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Old 07-28-2019, 09:48 AM   #1
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12V DC Battery Keeps Blowing Fuses

Hi folks,

I recently bought a used 2004 Forest River, Flagstaff pop-up trailer.

I bought it private, and the gentleman I bought it from provided a fairly new 12V battery for the DC hookup. It worked when I left his place, but I've had trouble with it since.

I'm not a pro, and don't know a lot about electrical, but happy to research and learn.

I have a black wire and white wire that connect to the battery (no red wire). From what I've read online, black is negative and white should be positive. I also read that I should attach the black wire first, followed by white, and take white off first then black.

When I attach the black wire to the negative terminal on battery, I sometimes get some sparks, and that's when it keep blowing some of my 15amp fuses on the panel. Panel picture attached. Looking closer at what is in there now, the Lights and Accessories fuses have 10 amp fuses, although the legend says they're rated for 8 amp. Not sure if that's the problem; however, it's the 15 amp fuses that blow, not the 10's.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:23 PM   #2
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TRACE the wires...........
ONE has to go to trailer frame as GROUND
That wire goes on NEG post

White is typically NEG
Black is POS

WHICH Fuse is Blowing?
The far Right ---MAIN Battery

The far Left ---Reverse Polarity

The one marked 15 ...Accessories #1
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #3
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First thing you should learn The color of a wire means nothing until you have traced it down with a meter or some how learned what it does. One or more wires goes to the trailer frame. That wire should hook to the (-) post of battery. By the book, industry standard says that wire should be white, but old trailers do not often read the book.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:59 PM   #4
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Quick way to determine the negative wire is that most of the time with pop-ups or any other trailer with the battery on the A frame at the hitch is that, generally speaking, the negative wire is bolted to the frame pretty close by. One can assume the 'standard wiring colors', but that can go haywire when a DIY messes with it using whatever wire is laying around. So the color scheme may be different, the wire size (gauge) may be wrong, etc.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
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You have a collection of good answers here, but do you own a meter of any kind?

Power the camper with shore power and then see what you have at the black and white wires......

I bet that it does not go the way you think. Then you can re-label the wires so this does not happen again.

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Old 07-28-2019, 01:19 PM   #6
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Yes, so many great answers. Thanks everyone!! This is helpful in my learning.

I can confirm that the white wire grounds to the frame. So, with what you folks have said, this should go on the negative terminal of the battery (which I wasn't doing).

Does it matter which order I connect the wires (i.e. always connect white/negative first, and remove it last)?

I recently bought a meter, so I will hook up shore power and test them.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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Connecting battery cables
POS 1st
NEG Last

Disconnecting battery cables
NEG 1st
POS Last
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks again, everyone. I got it working!

I plugged in the shore line and use my meter to ensure I knew which wire was live. It was black (positive).

Also, connecting them (POS 1st, NEG 2nd) helped.

Happy travels, all.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:54 PM   #9
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They used House Wiring color code. Black is Hot, White is Neutral, Green is Ground.
Electronics DC color code Red is Hot and Black is Ground (or neutral).

My trailer has a mix of both. Thick Battery wires are Red and Black. Thick ground wires are Black. Lots of small white wires on the DC ground bus bar, for lights, radio, heater etc...
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battery, fuse, fuses

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