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Old 03-24-2014, 06:18 AM   #1
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Safe Wiring

Hi folks,

Just looking for some advice regarding the wiring on my 1959 Tradewind.

Please confirm the following regarding the wiring of my breaker box which is a small box with a 20A and 30A breaker side by side:

-A bridge wire would connect the two breakers at the top
-The 30A shore power should have the HOT connected to the top 30A breaker, NEUTRAL to the top right bus bar, and GROUND to the breaker box which is grounded to the trailer skin.
-All Ground wires coming into the box should go to the same ground as the shore power
-All HOT wires coming into the box should enter the bottom of the breakers (Air Cond to the 30A breaker and all lights etc to the 20A breaker)
-All NEUTRAL wires coming into the box should go to the bottom right neutral bus.

I previously found two ground wires in the box attacked to incoming neural wires which I'm told is bad in an RV and could cause HOT SKIN. I grounded these wires.

Am I on the right track?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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Well, if you don't like the advice you're getting, you could always try another thread, I guess.

Get a professional. You're in over your head and could get hurt or leave things in an unsafe condition.

There is a great deal that is wrong here, starting with:

1) use only green or bare wires for ground
2) use properly sized breakers for the wiring. The 30a breaker is oversized. The 20a, may also be oversized
3) securing and routing the wire is a big part of the job. All connections must be inside a junction box. Clamps must be used where wire comes through the wall of the junction box.
4) the shore power inlet is missing its junction box or cable clamp. If these can't be found and reinstalled then the entire inlet should be replaced
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:15 AM   #3
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Well, if you don't like the advice you're getting, you could always try another thread, I guess.
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What he said plus -
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:16 AM   #4
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Wired the way in the photo, with the shoreline allowed to feed both breakers, the total load on the shoreline could be 50 amps.

I understand you may not have 50 amps worth of load hard wired into the trailer, but if several items were plugged in and the AC was running, you would be relying on the 30 breaker the shoreline is plugged into. If there is one.....

Regards,

JD
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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Please go buy a new box that can hold more than 2 breakers and has a separate neutral and ground bus.

Overall, your wiring concept is mostly correct.

All grounds should connect to the ground bus which is also connected to the trailer frame and skin.

All white neutral wires should connect to the neutral bus which is not connected to the ground bus or the frame/skin.

Shore power black hot wire goes to a 30 amp breaker. Nothing else should be connected to the 30 amp breaker.

A/C black should go a separate 20 amp breaker. Nothing else should be on that breaker.

Other stuff can be wired to 20 amp or 15 amp breakers.

Shore power should be 10 gauge wire (30 amp rating).

A/C should be 12 gauge wire (20 amp rating).

Other circuits can use either 12 gauge (20 amp) or 14 gauge (15 amp). Wire size will determine what size breaker to use.

Depending on the new box you buy, you may need to jumper from the 30 amp breaker to the other breakers as you currently have. If so, use 10 gauge wire. But, the bus bar where the breakers plug into should provide the electric connection you need to power the rest of the trailer from the 30 amp breaker, so a jumper may not be needed. If you post a picture of the new box, we can help you determine if a jumper is needed or not.

Use clamps where the wires go through the side of box. The way your current box is wired without clamps is asking for trouble as the raw metal edge will cut through the insulation as you're driving.

If you connect the a/c and shore power to the 30 amp breaker, you have just directly connected the a/c to your shore power cable. This means the trailer's breaker is not protecting the wiring going to the a/c. The only protection the a/c wiring has is the 30 amp breaker on the campground post. Assuming that the a/c is wired with 12 gauge wire, it has the very real potential of overheating and melting the insulation off as 12 gauge is rated for 20 amps, but the post breaker won't pop until it hits 30 amps. Not good.

Chris
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Well, if you don't like the advice you're getting, you could always try another thread, I guess.

Get a professional. You're in over your head and could get hurt or leave things in an unsafe condition.

There is a great deal that is wrong here, starting with:

1) use only green or bare wires for ground
2) use properly sized breakers for the wiring. The 30a breaker is oversized. The 20a, may also be oversized
3) securing and routing the wire is a big part of the job. All connections must be inside a junction box. Clamps must be used where wire comes through the wall of the junction box.
4) the shore power inlet is missing its junction box or cable clamp. If these can't be found and reinstalled then the entire inlet should be replaced
Seconded. Consult a professional. Electrifying the skin of the trailer is the least of your worries with this Rube Goldberg setup.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quantico , Virginia
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Chris,

Thank you for your constructive and detailed guidance.

Ill get a new box and make those changes then bounce my progress past you if you don't mind.

Steve


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
Please go buy a new box that can hold more than 2 breakers and has a separate neutral and ground bus.

Overall, your wiring concept is mostly correct.

All grounds should connect to the ground bus which is also connected to the trailer frame and skin.

All white neutral wires should connect to the neutral bus which is not connected to the ground bus or the frame/skin.

Shore power black hot wire goes to a 30 amp breaker. Nothing else should be connected to the 30 amp breaker.

A/C black should go a separate 20 amp breaker. Nothing else should be on that breaker.

Other stuff can be wired to 20 amp or 15 amp breakers.

Shore power should be 10 gauge wire (30 amp rating).

A/C should be 12 gauge wire (20 amp rating).

Other circuits can use either 12 gauge (20 amp) or 14 gauge (15 amp). Wire size will determine what size breaker to use.

Depending on the new box you buy, you may need to jumper from the 30 amp breaker to the other breakers as you currently have. If so, use 10 gauge wire. But, the bus bar where the breakers plug into should provide the electric connection you need to power the rest of the trailer from the 30 amp breaker, so a jumper may not be needed. If you post a picture of the new box, we can help you determine if a jumper is needed or not.

Use clamps where the wires go through the side of box. The way your current box is wired without clamps is asking for trouble as the raw metal edge will cut through the insulation as you're driving.

If you connect the a/c and shore power to the 30 amp breaker, you have just directly connected the a/c to your shore power cable. This means the trailer's breaker is not protecting the wiring going to the a/c. The only protection the a/c wiring has is the 30 amp breaker on the campground post. Assuming that the a/c is wired with 12 gauge wire, it has the very real potential of overheating and melting the insulation off as 12 gauge is rated for 20 amps, but the post breaker won't pop until it hits 30 amps. Not good.

Chris

Chr
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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It's also traditional to have power in the top of a device and out the bottom.

Personally, I don't care for wire nuts in mobile applications. They're made for wiring a house - which hopefully doesn't rock, roll, vibrate, or rumble. Unless you live by a volcano, of course.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Hi,

What should I use in lieu of a wire nut to join two wires? A crimp connector?

Steve
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