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Old 06-22-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Conover , Ohio
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Wire direct to the battery?

I am rewiring a 66 Overlander which had the wiring cobbled up when I got it due to the univolt being bad. The question I have is where do I hook the tow vehicle (+) charge wire? When I got the trailer, this wire was attached below a 40 amp fuse fed directly by the trailer (+) battery. So essentially, both batteries were hooked directly together with a 40 amp fuse between them. Does this fuse give me any protection at all, or should I run this wire directly to the trailer battery (+) terminal as the owners manual shows? Thanks for any help.TomE
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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So essentially, both batteries were hooked directly together with a 40 amp fuse between them. Does this fuse give me any protection at all, or should I run this wire directly to the trailer battery (+) terminal as the owners manual shows? Thanks for any help.TomE
The 40 Amp fuse is fine. The most typical arrangement seems to be the tow vehicle battery wired to the trailer battery through a 30 Amp fuse or circuit breaker at each end.

A fuse or circuit breaker at each battery is a good idea so that a short in the charge line either in the tow vehicle or the trailer will not start a fire or do further damage. A 12 V battery will put out a lot of current!

More sophisticated installations use a relay at the tow vehicle end which disconnects the tow vehicle battery from the charge line when the tow vehicle ignition is turned off. That way the trailer cannot accidentally discharge the tow vehicle battery.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
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I take it that the "fuse" is actually an automatic reset thermal circuit breaker. It should stay in the circuit, between the tow vehicle and your trailer battery. If you have a flat trailer battery, it has the potential to draw more than 40 amps charging current for a short time. In that case you will hear the circuit breaker click on an off several times, giving short bursts of charging current to the dead battery, until the charging current goes below 40 amps.

In reality, it is rare for a tow vehicle to deliver that much charging current unless your umbilical is connected directly to the tow vehicle battery hot (which is a bad idea--you can wind up with two dead batteries). If you have a trailer towing package, I think you'll find that the charging line to the trailer connector has a fuse on the order of 25 amps.

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