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Old 04-24-2017, 03:36 PM   #41
Justus2
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Thank you all for your help & advice. The fuses were in the basement, behind the water hookup/station. So panel had to be removed.

New converter installed ($80) + 2 new 40amp fuses installed (my husband wasn't sure where to look for them so we paid our RV repair man $170) = all total it cost us about $1000 for the power outage over the winter, but I'm happy to report everything is up and running as expected.

Lesson learned - from here on out we will remove the battery in the fall and bring it home so it stays warm. That way there should be no more issues with fuses and converters (I hope).
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:18 AM   #42
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no lights when not connected to pedestal

I have a 2014 Cougar 5th wheel and am a full timer. I just installed a new Interstate battery.
My battery disconnect is in the off position......have also tried the 'on' position.
When not hooked up to the pedestal,the inside lights do not work.
As part of the 'work up' I checked the 40amp fuses, and they looked fine, however when I put them back it there was some sparking............what is wrong?
I have not a lick of technical skills, and just want to make sure that I am not going to burst into flames!
Thank you....Carol
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:18 AM   #43
JRTJH
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Carol,

The first thing I'd urge you to check is the battery installation. The BLACK cable goes to the positive battery terminal and the WHITE cable goes to the negative battery terminal.

I've seen a number of people install the battery in reverse and that will cause the problems you're experiencing.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:32 AM   #44
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I keep seeing this black to positive is this a fifth wheel thing.my cougar has a red positive .just wondering what the difference is.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:23 AM   #45
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I keep seeing this black to positive is this a fifth wheel thing.my cougar has a red positive .just wondering what the difference is.
Mine is also red but white is still ground regardless of whether pos is blk or red.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:59 AM   #46
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Thanks John...........I do have the black to the positive.............
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:00 AM   #47
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Carol,

The first thing I'd urge you to check is the battery installation. The BLACK cable goes to the positive battery terminal and the WHITE cable goes to the negative battery terminal.

I've seen a number of people install the battery in reverse and that will cause the problems you're experiencing.
Thanks John...........I do have the black to the positive.............
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:07 AM   #48
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Thanks John...........I do have the black to the positive.............
So, if my battery is properly connected, what would have caused the 'sparking' when I reconnected the 40amp fuses?
thanks
Carol gowing
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:17 AM   #49
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The fuses spark because there will be current flow from the converter operating when the fuses make the connection. The only way to prevent that is have the battery disconnected, but you will get a little spark when connecting the battery, but there is no hazard getting a spark.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:17 AM   #50
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So, if my battery is properly connected, what would have caused the 'sparking' when I reconnected the 40amp fuses?
thanks
Carol gowing
Power in that circuit and a load being applied. If your trailer is plugged into shore power the converter is powered on and providing 12 VDC to the connection on one of the contacts on those 40 amp fuses. If you have a battery connected to that circuit, as soon as you touch a "good fuse" to those two contacts, you will cause a spark as the power leaves the "powered on contact" on its way to the battery (which is needing a charge).
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:40 PM   #51
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The fuses spark because there will be current flow from the converter operating when the fuses make the connection. The only way to prevent that is have the battery disconnected, but you will get a little spark when connecting the battery, but there is no hazard getting a spark.
Thank you John, however, then, why don't my lights work on battery power, unplugged from pedestal?
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:41 PM   #52
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The fuses spark because there will be current flow from the converter operating when the fuses make the connection. The only way to prevent that is have the battery disconnected, but you will get a little spark when connecting the battery, but there is no hazard getting a spark.
Thank you bob!
So, what would be a reason that my house lights do not work when I am unplugged from pedestal?
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:43 PM   #53
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Actually I was just looking in my battery compartment and it has a note posted on the door saying when hooking up batteries red is positive and black in negative. So much for my comment that white is negative!!
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:50 PM   #54
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Thanks for the info I wasn't aware that they used black for positive learn something new every day.thats why I spend so much time on this site Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:01 PM   #55
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Let's all be real cautious about this hot and ground info. For years, the RV industry used black for hot and white for ground. The electronics and automotive industry did the opposite: black for ground and red or some other color for hot depending on the complexity of the item. Now, we're hearing that trailers are beginning to come through with red for hot and black for ground.

So which is it on your unit? The easiest way to tell is to uncover your battery. The terminals should be labeled with a + and a - molded into the body of the battery right next to each terminal. Locate the minus sign which is the ground side. Note the color of the thick wire attached to it, and then follow that wire. It should only go a foot or two and be attached to the frame of the trailer with a large screw or bolt. That is your main ground from the battery to the frame.

In a perfect world, all the ground wires in your trailer would be the same color as the ground wire on your battery. My Cougar has the older style color coding so white should be ground everywhere in the unit. I've had enough of 12vdc fixtures off to look at quite a bit of the wiring. The hot wire is usually a white wire with a colored stripe running the length of it and ground is a plain white wire. But I don't treat that as gospel throughout the rig. I get out my multimeter and double check the wiring for myself.

This is one of the reasons that we suggest that every RV owner should have a multimeter ($15 or so in the electric aisle of all the big box home improvement stores) and know how to use it.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:10 PM   #56
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Just started a PDI on a 2018 trailer:

RED is (+) positive
BLACK is (-) negative at battery.

I will agree that pretty much all INTERNAL 12VDC wiring uses white as ground.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:09 PM   #57
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It's nice to think that everything is going to be "normal" and things on an RV will "always be the same", but, as we all know, "normal" in an RV from year to year can vary widely. When dealing with power (AC or DC) you don't take anything for granted or look at a schematic and take it for granted. You always go with "eyes on". I've bought trailers, and cars, that have been mutilated and what is normally "normal" has been cast to the wind. You have to look, and be able to trace if necessary, the various leads and know what you are looking at/for. So, with power be careful, and be sure.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:58 AM   #58
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Well to clarify some I think, That I've not ever seen a heavy/large white battery cable so that may be the reason for the black being used as ground in battery compartments and then using smaller white wire in the branch circuits. Just throwing that out there as the possible reason for the color change.
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:25 AM   #59
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We seem to have vectored off track slightly. Carol may or may not have gotten her lights to work. Usually one of you electric wizards comes up with the answer.
Carol, if you're still out there in RV land let us know how things are turning out. If they still aren't working we need a little more info like "did they work fine before you installed the new battery?"
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:43 AM   #60
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We seem to have vectored off track slightly. Carol may or may not have gotten her lights to work. Usually one of you electric wizards comes up with the answer.
Carol, if you're still out there in RV land let us know how things are turning out. If they still aren't working we need a little more info like "did they work fine before you installed the new battery?"
Hello again,
I am the full timer with the Cougar fifth wheel. We solved the problem of the sparking when reconnecting 40 amp fuses...........as the forum indicated this is normal.
What I cannot figure out is the lack of internal lighting when disconnected from pedestal.
They initially worked when I first bought rig, and up to about 6 months ago.
I tried the lights one day, after a five hour loss of power.....no lights. I checked the battery, and it was depleted...........charged it...........checked with multi-meter, and not holding a charge.........I bought a new battery....interstate......and it is installed correctly. No lights.
Any suggestions?
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