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Old 07-05-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
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Smile dry camping running off battery

Hi ,

We just finished dry camping in Yosemite on the Merced River. Nice to see almost everyone had a pop up. We have a 2006 Rockwood HW256. We have another few weeks left of dry camping around the national parks. The camper works perfectly when we have hook ups or when we have the 7 way switch plugged into our running vehicle. The electricity stops completely when we try to run off the battery. We need to run off the battery for a couple hours a night for the lights and the water pump.

What is wrong? I went into town and purchased a brand new battery, but it did not solve the problem. The battery isn't the issue as the winch works perfectly off the battery. There is a small transformer on top of the battery that appears to be some sort of switch. I will try and get a picture as I suspect this might be the problem ( it is rusty). Should I replace the transformer? Where can I get this ( is it a common/standard part)? The contacts were very rusty, but I replaced those as well to no satisfaction.

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:07 PM   #2
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pictures of battery "transformer"

Here are the pictures. There are two black wires connected directly to the negative terminal of the battery. A white wire directly to positive, and red connected via the transformer/switch. Hopefully this helps!!
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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You have the large white and black wires reversed. If you follow the large white wire you have incorrectly attached to the positive terminal, you should see it connects to the trailer frame. This wire should be connected to the negative terminal. Likewise, the large black wire should go to the positive terminal. The red wire is for your power lift and should be connected to the positive terminal via the thermal breaker (it's not a transformer). This connection looks correct. The smaller black wire also going to the negative terminal I am not so sure about because I don't know what it connects to. Since the main power wires have been reversed, you have blown the reverse polarity protection fuse at your power panel. It is usually a 30 or 40 amp automotive type fuse.
Remember, a trailer is wired like a house, not a vehicle. Black is HOT, White is NEUTRAL (Frame Ground).

Bob
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #4
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Thank you Bob! This is how it was wired when I bought it used and I have assumed it was correct. Let me try this. Is the fuse in the main fuse panel? I don't see any 40 amp fuses.
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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It could be a 30 or 40 amp. Don't necessarily look for a fuse, but rather a position for the fuse. The spot should be labeled reverse protection or some such wording. Since the battery was wired backward when you got it, the previous owner could have just left that fuse out because it kept blowing. What is the model of your power converter? Is it a WFCO WF-8735 or WF-8740?

Bob
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdfas
Thank you Bob! This is how it was wired when I bought it used and I have assumed it was correct. Let me try this. Is the fuse in the main fuse panel? I don't see any 40 amp fuses.
I note one more possibility, The small black wire appears to have a inllne fuse which means its probably a power supply for something. Therefore both blacks go to left positve, leave red and move white to negative. The reverse polarity might be part of the converter also. Anywhere from 14-50 amp. Good luck........
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
I note one more possibility, The small black wire appears to have a inllne fuse which means its probably a power supply for something. Therefore both blacks go to left positve, leave red and move white to negative. The reverse polarity might be part of the converter also. Anywhere from 14-50 amp. Good luck........
I wasn't sure about the small black wire. In the picture I can't tell if that is a fuseholder or a butt splice on the wire. It would probably be a good idea to trace it out to see where it goes before moving it to the positive terminal.

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Old 07-05-2013, 02:43 PM   #8
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None of the fuses in the main box are blown. There are 2 10 amp fuses, one 15, one 20 and one 30 amp fuse. Still searching for right location of the reverse polarity fuse.

When I reversed the large black and white connectors the winch stopped working. I put them back for now. Any other ideas? Maybe the small black wire is wrong. This one was loose and I hooked it up to the negative terminal. The previous owner swapped out batteries and likely hooked it up wrong. Thanks for the replies...
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Old 07-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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Some more info. The fuse box says model # wf-8712 and wf-8725 below.
There is a green 30 amp battery reverse polarity fuse and it seems fine. Will replace it anyway, but this is a puzzle...
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:16 PM   #10
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I now see the white wire splices from the battery. It goes both to the 7 pin connector to the truck and then grounds to the frame of the trailer. I now believe the ground to the trailer is rusted and needs to be replaced. Will try to post a picture, but the screw that grounds the white wire is one of those unconventional star screws. I don't have a picture yet, but could this be it? Why does the winch stop working?
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