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Old 01-06-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
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3 way connectors for 8 gauge 12V wire?

I've seen "T" and "Y" connectors for higher gauges but nothing for 8 gauge.

Do I just go with some big wire nuts?
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:49 PM   #2
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Not sure what you are trying to connect. There are better ways than wire nuts.
You could use a "split bolt connector"
You could use a connecting block similar to those used in 120 volt AC panels for ground and neutral connections.
Both of the above would require insulating if on the positive side.
There are fuse holders as well. Look for 40 amp and above.
Another choice is a terminal block with jumpers.
A crude method is to put eyelets on each of the wires, then bolt them together with a brass bolt and nut.


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Old 01-07-2015, 03:38 PM   #3
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Hi TG,

I'm just connecting branches on my 12V circuits. So for example I have one circuit going to all my LED lights in the main cabin. So I have a line running the length of the room along the side, with branches T-ing in from the ceiling.

I want to keep the connections as flat as possible so they don't force me to cut around them with my rigid foam insulation. I like your tip about 3 eyelets. If I go that route can I then just wrap up the connections with electrical tape and call it good? Probably not code but....?

Thanks,
--Jason
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:40 PM   #4
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8 Guage for 12volt...? I'd check that.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
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I quit using connectors whenever possible. They seem to be a point for problems. Solder and heat shrink tubing are much more reliable. Of coarse, 8 guage is pretty big, so that takes a pretty good soldering iron.
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Old 01-07-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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I question the 8 gauge too. When soldering large gauge wiring, I use a propane torch...for the heat shrink too.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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Solder???????

8AWG IS a pretty big cable for normal trailer DC loads, unless it's going from a battery to a secondary fuse block, in which case I would use a minimum of 6AWG and preferably 4AWG.

And for soldering...........that's why they make good cable eyelet crimpers and heat shrink. You can't use solder on an airplane or a boat..so why use it on a trailer????.............but it's your trailer, so do as you will..........but I won't.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwave503 View Post
I've seen "T" and "Y" connectors for higher gauges but nothing for 8 gauge.

Do I just go with some big wire nuts?
NO WIRE NUTS!!!!!

As for 'Y' connectors, I never use them either, preferring to use a terminal block with the proper cable ends like these: JB3816-3 Cooper Bussmann Junction Block Stud Red .87
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Solder???????

8AWG IS a pretty big cable for normal trailer DC loads, unless it's going from a battery to a secondary fuse block, in which case I would use a minimum of 6AWG and preferably 4AWG.

And for soldering...........that's why they make good cable eyelet crimpers and heat shrink. You can't use solder on an airplane or a boat..so why use it on a trailer????.............but it's your trailer, so do as you will..........but I won't.
Hmmm, I made thousands of solder connections on aircraft while in the Air Force. In many cases it was the only option that was allowed per the Technical Orders. Connectors were sometimes difficult to verify that they had a reliable contact, and susceptible to corrosion. Solder rarely failed, and when it did, it was easy to identify.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:39 PM   #10
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Interesting............

I was told that there is no solder allowed on any commercial aircraft. It might have been a military thing. But the ABYC forbids soldering AND wire nut use for Marine use.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:47 PM   #11
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The Air Force actually sent me to a week long soldering class. That was some serious over-kill. We never used wire nuts though
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:58 PM   #12
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On 10 ga and smaller size wire I alway ALWAYS solder, period end of story!!! I then will use heat shrink over the top to seal exposed bare wire. On connections over 10 ga I use gauge specific compression lugs and crimp in vice and then cover with shrink tape. In your case I would use these Compression lugs on each leg and use Bussmann junction stud or bolt with locking nut (as Pictured) and the shrink tape the connection.

Additionally: Never use wire nuts!

I would also add 8 ga is what I use to connect solar panels...
I use 10 gage between battery and 12 volt fuse panels to run low load items like lights, pumps, fans ext.

I use 4/0 ga between battery, gen starter, inverter, or other batteries.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:52 AM   #13
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OK, thanks everybody.

So 8 gauge for my 12V circuits....I'm checking it with you now. I went with it cause I kept reading posts from people saying to go big, less voltage drop and chance for breakage. It didn't cost much more so I went for it. It's not too late to redo it with 10. Is there any reason to redo it?!



Vinstream, your picture looks perfect for what I need if I stay with the 8.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:58 AM   #14
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Personally, I'd stick with what you've got. 8 guage can be a little tougher to work with, it's a bit of overkill, but it should work just fine with the proper connections.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:01 AM   #15
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If it's done, leave it. Large gauge wiring is for circuits with high amperage loads...or SOLAR, where any small voltage drop can mean too large an amperage drop on solar panel output, where the inefficiencies are high with present technology. IIRC, most panels (that are affordable) are about 17% efficient in converting sunlight to electricity.

To ensure proper wire gauge, and not overspend on ever increasing copper cost, add up the total amp draw on a circuit and consult a wire gauge chart. I may, on some circuits go one size larger, if I feel there might be future additions to a circuit. IMO, 10 gauge is too large for most RV circuits used solely for lighting...especially LED. Water pump circuits, furnace circuits etc. demand larger gauge.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #16
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OK, so even my 8 gauge 12V wiring is overkill, the only downsides are that it was more expensive and it's harder to work with. Functionally, it will be just as good as if I went with 10 or 12, and maybe a bit better for less voltage drop and durability.

I'm glad not to have to redo it, but a little bummed I didn't make the best choice.

Thanks again.
--Jason
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #17
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No biggie....just $$$$. Better oversized than undersized and have to do it over!
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:41 PM   #18
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As Thalweg stated if you got it then use it... There is no reason to redo it at this point, just make sure the connections are done correct and secured. Heavy wire seams to move around more than light gauge wire. Im glad my picture helps, sometimes pictures are way better than words! By the way you have a great year trailer, seven panel trailers are in my opinion the best looking...
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:55 PM   #19
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For 10g or smaller I use crimp butt connectors, they are availible with shrink ends, but I use regular with heat shrink tubing over connection this is weather proof and will not come apart. To shrink I use heat gun from harbor frt., they are not expensive and will not damage insulation on wires, any other way will destroy wires etc. I even use under ground this way.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:15 PM   #20
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Since it is done, my only comment would be to not overfuse the #8 wire with high current fuses. The smaller internal wires in things like light fixtures, fans, and even water pumps must not be fused at any more than 15 amps, which then sets the limit on the fuse to even the #8 wire. You must fuse for the weakest link, those internal wires within the equipment.
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