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Old 04-01-2003, 04:11 PM   #1
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2004 30' Classic
Field and Stream , PA & MT
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 818
Installing battery problem

On Sunday, I went to get my trailer out of winter storage (in a spring snow storm, I might add) and I put one of the batteries back in that I had removed for the winter. I was taking it to the local dealer for some repair work yesterday.

Now I admit that I'm not the brightest star when it comes to anything electrical. (I knew, at least, to remove the batteries during the winter.) Anyway, I installed one battery to what I thought was the positive cable to the positive battery terminal (the red wire), and put the other wire on the negative terminal, together with the wire for the electric jack, which I needed to raise to hitch my truck.

Anyway, the jack wouldn't operate, so I assumed that I must be mistaken about how to hook up the battery, so I reversed the cables and everything worked fine. I later went in the trailer and the lights worked as well.

Today, the dealer's service manager called me and informed me the battery was hooked up backwards and there were some blown fuses -- and who knows what else I may have destroyed....?

Anyway, I thought I was right the first time and maybe I should have had more confidence it myself when I first put the battery in.

Now, my questions: Is it normal for that the electric jack and lights in the trailer to work when the battery is hooked up backwards? (I wonder what all problems this might cause?)

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Old 04-01-2003, 05:35 PM   #2
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1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
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Well you might be ok. Fuses are there to protect things. Hopefully they did there thing and prevented any damage. DC motors and light bulbs don't really care about polarity. The motors would run backwards and that's about the extent of the problem.

The big concern would be electronics like the inverter. They would care about the polarity but the fuses blew so cross your fingers that it prevented damage.

Now the reason things did not work with the battery properly connects is the fuses may have already blown at that point. You energised the ground side and the devices such as motors facilitated ground back to the battery.

What you might want to do is put a lable by the batteries as a reminder as to polarity . You might also want to inspect the cables. It's possible you had some corrosion and it cause a bad connection. Fiddling around when you swapped the conections may have restored the connection.

1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 04-01-2003, 05:59 PM   #3
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Field and Stream , PA & MT
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Hi! Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I guess I will put an identification on the battery and the wires for the + and -. Now, hopefully I can figure out what caused the battery hookup to not work in the first place and/or why the fuses blew, I'll be happier -- hopefully, as you say, the invertor wasn't harmed.

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