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Old 08-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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I almost always use a crimp tool in my Coach. Wire Nuts come loose and the connections are not reliable in a Automotive Environment. Check your car and see how many you find. The tool isn't expensive for low usage around $13.00 http://www.harborfreight.com/ratcheting-crimping-tool-97420.html
and the butt connectors are available at Walmart or an Auto Parts store, even at Harborfreight http://www.harborfreight.com/150-piece-terminal-and-connector-set-67683.html I prefer a better quality than HF but there tool has lasted me for years with low usage.

Just don't crimp solid wires, twisted only, for good results.

Dick
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:09 AM   #16
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My personal favorite for automotive applications is soldered with heat-shrink tube over the splice. Unfortunately, I often find myself using insulated crimp connectors with vinyl tape. For most residential and commercial applications wire nuts work fine, just use the right size nut for the wire you're working with and never, ever try to reuse an old one, they're single-use only. If I'm doing repair work, I like to snip off the old connectors so I have to strip back the conductors to get to fresh wire. Never had a problem.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:37 PM   #17
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wire nuts are single-use only? never heard that one before. been reusing them for decades.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:41 PM   #18
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Technically, they are single use as the spring threads can stretch over time..
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by W4MBG View Post
wire nuts are single-use only? never heard that one before. been reusing them for decades.
I don't make this stuff up, a commercial electrician had to tell me. I've reused them many times myself, I've also replaced many 3 phase motors that single-phased and leaked the smoke out when one of the old wire nuts came loose. It became a simple question, $500 for a new motor (plus downtime) or $0.50 for a new wirenut?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:58 AM   #20
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Hmm...getting confused now with the differing opinions. But given that all of the connectors I am seeing in our motorhome are crimped on, I'm leaning toward that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:58 AM   #21
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i can see having an issue if the wire nut gets hot due to a loose connection inside it, but not just due to time. oh well, diff'rent strokes as they say.

saliandra: no problems using a crimp connector, as long as the crimp is good, and the wire is stranded, not solid.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #22
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Since I was an electrician for 40 years I thought I might weigh in on this. Probably the best electrical connection on an RV would be a soldered joint with special attention to insulating the connection. The biggest problem with electrical connections on an RV is vibration. Wirenuts and crimp connections are both effected by constant shaking. One person told of experiencing a problem reusing wirenuts on electric motors. While you do need to make sure the wirenut is tight, the problem he dealt with was probably a combination of high starting load stressing the connections and vibration working together to create a loose connection. If a wirenut won't tighten, throw it in the trash. Whatever type of connector you use, a little Scotch 33 or other good quality electrical tape added to your work will help. There is also a 3M product called Scotch Kote that comes in a can with a brush under the cap that is used to seal and waterproof taped connections,(will also keep the tape from unraveling). Also if you can secure the connections so they don't shake or vibrate you will be way ahead. Any wire that constantly moves, even a little, at any connection point will eventually experience metal fatigue and fail. Stranded wire is better at dealing with movement than solid but even stranded will fail at some point. My best advice is make sure your connections are clean and dry. The exception to this is aluminum wire does require use of an anti-oxidant approved for use with aluminum wire. And don't let the wiring move unless there is no other option, such as an umbilical to a towed vehicle. Good luck and drive safely.
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