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Old 09-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
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Question Gauge wire for jumpers?

OK, was doing some maintenance on my three batteries. Noticed when I pulled them that the dealer used what looks like to be 10 or 12 gauge wire for the jumpers. (wired parallel) Should these jumpers wires not be the same size as the main battery wire? Or at least 4 gauge?
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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You mean the jumpers that are the parallel connections for the batteries??? Good grief! If both power take-off connections are on one battery, then theoretically the wires connecting that one to the other two would be handling "only" 66% of the current, and those connecting the last battery would "only" be carrying 33% of the current, so these could be somewhat smaller. In reality, I believe the batteries should be wired so that the positive power take-off is on one battery and the negative is on a different battery, and you shouldn't just assume that they're going to share currently perfectly anyway.

Bottom line, that dealer sounds dangerous! While the wires might could be a little smaller because they are so short, any voltage drop there can affect the sharing ability of the batteries, so I really think they should be the same size as what goes to the rest of the RV.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Jumpers should be the same gauge as the main cable and the main positive cable should be on the 1st (or last) battery in the series and the main negative on the last (or first) battery in the series. Of course, both main cables should be the same length. Again, all cables should be the same gauge.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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It's just cheap insurance. How much is wire? 1 or 2 dollars a foot? How much is the trailer and TV worth not counting you family and dogs.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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As an example"

Hooking batteries in parallel will give you the same voltage as a single battery, but with a Ah and current carrying capacity equal to the sum of the capacities of all the batteries. For example, three 12v 20 Ah batteries in parallel will give you 12v 60 Ah. If each battery could put out 200 amps max, three in parallel could put out 600 amps max.

Below is a chart for reference. I personally would wire between the batteries with the same gauge as the final takeoff feeding the trailer. Remember you now have triple the current available.

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Old 10-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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OK got my jumper wires replaced... Used some 4 gauge golf cart jumpers I had in the garage. Now I think that two of my three batteries may be going south. After charging all three batteries separately I have readings of 12.9, 12.3, 12.4.
I went ahead and hooked them all back up so I can see what my voltage was going to be after sitting for a week. First hooked back up, voltage was at 12.6, now it has dropped to 12.2. Disconnect has been off, so nominal draw from the level up system.
What I have been reading is that the 12.9 battery is still good and the other two may be near end of life?
Any info/insight would be greatly appreciated. Have one more trip next week before we put her up for the winter. So have time to get some new batteries if I need to for next season. Will be going with 4 6 volts next time!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by textman View Post
OK got my jumper wires replaced... Used some 4 gauge golf cart jumpers I had in the garage. Now I think that two of my three batteries may be going south. After charging all three batteries separately I have readings of 12.9, 12.3, 12.4.
I went ahead and hooked them all back up so I can see what my voltage was going to be after sitting for a week. First hooked back up, voltage was at 12.6, now it has dropped to 12.2. Disconnect has been off, so nominal draw from the level up system.
What I have been reading is that the 12.9 battery is still good and the other two may be near end of life?
Any info/insight would be greatly appreciated. Have one more trip next week before we put her up for the winter. So have time to get some new batteries if I need to for next season. Will be going with 4 6 volts next time!

The weakest battery will pull the strongest to its' level. Pull all three and recharge them with a standard charger. Hard charge for a while and then back off for a while. Then take a three to a auto parts store an auto parts store to get Load Tested. The Load test will show you the strongest and weakest. All three should be very close to the same range and holding.

If it was me and I was only planning on one more trip before winterizing, just use what I have and buy new ones next spring. It sounds as if you have made up your mind to go with the 6v, so why worry about your old batts? Give each a good hard charge and have a good time.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
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That is what I was thinking. They have been individually charged on a charger. That is why I was concerned with the two not holding over 12.4 after a charge at resting temp...
I think the two "bad" ones are due to the way my dealer had them wired. Did not hook them up correctly and I was too ignorant at the time to know better!
Thanks for the info
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