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Old 12-30-2008, 09:20 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Leave it to the experts or do it myself.........

I'm a newbie Airstreamer and have very limited knowledge with wiring an RV. I'm in the process of "rebuilding" my Airstream completely and was wondering how difficult it is re-wiring the trailer. Or should I just have the experts do it...i.e. my local rv shop?

I plan up upgrade the electrical system to the Progressive Dynamics 4560: 60 Amp Converter + AC/DC Distribution Panel seen here at VTS:

Inteli-Power 4560

I like the challenge of tackling something like this, but don't know how big of a headache that I would cause myself.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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Brian,

You appear to be quite capable. I say jump in and remember, "its all just electrons, stop pushing them and they stop going".
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:54 PM   #3
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I agree, it's not rocket science. If you have household electrical experience, it should be a fun project. Planning is important; each circuit should be thought out well ahead of the "hands on" work. Always over protect the wiring if there's a chance it could be rubbed or pierced accidentally. There are several good books available at home stores which will help, too.

Your trailer will be 50 Amps total, so figure how many circuits you need, amperage for each and what will go on each circuit. For instance, lighting should be separate from recepticles, A/C needs a dedicated 20 amp circuit, as does a microwave. Use the correct guage wire for each breaker.

Original trailer circuits should give you a good idea of what you'll need...Keep in mind the 50 amp cords are very heavy; many use the Marinco inlets rather than trying to "coil up" the huge cord into a trailer cavity.

Good luck and keep us informed! VK

PS: With care and forethought, I think your work will be at least as good as, if not better, than an RV repair place and certainly cost less...
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:16 AM   #4
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Brian,

The layout is fairly simple. Given your talents to destruct I would think that re-wiring is within your capabilities. We tend to under estimate our own abilities sometimes. Plus if you do it yourself you'll not only have the satisfaction of having done it yourself, but you'll know how to diagnose future problems that may arise, and save a ton of money.

Keep us posted....
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:24 AM   #5
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More info on rebuild and renovation...

You may find this thread useful.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrzyCorpsman View Post
I'm a newbie Airstreamer and have very limited knowledge with wiring an RV. I'm in the process of "rebuilding" my Airstream completely and was wondering how difficult it is re-wiring the trailer. Or should I just have the experts do it...i.e. my local rv shop?

I plan up upgrade the electrical system to the Progressive Dynamics 4560: 60 Amp Converter + AC/DC Distribution Panel seen here at VTS:

Inteli-Power 4560

I like the challenge of tackling something like this, but don't know how big of a headache that I would cause myself.

Thanks for the advice
Your present Univolt and city power circuit breaker panel, are in 2 different locations.

You will have to do a bunch of rewiring in order to utilize that new style panel.

For a complete rework of the electrical syatems, then that becomes a different story.

Andy
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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I'm going to give a shout out to one of my favorite DC books, Sailboat Electrical Systems by Don Casey. Nope, it's not a traditional rolling RV book, but a sailboat is an inherently more demanding environment than an Airstream. The book is well written, well illustrated and a good general read before starting to pull wires.

You can do it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of the support I'll read up on the forums and tackle this myself. I am going to do a complete rework of the entire system, running all new wires and such.

Thanks again for the advice
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CrzyCorpsman View Post
Thanks for all of the support I'll read up on the forums and tackle this myself. I am going to do a complete rework of the entire system, running all new wires and such.

Thanks again for the advice
You can purchase an Airstream Service Manual for your trailer.

It covers many subjects and eliminates guess work.

Complete schematics for each model, as an example, are included.

Andy
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
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I Never

What I did was a lot of research before I started my 59 (a complete rewire), there is a ton if info on this site. I will say I live next to an electrical wiz kid and he pointed me in the right direction. He never touched the trailer just pointed a lot.

Ask for help but if I can do it you can do it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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Would suggest you start by going to your local building center and picking up a book on wiring. The one I recommend will be call "Electrical Code Simplified" or something of that nature. It will contain the rules for your local building codes, and tell you what size wire to use for what, how to install and properly ground outlets lights etc.

If I was wiring a trailer I would not run the wires thru the walls the way they do at the factory. I would remove the belly pan, drop the wire down thru the outlet hole and run the wiring under the trailer. This would avoid tearing out the walls to get at things.

Be VERY careful to protect the wires. Put rubber grommets or the equivalent, anywhere the wire goes thru a hole in metal. Fasten the wiring up in plenty of spots. When you are traveling the wiring will be bouncing around. You don't want it wearing thru the insulation or pulling loose or breaking from metal fatigue.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
I'm going to give a shout out to one of my favorite DC books, Sailboat Electrical Systems by Don Casey. Nope, it's not a traditional rolling RV book, but a sailboat is an inherently more demanding environment than an Airstream. The book is well written, well illustrated and a good general read before starting to pull wires.
This looks like an excellent book. This should be obvious to me, but does this book cover AC and DC?
-Tim
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