Running Romex 14/3 with red wire as 12+ - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2015, 09:11 PM   #1
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Name: Matthew
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Running Romex 14/3 with red wire as 12+

So I had this crazy idea, just wanted to put it out there and see what people thought and how reasonable/safe this sounds...

From what I could glean both the 110v and 12v system are grounded to the frame in a standard rv electrical set-up.

If I was to run new wire I could use 12/3 or 14/3 with copper ground the - for the 12v system though the frame and the red wire as the positive. The 110v would run black and white as normal
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:18 PM   #2
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P.S.

I was originally hesitant to use solid copper wire like romex in the trailer, but it turns out that is what is run for the 110 as it is. I don't understand why 12v would be any more prone to damage by vibration
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:36 PM   #3
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I am pretty sure you shouldn't ground the AC 120 v to the frame, a serious accident that could be fatal waiting to happen.


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Old 11-30-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
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Rewiring

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Originally Posted by mmeyer View Post
I am pretty sure you shouldn't ground the AC 120 v to the frame, a serious accident that could be fatal waiting to happen.


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Old 12-01-2015, 09:17 AM   #5
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ex VT, now CO
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This sure is one interesting idea. Unless I am completely off my rocker, ground is ground. The house AC wiring ground is connected to a big copper stake in the ground. It used to be connected to the water piping before the advent of the plastic piping. The trailer frame is connected to the ground by stabilizers, although that is not a very reliable connection. Floating trailer ground is not good I experienced it once and recently posted about using a two conductor extension cord - a nono.

I suspect that mixing 12V and 115V in one cable might violate some codes, if they are applicable to the travel trailers. Some other people might know better.

Another thought is that the proximity of those systems might induce 60Hz ripple on the DC, which might be undesirable.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
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I will have to go check, but I think my AC is grounded to the frame of my trailer, by the factory.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:45 AM   #7
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Definitely an invitation for 60 cycle hum on anything 12 volt. Short to neutral or ground wire trips a breaker as a safety. Short to 12 volt lights up your 12 volt with 120 volts with danger of fire or electrocution. Not a good idea at all.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:50 AM   #8
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On some trailers the 12V ground is established through the trailer frame , on others the ground is established through the white wire throughout.
The 120V ground is always established through the supply line. The trailer frame is never a reliable ground and can be deadly.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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Hi, 12volt D.C.travels on the surface,therefor multi strand wire.AC. travels (electrons) through the whole wire,therefore solid wire.You'll loose some 12volt when using hose wire.Cheers to all m
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:04 AM   #10
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On-board Energy Management Systems won't allow power to flow to the trailer when using a standalone generator unless a bonding wire is present between the trailer and the generator frame bonding bolt, which establishes a common electrical ground voltage level. The AC ground is the frame on Escape trailers, which have to meet the US and Canadian electrical codes.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:27 AM   #11
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You cannot mix voltages or systems in the same cable or raceway. If the conductors are damaged or shorted you could end up with 120 VAC impressed on the 12 VDC system.
What you are suggesting is a violation of the NEC , unsafe and a good way to get someone killed. If your only goal is to save money ,have at it. Why do you think RV manufacturers do not do what you are suggesting, especially if it would cut costs???
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
You cannot mix voltages or systems in the same cable or raceway. If the conductors are damaged or shorted you could end up with 120 VAC impressed on the 12 VDC system.
What you are suggesting is a violation of the NEC , unsafe and a good way to get someone killed. If your only goal is to save money ,have at it. Why do you think RV manufacturers do not do what you are suggesting, especially if it would cut costs???
Unless all of the conductors are insulated for the highest voltage present, I believe.
NEC code [300.3(C)(1)].
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:07 AM   #13
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Unless all of the conductors are insulated for the highest voltage present, I believe.
Years ago that was true but not now. We used to put the 12 volt controls for central air conditioners in with the power wires for the A/C by using 600 volt wires for the control wires .
That is no longer legal . Plus the bare wire in a romex is an equipment ground not a current carrying conductor. There are so may code violations and unsafe things in what the OP is suggesting that it would take days to list them all. Bonding and grounding are not synonymous and its obvious that many do not understand the difference . Endangering lives to save a few cents is a poor bargain IMHO
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #14
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Low voltage is NEVER allowed in the same conduit as high voltage. Even an accidental short could really reek havoc and blow stuff up. When you use shore power the camper is grounded to earth by your power cord. Look inside your converter sometime and you will see that is it all separate. They use a common ground on the case but the "HOT" wires are totally isolated so they may never touch each other.
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