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Old 08-01-2015, 08:59 AM   #51
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by RJHuser View Post
Lets clarify one thing. Yes, if I were working on a heavy cable connected to the battery, I would disconnect the negative cable from the battery. That cable has the ability to cause damage - to the battery - with the possibility of secondary damage to me, electrical or chemical burns.

However, the OP was discussing a very small size conductor (on the meter) to a FUSED small sized conductor in the trailer. Being IN the trailer, it is highly unlikely to find a grounded piece of metal for a accidental short to occur - we all have had problems with grounding in trailers. If a short to neutral did occur, the worse that would happen is the fuse would blow.

I will restate what I said - 12 VDC won't hurt you. The analogy used for electricity is water flowing in a pipe. Voltage is analogous to pressure and amperage is analogous to volume. If the water pressure (voltage) is low, no mater what the volume (amperage) is, the water flow can be stopped easily, for example, the water flow in a garden hose connected to a low pressure source (say 10 psig) can be easily stopped with kinking the hose or putting your thumb over the end of the hose. Increase the pressure to 10,000 psig, and it not so easy. In fact, a micro volume of flow can cut right through skin, bone, even metal!

As stated by others, until you get above 30 or 40 volts, you can't even feel it if you grasp a conductor in both hands. There is not enough "pressure" to overcome the electrical resistance of the body.

With everything said, I will and do make a conductor "dead" before working on it.

And by the way, in my job I work on electric systems upto 2300 volts with ampacity of thousands of amps, and have been involved with electrical system abov 14k volts.

(By the way, the so called "electric chair" that was used to execute death row prisoners generally used 2300 VAC, anything less and it didn't kill the person or actually ended up "cooking" the prisoner to death. Even at that voltage, there are many accounts of failure to kill the prisoner, or prolonged time to do the deed. Generally, the used three short "shots" to do the deed as it was more effective than one long shot.)

(Still alive and kicking after working on my trailer 12 volt electrical system)

PS: I was successful in my post, to get people thinking and to dispel many of the myths and incorrect ideas concerning low voltage electrical systems.

I won't dispute most of what you have written. My bottom line is this. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, and am sure you don't either. Those of us that have worked with electric all our lives know what it can do under the right conditions. I will go back to what I said earlier, for a couple of minutes work why take chances.

An old saying comes to mind, do as I say don't do as I do. We need to remember that many of us have experience with electric but many here do not. I would rather see them safe than sorry. I am sure all of us involved in this discussion feel the same.


07 Dodge 1500 crew cab with 20" wheels, 08 Forest River Rockwood Signature Ultra-lite 8280SS
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
George Bernard Shaw
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:09 AM   #52
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 25
Wow this has been a busy thread...

Ok, so I was out camping for the weekend and installed the voltmeter. The wiring in the control center was too confusing for me so I aborted my initial plan. I decided to tap into the propane detector and install on the rear bench seat. Looks good and provided me with a general idea on my battery state each day.


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