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Old 08-28-2017, 01:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy Need help finding a short

Hello all,

Just purchased a 2002 Jayco Qwest M-10V pop up camper and finding that there may be some electrical issues with it. I don't plan on using full service sites, so want to run on battery.

The battery was DOA when I purchased it (knew that at the time of purchase) so I borrowed one to do some testing. Right away I noticed there was some sparks when connecting the cables to the battery. Not sure if that's common or not but after connecting, I turned on the 12V switch to the camper (120V is off at this point) and the lights/porch light turned on just fine. Then I turned off the 12V switch and oddly, the lights stayed on. I'm no expert but to me they should be off at this point.

So I checked the fuses to see if they were ok, and the three 15amp ones were ok, and same with the 20amp one, though the 20amp one gave me some sparks when trying to reconnect it. According to the label that's the charging line. With that fuse out the battery does not spark when connecting/disconnecting the cables.

I'm going to do more testing tonight with my multi meter to confirm but would appreciate any suggestions for troubleshooting this. I feel as is there's going to be a constant draw on the battery regardless if the lights are on or not, and it doesn't seem to matter if I turn off the 12v to the camper from the switch.

Thank you.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:56 PM   #2
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Are you sure you didn't reverse the battery connections?
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:03 PM   #3
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Pretty sure, the ground, which goes to a spot behind the coupler was on the - and the + was to the other.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:09 PM   #4
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Does it have a 3 way fridge, gas, 12v, 120 that may be on 12v?
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:14 PM   #5
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It could be a loose ground or a wire that has rubbing against metal somewhere in the trailer. Also with a 12V system, White is ground.....
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:16 PM   #6
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There is a 3-way fridge but while I troubleshoot it, I turned it off from the control panel in the back corner of the camper (by setting it to 0). I don't know if there's any other way to turn it off, but at this point i'm not sure I trust that control panel is even working since the 12v works regardless if in On or Off position.

I haven't really tried the fridge yet but would like to use it if it works. Previous owner always ran it off propane but it's been sitting for 5 years.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:18 PM   #7
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you said the 120 is off, how do you know that?? is it plugged in?
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:22 PM   #8
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It's not plugged in, and I do have the 120v turned off on the control panel.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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It could be a loose ground or a wire that has rubbing against metal somewhere in the trailer. Also with a 12V system, White is ground.....
Pretty sure I have them connected correctly but can always post a pic when I get home from work.

I've been advised to connect the positive first, then the negative (ground), is this correct or was I given bad advice? I'm new to working with marine batteries so it's possible i'm doing it incorrectly.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:14 PM   #10
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Were there just a few small sparks coming from the battery cable. If it was just that, it is normal when hooking up a battery to get a spark if you are using a "washer" connection instead of the type used on cars. If it wasn't this, then follow the suggestions above. I have a 23MRB and the battery sparks every time I connect. Positive first when connecting, negative first when disconnecting is what I learned.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:48 PM   #11
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Were there just a few small sparks coming from the battery cable. If it was just that, it is normal when hooking up a battery to get a spark if you are using a "washer" connection instead of the type used on cars. If it wasn't this, then follow the suggestions above. I have a 23MRB and the battery sparks every time I connect. Positive first when connecting, negative first when disconnecting is what I learned.
There were just some minor sparks, and it is the "washer" connection. A few places that i've checked said that it was no big deal either, so maybe i'm making a bigger deal about it than I should. Really not familiar with this stuff.

I also stopped by my brothers on the way home and checked his Coachman pop up camper. He has the same control panel on his, but his was off for 12v and 120v but has been using battery all summer. Is that control panel strictly for how you want to power the fridge? I might have been looking at that all wrong. If so I apologize. It's possible I don't have an issue after all (which would be great). Still not sure the fridge is working but i'm not so worried about that right now.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:36 PM   #12
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When connecting the battery it is normal to have some Spall sparks. The reason being; there are some small parasite power drain on the battery. These items usually included the CO/gas detector, frig, and on new units the water heater and remote controled systems.

On my Brother's PU of about the same vintage, the ouside light is always on when plugged in. It might be on with a battery too, but he has not had a battery in years as they only use electric sites.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:40 AM   #13
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Thank you for the replies everyone.

Did some more work with it last night and from what you guys are describing sounds like the 12v is working just fine.

Only thing that isn't working is the fridge. Not sure if it sat for too long or what, but I can't get it started to save my life, regardless if I use 120v, 12v or propane.

For propane, I just can't get it lit. The igniter may need to be replaced, but not sure there's much of a point since 120 or 12v don't seem to work either. And I left it plugged in all night and it wasn't even cool.

I'll do some additional research on that, and check wiring etc...but just wanted to say thanks for the assistance in getting the power sorted out.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:51 AM   #14
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For the 120 + 12v side check continuity on the heating element(s) they may be bad.
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