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Old 01-04-2005, 10:41 PM   #1
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Dual Battery hookup

I have a 1968 30 ft Sovereign. I am in the process of restoring the trailer and took out the batteries to charge them. In the process I forgot to note how they are hooked up. There are 4 leads coming out of the Airstream: 2 red and 2 white. There is also a single link wire (red) which joined the two batteries. Any pointers much appreciated.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sectionc
I have a 1968 30 ft Sovereign. I am in the process of restoring the trailer and took out the batteries to charge them. In the process I forgot to note how they are hooked up. There are 4 leads coming out of the Airstream: 2 red and 2 white. There is also a single link wire (red) which joined the two batteries. Any pointers much appreciated.
Are the batteries 6V or 12V?
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:50 AM   #3
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12v Batteries

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Originally Posted by uwe
Are the batteries 6V or 12V?
Hey Uwe,

The batteries are 12V
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Old 01-05-2005, 04:12 PM   #4
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Check the ground

In my trailer the white wire going to the battery is the ground, and the red goes to the positive terminal. My trailer only has one battery, though.
It's hard to diagnose from a distance, someone might have added a battery isolator/switcher etc. etc. Is yuor installation factory, or does it appear to be a modification?
Basically, can you trace the white wires and see if they are indeed the ground?
Remember, just because it's like this in my trailer, does not mean it has to be the same in yours.
You can trace the grounding by using an Ohm meter, commonly found as part of a multi meter. You can also visually trace the wires and see where they go to.
Use caution, 12V can easily burn wires, and trailers.
My best guess is that the red extra wire connects the two batteries in parallel, which keeps the voltage at 12V, but gives you twice the amp hours ) longevity) If both the white wires go to ground, then the red wire would connect the two positive terminals, paralleling the batteries.
But before you do this, take a close lok at things. I am not aware that 69's had dual batteries from the factory, so this might be a previous owners idea of battery wiring.
Be safe!

If in doubt, post some pics of the wiring.
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Old 01-05-2005, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sectionc
I have a 1968 30 ft Sovereign. I am in the process of restoring the trailer and took out the batteries to charge them. In the process I forgot to note how they are hooked up. There are 4 leads coming out of the Airstream: 2 red and 2 white. There is also a single link wire (red) which joined the two batteries. Any pointers much appreciated.
Very simple. Take a 12v test light, hook it to something going to the aluminum skin of the trailer, and touch the ends of the wires with the other end of the light. When the test light lights, you have the power wires, the other two are most likely ground.
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sectionc
I have a 1968 30 ft Sovereign. I am in the process of restoring the trailer and took out the batteries to charge them. In the process I forgot to note how they are hooked up. There are 4 leads coming out of the Airstream: 2 red and 2 white. There is also a single link wire (red) which joined the two batteries. Any pointers much appreciated.
Single wire joining two battery suggests serial hookup by PO to make a 24v system. Does this joining wire connect a plus and minus post. If so and these are 12V then the big question would be if it was done wrong or for a reason, like 24v DC fixtures (common marine voltage).

For a 12V two battery system connect the two battery together with one wire connecting the plus's and another connecting the minus's. You now have a super 12V battery. Pick a battery to be the end, doesn't matter except wiring convenience. Connect the Plus to the power common bar on the fuse block and the negative to the common ground of the DC system (not the ground in the AC Box). Your converter connect to these same commons as does the power hitch cord positive to the plus (power) side of the fuse block.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:43 PM   #7
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I need to charge the dual batteries in the '05 Bambi. I'm assuming from the charger I attach the negative cable to the negative post on one battery and the positive cable to the positive post on the other. Is this correct?
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #8
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AP,

I have an '06 Bambi 19 CCD. Both positive terminals are connected, as are the negative ones. This gives you 12VDC but with double the amp-hours capacity of a single battery. When you charge them, disconnect the positive lead that goes to the TT and put the + charger lead there. Go to the other battery and connect the - lead there. This will charge both batteries equally.

Be sure to re-connect your TT's +lead when you're done.
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:23 PM   #9
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Wow. That was fast. Thanks, Lew. But why do you disconnct the positive lead from the trailer? One doesn't have to disconnect anything when charging a car battery. I neglected to mention, this Bambi has an 80 watt solar panel. But because it's stored for the winter under a roof it gets only little sun, not quite enough to keep up with the electricity used by the LP gas detector. The detector doesn't turn off even when the overall power is turned off.
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:41 PM   #10
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SectionC: Your Soverign has (had?) a converter to run the 12V system and charge the batteries when connected to 120V AC. One red and one white wire come from the converter and connect to the positive (red wire) and negative (white wire) terminal of the battery(s). Use a voltmeter to find out which red and white wires come from the converter if you cannot trace them by sight. The converter will have to be plugged in to do this. The other red and white wires go to the trailer fuse block. Individual trailer 12v circuits (usually 3) are connected to the fuse block. You probably have automatic 12v circuit breakers instead of fuses, but it works the same. If the two red wires and two white wires are connected together at the battery terminal, you should be able to disconnect the battery and run the 12v trailer system on just the converter. With two batteries, the positive terminals must be connected (red wire) and the negative terminals must be connected (white wire). This gives 12v with double the capacity of amperage. This only applies when using equally charged batteries. Connecting one good and one not-so-good battery is bad. Not only will you get a good spark when connecting the terminals because of the difference in amperages, but the bad battery will draw down the good one.
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