So, I got my self a new battery, now what? -:) (newb ques)

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by Camper054, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Hi all,

    The camper we bought few weeks back is getting ready for its maiden voyage this weekend! PO never replaced the battery in 6 years he owned it - he did tell me that. I took out the battery to Advanced Auto and had them charge overnight and nothing - it is dead and cannot be revived :). I knew that, but took a chance, anyway. I got myself a new battery last night and haven't put that on yet. Need your expert advice and suggestions on dos and don'ts on a couple of things before I put it on:

    * Should I just hook it up the way it was before (please see the picture)? It had two black wires connected to the positive end and two white wires connected to the negative end. That's it. Not sure about grounding - do I need anything else?

    * After hooking up the battery, how do I know it is working correctly? Should the inside lights will lit when I turn on the light switches?

    * Lastly, I know (PO told me) the fridge is 3-way. So, it should work on a 12-v battery. What do I need to do to put the fridge to run on battery (to check and also keep our food cold when we drive) to campsite (about 2 hrs drive). I know that the fridge should also run on propane, but I also do not know how.

    I know when I hooked up my camper to electricity at home, the lights, AC, and the fridge worked. I know that the AC would not run on battery, but everything else should, right?

    I do not want to 'mess' things up by incorrectly hooking up the battery just before our first trip. But I know that the battery is important for the breakaway switch. I think I can separate out the the breakaway switch and just connect that and leave the other connections off (our campsite - as I was told - has full hook ups), for now. I am attaching a picture how the previous battery was connected, which I took to ensure I connect the same way. But since the previous battery was complete dead - probably has been for a couple of years, I wouldn't know if the PO had it hooked up correctly or not. (he never cared for the battery and probably didn't know that without a working battery the breakaway switch wouldn't work either)!

    So, any and all suggestions and help would be immensely appreciated and million thanks to you all, in advance!

    By the way, my camper is 2002 Coleman Cheyenne.
    MC
    IMG_20190821_200128.jpg
     
  2. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    Your connections appear to be good. When connecting the new battery clean the connections. Is the new battery serviceable? Removable caps? If so get yourself a hydrometer. Cost about $10 and looks like a turkey baster. This will allow you to properly check battery condition. Periodically look inside and see the water level. Top up if needed but never if charge is low as it will overflow. If charge and fluid is low fill to just cover the plates and charge. Proper maintenance will prolong battery life.
     
  3. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    With your Fleetwood Cheyenne black is positive, white is negative. While you're at it you might want to replace that auto resettable circuit breaker - the existing one likely still works but connections look awfully corroded. BTW exactly what battery did you buy? [?:~{]
     
  4. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Your lights, water pump, heater fan and Fridge will all run off of the battery. Everything else will be 120V. Your fridge will do better running on Propane.
    Most people will disconnect one side and place the battery on a maintainer while in between trips.
     
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  5. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    What is the circuit breaker? Is it the black 'thing' on the lower left part of the picture that is connecting the circuits? Dauh, I think this is it right? Now that I ask what it is, I feel stupid, but just to confirm, thanks. Just went out and got another pic of the circuit breaker and YES, it looks 'bad'. What it is called, if I want to Google it to find a replacement? Breakaway circuit breaker? Thanks a LOT.

    I am attaching picts of the battery - please tell me this is okay, if not, I can still return and get a different one if needed.

    Wow, does this mean as soon as I hook up the battery, the fridge will start? Is this why you are suggesting to 'disconnect' the battery? This means, I will have to still connect the breakaway switch, but disconnect the wire that goes 'inside'?

    By the way, how do I run the fridge on propane? I am not planning to run the propane when I am driving. I also read/heard that when I connect my 7-pin trailer plug to the camper, it should run the fridge as well? Do I have to do / switch something on/off inside/near the fridge to do this? Again, as you can see - this is completely new to me and I have no idea what runs what - so THANKS a lot for helping me.
    MC

    IMG_20190823_114441.jpg IMG_20190823_114455.jpg IMG_20190823_120142.jpg
     
  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Here's the parts book for your '02 Cheyennne where you'll see on Page 32 that the circuit breaker should be a 15 amp version.

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0273/4347/files/2002_coleman_grand_tour.pdf?16695232820753828628

    That's clearly a marine starting battery, what you want is a deep cycle RV battery - Group 24, Group 27, Group 31 or a pair of 6 volt GC-2 batteries wired in series. Which size would serve you best depends on whether you intend to dry camp without shore power and what you want to power with that 12 volt battery reserve or whether you plan to always camp with shore power available.
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Here is the deal about your fridge on 12v it will kill your battery FAST. Many only turn the fridge on 12v if they are driving to the campground and that's assuming they have the appropriate hookups and converter to charge the battery enroute to campground.
    Then put the fridge on propane at the campground. As far as lights, if everything is working correctly if you turn your lights on they should turn on.
     
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  8. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Thanks SO MUCH. I see there is a deep cycle at the Advanced Auto Parts: "AutoCraft Marine and RV 12-Volt Deep Cycle Service Battery, 200 CCA" - will this work?

    Thanks again!
    MC
     
  9. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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  10. CampingFamily1

    CampingFamily1 Active Member

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    Yes, take the battery back and get a deep cycle RV battery
     
  11. CampingFamily1

    CampingFamily1 Active Member

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    See my photo tutorials at my link below for info on how to run the fridge.
     
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  12. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

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    If you cool your refrigerator the day before you leave, either w LP setting or 120v, and pack it with your cold food, you should be fine for a 2 hr. trip. We do this often.
    If you get 20 to 30 amp adapter, you can plug into house current to cool refrig without any extra wiring.
     
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  13. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    THANK YOU! Your site has lots of good stuff too. I am printing/copying (shamelessly) Camper Tips section!

    MC
     
  14. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Your pup will have a propane/Co detector. If you leave the battery hooked up, while not connected to a power source, it will drain a battery. When parked and hooked to a power source, disconnect the battery. Do your battery a favor and buy a maintainer and keep it hooked up.
     
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  15. CampingFamily1

    CampingFamily1 Active Member

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    Thanks! Popup Explorer and owner websites exist because the owners manuals are good, but incomplete, unclear, and generally lacking much of what you need to know.
     
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  16. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Thank you all so very MUCH!

    I got the battery (https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/battery/rv/deep-cycle/12/sli27mdc) before our trip and came back safely. I got the battery mostly for safety reason - so the breakaway switch will work IF NEEDED (which I do not want to happen for me or for anyone!).

    Anyway, camping was great - we had 8 families - lots of kids - all had fun and were safe.

    Again, thanks to you all!
    MC
     
  17. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Running the refrig on 12 volt.

    My refrig consumes 14.6 amps per hour on 12 volt. Your battery is a 90 amp hour. My trailer battery is about 30' electrically from my TV's alternator and assume your's is similar. The wire gauge in your 7 way harness is probably insufficient to keep your pup's battery fully charged with refrig on. We boondock so a fully charged battery is important.

    I never use 12 volt while driving. That's what they made propane for. Make sure you turn off the propane before approaching the pump if you buy TV gas.
     
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