what are easy ways to splice wireing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-06-2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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I'll be wiring up the whole trailer shortly, and wondered what people use to splice the wiring runs. For one or two splices, I usually solder the wires and tape them, but I'll be doing a bunch of this and was trying to see what else might be effective. I just read about Scotch locks, but I'm unsure if these work on stranded wires (should I use stranded wiring in the trailer?). I've wired up my house, but I just used the standard twist caps and I didn't think these should be used.

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Old 12-06-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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If U solder and use heat shrink you will never have to worry about the connection.

If you use a crimp type of connection, fill the connector with dilectric grease, insert the wire and crimp (Only once) on each side of the splice. Double crimping tends to loosen thr first crimp.

Check at www.harborfreight.com for a rattiching crimper for the best type of crimper.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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With habits coming from boating, I like to use a good-quality crimp connection (Ancor, 3M), with a built in heat-shrink tube. (You can also put on the shrink tubing separately if you don't get the connectors with it built in, but I like the ones with it built in.) Here's a photo of some Ancor heat-shrink, insulated butt connectors:


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When you heat the connector just watch for a small bead of glue to come out all the way around the end(s), and you know you've got it well sealed.

It's important to use a good set of crimpers; the cheap ones do more of a pinch than a good crimp, and you want a nice, thorough crimp with a cold-weld effect. Ancor makes good crimpers, but so do other mfgrs. Here's one that's not super expensive (under $40), but is decent and will work with the heat-shrink connectors:



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http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-...9&id=128046

If you choose to use non-heat-shrink insulated crimp connectors (and maybe apply heat shrink afterward), then you want a double-crimp tool, as the second crimp on the insulation provides strain relief.

I would use stranded wire. Marine-grade wire is tinned for corrosion resistance (again, Ancor, etc.)

Here is a fellow boater who has made a really nice photo-essay showing how to use these tools, which ones work in which way, and why the cheapies don't work so well:

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/wire_termination

Happy wiring!

Raya

PS: A good solder joint is not a bad thing, but they have fallen somewhat out of favor in boating because people feel they are more susceptible to vibration fatigue.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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but they have fallen somewhat out of favor in boating because people feel they are more susceptible to vibration fatigue.
I take it most boaters then, have little serious experience with soldering correctly :-P

A good solder joint done by someone who has the skill to actually make a correct one will live a very long and healthy life. I have repaired more crimp connections in my trailers (and other folks') and other types of equipment than I care to remember. Not once have I seen a properly done solder joint fail in one.

Thats not to say I never crimp. I will do so at a point that has easy access for repair in case it fails down the line. I only do this when I can not solder (No electricity etc) Crimping is indeed quicker and easier.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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What Gina said.

Also Scotchlocks are ONLY suitable for stranded wire.
I also think Wire Nuts are fine as long as you then wire tie under them for strain relief.

I too have never seen a properly made solder joint fail and with a heat shrink cover they are good to go.

I use Radial or Compression crimpers mostly as they are designed for the "perfect Crimp" if used with the intended fittings and are accepted in most manufacturing too these days but using the correct parts together is not always so simple.
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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Let me clarify:

There have been many debates in the marine industry about solder vs. crimp connection. It used to be that solder was "the gold standard." Now, with the high quality insulated, heat-shrink connectors available, many technicians in the industry feel they are superior, because they are less vulnerable to vibration. That's not to say solder is bad. Because really, I think a good solder joint is fine if done well and properly.

However, the original poster asked for an easy way. Given that information, I felt that making a proper crimp connection might be more likely and/or more desirable for this poster. I happen to like crimping as well, because of the all-in-one good quality insulated, heat-shrink terminals (although I can solder properly, as well).

Sorry if I caused a misinterpretation.

Raya

PS: I meant to add in my original post that I have not had good luck with Scotchloks, and so I don't recommend them. Has anyone else found them to be a premium connection worthy of being in or under a trailer?
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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I guess I know what you mean regarding the fastest easiest connection being a crimped one. I solder every day so for me it is not the case but not too many others are likely to do this.

I guess I also am clueless as to how any crimped mechanical connection can be more resistant to vibration than a soldered connection. I am not arguing I just don't understand and have also not really looked into it. It certainly is counter to what I think of as obvious?

No I too do not really use or trust Scotch Locks but it seems most manufacturers do.
I have just had too many fail on me.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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No I too do not really use or trust Scotch Locks but it seems most manufacturers do.
I have just had too many fail on me.
Scotch Locks are made to be thrown AWAY! Never, Never use them. They seem to fail after a few months and if any moisture is around corrosion sets in almost immediately. Just my two cents worth.... Larry
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:43 AM   #9
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I'm gonna catch heck for this, but I like wire nuts and crimp terminal connections. When I use wire nuts I secure the wires heading into the nut with a zip-tie. Works for me. (I do not like Scotch Locks; the ones in the picture are original trailer equipment that I won't update unless they fail.)


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Old 12-07-2009, 02:44 AM   #10
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It takes longer but I would solder with heat shrink tubing whenever possible. I've had to fix 2 bad crimp connectors (looks original to when trailer was built) relating to the furnace and electric brakes. I'm just amazed by the amount of scotch locks and butt crimp connectors in a trailer's wiring system, I see every one as a potential failure point.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:36 AM   #11
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I have been totally converted to using these.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
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As an electrician since 1956, I have never seen a quality wire nut, properly installed, pull out. In addition, I have seldom seen a proper crimp connection pull out. The given here is that the materials are of good quality, the proper size device for the wire size, and a good crimp are essential.

Wire nuts with plastic threads in them are inferior to those with metal threads, but metal threads will corrode in wet conditions. Its a toss up, strong pull out resistance, or corrosion resistance.

Therse devices will last for many years IF! they are not subject to wet enviroments. In this case sealing is required. However, all these sealing methods sometimes fail.

In the case of soldering/heat shrink the problems are manifold. First one must have a source of heat. There are small gas powered irons as well as electric. Then the proper size of heat shrink is required. It's a pain to keep the several sizes of tubing on hand not to mention the expense. Wrapping the splice with tape is a joke. Most all I have ever seen the tape comes off/ turns to mush/ gets hard as a rock etc.

Personally, I prefer inline crimp splices. On interior applications I never worry with sealing them. They will probably last longer than I will.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:39 AM   #13
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I totally agree.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Judith,

I have no experience sealing wire nuts to keep them dry. How do you do this?
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