Updating Electrical - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2019, 09:33 PM   #1
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Name: Redwood Scamper
Trailer: Scamp
California
Posts: 11
Updating Electrical

Hi

I know this has been covered but having trouble finding it.
I am finally getting around to cleaning up some of my electrical in my 13' 1976 Scamp.
Wondered if there are schematics for electrical?

Think this has been worked on over the years and have a house type junction box with all the wires and just wire nuts holding it together.
Would like to clean it up with a new bus box. Wondered what you folks are using?
Your suggestions are really appreciated.
Thanks
Little Redwood Scamper
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:28 AM   #2
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Name: Kenneth
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Wisconsin
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Registry
It's in the book

No two are alike, but here is an older one.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Think "power center" not buss box. I like the PD4135 I put in my Trillium.

Everything depends on what you want to run on electrical power: 12V, 120V, battery, etc. So it all starts with a plan.

My "plan" revolved around having enough 12V DC capacity I could dry camp. I started with a worn out power center and no battery. Added power center, battery, LED lighting, 12V outlet, and new detachable power cord hookup.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:59 PM   #4
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Name: Redwood Scamper
Trailer: Scamp
California
Posts: 11
Updating Electrical

Thanks so much for your help!
This should help me alot. Will start this weekend. Whole New world for me. A little scary if you don't do much electrical. But like everything else in our little jewels... you learn as you go along.
Great community to help those of us just trying to find our ways.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:08 AM   #5
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise Jones View Post
Hi

I know this has been covered but having trouble finding it.
I am finally getting around to cleaning up some of my electrical in my 13' 1976 Scamp.
Wondered if there are schematics for electrical?

Think this has been worked on over the years and have a house type junction box with all the wires and just wire nuts holding it together.
Would like to clean it up with a new bus box. Wondered what you folks are using?
Your suggestions are really appreciated.
Thanks
Little Redwood Scamper
The house junction box type of system was not at all unusual for the manufacturers to put into travel trailers in the 70's. My 1971 Campster had that type. I just ripped it all out and started over. But of course inside of my brand new power center/converter are those very same circuit breakers on the incoming 120v wires that get used in the household breaker boxes. So despite what you are thinking you won't going away from them, they are just inside a different style of box which contains additional components.


Regarding what I use for connectors. I don't use wire nuts. I do use insulated crimps for some connections, I also have a DIN rail system where the 12v wires coming out of the power center connect to many of the wires that go out and about around the trailer.


I don't know if there are schematics posted somewhere in the forum. But I suspect there are not so many wires in the trailer that you can figure out most of them. Plus you can do continuity checks to figure out which remote end of a wire belongs to what fitting(s) and create your own wiring diagram. If you are working on that continuity test on your own you can use a little bell at one end to ding when you get the right wire. You can find out how to create a DIY bell tester on youtube.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:42 AM   #6
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Name: Carter
Trailer: Eco
Kansas
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I had to completely redo my electrical, since big chunks of it were hacked or just missing. I also put in a PD 4135 and have been pretty happy with that decision so far. In a 13' at least, there just aren't very many circuits and it doesn't take all that long to figure them out.

It helped me a lot when I started thinking of the trailer wiring, the 110 and the 12v as being three separate circuits that don't really overlap much at all.

On mine, the 110 side feeds one visible outlet, plus outlets dedicated to the AC and the fridge.

The 12v side has a circuits feeding the LED lighting (which is how I run them all on one circuit), a heat-actuated fan to assist the AC exhaust venting, and a water pump. I've got one or two circuits that I'm not using, and I could probably double-up some things but haven't seen any reason to.

The 4135 also takes care of my 110-12v conversion and does battery tending and charging duty. Pretty happy with the setup.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:51 PM   #7
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Name: Redwood Scamper
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Updating electrical.

Wow I think the solution is a little too much for my little project.
The only electrical I am running beside rear lights and brakes is water pump,and a light over front bench and one over dinette. Would like to add an aux. plug in. I do have a battery hooked up and would someday like to hook up solar.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:13 AM   #8
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by Denise Jones View Post
Wow I think the solution is a little too much for my little project.
The only electrical I am running beside rear lights and brakes is water pump,and a light over front bench and one over dinette. Would like to add an aux. plug in. I do have a battery hooked up and would someday like to hook up solar.
The rear lights and brakes are powered by your tow vehicle, they are not part of the house wiring in the trailer, they are not powered by the battery that runs the ceiling lights and water pump.



Don't worry about the solar until you get to that project. You can purchase a kit that will come with wiring and a controller and you will have to then connect the battery to the controller and you will need to take some measurements for cable length and talk to the sales rep at the company that sells you the solar kit to make sure you have all the pieces you need. That is its own whole special setup. No need to worry about it until its time has arrived to do the project.


Adding an auxillary outlet is not all that difficult it will be powered by the battery that powers the ceiling lights and the water pump. I suggest you get help from someone in person who understands such things. Maybe a friend with an RV or a friend with a boat. But if you have never stripped wires and put crimp connectors on before that is something you will need to learn for that job. Watch some videos, buy or borrow the tools and then practice making a few connections with some scrap wire before you do any actual wiring in the trailer.


If you want help fixing what you currently have such as the 120v power coming into the trailer then get out your cell phone or a digital camera, take photos and post the photos. The reason you need to do it that way is you don't know enough about it to accurately describe what you have. From the sound of it the previous owner might have made some changes so in this case take photos and post them. Otherwise you will get what is currently happening, overwhelmed with people talking about what they did which may or may not be relevant to your situation. Since you don't "speak the language" of electrical installations in trailers that will be stuff that will tend to wear you out trying to figure it out.


So I am going to give you a task list.
Task #1, learn how to strip wires and put insulated crimp fittings on the ends of the wire. Get familiar with the different types of crimp on fittings, they come in a variety of styles.


Learn about fuses, you will need to install one for your aux plug, it should go fairly close to the battery and it needs to be the right size, The device you plug into that 12v outlet will also have a fuse in the plug that goes into the socket. So watch a video or two about this subject of that type of socket and the fusing of it. You can buy the fuses and the socket at the auto parts stores but the auxillary sockets at the marine supply stores are of better quality.

ResidentIal houses use solid wires inside the walls, those wires never move or get flexed. Travel trailers and vehicles as well as boats should have stranded wires as they hold up better to the movement and vibrations that happen in a vehicle. Be sure you buy stranded wire for your project when you go to the store.


Putting in that aux fiiting will be a good skill builder that will make it easier for you to tackle adding in solar.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:50 AM   #9
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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The complexity starts with what you want. If you want the ability to boondock or dry camp, then it is more complex. If you are always hooked up to shore power, its simpler.

My 1977 Trillium as built was designed for just shore power hookup, never had a battery. It did still have a small power center, as the interior lights were all 12V.

How do you charge your battery now? Maybe I went a little overboard on interior lights, but I have a double LED over the gaucho, two double LEDs over the sink/stove, a double over one dinette bench, a single over the rear window, a double over the other dinette bench, and a single reading light. FWIW, there were existing lights at all of these locations. So I just upgraded to LED, and replaced some singles with doubles. Each double has a three position switch: off, one light, two lights.

Depending on the location of your battery, adding solar later is easy, particularly if you go with a portable panel.


The other change I made was switching the shore power from a hatch with a pull out cord, to a detachable power cord. I would do this on any trailer, as it eliminates a "mouse" door.
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