Pics of fuse boxes/wiring...please post

Anything electric, AC or DC

Pics of fuse boxes/wiring...please post

Postby Scooter » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:13 am

I've never wired ANYTHING. It's taking hours of studying the Cubby manual just to decide what I need to get from Home Depot. I don't wanna blindly purchase parts from the list, I want to understand how they're used first. Would appreciate any pics and wiring info you can share. Thanks!
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Fuse Box Pic

Postby Dee Bee » Sat Oct 23, 2004 10:35 am

I am not an expert either.

I am going by the rule of educating myself first before I do anything with electricity I don't understand. I like the sense of independence and being responsible for what I build and use. So I have read books on "Managing 12 Volts" and have read alot on the web. Here are some pics of my work and some links

http://www.nfdc.net/home/cbdb/Micro%20Camper.htm#12VDC

The 12 v Side of Life is Good
http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volt.htm
and
http://bart.ccis.com/home/mnemeth/12volt/12volta.htm


I also like the info at Phred's PoopSheets
http://www.phrannie.org/phredex.html


Check your library for info and RV stores for books like these: "Managing 12 Volts. How to Upgrade, Operate and Troubleshoot 12 Electrical Systems." By Harold Barre. This is the best book ever on the 12 volt DC system. Every RVer and anyone else using alternative energy needs this book. $19.95, 219 pages. From "Summer Breeze Pubs", it can also be found in Camping World, other RV stores and Amazon. This is one you buy, not just copy stuff out of at the library, because it's all good. Most technical books are soon outdated. This one won't be.

Summer Breeze Publications
1017 El Camino Real Suite #364
Redwood City, CA 94063-1632
(800) 247-6553

Another must-have book is "RV Electrical Systems" by Bill and Jan Moeller. With both AC and DC electrical systems and excellent 12 volt coverage, it is the best source I've seen on 120 volt AC systems. If it's not covered in this book, you can probably get along without it. The authors go into extraordinary detail without getting into engineering "lingo" and tell you things nobody else does (and those things many authors assume we already know--that we don't). With this book you won't be the dumbutt at a rally who miswires something and screws everybody else up. $19.95, 265 pages, detailed illustrations. In many bookstores, RV stores and from Amazon.

There are also books like The 12-Volt Bible for Boats
by Miner K. Brotherton, Edwin R. Sherman that have info that relates to rv electrical systems


Hope it all helps!


DEE
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Postby mercy » Sat Oct 23, 2004 9:46 pm

read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. twice. then read it again.

i never wired anything before, either. my first shot at a fuse block was...fun. ineffective, but fun.
http://www.brokenoffcarantenna.com/tear ... P_3058.htm

yeah.

i'm more of the "throw yourself into it, and someone will stop you if you're about to kill yourself" school of thought.
http://www.brokenoffcarantenna.com/tear ... P_3064.htm

but reading beforehand is really good.
read read read.
plot plot plot.

then get out there and build.
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Postby bdosborn » Sun Oct 24, 2004 12:25 am

I'm an electrical engineer so I might be able to help answer some questions. Feel free to PM me with questions. If I don't know the answer I can always ask around the office.
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:36 am

The electrical portion of the Cubby manual is difficult at best.

12V wiring is actually very easy. Maybe between the electrical engineer, the battery expert and some full time experts like Steve, we can come up with something simple that makes sense...

I'll start it off here, based on what I've done on the first 2 teardrops.

Step 1
Locate your 12 V battery

Step 2
Locate your fuseblock and terminal strip

Step 3
Locate all your lights and other 12v accessories

Step 4
Pull a heavy wire from your battery to your fuse block

Step 5
Pull a light wire from each light or accessory to your fuse block
(This is similar to running everything in parallel)

Step 6
Hook up all your lights and accessories at the fuse block.
All the red wires go into the top of the fuse block, either 1 or two lights per terminal.
The red wire from the battery goes into the bottom of the fuseblock. The remaining terminals on the fuseblock need to be jumpered as shown.

Step 7
All the black wires from the lights and accessories go to the top of the terminal strip.
The black wire from the battery goes to the bottom of the terminal strip. The remaining terminals need to be jumpered as shown.

Image
Image

Enjoy!

Here's the parts list for the above directions...
1 Auxilliary Fuse Box JC Whitney ZX037115W
1 Dual Row Terminal Strip Radio Shack 274-659
100 feet 16 gauge sound and security wire Home Depot
25 feet 12 gauge red wire auto parts store
25 feet 12 gauge black wire auto parts store
as reqd spade and pushon connectors auto parts store

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Now we just have to wait for the electrical guys to add their improvements!!! :wink:

Mike...
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Postby Scooter » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:24 am

It's not the science that's confusing me, it's the hardware. The pics are extremely helpful. After looking at those and browsing some stores yesterday, I'm starting to get an idea how I might do it.

When you can't find every item on the Cubby list, THAT'S where it gets complicated. There's a variety of connectors, junctions, fuse setups, etc. You have to know how they all work together before you can buy anything. Home Depot has what you need to wire a house. AutoZone has what you need to wire a car. Taking a little bit from each to wire a teardrop from scratch is kinda difficult when you've never done it before.
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Postby bdosborn » Sun Oct 24, 2004 1:54 pm

At the risk of mudying up the waters, here is a chart showing typical wire ampacity taken from the NEC section dealing with recreational vehicles. It lists what size fuse should be use with a given wire size. I had planned on using #14 AWG for most of the branch wiring in my trailer, with #12 AWG for 12V outlets.

Table 551.10(E)(1) Low-Voltage Overcurrent Protection

Wire Size (AWG) Ampacity Wire Type
18 6 Stranded only
16 8 Stranded only
14 15 Stranded or solid
12 20 Stranded or solid
10 30 Stranded or solid

There are a lot of different ways to size wire and fuses but the values shown in the table above are very conservative and should work for most cases. I have a hand drawn sketch of the wiring I have planned for my trailer that shows devices, wire sizes and fuses. I can scan it and post a PDF if anyone is interested.
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Oct 24, 2004 2:21 pm

bdosborn wrote: I have a hand drawn sketch of the wiring I have planned for my trailer that shows devices, wire sizes and fuses. I can scan it and post a PDF if anyone is interested.
Bruce


Sure, I'd like to see your sketch!

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Postby asianflava » Sun Oct 24, 2004 3:27 pm

I'm probably going to wire my 12V stuff with the stuff I'm familiar with. I used to install car stereos a long time ago, we usually used these to hook up several amps.

<img src="http://www.partsexpress.com/images/070-820m.jpg">

It is a bit of over kill wire size. But it is a definite mechanical connection with the wire.
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Postby Steve Frederick » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:55 pm

Mike, Your system for wiring seems like the way to go!! That's the way I did it, so. it must be right!! :wink: :wink: :wink:
The big thing, is to keep the cables organized, as to where they go. I used condiut, under the frame between the car, to the battery, to the fusebox, to the galley. I can add wiring to these areas anytime I need to! Also ampacity is a big deal. Someone mentioned earlier that they used 14ga for everything. That's what I did too!! Lot's of smart folks here!! :lol: :lol: I used fire alarm/security cable 'cuz that's what I can get,scraps, anything shorter than 50 feet! Nice for use in a T and TT!
I did upsize the wire to the utility power plugs (cigarette lighter type) to 12 ga, because I didn't know what might get plugged into them! You can always change a fuse, to the limit of the wire's capacity, to accomodate the final use.
On the next Tear, I think I'll locate the battery in the rear. I think that locating it on the tongue added too much weight.
I made the fuse box from a salvaged time switch box from my shop, added a fuseblock, 46052, from Waytek, connections are crimp-on connectors.Image

Image

How I did it!!
Blessings, Steve
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Postby Dan » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:45 pm

As an Electrical Engineer, let me add in my two cents worth.

You guys are on the right track.

The only thing that I want to add is:
(1) Use stranded wire instead of solid wire. Stranded is more flexible. And Terminals are easier to crimp onto flexible wire - more secure.
(2) When you run wires to a device, tag the wire with masking tape and write the function on the tape. Later, if two wires are adjacent, you will know which wire goes to which device and you can connect the wire to the right device the first time.

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Postby mikeschn » Sun Oct 24, 2004 6:50 pm

Oh good... I'm glad we are on the right track...

Now let me throw these two questions out...

Should the battery be grounded to the frame?

and

Can you use a battery charger on the battery while running all the lights, etc at the campground?

Mike...

P.S. It's amazing.. no one has picked on Michelle yet for running an obviously "too thin wire" from the battery...

and no one has picked on me for not talking about grounding the frame...

and furthermore, no one has picked on me for the wire sizes, which are close, but not right... i.e. is 8 gauge too thick from the battery, and is 16 too thin from the lights...???
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Postby Steve Frederick » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:14 pm

Dan wrote:As an Electrical Engineer, let me add in my two cents worth.

You guys are on the right track.

The only thing that I want to add is:
(1) Use stranded wire instead of solid wire. Stranded is more flexible. And Terminals are easier to crimp onto flexible wire - more secure.
(2) When you run wires to a device, tag the wire with masking tape and write the function on the tape. Later, if two wires are adjacent, you will know which wire goes to which device and you can connect the wire to the right device the first time.

Dan

Yup, After 33 plus years as a journeyman, that's the main thing to remember...Where did that cable go!!! :oops:
Stranded wire is the ONLY way to go! A crimped connection just won't hold on solid wire. It's a bit thinner too, easier to snake through thght spots. I tag each cable with it's destination and purpose. I also take photos of cabling that will get buried...for as-built records in my work,,,to keep from running a screw through it in the teardrop!! I also printed, but haven't installed, a legend for the fuse box..What circuit goes where and amp rating/fuse size.
Gee Dan, You're pretty smart for an engineer!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Blessings, Steve
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Postby Scooter » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:20 pm

OK here's what I've come up with. Just laid it on the counter for a pic, it'll be a couple weekends before trailer gets wired (everything will be properly secured at that time).

Incoming 10 gauge Romex wire will come in bottom through flex conduit and a knock-out hole in the box. Pos wire connected to the single post on the fuse block, power runs through fuses then out to lights and stuff via 16 gauge speaker wire. Neg wires from each accessory will come in and connect to bus bar at top of pic, then grounded to frame or whatever.

Took six stops at hardware/auto parts stores to decide on all this!
Image
Topic for another day: What kinda connectors and stuff will be needed to run from teardrop battery to car battery for charging enroute?
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Postby Steve Frederick » Sun Oct 24, 2004 7:26 pm

mikeschn wrote:Oh good... I'm glad we are on the right track...

Now let me throw these two questions out...

Should the battery be grounded to the frame?

and

Can you use a battery charger on the battery while running all the lights, etc at the campground?

Mike...

P.S. It's amazing.. no one has picked on Michelle yet for running an obviously "too thin wire" from the battery...

and no one has picked on me for not talking about grounding the frame...

and furthermore, no one has picked on me for the wire sizes, which are close, but not right... i.e. is 8 gauge too thick from the battery, and is 16 too thin from the lights...???


I grounded the battery to the frame, because I used the frame as ground, better, common or negative.
Who would pick on Michelle? She's obviously working hard!!
8ga is better that going the other way! I used 10 because the wiring in the Durango is 10ga also.
16ga might be good for the lights, they can't draw that much!
Ive used my charger while working inside the Tear with the lights on, with the battery. It seemed ok, but, I've never tried that while camping. My battery works for a long time before discharging to the point of needing a charge...never ran out yet!
Blessings, Steve
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