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Old 05-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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Extreme basic 12V help....

I do 110 wiring all the time and understand installing lights, switches, and receptacles.

However 12V mystifies me. I want to tie into a 12V source in the TT basement and see a wire running to the hitch light where I could get a power connection. However I don't know one wire from the next. I see red, white and black. The red connects to black. White to white.

The power male piece I have for my led's has a red and a black wire.

Question is - what wire/wires do I tie into and what color to what color?
Can I use regular mar connectors of the correct size for the wires?

Thanks - apologies for being so uneducated about this.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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White should be ground black should be 12v
Double check this with volt meter as your results may very.

On your item with red and black wire.
Red hot black ground.

Turbs
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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WOW Turbs - you are fast!

So in my case the trailer wiring is red and white. So put the red pigtail wire to the red trailer wire and the black pigtail wire to the white trailer? Would be simpler if they were consistent on color.

My only voltmeter plugs into 110 receptacle. Can I use a battery tester set to 12V? Can I assume that the hot will show power and the ground/neutral will show nothing?

Seems like I need to make a trip to the hardware store for a proper voltmeter.

Thanks again Turbs. What would we all do without you....
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietTimes View Post
Seems like I need to make a trip to the hardware store for a proper voltmeter.
That would be a good purchase and tool for the TT!
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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Yes purchase one and leave it in the camper.

Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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QuietTimes,

I have seen many colors of wires in 12 volt systems and I don't trust the common color code like you use in 110/220 wiring. A volt ohm meter is a must to be safe. I would also suggest an inline fuse be added also for safety of what ever you are adding. Also, if you are taking power from another device or light source remember that if for example the bulb goes out your added device may lose power as well.

Just my two cents worth :>)
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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You'll find a number of threads that point out thet the Automotive indiustry uses red for + amd white for -, while the RV industry uses black for + and white for -.... And then OTHER threads where a different manufacturer did something different yet!

A multi-meter, even one of the cheap "free" one's from Harbor Freight, is a necessary tool to do any real electrical work in an RV....
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #8
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My camper has about 1/2 the runs as green and white.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:45 PM   #9
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As a low voltage tech,I can tell you that when it comes to wire colors there is no hard fast rules. As far as light bulbs go - there is no polarity with incandescent bulbs I.e. one wire positive one negative With LEDs this may or may not be true. If the wires are the same color, say both white, then polarity does not matter, but if different color such as one red and one black, then most likely the red is positive and the black is negative /ground. If you get it Wong you can blow the LED but most of the time it just won't turn on. Always read the package and check current with volt meter.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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are you trying to tie into the tow vehicle's power? or into the trailer's house battery bank?

you can request a wiring diagram from forest river. they have it for 12v as well as 120v.

if you need power from the tow vehicle, here's the standard wiring diagram
Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com
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