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Author Topic: Any reason not to use all 10 AWG wire in my conversion for DC?  (Read 4880 times)
belfert
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« on: June 07, 2006, 12:00:40 PM »

Is there any reason I should not just use all 10 AWG marine wire for the 12 volt and 24 volt in my conversion?  I know 10 AWG will be overkill for the 24 volt, but I have only like one 24 volt item besides the inverter.  (Yes, I know the inverter, equalizer and batteries need huge cables.)  I only want to buy size of wire if I can help it.

What about for the 110 volt circuits?  Would I be better off with jacketed marine cable or are seperate marine wires better?  I am thkning I can do the 110 volt in 12 AWG.

Brian Elfert
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 12:20:22 PM »

Brian,

No reason not to use 10 ga. As long as it's stranded it will be flexable enough for road travel. And, as long as all your circuits are fused or breakered your good!

The only down side is stripping all that 10ga wire! Sad

All your 120v lines can be 12 ga. except your A/C's, and if electric H2O, or electric stove, All 10ga.

You don't need tinned marine wire,[no salt] but I would use the jacketed stranded wire for lonjevity!!

Nick-

« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 12:25:44 PM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 01:02:23 PM »

Why bigger than 12 AWG for a rooftop A/C unit?  Carrier says to use a 20 amp breaker.

I don't really need tinned cable, but marine cable has much finer strands than THHN or similiar.  All the research I've done says a fine stranded wire like marine wire is best for a conversion.  Any suggestions for something less expensive than marine wire would be appreciated.

I looked at bus of a local busnut who used solid copper, but I think it would break eventually.  Although, many stick and staples use plain old romex for wiring.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 01:10:13 PM »

We all have to do this our own way ...

The trick with solid copper wire is you have to secure it so it will not vibrate.  I've been using some solid copper wire in my bus for almost 4 years now and have read of others using solid romex for many decades without problems.  Again, the trick is to keep the wire from flexing and moving while going down the road so that the connections don't break.  I used bc cable in order to provide an additional level of personal comfort so that I had a greater chance of never piercing a wire with my screws, etc.
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 01:17:01 PM »

We all have to do this our own way ...

The trick with solid copper wire is you have to secure it so it will not vibrate.  I've been using some solid copper wire in my bus for almost 4 years now and have read of others using solid romex for many decades without problems.  Again, the trick is to keep the wire from flexing and moving while going down the road so that the connections don't break.  I used bc cable in order to provide an additional level of personal comfort so that I had a greater chance of never piercing a wire with my screws, etc.

How do you secure the wires adequately in the junction box?  I would think that would be where the wires would break.

I'm not against solid copper if I can be convinced it won't break.  I would think solid cable would cost a lot less than marine cable.

Brian Elfert
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Len Silva
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 01:39:04 PM »

This has been beat to death for many years but I'm going to jump in anyway.

There is nothing wrong with using Type NM (Romex) or Type MC (Metal Clad or BX) They are both approved by the NEC for use in Recreational Vehicles.

If the cables are properly installed, secured within 6" of a box and clamped in the box, you will not have a problem.

Technically, the marine type stranded cable that many folks like to use, is not approved, as it does not have the UL label.  It is approved by the USCG and whatever other marine authorities are involved and is a fine product, but expensive and unnecessary.

As long as the cable is secure in the box, the device properly mounted in the box and the connections tight, there will be no relative vibration between the various parts to cause a problem.

You do need to use stranded wire when connecting vibrating machinery such as generators and motors.

My bus was wired over 25 years ago with Romex and I've NEVER had a problem with loose connections or wire fatigue.

Len Silva
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 01:47:05 PM »

[
Technically, the marine type stranded cable that many folks like to use, is not approved, as it does not have the UL label.  It is approved by the USCG and whatever other marine authorities are involved and is a fine product, but expensive and unnecessary.

I believe both brands of marine cable I am looking at are UL listed.

Okay, if I use regular NM or MC cable for 110 volt AC, what about 12 and 24 volt DC?  Stranded is pretty much standard there, but what type of stranded cable?  I'll probably run more Dc cable than AC./

Brian Elfert
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NCbob
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 02:39:38 PM »

What with the price of copper going through the roof you might wish to order your wire/cable well in advance.  I'm with FF, I'm using all tinned Marine wire.  For the miniscule difference in price....it's forever.  I'm seeing in my old '68 model bus that the years have taken their toll on the original wiring harnesses and I'm replacing everything with tinned wire.

Here's the best buy I've found:

www.waytekwire.com

They're in MN but have GREAT prices...used 'em for years.  Get them on the 'net and request a catalog.

NCbob
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belfert
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2006, 02:50:38 PM »

Waytek Wire has reasonable prices, but the minimum order quantities can be a killer.  I may not need 500 feet of a particular wire.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2006, 02:54:59 PM »

Are you certain that Waytek wire is marine?

They sell mostly to the industrial market place and their wire is mostly stranded tinned copper with either 300 volt or 600 volt insulation and manufactured to UL-1019 specifications. Much of the marine wire is not neither UL listed or tin plated.
Richard


What with the price of copper going through the roof you might wish to order your wire/cable well in advance.  I'm with FF, I'm using all tinned Marine wire.  For the miniscule difference in price....it's forever.  I'm seeing in my old '68 model bus that the years have taken their toll on the original wiring harnesses and I'm replacing everything with tinned wire.

Here's the best buy I've found:

www.waytekwire.com

They're in MN but have GREAT prices...used 'em for years.  Get them on the 'net and request a catalog.

NCbob
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2006, 04:06:51 PM »

This has been beat to death for many years but I'm going to jump in anyway.



Len Silva


There is no shortage of information on the internet and in books if one just wants to read about these subjects. This is no substitute for a discussion with the people that we are used to dealing with and other new folks as well. While I find the search option invaluable, it pales in comparison to a actual conversation that we can interact with, ask questions, and maybe even add something, like a fresh perspective.

I  find it interesting that it is the subjects that have been "kicked to death" that get the most viewings. I also have noticed that this board is the most helpful to us new guys bringing up the same old stuff.

Thanks for all the help, Guys.

On alot of my existing cables I just tinned the exposed strands
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JackConrad
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2006, 04:07:37 PM »

Brain,
   I buy most of my wire from Waytek. I rarely buy 500'.  I usually purchase 100' rolls of 14, 12, 10,  and 8 ga in almost every color they have available. I have also purchased their various trailer cable in 100' legnths. They also have a great selection on solderess crimp-on terminals at great prices.  If call and ask, they will tell you the minimum amount you have to order.  I called to order 25  6 ga X 3/8 eye terminals and was told the minimum order was 35, so I went ahead and ordered 35. Jack
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2006, 04:24:16 PM »

Brain,
   I buy most of my wire from Waytek. I rarely buy 500'.  I usually purchase 100' rolls of 14, 12, 10,  and 8 ga in almost every color they have available. I have also purchased their various trailer cable in 100' legnths. They also have a great selection on solderess crimp-on terminals at great prices.  If call and ask, they will tell you the minimum amount you have to order.  I called to order 25  6 ga X 3/8 eye terminals and was told the minimum order was 35, so I went ahead and ordered 35. Jack

What wire are you buying from Waytek in 100' quantities?  The smallest quantity I have found on the website is 250' unless I am looking at the wrong stuff.  500' is a lot, but 250' isn't so bad.

I did confrm that the Waytek marine wire is UL listed.

Brian Elfert
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2006, 04:44:41 PM »

Guys,

I agree that this gets beaten to death, but I was new to this bus thing a few years back and this is a good healthy discussion

worth repeating every now and then.

That said, MY opinion,

I havn't seen solid conducter used in anything but RV's (or Houses), which are built by RV manufacturers, who run the RVIA, which decides what is OK. NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST THERE

Stranded has been the standard in planes, boats, machinery, cars, motorcycles forever, Why?

Because its cheaper?  NO

Because it lasts without any special strapping etc... YES

None of those industries want to cut there costs to compete? I BET THEY DO

Hey for a few bucks more (in the big picture) you have a superior product.

Then again, its OK with the RVIA, maybe we should just get a superior Class "A" and forget this Bus stuff Grin

OK, I feel better, Thank you for indulging me. Wink

Cliff



« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 05:27:16 PM by FloridaCracker » Logged

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phil4501
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2006, 05:11:44 PM »

I have had good luck with this place, http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/ ,I don't know how the prices compare to waytek. They sure were alot better than the local places

Features:
* 104 Strands of finely stranded tinned copper conductor for corrosion prevention
* Color coded PVC insulation. Ideal for quick identification.
* Temperature rating: 105 deg C (Dry), 75 deg C (Wet)
* Voltage Rating: 600 V
* Resistant to: Acid, Alkalis, Abrasion, Flame, Gasoline, Oil, Ozone, Moisture, Fungus
* Applications: Internal wiring of electrical equipment, Internal wiring of panels and meters, Point-to-Point Wiring
* UL Listed

"Boat Cable" and specs are printed on the PVC insulation.

American Insulated Wire, Corp.

$17.00 100ft
« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 05:19:11 PM by phil4501 » Logged
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