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Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!

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stef73433

Posts: 50

Joined: 2005-06-23
Location: WI

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Subject : Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!
Posted : 2009-03-30 8:06 PM
Post #102461

Ok, I am working on my sleeping area of my trailer. I want very basic electricity. Here is what I want. I want 2 single lights up in the gooseneck area by my pillows. I want those to run off a switch in the GN area.

Then I want another light on the ceiling. I want that light to work off a switch by the door. I also would like an outside light, whose switch can be by ceiling switch. both can be by the door. I want these lights to simply run off my truck as I dont use them much.

I also want to install 2 electrical outlights so that I can plug in items and use them if I power with a generator. I want to wire it up so that I can plug the trailer into a generator on an outside plug in.

 

Can anyone tell me in dummy terms, step by step what needs to happen to make this work? I have some people more electrically inclined then myself, but I would like to know what needs to happen so I can use this as a guide to know its correct.

Also, what items will I need? I think I have most of it..

Will I need to have a fuse/breaker box for this?


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Painted Horse

Posts: 2394

Joined: 2005-05-07
Location: Northern Utah

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Subject : RE: Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!
Posted : 2009-03-30 9:20 PM
Post #102465 - In reply to #102461

It's not as simple as you want to make it.  But it's not hard to learn.

1st. Your lights. I would suggest that they run on 12v electricity. Which means they will get their power from a battery or a convertor that converts 110v t0 12v. You will have to Buy 12v lights and fixtures. ( you don't mix and match )  As far as wiring goes.  The wires will come from the power source to some sort of a distribution panel ( this will usually be the circuit breaker) From this panel the wires usually will go to the switch and then on to the actual lights. As long as the switch is in the Open postion, no current passes through and the lights remain off. Close the switch and the circuit is complete and the lights come on.

So you might have a Circuit for the lights above the bed and 2nd circuit for the ceiling light and the outside light. You sometimes can combine multiple lights on the same circuit. It all depends on the Amperage each light consumes. A 500 watt flood light will consume more amps than a 60 watt ceiling light.   You will have to look at the lights you purchase, determine what wattage or ampreage each consumes and then compare to how strong the circuit breaker is.  If the circuit breaker is a 15 amp breaker, you don't want to install 20 amps of lighting attached to that one breaker.

From the distribution panel, you would also pull the wires for the 110v circuit to the plugs you place for say a microwave or A/C unit. You would need a distribution panel that is capable of handling BOTH 110v and 12v if you want to combine both voltages. The 12v would be available when ever there is a battery and the 110v when ever the system is plugged into a  generator or home power gird.

RV equipment manufactures make such combined panels that also contain the convertor to convert 110v to 12v.

Hope this gives you a start.


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gard

Posts: 5466

Joined: 2007-08-11
Location: western PA

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Subject : RE: Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!
Posted : 2009-03-30 9:52 PM
Post #102471 - In reply to #102461

Originally written by stef73433 on 2009-03-30 8:06 PM

Then I want another light on the ceiling. I want that light to work off a switch by the door. Also, what items will I need? I think I have most of it..

A couple of considerations you might want to contemplate.

If you were to install a three way switch by the door, and one in the front of the bunk area, to control the  light over your bed, you could turn it on and off from either position. This would be much more convenient.

In both of our LQs, we have lighting in the bunk areas and the main galley areas. Without lighting in the "main areas", the interior would be pretty darkly illuminated by only an overhead bunk area light. Lighting in the main entrance area should be considered. It could be wired separately or in the same circuit as the bunk overhead lighting.

Gard


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genebob

Posts: 715

Joined: 2007-11-14
Location: Minnesota

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Subject : RE: Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!
Posted : 2009-03-31 10:42 AM
Post #102491 - In reply to #102461

Ditto on the three way switch. You don't want to climb up in the goose, turn on the light, climb down, shut off the main light, then climb back up again. Put the switch up by your head where you can reach it without getting up. You will appreciate it.
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301duster

Posts: 178

Joined: 2009-01-04
Location: Ingalls, Ks

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Subject : RE: Step by step wiring for Dummies needed!!
Posted : 2009-03-31 5:13 PM
Post #102514 - In reply to #102461

I truly don't mean this as an insult, but I would call an electrician for some "weekend" help with this one. Wiring up 12v is one thing but when you start to do AC 110V one mistake can be very costly. I have a friend with a very nice horse now buried in his pasture from a poorly installed wire nut and a bad ground circuit. You need to understand the proper way to wire 110V and how to ground it. Just a little side note, when I park my trailer I never use wood blocks as I like the metal pads of my jacks to be "grounded" just in case I have an electrical problem and the ground circuit I'm plugged into malfunctions. A little money to a good electrician can be a good investment!!!! Just my opinion.


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