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Old 11-09-2014, 12:38 AM   #1
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Complete rewire-where do I start ?

Doing a shell off on a 1963 Bambi

Shell's back on, exterior skin sealed, windows refurbished, insulation will be in soon, and the next step will be electrical wiring. Originally planned on taking it to a professional for the wiring, but recently read some cautions about moving the rig without the structural rigidity provided by the interior skins, and the budget may dictate I do this myself. I only removed the bottom skins for the shell-off, and did not completely remove the interior skins until I started the patching the exterior skin, so 90% of the wiring is draped along the walls & ceiling. But breakers?, converters?, shore power ?

Is there a recommended "Travel Trailer Electrical 101" or "Trailer Wiring for Dummies" that I can start educating my self on 12v-110-tow rig systems ?
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:05 AM   #2
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Was in the same boat that you where in, but got though it with the help of the forum. I would start with below diagrams.

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Old 11-09-2014, 05:09 AM   #3
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Another diagram

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Old 11-09-2014, 05:27 AM   #4
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Get "The 12 Volt Side of Life", Part 1 and Part 2. Google and download.



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Old 11-09-2014, 05:32 AM   #5
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I would start by making a blueprint of how you want it wired.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:49 AM   #6
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Went with the blue sea fuse block, make sure that you buy a good crimping tool.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/502..._Bus_and_Cover

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Old 11-09-2014, 07:06 AM   #7
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Book

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aktundra View Post
Doing a shell off on a 1963 Bambi

Is there a recommended "Travel Trailer Electrical 101" or "Trailer Wiring for Dummies" that I can start educating my self on 12v-110-tow rig systems ?
RV Electrical Systems by Bill and Jan Moeller (1995 Ragged Mountain Press) worked for our goal of becoming familiar with the systems. However, we haven't done any major re-wiring.

Agree with the suggestion of making a detailed diagram of the wiring as it exists before tearing anything out.

Also, check what you've got--it may be good--before you decide to replace.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:14 AM   #8
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You definetely want to use rubber grommets. Having a wire short out inside the wall is not a good thing. You might consider McMaster Carr. You can get a bag of 25 for $10 or $11 rather than the unit price at the nearest big box store (very expensive) While you are shopping, I found a step drill to be very useful.

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Old 11-09-2014, 07:46 AM   #9
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Start with making a drawing of what you want in a given location. Now diagram what you are trying to do ahead of time or you will have an unsafe mess. Once you know where stuff is going, like fuse panels and breaker boxes, you can locate them in the trailer and wire to them from all the appliances. Same goes for lights etc. Place the items first then wire to them. Same goes for plumbing. Make a drawing so you have a plan.

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Old 11-10-2014, 10:06 AM   #10
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Hey Aktundra,

I am in the exact same boat as you. Just got my exterior water tight and want to get most if not all the electrical stubbed in so I can insulate and get the inside skin back in. (I don't want to tow it with out the inside skins either).

My plan is to follow the original wiring so I can leverage the holes and grommets that are already there. I want to have a usable camper by Spring time, so I am going to focus on the 12V system first and wrap my head around the 120v stuff later. I'll stub in the 120V romex now but worry about the converters and fuse boxes later. I'm going to put everything back in it's original locations. I think I will source my 12V wire harness material at my local Uhaul trailer shop as they are the most knowledgable I can find.

Thanks Toastie and others for the diagrams and other resources.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:04 PM   #11
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Is there a photo that has the inverter/converter-12v fuse panel-110 breaker all together to kind of give me a visual on how this equipment is physically oriented relative to each other?
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:30 PM   #12
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You might want to read thru a thread by "lucymcdog". The owner had zero electrical knowledge. With help from forum members. She rewired her '60's vintage trailer. Both the AC and DC side.
It's a long read.


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Old 11-14-2014, 06:15 AM   #13
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Also it can help to look at some factory wiring drawings to give you a place to start.

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Old 11-15-2014, 02:02 AM   #14
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Does the forum have an archive that might have the factory drawings ?
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:38 AM   #15
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I'm sure someone has a 63 wiring diagram. I didn't look, but the Airstream website under the maintenance tab may have one there.

That said, here is my 66 Trade Wind wiring diagram. I post it as my 66 manual is "generic" for the models in 66. At least you can see the three 12v circuits, and the three 115v circuits in red (one exclusive for AC). And you can see how the converter drives the 12v circuits, charges the battery. And you can see the odd 12v negative fuse on the ground.

You need 12v for your furnace fan, water pump, roof vent fan, water heater control, fridge control, interior lights, etc. 115v AC powers outlets and the AC.
My 66 12v wire is like 12g black romex. The 115v is yellow 12g romex. I wired GFCI outlets in the bath, kitchen and outdoors.

Generally I have learned that the circuit breaker box is mounted in the street side rear. Shore power is generally connected on the street side behind the axles some where. This is the case on both my 66 and my 86.

The battery, converter, and fuse panel are in the rear on my 66, and in the front on my 86. My 66 had fuses and circuit breakers on the 12v circuits. I'm not an electrician and can't tell you why.

I'll bet my post will prompt the diagram you are seeking.

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
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I just drew this diagram to help me sort out what I need to buy. I am only focused on the 12V system for now. Still haven't figured out where I want to store my battery (ies).

Does the wire to the brakes normally stay outside underneath, or do you run in in the wall and down to the brake wire near the axle?

Also, I just got new tail likes that don't have white reverse lights. I understand they are not required. I plan to run the purple wire anyway so it's there for the future.

Please tell me if I have anything wrong. This is new to me.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #17
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Complete rewire-where do I start ?

I would use today's standards for wiring the coach.
Black= +12 volts Charge Line
White= Common/Ground
Green= Tail/Marker lights
Red= Left Turn
Brown= Right Turn
Blue= Brakes
The colors chosen for the interior lights and other items could be your choice. Recommend not using any of the colors above.
You do not show a converter. The wiring should be such that a converter could be installed without major modifications. It should go between the battery and the breaker panel shown in your drawing. I would use a modern (blade type) fuse block as opposed to a breaker panel.
Of coarse the 120 volt panel and wiring is another animal.
The blue brake wire should run in the frame between the belly skin and floor. With the ends of the wires protruding thru the belly pan near each backing plate.
You will need a wire from the battery to the break away switch. Typically this circuit is not fused.
Plus a 12 volt wire to the electric jack. Should you chose to have an electric jack. It can be part of the break away wiring. But the wire that goes to the jack should be fused. Again, no fuse in the break away part going to the electric brakes.


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Old 11-16-2014, 08:23 AM   #18
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Thanks TG, I hope the info is helpful to aktundra as well. TG, when you say today's standards for color coding, don't the colors vary by tow vehicle? I was just trying to match up with my Chevy.

Roger on the converter, I was setting that aside until I start thinking about the 120V but I guess I should start now. Also have to figure out how to run the brake wire under the floor now that I am all sealed up.

I got my wire yesterday from the Uhaul Trailer shop. I got 40' combined white/brown/green/red for the running lights in 14 gauge. 15 feet of 10 gauge blue for the brake and 40' of black 10 gauge for the 12V. $35 and they cut and coiled it for me.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:03 PM   #19
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Complete rewire-where do I start ?

The colors are for trailers. Not the TV. Most if not all trailers are wired to this standard.
Since you are sealed up. You could run a conduit (thin wall) or even use PEX. Just do a good job of attaching it to the trailer.
The PEX will not interact with the belly pan aluminum.

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Old 11-17-2014, 09:29 AM   #20
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Thanks TG, I followed your advice and got my running lights all wired up yesterday and working...whoo hoo!

And thanks for the conduit idea for the brake line.
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