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Old 10-03-2006, 02:11 AM   #1
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1963 22' Safari
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Cool '63 Electrical Wiring Diagram

Greetings! As this is my VERY FIRST POST, I thought I would start it off with a bit of a challenge!

I recently purchased a 1963 22' Safari. Love it! Having a blast! Although the previous owners did a decent job keeping it in good shape on the outside, the interiors and systems were in need of some serious attention.

I have begun restoring my Airstream, and my first task is to tackle the electrical. I removed the living and dining areas, carpet, and linoleum so I could better examine and work on all of the systems (elec, gas, water, septic). The city power has always worked just fine for me, however the battery was obviously removed long ago.

As I am trying to wrap my head around the ins-and-outs of my little project, I have mapped to the best of my ability all of the wires, panels, and connections within my A/S. I tested each of the circuits and mapped which fixtures are on the "A" breaker and which are on "B". Surpringly I found that most of the fixtures are loaded up on "B" (9 to my count) while "A" has only 2 fixtures (to my knowledge) on this breaker. Can anyone explain to this non-electrician why this is the case?

Next, I have a lot of "holes" in my wiring diagram -- a lot of wires that are disconnect, but were obviously hooked up to something at some point in time. I'm hoping that some of you "electrical gurus" out there might be able to fill in a few of the blanks for me. Please see my attached .PDF file for further diagrams, pictures, and explanations.

It is clear that I do not have a Univolt system. Rather, my trailer is wired for both 12V and 110V systems, with the light fixtures each having two lamp receptacles, one wired for 12V and one wired for incandescent. I actually find this pretty cool and am okay with this system. From everything I have read on the postings, the Univolt systems were not exactly "ideal" in that they were loud and could lead to over-charging.

Charging. I can't figure out which wire leads to the auto battery for charging? Please look at my diagrams/photos and let me know which one is the charging wire. Also, I am thinking about installing a Battery MInder 12V 5W Solar Panel to keep the battery constantly charged. Any thoughts?

Orange wires. What are these for? I found two at my battery connection, both with a fusable-link. One was disconnect. The only spot I could find an orange wire inside the trailer is under the sink compartment, and this wire was disconnect as well???

Where does the Breakaway fit into the wiring diagram. Mine was obviously removed long, long ago! I would like to buy a new one and install it into the system....just need to know where.

I have several fusable-links in my system. Most of them are 30a, some are 20a, and a few are missing and therefore unknown. Can I just go with all 30A? If not, how can I determine the size of the required fuse?

How is the Water Pump suppose to tie into the system? There is a pair of black wires loosely running from the battery to the front compartment, but this is only a guess.

Why do I have so many switches? There is a furnace switch (makes sense). But then under the sink I have a 3-position switch with wires running into it. And then I have a City/Battery 3-position switch above the sink that currently has no bearing on ANYTHING! Will this change when I actually hook up the battery? Why can I flip these switches while on city power and not make the lights flicker?

Can I run 12V concurrent with 110V? i.e. can both the 12V and 110V light bulbs be on? Is this what one of the switches is for?

Just a few amateur questions for the forum

Thank you to all who respond to this! I greatly appreciate your help in helping me gain a better understanding into my electrical system!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1963 Safari Airstream Wiring Questions.pdf (952.6 KB, 381 views)
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:31 AM   #2
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Wow - Great diagrams/pics. There are quite a few '63 owners on the forums, so you should have some helpful answers soon. I've got a '64, the first year of the univolt, and they eliminated the dual wiring so my diagrams won't help much.

Meanwhile check out these threads for a few other '63's:

A New Challenge-our 63 Overlander rehab project

A 63 for me! (many good ideas for your new to you Trailer)

1962 22' Safari

Also familiarize yourself with the SEARCH function above. You'll find many of your questions have been answered already! If not feel free to post away. Welcome to the forums and Airstream ownership.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:56 PM   #3
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Thank you, oh Great Pumpkin! I'm just trying to plug my way through the wiring and electrical components so I can properly hook everything back in place. I sure hope someone can help me make some sense out of the missing chunks in my electrical diagrams!

Also, does anyone know off hand what the 10-ga. orange wires are typically used for? I have 2 leading out of the battery compartment, with one of them winding up in the base cabinet below the sink. Not sure where the second one ends up???

And, why would the A/C unit be on the one circuit that is already heavily loaded instead of the second circuit with just two outlets?
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:12 PM   #4
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First of all, your A/C unit was wired into the lighting circuit because there is no dedicated wiring to it. This changed in 1964, but this means you will have to be very careful with what you are trying to operate, and how many amps it will draw. I found it was best to install a converter for the lights, and run the 12volt lights using that, and run the air conditioner, rather than running lights, appliances, and the A/C all at once. The breaker will trip faster than you can say "Wally Byam". I have still noticed we can't run the vacuum cleaner, or anything more than the coffee maker, with the air running, although we can watch TV while running the air.
Your 12 volt system will probably have one 20 amp self-resetting circuit breaker under the sink, in that pile o' wires you have there. I would try to split that into at least two circuits, it will save you grief when trying to diagnose shorts.
The blue wire (at least it is blue on our coach) is the feed from the tow vehicle, and can be accessed through a panel on the right front of the belly pan, where you will find another 20 amp self-resetting circuit breaker, and another rat's nest of 12 volt wires.
Your orange wire (s) should run the 12 volt air pump for your on-board water system, and the board for the furnace.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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WOW, DenverAaron! We have an overacheiver here ~~ that is an impressive drawing. If your battery set up is like my 1960 Tradewind, I do know the brown wire is positive and the white is negative. That's about the only bit I can fill in.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:37 PM   #6
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Sugarfoot -- I wouldn't call myself an "overachiever", but I'm definitely a perfectionist! Comes in handy when picking up these little "pet" projects of mine. My first project (age 22) was the restoration of a '73 VW Thing...and I had never even previously changed my own oil on any of my vehicles! This project is a fabulous one and is affording me the opportunity to really get my head into the nuts and bolts and how this thing works! Hence, the meticulous wiring diagram. As an architect, I see these all the time...but that doesn't mean that I actually UNDERSTAND any of them! That's where I'm hoping the forum can help me out!

Say, to all of you electrical gurus out there. Is it possible that these two mystery orange wires in my diagrams could be the charge lines from the auto power to the battery to the inverter? Just a thought as I was cross-referencing the A/S one-line diagrams.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:46 AM   #7
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Okay -- NOW I may be overachieving! I am posting my nearly completed wiring diagram for my '63 Safari. I've got most of the wires located and traced. I do have a few questions (10) yet to be answered...hoping some of my fellow A/S forum members might be able to fill in the remaining pieces of ths puzzle! Please refer to the attached .pdf file that corresponds with my number questions.

1. This orange wire is spliced into the blue wire in my wiring harness from the 7-pin plug. I know that the blue wire is for the electric brake. I know that the electric brake works. And I know that there is a separate blue wire, wired on the outside of the harness that goes along the underside of the trailer back into my axel and into the electric brake. So what is this orange wire doing? My guess is that it is somehow tied to the breakaway switch? Or maybe the blue wire coming from the brakes was ORIGINALLY wired into the breakaway switch, which was wired into the blue wire in the harness? Since the previous owner removed the breakaway switch, I can't tell for sure how the orig. wiring was meant to behave. But I do know that the orange wire is routed to the battery compartment and is not connected. Any thoughts why someone would have done this? As I type this, I'm believing more and more that the breakaway switch used to connect the two blue wires, and when it was disconnected, the orange wire was added for some sort of grounding or some other use?
2. I have a disconnected fusible link at the battery compartment for my exhaust fan. Should this be connected to the positive terminal? I actually think that these two fusible links are swapped, as one of my termination wires is missing. i.e. Two wires with fusible links, but only (1) matching f/s for the battery post.
3. So if the my theory is correct, and the blue wires used to be connected via the breakaway switch, and a previous owner hard-wired the electric brakes and removed the breakaway switch, why would they have tied in an orange wire to the blue wire out of the wiring harness and ran it up to the battery compartment and terminated this wire with a fusible link?
4. Shouldn't the ground wire (white) be grounded to something? There are (4) wires that tie into the white wire out of the wiring harness, and one of the main white wires is just hanging there, disconnected??
5. I'm sending this question out to the forum members that have a '63 or older trailer and have run into this situation. I've got my wires traced back to this fan exhaust switch, but cannot figure out where the power for this switch comes from??
6. Again, not sure where this mysterious orange wire heads off to and where it terminates or connects to another component. Anyone out there familiar with this configuration?
7. Grounding question. The fan is obviously connected to this city/battery switch. And where I once thought the middle wires that are green were to ground the fan, I since have realized that the green wires connect to the 12V fan and actually power it up! So I know that there is grounding to the fan...just don't know how to correctly wire it! Currently there is a green ground wire from the frame to the switch plate, but I can't figure out how to tie in the ground from the switch plate to the actual switch.
8. Another question for vintage users or exhaust fan experts. What is this black rubber box? It's about the size of (2) sugar cubes.
9. Another grounding question. I have a 110AC line that is connected to another 110AC line that leads to an outlet. The wire that leads to the outlet has a disconnected green (ground?) wire. Should this wire be connected to the frame ground wire that is ALSO disconnected in this space?
10. These wires may be connected to the city/battery switch somehow and control the blower unit for the heater. Not sure, still have to trace these. Anyone else have this configuration?

Thank you for all of your help out there! I came into this project knowing nothing, and I can definitely claim to finally know SOMETHING! Not much, but something's better than nothing! Thank you, fellow A/S'ers.

a.Z.
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File Type: pdf 1963 Safari Airstream Wiring Questions.pdf (1.09 MB, 194 views)
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:02 AM   #8
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Put Down The Coffee Cup!!!!!!!!

Whoa.... Those are some really nice drawings for documentation. I can offer no advice as my AS is a 66 Caravel but I had many of the same issues when I got mine a year ago. It took the better part of 3 weekends to figure out my rats nest in the electrical system. Still not happy and when I do my frame off I will rewire completely. My biggest issue was the PO had drilled into the front frame and of course drilled into the wiring harness causing all sorts of electrical issues like sudden brakeing, lights flashing and that anoying smell of BURNING WIRE.

Good Luck. AutoCad? PowerPoint? Darn you're good......

Mike
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Old 10-08-2006, 08:53 AM   #9
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And how many shots of expresso in that coffee?

Holy cow! Your mind has wrapped around the whole electrical thing in ways that mine cannot. I wish I could answer the lingering questions but this is far out of my realm. I hope someone out there can fill in the blanks. This is a valuable knowledge base for anyone facing electrical issues. There must have been some electrical differences between our years. My exhaust fan is in the galley ceiling, not over my stove. I can tell you that on my 1960 there is no factory-wired 12V power to my exhaust fan. I don't recall a small cube-shaped black rubber box or seeing any orange wire anywhere either. There is no telling what your POs did or why. Someone had disconnected the blue for braking completely on mine on my 7-pin so I had it reconfigured. Your research is making me want to revisit a few things, so if I find any answers, I'll let you know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverAaron
. . . I came into this project knowing nothing, and I can definitely claim to finally know SOMETHING! Not much, but something's better than nothing! Thank you, fellow A/S'ers.
a.Z.




Yeah, Aaron, no question, I think you KNOW something now!
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:28 AM   #10
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Aaron, your beakaway switch should be wired with one wire from the 12 volt lead from the plug to the battery, that way it has power if the trailer breaks away and the plug comes out. The second wire on the breakaway switch goes directly into the trailer brake wire, so when the pin is pulled, it actuates the brakes with full 12 volts, stopping the trailer ASAP. There should be no fuses or circuit breakers between the breakaway switch and the 12 volt lead, or from the breakaway switch to the brake wire.
The fan should have two wires, one for power, the other to ground. If you hook up the fan, and it runs backwards, reverse the wires, and you can then permanently attach the ground wire for the fan directly to the trailer body for ground, simplifying your wiring by one wire.
Our coach has two wires to the outlets, with no ground wire, but the way modern 110 wiring should be is white and black for the load, and green to ground.
Your black rubber box may be an inline fuse holder.
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:20 AM   #11
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Thank you, Clancy Boy for the kind complements. I guess I'm a bit obsessive. I had some advice to just leave all the wiring along since the 110VAC system was working just fine. But as an architect, I often find myself self-education me on various components. Mapping out this trailer electrical wiring was very challenging, but it was something I had to do so that in the future I can tend to any maintenance issues, whether emergency or upgrade. And I wanted to be absolutely sure of where each wire lead prior to re-hooking up the 12VDC system!

I hooked up my battery last night -- first time the trailer has had 12volts running through her veins in a VERY LONG TIME! Lights came on and stayed on! I was as thrilled as Edison!

I also had to go down this route since the earliest wiring diagram I could find was from 1964, and spoke about "this trailer is equiped with a UniVolt system" although I couldn't find the system at all. Turns out that I have the pre-Univolt dual-wired system, which I am actually pleased to keep up and operational.

BTW, I am on AutoCAD R2007. I will make the CAD files available if anyone would like.

Hopefully this information will be helpful to any future forum researchers with a '63 or older trailer!
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:25 AM   #12
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Thank you, Sugarfoot! Let me know if I can help answer any questions for you on your wiring in the future!

I really wanted to wrap my head around this wiring issue, as it can be such a tricky thing if it's not wired and working correctly! I sold a very good truck once because I couldn't get past the wiring gremlins that plagued the vehicle. Very frustrating! And while I'm not doing an off-the-body restoration, I have done a half-gut job on the interiors, so I figured now was the time to make sure that all is working and correctly wired!

See you on the next post!
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Aaron, your beakaway switch should be wired with one wire from the 12 volt lead from the plug to the battery, that way it has power if the trailer breaks away and the plug comes out. The second wire on the breakaway switch goes directly into the trailer brake wire, so when the pin is pulled, it actuates the brakes with full 12 volts, stopping the trailer ASAP. There should be no fuses or circuit breakers between the breakaway switch and the 12 volt lead, or from the breakaway switch to the brake wire.
So it sounds like the breakaway switch DID used to be wired between the blue, blue, and orange wires, except that the orange wire at the battery compartment should not have a F/L on it. So it goes: blue wire from 7-pin to the breakaway switch; then from the breakaway switch: a 12V lead wired straight into the pos. post on the battery; and a blue wire routed and connected to the electric brakes.

Does this sound correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
The fan should have two wires, one for power, the other to ground. If you hook up the fan, and it runs backwards, reverse the wires, and you can then permanently attach the ground wire for the fan directly to the trailer body for ground, simplifying your wiring by one wire.
Our coach has two wires to the outlets, with no ground wire, but the way modern 110 wiring should be is white and black for the load, and green to ground.
Your black rubber box may be an inline fuse holder.
You know, one option might be that my fan no longer works or is whacked out a bit, which is why the PO disconnected it. I'm going to test it some more to try to figure out this puzzle.

Thank you!
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