The cables for the RV’s generator are weird. I was always taught that a black battery cable went to the negative battery post and the red cable went to the positive. After 45 years, I learned that is not always the case. It all started with a stupid mistake. I also failed to take a photo of how all the cables were connected to the batteries before replacing the batteries.
Connecting the Generator to the Batteries
After installing the new batteries, I connected all of the black cables to the negative posts and all of the red cables to the positive posts. I went to test the generator and it was dead. The pump wouldn’t prime either, and the light would not come on, not a peep for sound. I went through the troubleshooting manual, which included resetting the circuit breakers on the generator and checking the connections. All good, but still nothing. I pulled out my computer and searched the Heartland Cyclone Owner’s Forum and searched for generator posts. Very quickly, I found a post indicating a similar problem to mine. About three responses in was the explanation: the black cable from the generator to the battery is positive!
Now, why would they be so cruel as to do this to us?? I have no idea, but I learned two valuable lessons by this mistake.
- Always take a “before” picture, so assembly works the first time.
- Always check the connections to make sure positive goes to positive and negative goes to negative, regardless of the color of the cable.
After I switched the black cable to the positive battery post, everything worked perfectly!