My SV 291 doesn't have a light switch right at the door. Instead you have to walk 4' into the trailer to find the first overhead light. Worse, the porch light is inside the same cubby as the slide out switch high up on a cabinet. I'm afraid the wife might accidentally operate the slide looking for the switch. So taking a cue from another mod I saw, i cut in a 3 gang switch box right at the door. I had to disassemble most of the cabinet trim to get to the porch light wiring and then find a way to snake the wires down behind the fridge without removing it. It wasn't fun but it looks and works great. I put hte switch about 6" above the counter top which is a reasonable height for operation inside the camper but also within reach from the steps outside.
Now a couple of warnings:
1) the wall is 1-1/2" thick behind the 1/4" luan, if you do this, make sure you don't drill through. I had to modify the low voltage gang box so the screws wouldn't pop through the outside.
2) when cutting the hole, make sure the saw doesn't go through either. I used a jig saw with a blade cut off to 1" long vs the standard 2-1/2" long.
3) the switch is a standard 120v light switch. yes they can be used with 12v applications but.... Since I used stranded 14ga wire, I had to crimp hard terminal ends onto the wires so the switch screws would hold properly.
4) your playing with electricity. even 12 v will hurt you if you get bit, make sure the power is secured when your playing with the wiring. It also requires a smoke charge so if you accidentally let the smoke out your in trouble.
5) MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO 120V WIRES INSIDE THE WALL WHERE YOU CUT YOUR SWITCHES IN. 120V HURTS MORE THAN 12V.
Step 1) get access to everything. Like I mentioned I had to pull the lower trim off the cabinents to find the porch light wiring.
Step 2) choose your switch location. Use a stud finder and verify there are no stringers or wires in the section of wall you cut into.
Step 3) route your wires. I had a spare lug on the neutral bar and 2 spare 20A fuse slots in my power converter. I ran power to one of the spare slots and since I'm low load, I choose a 10A fuse. 14ga wire will support up to 15A comfortably.
Step 4) now the hard part, I have a bar cabinet caddywhompas to the new switch location, maybe 4" aft. I cut a hole into the exterior wall through the inside luan only. I then did the same in the new switch location. I cut the square out for the switch box and hollowed out the Styrofoam in both locations.
Step 5) Using a fish tape and trial & error, I forced the tape between the 2 holes and attached a string. I tied assorted items to the string starting with just a couple of square knots and ending with a 1/4" drive 3/8" socket. I pulled this through the hole to enlarge it enough to get the wires through.
Step 6) pull your wires. Again notice in the pictures that I used terminals to keep the wires connected to the switch. Also notice that I installed a low voltage old work gang box. These boxes are open on the back sided and only serve to hold the switch in better than 2 screws on the switch itself.
Step 7) hook everything up!
Now you may be wondering why a 3 gang switch. Well the first switch controls some new lights I installed in the dinette area for night lighting. See the next post for those pics. The second switch controls the porch light. And the third switch will control an exterior light that will be located near the sewer, water & electric connections on the drivers side aft of my rig.
Now I mentioned the clumsiness of trying to find a light in the dark when coming back late in the first post. This is my solution. I bought 2 landscape lights and installed them in the dinette seats. The lights are cheap, use the same bulbs as the other fixtures and are flush mount so there's nothing to trip/catch on. I hooked these into the #2 switch on the wall.
Excellent work ! Do you have more pictures you can post ? I am going to install two scare lights outside the trailer and a switch where you located yours and being able to fish the wire is my biggest concern.
there isn't a lot left open now. The hardest part is figuring out where to cut the access holes in at. I had a false panel inside the bar cabinet that now hides the lower access hole. The rest of the routing is through the secret passage network under the dinette and fridge. the 3rd pic in the fist post is the access in the bar under the new switch. the bar is actually the back to the dinette and already had some wiring run through it.
I'm still debating the scare light vs a car fog light mounted to the side frame rail for my setup light outside (last switch). I'm not so much worried about it being bright or projecting far. I just want enough light back in the utility hookup area to not trip on stuff during a late night emergency tank blow. I had to dump the grey tank twice on the first trip out as the wife took leisurely showers and forgot to mention the standing water in the tub when she was done... It was a hassel hooking up the lead light or holding the flashlight while balancing to get to the dump valve.