Scamp 13 Brake Wiring - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #1
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I'm installing new electric brakes on our 2004 Scamp 13. Luckily the axles had flanges for the backing plates, so the mechanical installation was simple. The trailer already has a seven-conductor cable with the appropirate connector to the TV. It appears that the blue brake wire must have been cut off right after the point of entry in the front of the trailer. I certainly haven't found it threaded through the trailer with the other wires. Right now, the cable entry is covered with rat fur, so I'll have to do a little rat surgery to find out. Luckily, it's under the front seat compartment. Okay, let's assume I find my blue wire there. Does anyone know how the factory routes this wire to the brakes? The simple thing would be to drill through the floor right there and run the wire back along the frame to one brake and tee over to the other. Or did Scamp run it back past the sink with the other wires and then down through the floor? If no-one raises an issue, I'll probably drill through the front floor area below the point of entry. Now for the ground wire. There is a factory ground lug connected to the frame just below the converter area. It would make sense to me to tie the brake ground line in here, rather than go back up inside the trailer somewhere to tie into some other ground wire. Finally, do they normally run these wires through plastic conduit, or just tie them off to frame members?

Thanks for any and all help!

Parker
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:04 PM   #2
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On our 5R once it came through the floor they stapled it to the underside of the floor. Not a suffocated install at all.

You could just splice a new wire to the one you find up front, go through the floor there and run it underneath and staple it to the underside of the floor.

Just recently I ran a 2nd wire from the front of the egg, underneath and secured it to the floor underneath and I put the split corrugated wire loom over the wire.

Reason: Just was not getting enough brake power to the brakes and the extra 10 gauge, multiple stranded, (THWN-THHN-NTW, 19 Strands, Size 10, Gasoline Resistant with a really hard as nails covering) wire that is normally installed inside conduit for building installation is far superior to the wire normally sold for vehicles.
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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On our 5R once it came through the floor they stapled it to the underside of the floor. Not a suffocated install at all.

10 gauge, multiple stranded, (THWN-THHN-NTW, 19 Strands, Size 10, Gasoline Resistant with a really hard as nails covering) wire that is normally installed inside conduit for building installation is far superior to the wire normally sold for vehicles.
Darwin,

Thanks! That sounds simple enough. I hadn't thought about staples into the floor. Interesting comment about the wire, as I thought I read on here once that someone thought automotive wire was better. I'm familiar with the wire you're using, which I also use for ham radio antennas. Sunlight eventually kills the clear sheath on it, but I've never had a failure with it. If you don't mind, where did you pick up the ground connection?

Parker
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Old 02-10-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Darwin,

Thanks! That sounds simple enough. I hadn't thought about staples into the floor. Interesting comment about the wire, as I thought I read on here once that someone thought automotive wire was better. I'm familiar with the wire you're using, which I also use for ham radio antennas. Sunlight eventually kills the clear sheath on it, but I've never had a failure with it. If you don't mind, where did you pick up the ground connection?

Parker
SAE automotive wire is made to be abrasive resistant and fire resistant. The insulation is a teflon type. SAE calls it cross-link.

While running wires I suggest that you also run the negative (white) wire back to the brakes rather than relying on the frame for the negative side. Not all trailers have the negative connected to the frame.

I would be a bit concerned about wire that was designed to go inside conduit inside a building. Your brake wiring is outside in the elements.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:07 PM   #5
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SAE automotive wire is made to be abrasive resistant and fire resistant. The insulation is a teflon type. SAE calls it cross-link.

While running wires I suggest that you also run the negative (white) wire back to the brakes rather than relying on the frame for the negative side. Not all trailers have the negative connected to the frame.

I would be a bit concerned about wire that was designed to go inside conduit inside a building. Your brake wiring is outside in the elements.
Byron,

That's the discussion I was remembering about the choice of wire.

Re the ground connection, we're probably saying the same thing, in that the ground lug on the frame under the converter is where the Scamp ground wire connects, so if I hook in there, I'll also be picking up the white ground wire from above. Of course without tracing it back, I don't really know how many other connections there are in this line. Picking it up right at the trailer entrance would ensure a better connection into the cable set. Might as well do that since I'm working in this area anyway.

Thanks!
Parker
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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When I added brakes to my 91Scamp13, I had to fish the blue through the umbilical cable sheath (not fun...). After connecting to the break-away switch, I ran it down and inside the structural member that runs fore-and-aft under the door, then across the axle to the other wheel.

I think, but am not sure, that Scamp probably runs the wire INSIDE the trailer with the other wires and down the driver's side, out to that wheel and then across the axle. I intend to redo the wiring like that because I don't like the wire being loose inside the metal tube.

Regarding the #10 not seeming to carry the load, I'd look for a bad connection. Here's what Tekonsha says about wire size in the brake control installation:

6. CAUTION Use of proper gauge wire when
installing the brake control is CRITICAL;
smaller gauge wire may result in less than
efficient braking. Minimum wire gauges
are as follows:
1-2 axle applications 14 GA.
3-4 axle applications 12 GA.

I fully agree with using white return wires rather than relying on trailer frame ground.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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Byron,

That's the discussion I was remembering about the choice of wire.

Re the ground connection, we're probably saying the same thing, in that the ground lug on the frame under the converter is where the Scamp ground wire connects, so if I hook in there, I'll also be picking up the white ground wire from above. Of course without tracing it back, I don't really know how many other connections there are in this line. Picking it up right at the trailer entrance would ensure a better connection into the cable set. Might as well do that since I'm working in this area anyway.

Thanks!
Parker

There are two "ground" wires. One green coming from the shore power connector (that one really is ground). The other the white wire, which is the negative battery power, which many people insist on calling "ground". Chances are that they are tied together inside the converter. I'm not sure I would rely on that connection to provide the necessary current to brakes. A separate wire would insure current carry capabilities.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
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Wow, this has been a great help! The temperature has dropped to 8 degrees F, and the latest official wind gust shows 51 mph. If it had been warmer, I might have been in the garage, but this way, I'll be a little smarter before diving in. I also appreciate Pete's comment about the breakaway switch. I plan to install one, so I'll take care of that at the same time. I plan to use the house battery. I assume I'll connect into the fused side of the power lead off the battery. Hadn't thought about that until now....do I want that breakaway switch counting on a 20 amp fuse to be functional? Maybe I should tie straight into the battery with an automatically resetting circuit breaker. Anyway, thanks all.

Parker
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:34 PM   #9
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Parker, Look up at the top of the page. I sent U a private email.
Darwin
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
There are two "ground" wires. One green coming from the shore power connector (that one really is ground). The other the white wire, which is the negative battery power, which many people insist on calling "ground". Chances are that they are tied together inside the converter. I'm not sure I would rely on that connection to provide the necessary current to brakes. A separate wire would insure current carry capabilities.
IF your converter doesn't exist or IF it's the converter application where it is plugged into a 120VAC outlet (not hardwired to shore power cable) AND IF it's not plugged in, there may be no connection between white wire and trailer frame. Much better in long run to run white wire to brakes.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #11
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IF your converter doesn't exist or IF it's the converter application where it is plugged into a 120VAC outlet (not hardwired to shore power cable) AND IF it's not plugged in, there may be no connection between white wire and trailer frame. Much better in long run to run white wire to brakes.
Pete,


I plan to do just as you say. Just to clarify, my Scamp has a ground lug attached to the underside of the frame, which has a bare copper, #8 or so, ground wire to the converter, and a white DC negative lead. Still, I'm going to run the trailer brake white lead to splice in ahead of all this where the seven-conductor cable comes through the front wall.

Parker


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Old 02-12-2008, 10:56 AM   #12
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The poster that quoted the heavy duty ac electrical wire is correct. It is superior to the auto type of wire that you can purchase at the local parts store.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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Let me further clearify what I mean by automotive wire. The insulation needs to be marked with SAE J1128. Then either GXL or SXL. SXL has thicker insulation. If it doesn't have SAE J1128 printed on the insulation it might not meet SAE specifications.

This stuff is designed to withstand all the stuff that can be thrown at vehicle wiring, including all sorts of chemicals, fire, abrasion, salt and sand. All automobiles and trucks have wire with this type of insulation in them. I doesn't make sense to me to use anything else.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
I plan to do just as you say. Just to clarify, my Scamp has a ground lug attached to the underside of the frame, which has a bare copper, #8 or so, ground wire to the converter, and a white DC negative lead. Still, I'm going to run the trailer brake white lead to splice in ahead of all this where the seven-conductor cable comes through the front wall.
What I did, rather than have a splice in that area, was to just run a dedicated white wire from the negative terminal on the battery over to the blue wire and then both back to the wheels.

However, I was moving the trailer between the time the battery was stolen and it was replaced and the brakes didn't work -- I had positive battery connected, through the controller, but there was no return.... I won't make that mistake again.

Byron, where does one go to get the good automotive wire -- One thing about using stranded home wiring is that it is easily obtainable from Home Despot, etc.
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