Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-12-2022, 12:39 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 113
Simple Electrical Question (I think)

I am wanting to add a couple of USB ports to our 5th wheel. When I pulled down the light to slice into the lines I saw a group of white wires and a group of orange/white wires. My USB outlet has red and black wires. Which wires go with what? Does it matter if I splice into the wires from the light or before the light? Or, should I just lob off the wire nuts and splice in that way so that there'll be 4 wires in the clump?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20220512_142759.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	117.8 KB
ID:	365288   Click image for larger version

Name:	20220512_142826.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	254.2 KB
ID:	365289  

__________________
2018 Grand Design Reflection 290BH 5er (34')
2015 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
flintsters is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-12-2022, 12:51 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 67
You probably have a switch controlling multiple lights, power in and power out. If so, you can connect to the wires but your usb would also be controlled by the switch.
Capacitor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Skip426's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 27,499
RV standard wiring ; white wire is ground .
Automotive standard wiring ; black wire is ground .

But , if you're doing your own install with out a 12 volt test light and a volt meter

EDIT: As far as a connection is concerned the best connection would be a new wire nut .
__________________
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
Skip426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,354
Okay, my questions may be a bit basic, but I need more information.

Are the lights 12 VDC or 120 VAC? Is the USB outlet designed for 12 VDC or 120 VAC?

Was there a wiring diagram with the USB outlet?

I suspect the lights are 12 VDC and thus the outlet needs to be 12 VDC. My comments will be along those lines. Technically, if it is 120 VAC, it shouldn't matter how you wire it.

I am from South Louisiana. Anytime you are cooking some good food, the instructions are always "First, you start with a Roux."

Well, anytime you are working with electrical, my first comment is, first you start with a meter. Knowing if you have 12 versus 120 volts is critical. Normally, 12 volts is not a problem, 120 volts kills.

Determine what the hot & ground wires on the light circuit. You actually might have a plus (+) and a negative (-) marking on the plastic light housing to help identify. Similarly, you might have markings on the USB outlet. Match the plus to plus and the negative to negative.

If no markings, once you know the positive and negative leads from your meter, match that with the instructions as to the leads on the outlet.

Are, if it is a 12 VDC circuit, just wire it up and check. If it is wrong, it will just not work. If it is correct, voila, you have an outlet.

Of course, as pointed out, this is probably a switched circuit, unless the switch is built into the light itself.

I probably wouldn't worry about it, I have been known to wire 120 volt circuits hot. I would never suggest anyone else do that. Make sure all power is off: No shore power, no generator power, no 12 volt battery power, no inverters on, etc.

I have a neat little circuit tester that I can wave around a circuit and it will light up if the circuit is hot. Really helpful little gadget I got from the Home Depot. I think, on a 12 VDC circuit, if you separate the wires far enough, it would light up on the hot wire but not the ground. I guess I could (should) check that out.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
RV standard wiring ; white wire is ground .
Automotive standard wiring ; black wire is ground .

But , if you're doing your own install with out a 12 volt test light and a volt meter
Just to confuse more, on standard house wiring,

Black wire is hot (120 volts)
White wire is neutral
Green or bare wire is ground.

I didn't know how RVs handled wire color, should have figured it was bass ackward.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:22 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Skip426's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 27,499
Quote:
Originally Posted by carybosse View Post
Just to confuse more, on standard house wiring,

Black wire is hot (120 volts)
White wire is neutral
Green or bare wire is ground.

I didn't know how RVs handled wire color, should have figured it was bass ackward.
I should have been more precise and said " RV standard 12 VOLT wiring " white is ground ; following the 120 volt white is neutral ( return ) .

I hate to think of the number of new RVers with automotive experience, who've grabbed trailer battery wiring and hooked them up backwards.

Noting the OP's picture, given the wire in use , and being a light I was pretty sure he was dealing with 12 volts.
__________________
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
Skip426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 113
The outlets are 12 V (these are what I got) The light you see is a 12 volt light with the switch on the face. I don't see any markings on the back side of the light which would give any clues.
__________________
2018 Grand Design Reflection 290BH 5er (34')
2015 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
flintsters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:40 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 1,634
Standard wire color can get you into trouble, electricity doesn't care what color the wire is. The advice to use a meter is correct, anything else is guesswork/trial & error, definitely not recommended. That said, from the looks of the wiring with no equipment ground wire, no NM cable and no box it is probably 12 volts. But depending on who installed it, could be anything, that's why you always verify with a meter. In this case removing shore power and inverter then seeing if lights still work would probably be good, but a meter still makes me more comfortable.

An example of color confusion on line voltage, any color except green is legal to use for the hot in most cases with certain rules for white. Also an old electrician rule: "Neutral is always white but white is not always neutral".
__________________
Brian, 2011 Winnebago Via Class A on Sprinter Chassis
Tucson, AZ
https://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/1040577.png
bigb56 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:44 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 1,634
Quote:
Originally Posted by carybosse View Post

I have a neat little circuit tester that I can wave around a circuit and it will light up if the circuit is hot. Really helpful little gadget I got from the Home Depot. I think, on a 12 VDC circuit, if you separate the wires far enough, it would light up on the hot wire but not the ground. I guess I could (should) check that out.
Those are made in 3 voltage levels and the one for line voltage will not work on low voltage, there is a line voltage level and a low voltage level for under 90 volts which is used by HVAC technicians. We also have a blinking one that works on 12 volts which is handy for landscape lighting and RVs but it's a little tricky to get the hang of how it works.
__________________
Brian, 2011 Winnebago Via Class A on Sprinter Chassis
Tucson, AZ
https://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/1040577.png
bigb56 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 01:56 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 113
I'm 100% that they are 12 volt.
__________________
2018 Grand Design Reflection 290BH 5er (34')
2015 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
flintsters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 02:08 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 242
your black wire goes to the white bunch the orange and white goes to the red wire.
You will be on the hot side of the switch so the USB will be on all the time.
__________________
Garry
garry1p is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 04:18 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 113
Thanks for the help, everyone. I just got them installed. I was able to figure it out with the multimeter (I need to be better at knowing how to use these well). When doing that I noticed that the wires on the lights were soldered in place, which gave me a really good opportunity to hook up the USB outlet using those connection points. When the blue light turned on I knew I had it. And yes, the black went with the white and the red went with the orange/white. On the other outlet they used different colored wires but by then I was feeling too confident to be worried about messing up. Thanks again!!
__________________
2018 Grand Design Reflection 290BH 5er (34')
2015 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
flintsters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 05:35 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,354
Thanks for posting back with results. This is how the forums are supposed to work. Now, the next guy will have a clue, and someone searching for an aftermarket USB outlet can find what you used.

I am surprised how many USB ports my TT has. There 2 on each side of the bed, 2 on each level of the bunk, and I think one on the built in radio. With all of that, with our daughter, her husband, and granddaughter in the TT this weekend, they still had adapters plugged into the 120 to charge additional devices. Way too connected.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electric, electrical



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Roof mounted AC wont turn on. Is it as simple as I think? Goneracin RV Systems & Appliances 25 04-30-2018 11:39 PM
Simple question/simple answer JF1957 Allison Transmission Forum 5 10-10-2016 10:54 AM
Simple electrical question... Or so I thought... jeffdubya RV Systems & Appliances 16 07-29-2012 10:50 PM
Think your RV is your "home"? Think again. GraciesMom iRV2.com General Discussion 59 05-10-2010 02:49 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.