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Old 05-21-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
Hoodlatch
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TT exterior wiring help/ cleanup

Hi all,
I’ve done many upgrades inside my 14 Bullet since I bought it new. 100% led lighting, accent light strips, 12v usb chargers in key locations. Just put flush mount reverse lights in rear bumper since my HD slinky don’t fit in there anymore.

I’m no 12v camper expert, but I’ve upgraded most of my toys and usually can get it done safely.

The time has come for a new battery, so I put 2 golf cart batteries in a century dual battery box out front. Added a nice disconnect and have a victron 712 to install as well as a pd4655 smart charger.

My question I’m not finding a solution to is the stock + wiring outside the front of the travel trailer. Everything is piggybacked on 2 “isolation” blocks. I would like to have a better weatherproof distribution block. I used all 4 awg wiring (and have the same to run back to charger), and the lugs are a little big for the small stock blocks... and if I can load a pic, you’ll see how rusty these weathertite units are.

Thanks for any input!

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Old 05-21-2018, 08:26 PM   #2
Brentw
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Go to a truck/ trailer shop ( peterbilt etc), get this or similar. On all the OTR trucks and trailers out there. Not water tight but seems to do the job.
https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Junc.../dp/B007480MI6
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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Those are not 'isolation blocks', but are actually thermal auto reset breakers in the 12 volt circuit. Some are gray plastic like in your photo and some are like in this photo.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:44 AM   #4
Hoodlatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentw View Post
Go to a truck/ trailer shop ( peterbilt etc), get this or similar. On all the OTR trucks and trailers out there. Not water tight but seems to do the job.
https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Junc.../dp/B007480MI6
Thanks for the link. I was hoping to find a waterproof unit, I guess I could mount it in a box though.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:02 AM   #5
Hoodlatch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbecky View Post
Those are not 'isolation blocks', but are actually thermal auto reset breakers in the 12 volt circuit. Some are gray plastic like in your photo and some are like in this photo.
Well that would explain why I couldn’t find them! How necessary are they? I have helped rewire 2 different 5th wheelers, one to add solar, one for a 6-6v setup with a 3000 watt pure sine inverter. Both of these stock setups used a normal distribution block(like the one above), but were inside the front storage area by the original battery locations.

I have a good cable lug crimper, so I thought of adding a catastrophic fuse right before a new “distribution” block.

I’ll have to look into these more. I assumed they were only on travel trailers due to the exposed wiring.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:30 AM   #6
Hoodlatch
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Hmm I guess I’ll pull them off tonight and determine the amp size to replace them. I wish they sold them with a 1/4” or 3/8” stud size for my new 4 awg lugs.
I have to be missing an alternative though. Many people use 2 gauge or larger with high amp chargers or large banks/inverters.

Maybe I should just run my new charger’s 4 awg directly to the battery bank, then leave the factory 6 gauge wire running to that wiring mess instead of the charger going through it as well. Then grease the snot out of the new breakers.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:09 AM   #7
JRTJH
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Our fifth wheel electrical system is enclosed inside the front compartment, but I do remember the problems with corrosion on all of our travel trailers that had exposed electrical components such as your circuit breakers that were mounted on the front bulkhead.

Probably the most effective and easiest way to enclose your replacement circuit breakers is inside a "modified" waterproof box. You could drill holes in the box sides, route the wires through the holes, attach and connect the circuit breakers as they are now wired and then screw the waterproof lid on the box. Once the system is complete and working properly, just fill the drilled holes with silicone to reseal the entries for the wires. If you need access, just remove the lid.

Here's one such box, about 8" x 3.5" (L x W) that is about 2.5" high. It would hold the wiring and circuit breakers in a small, waterproof container that would prevent future corrosion. It's small, possibly hard to get the wires into, but the small size makes it less noticeable. There are other, larger boxes that would be a little easier to work with, but their size would make them more noticeable and maybe more prone to damage because of the size ????

Anyway, here's the link to the box. https://www.amazon.com/Resistant-Ele...e+junction+box

You can find those circuit breakers at any RV service center or parts store, maybe at larger auto parts stores (NAPA) and online. Most are 30, 40 or 50 amp sizes.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
Hoodlatch
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John,
Thanks, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, and also a pretty good reason why my next rig will be a fifth wheel. I love that space for your energy upgrades.

I didn’t want to lose half of my pass-thru storage relocating everything in there, but considered it if I had a lithium budget.

Thanks everyone for the help!
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