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Old 08-10-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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Question Cable conduit on exterior of trailer

I have a need to run a set of wires from the back of my trailer to front, and I'm considering mounting some kind of conduit on the roof of the trailer. I'm curious if anyone has needed to do this, or has any suggestions.

For reference, here is the whole story: I'm considering buying a Garmin BC 30 Wireless backup camera (since I already have a Garmin GPS that supports that camera). The camera requires 12V power, and (apparently) the wireless reception is best if you have the transmitter as close to the GPS receiver as possible. Garmin provides an extension cable, which would allow me to mount the camera on the rear of my trailer (up high, near the roof), and mount the transmitter on the front of the trailer (facing the two vehicle). I have a spot to mount the camera, and I can tap off existing wiring to get power. No problem there. I can envision a length of plastic pipe or something similar mounted on the roof of the trailer that would provide the path to run the cable up to the front. This seems much easier that trying to thread the cable through the interior of the trailer, or running the cable under the trailer.
Here are my questions...
1) Is mounting something on the top of the trailer a bad idea?
2) Is PVC pipe a bad choice for this? I'm wondering about sun and temperature damage over time. Perhaps other plastic pipe would be better?
3) Are there other alternative products for this? I've looked for exterior wiring conduits, but I haven't found anything appropriate.
4) My trailer roof is a one piece plastic shell, so I don't want to drill into it or anything like that. So then what would be the best way to fasten something to it? Silicon adhesive maybe?

Any help or suggestion here would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:53 PM   #2
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I have run conduit on the roof and under the belly of my fifth-wheel. I use gray PVC pipe. I found from first usage, the PVC ages on the roof. When I redid the roof wiring, I painted the PVC pipe before installing.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:25 AM   #3
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Adding conduit on the roof could block the water flow from your ac and during the rain. Personally, I'd stay away from that.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:19 AM   #4
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What about using Eterna Bond tape?
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:50 AM   #5
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I would go under where attachment would be easy. You might be able to go above the ceiling going from one lamp or vent to the next. No way would I tape that dam to the roof.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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I understand what your trying to do and really can't think of a good way to secure pipe to the roof without drilling. The water damming is a very real concern. I'm about to install one on my trailer as well. My plan is to use a license plate camera and fish the cable in the wall, about 2 feet and run the wire under. The power I'll tap from the license plate light. I relocated the spare under the trailer for a clear field of vision. This won't work for all because of how my license plate is mounted to the trailer. It is in a holder built into the wall in the center of the trailer. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I hadn't thought about the water dam issue, so I appreciate the wisdom. I'm re-thinking my approach.

Mounting the camera low is a possibility, as I can run the cables underneath. Unfortunately, this approach presents a problem in my case, in that I will need to run power somehow.

I'll keep thinking...
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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Check the wiring harness under the trailer. My trailer was wired from front to back with the 7 wire cord. I have a junction box right under the front - the wires were there (but not connected - except for running lights and brake lights) and I connected the backup wire from the tow vehicle, and tapped the wire at the back where it wasn't being used by the manufacturer, for backup lights. The 12v power wire isn't used in mine, but I have a wire there if I need 12v from the tow vehicle to rear of camper. Good thing about using it, if it is there, that the camera power is cut when the trailer is not plugged in to the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
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As for the water dam issue of conduit on the roof. I used wire tie plates with the normal glue plate removed and replaced with Red 3M Super Bond Tape. At the ends and the middle points of the conduits, I used conduit bodies. The combination of the wire tie plate and the conduit bodies raise the conduit about a 1/4" about the roof, more than enough not to dam rain run off.

I originally did this to get the solar panel connect cables off of the roof because they did cause a water dam crossing the roof. Example.
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:09 AM   #10
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As for the water dam issue of conduit on the roof. I used wire tie plates with the normal glue plate removed and replaced with Red 3M Super Bond Tape. At the ends and the middle points of the conduits, I used conduit bodies. The combination of the wire tie plate and the conduit bodies raise the conduit about a 1/4" about the roof, more than enough not to dam rain run off.

I originally did this to get the solar panel connect cables off of the roof because they did cause a water dam crossing the roof.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:09 AM   #11
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Smart idea!
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:08 PM   #12
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I just installed the BC-30 camera to my trailer..

ran it down the back and followed along the frame of trailer to the front.

mounted the transmitter to a bracket for the propane tanks and so its underneath the tank cover, out of the weather.

and down the back I used White Gorilla Tape to hold/cover the wires... as trailer body is white also.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_Hammer View Post
I just installed the BC-30 camera to my trailer..

ran it down the back and followed along the frame of trailer to the front.

mounted the transmitter to a bracket for the propane tanks and so its underneath the tank cover, out of the weather.

and down the back I used White Gorilla Tape to hold/cover the wires... as trailer body is white also.
My installation of the BC-30 camera is very similar to the above description. Used tye wraps to secure coax under the trailer. With the white gorilla tape its difficult to even see the camera and coax from behind the trailer.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:29 AM   #14
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I just installed a wired camera on my trailer. Here's what I did:

I mounted it up high, just below the center marker light. I took the center and left marker lights off, and fished the wire across, then down, and into the space below the rear bunk. I had to cut an access hole on the inside on the top bunk because there was a crossmember that went from one side of the trailer to the other preventing me from fishing the wire down. I then went through the floor in that area (next to my water heater), through a hole that was already there with other cables going through it. That got me into the belly, and then I ran it along the bottom of the trailer up to the hitch. To seal things up, I filed a small notch in the bottom of the center marker light, and used ProFlex RV sealant to seal the lights back up again when I put them on. You can barely notice the wire going into that light. I didn't want to run wire down the back, etc. The only thing left to do in my trailer is make a patch for the wall where I had to cut the access panel. I might steal a piece of the wall material from an area under the bed so I can have it match. From the outside, it looks like a factory install. I'm really picky about not making things look half-assed, so I'm happy with how it came out. The only additional holes I had to make on the outside were for the screws that mounted the camera.

I only have one picture of it so far. I'll take more this weekend and post them if anyone is interested.

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