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Old 03-18-2007, 11:48 AM   #1
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Electrical question - tongue jack

This week I installed a new Ultra 3002 electric tongue jack, the old hand crank was on its last leg. I connected the wire from the Ultra to where the Bargman 7 pin cable connects to the trailer (black wire, 10 gauge, battery charge), it works, but not enough power to lift the trailer. The battery and converter are new last year, but I think the converter isn't charging the battery properly and I don't want to tear into a major wiring job, everything works great electrical in this 42 year old trailer and better to leave it alone. My question is, would it be alright to attach the Ultra wire just after the converter?, I tried this and it works great, plenty of power, any thoughs would be helpful.........
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:57 AM   #2
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I am a little confused by your question. Are you saying that you do not get enough power from the battery even when plugged into shore power? If that is the case you do have a battery / charge problem. In most cases the jack is on a line to the battery because of the break away switch which is normally connected to the same circut. If you do not have enough battery to operate the jack, would you have enough battery to power to stop your trailer in a break away condition?
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
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First test the voltage on your battery with out being pluged in with the shore line. Now plug in and test again. If the convertor is working you should see at least 1 volt more at the battery when pluged in. That will answer the question of the convertor charging or not.

Now with a charged battery the jack should be wired to the positive side of the battery with as short a wire as possible. Generaly the trailer brake away switch is wired is at the trailer tongue and has a large enough guage wire to support the jack. Attach there and check it out.

If you are seeing different power levels depending on where you have wired the jack I would assume that the wire guage is too small somewhere in the circuit that is giving low power or there is a poor connection in that circuit.
Check all connections to be sure they are tight and clean and that the wire guage is at least #12 going all the way from the battery positive to the jack.
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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You might also have a bad ground connection on the jack or from the battery ground to trailer ground. Check the size of wire going to negative on the battery and how it connects into the frame of the trailer. If it is just grounded to the aluminum that is not enough. The ground from the aluminum to the steel may be poor due to rust on the steel.
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Old 03-18-2007, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
You might also have a bad ground connection on the jack or from the battery ground to trailer ground. Check the size of wire going to negative on the battery and how it connects into the frame of the trailer. If it is just grounded to the aluminum that is not enough. The ground from the aluminum to the steel may be poor due to rust on the steel.
The jack is internally grounded, and I clean the the frame very good where it
mate's to the jack.........
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
First test the voltage on your battery with out being pluged in with the shore line. Now plug in and test again. If the convertor is working you should see at least 1 volt more at the battery when pluged in. That will answer the question of the convertor charging or not.

Now with a charged battery the jack should be wired to the positive side of the battery with as short a wire as possible. Generaly the trailer brake away switch is wired is at the trailer tongue and has a large enough guage wire to support the jack. Attach there and check it out.

If you are seeing different power levels depending on where you have wired the jack I would assume that the wire guage is too small somewhere in the circuit that is giving low power or there is a poor connection in that circuit.
Check all connections to be sure they are tight and clean and that the wire guage is at least #12 going all the way from the battery positive to the jack.
With shore power on, I checked the converter and it was 16.5 volts, than I check the battery at 11.1 volts, than I ran a #10 gauge wire directly to the positive side of battery to the Jack, than I tryed the Jack and it didn't work,
than I switched the toggles shown in the picture to battery power and it worked, but barely, than I check the battery and it was at 4 volts.........
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:20 PM   #7
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You have what is called a dead battery. Not sure why if it is only a year old but if the convertor is putting out 16 volts I suspect it cooked the battery. The convertor should only put out about 14.7 max. Look in the battery and check the water level I suppect you will not see much.

If the battery is low and has boiled out the wtaer do not put a new battery on that convertor until it is either calibrated or replaced. If you do it will cook that battery also.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
You have what is called a dead battery. Not sure why if it is only a year old but if the convertor is putting out 16 volts I suspect it cooked the battery. The convertor should only put out about 14.7 max. Look in the battery and check the water level I suppect you will not see much.

If the battery is low and has boiled out the wtaer do not put a new battery on that convertor until it is either calibrated or replaced. If you do it will cook that battery also.
The converter was new last fall, I checked the battery and it is full of water...........
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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If you are saying the convertor is putting out 16+ volts but the battery is only 11 volts when first checked something is wrong in the wireing from the convertor to the battery. You should see the same voltage at both ends of the wire from the convertor to the battery, convertor output voltage.

Solve this problem first,and get a charge on the battery,then lets look at the jack.

I still question the high convertor output voltage having had a runaway convertor cook my batteries but that a secondary question at the moment.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
If you are saying the convertor is putting out 16+ volts but the battery is only 11 volts when first checked something is wrong in the wireing from the convertor to the battery. You should see the same voltage at both ends of the wire from the convertor to the battery, convertor output voltage.

Solve this problem first,and get a charge on the battery,then lets look at the jack.

I still question the high convertor output voltage having had a runaway convertor cook my batteries but that a secondary question at the moment.
I just took out the battery and it is on the charger, the battery charger is reading 6 amp
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:22 PM   #11
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While the battery is out read the voltage on the positive battery lead while plugged in. Read it with the volt meter between the neg. and pos battery leads and between the pos. lead and a good chassis ground. Make sure that lead is not touching any metal when you plug in.
Post what you find.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
While the battery is out read the voltage on the positive battery lead while plugged in. Read it with the volt meter between the neg. and pos battery leads and between the pos. lead and a good chassis ground. Make sure that lead is not touching any metal when you plug in.
Post what you find.
Are you talking about the positve and neg. cables the hook to the battery inside the trailer?
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
While the battery is out read the voltage on the positive battery lead while plugged in. Read it with the volt meter between the neg. and pos battery leads and between the pos. lead and a good chassis ground. Make sure that lead is not touching any metal when you plug in.
Post what you find.
HowieE

I attached a wiring diagram of my converter which has a built in charger,
when installing into the 65 Caravel I took out the old univolt and followed the the same wiring scheme, I don't know how many times the Caravel has been rewired so I followed the same, everthing does work, so, with that said, plus and neg went what appearers to be a distribution panel, battery went to the same distribution panel, it appear to me that I need to run another plus, neg wire from conveter to battery, the way its hook-up now, I don't see how the converter charges the battery...........
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:39 AM   #14
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Even though both diagrams are wired the same let us use the upper diagram for purposes of this discussion only because it clearly marks the pos. and neg. terminals.

What I was saying was to remove the battery. To do this you only need to lift the wire off the neg terminal. Now that the battery is out of the circuit and while the trailer is pluged in read the voltage from the positive battery post to the negitive battery cable, while it is off the battery terminal. You should see the same voltage you see when testing across the convertor positive and negitive terminals.

If you do the system is wired correctly. If you do not see the same voltage across these 2 points there are 2 tests to determine which wire is at fault.

Measure the voltage from the positive battery terminal to a good chassis ground. If good the negitive battery cable is not connected to ground or is broken. If you still do not have voltage from the positive cable to a good chassis ground the positive cable is bad or not connected to the convertor positive terminal.

Using the upper diagram you can follow the wireing from the positive terminal of th convertor to the positive battery terminal and the positive side of the distrubution panel. The wire size should be the same at all three of these points. It does not matter how the wireing is routed from point to point, convertor to panel then panel to battery or convertor to battery then battery to panel, as long as the wire is the same size at all three points.

When correctly wired and battery in the circuit you should see convertor voltage measured to ground, chassis or battery ground, at the positive terminal of the convertor, the positive battery terminal, and the positive side of the distrubuiton panel when the trailer is plugged in. When the trailer is not plugged in these voltages will drop to the battery voltage.
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