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Old 04-25-2015, 07:56 PM   #1
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1961 22' Safari
Collegeville , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 33
What did I do???

Total newbie here.

I recently purchased a 1960 Safari 22. It has the long battery box on the front, below the window (outside).

I was installing an electric tongue jack today and when I went to run it I lost all power to the trailer? What the...?

The jack has a single wire with a breaker that is intended to be attached to the positive battery terminal (which I did). The ground is achieved via star washers that bite into the base of the jack and the bolts that secure it to the trailer.

When I finished wiring it up, I pushed the jack button and it moved for about a second and then quit. Then I noticed I had no power in the trailer either... all the 12V lights wouldn't work.

Since the jack was attached to directly to the positive battery terminal and the ground was achieved by the trailer ultimately being connected to the negative terminal... what happened?

The battery is brand new and reads 12.7V. I checked the circuit do-dad (breaker?) shown in the photos below that goes on the two positive wires entering the trailer and it appears to be conducting.

Since the jack wasn't attached to these two wires and also doesn't work, I can only assume the main ground has an issue.

What am I missing and how do I figure it out.?

Here's a shot of the battery terminal and with breaker (exposed - normally wrapped in tape). Don't worry, it's not touching the negative terminal.




Inside the trailer are two access doors under the dinette table.

The one on the left appears to have one of the two orange positive leads.



The one on the right appears to be the wiring for the running lights, and feed from the tow vehicle.



I don't know where the second orange positive lead goes but I didn't see it in either of these access openings.

Any advice or suggestions?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:04 PM   #2
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That breaker should reset after a bit. Did you try jumpering across that breaker? Also are you getting power on one or both ends of that breaker?

About the ground, can you get a good ground from the frame?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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1961 22' Safari
Collegeville , Pennsylvania
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I checked the voltage between both ends of that break with the negative terminal and got 12.7V.

I disconnected the breaker entirely and attached all four wires to one terminal. I don't know why that breaker would even have been involved since the current should have flowed through the new jack's wire, to the jack and then returned through the trailer to the battery negative terminal. The two positive wires going into the trailer weren't involved in the circuit.

I figured tomorrow I would run a wire from the negative terminal to one of the bolts on the jack... that could complete the circuit... no? I wonder if that will re-ground the trailer too. I assume it would.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:23 PM   #4
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From listening to the VAP, the main ground is on the front steel plate that is attached to the frame. It is in the wall in the front end behind the battery box. If I understood correctly the ground in that location is prone to failure. You should be able to access it by removing the inner wall panel on the front of the AS. Some please correct me if I'm wrong on this model.

You should be able to add a ground as you stated above to test it. If all of the 12vlt works then you know it's a ground issue.

I ran a redundant ground in the rear of my trailer that is bolted to the frame, then to the shell, and the negative from the battery connects to it.

The shell is connected to the frame, and can be used as a ground as well.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:39 PM   #5
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1961 22' Safari
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Thanks for the thoughts.. I will definitely check that out more further tomorrow.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:43 PM   #6
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Shasta Lake , California
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Clean your neg terminal , it appears to be rusted.
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:12 AM   #7
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This is probably too simple an answer, but run a separate ground wire from the negative terminal through the bottom of the battery box and attach it to the A frame. While you're at it, clean the place on the negative terminal where the wires attach. Rust doesn't conduct electricity very well.
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Old 04-26-2015, 07:18 PM   #8
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1961 22' Safari
Collegeville , Pennsylvania
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Success!

This morning I checked if the negative terminal was grounded to the frame and it wasn't.

Yesterday, while installing the new jack, I also removed the old chains so I could install new ones. I suspect that was where the negative was connected to the frame. You can see the green wire in my second photo above.

I reconnected it to my new grade 8 bolts holding the jack in place and everything went back to working order.

I think I'll tackle the negative terminal nonetheless. Thanks for the feedback!
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