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Old 06-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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Angry pre-1964 electrial basics / 101

ok, so from my understanding there were no manuals or diagrams produced until 64. does anyone who has taken their trailers apart have a diagram they've drawn? in particular, I'm looking to troubleshoot my 62.

as a side note to those who didnt know (like me!) ; until 64 trailers had 2 sets of wires; 12V and 110. after 64 (i believe this is correct?) the trailer is wired for 12v only and a converter is used to make the trailer operable on city power.

Problem: some things are and some things are NOT working as it seems the ground is disconnected from the trailer. when a ground is affixed to the battery and then the test item (disconnected tail light plates), all live wires work. this is how we determined the ground is the issue (all this is stemming from our attempt to install new fantastic fan, which isnt working as the trailer isn't grounded).

additionally, i don't understand how to install the new intelli-power converter/charger/distributor i just got. there's a separate fuse for everything! i don't want to open the walls and start a new mess of trying to individually wire each set of lights, the pump, etc. is there a simpler way to do this?

is there a before and after diagram? thank you so much, in advance.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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the wiring in your 62, if like 63 is just daisy-chained from one fixture to the next, all one 12v circuit, with a master breaker located somewhere by the wall, and maybe another in the small hatch area in the belly pan where the 12v charge wire comes in from the tow vehicle at the end of the tongue.

Our 63 uses the body and frame as the common ground, just like the automotive industry. When we had the panels out I found the large ground coming from the tow vehicle had long since come lose from the rivet in the skin they had attached it to inside the wall. I would venture to guess the wire going from your tow vehicle to the body is bad. Try getting into that little access panel and get the what might be white, the ground wire from the tow vehicle and ground it with a test lead to the skin of the trailer, a window frame or something and see if that works. If so you probably just need to splice into that ground wire somewhere and find a good place out of sight on the body to ground it again. As far as interior same issue, make sure the ground from the battery has a clean, strong connection with the inner skin, into a bow if you can.

As far as the intelli-power the whole circuit panel isn't probably going to be of much use for you, other than 1 fuse location. You can always use those other slots if you decide to upgrade to a refrigerator that needs 12v, or other gadgets you might want to add down the road.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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thank you. we did open up the 'panel' under the front belly skin; it was just a group of wires dangling around and it looked like the PO might have hacked in to it to try and jury rig the brakes. i need to get that mess sorted out. the green and orange 12V wires had been spliced into a blue an (white i think) wire on the 'umbilical cord'. im wondering if this was correct or hacked.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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Yuck, Blue is likely the trailer brake wire, do you have working brakes (probably not with a bad ground).

I find the wiring very inconsistant, so I hesitate to mention colors. Orange on ours is 12v, large guage wire. Blue on ours is trailer brakes, particularly if its paired with a white in its own little insulation sleeve... That white is the ground for the trailer brakes also. You'll probably find that white wire either goes up through the floor under the front window, curb side, or changes to a light green of the same guage (since they used light green on the interior fixtures for ground on ours). All our brake lights, running lights, turn signals etc up under there were all a small guage (16 or 18) red wire, which made things REALLY confusing if they didn't already work.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:26 AM   #5
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Is the 12v wiring, in these years of AS, solid copper, rather than stranded? Our GT is gutted but we are not removing the interior skin. There are lots of 110, 2-prong outlets, with old style copper wire (not stranded). Is this normal? Were these originally 12v outlets or 12v light fixtures that a PO changed over to 110? Just got a new Intellipower 4045 converter & about to get a new AGM battery but I'm not sure how to start. Thanks for any help, as I see you 2 have similar coaches.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:01 AM   #6
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All the 110 would be 2 conductor "romex" style wire for the outlets etc. I've seen some 60's trailers' 12 volt systems wired with a different color romex, but think that was later in the 60's. From what I've seen (I've never worked on a 62) but the 12 volt wires I've encountered on the 63 were all stranded wire, and all 110 lights and outlets were solid copper romex style wrapped wire, just 2 conductor instead of 3.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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As stated in Scott's last post, that is how my '59 is wired. Mind you, I have a "park model" trailer meaning no on-board 12 volt system but I did have two 12 volt ceiling lights that were originally powered from the TV through a separate umbilical that plugged in on the outside of where the wires came out on the inside (did that make any sense?). Their original connection came through the inner skins just above the floor on the curbside front. Mine were two light blue stranded wires. One controlled the ceiling lights and I have never been able to determine where the other one goes or what it suppose to do.

I'll attach a diagram of how I wired in my IntelliPower, which gave out after five years so now I have a Xantrax XADC 60 amp controller which is wired in the same way.

Hope this helps. Of course, your coach probably varies because of the difference in years.

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Old 06-28-2010, 11:07 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys. So, my 1st guess, that my GT is/was almost entirely wired as 110 with very few 12v lights or outlets for the interior, was correct. This model had the battery mounted outside under front window & nearly all the stranded wires are inside, near floor, near that location. (PO removed 4" of interior skin right above the floor, to replace the floor.) That is where I can see the stranded wire. Since we rarely plan on being connect to shore power, I don't have use for all those 110 outlets. But, I do need more 12v fixtures & outlets. I am, obvioulsy, changing original location of battery & installing Intellipower (hope I have better luck with mine than you did "Fly").

So a couple of more questions. 1) Can I safely cap off most of the 110 wires I don't plan on using & hiding or otherwise covering up the former 110 outlets? 2) for my new 12v needs, i.e. water pump, water heater spark ignitor, refrigerator, more lights, etc. I'll need to run new wire. Since I am not removing interior skin, I was going to use a cable raceway, where wires are exposed & conduit where wires go behind cabinetry & furniture. Should I use stranded copper & what gauge? (exterior 12v & brakes where re-wired when we installed new brakes & axel & trailer plug.)

Thanks so much for any & all advise.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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1) you can cover up the ends of the 110 wires, just make sure they stay covered after all that boucing around on the backroad boondocking trips. You could convert those outlet to 12 volt plugs. You'll need to put those in anyway, why not use the original holes?

2) yes, use the stranded wire. I probably went overkill but I used 10 gauge. I got such a good deal on a whole 100' spool I couldn't pass it up. I ran the single wire to each fixture up inside and behind the cabinets where ever I could as I refused to haver any of it show. To get to the streetside, I ran it on the floor just in front of the small step up into the bathroom. Since I used the shell as the 12 volt ground, I only need to run a single wire to each light/outlet/etc. Here's a diagram I made up for my needs. Now that my bathroom cabinet is built, I need to put in a 12 volt outlet in there somewhere.

Bill, you are more than welcome to come and take a look at my set-up any time you'd like. I imagine you get down to north Phoenix from time to time.

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Old 06-28-2010, 12:28 PM   #10
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I'm curious what others have done with the old, two-wire 120v wiring. Did you rip this out and install new 3-wire romex or install a new ground wire at each outlet and update these outlets for 3-prong? My 30amp inlet and fuse panel are grounded but the individual outlets are still two-wire.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
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Your diagrams are extremely helpful, Brad. And I would LOVE to take you up on your offer to let me see your set-up. But, you've been communicating with Judy & not Bill. (I'm the electrical person, he is the sub-floor/plumbing person.) Would you be available for us to do so sometime this week? We're both teachers at Central High & are on vacation right now. So any time convenient for you would be ok with us. Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to reading the replies to Mellow Mike, aslo!
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:34 PM   #12
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So sorry Judy, my apologies. We can schedule for this week, no problem. I'm home during the day myself so how about tomorrow before the heat sets in? I'll shoot you a PM with my cell number.

As for Mike's query, i did not put in new wires or remove any inner skins to gain access to the wiring. I tested all of the original outlets before I revamped my shore power so I knew everything worked at that point. I ran a heavy gauge three way wire in the trailer to the breaker box and created a buse block for the neutral, third wire which I needed for the outlets that were for the newer appliances like the Dometic fridge, Suburban water heater and the Xantrax converter. For these outlets, I just ran that third wire along the floor inside the cabinets to the outlet on the streetside where the breaker box is located. For the outlet needed for the fridge on the curbside, I ran the wire under the floor and up again on the curbside to that outlet. I have my water heater and converter running on the same circuit and plugged into the same outlet so I only needed to run two wires, one for each side of the trailer. All of my other outlets still have the two wires which will be sufficient for what I'd be plugging in anyway. No hair dryers, blenders, toasters or microwaves here. These are things I'm getting away from when I'm camping.

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #13
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It is my view that, if the original outlets without a grounding pin are used, the existing two-wire cable is perfectly sufficient as long as appliances requiring a ground aren't needed.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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Thanks Brad and Jammer.
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