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Old 07-08-2015, 04:45 PM   #1
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Need Electrical Help - Positive or Negative Ground

I just picked up my new unit today from the dealer. I thought I checked the operation of both AC and DC, but now I don't think the "tech" unplugged the AC when I asked him to. When I got home, absolutely no DC current anywhere. I finally found the main 30 amp fuse by the battery blown. I unhooked the + (positive) side of the battery, then replaced the blown fuse. As I was about to reattach the wires to the battery, I noticed that the "tech" had attached the + side of the battery to the frame of the trailer. In all my past experience with DC power, it has been - (negative) ground. I don't want to reattach the wires to the battery until I know which is which.

So in a travel trailer is it positive to ground or negative to ground?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 07-08-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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Definitely negative to ground... Hard to believe they could screw that up...

Joe
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilinJack View Post
I just picked up my new unit today from the dealer. I thought I checked the operation of both AC and DC, but now I don't think the "tech" unplugged the AC when I asked him to. When I got home, absolutely no DC current anywhere. I finally found the main 30 amp fuse by the battery blown. I unhooked the + (positive) side of the battery, then replaced the blown fuse. As I was about to reattach the wires to the battery, I noticed that the "tech" had attached the + side of the battery to the frame of the trailer. In all my past experience with DC power, it has been - (negative) ground. I don't want to reattach the wires to the battery until I know which is which.
So in a travel trailer is it positive to ground or negative to ground?
Thanks in advance for any replies.
SmilinJack
I don't know if your trailer uses a positive (+) ground or a negative (-) ground..... but a negative (-) ground sounds WRONG to me.
I would take the trailer back to the dealer and demand he have the "tech" figure out what he did wrong and fix it....even if the dealer did it wrong for free, (aka: at no charge).
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmilinJack View Post
I just picked up my new unit today from the dealer. I thought I checked the operation of both AC and DC, but now I don't think the "tech" unplugged the AC when I asked him to. When I got home, absolutely no DC current anywhere. I finally found the main 30 amp fuse by the battery blown. I unhooked the + (positive) side of the battery, then replaced the blown fuse. As I was about to reattach the wires to the battery, I noticed that the "tech" had attached the + side of the battery to the frame of the trailer. In all my past experience with DC power, it has been - (negative) ground. I don't want to reattach the wires to the battery until I know which is which.

So in a travel trailer is it positive to ground or negative to ground?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
Your trailer has to be a negative ground because that is the industry standard for cars and trucks. On most trailers the 12 volt system is hooked to the tow vehicle 12 volt system so that the trailer battery charges as you drive down the road. The trailer hitch (ground) is tied to the tow vehicle hitch receiver (ground). If your trailer is wired with positive ground then there is a good reason the fuse blew. Hope it didn't hurt your electronics.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:07 PM   #5
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Negative ground.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:24 PM   #6
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I don't think there has been a vehicle of any type made in the last 50 years that has positive ground.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. The dealer finally called and confirmed negative ground. An electrician friend also confirmed it. All good now. Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:08 PM   #8
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I would not be sure of that... Unless you added MADE IN AMERICA.. or made for sale here.... The last Positive grounded car I had was made in another country and I think it was a 196X (not sure of the last digit)

I had to do some major work to install radios and such in it.

(Actually since it was a generator system, not an alternator.. I wound up turning it around).
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:39 PM   #9
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What colour are the battery cables?

If they're black and white reverse polarity is quite common. I would use black tape and red tape to ensure the black goes to pos and the white goes to neg.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:01 PM   #10
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My dad had a 1955 ford with positive ground, so he was always asking me with my 1968 Ford, you're sure its negative ground ?
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:11 PM   #11
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On my TT, the negative wire is white, but at least positive is red... I have to be careful at work because I deal with very high amperage DC systems at -48VDC... and negative is red... positive is black... Sometimes the wire is locomotive cable and is 1111 circular mils... or about 2.25" in diameter... Yes, we use insulated tools...
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:23 PM   #12
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I don't think there has been a vehicle of any type made in the last 50 years that has positive ground.
I think some MG's were. They used Lucas (the inventor of darkness) electrical components.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:22 AM   #13
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I think some MG's were. They used Lucas (the inventor of darkness) electrical components.

Sorry, I was incorrect. MG changed to negative ground 49 years ago.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:28 AM   #14
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Many pre-1970 British cars were positive ground (I had 3 Triumphs). If you remember your High School physics, current flow is actually from negative to positive, so they wanted the current to run from the battery through the device, and then to the frame. In negative ground vehicles, the current flow is the other direction.
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