Crazy Battery Question... Voltage Reversed???

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by ItsJustaG2ME, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. ItsJustaG2ME

    ItsJustaG2ME New Member

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    Aug 21, 2019
    We just purchased a 2001 Coleman Sea Pine. We are brand new to this type of camping. I have a few questions I'll ask them in separate posts.

    I have a battery question. We have two 6v batteries. There were no wires going to them, they weren't wired, they were just sitting on the front of the trailer. There's a set of wires from the trailer just hanging there next to the harness. Once I plugged in the trailer I checked the voltage and saw that I had 12v. So I thought that if I was to wired up the batteries that I could charge them before our trip. I wired them up in series and checked voltage and I had 0v. I went inside and checked the convertor and the fan was no longer spinning. It was kind of pulsing but not moving. I then disconnected the wires from the battery and the fan on the convertor started spinning again.

    Two things... One it seems that I can't use the convertor to charge the batteries. Two, here's the weird part. When I checked for voltage I checked my Red lead to the White wire and my Black lead to the Black wire and I was getting -12vdc. Red to Black and Black to White I got +12vdc. Am I missing something here? Assuming the batteries were charged, do I need to disconnect them when the Convertor is running off of 120v? Is there some type of reversed polarity thing going on because either the source would be the batteries or the 120, so then because it's coming from 120 it's reversed??? But then if it were coming from the batteries then the White would be + and the black would be -???

    There's also a disconnect plug at the front end by the batteries. But the wire for the Breakaway Electric Brake is on the battery side of the plug. So if this is unplugged then the breakaway switch doesn't do anything because it's not connected to the wiring harness.

    Last question... what's supposed to happen when the Harness is plugged into the TV? Does the TV charge the batteries while you're driving? I haven't been able to test this yet because currently my TV only has a 4 flat harness while the Trailer has a 7wire harness.

    I know that was a lot. Thanks again for any advice you guys may have.
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    When I checked for voltage I checked my Red lead to the White wire and my Black lead to the Black wire and I was getting -12vdc. Red to Black and Black to White I got +12vdc. Am I missing something here?
    The white on the trailer is your negative with red being positive

  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    The trailer wiring on a Coleman/Fleetwood is kind of reversed from everything I was taught. White is positive and black is negative.
    Joey Montgomery likes this.
  4. fredhead

    fredhead Member

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    Jul 30, 2019
    Norfolk. VA
    As I posted elsewhere I've been dealing with the wire color scheme. I've been an electronics tech for 40 years in and for the Navy, and did a car restoration. In the real DC world, red is hot (+12V) and black is not (ground). Don't get me started on classic VW wiring. It seems that the PuP designers wanted to follow the AC wiring, where black is hot (110VAC), white is neutral (and tied to ground) and green is ground. So in the PuP, black is hot, white is not.
    I said that over and over again in my mind, as I installed my new battery....BACKWARDS! I blew the 20 amp (battery) fuse on the AC/DC converter. It's behind the front panel of the converter, the yellow fuse. My converter is located in the base of the rear dinette seat.
    I have a 2001 Coleman Timberlake.....Black is hot, white is not. Install your battery positive to black and negative to white. Your converter should charge the battery, if the fuse is good. Again, if you wired the battery backwards, you probably blew the 20 amp fuse. If you hook up and external charger, red to positive, black to negative.
    With your flat 4 connector on your TV, you have these 4 connections (I don't recall the color code): ground, brake lights, right turn signal, and left turn signal. There is no connection for constant +12 VDC connecting the TV to the trailer battery, so the TV can't charge the trailer battery.
    Just remember, black is hot, white is not.
    Pamela Cokeley likes this.
  5. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2012
    Hmmmm. Typically if there's a black & a white, white is negative, black is positive.
    Rusty2192 likes this.
  6. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 30, 2014
    This also matches with the OP’s voltmeter testing.

    @ItsJustaG2ME try hooking it up with black to + and white to - and see if it works. There may be a reverse polarity protection fuse that could have blown on the first try so if it doesn’t work this time, check for that.
  7. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    How did you wire the batteries in series?
  8. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    Jul 17, 2019
    Grand River/Southern Ontario
    If those batteries are that dead then you converter will likely not charge them. They will simply try and draw too much as you see from the fan stalling and such. You could try to revive them with a decent external charger. Make sure they are filled enough to just cover the plates, no more or it will over flow if it does charge. I'm afraid though even if they do recover somewhat it won't likely last long. Do the batteries look swollen at all?

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