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Old 05-10-2014, 07:53 PM   #1
Charlie
 
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2014 30' Flying Cloud Bunk - battery arching

Hi, I took the batteries out last fall and stored them in the basement. I put them in the Airstream today and they are arching. I called the dealership to ask about this and they sent a picture of one on their lot. The setup is similar to mine but they are still arching.

If you look at the picture there are two unconnected wires. The shorter of the two is a red wire painted black. According to the manual it's supposed to the be a red wire connected to the positive side.Click image for larger version

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I have a 1000w converter. Does this have something to do with this issue?

thanksClick image for larger version

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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The small wire you have connected on the positive I believe is the power jack. I also believe the other wires that are not connected are for the inverter. I just happen to have a picture of our batteries. I removed them recently and needed a reference for re-installation. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-10-2014, 09:05 PM   #3
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The small wire you have connected on the positive I believe is the power jack. I also believe the other wires that are not connected are for the inverter. I just happen to have a picture of our batteries. I removed them recently and needed a reference for re-installation.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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2014 30' Flying Cloud Bunk - battery arching

How big of an arc and how much duration?

An inverter can arc when connected whether turned on or not, (both of the inverters I have installed do), I imagine that a converter might do the same.

If you have easy access to the converter, you might disconnect the neg cable to see if this eliminates the battery arc for your peace of mind.

(And then if the battery arc goes away, reconnect the converter as you are comfortable doing so.

Most everything these days has some residual power draw, it would be near about unusual to attach a battery with no arc at all, and in this line of thought, my 5000 watt in better makes a fairly substantial arc when it is connected.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:49 AM   #5
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5000 watt

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
How big of an arc and how much duration?

An inverter can arc when connected whether turned on or not, (both of the inverters I have installed do), I imagine that a converter might do the same.

If you have easy access to the converter, you might disconnect the neg cable to see if this eliminates the battery arc for your peace of mind.

(And then if the battery arc goes away, reconnect the converter as you are comfortable doing so.

Most everything these days has some residual power draw, it would be near about unusual to attach a battery with no arc at all, and in this line of thought, my 5000 watt in better makes a fairly substantial arc when it is connected.
I am curious, why the 5000 watt and what do you use and for how long. Do you just have the 2 batteries or more somewhere else. Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:28 AM   #6
Charlie
 
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Thanks for answering back. The arc happens when you first put the wire on the battery. It stops. It acts like it welds the wire to the battery. Will it ruin the battery? According the the schematic it says the black painted wire goes to the inverter. This is new to me as our older Airstream did not have an inverter.

As for the painted wire......it is red underneath. It looks like it got painted when they painted the battery box.

thanks again
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:06 AM   #7
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2014 30' Flying Cloud Bunk - battery arching

I bought the 5000 watt inverter so it is about double the capacity of what I would ever load it. (I use it on a 20 amp breaker on the output = 2,400 watts).

When I built my trailer I had a lot of ideas in my head among these was the near total elimination of the redundant 12 volt system. All lights etc in my trailer are 120 volt with the exception of a few auxiliary LEDs, the water pump, and the outdoor porch lights.

I run two 100 amp hour batteries, and I have installed a home built 4,500 watt propane fired DC generator to power/charge the batteries.

Will it work?

Well the inverter has worked well on two trips, working for hours when parked supplying my lights, TV and refrigerator.

In this configuration the tow vehicle will charge the batteries while I tow, and I can charge the batteries when plugged into shore power.

I just added the generator to be able to run the air conditioner whenever I want. It works in my trials in the shop, it is yet to be tried on a practical manner.

The DC generator used in conjunction with the inverter is I think very much like an inverter generator with battery backup.

Once it has been proven, I intend on doing a write up on my new approach, or if it is proven a failure I will chalk the waste of time to experience....
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Old 05-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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To the original poster:

The two unconnected wires you show in your photo are the ones which go to the inverter (not converter). The inverter changes 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC. When you connect those wires, red to positive and black to negative, you will see a substantial spark (arc) which always happens when the inverter capacitors charge. Mine does the exact same thing, and it is normal. It is a surprise, but will not hurt the batteries in any way.

Airstream uses battery clamp terminals for all of the power to the trailer and charging system. Those are the two rubber covered terminals. They use a single black wire to the power jack, and it goes to the + terminal on the batteries.

For the optional inverter which you have, there is another set of large wires, red and black, with ring terminals. The Red to the + and Black to the -.

Then there are the two battery paralleling cables to connect the + on each battery together, as well as the - terminals together.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
Charlie
 
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I figured it out. I located the inverter under the front bed and found that the negative wire was pushed on the positive post on the terminal block.

Thanks everyone.

--Dave
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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Glad you found the problem. I bet that dead short produced an impressive arc.
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