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Old 07-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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1977 23' Safari
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Help finding 12v wires to fridge demoed by PO

Hi, I am currently installing a used 3-way frige to replace the 110v only dorm style one installed a couple of PO's ago. It is supposed to be a direct replacement but that is not exactly the case. At any rate, I had not problem finding the old path for the gas hookup but I can't find any clues to indicate where the old 12v electric wires came from. I tried the service manual for clues but only found basic info that indicated that they would be run from the ceiling area. The manuals that I have do not show the floor plan that we have in our 1977 23' Safari, which has twin beds right behind the galley area. Our frige is located on your immediate right as you enter through the doorway. Any clues as to where these wires are and how to access them would be much appreciated. I found a nest of 1-110v outlet wire, a pair of 12v wires which go to the 12v outlet located in the cabinet above the frige, 3-tv wired which feed through that area, but no signs of there being a wire for the frige run through that area. I am trying to complete this project so I can move on to axle replacement prior to a trip to Montana and Utah in about three plus weeks.

Thanks, Tim
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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Hi Tim

Litchfield used to be one of my regular stomping grounds.

No telling where the wires might be but if you're going to set the fridge up for 3-way operation I think you'll find that you'll need heavier wire than Airstream provided anyway. Nearly all Airstream fridges were 2-way. Depending on the size of the fridge and the distance you'll want 12 or maybe 10 gauge wire for the fridge to work well on 12 volt.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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If your trailer had a 12 volt line to the fridge, the older ones did not need 12V but I don't know when they changed, it won't be large enough. The 12v for the fridge is only for the control board which only draws a few amps. Jammer is correct, running the fridge on 12V will take a much larger gauge wire than what would have been needed for the control board.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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Bruce is right. Most of the 70s-era gas/120v fridges didn't require a 12v connection. The one in my 1973 Cayo doesn't. All the controls for the gas side were mechanical.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Is your fridge a true 3 way, which means it will run on just 12 volt, just propane, or just 110 volt? Or is it a propane or 110 volt unit that uses 12 volt for the light inside and to power the control board that works the thermostat and the switch over from gas to electric? There is a big difference. If it is a 2 way LP and electric you could tap into the 12 volt outlet wires above the fridge to power the control board. My 1977 Argosy had a fridge that was LP and 110 volt with NO 12 volt to it for the controls, as they were manual controls. If you post the make and model number of the fridge someone here will know if it is a 2 way or 3 way.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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The OEM refrigerator I removed from my 1976 didn't use 12 volt. I installed a new two way Dometic RM2820. I just fished a pair of 12 volt wires over to it. Took about 5 minutes. I pulled the wires beside the plumbing crossover.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Well, THAT explains it! I just installed a two-way Norcold in my 71 Caravanner where the PO had installed a college dorm tiny fridge. I wondered why I couldn't find the 12v wires......they probably were never there! I ended up pulling them under the floor.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #8
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OK, back in my car using someones unsecured internet while at my cabin. Your replies have clarified one thing. My orignal frige did not have a 12 volt connection (Dometic RM66, according to some source I read). Now I don't feel quite so stupid for not finding what was never there)! I found a used Dometic RM2510, which is supposed to be a direct replacement for the 66, but it has it's differences. One is that it is a full 3-way frige and does require 12v power, which I don't currently have. You guys make it sound simple (5 minutes?) so possibly you can give me some clues as to how you did it. I don't know, for example, where the plumbing crossover is or how to access it. Am I correct in assuming that you tapped in to the appliance circuit on the Univlot panel? By the way, when I make my front couch into a bed the Univolt is open and exposed to the interior like a sore thumb. There is some kind of upholstered cushion that kind of makes a side for the bed but the Univolt sticks up above it. Am I missing a cover? It seems a little dangerous and is for sure unsightly. This is my first travel trailer project so bear with me. Thanks to you all for your posts. We are making progress for sure? Now that I know you are so helpful, I will be back more often and possibly I will be able to help some day as well.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #9
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The RM2510 is advertised as a 2 way fridge, with 12 volt for the control circuit. Just tap into the 12 volt + & - from the cabinet above which you say has the 12v outlet in it, for power for the control circuit of the new fridge. Hook up the LP line and plug into the 110 AC outlet and you are done.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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My trailer layout is different than yours. My trailer had an existing 12 volt circuit serving the original kitchen range that was not used for the replacement range. I just fished an electrician's fish tape through the space beside the water pipe crossover (maybe 5 feet). I spliced the OEM leads to the new leads and plugged them in. The refrigerator 12 volt connection was easily accessed through the exterior access door.

My trailer has 12 volt all over the place. I could have tapped into 12 volts on the same side but I liked the range leads since they were fused, not being used, and they were in a good place to plug into and extend.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:29 PM   #11
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Back again poaching internet access. I will be going home from my cabin and Airstream for a couple of days and will have plenty of intenet access there. I will have to do some more research on the 2510 because mine definitly runs on 12v power as well as 120v and gas. When i bought it they just had it hooked up to a 12v battery and it was nice and cold. I could be confused, it has happened before! I think my biggest challange is that I don't have any access to the floor or ceiling area to run wires at this time. I will probably make an access hole under the frige area to try and run some 12v to. Another question....when the PO took out the gas option for the frige, he covered up the vent area on the frige access door. At least I assume it was him. Another assumption is that there was a screen behind the vent area before. Is that a correct assumption? Gotta Go!

Thanks to all....Tim
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #12
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The bottom air vent for the fridge on most Airstreams is in the floor. Should be a decent sized hole all the way through the belly pan, with screens on it.

Aaron
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:31 AM   #13
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I just installed a new RM 2510 and it is a two way refrigerator. It has 12v for the LP electronic ignition, not for powering the unit.



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Old 07-22-2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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OK, I am back home with internet access at a comfort level. I downloaded the manual for the Dometic RM2510 and found that is, in fact, a 2-way frige, not the 3-way that I had "assumed". It will be easy to fish down the smaller 12v wire required for the igniter. I do appreciate all who contributed to my post as you helped guide me to the correct conclusion to replace my false assumptions. I am on to other problems to solve and will no doubt be back with other questions. The forum is surely a wonderful tool that we are fortunate to have at our fingertips, literally!

Tim

"I am not very good, but at least I am slow"!
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