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Old 07-14-2011, 04:06 PM   #241
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Hi Lindy,

Based on everything Iíve read, hereís the layout of your current fuse box:
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Basically, the two fuses protect the battery and trailer from each other. They are there mostly in case you hook the battery up backwards.

The converter feeds the red wire coming into the fuse panel at the top grommet on the right side. The black wire most likely goes to the umbilical cord to the TV. The two white wires in the second grommet also go to the converter and the TV. Only place they make sense to go to.

The big wire nut is your ground bus. All the 12 VDC commons are tied together in that wire nut.

The black wires feed the cloth covered wires youíve found, which must go to the lights, furnace, and old pump location. The only way to know for sure which is which is to disconnect them from the distribution block and either use your ohm meter to see which wire is which, or to disconnect them one at a time and see where you lose 12 volts at the other end of the wires.

As far as I can see, there are no fuses between the converter and the 12 volt circuits. That is not good, and there is nothing to protect the wiring, or your converter, other than the internal circuit protection your converter may have.

If this where my trailer, Iíd replace the old distribution block in this fuse box with a new 4 circuit fused distribution panel like you installed in your other trailer.

Do you know the gauge wiring that goes to the converter? That would be the thick red and white wires. It looks like the red, black, and two thick white wires are all the same size, is that correct? They might be 10 gauge, but Iím guessing on that.

How far away from this distribution block is the new converter? Distance in wire feet if you can figure that out. A close approximation would be fine. Asking in case I want to change my suggestions below.


Hereís my suggestions:

Install the converter in its new location. Assuming that this is 10 gauge wiring, install a 30 amp inline fuse on the positive output of the converter at the converterís location. That will protect the rest of the wiring in the trailer.

Install a fuse block to replace the old distribution panel. Use the 12 volt input lug to connect the converter and positive battery fuse to the fuse block.

Run the 3 12 VDC black wires to 3 fused circuits. Use fuses to correspond to the black wire size. 15 or 20 amp depending on if the wires are 14 or 12 gauge.

Connect the black wire from the TV to the 4th fused position on the fuse black. This will add a fuse into the TV circuit. Use a 30 amp fuse if the wire is 10 gauge.

Use the two glass fuses already there to protect the battery. 30 Amp would be good if those are also 10 gauge wires.

That all make sense?

To answer some of your other questions:

1. Why can't I just connect a 12V wire (12 gauge) to the existing water pump wire (black) and run it up to the front where the new water pump will be? That way the switch would still work for it, wouldn't it?. Yes Would I need to put a 20 amp in-line fuse in the wire just to be on the safe side?Not if you use a new fuse block. What I don't know is what do I do with the white wire? Connect it to the skin? Connect another white wire to it and run it to the front where the pump is? And then do what? Do as TG said Ė connect a new white wire to it and run to the pump to provide a ground/common return for the pump.

2. We haven't decided yet whether to put in a real furnace ($$$) or maybe a catalytic heater (are those safe?) so couldn't I just wire nut off the black and white (separately, of course) and have it there when/if I need it later?Catalytic heaters are safe, as long as you remember to have a window cracked open to provide fresh air. They will consume the oxygen in the trailer if the trailer is totally sealed up. In the fight for oxygen, the heater will win (not good for other things that need to breathe).

3. The wire in the cabinet at the front of the trailer (11.6 reading) isn't needed for anything since there are already enough lights there so could I somehow bring that wire down through a wire chase and around the perimeter (all the way around) over to the fridge and use that as my maybe-I'll-need-it fridge wire? Just have it hang out there until I need it?Sounds good to me. Use the same gauge wire it is now to add the extension. Run both the black and white wires so you have a complete circuit.

4. Can I run a 14 gauge wire from the connected wires in the closet to power a reading lamp over the bed? Yes If I put the 14 gauge wire in with the black wires, how do I ground the light? Put the ground wire in with the white wires in the wire nut? Iíd extend both the black and white wires from the closet to where you want your lamp and use the white wire as the ground/return.

5. Finally, a bit off topic, there is a little tube sticking down in the back with a little threaded hole above it to the outside. The PO said this was a vent tube for the battery but when I blew on it I couldn't get any air to go through it. Any idea what this might be? You put your mouth on it and blew into it??????? Brave lass you are! No idea what it might for though. Looks more like a drain than a vent.



Chris
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:26 PM   #242
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down time...

I have to go to Denver tomorrow to pick up Gene's grandson who will be with us for about 2 weeks. That means that probably not much will be going on in the trailer.

I thought I might try to find a new fused distribution panel while in Denver like you suggested but, of course, I have some concerns.

1. All the 12VDC wiring looks like "regular" copper 120VAC wiring. What gauge wire should I get to connect to it to extend the wires to the pump and fridge? 12 gauge? Is it safe to assume that I can connect the "normal" 12 or 14 gauge wires to the copper wiring (black and white) that is throughout the trailer? Connect with those little squeeze connectors and/or the shrink stuff or use wire nuts?

2. I'm almost sure the wires going to the converter are 10 gauge but I will try to check it out tomorrow before I leave.

3. The new converter, in wire feet, is probably12 feet away. It goes from the fuse box into the wall and then goes through a pipe back to the other side of the access compartment (probably 3'-4'), then another 5-6' through the wall and maybe 3' of wire outside the wall. If it would be better to have it closer to the fuse box, I will move it. I haven't yet put in the 120VAC wiring so I could put it's outlet on the floor and have it maybe 3-4 wire feet away from the box. If need be I could move the battery to the other side?

4. There is a fuse built in to the converter (blue) but I think it said it was to protect it if it got wired up backwards.

5. What is the 12 volt input lug that I would connect the converter and positive battery fuse to? Is that the lug on the left that comes down from the glass fuses with the red wire?

6. I forgot I need to get a propane detector. I know that takes a tiny wire (16 gauge) and 5 amp fuse so should I get a larger distribution box - maybe one with 6 connections? I've posted a picture of the fuse box I got for the little trailer.

That should give me enough to think about on my trip to Denver and back. Maybe I can get all the supplies I need there and get started while the grandson and his PawPaw play.

Thanks for holding my hand with yet another complicated (for me!) project.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:35 PM   #243
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The cloth covered wire is solid wire; crimp connectors are designed for stranded wire. Wire nuts will work, so will soldering the connections as long as you clean the old wire well.
If the wire going to the converter is 10 guage, limit the fuse size to 30 amps.
Moving the converter is your choice.
The fuse in the converter is reverse polarity protection.
If you install a new fuse block, connect the converter, battery and TV positive wires to the big lug on the fuse block. Where the black wires are connected on the one in your photo. These three wires need fuses ahead of the connection to the fuse block. Refer to the drawing I posted above.
Instead of a 50 amp use three 30 amp fuses. You could use the 20 that is there for the battery instead of a 30.
You could remove the wire nut and connect the commom/ground wires like you did on the fuse block in the pic. That is where all of the white wires connect in the pic.
I would think you could find a fuse block along with an AGU fuse block like the one I used in an Automotive Stereo Shop or a well equipped auto parts store.
Take some photos of what you have in the Traveler with your iPod Touch and carry them along.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:50 PM   #244
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Here is a pic of a typical AGU fuse holder. I'll email this to you so you can have it in the iPod.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:28 AM   #245
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converter wire size

I compared some #10 wire that I had (assuming I had put it back in the right box - the wire didn't look very big) with the old wiring on the new converter and the old wire is larger than what I'm assuming is #10. But, I then looked at the converter wiring in the little trailer and it is HUGE. Much larger than what is in the new trailer.

Should I get the same size as what is in the little trailer or is #10 (or whatever it is) ok?

I've attached pictures of both converters. The one with the red and white wire is the old wiring in the tradewind. The one with the black and wrapped-in-white-tape is in the Traveler (apparently I didn't have red and white wiring ). For comparison, the yellow in the Traveler picture is #16 and the little white is #14.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #246
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The converter is rated at 45 amps. You need wire that is capable of carrying 45 amps at least.
I'm not sure how far the battery is from the converter. But you could consider this. Install the AGU fuse holder in the same space as the converter. Connect it to the converter with wire capable of carrying 45 amps. I would recommend #6 wire. Then install 30 amp fuses in the fuse holder.
From the other side of the fuse holder connect the new fuse block to one fuse and the TV charge line to the other fuse. Use your existing 20 amp fuse holder with the red wire for the battery as it is today. I can draw up a sketch if you like to show you.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:00 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
The converter is rated at 45 amps. You need wire that is capable of carrying 45 amps at least.
I'm not sure how far the battery is from the converter. But you could consider this. Install the AGU fuse holder in the same space as the converter. Connect it to the converter with wire capable of carrying 45 amps. I would recommend #6 wire. Then install 30 amp fuses in the fuse holder.
From the other side of the fuse holder connect the new fuse block to one fuse and the TV charge line to the other fuse. Use your existing 20 amp fuse holder with the red wire for the battery as it is today. I can draw up a sketch if you like to show you.
I'm confused as to where you want Lindy to install the 30 amp fuses.

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Old 07-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #248
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Here is a rough sketch. This way the 30 amp fuses protect the smaller wires that go to the converter, battery and TV connection. It would require wire that can handle the 45 amp capacity of the converter between it and the AGU fuse block and to the chassis Common/Ground. Since you could conceivably draw the full capacity of the converter without blowing a fuse. 30+30=60 amps; converter limit is 45 amps.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:24 AM   #249
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Wiring Change

Because you have what is known as a floating common; black(red) and white wires going to all devices, I would recommend wiring the trailer per attached drawing.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:42 AM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Because you have what is known as a floating common; black(red) and white wires going to all devices, I would recommend wiring the trailer per attached drawing.
Looks good TG!

Lindy, once you can back to working on her, let us know if you have any questions.

Going back to crib making now. I'll post pics when it's done.

Chris
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:45 AM   #251
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of course I have questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Because you have what is known as a floating common; black(red) and white wires going to all devices, I would recommend wiring the trailer per attached drawing.
Thanks for the drawing! It will really help.

Since I was unable to find either a fuse block or a fuse box like I have in the Traveler, I will have to order them from the place I did before. Is the fuse block I have pictured ok to use? Could I then put all four 30 amp fuses in the one box and run the wires from the converter then to the other connections or do I need to separate those fuses and have two blocks? They're cheap enough ($8.72) so I can get two if I need to.

I also took a photo of the fuse box that I have in the Traveler (attached PDF) and put in what I think I need to do for the new trailer. I'm assuming all the white wires that are in the large wire nut would go to where the white wires are in the photo?

Are the black wires going to the battery? If not, what do I put there?

Since I'm putting in the new fuse box and fuse blocks, should I just completely take out the old fuse box that is there and run new (#6? #10?) wiring to the battery from the box?

Also, since I will be using the existing wiring (black and white solid copper) for the lights, do I solder the connectors to them or solder a stranded wire to them, cover it with shrink stuff, then squish the connector to the stranded wire?

With 3 spaces for the lights that leaves just enough spaces for the propane detector, water pump and fridge. Or, if I use the existing wiring for the water pump and the wire in the front of the trailer for the fridge, do I still need to have a space for those in the box? Those wires are the ones that connect in the closet. The lights are on a different circuit (I think).

I will have to wait about a week for the fuse boxes to come in so I think I will start on the 120VAC wiring until it gets here. At least whenever I'm not entertaining a 15-year old grandson... Teenage boys are just downright silly!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:44 AM   #252
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Or this one?

It comes in 2 position ($15.63) and 4 position ($25.29) fuse blocks.

This is where I'm looking:
Fuse Blocks and Fuse Panels
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
Since I was unable to find either a fuse block or a fuse box like I have in the Traveler, I will have to order them from the place I did before. Is the fuse block I have pictured ok to use? Could I then put all four 30 amp fuses in the one box and run the wires from the converter then to the other connections or do I need to separate those fuses and have two blocks? They're cheap enough ($8.72) so I can get two if I need to.
Its ok, but I would order one like you used in the Traveler. Then you have one lug that will feed 12 VDC to the 6 fuses. If you use the one in the picture, then you will need to somehow join all the terminals on one side of the fuse block to the 12 VDC supply wire, which while doable, is not as easy as using the other style ganged fuse block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
I also took a photo of the fuse box that I have in the Traveler (attached PDF) and put in what I think I need to do for the new trailer. I'm assuming all the white wires that are in the large wire nut would go to where the white wires are in the photo?
Yup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
Are the black wires going to the battery? If not, what do I put there?
Not sure exactly what you're asking here. If you look at TG's drawing, I think you could actually eliminate the 20 amp fuse he shows going from the AGU 30 amp fuse to the battery. Then you could remove the entire old fuse panel and distribution block and replace it all with new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
Also, since I will be using the existing wiring (black and white solid copper) for the lights, do I solder the connectors to them or solder a stranded wire to them, cover it with shrink stuff, then squish the connector to the stranded wire?
Just solder the new stranded wire to the old solid wire. No need to add a second connector into the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
With 3 spaces for the lights that leaves just enough spaces for the propane detector, water pump and fridge. Or, if I use the existing wiring for the water pump and the wire in the front of the trailer for the fridge, do I still need to have a space for those in the box? Those wires are the ones that connect in the closet. The lights are on a different circuit (I think)?
The lights could all run off one 15 amp fuse. No need to split them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
I will have to wait about a week for the fuse boxes to come in so I think I will start on the 120VAC wiring until it gets here. At least whenever I'm not entertaining a 15-year old grandson... Teenage boys are just downright silly!
A 15 year old grandson should be totally self sufficient!!! Ok, I live in a dream world...
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:05 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucymcdog View Post
It comes in 2 position ($15.63) and 4 position ($25.29) fuse blocks.

This is where I'm looking:
Fuse Blocks and Fuse Panels
You need qty of 2 of the 2-position model.

Chris
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:47 PM   #255
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AS I recall in one of your earlier posts you said the red and white wires at the top of the old fuse block go to the battery. If they are still useable and are #10 wire, you could eliminate the 20 amp fuse.
You will need 2 of the 2 gang AGU fuse holders as Chris pointed out.
You also need to identify all of the existing wiring. I doubt that the 3 smaller black wires are all for lights. My guess is tha one is for lights; one is for the pump; and one is for the furnace.
Go to the far end of all of the cloth coated wires and check for voltage. When you find one that has voltage then disconnect one of the small black wires, then another until you find the one where the voltage goes to zero. Do this on all the DC wires and make notes of what you find.
AS I pointed out on the drawing; you need to run #6 wire to both the AGU fuse blocks. DO NOT CONNECT the fuse blocks together; the yellow wires indicate the negative side and the red wires indicate the positive side of the circuit.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:37 PM   #256
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Quote:
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A 15 year old grandson should be totally self sufficient!!! Ok, I live in a dream world...
Yeah, right. Get back with me in 15 years when that new grandbaby is a bit older and let me know about self-sufficiency!

Just got back from a camping/fishing trip with the kid in the little Traveler. The kid slept in a tent outside. But the Traveler did well - even at 10,000 feet!
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:06 PM   #257
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New discoveries

I undid all of the black wires going into the old box and found this:

Top wire: Front overhead lights and 12V wire in front cabinet (that I plan to use for the fridge)

Middle wire: Back overhead lights

Bottom wire: Water pump and switch, wires in closet and furnace wires

The current wires (red/white) that were for the old converter look the same size as the #6 wire that I bought. There are 7 copper strands in the old wiring and a bunch of smaller strands in the new stuff. The overall thickness of the wires look to be the same. My plan is to put in the new #6 wiring since I already bought it, put the converter in the closet in the bathroom (the little metal shelf shown in a previous post), install the battery in the space where the old water heater used to be under the converter (there will be about 3' of wiring between the two) then follow TG Twinkie's wiring schematic.

Now for the questions:

1. Looking at the fuse holder (see photos), there are 3 spaces for wires to come in at the big end and two spaces for wires to go out at the other end. It looks like I should put the #6 wiring from the converter into the big hole on the big end and then run the smaller wires out the other end but in the diagram there needs to be 3 wires coming out (battery, TV and fuse block). Can I put 2 wires in one hole? Did I buy the wrong thing?

2. For the negative side, do I just run the #6 ground wire from the fuse holder to a screw in the trailer frame to ground it?

3. The spaces for the fuses are really large. Do I use 30 amp glass fuses for it? Two in each one?

4. Do I still need the 20 amp in-line fuse from the fuse holder to the house battery? Or is that 20 amp the ones that are already in the old holders?

5. The only solder I have is what I use to do stained glass work (60% tin, 40% lead). Will that work to solder the solid copper to the stranded? I use flux with the solder when I do stained glass - do I need to use that on the wires as well? With stained glass I think it makes the solder stick better. Or will wire nuts work just as well? They would be a lot easier.

I've got a couple of days I can work on the wiring before I have to be gone for another week with grandkids. After that I think I'm going to be grand-childless for the rest of the summer! YEA! They're nice when you have them but its even nicer when you take them back to their mama!
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #258
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Answers:
Question 1; Yes you can use any or all of the 3 holes on the end of the fuse holder, they are all connected together on that end of the fuse holder. As long as the wire will go in without removing any strands. Yes you can put 2 wires in one hole on the load side of the fuse; keep in mind that each of the 2 wires has to be at least #10 to carry the 30 amp load. This is true for both the positive and negative fuse holders. You should not have any problem putting 2 #10 wires into the load side of one fuse.
Question 2; There are 2 #6 wires; one to the converter and one to the skin or frame. It would be best if you could hit one of the ribs and use at least a #10 sheet metal screw.
Question 3; Yes they are glass fuses. Each fuse holder has 2 positions for fuses, you will need the right fuse, they are much larger in size than what you have on the old fuse panel.
Question 4: If the wires going to the battery are at least#10 you can eliminate the 20 amp fuse all together.
Question 5; I believe the solder used in stained glass work is "Acid" core which should not be used on electrical connections. You need "Rosin" core solder. I don't see any problem with using wire nuts; just make a good tight connection.

Glad to see you ID'd the three black wires. I will assume you know where the red and dirty black wires go as well. Now you can assign the lighting circuits to fuses that are separate from the pump and furnace circuits when you install your new fuse panel.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:40 PM   #259
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couple more questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post

I will assume you know where the red and dirty black wires go as well. Now you can assign the lighting circuits to fuses that are separate from the pump and furnace circuits when you install your new fuse panel.
How do I test to see what the red and dirty black wires are? I assumed the red wire was the other end of what I was connecting to the converter because it is the same size wire and there is a same size white wire in the big wire nut. Would the dirty black be to the TV? I'm not sure how I know what wires are for the TV wiring. Any suggestions on how I figure it out?

Can I use the #6 wire to connect to the battery and do away with the current battery cables or do I need to get something bigger?

Thanks for your help! Wish you would decide to come to Colorado for about a week.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:07 PM   #260
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You can test the red and the dirty black wires the same way you tested the 3 small black wires. For example: The red wire probably goes to the old converter location along with one of the large white wires in the wire nut. As before, you checked for voltage at the far end of the wires. If you have your new converter temporarily wired in where the old converter was, with the new converter powered up, go to the old fuse panel, with your meter set to DC, check for the presence of voltage by putting the black lead of the meter on the white wires in the wire nut, just stick something like a small screw driver or paper clip in the wire nut to make contact with the bare wires. Once you are certain you've made contact then put the red lead of the meter on the red wire that is connected to the old distribution panel (where the 3 black wires are). It would be best if you disconnected the red wire from the distribution panel to test it, this way you eliminate any back feeding. Now I'm refering to the red wire on the bottom of the metal buss. If you get a 12+ volt reading, then go to the converter and disconnect the red wire and see if the reading goes away. If it does it's the same wire.
Now put the red and dirty black wires back on the distribution panel buss as it was originally. Then reconnect the red wire to the converter.
As for the dirty black wire. First put a jumper between the skin of the trailer and the negative side of the converter. A temporary jumper will work. Then go to the UCord. With your meter set to DC connect the black lead of the meter to a clean spot on the trailer frame. Clip the red lead of the meter to a small screwdriver then stick the screwdriver into the pins of the UCord connector and check for voltage. If the dirty black wire is in fact the TV charge line, one of the pins on the connector should read 12+ volts. If you find a pin that has 12 volts (leave the meter connected) then got to the distribution panel and remove the dirty black wire from the buss. If the 12 volts goes away the dirty black wire is the TV positive lead.
If either or both of these tests fail we will have to take another approach at IDing these wires.
As long as you can get the #6 wire for the battery into the fuse holder on the load side you can use it.
You can use #10 wire to feed the new fuse block and then connect the TV wires into the same connection instead of using the one for the battery. I don't think you will be able to get a #6 wire and a #10 wire in the same hole on the fuse block. Remember! What ever you do one the positive side you must duplicate on the negative side.
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