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Old 09-19-2011, 05:21 PM   #1
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Which is hot wire - white or black?

Trying to wire up a CB radio. The manufacturer made it easy, the antenna and electrical wiring is bundled under the dash for me, but I can't remember which is 'hot' and which is ground. I seem to remember RV manufacturers do their own thing.

The CB side is easy. Red is hot, black is ground. On the RV side I have a white and a black wire. Which is ground/hot?

Thanks,
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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For 120V, black is hot. Not sure about 12v. Use a volt meter or test light to make sure.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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My guess would be black is hot and white is ground. But to make sure, I would use my multimeter and test each of the wires. First, one lead of the multimeter the black wire and the other multimeter lead to a metal (frame) ground. If you don't have a voltage reading then replace the black wire with the white wire.

If you don't get any voltage reading from either wire I would place the ignition switch in the "ON" position and try the test again.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin View Post
For 120V, black is hot. Not sure about 12v. Use a volt meter or test light to make sure.

For 12volts Black is always ground. For 120 Black is hot, white and bare wire go to ground.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:35 PM   #5
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Since all manufacturers build to their own systems I would use a meter to check.
Best guess Black is power, White is ground.

My Winnebago has yellow for power, white for ground
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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For 12volts Black is always ground. For 120 Black is hot, white and bare wire go to ground.
That's the way it should be.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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...and so, you can invest in a $5 test light at wal mart, or you can risk a $120 CB and go with the assumption that black is ground. Hey, you have a 50% chance of being right!
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #8
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:44 PM   #9
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Jay bring her over and i'll hook her up for you and then we can go to Two Lakes for supper to celebrate.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
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Jay, does this coach have a dedicated connector panel like your Tiffin did? If so that should give you the color of the hot wire. If nothing else check and see what color the wires are going to your ground buss bar.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #11
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When working with 12volts. Black and white: black is hot.......Red and black:red is hot..... In fifteen years, I have never seen Fleetwood, Gulfstream, or Allegro do it any other way.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Jay bring her over and i'll hook her up for you and then we can go to Two Lakes for supper to celebrate.
Would take you up on that, but I'm no longer in Pine River. We sold the house, closed on the sale just before Labor Day. Right now I'm parked on the camp host site at one of the Dane County (Madison) parks.

...and my test light isn't working.

I seem to remember that black is hot (opposite of what most would expect - which is why I'm asking). As the answers are all over the place I sent a note to American Coach. Hope to have an answer in the AM. Otherwise, the installation is complete.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #13
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I will join the "USE A METER" chorus... Though Generally on an RV if you are dealing with HOUSE wiring, black is hot, since they are wired by electricians, not electronics or automotive techinicians..

Under the dash it is often wired to the auto standard.. RED is usually hooked to the battery, black is usually the chassis, and other colors are .. You need a scorecard to tell (Schematic)

Since you can not know for sure which crew put that wire in there.. USE A METER!

Since the key word in the above is USUALLY... USE A METER.

That is the only way to be sure.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:39 PM   #14
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Jay whats the name of the park as I have camped at a few down there, and how long are you going to be there. Like one guy said you have a 50/50 chance of being right, what's going to happen if your wrong the 2 amp fuze on the CB will blow and you get a new fuze.
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