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Old 09-12-2003, 06:16 PM   #1
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2005 28' International CCD
Pagosa Springs , Colorado
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Aluminum wiring

My '67 Tradewind has aluminum wiring to appliances, sockets and interior lights. The brake lights, brake and wiring to the tow vehicle is copper. Are there any issues I should be concerned about with aluminum wiring. Should I check or replace? Thank you. Jim
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:33 PM   #2
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1992 29' Excella
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it is ok but...


your aluminum wiring should be ok, you just need to remember to use an inhibitor any place the wire terminates on a dissimilar metal. such as copper brass etc.

inhibitor can be found at any good hardware or home center.


remember to wire brush the aluminum until it is nice and clean.

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Old 09-12-2003, 06:37 PM   #3
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You sure it's aluminum and not tinned copper?

Aluminum wireing is VERY prone to electrolisis at teminal points when in contact with dissimular metals. I'm not sure that I would atempt to strip it out because you would have to pull the walls. I would however keep a look out for problems.
WHen electrolisis forms it will start to create resistance. A periodic check for excessive voltage drop. To do this take a meter and measue the voltage of the incoming power. Plug the coach in and thencheck the power at the appliances preferably after the last junction where the aluminum wiring terminates. Wall outlets are easy but that may be tricky on the appliances. It might help to put the circuit in load by turning on the appliance or pluging in a 60watt light.

If you find more then a volt of drop of more then a couple volts ( possibly a volt or two more at a high draw appliance like the A/C Probe a different circuit because the feed may have experanced a drop from the draw as well) it might be time to check the connection of the aluminum wiring at both the appliance or outlet and at the fuse box.
Electrolisis will form a white or gray chalky residue from the corrosion. Clean the conection and trim back the wire an inch to get to a clean spot. Might even stop by the local auto parts store and pick up a tube of "Di Electric grease" to coat the connection with. Oxygen needs to be present to form the corosions and the grease will help isolate it from that. Reconnect and check for voltage drop again.

It lasted 30 plus years as it is so if you do find a problem then trimming back that inch will probably buy you another 30 years.
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Old 09-12-2003, 06:47 PM   #4
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Exclamation whoa!

do not apply di electric grease before you make the connection!

it is a very good insulator and will make your problems worse.

smearing it on after the connection is ok if you want to. you still need to use an inhibitor to protect the connection.

checking for voltage drop when corrosion is suspect is always best done with a load on a line. many times a volt meter will not detect a series fault because the line loss without current is very small, often less than one hundredth of a volt.

you could use a hair dryer to load the circuit, checking it at the same time with your meter. if you have a problem it will be very noticable then.

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