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Old 04-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
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Location: Austin, Tx area
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Wiring Weirdness

As I rebuild large sections of my TT to cure the
rot, I have encountered a lot of the DC wiring
and been amazed at how strange the color
coding and gauge selection is.

Logically, you would expect FR to have a color
code for the DC circuits. They might use a code
like:
1) Since the TT will be connected to a TV, they
might use the auto standard - negative=black
& positive=red.

OR

2) If they thought the black wire is problematic,
they might use the alternate code -
negative=white & positive=red.

OR

3) They might makeup their own company code.

But in *ALL* cases, I would expect that they would
have a code AND STICK TO IT!!!

But NO. I have found a plethora of colors and gauges
without any consistancy. For example, I found:
1) One instance of neg=black, pos=red.
2) More than one of neg=white, pos=red.
3) More than one of neg=white, pos=black.
[Yikes! looks like the 117VAC circuit!]
4) One instance of neg=white, pos=white w/black stripe.
5) One instance of neg=white, pos=white w/PURPLE stripe!!

Apparently FR has a room with a rats nest of wires &
the installers just grab the first wire they see. Or the
person(s) who wired my TT do not have a hint of a
suspicion of a clue!

And the gauge selection isn't any more logical. On one
(UNFUSED!) outlet, I found a large gauge red wire connecting
the pos terminal upstream to the battery pos (via the 30A
self-resetting breaker) and two smaller gauge white wires
on the neg terminal. At first glance, you might say paralleling
two small wires is OK as they will divide the current and could
equal the current carrying capacity of the large wire.

But NOOOOOOO!
One of the small white wires is connected upstream to the
battery neg via frame ground. **BUT** the other small white
wire is connected to the neg terminal of other down stream
12VDC devices thus providing their return path. So the big
red wire will carry the current ONLY for the one device, but
the small white wire to the battery neg will carry the current
from the one device PLUS THE CURRENT FROM ALL DOWN
STREAM DEVICES!!!
The FR folks must think that they are using wire from the
alternate universe where smaller wire can carry more current
than larger wire.................

This whole thing reminds me of the wiring in my Chinese
tractor. I was not surprised in a product from China, but I
expected better from Americans.

Silly me...........


cheers,
johnd
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:09 AM   #2
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I seen on my unit where they ran two 14awg wires in place of where I 10ga could have been run.
they crimp on there own very very cheap connectors that fall off or provide minimal contact.
I replace as needed with solder seal connectors that also are heat to shrink.
over kill? Yes but better than under kill.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
DDC
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It's all about doing it cheaper quality is only descriptive not really practiced it is perceived to cost too much.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDC View Post
It's all about doing it cheaper quality is only descriptive not really practiced it is perceived to cost too much.
How very true; it's now costing *me* too much...............


cheers,
johnd
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #5
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AND you have discovered why there is no "Wiring Diagram" for campers.

My 30 amp lines (slide motors, tank heaters, etc) are solid green and green with white stripe. I do have some red and white though but that was used on the 15 amp circuits. Now where they GO; now that is an interesting question.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
AND you have discovered why there is no "Wiring Diagram" for campers.
HA,ha,ha.
Yes, yes, yes. "We must NOT document our stupidity"...

And of course, I was just talking about the wiring.
Don't get me started on the "joints" that have a gap
wide enough for my little finger to past thru.
And *so* many other "interesting" construction
details.....................


Thank god I have some woodworking experience.
My replacement walls, floors and cabinets may not
be so pretty as the original, but at least I know
the parts of the joints TOUCH each other! And
the occasional screw will actually hit a stud.......

cheers,
johnd
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