Electrical Systems, Charging and Solar Electrical components and wiring, batteries, charging systems, generators and solar topics.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Raising it up with dead batteries

Both batteries are about 8 years old and seemed to be holding a charge, but now with hot weather they have decided they don't want to play any more.

Problem is, they totally died with the unit down, and I need to raise it to access the battery box. I have a 17RK.

I can just barely lift the battery box cover enough to access the front terminals. I tried jumper cables from my Tahoe, and got nothing. I suspect dead cells in both batteries, so I somehow have to go direct to the power lines to the trailer itself.

I can't manually jack it up because the hydraulic pump is BEHIND the batteries, and I can't pull the batteries until I jack it up.

I am going to put a charger on it all night and see if I can get enough to raise the top.

Any other thoughts are welcome....
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:24 AM   #2
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Is there any way you can disconnect one (or both) of the battery cables from the batteries? If so, you could then apply your jumper cables to the disconnected cable and to the other cable (or to both cables if you could get them both off).

I think your problem is that the batteries are so bad they were taking all the power you were delivering from the jumper cables and leaving nothing for the lift motor. Disconnecting at least one of the cables takes the batteries out of the circuit and connects you directly to the "power lines" as you desired.

MAYBE, if you have any luck with the charger, it will recover the batteries enough to get things moving though.

And, from your post it seems you don't have the "manual" lift option in your trailer?

- Jack
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:03 PM   #3
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I agree the batteries are toast and I suspect at least one dead cell.
However, since the batteries are connected in parallel, I can only access the opposite terminals, leaving one battery in the chain at any time.
I need to access the power lines without going through EITHER battery. I am getting a stuttering sound - I believe that to be the solenoid just not getting enough voltage to engage.

I really wish I could access the manual lift feature. As I mentioned earlier, it is INSIDE the battery box behind the batteries.
It is ONLY accessible when the top is up, because the forward section of the top comes to rest on top of the battery box. see pic.
When this is resolved I might but connections to the battery terminals where I can clip on jumper cables without raising the top.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:53 PM   #4
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Well, doh! I maneuvered the trailer so i could plug it in and at least try raising through the converter.

It was slow at first, but lifted up, so I am all better now.

BUT, I think some terminals to connect jumper cables when the top is down might be good preventative steps.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:28 PM   #5
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I had the same problem. I had to plug into electric and some time that wouldn't work. I did put a new battery in and still had the problem. The problem was solved with two new wires and a circuit breaker.

I was very frustrated not knowing what to do or where or what to do next.

Hopefully, you'll be able to save a little time. Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:27 AM   #6
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Interesting!

So were the breaker and wires corroded? How did you know the breaker was bad?

Which breaker is this?

thanks
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:40 AM   #7
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It was probably one or both of the breakers in the battery compartment. They likely had corroded terminals if the top lifted slowly. If they have failed, the top would not raise at all. (A circuit breaker either works or it doesn't; it's a simple, ON/OFF switch.)

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Old 07-19-2018, 05:27 PM   #8
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So I have an older HiLo and have the same dead battery problem.

Under the trailer there is a bundle of wires heading back out of the battery box in a now "dying of age" plastic tube. One of the wires is a thicker red wire, a thinner red wire, a yellow wire and I forget now if there are more. If I tapped into the thicker red wire and grounded to the frame, and chance I could be charging my batteries?
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:06 AM   #9
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I believe that the wire bundle you refer to is the wires to the lift switch/drop.
There is a relay on mine just before leaving the battery box. it goes to the switch.
This has nothing to do with the charging of the battery.

Don't tap into anything on your trlr. Use a multi-meter to check where it goes and what it does. That thick red wire is likely HOT, and grounding to the frame will just make sparks!
I also have an older trlr. Use caution, as melting down your electric is time consuming and very frustrating.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:02 PM   #10
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I replaced both my batteries this spring. had to use the manual pump to raise it enough to get cables on it to get it up. I place my batteries , in opposite directions so I can get access to a negative and a positive by just getting a bit of the front flap up on my battery box. None the less, after replacing the batteries the top would not raise without a jump. After running all the sensible diagnostics the problem came down to one positive cable , though it felt solid, was not making adequate contact with the post. I just didn't have the nut torqued enough on the connector. lesson: never assume the obvious is ok until you have checked it thoroughly ....Also, I've been telling myself I'm going to rig external posts for five years now. A great idea- I just never seem to get to it.

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