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Old 05-31-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
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Cool Mickey Mouse Wired My Airstream! How to clean up the factory wiring?

It's hard to believe that this is how Airstream wire's things up. I mean, would using some heat shrink really add to the overall cost?

I'm in the process of doing a custom conversion on our Airstream, and I'm going to finish (finally) hooking up my solar and inverter this week while everything is dissembled.

I want to clean this jumbled mess up. But I can't find schematics anywhere. And a search of Airforums has turned up a few threads saying that Jackson center won't provide them at all. Ugh, is this true?

Anyone ever try to clean this up and have tips or pointers?

I'll be relocating all this wiring to the backside of the interior wall here. I am building an overhead cubby door so I can access this and my samlex inverter at anytime from inside the Airstream.

I'll be starting in on this project later today after we finish framing out the rest of the new bed.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:55 PM   #2
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That is a mess. Back when Airstream made a quality trailer they included wiring diagrams in the manual. I would try and find out the last year they did that. Most likely they have not changed the color coding on the wiring and you may be able to figure things out using an older diagram.
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:58 PM   #3
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It could be worse! I'm curious, what's the plastic black box on the right?
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
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Yeah I have no idea what that is, lol. Guess I'll find out when I open it up.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Typical wiring mess that I deal with on an almost daily basis when doing a comprehensive solar installation.

I always clean up this wiring horror show be looking at the wire paths, disconnecting one wire at a time if necessary to rout all similar wires parallel to each other and avoid crossing paths.

Then, lots of zip ties and wire loom. With a bit of time, they actually clean up pretty nicely!!!


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Old 05-31-2015, 02:49 PM   #6
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We have 12v and 120v wiring diagram in our Airstream manual. Not ultra fancy ones but they're in the manual at least.


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Old 05-31-2015, 04:10 PM   #7
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Yes I will dig out my manual and look it over. Can't be too complicated (runs and knocks on wood).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Typical wiring mess that I deal with on an almost daily basis when doing a comprehensive solar installation.

I always clean up this wiring horror show be looking at the wire paths, disconnecting one wire at a time if necessary to rout all similar wires parallel to each other and avoid crossing paths.

Then, lots of zip ties and wire loom. With a bit of time, they actually clean up pretty nicely!!!
I was going to PM you but I didn't want to be that guy always messaging you for free advice, so I thought I'd post out here in the forums and then hope Lew would reply.

Once I finish, I will try my best to post detailed photos. At least then, you can all laugh at me if I prove myself an idiot.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:53 PM   #8
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Have a look at Lewsters posts. Pics attached for his and for others. And Switz. And Uwe. And a host of others. I've saved quite a few over time. SteveBryant is another. The rebuild of his 34' is impressive. Great visuals for imagining your own.

I have had schematics for my different Silver Streaks, but this doesn't mean I haven't had to trace out via testing just what is what. OTOH I've not ever seen things look that bad in one of mine. You had to pay more for quality back when these were still in production.

RVs are difficult due to access, not to what is wired up. I'd say we all say a prayer as to what other owners have done when buying used.

And anything you can redo is worth the effort. I'm one of many who spec marine grade wiring (ANCOR); WEST MARINE or online sources like WAYTEK.

Looks like you'll be enjoying resto threads pretty soon. They are the hidden pleasure of this place.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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Your right about Mickey Mouse wiring your trailer he did mine two and also my 2012 also , I really could believe the mess , I come from a automotive background as a electrical ,fuel injecting , Etc ... Specialist and when I noticed how Mickey Mouse wired my 2012 a.c with the electrical box just pushed up in besides the a.c unit not even fastened and my hot water heater the electric 120 volts wired with no electrical box just marrettes I couldn't believe it ! Not sure if the manual for yours has a electrical schematic mine does but it a 2015 but Mickey also drew the schematic, you can clean up your electrical by starting with taking pictures then rewiring one wire at a time ! Good luck , oh once you clean up all that wiring mess ,with all that extra wire Mickey put in there your going to reduce your airstream weight ! Alright better fuel economy.

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Old 05-31-2015, 09:39 PM   #10
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Having worked in a Electronics Engineering Dept as a proto-type assembler, I used to have to make harnesses and cables and also solder to connectors and switches. If I had ever produced a mess like that, I would have been fired. Nothing but laziness here in that picture. Not impressed with the quality, does not even look like QC ever saw it. For what these units are sold for, they better get it together.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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Mickey Mouse Wired My Airstream! How to clean up the factory wiring?

I've seen new units and can say it is a shame the evolution of these hand crafted ships has morphed into such a mess! I have a early 90s Excella.... I can say with great pride, the wiring is beautiful! Everything is in looms, grommets, shrink wrap, soldered, bundled, and tied. Certainly a product of a different time. My ground buss is 10-8 awg, and hot runs are mostly 8 awg!
I recently modified my solar stuff and had the inner skin around the breaker panel off... Hidden behind the wall was beautifully hand run wiring, terminated with nice amp ring connectors.... All out if sight but nice, as though time wasn't money, and just because no one was looking! It's a shame, beautiful hand wiring is nothing but caring about how your work looks..... Simple, free craftsmanship!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:40 PM   #12
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After looking at these....yours doesn't look so bad.....
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:42 PM   #13
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Here's some done the right way!

BTW,

The second shot is from a 2000 watt solar array on a motor home that outputs over 100 amps to the batteries solely from the sun
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
It could be worse! I'm curious, what's the plastic black box on the right?
That box is where the 7-way trailer umbilical makes connection to the trailer wiring for running and brake lights, trailer brakes, TV charge line and the aux. circuit at the center of the 7-way plug.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:50 AM   #15
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Hi, my trailer had a big box all the way across the front behind my Gaucho; This was for hiding the wires that were all in about a one foot area. Normally, [in my younger years] I would have redone everything. But since I don't have any problems with the wiring, I covered it back up with my new credenza.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:35 AM   #16
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i've seen spaghetti served more neatly than those wires. yes, i have a hive too.
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Old 06-01-2015, 06:52 AM   #17
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Not to be contrary but the wireing may look terrible but does it not function okay? Seems most of the problems? people are having is when they are doing non stock installation,etc. the vast majority of us will never see this wireing and never have a problem..unless modified by themselves or a po. My opinion. Jim
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:26 AM   #18
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90+% of the Airstream owners will never see the wiring work in their trailer. Those of us that have worked with such things see pictures like this as a general disrespect for the job.

A mechanic that is content to have his sloppy work hidden most likely is not doing quality work to begin with.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:46 AM   #19
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Kind of how I feel. I did video-teleconferencing in my early years to the USMC/USN distance learning program at FCTCLANT and eventually moved over to the install side and we did a lot of cabling setting up those systems and took pride in my cable runs. It was incredibly frustrating to come into a system to update and find wires just strung about and not labeled and made my job more difficult. I know that after I did a job, anyone could service or update my work expediently because we took the time to organize, label and route things so they we're just strung all over.

I totally get Jim's POV too. Yeah it all works, no one will see it. But I'll know it's there. And when I add too it my inverter and solar charge controller, I'll also know I didn't do it right or as good as I could.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:30 AM   #20
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Just be glad that EVERYTHING does not go through a computer like modern cars....
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