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Old 10-05-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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Adding a disconnect switch and terminal strip to batteries

I will soon be removing the batteries from my 83 Pace Arrow to clean them up and also install a disconnect switch.

I have rewired many things so I feel good about it overall, but I still have a few question that I am unsure of.

First where do you put the disconnect switch, on which battery or does it matter?

Also being I think there are too many wires going to each post I wanted to instead install a terminal strip. That being said I need to know once you add the terminal and then need to run one wire to the battery post, how do you then add the large battery wired to the terminal strip? Or how do you take the ten post terminal strip and add the one singe battery wire that will then be attached to the battery post.

I first thought I would use a heaver wire to each connection and then twist them together and then run that to the post, but if I have a problem I would again have a problem identifying which wire it is, because they are no longer a single wire.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Right now the batter are only sitting on a piece of wood, I also need to build a new battery tray any ideas.

Anyway I want a clean job when I am finished otherwise I am wasting my times, and I am sure that many of you have already tackled this job, so yo will be able to advise me.

By the way on the 83 Pace Arrow both batteries are under the front hood and not in a slide out battery tray.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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First, I admit I know very little about how a MH is wired. I don't think it would matter which side you put the disconnect on as long as it disconnects both batteries. I am inclined to do it on the postive side. Also I would probably keep the main wires connected to the batteries with an adequate wire to the terminal strip to hook anything else to.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartvines View Post
I will soon be removing the batteries from my 83 Pace Arrow to clean them up and also install a disconnect switch.

I have rewired many things so I feel good about it overall, but I still have a few question that I am unsure of.

First where do you put the disconnect switch, on which battery or does it matter?

Also being I think there are too many wires going to each post I wanted to instead install a terminal strip. That being said I need to know once you add the terminal and then need to run one wire to the battery post, how do you then add the large battery wired to the terminal strip? Or how do you take the ten post terminal strip and add the one singe battery wire that will then be attached to the battery post.

I first thought I would use a heaver wire to each connection and then twist them together and then run that to the post, but if I have a problem I would again have a problem identifying which wire it is, because they are no longer a single wire.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Right now the batter are only sitting on a piece of wood, I also need to build a new battery tray any ideas.

Anyway I want a clean job when I am finished otherwise I am wasting my times, and I am sure that many of you have already tackled this job, so yo will be able to advise me.

By the way on the 83 Pace Arrow both batteries are under the front hood and not in a slide out battery tray.
Regardless of what others will say, the disconnect should go on the positive cable. If you are going to use that disconnect to completely isolate the source from the entire coach, then it will have to go in the heavy gauge wire ( probably a '0' or thereabouts gauge) that ends at a terminal box or connector that feeds the starting system as well as the feeds for the inside lighting.

As far as adding a terminal strip, you will have to calculate the total 12VDC load for the accessories and with that information you can easily research what is needed as your power wire. My rough guestimate would be that a 10ga wire which will handle 30 amps might be a good choice. I would recommend a Maxi fuse in the feed line as well as using a fused terminal strip.

Wire colors - use whatever is currently used and solder (not crimp connections)extensions to the existing circuits. Rolls of wire in most wire gauge sizes are available at good auto stores. Be careful of what insulation is offered as many of the Chinese made brands aren't very good. NAPA has US made Belden. One thing to remember - if you have a stereo, it will lose it's memory without a permanent power source. If you have a computer controlled engine, it may have to reestablish its memory when you restart the engine.

This is the wiring on a car I just finished(photo was taken before completion and neatening). The little fuse strip in front of the module is the 'always on' stuff:


When you buy your disconnect switch, get a good one. A lot of the ones offered are pure junk!! I use a $25 race car version with lots of peak amp capacity (750-1000 amps). AMAZON sells them.

The battery box - there are many automotive versions available or make up your own using angle iron either bolted or welded together. The bottom also needs a drain as any possible 'boil over' needs to go somewhere besides your coach chassis.

Dave W[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/OURCOM%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:02 PM   #4
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After reading the OP again (more closely) what I said may not apply. Are both batteries House , or both for every thing or one for each? I was thinking both as house batteries.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:51 PM   #5
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As for the cable I would recommend going to your local welding supply store. They have numerous gages (Amp capacity) available and a better selection of terminal ends. The insulation is also commercial "rough service) quality. My local welding store also has better prices than "other" stores. They will also cut the cable to your exact length, crimp on the terminals (if that is what you want) etc.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:40 PM   #6
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I'm a little confused reading what you want to do. First the disconnect should be between the battery and the terminal strip.Then all the wires attached to the fused strip.The strip should have a wire large enough to feed the entire load attached to it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, as far as the batteries one for the engine and the other a deep cell for the house. Most of the wires that will be connected to the terminal strip is for the house, almost nothing is connected to the engine battery. As far as knowing what load each wire carries, how would I determined that, a volt meter? Again merely want to clean up the posts. Can not now check the battery cells because the are in the back and not accessible. Right now there are no addintal fused between the connections and I would prefer not to add them so there would be dual fused that I would have to be worried about.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:47 AM   #8
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Dual fuses are better than having an unprotected wire short and burn.Anything from the terminal bar to the fuse is unprotected. I think having the fuses in one place is better than searching for the blown fuse.The wire now is probably not protected but upgrading to a terminal strip is a good time to improve safety also.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:53 AM   #9
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that true, and I can assume that a 30 amp fuse should be able to protect each circuit.
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