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Old 07-25-2015, 11:03 PM   #1
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complete rewire

I am going to completely rewire a 1968 caravel, and I was wondering if someone could give me a rough materials list that I could go by.
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:51 AM   #2
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I worry reading this... Most electrical is done by professionals. Asking for a rough materials list has me a little concerned. You know all the walls must come out? You know electrical problems is the leading cause of trailer fires? You know that 12 volt will stop your heart quicker than 110v?
Rewiring is something you can do, I just hope you are very confident going in...
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:08 AM   #3
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Look for a thread by lucymcdog. This lady rewired her entire coach with help from myself and other members here on the forum.
As I recall, her coach was about the same vintage as yours.


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Old 07-26-2015, 08:17 AM   #4
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I like plastic conduit for electrical wires passing through metal "studs".
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Old 07-26-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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I appreciate the concern, but my father has all the electrical skills we will need. He hasn't worked on an airstream before and wanted to know a little more about rewiring an airstream before we started.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:46 PM   #6
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You've got three systems.

110 VAC like in a house
12 VDC like an off grid house
12 VDC like a trailer

You'll need wire (color coding and proper gauge for application is a good idea, as is stranded wire since it's not a fixed in place building), fixtures, appliances, boxes, breaker panel with breakers, charging system, and 12 VDC fuse box accordingly.

It's not rocket science, but if you or dad don't know, it doesn't hurt to ask.

Schematics of various ASs are available online.

Xtra credit for neatness.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:59 PM   #7
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Convert the coach to 50amp. Use a Progressive Dynamics Panel with the converter and the IntelliPower charger and never look back.

Use 6 wire to go from the main plug to the panel.

Use 12 wire for most of your 120v stuff.

Use something smaller for 12v (I'm not familiar here, but ALWAYS use the larger size wire for safety).

Have fun!
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:15 PM   #8
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It has been about 10 years, but when my husband did a shell off restoration of our Bambi he completely rewired it. We have had no problems! My only suggestion would be to add more outlets for when you are plugged in than you think you will ever need. We also have a large converter so we can use our batteries to run things we want when off the grid. Here is a link to his thread, you might want to start around post 164 to find the electrical information and go from there: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...-17925-12.html

I would also consider adapting much of what you want to use to led lights... your batteries will last much longer! Have fun! Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:12 PM   #9
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Run wires in the overhead then down like originally done. You don't want to drill many holes in the ribs. It significantly weakens them and therefore the entire trailer.
For the 120vac, you'll need 12ga for the air cond and water heater if you get an electric capable one . 14ga is good for the remaining 120vac runs. Just keep length in mind. Think about where you think you want outlets in advance, and a few more is more flexible. If you want to use regular outlets you'll need the shallow blue boxes to put them in. Wiring them can be a pain because there's not much room in the boxes.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:23 PM   #10
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Plan plan plan! Have a good plan before you start. Lights furnace fridge converter outlets electronics....lots to consider.
Solder solder solder, obviously doesn't work well on the solid 120vac wire, but definitely on the 12v, you want very few to no wire nuts.
Don't forget the negative 12v gets connected to the shell and frame, so those can be used as a negative return path for small loads. Though sometimes a wire is much more reliable.
This could be a novel.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:50 PM   #11
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complete rewire

I'd never use solid wire in something that moves, only stranded. Not sure what RV code is, but in industrial applications stranded is used from the box to the motor. Similary there were no solid wires in the missile system I once repaired many years ago.

Maybe an RV tech can offer some guidance?
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrgtrakr View Post
I'd never use solid wire in something that moves, only stranded. Not sure what RV code is, but in industrial applications stranded is used from the box to the motor. Similary there were no solid wires in the missile system I once repaired many years ago.

Maybe an RV tech can offer some guidance?
I find in amazing that the RVIA code still allows for the use of ROMEX in a moving, bouncing RV. I don't usually follow the RVIA codes, as I find them to be severely lacking in many areas. After all, the RVIA is made up of representatives of the RV manufacturers. Sort of like the fox guarding the hen house.

I prefer to use ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standards (E-11 specifically) where ever possible. They usually far exceed RVIA, and I find them to be a more intelligent alternative. I also use aircraft standards, so you will NEVER find a soldered joint on anything I work on. No ROMEX or other solid wire, and NO WIRE NUTS.......EVER!!!!! They are a disaster waiting to happen, and I have seen many electrical 'events' where wire nuts were used and the connections got so hot that the plastic nut and up to 12" of insulation from 12AWG ROMEX melted into a puddle. They are also prone to corrosion due to the electrolysis of dissimilar metals.

There are many other ways to join wires, even dissimilar ones by using terminal blocks with screw connectors, which is my go-to connector for 120VAC. For DC loads, solid crimp connectors and double heat shrink work exceptionally well also.

Just remember, if I work on someone else's RV, it's my professional liability on the line every day. An owner working on their trailer does not face the same issues, unless of course you have a fire or other catastrophic event and the fire inspectors from your insurance company find some of your not quite to code handiwork and disallow your entire claim.

I have seen several of these situations, and not only will the inspectors show you no mercy, you are out the cost of your RV after the claim is DENIED!

DO IT ONCE....DO IT RIGHT!!!!!!!
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #13
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Thanks Lew!

As a stationary engineer there were lots of codes to follow all developed as a result of past mistakes to prevent future "incidents".

Out of curiousity I asked my internet running buddy Google about solid vs stranded wire in RVs. The only thing that came up was horror stories about the results of using solid wire.

The RV code is either classified top secret need to know eyes only, or you need a special decoder ring to access it, as it doesn't apear to be publicly available.

Happy you heard the request and answered. Thanks again.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:43 PM   #14
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Hi Lew -

I am looking at different sources for AWG marine grade 12/3 and 10/3 stranded wire made in the USA. The prices range from .82/ft to 1.81/ft for similar product. Is there a big difference? What gauges are recommended for the different (major) applications: 30amp input, Generator input and A/C? I am assuming that 12/3 is sufficient for most normal use outlets.

Thanks for any info you can offer.
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