Wiring/fuse question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2014, 12:33 PM   #1
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Wiring/fuse question

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Is there a way to neaten up this mess of wires so I can use under the front bench for storage?

I'm also worried about this method of having a fuse as my young daughter will be sleeping on the front bench.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #2
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What you might have to do, at least per most U.S. codes, is put a few "Work Boxes"
to hold a few junctions and relocate everything to a side wall vs. being on the floor.

To be honest, that all looks a bit scary. Do you have an electrician friend that can give you some advice? Might be a good/safe idea.



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Old 08-04-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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That is a real mess. What des that fuse protect? What does your original electric panel look like? For sure that was done by someone with very limited skills. I would go back to the beginning and check everything. By the beginning I mean the power cord and follow thru the whole system. I would look for anything a previous owner added, For sure the wiring in your photo is not factory. Cleaning up the mess should not be too tough for someone with basic electrical knowledge.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #4
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That is a real mess..

Well, it's a step up from tube and spool.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but it looks like one of those 3M connectors is used to splice a 1 1/2 in piece of wire to another wire that has plenty of slack. Hard to tell in that light.

This looks like something fried and the PO or PPO wired this up quick to make a planned trip and.............well...........it didn't fry again, so leave it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:35 PM   #5
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Darn! I wish I could come up and give you a hand with that Morgyn. I love Nova Scotia! By the time I could get up there though, you will be done, and a happy camper I bet.

Best of luck to ya.

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Old 08-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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I think you are on the right track if you are planning to move this stuff to own sub compartment so you can use the storage. And I agree with start at the front and try to figure out what they wanted to accomplish so you can do or have it done right.

Maybe it's just me but I don't even see a wire clamp on that box under the makeshift "fuse box". One tug and the connection wires feeding that fuse would be loose.

Never mind an electrician do you know any exorcists?
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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The PO used about 3 times in two years. They bought it over the phone sight unseen. It was being sold "as is" from an rv dealership. I don't have much electrical knowledge other than how to change light fixtures and plug sockets. I can learn though! I'm really new to Boler ownership though so I'm not sure what anything is supposed to look like! Click image for larger version

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That's the back of my panel. It looks the larger wiring that is connected to that odd fuse is for all the 120v plugs.


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Old 08-04-2014, 01:42 PM   #8
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If it helps that silver connecter (is there an inline fuse in there) makes the plug I had the shop vac plugged into go off if jostled.


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Old 08-04-2014, 01:50 PM   #9
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1) Porcelain keyless receptacles are not designed nor UL listed as a fuseholder
2) Edison base fuses are allowed to be used in only very limited applications
Plug fuses if used should be type S to prevent tampering or overfusing
3) Porcelain keyless receptacles are normally rated for 660 watts ( approx 5 amps at 125 VAC) The wattage limit has more to do with the heat generated by an incandescent lamp
4) If the fuseholder is wired with reverse polarity than the screw shell of the fuse becomes a shock hazard
5) It appears the previous owner knew just enough to be dangerous
6) If his/ her exposed electrical work is that sloppy only God knows what he / her did where you can't see it
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #10
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So I need to ask someone for help! Anyone here live in metro HRM and would be willing to have a look? If not, luckily I work in an engineering office at an university.


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Old 08-05-2014, 05:29 AM   #11
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After talking to my Dad, we've decided it would be in my family's best safety interest to hire someone to fix this mess.

I could probably figure it out slowly but I also thought if we hired someone, I could have a new panel/box/thingamajig put in that's more up to date than the original 1980's one. And I could have something roughed in for future solar hookup down the road when I've learned more.


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Old 08-05-2014, 06:35 AM   #12
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After talking to my Dad, we've decided it would be in my family's best safety interest to hire someone to fix this mess.

I could probably figure it out slowly but I also thought if we hired someone, I could have a new panel/box/thingamajig put in that's more up to date than the original 1980's one. And I could have something roughed in for future solar hookup down the road when I've learned more.
I think that is a good plan Morgyn. Yes, put in a new panel/box/thingamajig, and do keep us posted on how you make out!

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:38 AM   #13
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You could also use the opportunity to install a modern Power Chassis/converter/smart charger, such as the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045, and be set for the next 50 or so years.



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Old 08-05-2014, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
1) Porcelain keyless receptacles are not designed nor UL listed as a fuseholder
2) Edison base fuses are allowed to be used in only very limited applications
Plug fuses if used should be type S to prevent tampering or overfusing
3) Porcelain keyless receptacles are normally rated for 660 watts ( approx 5 amps at 125 VAC) The wattage limit has more to do with the heat generated by an incandescent lamp
4) If the fuseholder is wired with reverse polarity than the screw shell of the fuse becomes a shock hazard
5) It appears the previous owner knew just enough to be dangerous
6) If his/ her exposed electrical work is that sloppy only God knows what he / her did where you can't see it
+1 to ALL of these.

To be honest I would just remove what is there and start over - electrical wiring is really not that difficult to do correctly, and a project on the scale of your boler is an ideal way to learn - because it's small and relatively simple. If you want to hire someone to do it, that's fine too, but I'm just suggesting that there's no need to be afraid of tackling it yourself. You can do it

I had a similar rat's nest of wiring in my trailer on the 12v side (I think just the battery leads had been spliced about a dozen times, and none of it was even still connected to the 12v lights in my trailer - it seems that at some point someone added alligator clips inside the upper kitchen cabinet so a smaller battery could be hooked up) and it was easier to just start over and run fresh wires than to try to "fix" what was already there and deal with corroded wiring and other problems. The 120V AC side was less sketchy looking - my trailer only had one circuit breaker and one outlet to start with. I did replace that outlet since it was worn out and not "gripping" anything plugged in particularly well.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:23 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=sarahspins;474812]+1 to ALL of these.

"To be honest I would just remove what is there and start over - electrical wiring is really not that difficult to do correctly, "


I was an electrician for over 40 years ,an electrical apprenticeship instructor for 36 years ,an electrical inspector for several years and held both a journeyman and master electricians license. To some wiring may not seem that difficult but after inspecting hundreds of installations and witnessed the unsafe , stupid , things people do I am convinced otherwise .I heard thousands of times from home owners things like " I didn't know " or " Doing it to code costs too much" or " I don" understand the code" or " My buddy at the bar told me to do it that way" I am not saying electrical work is rocket science but it is also a trade that you can NOT learn in 15 minutes by reading WIKI .I spent over 4000 in trade school and 8000 work hours in my apprenticeship to obtain my journeyman license . Your remark just struck me wrong.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:50 PM   #16
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.... To some wiring may not seem that difficult but after inspecting hundreds of installations and witnessed the unsafe , stupid , things people do I am convinced otherwise .I heard thousands of times from home owners things like " I didn't know " or " Doing it to code costs too much" or " I don" understand the code" or " My buddy at the bar told me to do it that way" I am not saying electrical work is rocket science but it is also a trade that you can NOT learn in 15 minutes by reading WIKI.....
Many of these small trailers are a wiring task within reach of the DIY types, some of whom have spent decades learning from experienced people how to do it right. Or sometimes when the nice inspector red tags their work and they have to do it over. That too is a learning experience on right vs. wrong approach.

It does depend on the individual using good judgment on what they don't know and where they seek advice. Many of these older trailers have electrical work that reflects all the concerns Steve raises about poor DIY workmanship.

I would consider these small trailers to be very basic and minimal wiring. Mine has one outlet and one light running off of a load center. I may add another outlet and will make it a GFI outlet to protect the outlet circuit. I will test. The trailer wires for outside lights and interior 12 volt lights is also petty basic hot and ground wiring from the plug back.

If that last paragraph means nothing to you then you should probably find a mentor to help with the process. If you understand that paragraph then you can probably learn enough to replace it if you use care and are willing to ask questions from reliable sources.

None of us were born knowing how, some of put a lot of effort into becoming experts, some of us just learned as the need arose so we now feel comfortable with more involved tasks in a lot of areas that folks tackle with these FGRV's.

I did my first homeowner electrical work 35 years ago, have done a lot of it since then over the years, industrial and residential. I still asked stepson who is a journeyman (or maybe master now) electrician to go over what I planned on my last project and to give me a pre-inspection before calling the building dept. You know what? He found I was missing a couple of outlets at locations required by code in my initial plan, and had one too many connections for the size of box on the pre-inspection.

Bottom line I can make it pretty good but if I want it done to expert level standards I have to ask the experts. If I don't I will have to accept the lower standard I will meet on my own. And have to accept the possible risk of getting it wrong. Or having a buyer looking at the trailer who does know better telling me why they won't buy it for my asking price.

People should not be afraid to learn and try to do these things, in fact I encourage people to do so, but use some care in where you seek advice and at least understand the risks of getting it wrong.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:24 PM   #17
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Thank you roger for posting that - I definitely don't consider myself to be an electrician and I don't mean any disservice to the highly qualified electricians out there, but everything about the electrical system in my scamp is well within the scope of what I feel capable of handling. I've done plenty of electrical work in my own home, but there are still some things (such the installation of a transfer switch) that I was quite happy to pay someone else to do. I know my limitations
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:45 PM   #18
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Good thing I didn't show Steve my electrical work when he visited with us last winter, LOL But I did ask him some questions and learned some things.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:37 AM   #19
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Other than here, I have nobody's brain to pick! One of the joys I guess of having "just a camper" turn into a hobby (or obsession??) !

Anyhoo...
Does the PD4045 automatically do the switching when I plug the Boler into AC power? I currently have to press a rocker switch to go between DC/no power/AC.







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Old 08-06-2014, 05:50 AM   #20
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If you don't want to install a converter I use these panels to clean up 12VDC wiring issues. The name tags you apply to the ckts. are your option. It is also available from other vendors.
Amazon.com: Blue Sea Systems 5025 ST Blade Fuse Block - 6 Circuits with Negative Bus and Cover: Sports & Outdoors
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