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Old 11-02-2015, 01:07 PM   #1
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Wire Gauge

Does anyone have a suggestion for the right size wire gauge for trailer turn signals, running lights, etc?

I wired up my Streamline's taillights last night, temporarily. But I used some wire that was way too big for the job.

Thanks!
Eric
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:30 PM   #2
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No wire can ever be way too big!
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:15 PM   #3
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My trailer used 14ga original.
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Old 11-02-2015, 06:45 PM   #4
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OK, 14 gauge.

Is anyone familiar with those little snap-on splice things? They seem to be more popular than wire nuts?
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:14 PM   #5
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I highly recommend you don't use those ( snap on wire splice connectors) there really not that great . Sorry to rain on your parade!

Don
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:14 PM   #6
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OK, 14 gauge.

Is anyone familiar with those little snap-on splice things? They seem to be more popular than wire nuts?
Popular because they are cheap and easy to connect, however they have many problems from cutting the feed wire, to corrosion to just flat out not working. They are not something I would recommend for anything but the most temporary work.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:16 PM   #7
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Eric,
If you mean the Scotchlok connectors, I advise against them. They will spread open on the wires and easily corrode, too. I have had bad results using them. If you have 12V power problems and these are in use, check them first.

Dan
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:21 PM   #8
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Signal and marker light wire gauge in 2009 FC

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Does anyone have a suggestion for the right size wire gauge for trailer turn signals, running lights, etc?
My 2009 Flying Cloud was factory wired with 12 gauge copper stranded to everything. As 12 gauge is rated at 20 amps, running 12 gauge to marker lights that pull 0.2 amps seems overkill.

I had to rewire the top half of my trailer and I used 14 gauge, which at 15 amps, is still overkill. The factory pigtails on the new marker lights (LED) looked like 18 gauge. Looked like 16 gauge on the LED turn signals.

On my Flying Cloud the factory made splices by stripping insulation off the wires, twisting them together, soldering, and then wrapping with vinyl electrician's tape. Each individual light and fixture had a dedicated 'hot' line soldered in. Terminal connections at individual lights and fixtures were made using crimp connectors.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:26 PM   #9
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I twist, solder and hest shrink where I can. If there isn't enough room to work, I use crimp connectors that have their own heat shrink ends. With that said, every now and then I have to use a Scotchloc.. ..those crimp on plastic wire tap thingies.
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:06 PM   #10
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OK - sounds like I need to find the 3 soldering irons I had in my 20's! And lots of solder.

I love me some heat-shrink, too. Looks pro.

Is there a type of wire that's considered "pro". I really only want to do this once. I'm also paranoid about wiring that's behind a panel that would be VERY hard to remove. (Like the connections that will be behind the shower when I reinstall that.)
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Does anyone have a suggestion for the right size wire gauge for trailer turn signals, running lights, etc?

I wired up my Streamline's taillights last night, temporarily. But I used some wire that was way too big for the job.

Thanks!
Eric
For the few cents more per foot, use a wire size that is more than adequate.

You can use # 14, or better yet # 12.

Andy
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #12
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Tinned, stranded copper is about as Pro as you can get.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:27 PM   #13
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Shielded, tinned, stranded, twisted pair and Teflon insulated with common ground (all grounds returned to one common ground) is about as good as it gets.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:09 PM   #14
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Yup.. A bit larger will mean the wire can withstand more abuse if properly installed. Don't forget to use grommets to protect wherever the wire may "rub".

If space is too tight I use the "Liquid rubber" coating when I can't use shrink tubing. Paint it on in a couple layers the wrap with tape when "dry".

In my 1999 the trailer light wiring runs in a "chase" made of black PVC from near the Gaucho to the stern. I suspect there are places where the wire "exits"
To go to the "center clearance marker lights"... Our 34' is required to have the center clearance lights.

Be sure to leave some "slack" in the wiring behind the light components.. Easy to "pull out a bit of wire for a fix than rewiring.

I do NOT use the "scotchlocks" on anything which moves or shakes or vibrates or is in a harsh environment like our AS.

DO not scrimp here...

If you install a plastic "chase"x be sure to leave at least ONE "mule tape"...
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