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Old 06-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
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Question Electrical Problem: Running lights on when battery connected

Hello everyone, I think this is my first post. I've been fixing up my family's 1985 T-1550 since the Fall and have found everything here I've needed until now. A big thanks to everyone for the wealth of knowledge on these forums! I'm nearly finished with the project and had it out for a long Memorial Day weekend with only a few minor issues. So hopefully I can start contributing and I'll post project pics when I get them organized.
My problem is that my marker lights, which are LED now, are on but very dim when the battery is connected. I didn't think the marker lights were associated with the battery power at all. Another possibly associated issue I had was that the battery was completely dead after 1 hour of driving when arriving to the campground (non-electric site), I had the shore power connected for a few days prior at home and the battery seemed charged, at least the interior lights and water pump worked. During the remodel I had the entire rear ripped apart but was very careful to mark and reconnect everything as best I could. I did remove the hot water heater and heater, those wires are capped. My father had previously done some wire work around the battery area for quick disconnects to charge batteries for his electric boat motor, I didn't change anything here besides sealing the connections. There is a slow burn fuse near the battery and that's it on the tongue other than the wires. All the fuses in the converter and front marker light panel are good. I'm only slightly electrically inclined and not sure where to start troubleshooting this.

Thanks,
Joe
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00 AM   #2
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Glad you finally posted and want to see those project pictures.


You might double check the wiring to make sure no short is there. Sounds like a ground where one shouldn't be making a new circuit keeping lights on all the time and killing battery. Since it killed battery when connected to tow vehicle I would start at hitch mods to make sure all wires were reconnected as they should be.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:15 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum Joe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoesNose View Post
... My problem is that my marker lights, which are LED now, are on but very dim when the battery is connected. I didn't think the marker lights were associated with the battery power at all. ...
You are correct, the marker lights and the tail lights all get power from the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle also provides some current to charge the trailer battery while driving .... usually. As Jim said, the first place to look would be those connections up front. That umbilical cord with the 7 pin connector that connects to the tow vehicle should have all the wires going to the marker and tail lights with the exception of a ground wire to the trailer frame and a wire to the battery. This is the connections on the 7 pin plug that pluggs into the tow vehicle.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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Joe, You said your LED running lights are on but very dim. That could be the result of reversed polarity of your running lights. LEDs are polarity sensitive and now each one should be rechecked to proper polarity. After the wiring is worked properly from the front plug to the back lights.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help so far. I only had a minute to fiddle last night and all I did was connect the RV battery again, the marker lights didn't light up at all this time. Sorry, I need to get out and fiddle some more. To clarify, I noticed the marker lights were illuminated very very dimly when while only the RV battery was connected. The TV and the shore power were disconnected and have been for a week. Only the small marker lights on the sides and upper rear were lit, not the parking lights in the brake lights. All the lights work properly with the TV connected, I tested the polarity with a 9V battery before making the final connections, I have some experience with LED's and very basic wiring from a past job with tow trucks. The only thing I can think is that I have a crossed wire strand in the 7-way connector or somewhere else. Is there a ground for the marker lights that connects to the RV frame or does that go back to the TV through the 7-way? The only ground to frame I remember were two exposed heavy ground wires from the converter and circuit breaker box in the rear, these were cleaned, reconnected and tested. Should there be a ground to frame on the tongue, like a ring terminal on a white wire to the frame?
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:50 PM   #6
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The marker lights should not work if you are not connected to the TV no exceptions how ever it sounds like some thing is not grounded properly and it is finding a ground through the light wiring this can make the marker lights glow. All of the camper wiring is white ground so make sure nothing of any other color is connected to a ground connection. If your TV has a factory tow package it will have previsions for batter charging if it does not then yes the TV will not charge the battery. If your TV has an 8 pin outlet it most likely has a charging system for the camper and should charge the camper battery. A test light on the pin at 1:00 (TV outlet) should have power with the engine on or a voltmeter should be in the 13 volt range to ground.
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