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Old 12-07-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
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Which gauge wire to use.

I am gathering materials to completely rewire the 12 volt system on my 31 foot T-lux.

I am wondering which wire to use for the new LED lighting. Automotive? Primary 12 gauge? I need about 150-200 feet.

I am also wondering about an online affordable source.

As well as splicing connectors.



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Old 12-07-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jonplayers View Post
I am gathering materials to completely rewire the 12 volt system on my 31 foot T-lux.

I am wondering which wire to use for the new LED lighting. Automotive? Primary 12 gauge? I need about 150-200 feet.

I am also wondering about an online affordable source.

As well as splicing connectors.



http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417...1-a-94006.html
LED lights draw a small amount of current.

You can use 12 to 14 gauge wire.

Best place to buy wire cheaply, is stores like Home Depot.

Don't go too cheap, or you will get a wire that has poor insulation, that hardens with age.

Andy
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
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I bought most of my 12 volt wiring and connectors here: Electrical and Automotive Wire and Cable - WiringProducts

Primary automotive wire is fine.

12 gauge will let you use 20 amp fuses. 14 gauge will let you use 15 amp fuses. 10 gauge is rated for 30 amps. I used 14 gauge for most of my 12 volt wiring. I also ran a different color wire for each circuit, which helps for troubleshooting and adding additional lights and stuff later. Although, lots of people just use the same color wire for everything. Almost all of our lights are LED. I also like to go for overkill, so I bumped up to 10 gauge for the water pump circuit.

Buy more than you think you need. Voice of experience talking...

Chris
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:05 AM   #4
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Current carrying capacity of copper wire

Gauge Ohms/1000' Current
12 1.5 25
14 2.5 20
16 4 18
18 6 14

You shouldn't ever have an LED circuit that uses more than 3 amps (that's 10-15 lights, depending on the devices you select). You could actually use #18 wire, but many people would think #18 just feels too wimpy and would use #16. You definitely don't have to use common household #14 or #12 UF wire. And you shouldn't--it's miserable to pull and miserable to insert into your fixture.

You can buy 500' spools of #14 or #16 at you local big box store for about $50. Make sure you get two colors so you can keep track of the positive and negative wires. Sounds like you only need two 100' spools.

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Old 12-07-2013, 10:11 AM   #5
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I highly recommend the use of Marine Wire. I used it to rewire my entire trailer, on the recommendations of some forum members, and could not be happier. After a lot of research to keep costs down, I came across this place: Tinned Marine Wire. They have the best prices I could find plus they can ship in all sorts of custom lengths and quantities. They even make custom cables for batteries with connectors and everything. I cannot say enough good thing about my experience.

Another great place that I liked was Waytek. They have great products and a much better website but their prices weren't as good.

As far as cable sizing, I would refer you to this chart: Wire Gauge Sizing. I used 12 gauge for my entire trailer and it is working great. You may have a larger trailer though with larger cable runs and may need to use some 10 gauge. You will have to do the math. Just figure out how long the circuit will be from the fuse panel and back and check the chart...

As far as connectors, I used regular 12 gauge connectors with heat shrink around each connection. Depending on it's location, you may want to use waterproof connectors.

Good luck!!!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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My 69 came copper stranded 10 gage through the trailer. Could be a overkill, but no problems in 40 years.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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Thank you good sirs! I just ordered from that web site. Should be here for Christmas!

I ordered 14 gauge for the lighting/fans, and 12 gauge for the water pump/fridge. I also ordered splice clips as well as nylon grommets

.Quick Splices - WiringProducts


I think i just need wire from the battery to the converter now.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Even though they are quick and easy I have had bad luck with that type of quick splice from 3M. They will seem to work on wires that aren't the same size but after some jiggling around in transit they have dealt us fits. They are exposed to the air and corrode or work loose too easily when used on our farm equipment and semis, etc. We have banned their use!
Dan
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:15 PM   #9
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If inaccessible, solder only.

If wires shake, solder only, unless you can title key immobilize the wires, then if wet area, solder or use Marine grade connectors and wrap well with high quality 3M brand electrical tape.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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If inaccessible, solder only.

If wires shake, solder only, unless you can title key immobilize the wires, then if wet area, solder or use Marine grade connectors and wrap well with high quality 3M brand electrical tape.
So soldering is better than wire nuts and electrical tape. I head that soldering builds up resistance in the line, thus causing the line to heat up? Or does that not really ally in 12 vlt systems?
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:52 PM   #11
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If you can't get easy access to your connections DO NOT use wire nuts or even crimp splices you will have problems somewhere down the road. I would soldier all your connections and use heat shrink instead of tape. Heat shrink just looks so much more professional than electric tape.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #12
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If you can't get easy access to your connections DO NOT use wire nuts or even crimp splices you will have problems somewhere down the road. I would soldier all your connections and use heat shrink instead of tape. Heat shrink just looks so much more professional than electric tape.
Struck me as odd that the '74 Sov uses mostly wire nuts in the lighting and other items. Not only can they fall apart as things age, the fact that the actual connection is open to the air and corrodes with time.

Disappointing, to say the least.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:24 PM   #13
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I wouldn't solder. With all the bumps of the road, you have a good chance for those connections to crack... Just use regular connectors and make sure they are sold when installing them...
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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I wouldn't solder. With all the bumps of the road, you have a good chance for those connections to crack... Just use regular connectors and make sure they are sold when installing them...
I know it is a little more work and it does take some skill to do a proper soldier joint but it will not crack from vibration unlike a joint that is put together with crimp connectors or wire nuts can. Make sure to heat shrink the joints so moisture doesn't corrode the joint and so it doesn't make contact with the metal and cause a short.
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