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Old 08-19-2010, 07:10 AM   #1
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Can a wire be fished?

I want to put a switch for the ceiling light right next to the door. Can a wire be fished from the ceiling down to next to the door? (above the switches for the outside light & the scare light). The fixture I want to attach it to is pretty much a straight shot up from next to the door. I know there's insulation in there & wondered if/how it can be done, oh masters of all there is electrical in an Airstream!? Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
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Hi Becky,

If your 86 is anything like my 72, you'll find horizontal cross pieces in the way. The best place to try and fish a new wire down would be right next to a rib. Do you have an electrician's fish tape? They're pretty stiff, and you'll be able to push it down the inside of the wall fairly easily I would think. It'll probably be easier if you push it down on the outside of the insulation - that way the end of it will be sliding along the outer skin, and hopefully not bind on the insulation too much. It'll take patience, and a few attempts to find a clear path. If you mark inches on the fish tape, that will help you know when you've gone in far enough. The fish tape will have a loop in the end of it. Wrap that with electrical tape before you attempt to push it through the wall. That way, when you need to pull it back out, the loop won't snag on the insulation and ruin it.

If you want, I can take a picture of the area around my door, showing the ribs and cross pieces. No guarantee that yours would be the same though. But it might give you an idea of what you're up against.

Good luck!

Chris
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
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I do have an electricians fish tape. So, I would try to keep it toward the inside of the trailer, right? I'll have to go check if I have horizontal ribs (they would have rivets attached to them, right? A picture would be great, Chris.

Another question about wiring: If I have a fixture that has an on/off switch on it, can I wire it so it will work on a switch on the wall? If not, I'll give up on the idea since all of my fixtures match. I can follow instructions, I'm just not a real whiz at electric! (& hate to always ask my husband--a matter of pride)!
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post

Another question about wiring: If I have a fixture that has an on/off switch on it, can I wire it so it will work on a switch on the wall? If not, I'll give up on the idea since all of my fixtures match. I can follow instructions, I'm just not a real whiz at electric! (& hate to always ask my husband--a matter of pride)!
Yes you can, just leave the switch on the light turned on, then the switch on the wall will work the light.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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I do have an electricians fish tape. So, I would try to keep it toward the inside of the trailer, right? I'll have to go check if I have horizontal ribs (they would have rivets attached to them, right? A picture would be great, Chris.
Hi Becky,

When I looked for my camera, I remembered that Kay has it up North with her in the Boundary Waters. She's on her annual girls trip. So, a better picture will need to wait until Sunday evening. Here's a couple I took during the demo phase. It shows a cross member above the door frame. If your trailer is the same, then there are no cross members between the ribs and the door frame, but there's not much space to install a switch either.

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Not all of the cross members had rivets holding the inner skins to them, so you can't rely on rivets to show where they are.

Chris
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:08 PM   #6
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Maybe I'll fish around & try to come out an existing switch hole before I commit to cutting a new hole for a new switch. Then if I can't get there, I won't have a hole to nowhere! Thanks for the pictures, Chris. You really had a project there!
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:11 PM   #7
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Why fish wires? Go wireless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
I want to put a switch for the ceiling light right next to the door. Can a wire be fished from the ceiling down to next to the door? (above the switches for the outside light & the scare light). The fixture I want to attach it to is pretty much a straight shot up from next to the door. I know there's insulation in there & wondered if/how it can be done, oh masters of all there is electrical in an Airstream!? Thanks!
Personally, I would look for a wireless DC switch. They exist in all shapes and sizes. here's one that will let you turn on the lights from 75 yards away outside the trayla!

LED lighting, soundproof, Sailor's Solutions Inc.

You could drive the kids (or neighbours) crazy! LOL!
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:04 PM   #8
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Personally, I would look for a wireless DC switch. They exist in all shapes and sizes. here's one that will let you turn on the lights from 75 yards away outside the trayla!

LED lighting, soundproof, Sailor's Solutions Inc.

You could drive the kids (or neighbours) crazy! LOL!
Well, I just went & tried to fish a wire through the existing hole in the ceiling to the existing switch next to the door (the one for the patio light). No go. Got hung up on insulation & don't want to screw that up. So, maybe I'll try Aage's solution with a wireless DC switch. Now, I need to know if I can hook that up directly to the existing two wires that are from the ceililng fixture? Or does it have to be hooked in to someplace else too? (waaay out of my league!) It says something about a blue wire (which I don't have)
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:59 PM   #9
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a little help before I order?
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:10 PM   #10
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I need to know if I can hook that up directly to the existing two wires that are from the ceililng fixture?
Yes, that's it.

There are two parts to a wireless switch: the transmitter (which almost always works on a small contained battery), and the receiver.

The receiver does the actual switching of the current that makes the light go on and off. It receives a radio signal from the transmitter to make that happen, then closes a relay to allow current to flow, hence lighting the bulb.

It will replace the old switch you used to use to turn on the light, or you can leave the old switch in place, and always turned one. Just insert the receiver in the path using the same wire that the original switch used.

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Or does it have to be hooked in to someplace else too? (waaay out of my league!) It says something about a blue wire (which I don't have)
No, nothing else anywhere else, just the two wires that the original switch used.

The colour of wires is only relative to what standard code was used by the manufacturer. But since this is all DC voltage, the "+" and "-" (polarity) does not matter. Interrupt either, and the light will go off. Don't interrupt the circuit (close the switch) and the light comes on.

It's actually quite simple, so go ahead and order, when you get it, if it isn't obvious to you, ask again.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Yes, that's it.

There are two parts to a wireless switch: the transmitter (which almost always works on a small contained battery), and the receiver.

The receiver does the actual switching of the current that makes the light go on and off. It receives a radio signal from the transmitter to make that happen, then closes a relay to allow current to flow, hence lighting the bulb.

It will replace the old switch you used to use to turn on the light, or you can leave the old switch in place, and always turned one. Just insert the receiver in the path using the same wire that the original switch used.



No, nothing else anywhere else, just the two wires that the original switch used.

The colour of wires is only relative to what standard code was used by the manufacturer. But since this is all DC voltage, the "+" and "-" (polarity) does not matter. Interrupt either, and the light will go off. Don't interrupt the circuit (close the switch) and the light comes on.

It's actually quite simple, so go ahead and order, when you get it, if it isn't obvious to you, ask again.

Okay, I'm going to order it. If I can't figure it out, I WILL give another hollar! I think I can slip the box up in the ceiling if I make the hole a bit bigger. Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:52 PM   #12
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I finally got around to putting in the light & switch today. As predicted, I couldn't figure out the wiring. Had to ask the DH to help me out (and it took him a couple of tries, I might add). Anyhow, here are some pictures of the little project. I had to cut the hole in the ceiling a little bit bigger to fit the receiver in there. Now, I can get in the trailer without stumbling over stuff when I turn on the light! Thanks, Aage, for the good idea!
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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Yay! Glad to hear that it worked for you, Becky!
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:51 PM   #14
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Hey, Aage, your girl there is doing my "dance of joy" that I used to do the first day of school every year when the bus came! Brings back great memories! (maybe not for my kids, though!)
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