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Old 05-31-2018, 09:45 AM   #1
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1976 Argosy 24
Monroe , Michigan
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Replace or not replace wires?

We have our 1976 Argosy 24' apart with wall panels out. The electric seemed to be in good working order. We are updating a few things like lights.

Does anyone see a reason to replace the original wires?

Also, any tips?

Thanks,
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:59 AM   #2
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Scotia , New York
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It is a lot cheaper to do it now, than later.

Also, new outlets, maybe upgrade your antenna wire to coax and any speaker wires for surround sound.

If I the walls out in my MH, I would also redo the solar wires and maybe put HDMI and network from end to end. But I have a tendency to overdo things
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:21 PM   #3
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Replace or not replace wires?

WayneG, you are on the very brink of joining the “Overkill Engineering” group here on the forums...which, IMHO, is not necessarily a bad thing...

Katty, you might as well do it “right” before you insulate and cover the walls again...it’s much easier to put in better wiring, features such as internet wiring, and make sure all the internal and external electrical stuff is in tip-top shape now...
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:45 PM   #4
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1978 Argosy 27
1976 Argosy 26
Elk Rapids , Michigan
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I agree with the coax antenna wire and any additions you need but 40 year old copper should be fine unless you have a problem with corrosion or insulation breaking down. I see no good reason to replace working electrical circuits but if you do please make sure you follow current standards to avoid creating a dangerous situation.


RVIA


https://www.rvia.org/standards-regul...ansi-standards


or



ABYC


https://abycinc.org/page/standards?




Cheers,


John
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #5
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Oakland , California
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All the wiring in our 67 Caravel was aluminum. When we did the shell off we replaced every wire with marine copper (Anchor) along with all new electrical panels along with shrink wrap connectors (also Anchor) which are not cheap but now it's finished I no longer worry about bumping along dirt roads and thinking something is going to break loose.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:45 AM   #6
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Johnson City , Texas
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With 40 year old AC wiring, recommend you consider the following:

First - shore power 120 VAC 30Amps - The standard for all RV AC electrical wiring is NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. All your work should comply with the 2017 version. Also consider some of the additional recommendations in ABYC E11 2015 edition. This assumes you want 30A rather than 50A for unit.

1. Are all components in your shore power system UL-listed and marked as such?
2. Do you have a good continuous ground wire from the load center connected to the chassis?
3. Are the neutral and ground conductors still isolated?
4. Is any of the wire insulation brittle or discolored, from age and overheating?
5. Does your load center have space for at least 5 circuit breakers?
6. Are all your receptacles 3-prong and still tightly grip a plug?
7. Are all the wire nuts tight? Recommend replacing all twist-on wire nuts with crimp connectors - see below.
8. Do you have 10 AWG wiring for incoming service and for air conditioning unit?
9. Are all your other branch circuits AC 3-wire 12 AWG rated at 105 degrees C?
10. Do you have enough outlets - say for TV?
11. Do you have ground fault circuit interruptors (GFCI) for the bath, kitchen, and outside circuits?
12. Are your exterior outlets weather resistant? (Marked WR)
13. Do you need AC power at a replacement refrigerator?
14. Do you want to install an inverter with dedicated outlets or a transfer switch?

In any case, recommend
- replacing the plug and cable connecting the trailer to shore power. I can recommend installing a SmartPlug on your trailer.
- installing arc-fault, ground-fault (AFCI/GFCI) breakers on all circuits. This is the NEC standard for all dwelling units, and for life-safety reasons, it is a good idea to do the same in your RV dwelling unit.

If you do replace the wiring, strongly recommend using Ancor Triplex Cable, 12/3 AWG (3 x 3mm˛), Part # 131310. Also recommend using crimp-connectors rather than wire nuts - following ABYC E11 11.14.3.6 "Twist on connectors, i.e., wire nuts, shall not be used." I used Ideal 2006S or 2011S Crimp Connectors with matching cap insulators.

Second - DC power - the standard is ANSI/RVIA LV 2018. It's new, and recommend you get a copy for review.
1. Is all your wiring rated at 105C?
2. How good is the grounding chassis connection for the negative side of the battery?
3. Do you plan to change batteries, such as to Lithium?
4. Do you want to install a battery monitoring system?
5. Do you have a dedicated DC circuit for a CO and propane detector?
6. Need any new DC power outlets - such as for a TV, new radio, DVD/Blueray player, backup camera, etc.?
7. Are all connectors tight and still weather protected?
8. If using solar, is the entire solar system compliant with NEC Article 690? For example, do you have fuses in each panel string? Is the wiring sized correctly? Do you have a solar disconnect switch? Do you have solar circuit DC GFPD?

In any case, recommend replacing all your 40-year old DC circuit breakers. Pay particular attention to the Type 2 breakers - such as for your brake circuit.

If in any doubt, now is the time to replace.

73/gus
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:10 AM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Before you go crazy with a bunch of "rules" consider that 99.?% of all RV's coming out of the factory "violate" at leas one of the magic rules. That's not to say they are a bad idea, only that if you bought a brand new trailer, it would not comply with all of those rules.

What you put in and where you put it is very much a personal thing. Running CAT-5 cables for ethernet is something I would do. For most people it would not be on the list. DC wiring for USB plugs is something I would do, again maybe not what everybody would put in. I would forget about any 120 V lighting. It just doesn't make sense these days. Set the whole thing up for 12V. When running DC wiring consider the "catch on fire" ratings first and size / fuse wire accordingly. Next consider voltage drop and maybe bump some of the main stuff up a bit.

Whatever you will do for batteries, figure that out early. There is a lot of cabling that is associated with them. Running that with the walls open is *much* easier ....

Bob
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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2014 19' Flying Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneG View Post
It is a lot cheaper to do it now, than later.

Also, new outlets, maybe upgrade your antenna wire to coax and any speaker wires for surround sound.

If I the walls out in my MH, I would also redo the solar wires and maybe put HDMI and network from end to end. But I have a tendency to overdo things
I concur.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:21 AM   #9
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IMO, since the walls are off, I'd replace the wiring with marine grade wire, it's tinned and stranded, intended for low corrosion and lots of vibration.
Also, coax wherever you need it, and maybe even some cat-5.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:08 AM   #10
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Chappell Hill , Texas
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Put an empty sleeve suitable to pull wire through from the breaker box over to the other side of the trailer so you can add stuff later. Same for 12V new stuff later. You always forget something or new things are invented.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:33 AM   #11
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st. Paul , mn
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It's called planing , what do you want in a RV , once you set down the spec.s , then just follow electrical codes .
If you not customizing your RV and no damage / ware , then leave wire as is [ unless its got the aluminum ] .
You can always change the outlets as they ware - unless your plan says you want something special - as an example you might want to have a 20 amp outlet - so that if your roof AC dies , you could put in a normal window AC unit till you repair / replace the roof air .
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:40 PM   #12
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2018 30' Classic
Bothell , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gklott View Post
With 40 year old AC wiring, recommend you consider the following:

First - shore power 120 VAC 30Amps - The standard for all RV AC electrical wiring is NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. All your work should comply with the 2017 version. Also consider some of the additional recommendations in ABYC E11 2015 edition. This assumes you want 30A rather than 50A for unit.

1. Are all components in your shore power system UL-listed and marked as such?
2. Do you have a good continuous ground wire from the load center connected to the chassis?
3. Are the neutral and ground conductors still isolated?
4. Is any of the wire insulation brittle or discolored, from age and overheating?
5. Does your load center have space for at least 5 circuit breakers?
6. Are all your receptacles 3-prong and still tightly grip a plug?
7. Are all the wire nuts tight? Recommend replacing all twist-on wire nuts with crimp connectors - see below.
8. Do you have 10 AWG wiring for incoming service and for air conditioning unit?
9. Are all your other branch circuits AC 3-wire 12 AWG rated at 105 degrees C?
10. Do you have enough outlets - say for TV?
11. Do you have ground fault circuit interruptors (GFCI) for the bath, kitchen, and outside circuits?
12. Are your exterior outlets weather resistant? (Marked WR)
13. Do you need AC power at a replacement refrigerator?
14. Do you want to install an inverter with dedicated outlets or a transfer switch?

In any case, recommend
- replacing the plug and cable connecting the trailer to shore power. I can recommend installing a SmartPlug on your trailer.
- installing arc-fault, ground-fault (AFCI/GFCI) breakers on all circuits. This is the NEC standard for all dwelling units, and for life-safety reasons, it is a good idea to do the same in your RV dwelling unit.

If you do replace the wiring, strongly recommend using Ancor Triplex Cable, 12/3 AWG (3 x 3mm˛), Part # 131310. Also recommend using crimp-connectors rather than wire nuts - following ABYC E11 11.14.3.6 "Twist on connectors, i.e., wire nuts, shall not be used." I used Ideal 2006S or 2011S Crimp Connectors with matching cap insulators.

Second - DC power - the standard is ANSI/RVIA LV 2018. It's new, and recommend you get a copy for review.
1. Is all your wiring rated at 105C?
2. How good is the grounding chassis connection for the negative side of the battery?
3. Do you plan to change batteries, such as to Lithium?
4. Do you want to install a battery monitoring system?
5. Do you have a dedicated DC circuit for a CO and propane detector?
6. Need any new DC power outlets - such as for a TV, new radio, DVD/Blueray player, backup camera, etc.?
7. Are all connectors tight and still weather protected?
8. If using solar, is the entire solar system compliant with NEC Article 690? For example, do you have fuses in each panel string? Is the wiring sized correctly? Do you have a solar disconnect switch? Do you have solar circuit DC GFPD?

In any case, recommend replacing all your 40-year old DC circuit breakers. Pay particular attention to the Type 2 breakers - such as for your brake circuit.

If in any doubt, now is the time to replace.

73/gus
I've been in the marine industry for 40+ years and would have given anything to have my AS AC/DC electrical systems meet the above list. Gus, thanks for putting this all down. Here is a chance to make the ?? AS quality right.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:45 PM   #13
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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If the wire is copper and it is in good shape then leave it. Fix what needs fixing and add stuff you want to have. Do you want CAT5 wire, do you want to replace antenna wire with cable. Do you want phone cables? You can spend a lot of time trying to reinvent the wheel.



Perry
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:03 PM   #14
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Scotia , New York
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One reason to change the wires, is that the outlets (at least as I recall in my 77 MH) are installed in a crimp on fashion, where the wires are pushed into metal fingers that cut through the insulation to make contact with the outlet.

If there are chains of outlets, the wire at the outlets may not have enough length to attach them to a normal replacement outlet.


Whatever you do, at least evaluate the AC outlets and the wires they are powered by, to be sure they will endure another 30 years of service.
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