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Old 11-15-2012, 11:40 PM   #1
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Battery Black or White Wiring for Postive Post

I have purchased a wonderful used pick up truck Forest River camper, unfortunately the 12 volt battery was missing. I purchased a new battery but now I don't know which wire Black or White goes to the positive battery post. Can anyone help me?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:50 PM   #2
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Good question ?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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With a volt-ohm meter measure each wire to the frame rail, the ground wire will show continuity or almost zero ohms.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by joenic53 View Post
With a volt-ohm meter measure each wire to the frame rail, the ground wire will show continuity or almost zero ohms.
Exactly! and if your ohm meter has a "continuity" setting, it will sound a tone when you touch the frame with one lead and the correct ground wire to the other lead.

In every RV I have had, the White wire is ground, and the Black wire is +12v positive. Which is kind of bass-ackwards from typical BLACK IS GROUND automotive wiring.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
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On mine the white is + and the black is -.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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On mine the white is + and the black is -.


Interesting
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
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The continuity test described is the only sure way to tell.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Interesting
Remember, Turbs, they do things different north of the Mason-Dixon.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:39 AM   #10
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Interesting, I wonder if the 110 is color coded like the 12 volt or if it is opposite like most home wiring? Never thought much about it on my rv.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:57 AM   #11
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I think somewhere in the RV manufacturer manual is an oath they sign and send back to the RV gods that is designed to keep up guessing.

My volt/ohm meter is my best friend when working any electric issue in my TT. I also tag any wire I work with when I find where it comes from and goes to in the trailer. I use a white paper tag with a string in it for that purpose.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #13
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Moved it to the MO-IA line when I lived in MO. There is a reason why all the trees in north Mo lean to the north.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Interesting, I wonder if the 110 is color coded like the 12 volt or if it is opposite like most home wiring? Never thought much about it on my rv.
I always figured they color coded the rv's more like in AC home wiring, since the rv's plugged into AC.

It seems like that would cut down on the confusion (especially with all the dual AC/DC powered stuff in an RV), more so than if you used part of the color codes for DC wiring, then part of the color codes for AC wiring.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #15
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My Forest River product (ROCKWOOD) 12VDC positive + wire is yellow with a green stripe, the negative - is solid white. But it is better to use a VOLT meter to determine which is POSITIVE and which is NEGATIVE.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:33 PM   #16
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Interesting, I wonder if the 110 is color coded like the 12 volt or if it is opposite like most home wiring? Never thought much about it on my rv.
In accordance with Coachmen schematics Red is always the predominate supply feeders. After connection to bus or devices they may take out many colors to carry the + signals. They use white as return to ground on all devices I sighted. Auto Batteries are always red + and black ground.
Household is Red and Black 110 feeders for 220V, with white neutral returns. Most 110 feeds in household is black feed and whte returns.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:05 PM   #17
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Interesting, I wonder if the 110 is color coded like the 12 volt or if it is opposite like most home wiring? Never thought much about it on my rv.
110 and 12 volts color codes are different. Even 12 volt color codes are different depending on if the system is grounded or not. I have a toy hauler and it uses a negative ground and uses red (+ or hot wire) and white (- or ground wire) wires, which follows the correct color code. Newer automobiles are red (+ or hot wire) and black (- or ground wire). Some older ones were wired the opposite way (not good). Here is a link to the US National Electrical Code (NEC) color chart that should be used. Scroll to the bottom for 12 volt systems: Wiring Color Codes : COLOR CODES I'm guessing some trailers are color coded incorrectly.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #18
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So I guess my answer is there is no standard.

I have always used red and black as + on AC and white as -. And on all dc I have used red as + and black as - unless schematics state other wise(ie. Left right and running lamps). I have been under semi dashes and seen nothing but yellow wires- what a nightmare!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #19
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So I guess my answer is there is no standard.

I have always used red and black as + on AC and white as -. And on all dc I have used red as + and black as - unless schematics state other wise(ie. Left right and running lamps). I have been under semi dashes and seen nothing but yellow wires- what a nightmare!
Actually there really is, but loose. We said the same thing as the NEC chart US DC standard. Only just forget the positive to chassis connection, white hot. Its been since the 6V system of the 1950's its been obsolete. Gets tricky with the colors but a heck of lot easier to trace point to point through the rv.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:53 PM   #20
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In normal wiring with only a black and a white wire, the black would be the hot side. That only if there are only two wires as you described. If you don't know which one is the neutral. Use a meter and put one lead on a good frame ground and place the other on the wire. with the meter set up for continunity or ohms, you should get a reading if that wire chosen is a ground. If nothing happens on the meter try the other wire. One of them should be tied into the frame ground.

But you never know without a true schematic how it was wired by the person at the factory, so using the meter to test for the ground wire is the only way to find your answer.
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