurpeens now run grease-less as most new travel trailers use friction-on-ball type sway control. Here is one manufacturer's web page - the friction pucks are shown at the bottom of the page.

While on that site, you might also like to see their noseweight-indicating jockey wheel - a nice simple, economical solution to estimating noseweight.

Andrew
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:17 PM   #21
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You can't be to careful concerning grounds and you must have a return path for things to work. The grounds on the taillights are usually connected to the frame, as is the ground on tow vehicles. Extra grounds are a safe than sorry thing.

Yes, You can run extra positive cables and it will not hurt. That is another be safe than sorry thing because you have the responsibility to insure your trailer taillights are working.

If you have electric brakes you should also have an emergency braking system installed should the trailer become disconnected from the tow vehicle.

To grease or not to grease, well I have read other threads on this site where the hitch has worn out parts. Wonder why – go figure.

Others have pointed out that it is better to be safe than sorry and yet the electrical engineer still sharp shoots the safety minded people on this site. What’s up with that?
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:49 PM   #22
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It would probably take 50 years to wear out a coupler and ball.
I have several pair of pants with permanently black knees.
No mo grease for me.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:15 PM   #23
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Others have pointed out that it is better to be safe than sorry and yet the electrical engineer still sharp shoots the safety minded people on this site. What’s up with that?
Maybe there's another "S" word than safety. Try silly.
A lot of extra work and worry based on "I heard", instead of "I understand". = silly.

Ask yourself if the extra wires, worrying about an electrical connection between the TV chasis are necessary and wonder why the manufacturers don't do warn about it, add extra wires, etc. If it was a "safety" issue the trailer manufacturers insurance companies would insist on it.

The term "ground" is one of the most misused and misunderstood terms in the world. Yet there's a lot of "experts" that will tell you all about it based on "I heard" with out any "I understand". The problem is that these "experts" will often lead a lot of people off into unnecessary and sometimes unsafe areas.

Adding extra "ground" wires does nothing for safety. All is does is help use up the world's copper supply. You see the same current must, repeat must, flow in both the positive lead and the negative lead. People talk about "ground" problems, but never mention when the failed connection is in the positive lead.

Back in the history of automobiles there has been connection problems between devices like lights and the chasis because the screws used to make that connection would corrode, many because of galvanic reaction. We've since learned a bit more about materials and that problem is much less likely to exist. But the mystic still lingers on.

Now I suppose the "experts" will start telling me how wrong I am.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:12 PM   #24
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Interesting subject----Going from greasing to grounds and electrical problems.I for one take what I like from a post or subject and the rest is for someone else to ponder.I have found lots of great resources on this forum but I also double check with certified people in the respective fields if I am unsure of the expected results.

I post this as food for thought.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:07 PM   #25
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Interesting subject----Going from greasing to grounds and electrical problems.I for one take what I like from a post or subject and the rest is for someone else to ponder.I have found lots of great resources on this forum but I also double check with certified people in the respective fields if I am unsure of the expected results.

I post this as food for thought.

As I recall part of the "no grease" theory was grease would cause a poor "ground" connection. Therefore this discussion does somewhat follow the original question and misconception about "grounds".

I prefer to grease cause I don't like squeeks. I also am aware that the hitch doesn't provide electrical connection to the trailer.

OK, Time for me to jump out of this conversation.
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:47 PM   #26
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Well, you may term my grounding as "Silly" and a needless waste of copper wire....Like I said earlier, I have all kinds of wire around here, no problem......and have all the time in the world that it`ll take to install that wire where I want.....In 48 years of driving, tinkering with vehicles, towing, etc., most of my electrical light and such problems have been ground related and the odd positive problem would have been a battery post problem.....maybe the term , better safe than sorry, isn`t in your vocabulary, but it sure is in mine......Have a good night!.....Benny
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:32 PM   #27
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OK. With 48+ years in the electronics, an electronics engineering degree, the past 15 years designing and working with electrical and electronic stuff that goes into heavy duty trucks. My livelyhood depends on knowing a bit about how those electrons move around in wires and other components. As for "safe", ever seen a truck burn? Well I can tell you the last thing I want is to be the cause of a truck fire. Over kill isn't necessarily being safe and I don't "tinker".

You have a good night too.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:08 AM   #28
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Thanks guys.


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