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Old 04-02-2019, 05:40 PM   #1
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Alaska
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Moving battery to tongue

I have an 83 Burro and I’d like to move my battery from under the sink to the tongue. I currently have 2 propane tanks on the tongue and I will dump one to allow room for the battery.
My question pertains to procedure. Is it as simple as running two same-gauge wires from current terminals from under the sink back out to the tongue?
Secondly, the camper has no fuse box. Is this unsafe and should I install one?
Thanks in advance for any help.
PS- this site is my only choice for social media!
Bruce
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:03 AM   #2
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Bruce,


I would strongly recommend one of these, or similar, and an appropriately sized fuse. It is a fuse holder that mounts directly on the battery. You can get fuses rated as low as 30 amps.


Carl
Blue Sea Systems MRBF Surface and Terminal Mount Fuse Blocks




https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...R0RE5JVM0VA4WY
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:14 AM   #3
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Bruce,


I do not know what your loads are, but I would run at least the same gauge as the existing wire. To keep voltage drop to a minimum a larger wire would be better. Sizing the correct wire depends on two factors, the load and the maximum acceptable voltage drop. If you use a 30 amp fuse on the battery, you should have a minimum wire size of 12 AWG.
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Old 04-03-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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Bruce,



I noticed something else in your photo. Reflectix near your terminal block!! Bear in mind that this stuff is conductive. I recommend you find a way to protect your terminal block from inadvertently contacting this stuff!


And as Bill mentioned, a distribution fuse box would be a nice addition. If you only have a few loads you might also consider inline fuse holders to save space.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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Also keep in mind that a lead acid battery is a lot heavier than a propane tank. Your tongue weight will be effected. I moved the battery to the tongue of my LiteHouse, and it changed things a bit, especially when going up or down steep slopes. Now I'm more likely to bottom out. Keep in mind that the LiteHouse has 8" tires, so probably less of a problem for folks with 12" or larger.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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actually, reflectix does not appear to be conductive to my ohm meter. I tested it with the probes as close as 1mm apart, on both sides, and got nothing, not even megohms

that said... ok, so you have a battery, but there's no power converter/charge controller? so, what, tow vehicle charging only, and just lighting and maybe a fan hung off the battery?

If that were mine, I would strongly consider rewiring the whole trailer, putting in a power converter/charger with integral fuse panel, running the battery off that. ideally, use as short and heavy gauge wire as possible from the tow vehicle's 7-blade RV connector to the battery, too.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:32 PM   #7
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John,


You made me question my sanity regarding the reflectix, so I made another measurement as shown below. The strip is about 1/2 inch wide and 12 inches long. I took numerous measurements at different places, not pressing to hard on the material so as not to penetrate any surface coating that may be present. My test setup is in the photo. I measured 21 ohms! The meter is a Fluke model 325
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:29 PM   #8
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Thanks, fellas for the info/suggestions/advice. I guess I知 a bit overwhelmed now. My ignorance led me to believe there was little work to the conversion i wanted. Now I知 certain I知 over my head, as I have no experience with electric work.
As a result of your comments I知 currently watching electric 101 primers on YouTube to learn about terminal mount fuse blocks, distribution blocks, terminal blocks, appropriate wire gauges...
I知 guessing the picture I posted is a ground distribution block.
In the morning I知 back out to the Burro w a flashlight and a new interest in what wire痴 what and where the battery cables are going.
I知 sure I値l be bothering you with more questions. Many thanks.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:14 AM   #9
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thats not a ground block unless all those screws are internally wired together. it looks more like the sort of terminal block where each pair of screws just connects to each other.

often in trailer 12V DC wiring, they use the household black-and-white wiring convention where black is 'hot' or 'live', and white is 'neutral' meaning ground. this annoys the heck out of me who comes from the electronics world, where black is negative or ground, and red (or other colors) are positive or hot.
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Old 04-05-2019, 07:19 AM   #10
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Just a point that may have been mentioned but I didn't recognize it:

Use "braided" copper wiring--the kind used in cars and trucks, not the solid kind used in houses. It's more flexible for these oft-named "rolling earthquakes"that are our eggs.

BEST to you on this. We got the 110, breaker box, etc. and the trickle-charger all set up, Paul had no problem, but until recently we didn't have 12V outlets in Peanut. We kept puzzling over how to correct that without easy luck. Then last spring at a rare Radio Shack in the wilds of Oregon Paul found plugs that go into 110 outlets and convert them that easily, right on the spot. Voila! Now he can use his 12V electric blanket and recharge our funny little pull-up lantern and plenty else.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:36 PM   #11
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my favorite wiring for DC applications is MARINE wire, its stranded and tinned, has very tough insulation.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:06 AM   #12
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Yes, MARINE wire sounds great.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
often in trailer 12V DC wiring, they use the household black-and-white wiring convention where black is 'hot' or 'live', and white is 'neutral' meaning ground. this annoys the heck out of me who comes from the electronics world, where black is negative or ground, and red (or other colors) are positive or hot.
I agree about the annoyance of black/white wires. I'm familiar with electrical wiring and I'm used to black/red for DC. I like marine wiring for AC and DC. I use it on my boat too. Things really get interesting when black/red is used along with yellow/red for marine DC.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:47 AM   #14
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Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
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Battery Tongue Mount/Propane Bottles

Hi Bruce,

Yep, electrical can be daunting. Good source for your
education is:

https://www.solar-electric.com/learning-center

There is plenty of info here from basic to more advanced.

Looking at the photo of your trailer tongue/battery situation
it seems to me that the simplest solution would be to change
the propane bottle setup to one single slightly larger bottle freeing
up the space the other bottle occupies for a battery box with
your trailer battery inside. However, I find that one 20 Llb/ 5 gallon
bottle is plenty. For emergency in case I run out I carry a small
2 gallon bottle in reserve. Here is a photo of my Group 31 Trojan
SCS225 130 AH battery in box mounted next to the propane tank
on the tongue of my Trill. I used aluminum angle from Home Depot
to construct a bracket to hold the battery box. Weighs about 75 lbs
with box, battery and bracket.

Second photo is of battery in box with 80 Amp fuse in positive lead
of battery cable. The jumper from the fuse block to positive battery
terminal is a piece of copper pipe flattened out and drilled.

This setup has served well for the last 9 years... I may replace the
battery this spring just to ensure I don't have a failure this summer
while dry camping.....

Have fun learning about the electrical topic.

Good Luck, Larry H
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-NS27 View Post
I agree about the annoyance of black/white wires. I'm familiar with electrical wiring and I'm used to black/red for DC. I like marine wiring for AC and DC. I use it on my boat too. Things really get interesting when black/red is used along with yellow/red for marine DC.


I am a bit forgetful and with wiring, that can be an issue. I have a label maker and when there is potential confusion, pop a label on the wire.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:41 PM   #16
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Tongue weight

Shouldn稚 there be an approx. tongue weight of 12% of loaded trailer weight.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:53 PM   #17
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Yes.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmerbreck View Post
Shouldn稚 there be an approx. tongue weight of 12% of loaded trailer weight.
well, 10-15% is the rule of thumb. but there's lots of exceptions... for instance, a trailer with the wheels very far back, and a long tongue, it can be considerably less than 10% and still be stable (many european caravans are built this way)... and trailers like 5th wheels put a lot more than 15% on the hitch....
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:47 PM   #19
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Hi Larry,

I'm fitting up a new battery assembly on the tongue of my trillium 1300. A similar set up shown in your photo. I wanted to double check how the wiring to/from the battery terminals penetrated the trailer where the power center is. For example, I'm pondering if I should run the electrical in a conduit mounted to the frame and then pententrate inside the trailer from the floor or directly penetrate the trailer through the trailer wall (trailer bow) adjacent the tongue/battery location. I wanted to review some assemblies to help get an idea. Can you provide any advice. And/or a couple photos of your setup for me to review? Thanks,
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:06 PM   #20
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one safe way to run a heavy gauge round wire through fiberglass is a 'marine gland'. these are sized to the OD of the insulation, and for the two heavy gauge battery wires, you would use a pair of them. they are completely waterproof when properly installed.

example: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...dp/B0002UEOIW/


here's another style, for two wires...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GDH2TTV/

if you use the side entry style, I'd recommend pointing the cable entries DOWN, so rain water wont' run along the cables and try to sneak in.
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