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Old 07-18-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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Name: Brett
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot Oakland Camper
British Columbia
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Bigfoot Camper battery question

Hi, new guy here from BC Canada.

Here's the scenario,

I bought a 9.9' 1993 Bigfoot Oakland Camper a year ago and it had a "4D1150 " 12 volt battery in it not hooked up, I tested it and confirmed it was no longer any good (would not hold a charge).

So I went and bought a Nautilus Marine/RV battery and hooked it up,went camping but found it to be weak and needing charge too fast but the battery is 100% good to go ??

So my question is, even though I have my refrigerator on the propane Selector switch, I still need a good battery right ??

What kind of battery should I be running ?? Note, the battery compartment seems to be quite big and with that I thought that the big long 4d1150 battery I took out might be the original. Is it ? and if so how did it hook up as I have 2 positive wires and 2 negative wires, but their all the ones that slide over the small threaded posts that you use wing nuts on., and the battery had the two larger posts like in a car battery ??

Please help me buy the proper battery for my bigfoot camper !!!! Thanks
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:34 AM   #2
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Think about what used the battery while you were camped. Lights, water pump, television, stereo, DVD player.

I have all LED lights inside and the porch light. Fridge that doesn't need battery to run on propane. Water pump, and etc. etc. etc. I don't have. I can go about a week with Walmart RV/Marine battery before I need to think about recharging. That's summer time with minimum heater time.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepRobber View Post
So my question is, even though I have my refrigerator on the propane Selector switch, I still need a good battery right ??
What kind of battery should I be running ?? Note, the battery compartment seems to be quite big and with that I thought that the big long 4d1150 battery I took out might be the original. Is it ? and if so how did it hook up as I have 2 positive wires and 2 negative wires, but their all the ones that slide over the small threaded posts that you use wing nuts on., and the battery had the two larger posts like in a car battery ??
Please help me buy the proper battery for my bigfoot camper !!!! Thanks
You don't say the model # of the refer but by the age I'd say it requires 12V for the ckt board even on LP use. My old slide in had no house battery and ran off the engine battery but my refer was the old style that didn't use 12Vs. One problem with preowned RVs of any type....you never know what kind of changes have been made, good or bad. I will say that I've never seen two separate + & - cables at the house battery on any RV. An off the wall thought to that would be the PO had the second set running to the truck battery for charging? As far as the right battery, depends on your electric usage and for how long. Most all mine were 24s or 27s and worked fine.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:26 AM   #4
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Woodstock, IL
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Our Bigfoot Silver Cloud has the double +/- wires, too. I think one set powers the electric jack on the tongue. If the wires are white and black, the 2 white wires go on the + small post with the nut and the two black wires go on the small - post with the nut. Don't mix them up or you'll blow a fuse in the converter. Yep, that's from experience. I now have each wire pair taped together.

We have a standard "starting battery"" from Auto Zone with a small solar trickle charger hooked up. We run our fridge on AC and haven't tried the propane option, yet, so I don't know if the battery is required. I think it is, though, since the controls for on/off and cooling level have powered indicator lights. It is a one-year old two way fridge (no 12 v. option).
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:50 AM   #5
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My Bigfoot is a 91, and my fridge requires no battery power to run off propane. But all newer fridges do need some 12V to run the circuit board, even on propane.

My battery also has both type posts, and my camper uses just the smaller posts with nuts, just like yours. That's normal.

So the battery was weak off the shelf? There's a good chance it needed to be charged a bit before heavy use. Even sitting on the shelf, batteries lose some power over time. In fact they'll discharge completely if left long enough, and cold weather increases the rate of discharge.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:44 AM   #6
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So is this a motorhome? I had to google Oakland, and the 9.9' thing threw me off. Slide in camper or motorhome?

The "correct" battery will depend on your use. You want a deep cycle RV/Marine battery. The amp hours will depend on use; how many appliances you use and how long you'll go without recharging. The battery you replaced was almost definitely not the original, unless you just mean the original battery type/size, not the actual original battery.

The RV batteries are definitely big.

If this is a motorhome, you should have two batteries.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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Name: Brett
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot Oakland Camper
British Columbia
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This is a slide in Bigfoot Oakland camper that is 9 1/2' long. The battery compartment is long enough that it looks like the 4d1150 battery that was in it would be the right one, only it does t have the small posts to hook up to ???

I think that the white wires are the negative and the black so g the positive....i k ow this sound's backwards but that's what worked with the nautilus battery that was used last year...that was also fully charged. I do need some.12 volt power with the fridge on.pripane because it runs the circuit board, I side fridge lights etc.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:22 PM   #8
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Name: Brett
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot Oakland Camper
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I now understand that two of the leads could be the positive and negative for the jacks that are an option on this unit.

Question, does it matter if I have all 4 hooked up still even though I have manual pump jacks ?? I don't know exactly what two leads are for what so..
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:57 PM   #9
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Name: Francois
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not enough information....

too many brands, models...plus previous owner might have changed something...

pictures would help....

you could go to an RV business and "shop" for a battery....they will know what works/ is practical...you don't have to buy it there....

and this is for Kevin:

"If the wires are white and black, the 2 white wires go on the + small post with the nut and the two black wires go on the small - post with the nut."

that statement is diametrically opposed to my experience/observations
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:22 PM   #10
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Name: Brett
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Thanks for the reply and with my unit the white is negative/ black is positive
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:48 PM   #11
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inherent confusion....

automotive...red pos./ black neg
home...black hot/ white neutral

when somebody built the first RV and had to marry the two systems it's a shame that they did not stick with the automotive convention for the 12volt side in the trailer...there would still have been SOME possible confusion, like two protocols.....instead they ended up with THREE !!!

the same confusion happens/happened in boats that have shore power

I read/heard somewhere that the new standard for yacthbuilding now (certification) is that YELLOW is to be used for DC neg. and not used for ANYTHING else....a step in the right direction....but that's in new construction...retrofitting would be a nightmare
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:07 PM   #12
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You are probably correct that I had the colors of the wires reversed. Our camper is stored 5 miles away and I was responding by a somewhat faulty memory. Sorry!
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Name: Brett
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot Oakland Camper
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I just need to k ow the best battery to get foe the unit I have....maybe I should got to a Bigfoot dealer and peek at what's in the new ones ?? Or if they have none in them then ask the service center for their opinion ?? Maybe an option is to replace the 12 Volt with two 6 Volt arteries...i hear they last longer and are an all.arpu d better option...anyone run twin 6 volts in their units ??
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:09 PM   #14
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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An 1150 battery is what we used in big trucks, either 3 or 4 connected together. They had 3/8 - 16 threaded terminals. Apparently yours is the round post version. There are terminal connectors that go on the round post and have a threaded stud on them.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SleepRobber View Post
I just need to k ow the best battery to get foe the unit I have....maybe I should got to a Bigfoot dealer and peek at what's in the new ones ?? Or if they have none in them then ask the service center for their opinion ?? Maybe an option is to replace the 12 Volt with two 6 Volt arteries...i hear they last longer and are an all.arpu d better option...anyone run twin 6 volts in their units ??
Brett, I think you may be jumping the gun here. What you may see on a new rig may not be what you have in yours. Couple things to check first on yours. Disconnect one set of + & - and see what doesn't work. Connect those and pull the second set and note what doesn't work. Any chance of physically chasing those cables back to see were they go? With only the refer and a few other battery draws I can't see where you would need a twin 6V setup. I have to agree with another member that your battery wasn't fully charged to start with. Tell us what you're powering during a camping trip.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:38 AM   #16
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Be sure the battery is deep cycle. Some batteries are labeled marine starting batteries. As you know starting batteries are not suitable for house batteries.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:27 PM   #17
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From battery positive Red
Once at 12vdc distribution Panel, black wires are positive and white wires are negative.
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