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Old 07-15-2018, 12:41 AM   #21
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1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Yes, that is a pulse width modulating (PWM) controller. To use that controller with a 12V battery, you need a 12V array. 24 volt panels will not work unless you get a different controller.
That's what I thought. Like I said I got the panels at a thrift shop so I didn't spend much on the lesson. :-) Now I know better!
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You don't have to be a licensed electrician to have knowledge of this type.
Most licensed electricians have little or no knowledge when it comes to RV wiring.
This type of wiring is more akin to marine and boat wiring than it is to residential or commercial wiring.
There are plenty of resources on the net to increase your knowledge level.
Take the time to do the research.
Exactly! I've asked a couple electricians questions and I got quizzical looks and no answers. I took my '64 Overlander to a guy who works on automotive electrical to see if he could help install the converter/inverter in that trailer. He said he could probably figure it out but had never done it before. We decided to that my hubs would give it a shot.
If I really get stuck on this trailer I can haul it down there for face to face advice but I think the people here on Airforums have more direct experience and on point advice. So here we are! :-)
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
There is a reason wire nuts are banned in the UK and probably elsewhere. And they should never be used in a trailer unless it is a temporary emergency. Otherwise always always follow proper wiring guidelines or you will suffer the consequences. I'm sure any licensed electrician on this forum can give you advice if you ask.

Personally I'm appalled at the way AS wires their trailers. Not the way I would do it and certainly not the way it should be done.
Thank you. LOL! I think I should put a caption on that photo. WIRE NUTS FOR TEMPORARY USE ONLY! WILL BE REPLACED ONCE TESTING IS COMPLETE!
Advice is welcome.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
You never want to do this if you want a reliable circuit. Always use 2 wires for DC. It is also best not to tie any wires together except at a junction box. Never daisy chain in a trailer. It makes for nightmares later if you have an issue.

You also want to tie the negative of the battery to your shunt before going anywhere.
Okay. I will try to use two wires on everything I can. Maybe I didn't use 'daisy chain'in the right way. Are you saying that if there is a 12v light in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living area and all are on the streetside that every fixture should home run to the 12v fuse box? Right now I have all four tied together.
Also, now I have to figure out what a shunt is and if I need one and if so do I already have one and think it's called something else! I just watched a video and it seemed to be saying that it fed information to the battery monitor and charge controller. Would that be the same thing as the PD converter? It also talked about a connection to the inverter which I don't have and wasn't planning to install. I'm not why I would need to convert 12v to 110. Seems like it would be a big energy hog on the battery. I probably don't need outlets that badly.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:57 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljaecks View Post
Okay. I will try to use two wires on everything I can. Maybe I didn't use 'daisy chain'in the right way. Are you saying that if there is a 12v light in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living area and all are on the streetside that every fixture should home run to the 12v fuse box? Right now I have all four tied together.
Also, now I have to figure out what a shunt is and if I need one and if so do I already have one and think it's called something else! I just watched a video and it seemed to be saying that it fed information to the battery monitor and charge controller. Would that be the same thing as the PD converter? It also talked about a connection to the inverter which I don't have and wasn't planning to install. I'm not why I would need to convert 12v to 110. Seems like it would be a big energy hog on the battery. I probably don't need outlets that badly.
Home runs are best. But think of the wiring like a house. No splices or wires are joined willy nilly in the walls. They are all made in junction boxes. Trailer should be no different. If you are joining multiple lights then make the joint at the light in the box and not in the wall or ceiling where it can't be accessed later. Every connection needs to be accessible. If you home run them then in the end you can use a terminal strip to connect all of the wires together and the wiring is neat and easily maintained. You can also then move the loads around and adjust the circuits for the load rating. If you start stringing the loads keep a very close eye on the amount of current that each load is going to require. Because now you need to rate the wire for that current as well as the fuse.

A shunt is used to measure the current that is being drawn. If you plan on using batteries then make sure you have one. And do not bypass it by tying loads to the frame of the trailer. That is done in automotive but it is a bad idea in a trailer. All negative wires need to be connected through the shunt to the negative of the batteries in order for the shunt to measure the current properly.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:01 AM   #26
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You are correct about Inverters. They are not very efficient.
There is probably a "Shunt" in the old Univolt converter.
It looks like a flat copper bar.
It is used in conjunction with an Ammeter.
By inserting the shunt in series with the negative (common/ground) side of the system and connecting it to an Ammeter via the 2 small screws you can see the current draw (in amps) when things are running.
The ammeter is actually a millivolt meter because it reads the very slight voltage drop across the shunt.

As for the description "Ground"
IMHO the auto industry screwed up when they started calling the negative or positive side of the electrical system "ground".
AC (alternating current) systems use the term "ground" as well. Because it is in fact tied to the earth thru a grounding system installed by the utility provider.
In a DC circuit this term "ground" should be and is called "COMMON".
Because it is "common" or connected directly to every DC device in the system. Normally there are no switching or controlling devices in the common side.
Even though the Common wires on all DC devices are connected to the skin/chassis. Technically speaking it is NOT GROUND. It is a method used by auto and RV industries to save on wire. By tying the negative terminal of the battery and converter and all other DC devices to the skin/chassis the 12 volt DC circuit is completed.
Making "Home Runs" or wiring both sides of the DC circuits is good practice. You will not regret it in the future.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You are correct about Inverters. They are not very efficient.
There is probably a "Shunt" in the old Univolt converter.
It looks like a flat copper bar.
It is used in conjunction with an Ammeter.
By inserting the shunt in series with the negative (common/ground) side of the system and connecting it to an Ammeter via the 2 small screws you can see the current draw (in amps) when things are running.
The ammeter is actually a millivolt meter because it reads the very slight voltage drop across the shunt.

As for the description "Ground"
IMHO the auto industry screwed up when they started calling the negative or positive side of the electrical system "ground".
AC (alternating current) systems use the term "ground" as well. Because it is in fact tied to the earth thru a grounding system installed by the utility provider.
In a DC circuit this term "ground" should be and is called "COMMON".
Because it is "common" or connected directly to every DC device in the system. Normally there are no switching or controlling devices in the common side.
Even though the Common wires on all DC devices are connected to the skin/chassis. Technically speaking it is NOT GROUND. It is a method used by auto and RV industries to save on wire. By tying the negative terminal of the battery and converter and all other DC devices to the skin/chassis the 12 volt DC circuit is completed.
Making "Home Runs" or wiring both sides of the DC circuits is good practice. You will not regret it in the future.
Hope this helps.
Thankfully most car manufacturers are getting away from this practice. It was a bad practice then and it still is today. All you need is bit of corrosion on the ground and game over. Mazda is one of the worst offenders.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:34 AM   #28
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Also one of the main advantages of the home run vs the daisy chain is that if one wire breaks (rubs through and shorts out on the frame or gets pinched etc) you will loose the entire string. In a home run you only loose that one.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:10 PM   #29
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I’m re-furbing the light fixtures while I contemplate the more complex parts of this electrical project.
I disassembled them. Planning to use LED bulbs 5W with an Edison base. I purchased new sockets for all the fixtures. Using 14 gauge stranded wire. Maximum 8 bulbs on each circuit unless I end up running each fixture back to a bus bar (?) at the front of the trailer. Then max 2 bulbs on the circuit.
I’m wondering what I’ve said so far that will cause my words to be misunderstood. Oh well. Here is goes.
The new sockets I acquired from Home Depot secure the wires with screws. The original sockets have a connection that didn’t use screws. The crimping 16-14 gauge spade terminals don’t fit well underneath the screws. Is there another alternative to screwing the wire ends down? Is it secure enough if I just screw the wires down as the manufacturer intended? The fixtures are surface mounted so they will be accessible. Long term I’m not sure if I’m keeping them but it seems simpler to use them for now.
I’m also wondering if anyone has purchased or created a new shade for the round ceiling fixture?
Thoughts?
:-)
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:15 PM   #30
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I am about 15 months into the rehab on my 62. I can tell you what I have done so far. I am not concerned with keeping everything vintage and therefore made decisions that a purist would not have made. With the exception of the converter charger, i seperated my 12 and 110V systems. I converted all lighting to modern led fixtures, the original fixtures were in less than poor condition and new lighting fixtures are cheap. Of course I installed all new wiring, and used junction boxes for 110 connections. When connecting 12v wires I soldered and shrink wrapped any connections that are not easily accessed. Crimp connectors work well but I don't want to have to remove panels to make repairs.

My wife and I decided to ditch the bathroom. We usually stay in state and National Parks and use their facilities. The logic was that we spend more time sleeping than pooping, and wanted permanent beds. With no plumbing I don't have to be concerned with winterizing. I am putting a sink in the galley with removable fresh and grey water tanks in the cabinet below. My wife also said that when traveling she didn't want to clean the bathroom and shower. We also opted not to have a dinette and instead bought a couch that converts into a bed from Ikea.

Hearing nightmares about laminate expansion and contraction due to temperature changes, we went with vinyl tile planks that look like wood but are stable from -30 to 120 degrees.

Your goals may be different than our's so I offer this as food for thought. If you have any questions as you move forward dont hesitate to ask. I have learned much in this journey, but im sure there is much more to learn. The good news is i am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and good luck.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:41 PM   #31
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A few additional thoughts. Without plumbing we also don't need a water heater. I also did not install a furnace. We are campers not glampers. For heat, just to take the chill off on a cold night we either use a catalytic plug in heater if we have power, or a Mr. Heater type propane heater that we shut off when going to bed.

Our original refrigerator still works, propane only. With only led lights to run along with the Maxair fans, our battery can last us a week or more. I believe in keeping everything as simple as possible. Less complexity equals less problems. I built two campers from scratch prior to the Airstream and so far it has worked out well. Then again everyone has different needs.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:40 PM   #32
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1964 26' Overlander
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Ď62 Safari-Progress on Electrical Albeit Slow :-)

After taking many deep breaths and consulting with a professional RV electrical serviceman Iíve made some progress and I have a couple questions. Iíve included some pictures.
My goal is to piece everything together temporarily and then make the proper connections once everything is working as it should. Iím a hands on learner. So, please, remember that everything is dummied up as a learning experience. Not as a permanent install. I want to make sure Iím using the right components and that I have included all the key elements needed to be safe and successful.
So, here goes:
1. Iíve followed a Parallax wiring diagram I found in Airforums on a couple different posts. I hope you can see it below. The diagram shows an 8 AWG from the battery to the fuse block and the converter. This seems a little too small to me. I put it together that way and ran the LED lights and a couple fans. Everything works but the cable ends on the battery got warm. That said it is 95 degrees today. My inclination is to change to a 4 AWG wire. My hesitation is the size of the terminals on the 30 amp Sea Dog fuse block are small. Too small for the ring terminals on the 4 wire I have. Should I be using a different fuse block? Or is there a smaller size ring terminal that will fit on a 4 wire?
2. Do you see any errors in the manner in which I have this connected so far?
3. The battery was formerly grounded to the trailer skin as you can see in the photo. Is this acceptable? It is my impression that grounding always needed to be connected to the frame.
4. The 7 pin pigtail is connected through a junction box for that purpose. There is a white ground wire that I currently have connected to the same grounding bar Iím using for the Parallax fuse block. Is this okay to do or must the pigtail be grounded to the frame?
5. Same question for the electric jack. Ground to frame or grounding bar?
Thanks for your help!
Laura
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:53 AM   #33
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I am not a professional electrician so take my comments for what they are worth. I think you are ok with 8 gauge wire. You are not pulling the amps you would be if you are running a starter on a car or truck. It appears it is a short, as in length, run from the battery to the converter charger. The heat at the terminals could be caused by a loose connection. Are you sure everything is tight?

Grounding to the skin should also be no problem. The skin is attached to the frame with both rivets, screws, and bolts so it is all connected.
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