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Old 03-17-2015, 06:31 PM   #1
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Completely Rewire a Vintage Camper

I have a old camper which as yet has not been identified as to brand, model or year.
I am taking it down to the frame and then rebuild.
Looking around I found a few books on the electrical wiring of campers. Nothing sticks out as the instructional book I need. Looking for a instuctional manual which will step by step describe how to completely install a new electrical system...including 12 and 110 volt systems.
The book would need to be non specific but describe the system install so I can adapt to include electrical items most vintage campers did not have. Ex: TV, microwave, refrigerator, led lighting, fans etc.
Comprehensive enough to include exterior lighting and other exterior electrical needs.
Thanks for and guidance in the matter!
Vintage Jim
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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Jim,

I could go into this, but I don't have the time and without knowing a lot more, I cannot even make intelligent suggestions.

I can suggest that you post this same question either at the TCT site or the FaceBook TCT section.

Matt
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:17 PM   #3
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If you have basic knowledge of electrical systems both 12 and 120 you should be able to do this it's really not complicated, I have completely built a 5th wheel rv as well as install all the systems, go to Total Rebuild in the Vintage section and you'll find it there, there is a book on Amazon called RV Electrical Systems, sounds like it would help, I have not read it. if you have some questions post them here and there is a lot of people that can help.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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Basic stuff taught in electronic school. DC=solid wire; AC=multi strand wire (more the better). Use bigger wire than the math calls for, this will help with voltage drop under load. Never use wire nuts. Crimp and solder. Never use plumbers solder/flux-only rosin core flux. Yes battery cables are multi strand on DC but some times you have to compromise. Fuse is size by load. Never fuse bigger than the wire can support. Do not use auto reset circuit breakers as they may cause a fire. Try to have the main panel in the middle to keep wires shorter-long runs of wires lead to voltage drops.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:27 AM   #5
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87, I hope meant just the opposite, DC- is multi strand AC- solid
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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Suggest you take pictures with notes as you disassemble.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley1994 View Post
87, I hope meant just the opposite, DC- is multi strand AC- solid
No-AC travels on the surface of a conductor (it is called the skin effect) so mult strand = more surface which = lower resistance.
DC travels inside the conductor and needs a solid conductor.


Wikipedia

Skin effect is the tendency of an alternating electric current (AC) to become distributed within a conductor such that the current density is largest near the surface of the conductor, and decreases with greater depths in the conductor.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:42 AM   #8
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I wonder why my house is wired with solid wire and all the trucks and cars and RVs are wired in multi strand.............hmmmm makes you wonder
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:52 AM   #9
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A solid wire is hard to bend so for cars they do use stranded as it is easier/fast/cheaper.
In a house you will find both. a solid wire is easier to push and most outlets are the fast "push the wire in here" type that best grip a solid wire.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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Solid wire consists of a single strand or core of wire that is insulated with non-conductive material. Typically you will find solid core wire in situations where the wire is not designed to be continuously flexed (i.e. your house electrical wiring, wires for breadboards, etc.)
Stranded wire consists of a bundle of small gauge wires compressed and insulated with non-conductive material. Typically you will find stranded wires in situations where the wire needs to be routed through tight spaces or experiences frequent flexing/vibration (i.e. headphone cables, speaker wire, automotive wire, appliance cables, etc.)
Some advantages of solid core wire:
  • Cheaper to produce
  • More compact diameter for the same current carrying capability as stranded
  • Less likely to fail due to corrosion
Disadvantages of solid core wire:
  • Typically only available in small gauges
  • Continuous flexing or vibration will cause the wire to fatigue and break
Some advantages of stranded wire:
  • Very flexible and withstands a greater amount of flexing and vibration
  • Easier to rout
Disadvantages of stranded wire:
  • Diameter is larger for the same carrying capability as solid
  • More costly to produce as the manufacturing process is more complex
  • More likely to fail due to corrosion from capillary action & a high surface area
Just saying
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:06 PM   #11
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VintageJim, that's a loaded question!!

Start small, work on some minor repairs. It's something that needs to be learned piece by piece. Do you have any friends who could help you with the rewire to teach you at the same time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley1994 View Post
Solid wire consists of a single strand or core of wire that is insulated with non-conductive material. Typically you will find solid core wire in situations where the wire is not designed to be continuously flexed (i.e. your house electrical wiring, wires for breadboards, etc.)
Stranded wire consists of a bundle of small gauge wires compressed and insulated with non-conductive material. Typically you will find stranded wires in situations where the wire needs to be routed through tight spaces or experiences frequent flexing/vibration (i.e. headphone cables, speaker wire, automotive wire, appliance cables, etc.)
Some advantages of solid core wire:

  • Cheaper to produce
  • More compact diameter for the same current carrying capability as stranded
  • Less likely to fail due to corrosion
Disadvantages of solid core wire:
  • Typically only available in small gauges
  • Continuous flexing or vibration will cause the wire to fatigue and break
Some advantages of stranded wire:
  • Very flexible and withstands a greater amount of flexing and vibration
  • Easier to rout
Disadvantages of stranded wire:
  • Diameter is larger for the same carrying capability as solid
  • More costly to produce as the manufacturing process is more complex
  • More likely to fail due to corrosion from capillary action & a high surface area
Just saying
I would have to agree that these considerations typically dictate which wire is used as opposed to where the electrons are traveling in the conductor.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:07 PM   #12
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This is great info!
Basic to many, advanced for me!
Thanks
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:08 PM   #13
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Detail is exactly what I need!
Thanks
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:23 PM   #14
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Lots of 12 volt wiring books available for both cars and boats. Either should work with the favor going to boats.
Treat 12 volt like a water pipe. It goes out the red wire from positive and comes back in to the battery on the black wire to negative battery post.
You can put switches in the red wire or lights or fans or pumps.
Put the 12 volt house lights on one circuit
Put the ceiling fan on one circuit
Put the water pump on one circuit, etc.
Each circuit has a fuse at the fuse block.
Read in a boat wiring book how to hook up the fuse block and battery charger to the system. it's really fairly easy with a little study.
Plan out the 120 volt stuff by reading any house wiring book but using a smaller circuit breaker panel.
Study how things in 120 volt systems are "grounded" and follow directions.
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