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Old 08-17-2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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62 overlander battery - what is going on here?

Hi Airstreamers -
I am looking to put in a battery in my 62 overlander - there was none. 12 volt works fine when connected to TV, but looking in the battery box it seems things are a little funky. I've got two wires (white with a red stripe and blue) taped together to the black connector, and another blue wire going to the battery box. Doesn't look like I have a full circuit, and ground to the aluminum battery box? What is going on here?
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhelion
Hi Airstreamers -
I am looking to put in a battery in my 62 overlander - there was none. 12 volt works fine when connected to TV, but looking in the battery box it seems things are a little funky. I've got two wires (white with a red stripe and blue) taped together to the black connector, and another blue wire going to the battery box. Doesn't look like I have a full circuit, and ground to the aluminum battery box? What is going on here?
That round plug thingie (technical term ) attached to the black wire looks like half of a fuse holder. And given the fact the other wire appears to be attached to the body I would have to assume that it is the positive side of the ciruit. Hopefully someone a bit better versed on the 60's vintage 12volt electrical systems can get you a picture of what is supposed to be there.

Aaron
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Old 08-17-2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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You do have a full circuit, just a very funky one.
The wire that leads to the screw into the skin is the ground for the battery, not a great connection, but there you go. The other two are some combination of:
The 12 volt distribution to the trailer
The lead to the emergency brake switch
The lead to the umbilical.

To find out more you'll have to disconnect the two wires twisted together and try to work out where each one goes.

If you're lucky there may be a removable panel which will let you trace some of the mystery wires. I don't know when they started adding those panels, it was after our '61 Bambi was built, that's for sure.
On ours, blue wires are used all over the place, no telling what's ground or hot without testing.

HTH
Brian
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:56 AM   #4
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jhelion

The first thing to do is to get those connections removed and cleaned up.Remove the NEG one that goes to the body of trailer ,wire brush the aluminum there for a good connection .I recommend using 10 gauge wire NEW and also the connectors .Second ,untwist the other wires POS leads,If you plug in the tv plug ,you can check for voltage at one of those wires to see if youhave a connection with the tv,12v should be present at one of those POS leads.The other lead goes into the trailer to the fuse panel at the lower curbside front of trailer inside ,under the front dinnette or gaucho .you
should see a small 2 fuse holder with house type glass fuses .1 fuses the 12v
circuit.I did not have a break away 12v wire ,the PO had a small separate
battery under the gaucho for that.They didn't have those many times back then so, you can however get it hooked up with a separate battery as all
utility and horse trailers have a small battery just for the break away switch.
I used eyelet connectors and marine /wingnut battery clamps for my battery
as it is the same setup as yours is.Easy on and off if you want to unhook the battery.Now the right battery is a 3EE ,its a forklift battery today ,but the
correct one to fit that box.They have them at Napa and Car Quest auto
parts stores ,interstate should offer them also.Those two POS wires can
both have a separate eyelet connector or crimped into one .good clean,
connections is crucial for a solid connection .

good Luck there

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:16 AM   #5
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Just my 2 cents. I would bet the the blue wire is the 12v for the lights inside and the white is the break-away switch. They used blue for the interior 12v in my 65. My breakaway switch wire was black though.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:45 AM   #6
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Could be chris ,possible ,mine is a 60 and his is a 62 .I had 12v to the battery
from the tv from the factory ,no external modifications ,goes into the bellypan up thru the wall ,out like the two wires ,all mine go inside and the ground connects to the wall by the fuse block .I have both umbilical plugs
also two were used one has the tv 12v ,lights interior and exterior ,the second is only for the trailer brakes .Must be a 12v tv charge wire to the battery I hope!

Scott
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:30 AM   #7
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much thanks

thanks for the quick replies - we've got our maiden voyage this weekend and I will check it out

Jay
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:16 PM   #8
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thanks for the help -

here is a picture of the results of your assistance - thanks much! I found the 3ee battery at batteries plus here in reno.

Jay
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:43 AM   #9
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jhelion ,

lookin good there ,much better cable setup ! I got a small float charger that
I keep plugged in inside the trailer wired in at the fuse panel .It keeps the battery maintaned when not in use .They have them at carquest stores,and so far it works good ,the green light on the charger shows float ,and the red shows charging ,somthing to look into and it was not very expensive.

Scott
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:03 PM   #10
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nice looking install!

good job scott for helping out!

john
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:06 PM   #11
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Battery replacement.. This is my view of replacing the battery. I would remove the existing battery box and replace with a plastic or fibreglass box, painted to match trailer. My choise of a battery would be a cheap standard size available at everyauto parts store. Special batteries cost more. The ground cable should be connected outside the battery box and to a new spot on the frame. The eyelet end of the cable should be coated with antiseize or wheel bearing grease. The battery box should be vented witha hose or pipe away from body and box. If box is a front of trailer, a scoop is good for removing any vapors. Depending on total trailer amperage load, a circuit breaker should be used for a battery disconnect. Trickle changers are great but should be used with a time clock switch. Changing all the factory fuses to aircraft or marine circuit breakers is easy and very time saving. Most Airstream fuses are nearly impossible to find 40 miles off road at the beach. Trickle chargers are OK but nothing beats a good multistage converter or smart charger. Frank
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:42 AM   #12
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Looks good Jay.

Only thing I'd add is an in-line fuse on the positive lead leaving the battery. It should always be as close to the battery as possible.

I know its wired to a fuse block inside the trailer, but if the wire scrapes any where between the battery and that fuse box inside, you could have a bad situation there.

Also, I hope the lid to that box in insulated some how. I know mine is not. Looks like it would be easy for the lid to short out the battery.

Otherwise, looks great!
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:24 PM   #13
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My installer added the in-line fuse like Safari Tim is talking about. Makes sense as an easy and inexpensive preventative of a shocking stituation! As far as insulation, we put a small rubber mat over the top of the battery and a piece of cardboard between the mat and the box. Works for now until I get something better. Congratulations on your battery install, Jay.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:48 PM   #14
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Yes to the inline fuse ,agree also ,yes the battery could be jounced up into
the lid possibly .Sugarfoots insulating ideas ,with the rubber protector is fine
on the battery on top loose as a barrier .The float charger I use doesn't
charge when the battery is up ,it will" float" until there is a load on the battery ,then it will resume a small charge.The idea is to mantain the battery
voltage at the max state of charge ,say 12.50 volts.you don't want to have
a continual charge constantly ..Franks idea is good if you want 2 batteries below ,or one ,on the tongue behind the tanks or of cours inside the coach. The idea here is to use what airstream has on the coach satisfactorily .I have the same box ,not going to change it ,i could add another battery inside the trailer down by the fuse panel and tie it in there ,would require modifying the one drawer though.But it would work .It seems that even with 2 batteries going ,they go dead together most often .I have the honda eu2000 and the gas lamp ,propane etc.I really don't rely to much on the battery unless boondocking out in the sticks .even then ,I have the generator and the propane .The 12volt for the grover pump .One thing on the breakers ,If you
have a direct 12 volt short ,you want a " main " fuse to blow to cut the
circuit immediately.All vehicals use main 30 40 50 60 80 amp mains to protect the vehicals complete electrical system .Each rated main fuse
protects one separeate system from meltdown and destruction ,which will
happen immediately .Imagine your wiring melted inside the walls of your trailer
in about 10 seconds or less.


Scott
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