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Old 04-10-2016, 06:58 PM   #1
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2016 30' Classic
Lorton , Virginia
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Fishing wires?

I have a 2016 Classic inbound and have a question about wires and walls. Is it possible to fish wires along the inside of walls and roof ?

I assume that there are rubber grommets in the holes of the ribs of the trailer that the stock wires run through to prevent chaffing? That would also make fishing wires (even if using the OEM wires to fish more wires through).

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Old 04-10-2016, 07:20 PM   #2
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From what I saw when touring the factory, I would say no, but others may have better specific knowledge. There are pathways at lower levels through the furniture that are accessible with a minimal of problem.

It was one of my disappointments with the manufacturing process/design that there were not wire ways and tunnels for electrical and plumbing routing. A boat at least has the kind of path you suggest and a few pull strings (messenger lines) to get new wiring through from point to point.

Good luck. Hope someone else has specific experience and a better perspective. Pat

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Old 04-10-2016, 07:29 PM   #3
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Essentially no, there is no place and no way to fish wires through an Airstream. Some of the newer ones have an underfloor channel which goes from one side to the other that can be used to fish more wires but no walls have access. Usually one runs new wires (if not a skin off job) inside cabinets and closets to go from one place to another, if necessary. Unfortunately, it does not always work, that is some areas are simply not accessible. Something like wire mold can be used in some situations.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:32 PM   #4
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Definitely a challenge. I had the Polk audio remote cable break about two feet from the connector. The wire was taped around clamps so it was impossible to use the existing cable to pull through a new one. Eventually, the dealer managed to route a new wire from the bedroom Polk remote over to the fridge via the ceiling and back to the radio by dropping the LED light in the shower. I guess you'll need to study each route carefully.

Just curious but what are planning to install?
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
I have a 2016 Classic inbound and have a question about wires and walls. Is it possible to fish wires along the inside of walls and roof ?

I assume that there are rubber grommets in the holes of the ribs of the trailer that the stock wires run through to prevent chaffing? That would also make fishing wires (even if using the OEM wires to fish more wires through).
Installing solar and electrical upgrades as a profession requires me to run all types of cabling in many types of RVs. Airstreams present the most challenging environment to get that accomplished.

From my experience, it is virtually impossible to pull new wiring thru the walls either vertically or horizontally. There are no insulating grommets anywhere in the rib openings unless that have been placed there by Airstream during the unit's build-out and they are generally full of existing wiring.

The best (and sometimes only way) to route new wiring, including heavy solar cables, is to use existing contiguous cabinetry as the wire path. This does leave challenging areas where there are no cabinets. I use a proprietary aluminum wire channel for this purpose. It spans the wall/floor intersection and provides a pathway to almost any size cabling, up to 4/2 duplex and 6/3 marine cable. (see attached photos) The wire chase shown is holding 2 runs of 6/3 marine cable and several phone-type communication cables. It almost disappears when installed against the wall as the aluminum grain matches the pattern found on the interior aluminum walls.

Some prefer to remove the belly pan and drill thru the floor, using standard electrical conduit for the wire pathway. I find this method extremely invasive and time consuming. Ceilings are another potential pathway, but the entire center panel must be removed and then re-riveted. This is NOT a job left to those who have not been there before!!

A great deal depends on what you want to run and where. The 30 Classics have menu ways to get wires around if you know where to look. PM me if you have some specific applications in mind.
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Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:36 PM   #6
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Thanks guys for the info! I want to install a Dolby Atmos speaker system in my 2016 Classic as I will be full-timing in it and am a bit of a audiophile. I didn't realize that the airstream walls are quite so buttoned up. So most wires in an airstream either go under the floor or through the roof?

As an example, how does the wire get from the Polk audio controller to the polk speakers underneath the cabinets over the couch? Through the ducted roof?

I was thinking of going with these thin speakers:

They are good quality and only 1.5" thick.

I was thinking of another option for any direct aluminum wall or ceiling mount to get "flat" adhesive surface speaker wire. I will also be going with a 55" 4K OLED custom mounted near the dinette on an adjustable arm.

Like BAB, I have bit things planned for this trailer.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:33 AM   #7
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The wires go up and down and along the walls, but they are put in before the interior walls are covered. Trying to do this afterwards is nearly impossible. I tried to fish a wire a mere 3' and could not get through the second horizontal rib.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Wiring in a new Classic is a challenge, but it can be done. I did a 30amp Magnum Inverter install in my '15 Classic the first month I had the trailer. This involved a lot of wiring, a sub panel install, and lots of other challenges. Adding 600W of solar panels and a Winegard DirecTV satellite dish were also wiring challenges. I removed the stock batteries from the tongue and installed 4 Lifeline 6V AGM batteries under the seat of the forward dinette bench. Doing all these projects required some creativity, as I did not want to remove the belly pan, or any of the interior panels. I managed to do these projects by using the Lewster recommended technique of going through cabinets, using the roof tank vents and fridge vents as a convenient route for interior wiring. I did make one wire chase our of wood and stained it to match the interior (this goes between the two dinette seats against the wall). I also added a handheld remote control that sits next to the recliner....for changing stations, volume, etc. This is a hardwired device and connects to the head unit. There were a number of occasions where I just sat and STARED at the interior until I could figure out how to run a wire/cable. Trust me, it is possible to do ALL this stuff without drilling holes or fishing wires....which basically (as stated earlier) is very, very difficult to do...unless you are running a short distance vertically and the wire is staying between the two vertical ribs....horizontal wiring....well that's when you get VERY creative.
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the info! I guess I have to determine how many speakers I want for my Classic "home theater" and then determine if I want to involve the polk audio setup into that home theater setup or keep it separate.
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:13 PM   #10
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Lewster clearly has a beautifully executed wire channel method. That's a nice, professional solution.

I've used a similar product available from 80/20 Inc, the industrial Erector Set:
45 degree channels:
Box channels:

I most often use the 1" or 1.5" shapes. I have used the 80/20 aluminum products for lots of Airstream-related projects - with the ability to order them via Amazon.


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