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Old 11-24-2018, 04:25 AM   #1
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Battery Wiring Mystery T-17A Saturn

Hi,


I'm trying to put the batteries inside my trailer under the couch in the front. I can't seem to find a ground to hook them up too. I've got juice to them outside but unless I use a lighting ground or cut a hole I seem to be dead in the water even though the panel says battery on it. Two different fuses with 30 amp and they all seem to go to the same place. There is also a mystery yellow wire that is cut. I put a multi-meter on it and can't get any readings or even continuity.



Any ideas?


Thanks
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:07 AM   #2
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Isn't the common ground the steel frame under the structure?
There is a common RV electrical color code somewhere on this forum.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:13 AM   #3
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Don't want to steer you wrong so not being there I'm not going to suggest anything but the two fuses are for the battery feed to the camper from the battery the other is for the TV connection to protect the camper and the TV from a short. White is what Sunline uses for a ground it should be a #8 wire. Isn't there a space on the trailer tongue for the battery? I don't know your camper but generally batteries are not in a closed space inside because a charging battery produces hydrogen gas it goes boom if ignited.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:27 AM   #4
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Batteries and venting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Don't want to steer you wrong so not being there I'm not going to suggest anything but the two fuses are for the battery feed to the camper from the battery the other is for the TV connection to protect the camper and the TV from a short. White is what Sunline uses for a ground it should be a #8 wire. Isn't there a space on the trailer tongue for the battery? I don't know your camper but generally batteries are not in a closed space inside because a charging battery produces hydrogen gas it goes boom if ignited.



There isn't a space for 8 x T-105s Trojans. Hydrogen gas is the least of my worries. This thing leaks air like a sieve. There was so much dirt and crap blown in there when I bought it. Also you can feel air moving. Mine is an 1997. As far as tv's go I don't think it ever had one just a worthless Winegard Antenna that is for sale by the way. I planned on eventually putting a vent in along with 1kw of solar power.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Isn't the common ground the steel frame under the structure?
There is a common RV electrical color code somewhere on this forum.

I guess. Too bad you have to cut a hole to get to it.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:02 AM   #6
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8 x T-105 trojans.... OK that is some serious power. I too will express some friendly caution about the venting need if they are flooded acid batteries. It can be done, just research it out . Need fresh air in and an exhaust.

Curious how are you going to recharge 8 of them?

We have had members mount 4, 6 volts across the tongue and 4, 12 volt AGM's. But not 8, yet.

The yellow wire that is cut off is for reverse lights or known as an auxiliary. It comes from the 7 wire plug cable attached to the truck. Since the camper does not have back up lights, it is just dead ended in the box.

The 2, 30 amp fuses,

One is for the camper battery originally on the A frame. It connects the battery to the power converter to protect the wiring etc in case of a short.

The other 30 amp is used in series with the truck charging wire in the 7 wire cable to the truck. This protects the wire and the truck from a short. This is the one mainah was calling TV protection. TV meaning Tow Vehicle.

In this pic of yours I would "guesstimate" the larger red wire to the 30 amp fuse is the power converter fuse and the black to the other 30 amp fuse is the truck charging line. Search and see if that lines up to confrim that is correct. The others smaller wires are for the running/clearance lights, turn signals and the brake lights. The blue wire, assuming you have one blue would be for the trailer brakes. There should be a breakaway switch on the A frame too that comes into that box and ties to the blue brake wire and the hot red battery wire. This power up the brakes in the event the trailer disconnects from the truck


I'm making an assumption you are using some type of inverter with all that battery bank. That is some serious amperage if I'm understanding the 8 trojans right. There is no white DC ground wire in that junction box as it is basically the 7 wire truck cable junction box to the camper DOT lights.

If you look under the camper, starting at the battery, there should be a large white wire off the battery. The red would be DC + and the white DC -. I would get your battery DC minus to that large white wire if you are using your battery setup inside. And yes, if the batteries are inside you need to run a wire out of the camper OR working it inside back to the power converter.

Remember to fuse hot line going to the power converter to not over-amp the small wire of the camper.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #7
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See this pic from Etrailer on the 7 wire cable hook up. This will line up with the wire colors for the most part in that junction box.

Make sure you are reading the 7 wire RV standard color diagram. (the image in the center) The 7 way traditional trailer (on the left) is different colors and not what the RV world uses.



This is a direct link to the page that pic came from https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx


Sunline called that junction box "Battery" since there are fuses in it for the battery. Again it is just a 7 wire truck cable junction box to the camper 12 volt system. It never needed a DC negative in there. But I'm surprised there is not a white wire in there as DC neg comes in the 7 wire truck cable, just it is a smaller gage wire and not the battery charging wire to the power converter that is a lot larger.
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I guess. Too bad you have to cut a hole to get to it.
Yes and no..if you locate the frame you could tek screw into it.. should be close by but it may not be..
I'm gonna hand you off to Mainah na d John B. They are far more knowledgeable than I.
Like them I would caution to vent the gases out of the living space as they could harm more than just you... corrosive if I correctly recall and that jackknife couch is metal and plastic... could be a mess.
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:56 PM   #9
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I want to get my head around this are you going to be moving this thing? I mean that's like a 1/4 ton of batteries. At 15 watts to the square foot of solar that's going to take up a lot of roof! They are flooded batteries and will outgas. Electric heat? Washer dryer? DC welder? I would use a ground on every series pair instead of the end unless you intend to run 48 volts to an inverter.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:04 PM   #10
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Another thing I would like to suggest is when you install the batteries, make sure your weight load is somewhat balanced on either side of you TT. What I did after all other safety concerns were dealt with was to fuse EACH battery with a 30Amp fuse on the positive side right at the battery itself. When I installed an AC inverter on my truck. I fused it with a 50 amp fuse and used a light duty welding cable from the battery...through the firewall and then right to a welding connector. That type that is sued to join welding cables with a twist on. If I was ever in an accident or hit broadside nothing from the passenger door going to the rear would be affected or at least the fuse would blow. My 2000watt inverter stayed under the rear seat on the floor and when in use I brought it out for full air ventilation.

For the extra batteries in the TT, I recommend a higher than required cable to handle any POTENTIAL higher current demands.
As for grounding at the frame, drill holes in the frame and use a non rusting nut and bolt connection (stainless) make sure you use the old fashion battery "eye" connections. I would crimp those connections and then solder each connector for a secure connection. Again fuse each battery at the positive connection. My approach is considered by many as overkill but that just the way I do things.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:12 PM   #11
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2/0 copper so if they a series wired that would be OK you would have the voltage but not the current of multiple batteries still around 200 amps, parrelled huge current lower voltage so 8 X 200 = 1600 amps. So 48 volts at 200 amps is doable but it's not a house so I'm still at a loss as to why so much power? Unless you are really serious about living off grid and taking the house with you I just don't get it. I love solar and use it camping but my demands are not real high so 2 batteries and 160 AH with a 100 watt panel supplies all I'll ever need in the willy wags. P.S. I'm smart enough not to camp at 10 below I would install a wood stove first and drink lots of water!
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:42 PM   #12
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Hi Folks,


Sorry for the delayed response and thanks for all the replies. This isn't my first Solar Rodeo. I suppose I should have given you more info. Yes, it's very heavy and that is an issue. 62lbs each. However, I was planning on putting the RV in a stationary spot on my land while building another place to store everything in. My 3012 Xantrex Sinewave inverter weighs 70lbs as well. The 4 x 230watt panels weigh alot too. I was going to put the batteries under the galley seat to balance out the load but changed my mind after I decided to not make this unit mobile after it lands. If I had a bigger vehicle I could get away with the weight if I didn't put any fuel, water or waste in it to travel. I know all about venting and such. My last RV was a Alumilite 28 and it only had 4 Trojans and about 300 watts solar and a 400 watt wind turbine and a 1500 Trace inverter. It was slick. I wish I didn't loss the pics of it or I'd post from 1996.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:08 PM   #13
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If you are parked have at it you are kind of pushing the weight limit on the trailer even if you had something to pull it with. What are you going to do with all that power live in it? I camp off grid and can do just fine with two group 24's and a 100 watt panel. Granted I don't bring the house with me and have done everything in my power to reduce loads from LED's to pump accumulators I watch TV run my 100 watt ham radio and run a Fantastic fan only camp in the cold when there is power.
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