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Old 09-02-2014, 04:18 PM   #1
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Ground Wire Connection

Does anyone know where the ground wire (white wire in the trailer's wiring harness) is connected or bolted on a 60's era Airstream?
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
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My 69 is connected to a grounding block attached to the bolt holding the trailer plug receptacle.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:29 PM   #3
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OOO, be verrrrrry careful and ground it correctly, RV's are different from house wiring and you could energize your shell. There are some good threads that explain this.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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Ground Wire Connection

If you are talking about the 12 volt side of life, which normally has a white wire as common/ground. It should be attached to a clean spot on the skin or frame.
If it is the neutral (white) on the 120 volt AC side of life. It should NOT be grounded. Only the green or bare wire should be the ground plane.
The neutral buss should NOT be bonded.


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Old 09-12-2014, 03:29 PM   #5
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I'm sorry i wasn't more specific. I am talking about the connection from the trailer that goes into the car's receptacle. If I ground the trailer tongue to the car, everything works. As it is with no ground, nothing works. I am assuming it is the white wire in the trailer receptacle that isn't grounded. Problem is, the harness goes into the belly pan and I don't feel like tearing it apart (just yet) that is why I asked.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:17 PM   #6
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The ground wire should be attached to the frame somewhere. Perhaps it has come loose or degraded in the belly.
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:12 PM   #7
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With the old Airstreams, pre about 1969, the chassis was used as the negative for the system. Argosy's also used that system up into the late 70's. Airstreams changed to having both a + and a - wire to all equipment, I believe with the body change in '69. They still connected the - white wire to the frame somewhere though. Where that connection is probably varies depending on the specific rig, but the ones I have found connected to the frame up front, near where the umbilical cord wire was connected to the wires in the trailer itself. Usually that is hidden by the belly pan. Some rigs have an access panel, some do not. So, it is a guessing game just where it may be on both newer and older units.
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:37 PM   #8
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I have completed repairing rear floor rot on my 66 Trade Wind. The 12v ground is located crub side rear, just below the spot where the shell meets the frame. My old fuse panel had white ground wires (one from the tow vehicle, one from the trailer battery, and one from the converter) grounding to the frame through the c-channel. You can see the white wires attach to the ground buss in the fuse panel, and then a white wire exit the fuse panel.

Stick your head in the rear compartment and see this white wire disappears into the inner skin. You might be able to follow the upper lip of the frame channel from the bumper storage compartment and feel the head of the bolt. The inner skin would have to be peeled back some to gain access to the ground bolt.

The 110v frame ground is located on the street side frame member just below where the shell meets the frame. This wire is copper.

I hope the photo helps.

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Old 09-12-2014, 05:50 PM   #9
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Oh by the way, here is the Airstream 12v wiring diagram from the owner's manual that came with my 66 Trade Wind. The manual says it is generic for most length Airstreams. The blue is 12v, the red is 115v. I'm sure things changed significantly in 69 with the new body style.

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Old 09-13-2014, 09:25 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone!


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Old 09-13-2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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thinktankair: One last thing which you probably already know. The 7 wire tow vehicle connector cable terminates just after the A frame, curb side. There is suppose to be an access panel in the front of your belly pan that you can unscrew and gain access to the wire connections. I replaced my 7 pin connector and connected to the old trailer wire harness that runs the length of the frame channel.

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Old 09-12-2018, 01:27 PM   #12
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White is not the ground on a 12v system!
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVNM View Post
White is not the ground on a 12v system!
White is ground/common on a 12 volt DC system. The positive side would be black. Some are red. Unlike auto standards which are red + black-. The RV industry did things their way.
The neutral (white) on the 120 volt AC side is NOT grounded.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
...

The neutral (white) on the 120 volt AC side is NOT grounded.

While you are correct about trailer wiring, the white wire is, in fact, grounded, just not in the trailer. Code requires it to be connected to the facility safety ground at one point, typically the power entrance panel or main breaker panel.


Just didn't want anyone to get concerned if they saw a connection between neutral and ground while connected to shore power.


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Old 09-12-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
While you are correct about trailer wiring, the white wire is, in fact, grounded, just not in the trailer. Code requires it to be connected to the facility safety ground at one point, typically the power entrance panel or main breaker panel.


Just didn't want anyone to get concerned if they saw a connection between neutral and ground while connected to shore power.


Al
I agree. Which is why I prefer to call the negative side of the DC circuit "common". Not ground.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:02 AM   #16
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May 28, 2009 - For 12 volts the industry standard is red is hot and black is ground.

"From 1972 Airstream owners manual which I just recently restored from a gutted shell: Important: reconnect the batter cables to the correct battery posts. For example, if negative ground, the black cable should be connected to the negative post and the red cable to the positive post." Black is ground, Red is positive in a 1972 Airstream.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LVNM View Post
May 28, 2009 - For 12 volts the industry standard is red is hot and black is ground.

"From 1972 Airstream owners manual which I just recently restored from a gutted shell: Important: reconnect the batter cables to the correct battery posts. For example, if negative ground, the black cable should be connected to the negative post and the red cable to the positive post." Black is ground, Red is positive in a 1972 Airstream.

My 2001/2002 trailers had/has red and black battery cables, but wiring elsewhere in the trailer power system used the black positive, white negative standard. Unfortunately, there is no general rule that is correct throughout the trailers.


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