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Old 04-23-2018, 03:09 PM   #1
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88 Allegro adding 12 volt systems

So I have a 1988 Tiffin Allegro that has been working well for us for the past year or so. We are full time in it, so adding tech and upgrading stuff as we go.

I am getting a Winegard ConnecT 2.0 in the mail in a few days and I need to figure out how to hook it up. I was told it was 12 volt power, which wasn't a problem, but then I went through the manual online and found out that its not a cigarette lighter plug like I though, but just a straight 18 gauge wire with a switch on it to hook into 12 volt power. I'm not sure what to do with that.

I have plenty of 12v lights all over the RV, so would it be possible to just tap into one of those lines for power? I already tried checking if I could add a blade fuse in the electric box, but well, even with all the screws removed, I can't pull the faceplate out more than half an inch to see what it looks like behind it.

If I can tap into the power line for one of the lights, I can put the ConnecT anywhere I want on the roof, drill a hole through into a cabinet and do the connection.

At this point, I'm not sure how many amps the ConnecT will draw, nor how many amps are in the lines for the lights. Back at the fuse box, they all have 20amp fuses, so I assume it has to be less than 20 amps.

My other option is to run a positive and negative line from the battery and put in a small fusebox in the cabinet where everything will be mounted. I'm going to be adding some other 12v devices in that cabinet as well, so if I ran a dedicated line just for those devices, it would be better in the long run, but more expensive right now. If I ran off the battery directly though, I think I would need something to regulate the volts off the battery so it was always at 12v or as close as possible. Don't want any spikes or low amps or anything.

We are also almost always on shore power, so I'm not worried about draining the batteries. I'm also not concerned about actually running the wire from the batteries to where I need it, the basement is open the whole width of the RV so running cable underneath is easy.

Basically: Tap into a cable for a light or run a new line from the battery? Which is easier, which is cheaper?
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:23 PM   #2
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According to the manual the Winegard ConnecT 2.0 has a 1A operating current and should have a 3A in-line fuse on the 12V DC POS supply

12V DC at light will work........just have to have that lighting circuit ON for power
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #3
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According to the manual the Winegard ConnecT 2.0 has a 1A operating current and should have a 3A in-line fuse on the 12V DC POS supply

12V DC at light will work........just have to have that lighting circuit ON for power
Thanks! I just wasn't sure how many amps would be going through the lines for the lights, like if it wouldn't be enough power to run the lights and the ConnecT as well.

It would be far easier to just tap this off the line from the light and be done with it, i can worry about the other devices later when I get around to it.

I'll admit that my high school electronics class was a long time ago, but if I used a junction to splice the power for the ConnecT before the light, and did the same with the negative, then when the switch was flipped for the ConnecT (it comes with one), then the power would go to the ConnecT without having to worry about the light? So parallel instead of series?
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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Thanks! I just wasn't sure how many amps would be going through the lines for the lights, like if it wouldn't be enough power to run the lights and the ConnecT as well.

It would be far easier to just tap this off the line from the light and be done with it, i can worry about the other devices later when I get around to it.

I'll admit that my high school electronics class was a long time ago, but if I used a junction to splice the power for the ConnecT before the light, and did the same with the negative, then when the switch was flipped for the ConnecT (it comes with one), then the power would go to the ConnecT without having to worry about the light? So parallel instead of series?
NOPE........
12V DC comes from the FUSED circuit TO the WALL On/Off Switch then to the light(s)---daisy chained light to light
12V DC at lights is NOT hot until you turn WALL switch on.....

**except for those individual lights that you turn on with switch that is part of light fixture
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:50 PM   #5
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NOPE........
12V DC comes from the FUSED circuit TO the WALL On/Off Switch then to the light(s)---daisy chained light to light
12V DC at lights is NOT hot until you turn WALL switch on.....

**except for those individual lights that you turn on with switch that is part of light fixture
Oh yeah, all of my lights have the switch on the fixture itself, not anywhere on the wall. I've been considering replacing them with something nicer looking and LED anyway.

I also only have 9 fuses in the fuse box at the back. One I know went to the old tube TVs that had 12v outlets, but the rest aren't labeled at all and I haven't messed around with them to figure out which of the blade fuses goes to which lights or if they are all on the same fuse.

Wait, take that back, there are three lights that have controls not on the light itself. There is a switch panel in the stairwell with three switches on it. One is for the outside light, one is for the light above the stairs (though that fixture is just like the others inside and has a switch on the light itself), and then there is a small, very weak hallway light near the floor that we never use. So yeah, almost all the lights, and definitely the lights I'd be getting power from, only have on/off switches on the light fixture.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:48 PM   #6
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My 89 Tiffin Allegro has 12v outlets in a few of the overhead cabinets. You might try it there so you don't have to see the wire! Also I have live 12v at the switch panel next to the entry stairs. I would think either of these routes would work well! Mine is wired like yours. All my lighting except for the one over the entry stairs are switched at the light and the 12v power coming to the fixture is always live.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:39 PM   #7
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My 89 Tiffin Allegro has 12v outlets in a few of the overhead cabinets.
Yeah, about that. I had a little accident with the 12volt outlets. I was installing a Trav'ler DirecTV dish on the roof and just so happened to put a screw through the power line that goes to the original 12volt power outlets for the TVs that used to be there. For whatever reason, the power line goes through the ceiling and not through the cabinets like I thought it did. Blew the fuse, tried a new blade fuse and blew that immediately. So now neither of them have power.

I haven't built up the courage to cut a hole in the ceiling and figure out which screw hit the wire and repair it, but since the fuse is blown, there's no power going through it anyway. Still not sure why it was the original idea to run a power cable from the passenger side, up through the ceiling, across the RV to one power outlet, then somehow, and I have no idea what path it takes, all the way to the center of the dash in front.

My plan was to run a new power cable to the front from the battery for the stuff in the dash since I've added a rear view camera and want to add some USB power outlets for our phones while driving. Maybe some other things, but I'm not sure what yet or what I will have room for. Probably a clock and GPS too, but I'm limited to a spot about 12"x12".
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:34 AM   #8
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I'm glad I haven't tried to put any screws I'm the roof! I assumed it was run in the cabinets as well! I took the TV out of the dash and I'm installing a 12v switch/usb/outlet panel in that space. That way I will have switches to add some left lights front and back to help me navigate in remote areas at night. The one I ordered also has a voltmeter on it which will be nice since my only dash gauge that still works is the temp gauge. They are great motorhomes! I've been remodeling mine and I'm impressed with the build quality. Which backup camera did you get? I've been thinking about installing one.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:34 AM   #9
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I watched your video about your transmission. It's funny ours had tranny issues as well. The transmission blew up on the test drive. I think what causes it is the brake lines swelling shut and the brake drag burning up the transmission. We hadn't bought it yet but I really wanted the RV so I ordered a transmission that had been remanufactured and we put it in at the guy's house , replaced the brake lines, and I drove it 3 hours home. I ordered extra brake lines in case I ever notice them dragging while we are on the road. My eventual goal is to retrofit the motorhome to a 4l80e to have the stronger transmission and have overdrive.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:58 AM   #10
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I got a rear view camera from Tadi Brothers. It was pretty easy to install, but the same weekend I installed it was when I screwed up the 12 volt power. I did the camera first, so I was able to set it up and make sure it worked and everything, but then screwed the power when putting in the satellite dish and haven't been able to ever actually use it while backing up. I have to figure out something to put in the dash too where the old TV was and how to mount it so i can use the camera. And of course how to get power up there. The hardest part of installing the camera was actually trying to figure out how to get the cable from the camera in back to the monitor up front. Its only one cable for power and video, but I went through the cabinets in back, down the closet, under the fridge, into the basement with some other cables, then through the basement and around the engine and finally up inside the dash. I had a 50 foot cable that came with it and had about 3' leftover when all said and done because it obviously wasn't a straight line.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:26 AM   #11
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I watched your video about your transmission.
The whole transmission issue was a pain in the butt. We could have gotten it fixed and been on the road in a few days, but I wanted to save money and trusted someone, which was my big mistake. Never should have dealt with that guy and trusted my gut and just gone somewhere that could do it right the first time.

Haven't had any tranny issues with it since though, but we have an exhaust leak now that we are dealing with. Trying to find someone who will replace manifolds with either manifolds or headers has been difficult. We even went to Bay Diesel in Red Bay, AL, and the owner was going to look for parts. We went to a campground, called every day for a week to figure out what was going on and making sure he had found the replacement parts before we headed back and he never once returned a call. We had poor cell signal there, so I was even able to get my email address to him so he could let me know what was going on, but nope, not one word.

Had he told me he didn't want to deal with it, I'd have been fine with that and found someone else to work on it, but he never once said he didn't or couldn't do it, and never told me what was going on. So instead we headed back to the same mechanic that put in the transmission and I need to get ahold of them to see if they can do it, but I'm pretty sure they can. Its a small shop, but they did great work with the transmission and are the type of guys that if something isn't by the manual, they are skilled enough to make it work.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:22 PM   #12
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It can be hard to get people to work on these. Luckily I was an ASE Certified technician for years so I just do it all myself. I bolted a full toolbox in the large storage area under the couch and travel with everything needed to fix it on the fly. I actually live about 1.5 hours from Red Bay just outside of Birmingham. We are right on I22 and I see a lot of Tiffins daily heading that direction. I'm a little jealous of yours. In 89 they went to the more rounded front cap and fiberglass rear cap. It doesn't look nearly as cool. My interior is very close to yours. I have the 31ft so it's a little smaller and a little different layout. Hoping to get the tires put on this week. Just got my balance beads in the mail and the tire shop down the street quoted me $6 a tire to mount. Going to take him 1 to make sure he understands what he has agreed to!
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:32 PM   #13
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I really like the body style of ours. It was also kept under cover most of its life, so the white is still bright white and the brown is still brown. The previous owners did back into something though, so there is a wrinkle in the aluminum on both sides at the back, but that's really it. The only thing that looks aged really is the Allegro logo on the front, its badly peeling and I need to find a way to replace it. I would like to repaint the whole thing eventually too, but that will be time consuming and may be expensive. I was thinking about painting the white a gun metal grey and the brown a metallic green with fleck in it so it sparkles. Figured that would look pretty badass.

Inside though, we've got a lot of work to do. My wife hates the brown, especially the curtains and valences, but that's down the road before we do it. Right now gotta get it mechanically working well, then we can worry about making it more homey.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:59 PM   #14
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Count your blessings on the brown. Mine was baby blue!
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