Electrical installation question

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by Stamourowl, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    I want to add a USB and cigarette charger to my popup. I’ve figured out how to wire it but I am unclear how to tap into another 12 volt line. I have way access to this line going to the carbon monoxide detector. Can I just add another wire to the yellow wire connectors?
     

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  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    There is 12 volts there. Sometimes the detector is on a smaller fuse. You will only be able to take from your new ports up to the fuse rating including the use by the detector.
     
  3. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    Do you have any unused 12vdc slots on your converter/power distribution center?
    I have found it's easier to run brand new circuits- especially for trouble shooting later. You also don't have to worry about screwing up an existing circuit, again making troubleshooting later
    On my older pup, I added a fuse block wired directly to the battery for 6 brand new fused slots:
    http://www.popupportal.com/threads/list-of-mods-performed-by-rookie-huge-thanks.90616/
    On my Niagara, there were 4 empty slots on the power distribution center.
     
  4. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    [QsUOTE="McFlyfi, post: 1280119, member: 64359"]Do you have any unused 12vdc slots on your converter/power distribution center?
    I have found it's easier to run brand new circuits- especially for trouble shooting later. You also don't have to worry about screwing up an existing circuit, again making troubleshooting later
    On my older pup, I added a fuse block wired directly to the battery for 6 brand new fused slots:
    http://www.popupportal.com/threads/list-of-mods-performed-by-rookie-huge-thanks.90616/
    On my Niagara, there were 4 empty slots on the power distribution center.[/QUOTE]
    Ummm total newbie here . How do I tell if I have empty slots? It’s a 1997 Dutchman. There are 2 fuses so 2 circuits currently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  5. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    The fuses reside in a "holder". The fuse allows the current to flow between the contacts across the fuse, delivering electricity to the device.
    Is there another "holder" either above or below either of the two fuses? In other words, a place to put a fuse into that has no fuse in it?
    If so, then you have room to add a new circuit (the slot where the fuse goes).
     
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  6. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    Just added a USB and cigarette charger to my 2000 Dutchmen last weekend. The detector in mine is on a dedicated circuit with a 2A fuse, so I tied into a different circuit. I have 4 circuits, all used - the CO detector, the furnace, the lights, and the battery charger.

    Check the fuse sizes first and see what's tied into what to determine where you have excess amps to draw on.
     
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  7. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    yes until you get too many wires for the size of 'wire nut', they make bigger ones if needed.
     
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  8. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Thank you! No empty fuse slots so I traced down the circuits to get it on a circuit with enough amps!
     
  9. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    I’ll only have 3 wires, but I will keep that in mind. Thanks!
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    You also need to watch the current draw on the circuit.
    FYI: wire nuts are not approved for mobile installations. You will find them in the AC junction boxes and elsewhere. If you use them tape them. Wrap the tape in the same direction that you tighten the wire nut. Before you ask, yes, I have used them.
     
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  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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  12. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Rabird, can you explain or refer me to a page about your solar controller. That is one of my next purchases and I spied your signature. It has piqued my curiosity. :- )
     
  13. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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  14. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Thanks! Will tape. Under my seat, near the converter is currently a sea of wire nuts, at least 8 of them. I didn’t add them, but I might tape them all. :- )

    Also, how do I figure out current draw on the system? Totally number of devices using the 12 volt at once?
     
  15. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    The sum current draw of each device on the circuit. If the device has the current draw printed on it use that otherwise you can measure it.
     
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  16. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    common and easy for PU builders to install. worse are those little blue things that pierce the wires!


    Comet solar charge controller
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  17. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I am always adding things like this so I picked up one of those BLUE SEA SUB PANELS from Amazon... Looks like this... I am not a fan of taping into another 12VDC circuit to use for things...
    [​IMG]
    Google image...

    Now I have multiple 12VDC FUSED circuits for future things...

    I too have installed two of those 12VDC charge stations in my POPUP. One on each end... After I got these I wish I had got a different model that had a ON-OFF switch on it... The DC VOLTMETER turns out to be very bright... Even for a night light haha... I had to put clear tape over the display to darken it somewhat...

    The beautify of these BLUE SEA panels that have the round units can mounted vertical or horizonal. The round components can be rotated...

    [​IMG]
    Google image

    I find that AMAZON carries all of these type of panels and just about everything else I end up using in my trailer... AMAZON and LOWES haha...

    Also having a DC VOLTMETER on the panel is a great idea to keep you informed of your battery charge state when camping off grid... When it drops down to 12.0VDC then you will be close to the 50% charge state and you should stop using the batteries until they recharged back up to their 90% charge state otherwise you will start doing internal damage to your batteries...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  18. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

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    The DC subpanel (above) is an excellent way to do it. I did this in my first trailer. Ran 8g wire directly from the battery to the sub panel. Then had 5 separate branch circuits from that panel to power two 12v plugs, 2 USB chargers, and the digital thermostat.
    It makes it easy to troubleshoot too- if the device goes bad, you know what wire it is. Both of the 12v plugs eventually went bad, and I didn't have to spend hours troubleshooting it.
     
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  19. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    This is exactly what I am installing.one of the panels with a voltmeter, cig lighter, and USB’s. I might go the sub panel route in the future, if I need more items. They are pretty neat.
     
  20. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Thank you!
     

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