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Old 07-28-2021, 04:20 PM   #1
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Wiring to the jack - during upgrade to Lithium batteries

I'm in the midst of upgrading to lithium batteries (and putting 3 90W solar panels on the roof). So now the batteries (2 100Ah Battlebornes) are under the bed rather than in the a-frame of our 25' front bunk Int'l. I need to rewire the jack (and Tireminder TPMS) because it was directly wired to the batteries.

I'd like to use the existing 6 awg wires that previous connected the batteries to the buss bar. And put a 30A breaker in the circuit because I'm constantly blowing a fuse (yes, I know I need to re-time the jack/not go to the end of the jack), but I need to use the full jack length often to unhook the anti-sway bars.
My questions:
1) Is it okay to use the 6 awg wires to connect to the breaker and then use the existing 10 or 12 awg wires from the other end of the breaker? I envision it'd be a big pain to run new wires through the frame from the buss bars back to the battery box, but maybe not.
2) Will a breaker work instead of the existing in-line fuse? Do I need to take out the existing in-line fuse or can I leave it in? There's also some significant corrison in the wiring to the jack so I may need to replace much of it (which may also be a reason for the constant popping of the fuse).
3) Any ideas on where to mount the bluetooth relay for the Tireminder TPMS? It was also previously connected to the batteries and if I were to keep it in the battery box (which I'd like to do), I'll either need to use the other existing 6 awg wires or run new wires from the buss bar.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
I'd like to use the existing 6 awg wires that previous connected the batteries to the buss bar. And put a 30A breaker in the circuit because I'm constantly blowing a fuse (yes, I know I need to re-time the jack/not go to the end of the jack), but I need to use the full jack length often to unhook the anti-sway bars.
My questions:
1) Is it okay to use the 6 awg wires to connect to the breaker and then use the existing 10 or 12 awg wires from the other end of the breaker? I envision it'd be a big pain to run new wires through the frame from the buss bars back to the battery box, but maybe not.
If I understand your circuit, you are asking about new wire from the buss bar to feed the power tongue jack ? Generally the answer is you can do what you describe, but if you are putting in a 30A breaker (for the feed to the jack) you need to be sure that the wire at every point in that path is good for 30A. The 6 awg is definitely good, its the wire you add after the breaker that is the concern. I think you need 10awg as a minimum, I think 12awg is usually good for 20A. Using larger wire like 6awg is safe (but more expensive) and in your case, possibly the most convenient.

Quote:
2) Will a breaker work instead of the existing in-line fuse? Do I need to take out the existing in-line fuse or can I leave it in? There's also some significant corrison in the wiring to the jack so I may need to replace much of it (which may also be a reason for the constant popping of the fuse).
If you leave the fuse in place, it may continue to blow and you will have to continue to replace it. If you put in a circuit breaker, I would be sure the trip speed is equivalent to the fuse type currently used. The primary idea is prevent damage to the tongue jack.

Quote:
3) Any ideas on where to mount the bluetooth relay for the Tireminder TPMS? It was also previously connected to the batteries and if I were to keep it in the battery box (which I'd like to do), I'll either need to use the other existing 6 awg wires or run new wires from the buss bar.
I mounted my Tireminder bluetooth relay device to the top of the LP cover, underneath the lid. You certainly do not need 6 awg wire to feed that device, but if its the easy path, its fine to do it that way. I think I used 18awg to power mine. Had to drill 2 small holes, in the LP cover, but they are still water tight (sealant). That placement works very well, best I've had so far interns of reliable connection to all 4 sensors, just be careful about routing and temporarily securing the power wire away from anyplace that it might get pinched. Keep in mind you need to be able to remove the LP cover, so the wiring has to be somewhat flexible in that regard.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:42 PM   #3
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Very helpful response - thank you! Yes, I'm talking about a new (or not) wire from the buss bar to the jack. The 6 awg is existing (using the wire that previously connected the battery to the buss bar) and even the 10 (12) awg is existing. I'd definitely like to use the existing 6 awg.

As for the Tireminder position - I like the idea of under the propane tank cover. However, we often have the cover off to allow us to put our bike rack above the A-frame (using the Bike Bunk). I think I'll just screw it to the side of the battery box.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:33 AM   #4
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I zip-tie.... They are a nice addition to the AS tool kit. (photo taken before finding the removable zip's)

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Old 07-29-2021, 11:46 AM   #5
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If you are blowing 30 amp fuses you need to investigate why. This is not normal even if you're lifting the back end of your vehicle. Switch to a slow blow fuse for one. But hook up an amp meter and measure your draw. Perhaps you have some frayed wires at the connector or elsewhere. Increasing the wire size can help as well, but stay with the same fuse size. Perhaps switch out the jack. It could be your problem as well.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:41 PM   #6
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Hi

+1

If the jack is blowing fuses on a regular basis ....it's not long for this world.

Bob
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:44 PM   #7
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The wire connecting the jack to the battery was badly corroded. So perhaps that's it? Hopefully won't have to get a new jack. Will it be fine to replace the fuse with a breaker in the meantime? I have a 30A breaker, similar to this one: https://www.rcpw.com/truck-accessori...27e72dab31a424

I have been using a slow blow fuse.

If I hook up the multimeter, what should I expect for a draw?
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:51 PM   #8
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As for the placement of the Tireminder TPMS extender, it would be much easier from a wiring perspective if I could leave the extender under the bed near the battery. I may check this out to see if it works from there. Otherwise my options seem to be 1) wire it to the existing 6 awg wires and figure out a good way to connect it to the existing 16 (or smaller?) awg wires 2) run new wires from the battery box to the buss bar that I can more easily connect to the 16 awg wires on the
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jfreeburg View Post
The wire connecting the jack to the battery was badly corroded. So perhaps that's it? Hopefully won't have to get a new jack. Will it be fine to replace the fuse with a breaker in the meantime? I have a 30A breaker, similar to this one: https://www.rcpw.com/truck-accessori...27e72dab31a424

I have been using a slow blow fuse.

If I hook up the multimeter, what should I expect for a draw?
Hi

Breakers don't really like living outside in the elements. If you can mount the breaker inside the trailer, it should work fine.

The correct fusing info for your exact jack should be in the manual for the jack. Since there are a lot of different models and they do change over the years, the manual is the right place to go for the info. It's also the right place to find out what the jack *should* be pulling. That info will let you test the draw and see if it's broke......

Bob
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:16 AM   #10
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Using the 6 AWG wire won't buy you much other than convenience.
At some point, it will have to meet the 12 AWG wire, and that would be the new weak point. (although 12 AWG is fine)

As far as the TPMS, I mounted mine under the propane tank cover using 'Industrial Velcro'. It's never moved. I then added a SAE plug (reversed) and plug it into the Zamp connector on the battery box.
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfreeburg View Post
The wire connecting the jack to the battery was badly corroded. So perhaps that's it? Hopefully won't have to get a new jack. Will it be fine to replace the fuse with a breaker in the meantime? I have a 30A breaker, similar to this one: https://www.rcpw.com/truck-accessori...27e72dab31a424

I have been using a slow blow fuse.

If I hook up the multimeter, what should I expect for a draw?
Corroded wire would definitely increase your resistance thereby increasing your current draw. So hopefully this was the issue for you. Breakers have other issues, one being that the bouncing of the trailer could trip the breaker or loosen where it's connected. But there are breakers that can work, but you may have to spend far more than a fuse. But the breaker would only mask the issue.

As for what to expect you would have to look up the specs on the motor. Contact the manufacturer for this if it's not posted anywhere. But it should be if it's a good company. I always use this information in design, as without it you don't know how to size the protection. But I would expect the draw to be about 15-18 Amps and the inrush to be around 25. This would give you enough space without blowing fuses. But only the manufacturer can answer this.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:10 AM   #12
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When I moved the batteries inside I installed an Anderson Powerpole connector on the 6 gauge to feed the jack. I also use it to power my air pump and FloJet macerator when needed. I switched them all to Anderson connectors too.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-01-2021, 06:59 AM   #13
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Hi

One thing to be careful of with the Anderson connectors: If you leave them mated for a *long* time, they can loose their "spring". When that happens the contact resistance goes up ( so current capacity goes down) and they are more likely to bounce apart. Other than that, they are a great connector. I would put a zip tie around any that are intended to stay together long term to help with the bounce apart stuff.

Bob
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
One thing to be careful of with the Anderson connectors: If you leave them mated for a *long* time, they can loose their "spring".
Whenever the trailer is stationary I disconnect the jack so no worries there. Keeps anyone from fiddling with the jack.
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Old 08-03-2021, 03:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker View Post
When I moved the batteries inside I installed an Anderson Powerpole connector on the 6 gauge to feed the jack. I also use it to power my air pump and FloJet macerator when needed. I switched them all to Anderson connectors too.Attachment 400763
I want to do something similar to this, as I am too leaving my old cables in the batt box and need it to power my jack. I was also thinking i would love it to be there to attach a portable solar panel for charge. Would that be possible? One of the thoughts I had was to use a wood block, put some large bolts in it, say 8 inches apart and then my old batt connectors could attach to the bolts. I would drill a hole in the center of the block and slide it over the length of all thread that ran between the old lead acid batts. Then the terminals would be there if some future owner wanted to go back to lead acid or batts in the batt box. In the meantime, I could use them for the jack and solar charge. Would this work?
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rfequity1 View Post
I want to do something similar to this, as I am too leaving my old cables in the batt box and need it to power my jack. I was also thinking i would love it to be there to attach a portable solar panel for charge. Would that be possible? One of the thoughts I had was to use a wood block, put some large bolts in it, say 8 inches apart and then my old batt connectors could attach to the bolts. I would drill a hole in the center of the block and slide it over the length of all thread that ran between the old lead acid batts. Then the terminals would be there if some future owner wanted to go back to lead acid or batts in the batt box. In the meantime, I could use them for the jack and solar charge. Would this work?
Hi

There are lugs and terminals designed to terminate cables. I'd just use them. If your wood gizmo deteriorates, sparks could fly ....

Bob
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Old 08-04-2021, 08:52 AM   #17
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Whenever the trailer is stationary I disconnect the jack so no worries there. Keeps anyone from fiddling with the jack.
When I made my battery disconnect, I switched the negative (black) cables from the batteries. I can leave the jack wired direct to the battery but it won't work unless I flip the disconnect on. It's also a reminder to turn on the disconnect when towing or else I won't have emergency brake-away either.
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Old 08-11-2021, 10:35 AM   #18
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This may be a dumb question, but why did you have to move the batteries?
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Old 08-11-2021, 11:30 AM   #19
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As a related comment I installed my lithium under the bed, but left the existing 6awg connections in the exterior battery box. Our jack and tireminder booster thing is connected to the battery clamp bolts. I cover the clamps with a couple of rubber gloves and electrical tape to insulate them.

I did this because we park our trailer at our house and want the crackheads who try and steal batteries to think that I have removed them. On our last trailer I had the lithium batteries under our bed and the crackheads broke into our pass through looking for them. Fortunately they did not find them but did a bit of damage.



Based on the camera footage it did work once. They left our trailer alone and moved on. I now have motion detector in the battery box and inside the man door. No one has set it off other than my wife and I when we forget to disable the alarm.
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Old 08-11-2021, 12:31 PM   #20
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Corroded wire would definitely increase your resistance thereby increasing your current draw. So hopefully this was the issue for you.
I agree the problem may be solved by cleaning the corroded connection. Increased resistance on the circuit might increase current draw, but the reason is a little indirect. The increased resistance of the corroded connection will cause a voltage drop under load. The reduced voltage seen by the motor will cause it to draw more current.
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