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Old 01-09-2023, 06:50 PM   #1
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Sheridan , Wyoming
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New 12 volt Power Outlet Install

I have a 2017, 16' Sport and would like to install a 12 volt power outlet below the front table. Currently there's only 2 USB outlets in the overhead cabinet.
Need advise on connecting new wires below the driver-side bench seat. Where all the wires are,
I'd like to use the switched side of the battery disconnect for the red + wire and the ground bus for the - wire. Will this work for a cigarette lighter type outlet?
Thanks
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Old 01-09-2023, 06:56 PM   #2
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I was going to install the new outlet just below the battery disconnect. See attached photos.
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Old 01-10-2023, 06:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airabel-2 View Post
I have a 2017, 16' Sport and would like to install a 12 volt power outlet below the front table. Currently there's only 2 USB outlets in the overhead cabinet.

Need advise on connecting new wires below the driver-side bench seat. Where all the wires are,

I'd like to use the switched side of the battery disconnect for the red + wire and the ground bus for the - wire. Will this work for a cigarette lighter type outlet?

Thanks
Your wiring plan for power should work fine as long as you want the battery switch to be able to disable the cigarette lighter socket.

Recommend using an in-line fuse on the positive wire. There are many sources for in-line fuse holders for automotive blade style fuses. A 5A to 10A fuse is a good choice for typical 12v sockets and wiring. 10A is the most common in Automobiles, but check the tables for current limits for the wire gauge you plan to use and choose the fuse size accordingly.
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Old 01-10-2023, 07:43 AM   #4
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The pics are reminders of just how awful Airstream factory wiring is assembled.

I once flew a wealthy owner up to Miami, OK to visit the Newell motorcoach factory where his new $1.4M Newell was being constructed. He wanted to see how they were coming-along with his custom tile flooring…

As we were given the “cooks-tour” of the assembly bldg I was able to see how the plumbing and wring was being installed in Million-Dollar coaches… and was Appalled! … just more and more RAT-NESTS!

As someone who was accustomed to orderly, certified aircraft-wiring installations….that was what I had expected to see. But even Million-dollar RVs are just slammed-together and stuffed/hidden behind walls.

Airstream (and Newell, etc.) use of ordinary household “romex” and solid-conductor-wiring in coaches that move and shake when traveling down the highways and back-roads is reprehensible. (as is the use of wire with pvc and vinyl, cyanide-gassing insulation and connectors in vehicles.)

Examples of aircraft “open” wire installations:
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Old 01-10-2023, 08:31 AM   #5
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Yes the wiring in my Sport is a rat's nest, just less wiring than in the big rigs. It was difficult determining where all the wires went to. But the hot wire was easy. Ground wire was more difficult until I moved wires and found what I thought was a bus with a lot of white wires and bear copper wires attached. The new outlet I want to buy would go below the battery disconnect and comes with it's own fuse.
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Old 01-10-2023, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airabel-2 View Post
I have a 2017, 16' Sport and would like to install a 12 volt power outlet below the front table. Currently there's only 2 USB outlets in the overhead cabinet.
Need advise on connecting new wires below the driver-side bench seat. Where all the wires are,
I'd like to use the switched side of the battery disconnect for the red + wire and the ground bus for the - wire. Will this work for a cigarette lighter type outlet?
Thanks
I have done several of these in our 2015 Int'l Signature 30RBQ, most of them are tied to the positive and negative bus bar and fused individually according to wire size, but I have tapped into positive and negative wiring like in the tech cabinet were they run 10 gauge wire for little used devices.
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Old 01-10-2023, 04:37 PM   #7
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1st off , you need the correct wires to do this with !
The buss bar in your picture appears to be the neutral / ground buss bar --- for AC !
Black would be battery negative to battery .
Follow the wires to confirm !
You should get some on-site help .
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:01 PM   #8
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So I have followed the battery cables from the battery, up through the trailer floor, and into the "rat's nest" under the bench seat. The attached photo shows where the battery negative cable ( black color) comes up out of the floor and connects to a bus with other white wires also connected. The battery positive cable ( red ) goes straight to the battery disconnect.
How can the bus be AC current if the battery negative is connected to it?
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:14 PM   #9
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Do you have a volt meter or a test light? The picture doesn't show the busbar very clearly, but if the black wire coming from the battery is connected to it, then it would be a good place to connect to.
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:47 PM   #10
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Here's a close-up of the bus. The battery cable has a lot of dust on it and it's difficult to see where it connects. I do have a volt meter and test light. I was planning on using them with just the battery on and again when trailer is on shore power, just to be sure.
Thanks
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Old 01-12-2023, 08:58 PM   #11
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Sounds like you have it wired.
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Old 01-12-2023, 09:31 PM   #12
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Don't be confused by the color of the wires. It wouldn't be unheard of for DC circuit negative wires to have a color other than black nowadays.
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Old 01-13-2023, 07:29 AM   #13
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Don't be confused by the color of the wires. It wouldn't be unheard of for DC circuit negative wires to have a color other than black nowadays.
Agree with Richard5933, especially if prior owners have made modifications or added equipment. People use whatever color wires they might have handy that is the correct gauge (me included).
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Old 01-13-2023, 10:56 AM   #14
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Again it seems like you should have someone with knowledge / experience with AC & DC voltages to help .
Not that learning & doing yourself , just mainly with AC has a much higher potential of danger - but both can do expensive damage --- so the learning is a priority .
It may be that the way the trailer is wired [ common with low voltage / automotive ] the chasey is used for the Negative side of 12v / versus AC the ground is a safety connection [ no power --- used to trip breaker ] .
Always test circuit """" FIRST """" !!!
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Old 01-13-2023, 01:14 PM   #15
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Agree with Richard5933, especially if prior owners have made modifications or added equipment. People use whatever color wires they might have handy that is the correct gauge (me included).
It's also a problem with a lot of the newer 12vdc devices coming on the market which are using black for positive and white for negative. They are using the AC color convention for DC circuits which creates all sorts of confusion. LED lighting comes to mind as an example of this.
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:44 PM   #16
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It's also a problem with a lot of the newer 12vdc devices coming on the market which are using black for positive and white for negative. They are using the AC color convention for DC circuits which creates all sorts of confusion. LED lighting comes to mind as an example of this.
True and often in trailers since black is hot for nearby AC, they choose to not use black for ground for DC.

The only bus the AC neutrals "should" be connected to is inside the breaker box.
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