How are the wires routed for the lights? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2003 Casita 17' SD Deluxe, Towed by '09 Honda Ridgeline.
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How are the wires routed for the lights?

Curtains are hanging, but the brackets are installed using doublesided tape.

I want to use Pop-Rivits to make them more solid. They are attached to the bottom of the overhead cabinets, close to where the cabinets connect to the sidewalls of the camper. .

My concern is that drilling through the bottom of the cabinets may encounter one or both wires that feed the light fixtures. As the inside bottom of the cabinets are covered with that foam backed carpet I can't feel the wires. Does anyone know the routing of those wires in a Casita 17'er?

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Curtains are hanging, but the brackets are installed using doublesided tape.

I want to use Pop-Rivits to make them more solid. They are attached to the bottom of the overhead cabinets, close to where the cabinets connect to the sidewalls of the camper. .

My concern is that drilling through the bottom of the cabinets may encounter one or both wires that feed the light fixtures. As the inside bottom of the cabinets are covered with that foam backed carpet I can't feel the wires. Does anyone know the routing of those wires in a Casita 17'er?

Thanks,
Kip
Hi, Kip

If you join the Casita forum (no charge) at Casita Travel Trailer Forum you can download a manual that includes wiring diagrams.
The manual link is:http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...h__1#entry3643

hope this helps!

Francesca
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Hi, Kip

If you join the Casita forum (no charge) at Casita Travel Trailer Forum you can download a manual that includes wiring diagrams.
The manual link is:http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...h__1#entry3643

hope this helps!

Francesca
Thanks,
I downloaded the entire manual and printed a copy to keep in the camper.
This is good stuff that should have been included in the Casita Vinyl container, instead of the cheesy owners manual they included.

However I would still like to know how the wires are physically placed in the overhead cabinets so I won't damage them when drilling.

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Thanks,
I downloaded the entire manual and printed a copy to keep in the camper.
This is good stuff that should have been included in the Casita Vinyl container, instead of the cheesy owners manual they included.

However I would still like to know how the wires are physically placed in the overhead cabinets so I won't damage them when drilling.

Thanks,
Kip
In my Trillium, I can feel the wires through the Ensolite insulation in the cabinets; light-to-feedwire connections are perfect right angles line to light. Seems like Casita would have done the same? Not a lot of choices in these little molded rigs!
I wonder if they make an electronic finder for 12v wires like the ones used to find studs and AC wires in building walls?

Good luck!

Francesca
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
In my Trillium, I can feel the wires through the Ensolite insulation in the cabinets; light-to-feedwire connections are perfect right angles line to light. Seems like Casita would have done the same? Not a lot of choices in these little molded rigs!
I wonder if they make an electronic finder for 12v wires like the ones used to find studs and AC wires in building walls?

Good luck!

Francesca
I've press pretty hard with my fingers and slid them slowly across the carpet, lining the cabinets, but just unable to feel the wires.That carpet has a backing and 1/4'" of foam attached to that and glued down real good.

One thing I haven't tried is to move a stud finder across the bottom of the cabinets and hope the wires will cause a change. Worth a try but not real hopeful.

As the lights are mounted toward the rear of the cabinets I've got a feeling the wires might be routed back there also. Right where I need to drill.

Kip
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #6
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Whew!
Sounds like they REALLY lined your cabinets well!
Since you're using rivets, not sharp like screws that could poke through the wire...
What do you think about putting one of those doohickys on your drillbit that stops the bit from penetrating beyond a certain depth?
Doohicky being our term for anything whose name we can't remember, in this case one of those slipon "stops" that snug to the bit with a set screw.
If you set the depth just a hair shy of the fiberglass thickness, you could poke your (blunt) rivet through the last little bit.
The drillbit couldn't penetrate the wire that way...
I suppose there's a chance that you might pinch a wire with a rivet, but it seems remote to me.

Francesca
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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How about trying a voltage tester,
Klein Tools Non-Contact Voltage Tester - NCVT-1SEN at The Home Depot
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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Checked this out on several different sites. The reviews on the above Klein tester I read were not very favorable. Most people said it was very cheaply made and didn't work long till it went on the fritz. As an alternative, a lot of people preferred, and rated highly, the Fluke meter, which apparently is made much better and is only several bucks more than the Klein one.

Also, none of the "non-contact" meters (by any of the mfrs) will show you any of your 12vdc wiring, only the AC powered circuits. Your 12 volt circuits would not even register on these units, so you may still wind up drilling through your 12vdc lines and not know they were even there.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:04 AM   #9
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I found the wires are just kind of layed on the bottom of the lockers and then hidden by the carpet. I found I could lift the carpet with a screwdriver to access them when I added a light fixture over the side dinette table. The carpet stuck back in place when I pushed it back down.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:04 AM   #10
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Francesca,

Yes they are lined well. All over. Appears to be the same as the walls and ceiling of the living area. Your idea of a collar (doohicky) has merrit .
As there are so many sizes, maybe a piece of tubing cut to the right length and leaving just the tip of the bit showing would work.

Kip
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:25 AM   #11
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If it works, the $15 bucks would be money well spent. I'll check it out at HD.

I'm suspecting that, as GREG said, it would only detect alternating current (AC) lines.

Most likely it needs to be actually touching the insulation on the wires for it to be effective. With the carpet and insulation to deal with, and not a clue as to where the wire is located, it could be quite a task.

I can try it on an exposed wire, and if it doesn't work, take it back.

Thanks.
Kip
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
I found the wires are just kind of layed on the bottom of the lockers and then hidden by the carpet. I found I could lift the carpet with a screwdriver to access them when I added a light fixture over the side dinette table. The carpet stuck back in place when I pushed it back down.
Honestly I haven't even tried lifting the carpet in the the cabinets. When we replaced the gasket under the fantastic fan (water leaks) the carpet had to be peeled back to expose the bottom of the rivits. That was quite a job even when having a starting place.

Worth a try to see if the carpet in the bottom of the cabinets is more forgiving. Especially as the holes will be at the very back.

One thought I've had is to cross my fingers, hold my breath and just drill. With all the DC devices running/on, if a wire is cut or shorted a fuse should blow or a light or device should stop working and I would know where the problem is.

But that could be dangerous, if the cut is just right to cause some kind of problem that could show up later or start a fire later.

Thanks,
Kip
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Kip in Ga. View Post
Francesca,

Yes they are lined well. All over. Appears to be the same as the walls and ceiling of the living area. Your idea of a collar (doohicky) has merrit .
As there are so many sizes, maybe a piece of tubing cut to the right length and leaving just the tip of the bit showing would work.

Kip
I've used good old duct tape in a pinch.
Since it's flexible though it's more a visual guide rather than a mechanical stop like the doohicky.
Your tubing idea's a good one- I've promptly stolen it and added it to my stash of in-case-I-need-this workaround tools!

Francesca
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #14
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If your lights are on 120V circuit than a non-contact detector, such as Greenlee listed above, will work. If your lights are on 12V circuit than the tone generator with amplified probe would work. These instruments are more expensive than the 120V non-contact probes but for tracing RV wires they are indispensible. This one is reasonably inexpensive Amazon.com: Gardner Bender GET-4110K Wire Tracker: Home Improvement
I use the Extech 4018 - Amazon.com: Extech 40180 Tone Generator and Amplifier Probe Circuit Finder Kit: Home Improvement
I accidently drilled once through the main power line while installing a house alarm; it took many hours to fix the damage.
George.
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