Connected the battery
charger to the wrong terminal on the van battery
, which had the net result of shorting out the charger. How did I manage such a dumb thing? Heavy black wires were connected to both the (+) and the (-) terminals, covering the polarity markings on the battery
. There were also smaller wires connected to the battery, a white one and a black one. So, I reasoned, connect the battery charger black wire to the engine block (-), and the battery charger red to the battery terminal with the white wire (+). Plug in the charger and charge away. It did, for a few seconds. OOPS
It was determined, the smaller wires supplied the trailer. Trailer wiring: black is (+), white is (-). Vehicle wiring: black is (-), red is (+). Wouldn't standardized color coding be nice.
Learn from my error: Double check polarity.
The happy ending: I called Schumacher Electric Corp. to see how much it would cost to repair the charger. They asked if it was less than five years old: yes. Send it for repairs. I asked: "Even if it was my fault?" Yes, they would repair it.