Installing Safe T Alert Surface Mount Propane Detector: Hard Wired - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-15-2014, 08:34 AM   #1
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Installing Safe T Alert Surface Mount Propane Detector: Hard Wired

Dear Fellow FGRVers,
First off, to the moderator: I hope the "owners helping owners" is the correct forum for my post. I didn't think this was a "mod," but if so, I apologize!
I purchased a surface mount "Safe T Alert" propane detector that is to be hard wired into the RV electrical system. It is the mini-series, model # 20-441-P. It requires a 15 amp fuse maximum, and has one black ground wire and one red positive wire coming from the back of it.
I'm confident that I can do this job once I have some background information on basic electrical, but if I embarrass myself here, have a great laugh on me!
This is a 12V propane detector, and so I'm assuming it gets wired to the fuse panel on it's own 15 amp fuse/circuit. Questions:
I am not out in the trailer right now as it's snowing, but...

1. Can I install this on a 15 amp fuse/circuit that's already in use by something else?
2. If no to #1 above, does Scamp put in/provide an extra space in the fuse panel to put in something else with another 15 amp fuse?
3. The inverter changes 12V to 110/120 right? Since this is a 12V propane detector, I'm just wondering:
a. If I wire to fuse panel, will I be able to use this in all scenarios (e.g., battery alone or shore power).
4. Since the wires are only 8" long or so, this limits my options for install, right? Pretty much has to be right near the fuse panel, right? See my notes below...

BTW...I have a 2012 Scamp 13er. I thought about putting this on the angled part of the fiberglass lower dinette bench seat, hoping it's not within the 12" required away from vents, as I have a furnace below the sink. This is the part near the floor, that kind of faces out to the main floor area of the trailer. On the other dinette lower FG area, there's already a battery operated CO2 detector.

Thank you for your patience with me and for all of your help. I learn so much here, and I am grateful for your assistance!

Sincerely,
Wendy
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
Dear Fellow FGRVers,

I purchased a surface mount "Safe T Alert" propane detector that is to be hard wired into the RV electrical system. It is the mini-series, model # 20-441-P. It requires a 15 amp fuse maximum, and has one black ground wire and one red positive wire coming from the back of it.
I'm confident that I can do this job once I have some background information on basic electrical, but if I embarrass myself here, have a great laugh on me!
This is a 12V propane detector, and so I'm assuming it gets wired to the fuse panel on it's own 15 amp fuse/circuit. Questions:
I am not out in the trailer right now as it's snowing, but...

1. Can I install this on a 15 amp fuse/circuit that's already in use by something else?
2. If no to #1 above, does Scamp put in/provide an extra space in the fuse panel to put in something else with another 15 amp fuse?
3. The inverter changes 12V to 110/120 right? Since this is a 12V propane detector, I'm just wondering:
a. If I wire to fuse panel, will I be able to use this in all scenarios (e.g., battery alone or shore power).
4. Since the wires are only 8" long or so, this limits my options for install, right? Pretty much has to be right near the fuse panel, right? See my notes below...

BTW...I have a 2012 Scamp 13er. I thought about putting this on the angled part of the fiberglass lower dinette bench seat, hoping it's not within the 12" required away from vents, as I have a furnace below the sink. This is the part near the floor, that kind of faces out to the main floor area of the trailer. On the other dinette lower FG area, there's already a battery operated CO2 detector.

Thank you for your patience with me and for all of your help. I learn so much here, and I am grateful for your assistance!

Sincerely,
Wendy
Wendy I am confident you can do this job also.

As it is a 12V I am a bit confused by your question 3 though. As it is a 12V it needs to be wired into your 12V system not your inverter or 110 fuse panel.

The 12V system already has an inline fuse on it - one at the battery and one just inside the trailer already. The power for 12V lights and accessory all comes directly from the battery. Your Inverter/converter is sending power to the battery to charge it up - its not supplying any power to any of the items in your trailer that are running on 12V.

Also check your owners manual of the your Scamp for a wiring diagram such as the one below. Although the 12 V detector has a Red and a Black wire - the colours of the wires on the trailer side that you will attach it into will not be the same colours. The Red wire on your trailer is your brake lights and a turn signal and the Black is not your ground wire but your actual 12V power supply line. White is the ground wire on your Scamp - of course all of that is dependent on no one having changed all your wiring. So the Black ground wire on the detector would attach to the white ground wire on your trailer and the Red "positive" wire on the detector would attach to the Black 12V power line on the trailer.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:50 AM   #3
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Hi Carol,
I can always count on you for help and understanding. Thank you so much for writing me. I was wondering if you would offer me further teaching on a couple of things, though:

I've been in the trailer the past couple of days, and my battery is downstairs in the basement on a trickle charger. I have been running lights inside the trailer as I've been working well after dark, and all I have been doing is running an extension cord to a normal 110 outlet, and I have one of those dual ended plug adapters that allows you to plug the trailer plug in, when on the other side there's a 110 plug. Why do I have power then if all power comes from the battery for my 12 Volt stuff? Am I doing something bad by not having the battery on when running from 110 like that? Geesh!

#3 was the part where anybody reading this gets to laugh. I thought that a power converter/inverter changed the 110 shore power DOWN to be able to use with 12 volt stuff. And then I thought the fuse panel took care of all that 12 volt stuff once you had it plugged in to shore power..e.g., lights, furnace, fridge, etc. I am such a newb that I know for a fact how dumb I sound!

So...If I look under the front sofa/gaucho seat, I should see an inline fuse there, right behind where the battery would be outside (if it was there). Would that be the only location then that would make sense to install this propane detector? i guess otherwise, you'd be running wire from there to every or any place else...

Carol, if you get a chance, please write me back as soon as feasible for you, because I just want to be reassured that I didn't screw up (or I did).

Respectfully,
Wendy
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:30 AM   #4
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Your mixing up terms. The converter changes 120 VAC to 12 VDC. It does not require a battery to do this, but some converters can also charge a battery. Old converters typically are terrible battery chargers. One voltage, and no smarts. Very bad for your battery. A newer converter that also charges the battery would likely be a three or four stage charger. The converter on my old Trillium does not even try to charge the battery. It has a switch to run off shore power, (120 VAC to 12 VDC) or the battery. Most things on the trailer run on 12VDC.

An inverter goes the other way. 12 VDC to 120 VAC. Used to run a small microwave, or charge your laptop with the wall charger. Useful if you are not near a power bush. I am assuming you do not have an inverter.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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I installed a Key Switch in line with the detector. They sell them at Crap shack.
The reason is: The detectors are only good for a certain amount of time so I use the KEY to turn the unit off when we R not camping. This will prolong the life of the unit and the KEY will prevent accidental turn off of the unit when camping.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:58 PM   #6
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Sorry Wendy for slow reponse was out at Escape ogling over a trailer or two while I had a new item added to my trailer.

As David suggest some converters do not charge the battery but as you have a fairly new one it does. As you have the battery off the trailer and as Scamp per the wiring diagram does wire the 12v back to the converter then you are getting the power for your 12V lights via the converter while you are plugged into your home 110 plug. If you unplug from power none of your 12V lights etc will work if the battery is not there. Some older trailers may be wired up differently and as a result their 12V lights etc will not work if no battery is on the trailer even when plugged in but that is not the case with your newish trailer.

The two inline fuses Scamp has in place protecting all the 12v when the power is coming directly from the battery are located 1) right off the battery (you can tell it by the bulge in the black wire) and the other is located just inside the trailer where all the wiring harness from the tongue outside enters the trailer. On my trailer the fuse is hidden with the wires behind the rat fur in the front passenger side hatch - right up against the front outside wall of the trailer. Again you may need to run your hand along the wire in order to feel the inline fuse. You will find that at the converter where the 12V is attached it also has its own fuse - or at least there should one. If it was blown I do not think your 12V lights would be working with no battery on the trailer. Some electrical types here hopefully will pipe in but I don't think you really need to put a dedicated fuse on the line for the 12v detector you are wanting to install as the whole 12v system is already fused from the battery as well as from the converter. I also do not think you need to install the detector right at the point the fuses are located either - you should be able to tap into the 12V Black power line at any point you can see it - that is how Scamp has added in all their 12 V lights and pumps etc. You should be able to see the wires in a cabinet running to a light or pump etc.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Darwin's suggestion to adding a means to shut it down is a good one... that way if you leave the battery on the trailer and leave it parked for sometime the detector will not drain your battery down.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:45 PM   #7
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Your getting good advice. Existing fuses that protect 12 volt lights etc. will protect everything on the wire after the fuse.

If you have a 12 volt water pump it will have the wires you need to connect to and be under the seat making it easy to run the wires. You can splice wire onto the existing wires of your detector to make them longer and let you position detector where you want. Just use a wire nut. And wrap it with electrical tape after connected.

http://images1.cableorganizer.com/id...ges/30-172.jpg

Take your detector to most hardware store for some help, just tell them that you want to splice on a longer piece of red and black wire with a switch. They will be glad to sell you what you need and most of the independents if not busy will show you how. You will probably leave with your longer wires and switch attached. Tool guys luv to show people how it's done ;-)

Expect to buy some wire, a pack of wire nuts and a roll of electrical tape. Plus a switch. And don't go on a Saturday morning when they are busy.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:37 PM   #8
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When doing wiring connections in the trailer I like to use heat shrink tubing on them. Helps keep the connection together with the trailers movement/vibration and provides a little water/corrosion protection to the connection point. You can buy small packages of heat shrink electrical tubing at pretty well any hardware store.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Hi Everyone,
This is really great advice, but because I was out working on the Scamp all day yesterday, I didn't come in to read your posts and we already are halfway through the propane detector install. My friend ran the wires from the fuse panel behind the kitchen galley and into the sofa/gaucho area. I planned on putting the detector right on the FG, nearer the fridge as it says to not install within 12" of a draft, so want to avoid the doorway.
He put in a dedicated 15 amp fuse for this, which I'm sure can't hurt right? Before we finish, I'm going to get the key switch. I'm assuming that Crap Shack is Radio Shack right? Tee hee. Would Homey D or any other place sell this?

Wendy
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:19 AM   #10
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Hey AGain,
Just checked Radio Shack and no luck. Could you post a link if you get time Darwin? Would like to buy this local so I don't have to wait for shipping, but....

Wendy
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:08 AM   #11
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I used the key type because of grandchildren but you do not need one if you pull the fuse when not using the camper and remember to put it back in when U go camping.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
My friend ran the wires from the fuse panel behind the kitchen galley and into the sofa/gaucho area. I planned on putting the detector right on the FG, nearer the fridge as it says to not install within 12" of a draft, so want to avoid the doorway.
He put in a dedicated 15 amp fuse for this, which I'm sure can't hurt right?
Wendy I am a little confused.... what "fuse panel behind the kitchen galley" are you referring to? The converter? or the breaker box that is protecting the trailer when on shore power ? I ask as on my Scamp the only panel in the kitchen area is the shore power breaker box .... which a 12v appliance would not normally be attached/added onto.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:12 PM   #13
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Hi Carol,
Maybe we did this wrong? There is a 120 breaker box near the converter. It also houses 12 volt fuses. It is under the front dinette bench, sorry. He added a 15 amp fuse there and ran the wires from it under the kitchenette and out under the front sofa. Is that ok?

Wendy
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
Hi Carol,
Maybe we did this wrong? There is a 120 breaker box near the converter. It also houses 12 volt fuses. It is under the front dinette bench, sorry. He added a 15 amp fuse there and ran the wires from it under the kitchenette and out under the front sofa. Is that ok?

Wendy

The breaker box has flip breakers on the left side for 120 electric and on the other side of it were a bunch of 12 volt different amperage fuses. Regular ATC type bladed ones
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