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Old 11-26-2007, 09:16 PM   #1
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1974 29' Ambassador
1971 31' Sovereign
Klickitat , Washington
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control panel removal? 1974 Ambassador

Hi folks, I'm wondering how critical it is to have a functional control panel. Nothing on mine works, except the main light and the range hood fan. The water pump switch is now under the sink, courtesy of a PO.

I could really use the overhead kitchen storage space, so I'm thinking I'd just as soon take the thing out. Anyone done this? How did you do it? Do you miss having the control panel?
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:18 AM   #2
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If nothing works, you won't miss the tank level indicators. Do you have gauges or indicator lights for your levels? It makes a difference of whether you have a two-wire or four-wire sensor coming up from the tanks.

Zep
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
If nothing works, you won't miss the tank level indicators. Do you have gauges or indicator lights for your levels? It makes a difference of whether you have a two-wire or four-wire sensor coming up from the tanks.

Zep
They are gauges. I guess my question is two-fold - if I remove the central control panel, what effect would that have on the rest of my electrical system? Can I just leave the wiring harness lying loose? And, if I decide to live without the gauges, what should/could I do to monitor my systems?

Right now, I'm parked in an RV park with full hookups for the winter. Come spring, I'll be parking this trailer on some land where it will be hooked up to services, and I'll be living in it indefinitely. It will not be moving much, if at all.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:08 AM   #4
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There are only two active wires in the whole bundle (except for the water pump wires, which you say are already relocated)--the 12 V that powers the panel lights and meters and the current sensing wire. All the other wires terminate at screws that go through the tanks and provide a resistance that indicates fluid level. You don't have to cap them off.

After you take the panel out, find the 12 V power wire and insulate it with a small wire nut or a couple of good wraps of electrical tape. You might even be able to disconnect it at the fuse panel, but I'm not sure it's an individual feed from there. If you screw this up, it ought to be on a fuse, so no real harm can be done.

The current sensing wire goes directly from the fuse panel to the battery current meter. If you look at the fuse panel you'll see a falt piece of copper about 1/2" wide and 2" long. It has a thin slot cut in it with a screw in the slot that can be adjusted along the slot. This screw should be connected to a small guage wire. Disconnect it. This wire will have less than 0.05 volts on it, even when you're drawing a lot of current through the battery, but if it gets grounded you'll have a lot of battery current trying to go to ground through that wire. Chances are good that your PO may have eliminated this wire already. There may be an inline fuse in this wire. There is usually another small guage wire connected to this copper strip, but it is at the ground end and carries no voltage or current (it's a separate ground path up to the battery current meter to ensure that the current is measured accurately without stray ground loop voltages in the shell inducing an error--but that's in the "trailer electrical systems 102" course).

Three is a possibility of a third wire. Look to see if you have a separate small guage battery voltage sensing wire that goes directly from the fuse panel to the battery "condition" meter. I'm recalling the wiring from memory and there may be a separate 12 V wire for this purpose, other than the one that powers the panel lights and meters. It would be important to insulate this one, also.

Now you're good to "go" or, in your case, sit.

Zep
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
There are only two active wires in the whole bundle (except for the water pump wires, which you say are already relocated)--the 12 V that powers the panel lights and meters and the current sensing wire. All the other wires terminate at screws that go through the tanks and provide a resistance that indicates fluid level. You don't have to cap them off.

(snip)

Now you're good to "go" or, in your case, sit.

Zep

Thanks Zep, that's great info. My SO just spent 3 days replacing my furnace, and in poking around down there, found out I have two water pumps. One has a switch below the sink, and the other one is switched from the central control panel. And yes, they both turn on. Hmmmm.

I think we'll have to fill the freshwater tank and play around with the system in order to decide whether we're dealing with the department of redundancy department or whether there is an actual reason to have two pumps.

I plan to use this A/S as a house on a piece of land that has no services yet. I will need a freshwater tank, it might be a year before the well is drilled. (Electricity will be available by the time I move there.)
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