ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:36 am

Last night I got the first ceiling panel up and the first pair of overhead lights mounted.

I measured and drilled cut-outs for the lights before mounting the ceiling panels and ran wires to connect 4 of the over-bed lights parallel to one another. This will go to its own switch.

When I got the panel up and slid the wires through it looked like this...

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I chose the lights based on reading a few amazon reviews, but the best summary is on http://faroutride.com/led/
They are Acegoo LED Lights. They have a soft white version with a white or silver rind. I had 4 from my previous build and added another 8 to this one.

Here is a photo from FarOutRide's van build of the lights on and off.

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the first pair mounted...

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...and turned on. They work!

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The lights are very low profile, but the ceiling panels sit very close to the furring strips and insulation. The lights are being pushed slightly back through the holes, so I'm going to find some white felt or some other white rubber to make a little puck that allows the lights to sit 1/8 to 1/4" lower.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby McDave » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:39 am

So I woke up this AM with a giant light bulb over head. Keys for visual scale/reference :? :? And we laughed and laughed...
Then I see your post about the icons on the switch covers are wrong, not just mis-placed, and we laughed and laughed...
It's been a long winter, I really need to get out more often. ... ;) ..

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:59 pm

And we laughed and laughed


*chuckle, chuckle*. We all need more of this.

So does anyone run the negative side of their accessories all the way back to a fuse panel or bus bar or do they just tie into the nearest frame ground?

I'm asking because I've seen references to the negative wiring and my plan is simply to ground everything to the frame, steel studs, bed-frame, etc.

For the fridge I DO plan to run BOTH negative and positive 10ga wires directly to the battery...through a positive side cutoff switch though.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby flboy » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:06 pm

I ground each 12vdc device to closest frame contact point. In most cases, frame was right at the appliance/ light, or worse case, a few inch run.

No need for the return as the 12v system returns to the frame anyhow. 1/2 the wires and expense with no trade offs. Especially beneficial for high current runs.

Just make sure your negative connection to the frame from the battery is as least as large as the 12VDC connection to the battery. Only direct home run ground connection I made was the inverter at 150Amps. It is a short run I ran through a shunt for direct monitoring in any case. Zero problems related to ground returns.

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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:25 pm

Thanks. That's what I thought, but good to re-confirm given all the threads and how-to's I'm currently reading.

Good point on the gauge of the battery negative to frame connection: full load capable.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby John61CT » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:37 pm

For expensive or high-current devices IMO should always return negative to a proper buss point.

I personally don't use the frame at all.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby featherliteCT1 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:27 pm

And remember that, when you use a wire gauge chart and/or calculator to determine wire thickness, make sure that the total wire length assumed by the calculator includes the total, cumulative length of both the positive and negative wires. In my experience, most charts for 12 volt systems (as opposed to 120 volt systems) already take that into account (for example, if you input 3 feet, the calculator automatically assumes you have a total run of 6 feet).

By grounding to the frame, the negative wire is probably much shorter, thereby reducing the total length the current must run. That is why Flboy said "Especially beneficial for high current runs".
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby pchast » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:31 pm

If you are using a bolt together trailer the ground path is often
not reliable. I found it provided more consistent operation to
just bite the bullet and run a ground wire to the common buss.
:thinking:
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby flboy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:47 am

I'd agree with that about a bolted up frame or etc.. My CTC is all welded steel frame as I imagine most are (100% continuity) Also, high current devices like an inverter or etc. should be close to the batteries and home run for a few good reasons. But for 95% of lighting and 12vdc use through your typical 30amp fuse or smaller, no advantage and just makes for alot of wires bundling up in the panel.

You can run more that 30A with chassis ground for sure, but there are not too many items pulling more than that unless you have a second 12vdc distribution fuse block elsewhere that runs a few circuits.


I actually wired up another DC fuse terminal for my appliance stack by the fridge and terminated ground bus to nearby frame, but in reality, I don't pull much from it. That was done to reduce overall wiring as I just had to run one higher gage wire to the main terminal block, ground to chassis, and then service nearby 12vdc needs from there with shorter lower gage wires. In this case it handles the water pump, stereo, antenna B+, and an auxiliary outlet.






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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:08 pm

The remaining ceiling insulation and overhead light wiring is up. Now time to secure the panels.

Image
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby featherliteCT1 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:10 pm

Looking good!
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:52 am

I finished the install of the ceiling lights a few weeks ago, but never snapped a pic. Here it is...

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I reused the ceiling panels from the original trailer build, so need to figure out a way to cover the old pancake-light holes and bridge the gap between the walls and ceiling. I'll add it to the list.


Having already installed the bed platform and rear partition I made the measurements and installed the front garage-living area partition. It's made of 3/4 plywood. I also unwrapped the 46 gallon water tank and mocked up the layout with stairs. The chairs are in the position of a to-be-built bench.

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The blue tape represents the position of the stairs.

Nested within the stairs will be a set of 3 drawers. I ordered 3 sets of slides from Orr & Orr. LInk here: http://truck-hardware.orrorr.com/viewitems/drawer-slides/heavy-duty-full-extension-slide?

I got a 36", 24" and 16" one to fit inside my future stair setup.

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:02 am

The next step is to build the boxes.

A few weeks ago I picked up one of these handy Kreg R3 pocket hole tools. They are pretty slick. Here the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J43A7W/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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After properly fitting to a work-piece like this...

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You use the supplied drill bit and are left with pocket holes like this...

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I used the pocket holes and wood-glue to make three wooden drawers that are 36", 28", and 16" long by 13" wide or just wider than the water tank once you add 2 x 3/4" for the slides.

I started by cutting all the pieces on a table-saw at the same time, so I could get uniformity of length. This is all cut from 1/2" plywood salvaged from my previous build. The Kreg tool works down to 1/2" width material. Here are all the cut pieces for 3 drawers.

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The medium and small box with wood-glue drying...

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All three boxes in need of some sanding.

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We had a bathroom renovation done a few years ago and they really made the bathroom drawers look nice by edging each of the interior joints with caulk before painting, so this will be the next step. Be sure to select a caulk that specifically says "paintable." I've read a few horror stories of someone finishing a job with silicon caulk only to realize they have to scrape it all off because it won't take paint.

I sanded the boxes last night to remove any rough parts and after a wipe-down they'll be ready for caulk.
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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby McDave » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:21 am

Smart people do smart things. Excellent idea to put drawers in the stairs. Those will be very handy and considerable volume as well. ... :thumbsup: ...
Nice work, PigTrail.

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Re: ADV-House: An 8x18 renovation.

Postby PigTrail » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:13 pm

The plywood walls in my trailer were originally caulked to the floor with a sort of grey-rubbery-gluey looking substance. It was mostly peeled or cut away as I pulled the wall panels out for insulation installation. I image this glue be important to add rigidity to the walls as it would limit the plywood's ability to shift even a bit. Additionally, it provides a good seal.

Can anyone tell me what this grey material is or should I just use my caulk of choice?

Thanks for the comments McDave!
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