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Old 03-18-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
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Battery and Battery Disconnect

Just bought a new HS 8801, when I got home the Battery Disconnect is not working. I also hate to say this but I cannot even fine the battery in the camper.
Any Help?
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:55 PM   #2
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You look under the step to get up into the bed. If this is a in bed camper.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:26 PM   #3
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I have a 6601 and I have to lift one cushion and remove a couple of screws to get to the battery, water tank and water pump. I would guess the 8801 would be similar.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:28 PM   #4
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Are you sure the disconnect isn't working? If you are plugged into the truck or on shore power lights in the truck will work.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:35 PM   #5
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I have a 6601 and I have to lift one cushion and remove a couple of screws to get to the battery, water tank and water pump. I would guess the 8801 would be similar.
I went and checked. Exactly where it is, under the bench seat against the front wall of the unit (under a cushion) with all your electrical and FW tank and pump,
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:42 PM   #6
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I did make sure I was not connected to external power, I will try in the morning to locate the battery and see if I can find the connection. Maybe it is not connected right.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:44 PM   #7
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Good luck. I had trouble with mine after I had it a while but it was just a loose terminal on the disconnect.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:51 PM   #8
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I have another question, when connected to shore power they say not use the electric jacks, they said it could damage the system.

Has anyone have any issues with this? Or is it ok to do so?
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:53 PM   #9
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They won't work if the disconnect is off but I'm not sure it would damage them. We've been at campgrounds and used them while on shore power
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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I have another question, when connected to shore power they say not use the electric jacks, they said it could damage the system.

Has anyone have any issues with this? Or is it ok to do so?
The reason for that warning is the current draw of the jack motors in operation is substantial. Consequently, you need to have your house battery fully charged when you operate them to offset the current draw. You should not operate the jacks with the house battery disconnected or discharged.

With the house battery discharged or disconnected, the entire load of the jack motor operation is placed on the converter and it could roast it. It's not designed to power the jacks and the current draw without the house battery in the circuit.

Furthermore, the WFCO inverter that FR installs in their units is, shall I say 'marginal in operation. It won't take a heavy current draw, just not that heavy duty. At some point in the future, you might want to replace it with a Progressive Dynamics inverter. Much better unit.

Nothing to be concerned about right away but something to consider as an upgrade.

All the units (hardside like you have and softside like I have) are sold with a single deep cycle house battery (mine came with a single Group 27). I upgraded to TWO house batteries, 2 Group 27's in parallel for the added amp hour capacity.

Because of the way I camp (with no hookups in the woods), my battery power is important. Though I carry a small inverter generator (Champion 2000 watt), I prefer running on battery power when I can for powering all my needs.

Because I run a PSW inverter all night to power my medical equipment, I need the battery reserve at night especially.

I'm considering switching from conventional batteries to Lithium Iron batteries. The battery weight is about 1/3 of conventional batteries, they are much more compact and deliver a continuous 12 volt discharge power until almost empty whereas a conventional battery can only be discharged to about 50% and then they loose their discharge voltage and my PSW inverter is dependent on 12 volt input to operate correctly.

Things to ponder down the road, but for now, you need a charged house battery in the circuit to operate the jacks, whether you are shore powered or not. because of the load imposed on the converter by the jack motors (amp draw) is too great for the converter to deliver.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:43 AM   #11
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My master disconnect switch (push-pull knob) controls the lights and all 12 volt accessories in the unit, but does not disconnect any 110 volt outlets in the unit. Again, only the 12 volt system is disconnected.

Keep in mind that when storing the unit, there will always be some parasitic drain on your battery, consequently, it's a good idea to remove it or trickle charge it (why there is an outside charging station on the camper, so you can hook up a charger and not remove the battery in storage.

My unit stays inside all winter and I leave it shore powered but I do keep an eye on the electrolyte levels in the house batteries, not real trusting of the WFCO inverter not to overcharge and boil out my batteries.

At some point, I'll upgrade to a Progressive Converter myself.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:57 AM   #12
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Not to highjack the thread, but how about posting the pictures of the battery upgrade, Flip?
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:54 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info. I also disconnected the wires from my disconnect and still everything worked of the battery.

I found the battery and some seemed to do a poor job wiring, you can see where they spliced in for the disconnect but some still getting power.
and I am not hooked to shore power, so i guess since i picked this up on Saturday the dealer can deal with this one.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #14
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Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:36 PM   #15
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Not to highjack the thread, but how about posting the pictures of the battery upgrade, Flip?
You got it. I was out in the shop grinding chipper knives. The local tree companies have discovered that I have the machinery to run their commercial chipper knives so I have gotten a pretty steady diet of knives to sharpen...anyway...

First picture is the box itself. I reused the vent from the plastic battery box before it went in the trash, Had a bail handle in the drawer I attached and stuck on the original (from the plastic batter box) warning label. Thete is plenty off room in there (compartment) for 2 batteries and everything else including my wife's step stool that you see in picture 2..

Second picture is the box with the lid open. Because I'm using flooded cell deep cycle batteries, there is an ever present issue of off gassing fumes so the edges of the box itself (3 sided) are sealed with closed cell foam strips (available at Lowes in the weatherproofing section. I fastened the box in with 2 x 2 angle brackets screwed to the floor, walls and box with short length galvanized deck screws. The floor side of the box already had a sceen covered opening for the plastic battery box so I ran a couple 1/4" x 2" wood strips for the batteries to sit on and used RTV to adhere them to the floor, that allows air circulation, in the bottom and out the existing vent (I used the original hose on the repurposed top vent fitting.

It looks like I have the batteries wired in series but they aren't, they are in parallel, + to + and - to - for 12 volts. I pulled the + to the camper from one battery and the - to the camper from the other, that way, the system sees the full amperage capacity from both batteries for discharging (running the 12 volt stuff like the fridge and lights) and for charging from the converter.

I sourced the cable and the lugs from Tractor Supply, the cable is copper stranded welding cable (sold by the foot) with the ends tinned and inserted in the lugs and soldered in (I prefer that over crimping because it conducts juice better that a physical crimp.

Third picture is my AIMS poiwer 1500 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter. It has a remote on and off switch and I have it hardwired to the battery (if you look, the leads are in picture 2 and hardwored to an existing outlet next to the bunk so I can plug in and run my CPAP on 110 volts and because the CPAP requires pure sine wave, thats what I installed.

The inverter works flawlessly, in fact, I've made coffee with it several times. 1500 watts poses no strain on the inverter at all.

Bill of materials:
1/2 sheet of BC plywood
roll of closed cell foam, 1/2" wide x 1/2" thick
7- 2 x 2 angle brackets
Galvanized deck screws, 1/2" long
welding cable
lugs
another battery

And of course some power tools like a table saw and a measuring tape and pencil and maybe a carpenters square.

I built mine to snugly accept 2 Group 27 Deep Cycle batteries with enough clearance over them to allow for the cables. I notched the ends of the battery box to allow for the cables to pass and p[ut foam in the holes with the cables to seal them

At some point I will probably switch to Lithium Iron batteries. If I do, I can add a 3rd battery.

Works like a charm, got rid of the clunky plastic battery box and I have plenty of room inside the compartment even with 2 batteries.

I'm happy.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:40 PM   #16
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While I'm in my pictures, here's one of my baby. It's a 1997 F350 I bought new in 97 and it 'sleeps' in the barn every winter. Never seen snow. My camper hauler and farm truck....
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:46 PM   #17
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Very nice. Submit it to truck camper magazine for their mod contest.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:24 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info. I also disconnected the wires from my disconnect and still everything worked of the battery.

I found the battery and some seemed to do a poor job wiring, you can see where they spliced in for the disconnect but some still getting power.
and I am not hooked to shore power, so i guess since i picked this up on Saturday the dealer can deal with this one.
I'll get Lakeside to chime in. He lives out your way.... He has a hardside like you and Hobiekaw have. Mine is a soft side but I would imagine the wiring is the same.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:46 PM   #19
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I have another question, when connected to shore power they say not use the electric jacks, they said it could damage the system.

Has anyone have any issues with this? Or is it ok to do so?
We have a new 2902. As long as your battery is at full charge (after driving a good distance to camping spot or by being hooked to shore power for a reasonable period of charging time) running your jack motors is not a problem. We camped nine times since picking up the camper and used this method with no issues.

Also Sidecarflip's information is accurate and helpful.

Good luck.

Lakeside
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:52 PM   #20
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Thanks for the info. I also disconnected the wires from my disconnect and still everything worked of the battery.

I found the battery and some seemed to do a poor job wiring, you can see where they spliced in for the disconnect but some still getting power.
and I am not hooked to shore power, so i guess since i picked this up on Saturday the dealer can deal with this one.

Once again Forest River we are back to your quality control issue or should I say, absence of. This repeat offense is unacceptable, but becoming the norm for most of the current RV industry.

Lakeside
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