Installing a flat screen TV - how to get wiring to it? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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I have a flat screen TV that I want to mount on the back corner wall just under my overhead side bin. The TV cable box is on the same side of the trailer mounted between the rear side overhead bin and the kitchen over head cabs so not a problem getting it to the TV - will just put a hole in the overhead bin and run it through. My problem is how to get the electrical to it. The trailer has two electrical plug ins now and one is on the same side on the lower kitchen cab and faces the seating area and I could run a power cable to it but I wondered if I could just add another plug to the overhead bin. Can a 92 scamp handle 3 plug ins? Has anyone added an electrical plug and what do I need to do and know?? LOL

Thanks for the help
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:47 PM   #2
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I don't know how to do it, but I'm slightly jealous!
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
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I don't know how to do it, but I'm slightly jealous!
LOL Don't be. I'm still not sure I reeeealllllly need it or want it. Shocked though with all your DYI that you don't know how to add another elect box! Kind of glad though as you have been putting me to shame!

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Old 03-26-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
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This depends a bit on what kind of TV you have. Our 10" Coby TV/AM/FM/DVD player runs on 12v and uses at most 2 Amps of power; if you have a small, efficient 12v TV set like ours and 12v wires to the cabinet for a light or other 12v appliance, you can just tap into your existing trailer's wiring.

If not, you will have to run new cable for your 110v system and tie it into your existing outlets. If you haven't worked with 110v wiring before you might ask a knowledgeable friend or consult with the help in the electric department of your local hardware store. Just remember to keep your trailer unplugged when you work on the wires!

As for getting the wire up there, if you have rat-fur on your walls as we do, you can follow the steps I outlined in this earlier post on How To Run Wire Under Rat Fur. What kind of wire you run has a lot to do with how you plan to use your trailer.


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Old 03-26-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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Cool

[quote]This depends a bit on what kind of TV you have. Our 10" Coby TV/AM/FM/DVD player runs on 12v and uses at most 2 Amps of power; if you have a small, efficient 12v TV set like ours and 12v wires to the cabinet for a light or other 12v appliance, you can just tap into your existing trailer's wiring.

If not, you will have to run new cable for your 110v system and tie it into your existing outlets. If you haven't worked with 110v wiring before you might ask a knowledgeable friend or consult with the help in the electric department of your local hardware store. Just remember to keep your trailer unplugged when you work on the wires!

As for getting the wire up there, if you have rat-fur on your walls as we do, you can follow the steps I outlined in this earlier post on How To Run Wire Under Rat Fur. What kind of wire you run has a lot to do with how you plan to use your trailer.


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Thks Peter for the help. The TBV is not 12v. Don't plan to use it off the grid. I need to run a new 110v wire to a new recepticale box which would be mounted into the under side of the overhead bin. I quess my question is do I need to run the new 110v directly from the breaker box (my manual says I can have up to 4 receptacles and I only have two currently) or would it be dangers to just tap into the receptacle box that is currently not that far from where I want the new receptacle? I seem to recall in the house if we did that a special junction box was needed - can the same been done in the trailer? I rarely if ever have more than one 110v item plug in so blowing a fuse would not be an issue.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:37 PM   #6
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Thanks for the compliment Carol...and no you don't neeeeed a flatscreen. But it sure will be nice!...


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LOL Don't be. I'm still not sure I reeeealllllly need it or want it. Shocked though with all your DYI that you don't know how to add another elect box! Kind of glad though as you have been putting me to shame!

Carol
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:18 AM   #7
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. . . I quess my question is do I need to run the new 110v directly from the breaker box (my manual says I can have up to 4 receptacles and I only have two currently) or would it be dangers to just tap into the receptacle box that is currently not that far from where I want the new receptacle?
For residential applications the norm is six to eight outlets on one circuit.

As long as the outlet box is the last one on the circuit -- meaning it only has one cable going into the box, not two -- that should work just fine. If not you might find it's easier to run a completely different cable from the same breaker the outlets are on out to the TV.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #8
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Hi Carol,

Our Scamp was a total restoration project and I wired it for lots more 110v power than the original and probably more than the new ones have as well. I think wiring is simple to understand (I am not an electrician, but I wired our entire house and passed the state inspection), however it MUST be done right! You need the proper guage wire, a matched outlet, the right connections, etc. Home centers like Lowes, Menards and Home Depot have inexpensive books on wiring that are real good. Please educate yourself and/or get help from a knowledgeable friend or an electrician. Make an error with wiring and you could damage your Scamp or worse. IMO no project is worth the risk of injury (or death) to yourself or someone else.

Although 6-8 outlets is typical for a 15-amp breaker, it's more about how much power you will be using at any one time that dictates your wiring layout. You can probably add that outlet for your tv, but one cannot say for sure without knowing the details of your current wiring and what you are plugging in and when. For instance heaters, microwaves and toasters need a lot of power and adding another item could trip your breaker. (Yes, microwaves and toasters are used for short periods of time but they still need to be factored in.) Although breakers are a safety feature to prevent overheating and fires, repeatedly tripping a breaker is an indication that something is wrong.

If you're ever in my area I'd be happy to be of more help. The best to you!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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Thanks Pete and Darnell for your coments and help.
Have done a few home improvements including electrical so I do have a few books to look at. I was just worried that perhaps the rules for our trailers wiring might be a little more different than home. Thanks for the clarification.

I have the original wiring diagram for the trailer (the trailer is still stock) and will check to make sure the outlet I want to add a run to is in fact the end of the line. I would like to avoid if possible running a new line from the main box due to its location and distance. Thanks Pete for the link on fishing wire - you make it look so easy! I know from redoing the fan that it doesn't always go that easy. LOL

Good news is I don't use much else to compete for power in the trailer - no AC, microwave or coffee maker, only the occasional use of a toaster. Frigerator is on is own run when on AC and the furnace and water pump are both 12v running through the converter at all times.

Carol
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:10 PM   #10
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All great news Carol!

It shouldn't matter if your tv outlet will branch from an outlet that is on the end of the line or in the middle. Many outlets are designed to have up to three lines running from them -- the first should run from the side srews and the rest from holes in the back that grab the bare end of a wire when it is pushed in. Either way, make sure you remove the amount of insulation from the wire you need based on your connection (screw or hole, the amount is different) -- no more, no less. If the outlet you want to run from doesn't have the little holes, just replace that outlet before you add the new one.

You'll be watching TV in no time!
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the compliment Carol...and no you don't neeeeed a flatscreen. But it sure will be nice!...
Yup and it would be even better if I can find a small enough DVD player that fits in the overhead bin so that when the jello shooters run out I can go back to the trailer and fill my boots with chick flicks! :-)
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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All great news Carol!

It shouldn't matter if your tv outlet will branch from an outlet that is on the end of the line or in the middle. Many outlets are designed to have up to three lines running from them -- the first should run from the side srews and the rest from holes in the back that grab the bare end of a wire when it is pushed in. Either way, make sure you remove the amount of insulation from the wire you need based on your connection (screw or hole, the amount is different) -- no more, no less. If the outlet you want to run from doesn't have the little holes, just replace that outlet before you add the new one.

You'll be watching TV in no time!
*Thanks* Darnell for those tips!
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:29 PM   #13
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Yup and it would be even better if I can find a small enough DVD player that fits in the overhead bin so that when the jello shooters run out I can go back to the trailer and fill my boots with chick flicks! :-)

I bought my little DVD player from Menards for about $25! Last time I was there they were still stocking them. Use mine for listening to CDs more often than watching flicks.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:08 PM   #14
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My Scamp 13 has a double 110 outlet on the kitchen cabinet by dinette (streetside). I use one of the outlets for my FM/AM/CD player that I added to the rear overhead cabinet. I have an extension cord that plugs into one the the outlets and the other end is spliced to the player inside the upper cabinet.

I simply cut the plug off the player and cut off the outlet end of the extension cord. I ran the extension cord up the wall and across the wall above the window into the overhead cabinet, splicing the two together. I used extra carpeting to cover up the extension cord, pieces cut to match the other pieces Scamp uses to cover joints.

You could do the same except connect 110 outlets to the extension cord with a box inside the cabinet covering the connection. You would be left with nice outlets on underside of your cabinet to plug the TV and DVD player to.

Then, you are left with one original outlet but do what I did and simply use one of those plug in outlet splitters. You'll never have everything running at one tme and even if you do the system should handle it.


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Boy some pictures just don't turn out very good. The cabinet is not ugly and dirty looking as the first picture shows, it must have been some sort of glare.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:59 PM   #15
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Yep, I use those outlet splitters, too, sometimes. Don't know what they are rated for, but should be okay with a little TV.

I would caution against splicing any cord. Housing codes don't allow it because of the risk of fire. Don't know what the codes are on a TT, but if such a setup did cause a fire your insurance might say "Too bad, but we're not covering that." Finances aside, however small the risk might be, personally I wouldn't take the gamble with my family. Better to run the player cord out through a hole drilled in the bottom of the cabinet, then into the exposed (not under fabric or pinched between cabinet and wall) extension cord. Also, use the shortest extension cord for your needs. A coiled cord can generate more heat than a fully extended cord.


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Old 04-02-2010, 12:06 AM   #16
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The cords are stretched out and not coiled and the connection is in a box. You know those little blue ones they sell in the electric department of the hardware store. Not pinched between the cabinet and wall. I squashed the carpet and bubble insulation so the cord ran between the cabinet and wall with no pressure applied, nice and lose. But, thanks for the advice.

No splicing.....hum......seems to me that all my interior lights are spliced with wire nuts, the porch light and I don't recall what else.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #17
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No splicing.....hum......seems to me that all my interior lights are spliced with wire nuts, the porch light and I don't recall what else.
Hi Joy,

Splicing is when the metal wires in an electric line or cord are connected directly to each other without the use of boxes or wire nuts or other approved connections. For example, when my friend accidentally cut through the cord on my new circular saw (!) I spliced the two ends back together. This is an okay way to repair a tool, just not an okay way to wire a home or TT.

Wire nuts are the proper way to attach a line to a light or outlet, or even to another line, if the work is contained in an electrical box. I'm now thinking your player's cord has been put into an electrical box, along with the power cord from the closest outlet, and all the wires are connected there with wire nuts? That would be similar to how the fluorescent light in my garage is wired (hard wired), except player cords are not designed to be used that way. Still, your setup should be perfectly safe, just don't know what your insurance might say about it. Perhaps someone in FGRV has some more input here?

In all of this I'm referring to 110v(120v) power. I'm guessing all or almost all your lights are 12 volt. Those lights have wires poking out the back and they are connected to power with wire nuts or crimp connectors. I've never seen a 12 volt light that had a box to house the connections. In my Scamp those connections are all exposed, i.e. none are hidden under ensolite or fur, but are visible along the walls in cabinets and storage compartments. I want to add a 12v LED ceiling light above my dinette, but have not researched the recommended way to hide the connections. If it is safe, I will use insulated crimp connectors and hide them in the ceiling material. 12v is much safer and easier to work with than 110v, but there is still the potential for fires if done wrong. However, unlike a car, there is little metal in a 'glass so arcing is less of a possibility.

So in summary, have a great camping season! Your work sounds safe and so do your lights.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #18
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Darnell,

I put the connections, whether I call them splicing or not, in the little blue box because the are in the overhead cabinet which I put things in and get things out of. I don't want anything causing a problem with the connection so the connection is covered up.

The wiring in my Scamp which goes along the outer wall is behind the insulation and carpeting. Therefore covered up and stuff in the cabinets won't cause a problem. The wiring connections in the overhead cabinets for the lights are behind an extra removable piece of fiberglass. This all came direct from the factory.

Now I added a light on the closet wall and tapped into the wiring that goes to the porch light. Since the connections are in the closet where clothes, and other stuff is stored, again I put a blue electrical box over the connection.

I'm sorry but I don't see the problem with covering an electrical connection whether it be AC or DC. Wouldn't it be worse to accidentally have a connection come loose from the things you're taking in and out of a cabinet then causing a problem ie, fire.

Why would putting connections in an electrical box be a problem for insurance. All the light switches, plugs etc in my home are in electrical boxes........
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Collins English Dictionary
splice [splaɪs]
vb (tr)
1. to join (two ropes) by intertwining the strands
2. to join up the trimmed ends of (two pieces of wire, film, magnetic tape, etc.) with solder or an adhesive material
Joy,
Is your connection which is inside an electrical box easily accessible for maintenance and/or repair?
I think that would make it acceptable. A splice run beneath the "rat fur" and not accessible would not be acceptable.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:00 AM   #20
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Exactly, splicing is the main concern. Connections are not the same thing. Using a wire-nut is a connection, whether in a box or not -- 110v requires a box, 12v does not.

Joy: Also, wire is designed based on its use. Lines of 110v wire and lines of 12v wire can be under ensolite or wall fabric. Extension cords and cords running out of appliances, radios, etc. were not designed to be used this way. All electric wires generate heat to one degree or another. 12v and 110v wire are designed to be enclosed in walls (think of your insulated walls in your home) or otherwise trapped in small spaces (think of all the 12v wire under the dash of your vehicle). Cover a cord with insulation, fabric, carpet, etc. and the heat around the cord is trapped instead of dissipating into the air. A cord heated beyond its design capabilities can result in a fire.

So, if I understand your situation correctly (I'm thinking the problem is with terms, not your wiring): Yes, you are perfectly safe and correct to put all your 110v wire-nut connections in a box. Yes, you can cover your 110 volt wire with insulation and carpeting. Yes, you can be confident that everything done at the factory was proper and safe.

What you never want to do in your camper is 1) splice, and 2)use a cord (what pokes out of your player) when wire (the white, flat, multi-wire stuff) is what you need.

Where the problem comes in concerning your insurance is you cut off the plug on the cord of your player and connected the cord directly to 110v wire. It doesn't matter that you did this in a box and with wire nuts. It does not matter that it is likely safe (I don't know for sure). What might matter to your insurance company is that you used a cord in a manner in which it was not designed. You in essence "hard-wired" your player and there are rules for that, too. Also, if any of your extension cord is under the carpeting, again, extension cords are not designed to be used that way and would be a violation of code -- and thus, your insurance company might refuse to pay a claim for damage related to this use.

For me personally, my biggest concern when I build, repair, or remodel anything is "Is this safe for my family?" Following wiring codes is the safest way to go.

Whew! Am I any clearer or am I just complicating things!?
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