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Old 11-03-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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1966 24' Tradewind
Tiverton , Rhode Island
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Electrical Help Needed

Hi, I am a newbie and recently purchased a 1966 Airstream Tradewind International. I have gutted it and am just about ready to wire the entire trailer (12V, 110V systems). I have been doing a lot of research on wiring and just need to do once last check with you all before I start this project on Monday. My first question is should the wire even be changed in the first place; it looks like good wire and in great condition. Basically, I want to ensure that I have purchased the right wire. I have attached a picture of the existing wiring along with what it was used for.

Here is what I intend to replace the existing wire with:

Plugs and outlets: Standard 12-2 Romex (yellow wire)

12 V wire: 12/2 AWG Duplex R/B Wire 100 Foot Roll

Link to Product below:

Part Number 99128001 - from BERKSHIRE ELECTRIC CABLE

I really appreciate advice on this. Thanks
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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1965 28' Ambassador
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Great question

I too recently bought a 1965 Ambassador. its in solid shape and I would like to use the existing wiring. Is there any wiring diagram available for where everything connects in the rear of the airstream. thanks
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:56 PM   #3
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I have the owners manual for my tradewind with the original diagram. I will scan and post tomorrow for you.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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Here is the photo

It seems like my photo of the current wiring didn't post. Here it is
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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The cable you are purchasing is excellent material for 12 volt wiring. You probably don't need to use 12 gauge for everything and might want to consider smaller wire where the amp draw is low.

If you reuse any of the aluminum wiring be sure to use switches, outlets, and wire nuts that are rated for it. Most are not.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
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Hello,

These are my opinions:

I wouldn't replace the wire if it still looks good.

It looks like at least one of the wires in your picture is aluminum.
I would not recommend aluminum wire in any application subject to vibration because it is much more apt to fatigue and break due to movement than is copper.

As a matter of fact, I wouldn't use aluminum wire for wiring anything for a number of reasons.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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The pictures you display for wire will work just right except for one of them. (The one labeled aluminum.) Even though it is what makes us all love our airstreams, aluminum is not a good choice for small electrical circuits like used in travel trailers. Aluminum has a tendency to oxide easily at each point you make a connection. Switches, receptacles, light fixture connections. Oxide is the "fuzz" you get on a 12V battery post if you don't keep them clean and insulated from the air.(By putting a oxide inhibiting grease on them.) When oxide forms at joints it causes small gaps between the wire and the screw it is connected to. When you have gaps in electrical circuits they don't work and sometimes electicity jumps the gaps resulting in arcs. Arcs can result in fires, when those arcs are close to something flammable. (Dust, paper, some insulation or insulation backing, wood, etc.)
Stick with cooper conductors! Size them properly for the load you will be using on the circuit, and protect the wire from overheating with the properly sized circuit breaker.
This way, you will enjoy the trips ahead in your Airstream and not have to put up with the problems that come with faulty wiring!
Good luck and good "Streaming"!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
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Sorry, I just realized I mispelled "copper"!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:55 PM   #9
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Astro66

I agree completely with James. You don't want any aluminum wire in your trailer. The connections are the problem.

Your 120v copper wire may look fine, but I would still replace it since you are gutting your trailer and it is accessable. By installing new wire, you know that it is good, well insulated and grounded. You don't know the history of what the wire has been thru in your trailer the last 46 years.

Since you have a clean slate you have the freedom of making some wiring changes is you want. I don't like the location of the switch for the outside flood light. It is in front of the side window on the curb side. I think that it should be to the rear of the side window next to the door. Also a light for the step/entrance door would be nice.

We also have a 66TW and love it. PM me and I will send you some pictures of ours if you like.

Dan
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice on this; it has been very helpful. I will let you all know how I make out. Thanks again
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