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Old 08-17-2015, 11:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Nevada City, CA
Posts: 13
Battery questions from newbie

Preparing my TT after about 6 months in storage. A friend attempted to charge the battery. No such luck. He told me I needed to replace it.

A couple of questions.
Can I just use shore power without replacing the battery? That is what I'm doing. But, I'm not getting enough power. The fridge has turned off a few times in the past few days. Also, I can't use many lights at once. The get real dim. I hope I'm not messing things up.

I will replace the battery. But, the cables have been taken off and I don't know which one is negative or positive. So, I'm concerned about hooking them back up. I will probably just get a battery like the one I had. I think I would like to increase the amps I can use, but the learning curve about that is high for me.

I'd like to just go some place tell them what I want to do and have them tell me what to get and install it. But, I don't know where I could do that. I'm in El Centro, heading to Orange County, California.

I don't think I know enough even to screw up! Though I might.


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Old 08-18-2015, 07:41 AM   #2
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lowell, Arkansas
Posts: 3,776
Hi, There are always lessons to be learned. If you are technically challenged then if you want to do things like that take out your phone and take some pictures before you disconnect.

First thing is this. If your coach battery is not accepting a charge then yes it will act like a sponge and try to steal all your shore charging power (SP) and therefore there may not be enough to simply run things.

Next question is this. Do you know that the shore power is trying to recharge your coach battery?? There is no guarantee that the converter is actually charging your battery unless you check it. The only way to determine that is to measure the voltage at the battery before plugging in to SP. Go to an auto parts store and tell them that you need a digital volt ohm meter so you can measure DC voltages on your TT. They may show you what to do. It's fairly simple and it's time to learn something.

Maybe when you were in high school you should have taken some shop classes and learned some real practical things and you wouldn't be in this fix. Taking all those college math classes really help prepare you for the real world. LOL Just kidding!!!!! I was a shop teacher and I get questions from folks like you every day. A lot of book learning but nothing that you can really use.

The voltage at your battery if they are discharged will be less than 12 volts DC. When you plug in the SP it should be 13.6 volts or greater. If it's still your original voltage of less than 12 volts then your converter is not charging the batteries.

Now back to the cables. You have two connections to re-connect to the battery. A + (positive) and a - (negative). Take either cable and follow it down and under to it's next connection. If it goes to the frame or any piece of metal with a nut and bolt through it then it is negative. If it goes down and under to another connection like a solenoid or just a connection that looks like it's isolated from metal (ground) and may have more than one wire. Some of those wires may have a red plastic insulating coating around them then that is the positive cable.

At the battery search for a big + as part of the battery case. That's the positive connection. Connect it first. Then connect the negative next. Be careful with your wrenches and don't allow the handle of the wrench to touch any metal ground while it's connected to either cable. If it does you'll see a spark but you won't die.

Here's something else I'd do. While you are at the auto store buy yourself a decent spare battery charger. It may cost you about $30-40. Hook that up using an extension cord to your coach battery. That is a way of charging the battery without trying to use the converter as your charging source just in case the converter is bad.

Send me a PM (private message) if you have any more questions. Remember I was just kidding about taking some shop classes.

This should get you started.

TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:42 PM   #3
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Yes, you need a new battery and should always disconnect if storing for more than a few days.

Your tow vehicle can supply enough power for fridge, but in a worst case scenario the trailer brakes would fail to function if the trailer breaks off. Any autoparts store, Costco or Walmart should have a group 27 deep cycle for under $100.
2013 Winnebago 2301BH-Red
2012 Ram 2500 Megacab HO CTD
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:38 AM   #4
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Happy to say, I'm safely in Sacramento with electrical all going well. Needed a new converter. Got that done. When time changed back from day light savings, it was nice to be able to see to fix dinner!
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Adhdventures View Post
Happy to say, I'm safely in Sacramento with electrical all going well. Needed a new converter. Got that done. When time changed back from day light savings, it was nice to be able to see to fix dinner!

Did you buy/install a new battery?

Here is a good article about batteries/converters etc. Very helpful info
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:51 PM   #6
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Posts: 631
Glad you solved your problem. A lot of people have problems with electrical issues. I am able to build, remodel or solve just about any problem but will admit to being weak in this area. I will do wiring at home but am very careful.
Sorry for the negative vibes you received about the problem. Those who ask for help should not be scolded for not being able to solve all problems.
I wish I was down in So Cal with you to enjoy the weather.

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battery, newbie

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