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Old 02-09-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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12 volt ground

I want to add a step light. I have an exterior led fixture. I can get 12 v power from the switch bank near the door. But there is no 12 volt ground near by. I can get a ground from a nearby 120 v outlet, or by just grounding to the trailer. What is better? And, if I use the 120 volt source, should I use the neutral or the ground wire?
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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Just ground it to the trailer.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #3
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I want to add a step light. I have an exterior led fixture. I can get 12 v power from the switch bank near the door. But there is no 12 volt ground near by. I can get a ground from a nearby 120 v outlet, or by just grounding to the trailer. What is better? And, if I use the 120 volt source, should I use the neutral or the ground wire?
Just a quick note: NEVER use a 120VAC neutral as a 12VDC ground! Homes have the neutral and ground bus bars bonded at the breaker box, but this is NEVER DONE IN RVs as you will have energized the frame and or skin of your trailer!!!

While the ground of your AC circuits connect to your frame or chassis, the neutral will kill you if it is!!!!! Use the frame for a ground for your DC load and stay away from your AC circuits!!!!!!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:41 PM   #4
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Your question scared the _____ out of me; I am glad Lewster provided the answer.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:05 PM   #5
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Thanks
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:45 AM   #6
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Just a quick note: NEVER use a 120VAC neutral as a 12VDC ground! Homes have the neutral and ground bus bars bonded at the breaker box, but this is NEVER DONE IN RVs as you will have energized the frame and or skin of your trailer!!!

While the ground of your AC circuits connect to your frame or chassis, the neutral will kill you if it is!!!!! Use the frame for a ground for your DC load and stay away from your AC circuits!!!!!!
Side note, even if you miraculously avoided getting electrocuted, you'd trip every GFCI in your trailer. The GFCI would register the 12v current "piggybacked" on the ac circuit as if it was current leakage on the 120vAC side.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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I knew of these issues. That is why I asked. I haven't even started that project, just getting my ducks in a row. Again, thanks for the help.
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