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Old 02-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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Wiring for future upgrades

In the process of replacing the floor, I've got most of the aft section of the trailer gutted...I'm going to be taking down the rear end-cap (a friend convinced me that it isn't that hard to get out, or get back in), and the ceiling panel that runs the length of the trailer.
The electrical center (battery, converter, 12 and 120v panel) are in the aft curbside corner. So While I've got things open, I'm going to run a couple of wires from back to front. I know I will need wires for tank gauges. (control panel is in the front end-cap). I was thinking of running a piece of romex in case I ever decide to replace the oven/range with a cook top and convection microwave under. (no power source in the vicinity.) I figure if I leave a length of romex coiled up there, it'll at least make such an upgrade possible.

So--What other future upgrades should I consider? I figure that wire is cheap...hooking up wire is easy. But actually running wire through these aluminum walls is hard.
The only things I've thought of (so far) is a rear-view camera.
-Solar pre-wire? well...there really isn't much real-estate on the roof for panels.
-maybe circuits for fantastic vents? there are already lights integrated into the 3 roof vents, so thats available already. The front one (the only one I actually 'plan' on installing a fantastic vent) already has supply for a motor, and a light.

What else would be prudent to pre-wire?
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Having been there and done that, if I could do it all over again, I would run flex plastic conduct in the wall that would allow me to add wires after everything is back together when needed. This was an issue for me, as I did not add enough speaker wire where needed. If you do this, don't forget to run string though the conduct so when you do add wire you have something to pull it through.

Would suggest using an electical knockout instead of drilling the holes in the studs, because the one-sided pressure while drilling, especially once the drill bit breaks through the stud, can cause near by rivets to leak.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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Maybe add a cable TV connector from the rear bumper while you have things apart.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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We're pre-wired for solar.
Ya never know, what the heck, FWIW, yada-yada-yada.

Other possibilities?
Automagic stabilizers, neon lighting, James Bond black tank cannon, retractable awnings all around with the optional disco ball package and/or the water mister package ....
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Definitely use plastic conduit for the 12V circuits. The more the better. And take lots of pictures so you can remember where things are connected. I prewired for just about anything. And went 50a/240VAC for the ac stuff.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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remote black tank valve, for tailgaters?

But seriously...I wasn't planning on RE-wiring, so much. just adding for ___?
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #7
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A separate circuit for the A/C is nice.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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remote black tank valve, for tailgaters?

But seriously...I wasn't planning on RE-wiring, so much. just adding for ___?
No kidding? I have a wireless remote for the black tank macerator pump. So I can spray your windshield if you get too close.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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You might want to run some CAT5 and RG-59 or RG-6 coax for cable and internet connectivity. You can run video from either type cable. I would separate if from AC power though. You might also think about upgrading to 220V power. A 30A system is possible which doubles your wattage and you won't need to make everything 50A capable.

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Old 02-25-2012, 01:56 PM   #10
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cat5/6--wireless seems to be the thing for voice and data, these days. What else might that wire be used for?

rg6 for video...got that coming from the antenna to the tv outlet above the fridge, but not any "front-to-back". that might be handy, if ever a tv was wanted in the bedroom area. Now that I think of it, 12v power outlets might be a good thing, what with so many small battery operated/car-chargeable gizmos around these days. I'm actually surprised that the factory put 3 of these in, in 1972. they all get used. I've run the tv on 12v, too.

keep 'em coming...
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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James Bond black tank cannon
Does Vintage Trailer Supply carry that?

Chuck, glad to hear that work is progressing.

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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You can have you own LAN using CAT5. Maybe one of these days they will put a CAT5 connector on the power pole instead of WiFi which is flakey in most camp grounds. If you have a need to get data from one end of the trailer to the other the CAT5 makes it easy. Nothing beats a wired network especially if you are in a faraday cage. I have CAT5 running all over my house and TV cameras as well. Put you some RG-59 in with a bulk BNC connector on each end of the trailer. That way you can put a camera on the back of the trailer and then another connector on the front of the trailer to hook to the tow vehicle. Wireless is iffy running 30-40ft. I will probably wire my trailer with CAT 5 and hook to my home network when the trailer is at home parked.

Perry

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cat5/6--wireless seems to be the thing for voice and data, these days. What else might that wire be used for?

rg6 for video...got that coming from the antenna to the tv outlet above the fridge, but not any "front-to-back". that might be handy, if ever a tv was wanted in the bedroom area. Now that I think of it, 12v power outlets might be a good thing, what with so many small battery operated/car-chargeable gizmos around these days. I'm actually surprised that the factory put 3 of these in, in 1972. they all get used. I've run the tv on 12v, too.

keep 'em coming...
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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Does Vintage Trailer Supply carry that?
If they don't, they probably should.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:50 PM   #14
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Maybe add a cable TV connector from the rear bumper while you have things apart.
Yup. We did that as well. We've used it a couple of times and it was pretty convenient. We also added a Cat5 back there that runs to the front of the camper. Haven't found a need for it yet, but it's there in case we do. Also added a 2 pair line into the bedroom area "just in case".

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #15
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cat5/6--wireless seems to be the thing for voice and data, these days. What else might that wire be used for?.
Sat controls.

Don't know about you, but I wired for things I knew we would never use, just in case we wanted to sell - which we did a year or so later....

Possible wiring additions:
- sat
- solar
- generator
- microwave (maybe relocation)
- speakers/wire
- video
- short wave (Ham?)
- relocation/addition of outlets, bot 120 and 12 volt.
- security systems
- temp monitoring in select locations
- wifi router (land connection from outside)
- cell boster with exterior ant. For locations with weak signal
- cb ant. (ESP. If you are part of WBCCI - they love CB's)
- additions of special lighting
- EMS (electrical management system - they've come down in price from what they use to be...
- mods or additions to marker lights
- electrical equalizer/stabilizer jacks
- catalytic heater - the kind that exhausts out doors and require 12 volt to run the fan and thermostat.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #16
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wow, can't believe its been 5 years...and yet, I'm still not close to finished. Long story...project became a "full monty." But I'm at the point now where the interior is completely gutted, (it was only partially open when I started the thread), and now its time to start putting things back together.
So: What has changed in 5 years? what else should I add for wires?
So far, I've added a couple of 110 circuits for convenience, but also added one for a future convection/micro instead of the standard gas range/oven combo. I may or may not go with the cook top/micro, but there's a wire there if I choose to.
I discovered that there was pre-wiring for an additional 12v outlet that was never installed. So I'll add an outlet there.
Other things I've come up with:
-fridge fan wiring. never had a big issue with cooling, but it would be handy to run wire from behind the fridge to a convenient location for a switch.
-12v for a future water heater: I'm using the original gas-only water heater, which was working at the start of the project, but will eventually fail. I'm assuming that new units have to have 12v for a completely unnecessary but unavoidable electric brain.
-Cooktop/oven: on the same tack, what about the cooktop/oven? do modern one's require some form of electricity? 12v or 110ac? The original was all gas, and used a pilot light, but I wonder if modern one's use 12v and generate a spark to light the burners?
-Trimetric battery monitor: The wiring all terminates at the back corner of the unit, and the battery is located there as well. I believe the trimetric needs to be installed near there, but the control panel for the camper is in the front endcap; a remote trimetric monitor could be installed up front, but it needs phone wire to link to the unit near the battery.
-RG6 for tv; in the works.
-wifi ranger mount on the existing batwing antenna: there is an unused bulkhead inlet for the original twin-lead antenna cable that I'm going to use to run the cat-6 cable.
-step light: I think I've seen that newer models have some sort of small LED light fixture tucked up behind the entry steps.

What am I missing?
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:35 PM   #17
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Wire for future solar?

120vac wire for future combined propane/electric water heater( in addition to your 12vdc).

Cable for audio from tv to stereo.

Possibly an inverter outlet or two for future inverter??

Wire for dometic ac thermostat control. It's phone wire but one end has to get cut off and reversed.

Quick thoughts.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:59 AM   #18
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Wire for future solar?
yeah, I forgot to mention that. its on the list, even though I'll probably never use it
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120vac wire for future combined propane/electric water heater( in addition to your 12vdc).
well, the convection/micro is right above the hwh; I don't like the idea of an ac water heater, but if I should change my mind, there is that circuit right there.
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Cable for audio from tv to stereo.
ooh, good one. What kind of cable?
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Possibly an inverter outlet or two for future inverter??
hadn't considered that, really. The original wiring scheme has everything on a single circuit, so it would be hard to select just one or some. That would all be done at the panel, though, so it should be accessible, should the need arise.
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Wire for dometic ac thermostat control. It's phone wire but one end has to get cut off and reversed.
Quick thoughts.
The factory installed 4 wires from the a/c to the fridge cabinet for this purpose; not sure if they could be re-purposed...surely, they were meant for a early 70's unit, so this may or may not be appropriate for modern use.
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:51 PM   #19
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On a related note, I was looking at power inlets today. The original config had the power cord hard-wired into the 110v panel. The cord entered through a hole in the bumper compartment, up through a hole in the floor, and was attached with big screw-clamps to the inner skin and wound its way around to the closet.
On the re-do, I'm going to use an inlet...was originally planning on a Furion or Marinco, but I think I've been sold on the smartplug at this point. Anyway, they're all the same size on the outside...from looking at a drawing of the Marinco inlet, it sticks in pretty far...looks like it will actually protrude in past the inner skin. (a schematic shows ~2"). I was thinking of just running a length of #10 romex from the inlet over to the panel, running the cable inside the wall cavity, but maybe that won't work if the tail of the inlet is sticking into the camper. Its not a problem--it will be inside the lav cabinet, so out of site, but I'm thinking maybe romex type isn't the appropriate choice for a wire that is not inside a wall cavity?
If not, what would be appropriate? a cut length of 30-amp power cord? (very heavily insulated) or maybe some sort of armored cable?
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:05 PM   #20
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Consider marine grade stranded cable in appropriate gauge for 30 amps
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