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Old 05-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #81
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My description is probably out of order. Will likely need to mount the rocker switch first.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #82
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I put a marine battery switch on my Niagara. One similar to this one. It cuts off the positive connection to the battery, except the separate wire for breakaway switch. My installation bolted to the side of the battery box.

Mine was a two position switch so I could switch power to my inverter separately. Aside from saving the battery when the camper is in storage, it also lets you isolate the battery from the refrigerator when running on 12V on the road. I installed it the first time I arrived at camp with a dead battery after a long drive with several long stops when the car cut off the supply.

I plan on adding one to my new camper, whenever it gets here.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:07 PM   #83
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Pooneil: I'd love to see pics and details of your install of that switch.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:37 PM   #84
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Pooneil: I'd love to see pics and details of your install of that switch.
No pics because the camper is gone. But I'll give as good of a description as I can remember.

The two position switch was designed to allow one of two or both battery banks to be used for starting a marine motor. But it can also be used in reverse to allow one battery to be switched to one of two or both circuits.

The positive wire was attached to the common pole on the switch and the feed on to the camper was attached to the "1" position. So when the switch was in the "1" position the camper worked as normal. The "2" position was wired separately to the positive terminal on my inverter, a wire I ran with another wire attached to the negative terminal and into the cargo trunk. With the switch in the "2" position only the inverter was powered. In the 1+2 position both the camper and the inverter were powered.

The main thing to to watch out for is to make sure the breakaway switch is attached directly to the battery.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #85
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Thanks for the description. Makes sense.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:30 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Pooneil View Post
The positive wire was attached to the common pole on the switch and the feed on to the camper was attached to the "1" position. So when the switch was in the "1" position the camper worked as normal. The "2" position was wired separately to the positive terminal on my inverter, a wire I ran with another wire attached to the negative terminal and into the cargo trunk. With the switch in the "2" position only the inverter was powered. In the 1+2 position both the camper and the inverter were powered.

The main thing to to watch out for is to make sure the breakaway switch is attached directly to the battery.
Guys -- I'm going to need more help here, especially since I'm completely new to campers. I would like to cut the power to the camper from the outside so when I inevitably forget to cut it off from the inside I don't have to pull the camper out of the garage, set it up, cut the power, close it, and return it to garage.

I looked for a wiring diagram of a camper trailer and couldn't find anything.

The trailer brakes are powered through the connector to the TV?
The breakaway switch needs to be connected to the trailer battery since the TV would no longer be connected in a breakaway situation?
How would I locate the breakaway wire so I can hard wire to the battery?
What is the advantage of powering only the inverter or the camper and inverter?
Maybe just a simple cut off switch would be easier for a newbie?
What gauge wire should you use both for the switch and running the breakaway wire to the battery?

Thanks for any help you can offer!
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by wayfaringgirl View Post

Guys -- I'm going to need more help here, especially since I'm completely new to campers. I would like to cut the power to the camper from the outside so when I inevitably forget to cut it off from the inside I don't have to pull the camper out of the garage, set it up, cut the power, close it, and return it to garage.

I looked for a wiring diagram of a camper trailer and couldn't find anything.

The trailer brakes are powered through the connector to the TV?
The breakaway switch needs to be connected to the trailer battery since the TV would no longer be connected in a breakaway situation?
How would I locate the breakaway wire so I can hard wire to the battery?
What is the advantage of powering only the inverter or the camper and inverter?
Maybe just a simple cut off switch would be easier for a newbie?
What gauge wire should you use both for the switch and running the breakaway wire to the battery?

Thanks for any help you can offer!
Trailer brakes or "breakaway" is powered by the camper OR a remote little battery.

Are you actually talking an "inverter" or the "converter"?

You can mount a battery disconnect outside near the battery.
Use the same gauge wire that the battery cables are.

That's a stupid design to put the battery disconnect inside ?!?!
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #88
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Are you actually talking an "inverter" or the "converter"?

That's a stupid design to put the battery disconnect inside ?!?!
I was quoting Pooneil -- I assumed he meant converter.

The dealer told me I could pull one of the fuses on the inside to cut the power for storage -- I know I'll forget to do that at some point...
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #89
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See post #76 - my fuse is between the propane tanks and the front of the trailer...the blue one....
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:44 AM   #90
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And the line from the fuse Tamara is talking about to the battery is the one to install the switch in. Although I have to say I leave my batteries (I have a dual-battery setup) hooked up all season; I don't have a battery switch installed, nor do I pull the main fuse between camping trips. I just plug the camper in to an extension cord from my garage every week or so for about 24 hours. That allows the camper's built in converter/charger to keep the batteries up. If your dealer included an adapter to allow the camper's 30-amp plug to fit into your garage's 15 or 20 amp outlet, all you'd need is the extension cord (if your camper is parked close enough). If you didn't get the adapter they cost very little, for example: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Road-Power...apter/16817349
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by wayfaringgirl View Post
Guys -- I'm going to need more help here, especially since I'm completely new to campers. I would like to cut the power to the camper from the outside so when I inevitably forget to cut it off from the inside I don't have to pull the camper out of the garage, set it up, cut the power, close it, and return it to garage....
Use the KISS rule...the battery fuse case is very accessible and so easy to pull the fuse out and this also protects your battery from over charging just in case there is a problem with the full charged sensor. I do this process when I know my next trip is more than week later but I do leave my rig plug in to keep my drinks in the fridge cold.

I think you have read my thread on how to do a battery reading and the battery chart to indicate what level charge state it is...you do not want to have it below 60% always have it fully charged.

You'll be an expert in no time...So far the information I'm getting here helped me a lot.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #92
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I was quoting Pooneil -- I assumed he meant converter.

The dealer told me I could pull one of the fuses on the inside to cut the power for storage -- I know I'll forget to do that at some point...
Sorry about the confusion. My posts here were a bit wide ranging because I was also talking about a personal setup that included an inverter to give me 120V AC.

Specifically for your situation. You can move the positive wire from the battery to your camper and install an on/off marine battery switch in the line. That way you can be assured the battery is completely disconnected form the trailer with a glance at the switch. The camper probably uses 10 gauge wire. You should use wire of the same gauge and color of insulation to make your connections.

The mod requires that you have a bit of extra room inside the battery box for the nuts that hold switch or pick another place to mount it. All the wires are outside the battery box. I chose to do this over putting in a fuse because; 1)the circuit is already protected by the breaker, 2) if you remove the fuse and forget it then you have no power, 3) you cannot see the state of the fuse at a glance.


Electrical issues can be the devil to understand. You are right to take the time to understand the problem and proposed solutions before you make any mod.

ETA I previously mentioned cutting the positive wire. That is not necessary just move it to the switch and add a new run from the switch to the battery. The most you will have to do is crimp some connectors on the wire.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #93
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The trailer brakes are powered through the connector to the TV?
Yes.


Quote:
The breakaway switch needs to be connected to the trailer battery since the TV would no longer be connected in a breakaway situation?
Yes. The breakaway switch is wired to the positive terminal of the battery separately from the rest of the trailer. In my understanding it should not be connected through the circuit breaker. But that may not be correct.


Quote:
How would I locate the breakaway wire so I can hard wire to the battery?
Just leave it as it is.

Move the positive wire from the breaker to the switch and add a new wire to the circuit breaker.

Quote:
What gauge wire should you use both for the switch and running the breakaway wire to the battery?
Use the same gauge that is on the trailer. Probably 10 gauge. But until I have my A122s delivered I don't have any hands on experience with these trailers.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #94
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Use the KISS rule...the battery fuse case is very accessible.
I'm a strong supporter of keeping it simple. Are you referring to the fuses inside the camper? I'm not seeing any fuses on the outside.

I got under the trailer. There are 2 black wires coming from the breakaway switch. Both go up under the camper and one connects to red wire for power and the other connects to a blue wire and goes back to the brakes. Definitely not hard wired to the battery. Not sure I like that...
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #95
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Is the red wire the positive battery connection on FR trailers? My understanding was that trailers used white for gnd and black for positive on the 12V side to maintain color continuity with the common and hot on the 120V wiring.

Whatever it is so it the breakaway switch needs to stay connected and you many need to cut the red wire past there. Use good crimp connectors and the same colored wire and it should be OK. I am just not quite sure about the specific setup because I haven't received my A Frame yet. So take what I say as suggestive.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #96
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Tom -- I may wait on this until you get your A122 and see what you find.

The wires going to the battery on mine are red for power/positive and white for ground/negative. This trailer has red for positive as far as I can see.

Do you agree the breakaway switch being hard wired would be better?

When are you expecting your camper to arrive?
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #97
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Does your camper have have a circuit breaker attached to the battery? If so it sounds like the switch is wired through the breaker on a direct, albeit shared, connection to the battery. Not quite hard wired in my book.

I don't know for sure the reasons to have the breakaway switch protected by the breaker. I guess it could save the camper from an electrical fire after it has already crashed. But if it is wired that way, I wouldn't change it without a good reason.

I don't know when my camper will be here. The other dealer in town got one in after I put in my order with his competitor. The guy called with the hard sell at a pretty good price. So I went back to my salesman, who I really wanted to buy from, and told him to lower his price or lose the sale. It saved me a few hundred bucks although I had to endure some questioning of my character.

But the wait is getting to me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #98
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I'm a strong supporter of keeping it simple. Are you referring to the fuses inside the camper? I'm not seeing any fuses on the outside.
Here are the pics of my rig's fuse holder:
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As you could see my fuse is out. I had this out for a month and when I placed the fuse back the battery level was close to 100%, not bad eh...
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #99
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I don't know when my camper will be here. The other dealer in town got one in after I put in my order with his competitor. The guy called with the hard sell at a pretty good price. So I went back to my salesman, who I really wanted to buy from, and told him to lower his price or lose the sale. It saved me a few hundred bucks although I had to endure some questioning of my character.

But the wait is getting to me.
Where you able to include the screen room option with your deal? Don't forget to get the 3 years parts/labour extended and lifetime parts warranty option from FR for $100.

BTW what model are you getting and what is the ball park value of the deal.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #100
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mFR warranty is good but has changed, just bought a122bh and spoke with FR last week about $100 warranty. It has changed.
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