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Old 08-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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hooking up battery cables

Due to the high cost of the dealer Pre delivery inspection, we are providing our own battery. I am concerned about hooking it up with the right polarity. Are the cables labeled for positive and negative. if not, how can you tell which is positive and which is negative. I am probably paranoid about this but wanted expert advice to prevent any mess ups.

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Old 08-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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There is a sticker inside my camper, above where the battery was that says which color is which.

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Old 08-13-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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try following the wire back to the frame... if it is connected to the frame you have found the negative.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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There should be two wires already. Battery negative to ground, which is the camper's frame, and battery positive to your converter.

But, if you're picking it up at the dealership, it should be no skin off their nose if you ask for a little assistance.

As an aside: Since they are not providing a PDI, when do you intend to inspect the trailer? I like to do this at the dealership or at the owner's house before I buy. Just plan to work everything from locks to lights, all switches, appliances, tent ends, entertainment stuff and ALL systems (do this on battery and also on shore power), and check the roof, ceiling, walls and floors. Gather all manuals.

You can do this after you accept delivery, but then you lost your right of refusal in case of serious issues that should have been caught during the dealer's PDI.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #5
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Our Puma has a sticker with which is which but as above if it goes to the frame negative.

Your dealer is charging for a pre delivery inspection??????? WOW!!!!!


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Old 08-13-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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There should be more than just the two basic wires. There should also be the breakaway switch wire and a wire to the power hitch jack (if there is one). And in the case of a pop-up, there are the power lift wires. It would probably be a good idea to have someone there at the dealer, at the very least, look over your shoulder when you hook it up.

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Old 08-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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Improperly connecting leads to a battery might present problems down the road (pun intended). With a little study most anyone can do this job, you too. Consider the following:

As previous replies suggest, normally your frame is the ground side. Unfortunately this doesn't mean your equipment is installed with its leads connected to the correct polarity.

Nevertheless, adding a proper battery disconnect is in my opinion a safety feature. Many reasons exist.

And, a "buss" to between your batteries and equipment is important to some of us. Positive and negative wire buss allow excellent connections which help isolating trouble in equipment, and they can solidly connect multiple wires.

I've yet to find ANY vehicles wherein the ground lug was properly attached, save very high-end or otherwise modified RVs. Most are simply screwed to the frame, none had the paint removed from where the wire was to attach. A good connection is always suspect on the negative side.

While I'm at it, fuses at the battery, positive side within 1' of the battery and on each appliance prevent fires and isolate issues which may prevent destroying your device or exploding batteries. Connecting all equipment to one fuse isn't good.

And, one might tie these wires down so as to prevent rubbing against sharp edges, and out of the way of equipment. Wiring that crisscrosses rather than taking a protected route is a recipe for trouble.

As always, use safety equipment such as one's head, safety glasses and meters. Furthermore, wire size, switch, fuse, and connector sizes are very important and cannot be overlooked.

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Old 09-24-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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Looking for pic of how it should look for battery hookup to popup
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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Don't have a picture, but the concept is the same for all trailers. Trace the wires. One goes to the frame, usually within 18" or so, the other goes into the trailer.

The one that goes to the frame is the negative, the other one is positive.
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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