Electrical Short? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2010, 02:28 AM   #1
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I rewired my little friend last summer and noticed on its first trip out that when both (all two) interior lights are on, the outside MARKER lights turn on EVER so faintly! I figure there must be a short somewhere, but I haven't gotten into it yet.

Meanwhile, tonight it's (FINALLY) pouring, and our Junior is out in the driveway awaiting more upgrades and repairs - and weathering the storm. I just went out to make sure all doors and windows were locked and (seemed) tight. The interior lights didn't maintain a constant brightness, but dimmed and brightened randomly. Hmmm...this doesn't bode well for the complete rewire job.

Where should I start tracking this problem down?

BTW: The interior rewire was spurred on by my need to move the battery outside. I replaced existing wires with brand new wire, and ran all ground back to the battery. I did not ground the battery to the frame...somehow I think that may have something to do with this but you electrical types out there will SURELY know!
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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Recheck all your grounds.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
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Run a test ground from your batteries negative post to the frame and see if it fixes the problem to which a more permanent setup can be made if needed (my trailer has a green wire from the battery to the frame for this purpose)..... those lights outside lighting very dimly sounds like a ground problem feeding back thru the wiring trying to find a good ground.....try the battery to frame test first and if that doesn't work then try re-checking all the grounds like Darwin mentioned. Also if not already done unplug the plug from the tow vehicle to see if that makes any difference if not done already......... with all those outside light dimly lit it is going to be "One " ground somewhere
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
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Run a test ground from your batteries negative post to the frame and see if it fixes the problem to which a more permanent setup can be made if needed (my trailer has a green wire from the battery to the frame for this purpose)..... those lights outside lighting very dimly sounds like a ground problem feeding back thru the wiring trying to find a good ground.....try the battery to frame test first and if that doesn't work then try re-checking all the grounds like Darwin mentioned. Also if not already done unplug the plug from the tow vehicle to see if that makes any difference if not done already......... with all those outside light dimly lit it is going to be "One " ground somewhere
Joe
Thanks, and will do. Just for clarification, this does happen when it's off the TV. The rain flickering event happened in the driveway with the TV parked about 10 feet away.

Another project...
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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I'm far, far from a wiring expert, but when anything like what you described goes wrong, my first thought is "ground." (As previous responses have already mentioned, but sometimes it's nice to hear it echoed.)

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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Jen,

The lamp may be wired in series with the other lamps, as the other lamps draw power the lamp in series on the feeding circuit will glow faintly. This is because as the power to operate the inside lamps is pulled thru the filament of the outside lamp it heats up and glows.

Happy Camping, Safe trails.

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Old 01-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #7
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Jen,

The lamp may be wired in series with the other lamps, as the other lamps draw power the lamp in series on the feeding circuit will glow faintly. This is because as the power to operate the inside lamps is pulled thru the filament of the outside lamp it heats up and glows.

Happy Camping, Safe trails.

Harry
Harry.... That is so true what you say. I am just assuming (which i shouldn't do) that each and every light has it's own positive and ground ( to the frame or separate ground wire) And if it's wired the way you suggested it only takes one receptacle to be corroded or not making contact perfectly.
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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Lights are generally not wired in series. If one bulb were burned out, then all the other lights would not work. It then requires checking each light until the burned out bulb is found and replaced; not a fun task late at night.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:23 PM   #9
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Lights are generally not wired in series. If one bulb were burned out, then all the other lights would not work. It then requires checking each light until the burned out bulb is found and replaced; not a fun task late at night.
Agree, if lights would be wired in series they would see only a portion of the total voltage available. Voltage at each bulb would be reverse proportional to their wattage. For example, 2 25W bulbs would see 6V each from a 12V source. In a circuit of 2W and 10W bulbs connected in series to a 12V source there is going to be 10V drop on 2W bulb and 2V drop in 10W bulb.
As mention multiple times above lack of good ground makes some of these bulbs connected in quasi series, check your ground connection.
For more information see attached.
George.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchhoff%27s_circuit_laws
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm%27s_law

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Old 01-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #10
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Recheck all your grounds.
Keep this one simple.

Double-check your ground connections at each fixture, at the battery and at the converter before you do anything else.

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