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Old 06-30-2018, 04:50 PM   #1
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1962 22' Safari
1964 26' Overlander
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Ď62 Safari Freakiní Me Out - Electrical, etc!

Yikes! I feel like Iím standing on the edge of a cliff ready to jump off and am not sure if the parachute is strapped on or even if it is will it open???
We gutted our Ď62 Safari some time ago and I am determined to turn it into something wonderful!
Hubs helped me a LOT replacing the floor with marine grade plywood. Shell off I might add. We installed a new axle from Colin Hyde. We attended a couple Vintage Trailer Academies and I took copious notes that are sustaining me to this day. Iím channeling Lester these days and trying to be my best version of Uwe. I canít wait to get to upholstery and curtains, my forte, even still I learned a few good tips from Susan Tiegs. Sooo many talented people! Gawd I wish those were still happening! Hubs is not as passionate about this whole thing as me SO Iím trying really hard to be independent and resourceful. Scared to death! Iím a project manager BUT that schedule has long ago gone out the window as it didnít account to terror, tears, working for a living and winter!
I took out all the inside walls and end caps mostly by myself. One layer of Reflectix is in and a good amount of wiring has been installed. Basically, I just left the old wiring in place and replaced it with new. I had to enlarge some of the holes and put in new grommets (who knew there were so many combinations if ID, OD and channel width!). Amazon has worn a path to our door.
I successfully wired the turn signals and installed new LED marker lights using a 7 pin wiring box and a new pigtail. All my new wires are stranded. Whew! Tested and it all works.
I wish one of you knowledable people was my neighbor. Iíd buy you as many beers as it took to get me through this! I think I have all the parts I need. My plan is to put everything together while the walls are still off and test it. If you know a lot about this, please, look at the pics and see what Iím missing. I am a hands on learner and am not really just yet at reading diagrams. All the plans Iíve looked at seem to be slightly different than what Iím trying to do so it throws me off. To make it easy on myself I have saved all the interior and plan to use the same layout.
I have so many questions. Here are a few:
1. WTH was I thinking!
2. Lights - the original interior lights were these boxy things with 12v wiring to one side and 110 to the other. If I use the same fixtures can I simply wire both sides together? In which case theyíd both be 12v. Right? I may get new 12v lights later. Right now Iím more concerned with just hooking everything up right. Iím installing a PD 9245C with a Charge Wizard. I think. Unless this is the wrong thing. Then Iíll return it and get the Ďrightí thing.
3. Fan/AC wire? - thereís a 12v fan existing in the rear rooftop vent. The front opening has the Hehr lifters and an aluminum lid. Thereís a 12/3 wire wrapped around the inside of the opening but it wasnít connected to anything. Is this for future AC? I have a new Fantastic fan which I could install there BUT Iím thinking AC might be in my future. I replaced it with stranded marine 12/3 cable.
4. Wiring in the front overhead bin - There was an original 12V oscillating fan there but Iíve lost track of the wiring. It looks like I need 2 wires for that. If I put a smallish stereo up there in the future do I need 2 more 14 gauge wires? Can I daisy chain the fan and the stereo together? I ask because it looks like maybe some lights and the ceiling fan were connected. Iím really trying NOT to make this too complicated BUT I have a new Winegard antennae for the roof. I still have the original one if anyone wants it. I also want to allow for a coax connection though I havenít figured out exactly where.
5. Solar - I have purchased all the cabling and a controller for 2 solar panels. I bought some used panels at a thrift store BUT I think Iím learning that they wonít work on a 12v. The label says 24v. Remember I said Ďhands-oní learner. Iíve got to make some mistakes.
6. Converter location - Iím planning to concentrate all the electrical devices in the front underneath a future non-existent dinette. The battery is currently in an aluminum box riveted to the front wall above the tongue. Iím a little concerned that the battery or possible future dual batteries will be too heavy for the box but I donít have a good alternative. Thereís no room on the tongue itself with the propane tanks and the sway brackets. Does anyone else have a battery box like this on the front of their trailer? Does it work?
I saw a perfect layout of what Iím trying to do under the dinette somewhere online maybe on the forum. Iíll be darned if I can find it now!
Anyhoo this is getting really LONG! I think I need therapy. Breathing deep and moving on! I gotta go do some experiential learning!
Iíd love to hear helpful tips and see some pictures! :-)
Laura
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:09 AM   #2
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Battle Ground , Washington
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Can't help you with all your questions, but here are a few thoughts:

2. Yes you can combine both sockets to work from 12 volts. There are 12 volt bulbs available to screw into the 110 Volt sockets, would suggest led. Here's one site that carries them.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/boat-rv-screw-base/

Not familiar with the PD 9245C so can't help you there. I would suggest you look at the total 12 volt requirements for the trailer to determine if it is adequate for your needs.

3. I doubt that 12/3 wire is adequate for an AC unit. It was probably there for 110 volt fan option. My 58 had a 12 volt fan in one roof vent and a 110 volt fan in a second roof vent??.

4. Is your stereo going to be run on 12 volt or 110 volt? A 110 volt receptacle may be more versatile.

For the winegard, I would recommend using ultra low loss cable to connect to your tv.

https://3gstore.com/search/ultra_low_loss_cable/

5. Don't recall reading of anyone using 24 volt panels. Some solar proponents run their 12 volt panels in paired series to create 24 volts because it allows the use of smaller gauge wire and in some cases will allow charging begin earlier in the day or overcome converter specs that require X voltage difference between the current battery voltage and solar output voltage. A very complex topic. Find a good professional to help select your equipment components and their ability to play nice with each other.

6. I know a number of trailers have batteries mounted on the front. Mine didn't have any so I can't help you there. I'm mounting mine under the frig, but I can only do that because I've converted the propane/electric frig to 12 volt only.

I would suggest, if you haven't already, set down on paper what you want to have for 12 volt usage, 110 volt usage, fresh water tank, grey water tank, black water tanks. Most may already be present, but anything not stock to your trailer will be taking space currently used for another purpose. Adding plumbing that doesn't currently exist (water lines, drain lines) can be a headache to sort out and may require modifying cabinets, moving items. Even a rough drawing of making the alteration can make the changes less challenging. PM me and I'll send you a list I put together to get my head around all the electrical for our requirements. It was hard to wrap my head around the whole thing, so I broke it down room by room, and then looked at the power consumption (amps) and then separate circuit lists. Small bites.

We're just finishing up our 58 this summer. It takes time. You'll get there with patience and a willingness to learn. You will receive a lot of advice/suggestions through the forum. All will be worth while, from a learning perspective, but you have to sort through the variables presented to find what matches your goals, budget, and equipment.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:43 AM   #3
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Wow, that's a lot all at once. Looks like you're doing pretty well so far.

Are those wire nuts on your stranded 12v wire? I think you want to use crimp connectors instead, because wire nuts can work their way loose. That can be an especially big problem if the wire nut is buried behind a wall. You can get crimp connectors in the electrical aisle of the hardware store.

I agree that buried 12/3 wire probably was for future AC. Wire gauge would depend on how big the AC was. A 12 gauge wire would work up to 20A, which should be enough to serve most AC units on a dedicated circuit. Stranded marine wire is a good choice.

You can use 24 volt panels in parallel if your controller is a 12 V MPPT controller that can handle a 24 V array. What model solar controller do you have?

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Old 07-11-2018, 11:12 PM   #4
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1962 22' Safari
1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
Wenatchee , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
Can't help you with all your questions, but here are a few thoughts:

2. Yes you can combine both sockets to work from 12 volts. There are 12 volt bulbs available to screw into the 110 Volt sockets, would suggest led. Here's one site that carries them.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/boat-rv-screw-base/

Not familiar with the PD 9245C so can't help you there. I would suggest you look at the total 12 volt requirements for the trailer to determine if it is adequate for your needs.

3. I doubt that 12/3 wire is adequate for an AC unit. It was probably there for 110 volt fan option. My 58 had a 12 volt fan in one roof vent and a 110 volt fan in a second roof vent??.

4. Is your stereo going to be run on 12 volt or 110 volt? A 110 volt receptacle may be more versatile.

For the winegard, I would recommend using ultra low loss cable to connect to your tv.

https://3gstore.com/search/ultra_low_loss_cable/

5. Don't recall reading of anyone using 24 volt panels. Some solar proponents run their 12 volt panels in paired series to create 24 volts because it allows the use of smaller gauge wire and in some cases will allow charging begin earlier in the day or overcome converter specs that require X voltage difference between the current battery voltage and solar output voltage. A very complex topic. Find a good professional to help select your equipment components and their ability to play nice with each other.

6. I know a number of trailers have batteries mounted on the front. Mine didn't have any so I can't help you there. I'm mounting mine under the frig, but I can only do that because I've converted the propane/electric frig to 12 volt only.

I would suggest, if you haven't already, set down on paper what you want to have for 12 volt usage, 110 volt usage, fresh water tank, grey water tank, black water tanks. Most may already be present, but anything not stock to your trailer will be taking space currently used for another purpose. Adding plumbing that doesn't currently exist (water lines, drain lines) can be a headache to sort out and may require modifying cabinets, moving items. Even a rough drawing of making the alteration can make the changes less challenging. PM me and I'll send you a list I put together to get my head around all the electrical for our requirements. It was hard to wrap my head around the whole thing, so I broke it down room by room, and then looked at the power consumption (amps) and then separate circuit lists. Small bites.

We're just finishing up our 58 this summer. It takes time. You'll get there with patience and a willingness to learn. You will receive a lot of advice/suggestions through the forum. All will be worth while, from a learning perspective, but you have to sort through the variables presented to find what matches your goals, budget, and equipment.
Sorry I disappeared. Iím back! I bought the lightbulbs you suggested. Tonight I took some baby steps to TRY to get my head wrapped around this electrical. I disassembled the original fixtures and connected just the sockets to the new 12 gauge wires. Using my new lightbulbs I loosely connected a network of six lights to the battery. Voila! Success!
Next Iíll try the same with the outlets.
I am interested in the list you offered. First I have to figure out how to PM someone in this forum!
Thank you again! :-)
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:40 PM   #5
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1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
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I know! It was a lot. I needed to purge my frustration! :-)
Thank you for the ĎGreatí reply. I got the crimp connectors. I havenít installed them yet but I WILL!
The controller is a Morningstar Prostar PS-30M. Does that tell you anything? Solar...another topic I need to wrap my head around. One step at a time!
Thanks again!
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:49 PM   #6
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1962 22' Safari
1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Baby Steps

Iím happier than I should be that these lights actually turned on. My plan is to connect and test everything electrical before I put the skins back on.
I thought I might tackle the outlets next but I think I need to work on the fans first.
Iím taking the long road!
I donít quite understand what the blue wire is all about. Itís a single wire that runs from the fan and maybe went to the 12v lights??? Doesnít 12v require two wires? Confusing.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:54 PM   #7
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1962 22' Safari
1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
Wenatchee , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Oh yes I forgot to mention plumbing thatís another thing to learn about. One of the things hubs did help me with is modifying the frame to add a grey water tank.
I have Pex with all the fittings so when the time comes Iíll only make half as many trips to the hardware store for just the right part.
:-)
I hope this trailer turns out alright! Iím scared but it is fun. :-)
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:59 PM   #8
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12 volt circuits can use the trailer skin and frame for the negative lead. Although itís usually better to run both wires to heavy current draw appliances. Lights and fans will work fine IF the negative battery and converter connections are properly tied to the frame and shell.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljaecks View Post
I know! It was a lot. I needed to purge my frustration! :-)
Thank you for the ĎGreatí reply. I got the crimp connectors. I havenít installed them yet but I WILL!
The controller is a Morningstar Prostar PS-30M. Does that tell you anything? Solar...another topic I need to wrap my head around. One step at a time!
Thanks again!
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.
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Old 07-14-2018, 02:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
12 volt circuits can use the trailer skin and frame for the negative lead. Although itís usually better to run both wires to heavy current draw appliances. Lights and fans will work fine IF the negative battery and converter connections are properly tied to the frame and shell.
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.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:05 PM   #11
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There is a reason government requires people to be licensed to work with electrical circuits. You are living in an aluminum shell which only further complicates any wiring mistakes. The photo of three wires splayed apart and held together only with what appears to be a 12ga red scotch lock wirenut speaks volumes. If you insist on doing the wiring yourself, please do whomever you invite into the trailer the courtesy of having a licensed electrician at least inspect your work. Perhaps for things like proper wire choice solid/stranded, connection, how the outlets are terminated and the correct trailer grounding methodology. There is a reason the govt requires electricians to be licensed. Looks like a great project otherwise.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AirstreamCSH View Post
There is a reason government requires people to be licensed to work with electrical circuits. You are living in an aluminum shell which only further complicates any wiring mistakes. The photo of three wires splayed apart and held together only with what appears to be a 12ga red scotch lock wirenut speaks volumes. If you insist on doing the wiring yourself, please do whomever you invite into the trailer the courtesy of having a licensed electrician at least inspect your work. Perhaps for things like proper wire choice solid/stranded, connection, how the outlets are terminated and the correct trailer grounding methodology. There is a reason the govt requires electricians to be licensed. Looks like a great project otherwise.
...and this is why I hesitate to post a build thread on this forum.

Electrical wiring is not that hard. I'm not seeing any mistakes that are not easily fixed. Even if you did use a wire nut on a 12V wire buried in the wall, the worst that is likely to happen is a blown fuse and a frustrating repair. This kind of criticism is just over the top, discouraging, and not helpful.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:50 PM   #13
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IMHO wire nuts should not be used on stranded wire.
There are compression connectors which are better suited for stranded wire.
If at all possible make these connections in places which are always accessible. Even if it takes some extra wire.
Splices can be made at light fixtures etc. Where if need be you can remove the fixture to trouble shoot a problem. Hard to do this if the splice is behind the skin.
I know A$ makes connections behind the skin.
But you don't have to.
Think of it as preventative action.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
IMHO wire nuts should not be used on stranded wire.
There are compression connectors which are better suited for stranded wire.
If at all possible make these connections in places which are always accessible. Even if it takes some extra wire.
Splices can be made at light fixtures etc. Where if need be you can remove the fixture to trouble shoot a problem. Hard to do this if the splice is behind the skin.
I know A$ makes connections behind the skin.
But you don't have to.
Think of it as preventative action.
This is great advice.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:36 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:08 AM   #17
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1962 22' Safari
1964 26' Overlander
1965 26' Overlander
Wenatchee , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
IMHO wire nuts should not be used on stranded wire.
There are compression connectors which are better suited for stranded wire.
If at all possible make these connections in places which are always accessible. Even if it takes some extra wire.
Splices can be made at light fixtures etc. Where if need be you can remove the fixture to trouble shoot a problem. Hard to do this if the splice is behind the skin.
I know A$ makes connections behind the skin.
But you don't have to.
Think of it as preventative action.
Thank you! Good advice. :-) Yes, I absolutely will change these wire nuts. Since I am in learning my objective was to put the lights in, run the wires and just connect them temporarily to make sure everything works like it should. Everything connected to the pigtail works so I'm ready to move on the the next piece. I will also likely use wire nuts to hold it all together temporarily until I'm sure its right. I'm not going to put the skin or end caps back in until I know its all done correctly. I'm taking it slow because as I said in my title this is 'freaking me out'! :-)
This trailer had junction boxes but only for the 110 outlets and lights. I bought new boxes to replace them. I will think about maybe adding some in key places where there are splices.
Thanks again! :-)
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
12 volt circuits can use the trailer skin and frame for the negative lead. Although itís usually better to run both wires to heavy current draw appliances. Lights and fans will work fine IF the negative battery and converter connections are properly tied to the frame and shell.
Thank you!I'm glad you made that point. Both need to be 'grounded' (a confusing term in a trailer!) I will make sure to tie the negative battery and converter connections to the frame or shell when I get to that step. I'm still trying to understand this concept. I did temporarily 'ground' the running lights during my test and noticed the bulbs immediately glowed more brightly.
I'm thinking about running both wires to all the 12 volt lights even if they weren't done that way originally. With the fan since it only has one wire I might replace it or maybe run two wires and use only one for now. Keep the other for future. I'm assuming that newer fans use two wires. I have a Fantastic Fan in a box. I'll have to go check.
I appreciate your response! :-)
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamCSH View Post
There is a reason government requires people to be licensed to work with electrical circuits. You are living in an aluminum shell which only further complicates any wiring mistakes. The photo of three wires splayed apart and held together only with what appears to be a 12ga red scotch lock wirenut speaks volumes. If you insist on doing the wiring yourself, please do whomever you invite into the trailer the courtesy of having a licensed electrician at least inspect your work. Perhaps for things like proper wire choice solid/stranded, connection, how the outlets are terminated and the correct trailer grounding methodology. There is a reason the govt requires electricians to be licensed. Looks like a great project otherwise.
Do you mean it looks like a great project except for the bulk of it that looks like crap?!?! LOL! It's okay I can laugh at myself. I am only putting the wires together temporarily to test everything. So maybe the spoken volumes aren't saying what you thought. Since I've never done this before I want to take things one step at a time. The running lights, etc. all work so I'll be re-doing them with crimp connectors or soldering as someone previously suggested. I will learn how to do this and do it right.
I really do appreciate guidance and feedback so thank you for speaking up.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
...and this is why I hesitate to post a build thread on this forum.

Electrical wiring is not that hard. I'm not seeing any mistakes that are not easily fixed. Even if you did use a wire nut on a 12V wire buried in the wall, the worst that is likely to happen is a blown fuse and a frustrating repair. This kind of criticism is just over the top, discouraging, and not helpful.
No worries. :-) I can take it. :-) I think the words were well-intentioned.
Keep the advice coming!!!
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