1973 Brave - understanding the 3 battery layout and is there a "better way" to wire them up ?


So I finally found the 1973 Brave that I was hunting for.  She (Penny) is the exact year, layout and such that I was looking for.  All runs great, drove it 10 hours back to Canada, and other than a nagging tranny leak and some messed up coach batteries, I am pretty happy with her.

As mentioned before I have never owned an RV so currently learning everything as I go along.

I winterized the RV this week and wanted to store the batteries inside for the winter (even though I think the coach batteries are fubar), so I removed all 3, documented all the cabling and have been attempting to charge all 3 batteries before storing them (and will charge them a couple times over the winter).

So as I am learning, I constantly come across conflicting details.  Right now it is to do with the batteries.  All 3 are 3 years old, all the same make and model, Interstate Marine/RV deep cycle.  From what I have read, that is good news as they should all be the same age and model. 

First conflict - should they be charged under 2A or 10A ?  My charger has both conventional and deep cycle settings.  I am leaning towards 10A on the deep cycle setting based on what I have read.  Apparently 2A is not truly a trickle charge which is different than what I thought.

Next conflict is with the wiring / connection of multiple batteries.  Seems that the old way of connecting them is no longer viewed as the correct way since one battery takes the brunt of the load / usage.  Here is a link that explains the "better way" - diagram 5 is the best for a 3 battery set-up.


For added details - here is the battery schematic of the 1973 Brave.


So my questions are:

- is the Brave current battery wiring really a 3 battery set-up, the Both / MOM settings with a isolation relay may be negating that ability ?

- if it is a 3 battery set-up, what changes to the current wiring would I need to make to more effectively match that of the Gary Bunzer article from the link above ?

I am hoping someone else within this group has come across similar concerns.

Any help you folks can offer would be greatly appreciated.


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Replies to This Discussion

So first Congratulations on your new acquisition. Sit down, strap in and hang on she's going to be a wild and crazy ride.>GRIN< She'll be fun, challenging and in lightning. Where in Canada are you. Were'd you pic her up at?


I know just what you wanted to see. More stuff to read. One battery is used to start your rig The Engine Battery. The other two are what are referred to as your House Batteries. They run your furnace, interior lights,TV that sort of thing. Those two batteries are hooked up positive to positive and negative to negative. There are three types of batteries. One build for starting a vehicle which is build different from the RV deep cycle battery which is a bastardize battery. It's neither or nor and then there's the third battery which is a true deep cycle battery which is us for golf carts. Which are truly a deep cycle battery. I went with two Trojan 6 volt batteries hooked up in series. So their hooked up positive to negative and positive to negative. They don't cost much more than than any of the so called Deep Cycle RV batteries and if looked after properly will last 8 to 10 years. I know I probably  just made things worse trying to explain it.  


Morning T.J.   I live just North of Toronto, Ontario.   Got her in Pennsylvania - hence Penny.

Thanks for the note on the batteries.  I don't mind extra reading - don't have a lot of spare time but kinda do have some time until spring. Yes I have already read lots about the chassis / coach design and also about the deep cycle battery - and the 12V vs 6V debate.  I guess really my first concern is whether I have to treat them as two completely separate components - I think I do.  Each has a different role yes - the chassis just really needs to provide the cranking power / juice to start it, but then it also ties them together when I want to charge the coach batteries via the chassis. I may just be hung up on when they tie together and thing they become a "bank".

 And I am told they have to be identical in battery model and type for them to charge properly when I am driving and flip the Dual / Both switch (which if this is NOT the case, and I can't save my two 12V chassis batteries, then I will look at the 6V Trojan batteries which are about $150 each here - so $300 based on just two 6V being required).

We're down south of London. T.J. / L.J., Sleeth is in Brantford, Vic is in Kitchener, Joe and Paul are around Ottawa. So welcome aboard. I got a little something special I'll send you if you want to send me your PM e-mail address. Welcome aboard. I just bought  my Trojans last week for $170 each plus PST.

What I know is when your driving your generator or alternator is charging your Chassis battery. When you hit your dual switch your alternator starts to charge your House batteries as well as your Chassis battery. I have run missed matched batteries but I think it better if you for example run three deep cycle batteries vs a deep cycle as a Chassis battery and a regular battery tied to a Deep cycle for House Power. Time wise I got a little time on my hand now the farmings done. Got any pic's of your rig?

My son played ball tourneys in London and Brantford and beyond (wish I had the RV then)- plus I have a nest of friends in Strathroy.  My company has offices in Kitchener and I have a sister in Ottawa area - so slightly part of the "loop".

I will send you my email.

Not many pics yet - I do a bit of amateur photog, mostly kids sports but wanted to do a photo shoot with her and the fallsy background but ran outta time.


WOW! Sweet Ride. It has the same layout as our 1975 21 footer. Your going to have a ball with it. Is it a 318, 440. How'd she handle on the road coming home. Believe it or not Lauren and I just got back from spending a weekend in the Walmart parking lot in Port Huron. Had a blast. It was free evening camping.

I like the optional pumpkins

Thanks Sleeth - a little something for the trick or treaters...

how many miles on the girl?>


Yes mine is a D20 - short of 21 feet by 1 inch.  Engine is a 440 - this was around the time they were detuning the engines due to emission concerns so we took a bit of a hit on horsepower, though it seems how they defined horsepower was also changed.

Not sure if you have seen this website - here is your 1975 brochure:


And here is your girls cousin.  I saw one of these when I was looking, pretty cool front end.


Funny you should mention Walmart.  My first experience there was not so great.  You have to "export" your vehicle from the USA side and then "import" on the Canada side. USA export office was only open 8to4, so that was my goal with a contingency to camp at the Niagara Falls NY Walmart which was open 7x24.  Ran into some mechanical issues with the RV inspection, so had to wait to have them fixed before I would agree to close the purchase.  Never arrived at the Walmart until 11pm.  I only took a backpack with me on the trip down, so had no sleepover type gear with me.  Went into the store and bough food, a couple beers, a pillow and what I thought was a steal of a deal, two full size throws for $2.50 each.  Went back to the RV, ate drank and tinkered a bit with all the controls, then set-up for bed.  Turns out the throws were only 3 foot by 3 foot - super tiny.  At that point I didn't want to go back into the store, so I wrapped myself up and fell asleep with my teeth chattering (I did not want to run the heater as was unsure all the lines were good). It dropped down to -1 that nite and I literally froze.  Then around 3pm I awoke to a scene from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind - very loud noises and lights shining into all the windows.  Turns out there were 4 street sweepers flying around - they were cleaning the parking lot.   Not a great sleep my first nite in the RV....

sorry to hear your first night in the Winnie wasn't great




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