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1977 RV Brent 10-19-09  
I have a 1977 Champion RV with 3 Batteries and when I got it the other 2 batteries were missing can anyone tell me how to hook up the other 2 batties and what would cause the battery i do have hooked up to smoke and get hot when we hook it up. I mean it gets red hot. Thank you for any help you can give me this is one big project fix this old girl up and I need and help I can get when it comes to Electrical.
Re: 1977 RV Bill 10-21-09  
NOTE: Your wiring is creating a direct path for current between the + and -. Very dangerous, Possibility of battery explosion.
If you don't have test equipment, fashion a jumper with a fuse so you can find the fault without burning things up.
Usually with a 3 battery setup, one battery is connected to operate the truck systems, lights, starter, heater/AC just like a regular truck.
The other two batteries are normally connected in parallel, (Pos to Pos and Neg to Neg. to provide 12volt power for the living quarters, lights, heater, refridgerator, water heater, etc.
Check the data plate on the furnace or refridgerator to determine voltage requirements before powering up the system.
The negative cables will all be grounded but the Positive systems ( truck vs RV ) will be separate systems.
A battery isolator ( static electronic switch ) is used to charge both systems from the truck alternator with the truck battery being the primary. It charges first.
It is also useful to install a switch between the two positive systems in the event the truck battery needs a boost after long down time. Either a remote operated solenoid or a manual switch will work.
When connected to external power, the two auxiliary batteries are charged from the external source through a converter, however the truck battery normally is not.
If you're lucky, the wiring hasn't been modified very much but considering the age of the machine, I wouldn't assume that everything is as it was in 1977.
The fused jumper is one way to prevent damage if your not sure about the circuit being connected.
I can email you a basic drawing of the typical battery connections is you think it would be any help.
Re: 1977 RV Kris Nelson 8-26-10  
Isolater (?) is burned up need typ wiring diag. w/possib. switch's (?)for 1 batt for engine, 2nd for rv. ( 77 champion (dodge))

thanks bunch,
Kris
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