Slapdash battery wiring - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-11-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
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Slapdash battery wiring

I got this trailer a few weeks ago on a consignment sale. Haven't really had a chance to take it out yet.

I was looking at how the batteries are wired to the trailer components and I am surprised at the lack of consistency or apparently any real QC that I could see.
It was interesting to me to see the two batteries were tied together with AWG4 battery cable but the house wiring is AWG8. No biggie but the heavy battery tie cable offers no advantage that I can see.

What really got me was the termination of the wiring for the motorized hitch jack and the emergency breakaway switch. The crimp-on terminals for the jack were for the wrong lug size (they were for a 1/2" lug not 3"8" to match the battery terminal) and the wire came out easily when I gave a gentle tug on it.

The breakaway switch wiring was horrid! The small AWG16 wire was combined with the AWG8 house cable termination. Something I would never do! It too came away easily when I tugged on it. When I examined the end of the wire about 1/4 of the wire strands were cut probably due to sloppy wire skinning.

A visit to the local NAPA store to get the right crimp-on terminals (marine type) and 30 minutes of my time fixed those problems.

Makes me wonder what else is not right inside the coach. I hope what I saw was not done by the manufacturer of the trailer but rather by some dealer service department. Or is this typical for RV manufacturing industry?
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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I'd think you'd want to be sure the wiring wasn't done by your own local RV repair place out there on the highway.

Could have been the previous owner that did the horrid wiring job, just one of those things to move beyond and enjoy the trailer.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post

Could have been the previous owner that did the horrid wiring job, just one of those things to move beyond and enjoy the trailer.
I think I'll enjoy the trailer better once I have confidence that things are done right. I'm glad I discovered this issue before I hit the road.

We're planning a short excursion to Kartchner Caverns State Park next weekend to shake things out. Looks like a real nice RV park managed by the Arizona Parks Department.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:45 PM   #4
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Typically the batteries are wired up by the dealer before the customer takes possession.

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Old 10-12-2014, 05:17 AM   #5
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Your use of the word "slapdash" tells me that you're educated and gentlemanly. I would have used more disparaging words! LOL. Yes, as Aaron said, most of those external devices are wired by local dealer. Your attention to such details would indicate an engineering or technically skilled background. You are not likely to find that in the RV service industry.
As one other poster said, fix it yourself, and move on. Trust me, a test light or voltmeter, together with a few crimp connects, some electrical tape and your wiring knowledge will make you many friends in the campgrounds. What people don't know about this stuff would fill a book!
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