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Old 07-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
bilby05
 
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1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
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All Electric, Mostly 110 volt?

I have done a couple of searches and don't find any answers to my questions. I just purchased a '62 Tradewind and since all of the electrical is a mess (surprise, surprise:-)), and the appliances are questionable, I am thinking of rewiring and using modern electric heater, refrigerator, water heater, etc. Replacing would be cheaper and more efficient than fixing the antiques. Maybe save the "vintage" parts for a future sale of the unit to someone who wishes to take it back to '62. I am thinking wiring for complete 110, with a few exceptions that could be wired separately along with the running lights, electric jack, tail lights, etc. Anyone know of someone that has done this? It seems like it would not be too difficult, but I want to be sure before I jump in. Thanks in advance, bill b.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
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It can be done, of course. The problem comes in if you travel with it and and up somewhere without electrical hookups. If you dry camp or boon dock you'd be without any appliances. Some folks say they will never dry camp, but it happens sometimes even when you don't intend to. If it were me, I'd replace or repair the appliances and maintain the propane/110V/12V options. I can't imaging having a 100 only trailer.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:28 AM   #3
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We did it buy a genertor. 6000 watts is good enough
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilby05 View Post
I have done a couple of searches and don't find any answers to my questions. I just purchased a '62 Tradewind and since all of the electrical is a mess (surprise, surprise:-)), and the appliances are questionable, I am thinking of rewiring and using modern electric heater, refrigerator, water heater, etc. Replacing would be cheaper and more efficient than fixing the antiques. Maybe save the "vintage" parts for a future sale of the unit to someone who wishes to take it back to '62. I am thinking wiring for complete 110, with a few exceptions that could be wired separately along with the running lights, electric jack, tail lights, etc. Anyone know of someone that has done this? It seems like it would not be too difficult, but I want to be sure before I jump in. Thanks in advance, bill b.
Bill,

That is exactly how our 63 Safari was wired from the factory. Two separate and complete systems.

Go for it....

Caveat, I would use quality RV appliances and consider the option of installing a modern Converter/charger and re-wire to keep the batt's charged when plugged in to SP/generator.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2005
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110 volt Tradewind

Good thoughts. I really don't like Propane/Butane in confined spaces. Maybe just me, but gas that settles to the lowest point and does not disperse has a great potential to go BOOM. Of course with my wiring skills it is somewhat possible for me to get electrocuted too. :-) I do like the idea of having a few 12 volt connections, a couple of lights, maybe a water pump and of course the tongue jack. But I think those things could be run through the umbilical and the two batteries that my truck has, but I guess a separate battery would be good for the emergency break away brake switch. Since this unit has the original hydraulic braking system I am not sure how that's going to work anyway. I need to look into that. For me, replacing the original appliances with new RV units may be out of my $$reach. I have replaced the AC on the Sovereign with a Dometic replacement, and put a new board in the newer RV Fridge before. I may check about fixing the antique AC but it appears to be a lost cause. I know a lot of people like to boondock, but my early experiences with a pop-up camper (and ill fated experiences in the Boy Scouts) tell me not to get too far from civilization and the comforts of such. In a real emergency I have been known to sleep in the truck until I could find a motel. I do admire those brave souls that can survive in the wild.
cheers, bill b.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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You do realize that in order to rewire you are going to have to remove the complete interior skin. Another point you should consider is the fact that the walls are not thick enough for standard 4 in deep electrical boxes and you will have to use shallow boxes.

There are good reason why RVs are wired 12 volts and fueled by propane. People like to travel in them and it requires a very long extension to keep the frig cold, the water system working and interior lights if you stop along the way while on the road. Another consideration is 110 volts running around inside a tin box is not the greatest idea from a safety standpoint

Unless there is evidence that the wiring in the walls is bad I would consider just cleaning up the rats nest of wiring and sticking with the original systems.

As far as electric heating you are most likely talking more than a 30 amp service.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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There are lots of good reasons for a dual voltage electrical system and for propane also.

Propane has about twice the BTU's as 110 v. Thus water heater heats a lot faster and fridge cools a lot faster. You can keep the fridge cold while driving if you keep ice or frozen gel packs in it—but you'll have a half old fashioned ice box. On RV appliances the circuit boards are probably all 12 v., so you'll need 12 v. to them.

Yes, propane is heavier than air, but that's why we now have propane detectors. They are hard wired to 12 v. Most of the propane lines are under the trailer, so that reduces the possibility of a loose connection inside.

Electric heat will require 50 amp service (maybe more) and you'll pay a premium at a lot of RV parks for that. Some don't have 50 amp.

This is not the boy scouts or a pop up. This is much more of an RV camping experience with the possibility of camping near the wild with the comforts of home. Take a chance. It can be good.

Gene
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
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1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
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More good considerations.

HowE and CrawfordGene:
All good points to consider, except of course the really long extension cord :-). After mowing the yard with an electric lawn mower even I can see the complications with that one. My main concern with the current 110 wiring is mouse damage and previous owner shenanigans. Why is it that when each previous owner wishes to "improve" on the wiring, or plumbing they don't use logic, but substitute lots of tape and dangling wires for thinking? I can see about 4 different kinds of tubing used for plumbing. (I replaced the Sovereigns plumbing with PEX for that very reason). That is why I seek out input from others before proceeding. I realize that removing the interior panels would be a pain, but as I think about replacing the old insulation, I think I may end up doing that anyway. I have been using an oil filled electric heater (the kind that look sort of like an old steam radiator) for heat in the 31 ft. Sovereign with good results. I don't really go when or where it is cold. I agree that running the gas lines under the trailer, as Airstream does, reduces the possibility of a build up inside the cabin. Maybe with a bit of luck the old gas only Domitec Fridge can be brought back to life. Not so much hope for the gas wall furnace. But who knows. I guess I will discover as I go along, and get advice, which way the road will go. So far it is has been dust, dirt, mouse droppings, chewed up stuff for mouse nests and the left behinds of a college guy (possibly a ferret). Yall take care. bill b.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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If I were to buy a 40 or more year old trailer, I'd be concerned about the wiring too. Has insulation worn off and dead shorts develop? Has a previous owner done bad things with wiring or plumbing? I could pull off the interior panels and know how to do wiring and plumbing, but I don't want to. Unless it has been rewired and replumbed recently by someone you can trust (it is not hard to see if the workmanship is good by looking in nooks and cranies), I'd probably replace it all. I'd also put in good insulation.

Gene
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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1962 24' Tradewind
1962 24' Tradewind
Canyon , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
If I were to buy a 40 or more year old trailer, I'd be concerned about the wiring too. Has insulation worn off and dead shorts develop? Has a previous owner done bad things with wiring or plumbing? I could pull off the interior panels and know how to do wiring and plumbing, but I don't want to. Unless it has been rewired and replumbed recently by someone you can trust (it is not hard to see if the workmanship is good by looking in nooks and cranies), I'd probably replace it all. I'd also put in good insulation.

Gene
Sounds good. I always have the "big one" to use while I work on the "little one," so I can take my time and do it right. If I can just figure out what "right" is. :-) Either way I plan to mimic the current wiring and plumbing to a certain extent, with mods as needed. Since heat gain in summer and heat loss in the winter is a big deal on the Sovereign, that is one of the things I intend to address on this one. Super insulation, good AC, adequate heating all play a role in what I will do. The next step is review of what's behind the panels and what's inside the cabinetry. (Besides mouse pills, of course)
cheers, bill b.
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