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Old 10-17-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
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A URL is that address that starts with www at the top of your browser. Now you have all I know about those. I have to ask my kids about computer stuff.

Can you save your Powerpoint as a jpeg or some other photo format? Then it should upload as a photo attachment.

Or, just e-mail it to me at

mimiandrews@earthlink.net

Expect a spam filter message on that e-mail address. I'll get your message, so don't worry about the filter. Not all the pictures that come by e-mail are things I want to see, so the filter is set really high.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #16
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1970 29' Ambassador
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1957 26' Overlander
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Hi there, can I ask a question that it appears YOU would know the answer to?
I am trying to take out my backup lights and use that spot for additional turn and brake lights. But the wiring doesnt make sense to me! I am using the same wiring for the outside lights as the inside ones, thinking that would work, but no go. The outside light stays in BRAKE mode and doesnt signal at all.

Any help would be much appreciated! Its a 1970 Ambassador.
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Originally Posted by woliners View Post
So it looks like the original wire diagram assumes stop lights and turn signals are separate. Also, there's no provision for backup lights....who'd want to back up a 28' trailer in the dark anyway? Me I guess, because I combined stop and turn signals and re-tasked the brake light wire (black) for backup lights. I guess I just don't have enough to do.....I think I need a hobby.

later
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #17
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
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Hi Albert; your trailer external lighting is powered and controlled by your tow vehicle through the umbilical cord. You can't tap into your interior 12v lights. You might be interested in modern LED tail lights as they are much brighter and safer than the old 1970 bulbs.

If you want additional tail and turn signal lights, then you need to tap into the original tail light wire and run it to your new tail light.

I found the tail-brake-turn lights on my 66 Trade Wind were not very bright, especially on a sunny day. Modern LED are much more visible, and you can lightly buy the conversion so if fits behind your original fixtures.

Maybe Woliners can answer your question better than I.

David
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:14 AM   #18
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1965 28' Ambassador
Minnetonka , Minnesota
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Hi Albert, Well, to begin with, David is right, the towing lights, i.e. tail (and running lights), stop, turn, and backup....all the ones that operate from your car/truck etc, are completely separate from any interior electricity....or the "living in the camper" lights. These wires are all isolated and go directly from the umbilical cord to the individual lights and to the brakes (if you are set up for that). Having said that, your system can be set up to charge the camper battery while towing. Also, in the event of the trailer coming unhitched while towing, the break away switch will connect the 12V trailer battery to the brakes and lock them up.

In researching this, I've found several wire-color conventions for the 7-pin umbilical cord configuration. Thanks to Davids post, I managed to determine how my 1965 AS was wired. Note this may be different for your camper. So here's the color convention mine used:

White=Ground
Blue=Battery Positive terminal
Green=tail and running lights
Yellow=brakes
Black=auxilliary or stop
Red=Left turn
Brown=Right turn

My camper was configured with the integrated stop and turn circuit which is what most moderns configs are.....so the black appears to be aux, or unused.

As it happens, I am replacing the "nacelles" which are the big plastic housings into which the tail light fixtures are installed (on 1965 AS anyway). Contrary to the instructions on the website, I didn't have to remove the entire interior wall to install them. I just asked myself..."What would Houdini do?" So with a little creative trimming and a little ingenuity, I was able to slip them in from the outside and rivet them in without hacking up either the interior or the exterior walls. I also found a pair of "retro-designed" LED stop/turn/tail lights that replace my old fixtures quite nicely.

So...imagine my surprise when I removed the old tail lights and found black wires connected to the metal housings of the fixtures. I checked these wires with a meter and sure enough, they were indeed ground wires, but they were in no way connected to the black aux wire (U-cord) at the front of the trailer. But I didn't see any wires that did connect to the U-cord aux. Hmmmmm.

Sooooo.....when I removed the old cracked, broken nacelles and started digging around inside the wall, I found yet another set of black wires tucked inside. And these, much to my joy, were the missing aux wires.....just waiting for something to be installed. YeeHaw! My backup lights! And since I hate disorder, I replaced the black ground wires (the impostors!) with white wires and was able to thread them down to the steel trailer frame.

Now when you assemble everything, you need to make sure it's water proof and mouse proof. Also you don't want any shorts to develop. I'm using rubber grommets where ever the wires pass through metal walls and you want to make sure the whole thing won't fall apart over time. Remember, a trailer goes through a lot of vibration while traveling.

I replaced all the rivets that I drilled out and used putty between the riveted surfaces and silicone where needed and I used Vulkem generously around the edges of the nacelles where they interface with the aluminum camper walls. My new tail lights didn't come with gaskets so I just cut a pair out of a 1/16" thick rubber sheet. Finally, I soldered all the wire connections and insulated with heat shrink wrap.

Well, That's all the news from Lake Minnetonka
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #19
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woliners: Interesting story on your discoveries inside the back skins of your trailer.

Here is a photo of the black wires hanging out of my 66 Trade Wind back up light holes. My trailer came with back up lights. I think they were an option.

The blue wire you mention above is indeed a 12v positive, but I believe it is the "charge wire" from the tow vehicle. It does end up at the positive battery terminal via the fuse panel. It helps keep the trailer battery charged when traveling.

David
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:58 PM   #20
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My camper doesn't appear to have ever had any lights mounted where your show nor does there appear to have been any backup lights were I believe they would have been on this model. The nacelles on the 1965 were kind of a thin plastic wedge shaped structure (new replacement ones are much thicker, thank God), each has 2 spaces (sort of an indentation), one for the 5" round stop/turn/tail light and another 3-1/4" round indentation, no doubt reserved for backup lights.

The spaces for the stop/turn/tail had been drilled out to allow for the wire connections. On the other hand, the spaces for the backup lights were not drilled out, nor were there any residual mounting screw holes, confirming that this particular camper never had backup lights installed.

These "virgin" indentations plus the fact that the black wires were stuffed neatly inside the wall suggest that backup lights were probably optional for this model as well but the purchaser opted out. I'm guessing that this type of operation was done by the dealer rather than at the factory.

Further, the auxiliary wire (if not used for backup) could have also served as a spare in case one of the primary wires shorted out or broke. Like in-home land line telephones wires, they have 4 wires, but only 2 are ever used. the other pair are just for that reason.

I'm speculating here, but the first job I ever had was working at a Winnebago dealer and all the campers and motorhomes came in partially finished and we installed all kinds of stuff to fill custom orders. I also did all kinds of repair and modifications to older campers too. I recall that there were always spare wires in the walls in case we stuck a screw or staple through one of the primaries. I never did any work on an AS but I'm guessing they had a similar system or thought process.

Wow, I was 13 at the time. I thought it was really cool to have a job and my own money in Jr. high school. Now days they'd say I was exploited and abused in some sort of sweat-shop. And oh how my self esteem must have suffered. Oh well...I liked the money!

later
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:09 PM   #21
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Some 66 trailers had tail light nacelles too. It might have been an "International" trim option. My trailer is a base model with some options, like back up lights.

Airstream also ran a spare romex wire for future air conditioners, shown upper left. I believe it terminates in the roof. My trailer has an AC, but I believed installed after the factory. It has a separate romex wire running along the floor and up to the AC. Don't think that is to code. I did put a conduit around it.

In my trailer, the white romex is 12v and the black is 115vAC. It can get confusing at times.

Interesting about phone wires. I did not know that 2 were redundant.

David
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:27 AM   #22
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Interesting. When I got my trailer, all the interior electrical worked fine (12 and 110V) so I've never dug into it to see what was going on. I didn't think of looking for a "hidden" wire for the AC in the roof, so when I installed my AC, I just ran a new romex (with conduit) to the AC vent, similar to what you described. I just assumed that, like everything else in the 60's, AC was only for the elite. Then again, maybe Airstreams were for the elite. Who Knew???

By the way, the LED tail lights are really nice. Makes turning and braking very apparent from behind. If you think about it, silver is the first color to go invisible in bad road conditions. The lights really help. I'd recommend them to anyone.
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