Battery issue remains 2nd post - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #1
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot trailer
British Columbia
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Battery issue remains 2nd post

Here's the issue, any ides?

- When placing my fully charged battery in without being hooked up to the TV, all seems fine- lights, water pump, etc all work. (White=negative and Black=positive)

- Once the TV is connected, the inline fuse blows (15amp).

- After disconnecting from the TV and replacing the fuse, the battery only powers the trailer if I reverse the hook up (Black=negative and White=positive).

This is odd. Any ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Name: Sean
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Not a battery issue, sounds like you have reversed polarity some where creating a dead short. Only way to sort it out will be to check the pin outs on the plugs on both the trailer and TV. Then to check the trailer wiring, specifically the cable coming off the battery for any worn through insulation or again crossed wiring.

Batteries just don't reverse polarity. Does the trailer have a converter?
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:23 AM   #3
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That is odd that things work when you reverse the polarity after blowing a fuse.

Is there any chance that there's a second fuse, maybe inline, somewhere?

In that case things work because your're powering them "backwards" through what was the negative wire.

Just a wild guess
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #4
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Black is typically ground (-ve) in the tow vehicle, with white being ground (-ve) in the trailer. Consider your plug the crossover point, i.e. make the right connections to the right pin #'s and your problems will disappear.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcus79 View Post
Not a battery issue, sounds like you have reversed polarity some where creating a dead short. Only way to sort it out will be to check the pin outs on the plugs on both the trailer and TV. Then to check the trailer wiring, specifically the cable coming off the battery for any worn through insulation or again crossed wiring.

Batteries just don't reverse polarity. Does the trailer have a converter?
Yes, I believe there is a converter. I will inspect the wiring. When you refer to the 'pin outs', what should I be looking for?

thanks.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Black is typically ground (-ve) in the tow vehicle, with white being ground (-ve) in the trailer. Consider your plug the crossover point, i.e. make the right connections to the right pin #'s and your problems will disappear.
Is it not correct that the trailer connector will only plug into the TV one way?

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
That is odd that things work when you reverse the polarity after blowing a fuse.

Is there any chance that there's a second fuse, maybe inline, somewhere?

In that case things work because your're powering them "backwards" through what was the negative wire.

Just a wild guess
I'll check for additional in-line fuses.

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Can you give us some history on this problem - i.e. did you just get this trailer?, just get a new tow vehicle?, just do some electrical work?...etc.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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British Columbia
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Hi @Tom,

Here is a link to a previous thread on the issue-

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ion-58599.html

We've not had any work done since the wiring harness was completed on our TV. I had initially thought that the issue resulted from incorrect battery installation(White=negative and black=positive), but seems to persist regardless of polarity? Odd....
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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In house wiring (120VAC) the white wire is neutral and the black wire is live/hot. In automotive (12VDC) the ground wire varies but is brown or white in several makes.

I wish the builders would stay with black and red at the battery. It would be the same as just about every car and truck made, and keeps it simple.

BTW - a lot of DC lamps and motors will work fine with reversed polarity. Some old cars were actually wired with positive ground systems. Ford 8N tractors had a positive ground system. I wonder what would have happened the first time you plugged the trailer in to shore power?

Jason
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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I'd put a multi-meter on the pin you think is the ground pin connector on the tug and confirm that it is the ground.

I'd do the same for the trailer.

Given the background, it seems like there is a potential for a ground that's shorting out and blowing the fuse.

My first rule for trouble shooting is "Don't presume anything" I'd confirm that your connection really is ground-ground.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestion @Ron.

@Jason plugging into shore works fine. No issues, no blown fuses. A mystery, indeed.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Just had an idea - disconnect the battery and isolate the cables(wrap the metal ends in tape). Disconnect the tow vehicle. Plug the camper into shore power. Check to see if the 12v system works. Some converters need to "see" a battery to supply power but others don't. If you can operate the 12v lamps, fans, etc. then measure the voltage at the battery cables (pull a little tape off, leave the battery disconnected). You should be able to tell which is positive and negative.

You could disconnect shore power then plug the tow vehicle in and measure the voltage again (with the battery still disconnected) Hopefully the polarity will be the same.

If the polarity is different then you know where to go. Simplest fix is swap 12 + and - coming from tow vehicle. If they are the same then I would lean towards a short between the fuse and the 7 pin connector.

Either way you now know which way the battery should be connected.

Jason
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebamboo View Post
Is it not correct that the trailer connector will only plug into the TV one way?

Thanks.
Yes, but the connectors might have the wrong wires connected to the wrong pins.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #15
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Michael, I'd pop of a cheap multimeter - like $5 at Harbor Freight or Princess Auto. You Tube has lots of how to videos. You really only need to know how to measure voltage (and polarity) to do this diagnosis.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:03 PM   #16
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Don't know where you had your wiring harness installed but if it was UHaul they probably screwed it up. Every time I've had them install something they pork it. First they installed a hitch, when I got home I looked underneath and only 3 of the 4 bolts were in. Took it back and they said they had a hard time getting the bolt to line up so they skipped it. WTH!?!? Then when I was rewiring my trailer I had them install a harness. Got home hooked up my tv to trailer and nothing worked right. Double, triple and quadruple checked my work....researched trailer wiring schematics on line. Nearly went crazy tring to find the problem. Lo and behold the "professionals" at UHaul wired it incorrectly. Once they fixed it I got home hooked up and everything worked.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebamboo View Post
Is it not correct that the trailer connector will only plug into the TV one way?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Yes, but the connectors might have the wrong wires connected to the wrong pins.
The 7-pin RV connector should only plug in one way; however, the thing preventing it from plugging in rotated to any one of six positions is a tab on one side and matching slot in the socket. If the tab is worn off (such as by being dragged on the ground) it could possibly plug in at the wrong position... it has happened (not to me).

I think that wrong wiring, as Roy describes, may be more common.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:26 PM   #18
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Name: Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpryor3 View Post
Don't know where you had your wiring harness installed but if it was UHaul they probably screwed it up. Every time I've had them install something they pork it. First they installed a hitch, when I got home I looked underneath and only 3 of the 4 bolts were in. Took it back and they said they had a hard time getting the bolt to line up so they skipped it. WTH!?!? Then when I was rewiring my trailer I had them install a harness. Got home hooked up my tv to trailer and nothing worked right. Double, triple and quadruple checked my work....researched trailer wiring schematics on line. Nearly went crazy tring to find the problem. Lo and behold the "professionals" at UHaul wired it incorrectly. Once they fixed it I got home hooked up and everything worked.
Only 3 of the 4 bolts, huh? Yikes! You'd like to have a little faith in a job done right. I'm thinking that this may be a likely suspect.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The 7-pin RV connector should only plug in one way; however, the thing preventing it from plugging in rotated to any one of six positions is a tab on one side and matching slot in the socket. If the tab is worn off (such as by being dragged on the ground) it could possibly plug in at the wrong position... it has happened (not to me).

I think that wrong wiring, as Roy describes, may be more common.
Yes, it think you're right. Thanks.
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