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Old 09-28-2002, 09:04 AM   #1
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12v vs 120

Hi
I'm brand new and completely scared.

The 1965 Globetrotter that I just purchased is completely gutted and I'm doing a complete remodel in time for my husband's 50th birthday. Or such is my intention anyway.

My contractor and I are confused about how to wire it. We'll be doing mostly off road camping, but might pull into a RV park every now and then. Do we use 12v or 120 or both for different fixtures or both for the same fixture?

Also, my contractor says he thinks we'll need to remove the interior skin to relocate/rewire. Is that true?

Thanks,
Jane
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Old 09-28-2002, 09:22 AM   #2
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I'm no electrician, but do know you'll need 12V to run your applliances which those wires can be ran underneath the belly of the trailer and up through the floor. One thing that I did was purchase a Honda 2000 portable generator. I used it for the first time the other day while camping. I brought a long extension cord and placed the generator about 50 ft away from the trailer. You couldn't even hear it and you have all the electricity you'll ever need with no fear of running down the batteries. The Honda unit is the quietest made and runs for about 6 hours on a small tank of gas. It's light and very small. An absolute must have!!! I gutted my interior and probably will only have a couple of 12V lights but see myself most of the time running of the Generator. Just my thoughts....

Ken

I've been told removing the interior skin is a no no....but others can answer that one.
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Old 09-28-2002, 09:41 AM   #3
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Welcome Jane;

My current project is also 1965 Globetrotter. I am doing a complete rebuild of it.

Quote:
My contractor and I are confused about how to wire it. We'll be doing mostly off road camping, but might pull into a RV park every now and then. Do we use 12v or 120 or both for different fixtures or both for the same fixture?
Wiring up your Globetrotter depends on 1 thing. Are you going to do a faithful restoration or are you just trying to just get a working trailer.

You say your "Contractor". Is this an competant RV repair person?

If you are trying to restore it, then the proper way to wire it is to remove the interior walls. This is a HUGE undertaking, but not impossible.

When you say gutted, are there not wires hanging from the walls or were these cut flush with the wall?

The wiring is a combination of wiring for 12volt DC/120volt AC. Your interior lights, water system and fans are 12 volt. Your refrigerator and anything you plug into the wall outlets are 120VAC.

To properly wire your Globetrotter you will need to install what Airstream calls a UNIVOLT or generically it is called a Converter. This device charges the batteries and powers the 12VDC assessories when connected to 120VAC.

You are long way from needing a Generator.

One of the members, airstreamcaravel, has posted a diagram below that is exactly what you need to get you going. Click here for Globetrotter wiring diagram

Best Regards;
-BobbyWright
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Old 09-28-2002, 12:02 PM   #4
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Airstream rewire

Rewiring an old trailer demands a "plan". To attempt such a task, will require some serious info research. A later year owners amnual would be a good guide for the different voltages and systems needed. NEVER remove the outer skin. In most Airstream trailers there are several voltage systems. There is a DC electrical system that consists of all exterior lites. Another DC system distributes 12volts dc for lites, appliances, and RV equiptment. Another seperate electrical system is 120 volts AC. This power is available when connected to a generator set, house/shore power or a INVERTER is used. A CONVERTER is a device that is very similar to a battery charger. This device will allow 12 volt dc devices to work with out a battery, if trailer is connected to shore power. These two devices perform quite different tasks. While connected to shore power, 120vac, all 12vdc devices maybe operated without any batteries. As in any major repair, a "plan" is a very important requirement. Decisions must be made as to needs and wants...........Frank
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Old 09-28-2002, 06:01 PM   #5
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Talking 12v vs 120v

Jane, I appauld your desire to do a lot of off road camping. In which case I suggest that you consider the fact that you'll need as much 12v reserve power that you can get. So part of your plans should be a dual battery set up with solar power[at least] to keep the batteries at peak performance [ For that I refer you to others more knowledgeable]. The type of converter/inverter to install that will keep the batteries [properly] charged is equally important. That will be the heart and brains of your electrical system. Eventually that generator may be necessary, and an outside receptical would be covenient. A wiring diagram is a must. The web site Part one and two of" Marks Full time RV " adventures would be a good start. There is a diagram in part two. Search 'batteries' on this site for more info. Tom
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Old 09-28-2002, 08:29 PM   #6
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Jane where can i find a wife like you (one that will buy me an airstream and have it remodled for me) LOL just kiddin i have a wonderfull wife
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Old 09-29-2002, 07:35 AM   #7
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Wired

Frank,

Your picture is scaring me!!

I have attached a kinder, simpler, one for the new gal.

DMC
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Old 09-29-2002, 07:52 AM   #8
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airstreamcaravel and jane babinski;

The schematic that airstreamcaravel posted is almost spot-on for a 1965 Globetrotter and should be an excellent guide. It very closely matches mine to "T". If your Globetrotter is like mine, the only difference is the location of the water pump.

In case you are wondering Jane, the "S" with the circle around it are were your 12VDC lights are located. The "ll" with the circle around it is for 120VAC outlets.

The Blue is the 12VDC. The black is 120VAC.

I am still curious as to how "Gutted" yours was and if you will need some gidance on the interior layout? When you are ready post a "Layout" request in the Interior Fourms and I will post a drawing of how the interior is/was layed out.

This should really get you going.

And thanks airstreamcaravel .

-BobbyWright
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:06 AM   #9
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This one is better

Sorry, I posted my 17's schematic.

Here's a 20GT:

DMC
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:10 AM   #10
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airstreamcaravel

No, your first one is correct. It exactly matches mine from my 1965 Globetrotter manual.

-BobbyWright
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:12 AM   #11
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It is a major job to pull and replace skins, and easy to damage them in the process, avoid it if at all possible. I would make every attempt to run wires inside cabinets first, even if it means minor changes in your plans. Removing the skins will also add appreciable time to the restoration and it sounds like you are on a tight schedule.

Except for a few tv's, everything is pretty much either/or. Stay with 12v as much as possible if you are going to do a lot of dry camping, converters have an inherent loss but are going to be necessary. Stay away from the cheap 12v travel appliances, they are a waste, but things like fans, lights, etc. should run on 12v whenever possible.

Along with Mark's another site you should study is Phred. His is a wealth of info on everything RV.

Take a day or two to evaluate your needs and make your plans. This is less time than to pull and replace skins. There are a lot of choices to be made which are going to affect the 'liveability' of your gift.

John


Phred http://www.phrannie.org/phredex.html

Mark http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/index.htm
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:23 AM   #12
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Matches

Bobby,

It is the picture of a 17's setup from my 1967 manual!

Good things don't change.

DMC
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:44 PM   #13
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12v vs 120

Boy, thanks for all the info. I'm amazed and frankly, touched.

By gutted, what I mean is that all that is inside are wires sticking out of the wall and a couple of outlets.

This was my plan of action. I took the trailer to an AS dealer thinking he would check out the running/towing gear and also repair/replace the wiring, LP and water lines. He worked on the brakes, etc, but said my cabinetmaker should install cabinets, appliances, toilet, shower, etc before de did anything else. This seems complete backward to me, as the dealer will then have such limited access. But I followed his advice. As soon as it arrived at the cabinetmakers, we discussed the lighting. He thinks, as do I that it makes sense to install the new fixtures and then run the wires before the cabinetry is in place. But as the electrical system is foreign to him (a house contractor not RV, but he builds great cabinets) we don't know how to begin. Any further suggestions. I'm not just looking to put lights where they were. I want to add a few more.

Thanks in advance,
Jane
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Old 09-30-2002, 10:23 AM   #14
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I think the three of you (cabinet maker, AS repair service manager, and you) should have a get together. It could be that every one is not up to speed on your plans. If you are moving lights you will need either to run wires or add to circuits. You have to watch the total current draw if you do this. If everyone understands what you are trying to do, the electrician and cabinet maker can coordinate their repairs.

John
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