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Old 05-07-2019, 02:55 PM   #1
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Battery Advice for 2010 Dutchmen Sport

Hello everybody. New guy here. Been camping for about 6 years. Just bought this 2010 Dutchmen Sport 27B last fall as our kids outgrew our previous RV. It's in beautiful shape but came with no battery, battery box, or owner's manual. Just wanted to ask about a recommended battery before I go out and buy one.

Looks like finding and installing the battery box will be easy. From what I've read online it looks like these campers should run a group 27 battery. Does that sound right? Any advice on a brand or particular battery. Our camper also came with an electric tongue jack. When I get a new battery is that as easy as hooking up that one connector (seen in the 2nd pic) to the positive terminal?

Thanks in advance.





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Old 05-07-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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From what I can tell, you are missing more than just the battery. Seems like large amperage battery cables to the inverter are missing as well as the circuit breaker. Are they tucked underneath somewhere?
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
From what I can tell, you are missing more than just the battery. Seems like large amperage battery cables to the inverter are missing as well as the circuit breaker. Are they tucked underneath somewhere?
Hmmn. To be honest, I didn't even know these were missing as well. Let me get underneath and have a look.

Thanks for getting back.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:59 PM   #4
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New TT without battery

no battery, battery box, or owner's manual. Just wanted to ask about a recommended battery
100 ah Interstate deep cycle marine AGM is an excellent TT battery. Grp 31 I think. Shop around for best buy. Larger is better, two large ones are better than one.

campers should run a group 27 battery.
This statement indicates you are not an expert on batteries or 12 volt systems, so that makes an AGM a high value best buy for you even though it will cost more initially. AGM's are low maintenance and not as sensitive to accidental insults.
The deep cycle AGM will not suffer significant damage if you accidentally draw it down flat.
It will not suffer damage if you don't maintain water level. It is sealed.
Overcharging is its only problem. Use the WAFCO converter/charger in you new TT or charge from your tow vehicle and all will be fine. Don't fiddle with hardware store stand alone automotive chargers. Some are OK some are not so good.

brand or particular battery.
There are some excellent values out there for those who know how to select them and maintain them. If you want to learn a lot of technical stuff and are willing to be diligent in your maintenance practices. Then start studying.

How you will use the TT makes a big difference.
1) Lowest use includes shore power plug in at home to fully charge the battery.
Follow by tow vehicle charging on the way to the camping site. Follow by plugging in at the camp ground for a few days... A small cheap flooded cell deep draw battery is all you need.
2) Dry camping (not plugged in while camping) requires a bigger battery bank. A 60 ah flooded cell may not last over night if you use the furnace. 200 ah will get you 3 days with ample reserve when using the furnace or 5 days with little or no furnace use.

electric tongue jack. When I get a new battery is that as easy as hooking up that one connector to the positive terminal?
I don't know for sure, but if there is only one lead from the jack, then the frame is probably the negative supply. A fuse or circuit breaker in that one positive line is required. At least connect to the self resetting circuit breaker you will install between the battery and everything else.

Are you sure you did not get manuals for all the appliances including the tongue jack? If not, ask who ever you bought it from to dig them out and give them to you. They may already be in an out of the way storage space.

Is the TT stolen? If so that is why no battery and no manuals. TT's are not usually sold to consumers without a battery installed. The battery is required for towing on public roads. The battery powers the emergency breaking system.

You may be able to find manuals for each appliance (including the tongue jack) on line. Look up by make and model. Dutchmen.com will probably have a manual for the TT available for down load in a PDF.

It would be good if you can find wiring diagrams to wire the electric brakes, battery, and tongue jack. The details matter.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:07 PM   #5
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My electric tongue jack only has a red wire connecting it. If you are connecting it straight to the battery make sure you have an inline fuse, mine is 30 amp.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:24 AM   #6
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My electric tongue jack only has a red wire connecting it. If you are connecting it straight to the battery make sure you have an inline fuse, mine is 30 amp.
Thanks. I do not have an inline fuse, so I will be sure to add one.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by persistent View Post
no battery, battery box, or owner's manual. Just wanted to ask about a recommended battery
100 ah Interstate deep cycle marine AGM is an excellent TT battery. Grp 31 I think. Shop around for best buy. Larger is better, two large ones are better than one.

campers should run a group 27 battery.
This statement indicates you are not an expert on batteries or 12 volt systems, so that makes an AGM a high value best buy for you even though it will cost more initially. AGM's are low maintenance and not as sensitive to accidental insults.
The deep cycle AGM will not suffer significant damage if you accidentally draw it down flat.
It will not suffer damage if you don't maintain water level. It is sealed.
Overcharging is its only problem. Use the WAFCO converter/charger in you new TT or charge from your tow vehicle and all will be fine. Don't fiddle with hardware store stand alone automotive chargers. Some are OK some are not so good.

brand or particular battery.
There are some excellent values out there for those who know how to select them and maintain them. If you want to learn a lot of technical stuff and are willing to be diligent in your maintenance practices. Then start studying.

How you will use the TT makes a big difference.
1) Lowest use includes shore power plug in at home to fully charge the battery.
Follow by tow vehicle charging on the way to the camping site. Follow by plugging in at the camp ground for a few days... A small cheap flooded cell deep draw battery is all you need.
2) Dry camping (not plugged in while camping) requires a bigger battery bank. A 60 ah flooded cell may not last over night if you use the furnace. 200 ah will get you 3 days with ample reserve when using the furnace or 5 days with little or no furnace use.

electric tongue jack. When I get a new battery is that as easy as hooking up that one connector to the positive terminal?
I don't know for sure, but if there is only one lead from the jack, then the frame is probably the negative supply. A fuse or circuit breaker in that one positive line is required. At least connect to the self resetting circuit breaker you will install between the battery and everything else.

Are you sure you did not get manuals for all the appliances including the tongue jack? If not, ask who ever you bought it from to dig them out and give them to you. They may already be in an out of the way storage space.

Is the TT stolen? If so that is why no battery and no manuals. TT's are not usually sold to consumers without a battery installed. The battery is required for towing on public roads. The battery powers the emergency breaking system.

You may be able to find manuals for each appliance (including the tongue jack) on line. Look up by make and model. Dutchmen.com will probably have a manual for the TT available for down load in a PDF.

It would be good if you can find wiring diagrams to wire the electric brakes, battery, and tongue jack. The details matter.
Thanks for taking the time to respond persistent. I appreciate it.

I am definitely here to learn. And yes, I am by no means an expert on batteries or 12v systems. I did find an online manual for my camper as a pdf just as you mentioned. In that manual it suggested that my camper use a group 27 battery. That's where I got that. But I am going to take your advice and run with it.

We bought the camper person to person back in the fall via Craiglist. Got a bill of sale and the NY registration. It's now registered in Mass. I wouldn't think that it was stolen. But I suppose anything is possible. Upon registration would the DMV catch that if the TT's vin was flagged as stolen?

Thanks again for your time.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
From what I can tell, you are missing more than just the battery. Seems like large amperage battery cables to the inverter are missing as well as the circuit breaker. Are they tucked underneath somewhere?
Here's what I've got. I pulled a black plastic cover off the frame just behind the battery box location and found a metal junction box. Pulled the cover off that too to have a look. Not sure what to make of what's going on in there?

I also got underneath and found no large amperage cables of which you speak.





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Old 05-09-2019, 02:48 AM   #9
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Your circuit breaker is right there where the two studs are. Once you get squared away with your system you'll want to seal that junction box or replace it with a weatherproof box because as it is it will cause you problems from being exposed to the elements.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bigschuss View Post
Here's what I've got. I pulled a black plastic cover off the frame just behind the battery box location and found a metal junction box. Pulled the cover off that too to have a look. Not sure what to make of what's going on in there?

I also got underneath and found no large amperage cables of which you speak.
The large red wire is probably the battery or converter/charger wire. It may be 6 gage which would be typical.

My 2018 Kodiak Cub came with a similar electrical box and wiring. You can tie the jack to the self resetting circuit breaker in the box (converter/charger side of breaker) or add a fuse and connect directly to the battery.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Your circuit breaker is right there where the two studs are. Once you get squared away with your system you'll want to seal that junction box or replace it with a weatherproof box because as it is it will cause you problems from being exposed to the elements.
Great. Thanks. Appreciate your input. I'll be sure to get that sealed or replaced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by persistent View Post
The large red wire is probably the battery or converter/charger wire. It may be 6 gage which would be typical.

My 2018 Kodiak Cub came with a similar electrical box and wiring. You can tie the jack to the self resetting circuit breaker in the box (converter/charger side of breaker) or add a fuse and connect directly to the battery.
Once again, thank you for your time and input.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:43 PM   #12
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The silver post on the circuit breaker (is) should be power from the battery.
I say should because it was wired by the blind installers at the manufacturer's house of training so use your VOM and make sure.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:36 PM   #13
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My 2014 has the same metal electrical box, but it is a foot or so under the camper body so it's protected from the rain. It has 3 modified reset circuit breakers in front of the box then a battery disconnect. If you don't have one they're highly recommended, not everyone can stay hooked to shore power all the time, it will keep parasitic drains from killing your new battery.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:48 PM   #14
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My 2014 has the same metal electrical box, but it is a foot or so under the camper body so it's protected from the rain. It has 3 modified reset fuses in front of the box then a battery disconnect. If you don't have one they're highly recommended, not everyone can stay hooked to shore power all the time, it will keep parasitic drains from killing your new battery.

You know, calling a circuit breaker a 'fuse' will prompt a full blown explanation of the differences between the two from you know who.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:00 PM   #15
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You know, calling a circuit breaker a 'fuse' will prompt a full blown explanation of the differences between the two from you know who.
Fixed! It's too early for an electrical 101 class.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:01 PM   #16
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The silver post on the circuit breaker (is) should be power from the battery.
I say should because it was wired by the blind installers at the manufacturer's house of training so use your VOM and make sure.
Roger that. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
My 2014 has the same metal electrical box, but it is a foot or so under the camper body so it's protected from the rain. It has 3 modified reset circuit breakers in front of the box then a battery disconnect. If you don't have one they're highly recommended, not everyone can stay hooked to shore power all the time, it will keep parasitic drains from killing your new battery.
Thanks again. Appreciate you guys helping the new guy out.

I just watched a Bulldog manufacturer's video about my jack and it said my unit has a built in circuit breaker which trips and resets automatically, thus no need for an inline fuse.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:10 PM   #17
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also recommend a good Battery disconnect switch while you are in there . its a nice addition .
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:59 PM   #18
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also recommend a good Battery disconnect switch while you are in there . its a nice addition .
Thanks Mongo. I was looking at them yesterday. Seems there are many different types.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:26 PM   #19
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Before purchasing your batteries and battery boxes, make sure to measure if they will fit. I was hoping to purchase a set of Group 27 batteries only to find out they wouldn't fit. I had to downsize to smaller Group 24 batteries and boxes.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:11 AM   #20
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Before purchasing your batteries and battery boxes, make sure to measure if they will fit. I was hoping to purchase a set of Group 27 batteries only to find out they wouldn't fit. I had to downsize to smaller Group 24 batteries and boxes.
Thank you. Good tip.
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