High quality wire sources? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-27-2013, 10:56 PM   #29
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I'm not advocating using poor quality wire, but isn't all the discussion about using "Marine Grade" and SLX & GLX grade wire, etc. a bit of overkill?

And fire danger???? After this discussion started yesterday I called up my peeps at a local RV dealer, that has been in business for 30+ years, and the service manager there said that he had never seen a trailer fire started by a 12 volt wire that was properly fused. He did allow that he had seen several that were started when owners had added wires that were not fused.

I can appreciate the need for extra caution in marine applications, what with an engine and gas on board, and lots of opportunity for water in the wrong places, there are a lot more risks, and the outcome can be very serious. But, as I mentioned earlier, we aren't wiring Space Shuttles here. My take is still to use good quality wire, a ratchet style crimper, lots of wire ties and properly fuse everything.

BTW: My first training was in aircraft wiring in the Navy, and we never soldered wire terminals, and that was on every thing from Super Connie's to Anti-submarine and fighter aircraft that were carrier based. If your trailer is subjected to more stress than a catapult launch and arresting gear recovery let us all know.

Key words "properly fused". Do you have any idea what UL does with fused appliances? Have you noticed that fuses are no longer used in you house wiring? You're friend at the RV place is a trained fire investigator and can determine if it 12 volt wiring that caused a fire or not?

People seem to think it OK to do things with 12 volt system they wouldn't do with their house 120 volt systems. My guess it's because 12 volts won't shock you and 120 will.

Oh well, do as you wish.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:16 AM   #30
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In as much as the discussion isn't about what UL does with home appliances I don't see why it's being even mentioned. Especially when the discussion revolved around 12 volt wiring.

And I don't think that an RV repairman necessarily has to be a "Trained Fire Investigator" to see that a wire burned up, any more so than an RV Owner has to be a Union or Master Electrician to do simple 12 VDC wiring.

BTW: It's OK to do a lot of things with 12 volt (i.e. low voltage) wiring that you can't do with your 120 household wiring.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:04 PM   #31
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Like most questions that come to the forum, the answer is highly subjective and one is eventually reduced to picking an opinion from people you basically don’t know. It seems even quality is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:08 PM   #32
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Agreed Steve......
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
In as much as the discussion isn't about what UL does with home appliances I don't see why it's being even mentioned. Especially when the discussion revolved around 12 volt wiring.

And I don't think that an RV repairman necessarily has to be a "Trained Fire Investigator" to see that a wire burned up, any more so than an RV Owner has to be a Union or Master Electrician to do simple 12 VDC wiring.

BTW: It's OK to do a lot of things with 12 volt (i.e. low voltage) wiring that you can't do with your 120 household wiring.

First off you're first to mention fuses... UL shorts out fuses before doing any testing.
Second You implied your RV guy knew what caused RV fires. I've investigated several truck and bus fires. Most the mechanics that do a preliminary haven't a clue. All of them were electrical fires.
RV 12 volt wiring is probably more dangerous than house wiring. Why? Most houses have either a 100 amp or 200 amp service with circuit breaker. Your RV 12 volt system with battery is capable of producing several hundred amps of current and fuses can be change to a larger current rating.

There's big difference between low voltage wiring (12 volt) for mood lighting. Those have a power supply that have a hidden fuse (ok by UL) to limit the current to very low currents. Wiring from a 12 automotive type battery is a completely different thing. So it depends on what you're talking about when talk about low voltage 12 volt wiring.

But you'll never believe me so now it's your turn and you get the last word.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:18 PM   #34
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I work for a Volkswagen dealership and the manufacturer trains us "crimp only, no solder". I understand two concerns - 1) that soldering is a learned skill and quality can vary. 2) the edge of the solder joint can be a brittle break point.

As such we have ratchet crimp tools and most factory joints are crimped or sonic welded. Also all connectors are heat sealed and/or shrink wrapped. Here is a poor picture of a training aid in class.


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My understanding on conductor is solid is cheaper to make and is fine in a house when it won't need to move, much. Stranded allows flexibility and limits damage due to flex and bending. Finer strands (ie welding cable) allow large current flow while still allowing repeated bending and easy movement.

Insulation is another where house is pretty well protected from the elements and has low requirements. Automotive on the other hand varies from interior to exterior and resistance to temperature (freezing and hot exhaust) and chemicals.

A good general purpose spool of automotive wiring will work in your, well sealed, camper. But if you have to make runs that exit the camper (ie lights, battery on tongue, etc) then a higher grade insulation and possibly tinned conductor is advised.

This is all 12v systems. A 120v system has similar recommendations for conductor and insulation, but obviously with higher voltage potential more caution is advised.

A side note, I finished a Hybrid vehicle training class. Lower voltage DC will kill you faster than the higher voltage AC. Jason
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:30 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by SilverGhost View Post
I work for a Volkswagen dealership and the manufacturer trains us "crimp only, no solder". I understand two concerns - 1) that soldering is a learned skill and quality can vary. 2) the edge of the solder joint can be a brittle break point.

As such we have ratchet crimp tools and most factory joints are crimped or sonic welded. Also all connectors are heat sealed and/or shrink wrapped. Here is a poor picture of a training aid in class.


Attachment 66158



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My understanding on conductor is solid is cheaper to make and is fine in a house when it won't need to move, much. Stranded allows flexibility and limits damage due to flex and bending. Finer strands (ie welding cable) allow large current flow while still allowing repeated bending and easy movement.

Insulation is another where house is pretty well protected from the elements and has low requirements. Automotive on the other hand varies from interior to exterior and resistance to temperature (freezing and hot exhaust) and chemicals.

A good general purpose spool of automotive wiring will work in your, well sealed, camper. But if you have to make runs that exit the camper (ie lights, battery on tongue, etc) then a higher grade insulation and possibly tinned conductor is advised.

This is all 12v systems. A 120v system has similar recommendations for conductor and insulation, but obviously with higher voltage potential more caution is advised.

A side note, I finished a Hybrid vehicle training class. Lower voltage DC will kill you faster than the higher voltage AC. Jason
Jason,
Properly crimped wires or properly soldered wires will work just fine for automobiles or our trailers. The brittleness you describe at the edge of a soldered joint is mostly due to solder wicking into the strands of the wire beyond the end of the terminal. The wire is very stiff with the solder bonded to the strands, and very flexible where no solder has flowed. This creates a hinge point where if the wire is bent back and forth many times it would tend to break there. Most movement you would see in our trailers would never cause this type of failure. Maybe if the bolts fell out of your tail light and it was dangling from the wires for say 2 or 3 thousand miles the wire might break there. Soldering does require a little practice to become competent, but it relatively easy to pick up with some guidance. Crimping produces bomber joints when done with the proper tools. Those tools used to be very expensive before they were made in China. The one I had for big battery cables cost several hundred dollars and looked like rebar cutters. They feature massive leverage and can really crush the terminal into the wire so it will never pull out and moisture can't enter the tight space. That said I have seen literally hundreds of failed crimped connections done with cheap crimpers, or even pliers to squeeze them. Often the wires just pulled out or fell out. The wire that pulled out is usually all fuzzy with corrosion. Some of the failures were from crimping too hard and cut the terminal and wire in half. Using the basic cheap crimper takes a little practice to zero in on the correct amount of squeeze. A good tug on the wire after crimping is a good idea. Another failure I see is the crimper was not actually crimping the metal terminal, only the insulation due to not being centered. Soldering just doesn't produce all those failures. Cold solder joints are usually only produced by beginners. Once a person learns to only solder clean copper wire, use good solder and a hot enough gun, and see it flow into the strands all shiny and bright and the chance of failure is very small. Lead is bad for you though, so wash your hands before you eat that peanut butter sandwich!
Russ
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