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Author Topic: Any reason not to use all 10 AWG wire in my conversion for DC?  (Read 4689 times)
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2006, 05:21:30 PM »

Hello Again Guy's,

I thought the reason that all of us convert busses is mostly because of the high qualty of construction of a bus!  Right or Wrong?  

And, is it true that busses will last way longer than any stick built motorhome?  [of course]

Than, Why would anyone want to install anything but the best they can afford in their bus?  This is something you can't be cheap with!!

If you are not thinking this way, than you may not understand the whole concept of why most of us convert busses!!

I'm not trying to affend anyone, thats not my intention! But, mabe some don't understand the quality construction that built into busses.

If you have ever owned a factory built motorhome, than you would appreciate  a bus more.

Nick Badame
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2006, 05:43:01 PM »

I am a firm believer in boat and airplane wiring, I know it is great stuff but, I'm going to do my coach by the NEC.   
  It is the law in every state in the union and my coach may someday have to be inspected to get Ins./license.
I would hate to have to rewire it just to satisfy the whims of some electrical inspector. The two local state inspectors are both friends of mine but, they may not always be the inspectors.

Our only hope, if it comes to that, it our coaches will be grandfathered in.

If the rate of electrical fires is higher in conversions, than in factory built coaches, we may see it some day. Soon.

I have a friend, a guy I worked with for almost 40 yrs, that is on a NEC committee and we have discussed this possibility.

  Also, even though acceptable, it won't be wired with romex.

Ed.
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belfert
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2006, 07:36:01 PM »

Skycraft's price is half that of Waytek and you only have to buy 100 feet instead of 500 feet.  They do only have limited colors.

Edit:  I found other colors of marine wire on Ebay from Skycraft Surplus.  The price is $5 a roll more and the shipping seems steep.

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 07:59:38 PM by belfert » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2006, 08:02:45 PM »

They have other colors when you call to order. They also have nice 4-0 cable in red and black. They don't update the site often but they have alot more than what they show on the web page.
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2006, 08:13:10 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


Hi;   You are right,  the marine cable is great, but is overkill for bus conversion.  I used 10ga THHN, and am happy with
       it.  You are also right concerning romex,  it will probably fail.  May take a few years,  but it will fail.
       When you wire your inverter,  I would recommend 2/0 welding cable.  It is also flexable and you will find it has
       fine strands.  The fine strands can carry more current. The current capabalities can bu useful when used
       between inverter and batteries.   Good luck.
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belfert
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006, 08:30:05 PM »

II have a friend, a guy I worked with for almost 40 yrs, that is on a NEC committee and we have discussed this possibility.

  Also, even though acceptable, it won't be wired with romex.

What will you use that meets NEC that is not romex?

Brian Elfert
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006, 09:02:12 PM »

A couple years back when lots of us were beating this wire thing up in a fairly serious fashion on BNO, I decided to do a test just for grins.

I made a jig that held a piece of wire and wiggled it... granted quite a lot... and then I counted how many wiggles it took to kill various types of wire.
It was a completely non-scientific test compared to how scientific one could probably get, but it illustrated the main point, that regardless if solid wire will work, it sucks as a choice for RV's when more robust wire types are readily available.

Here's a copy of the post: (Note, fast Fred sent me some boat wire to test and it arrived after I'd done it.  I tested it later on and it performed about as well as the UL1015 wire I tried)  Anyway:

..........

Masochist that I am, I went down to my machine shop this morning, and set my milling machine up with a 1.5" stroke on the quill.
I then took a piece of #14 THHN solid wire, chucked it up in a drill chuck and the mill vice, and by moving the the quill handle up and down repeatedly, started bending the wire by an exact amount, over and over to see how many bends it took to fail the wire.
IT TOOK 11 BENDS on the SOLID THHN and it broke. I tried it again, and the second time, 11. Quite consistant!!
Then I put an ever-so tiny nick in the middle of a third piece, to simulate a sloppy strip job, and tried again.
This time it failed in 7 bends, not surprisingly right at the nick.
................
NEXT, 14 ga STRANDED THHN (14 strands)
This wire took only 12 bends and the first strand failed. At 60 bends, more than half had falied, and the whole thing broke at 98 bends.
............
OK, now for some UL1015 stranded (42 strands)

Two strands failed at 110 bends.
By 300 bends there a total of four failures
Total failure finally occured at 460 bends
..............
FINALLY, Contractors cord:
For my last test, I found the CHEAPEST 14 ga contractors cord I could lay my hands on (like a $9.99/100' special at Home depot, that is now 10 years old and well used), and it had 28 strands. I stuck it in the gauntlet, and by 500 bends, not one strand had broken yet. I gave up. I also got so "in to it" that I forgot to take photos of it.

My arm is very sore now, thank you.
...........................
Here's the photo so you can see for yourself:
http://www.heartmagic.com/00WIREstory.JPG

So here are my conclusions, no longer an "opinion"...
(1) IF you tie everything down and there are absolutely NO vibration or resonant points at ANY of your wiring terminations, you can probably use THHN wire of either type and get away with it. But "getting away with it" is exactly what you'll be doing...
(2) In an indentical installation, solid THHN will fail a lot earlier than stranded THHN.
(3) ANY USE of THHN will fail a LOT earlier than an installation that uses good quality stranded wire.
(4) The "Contractor's cord arguement" can now be reduced to "quality of insulation", and I won't go there....
(5) I'm glad I used UL 1015 wire in my bus
(6) It will all fail eventually....
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2006, 09:17:58 PM »

Gary,

Thanks for sharing the results from your testing.

It confirms what I have always believed.


Cliff

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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2006, 09:52:00 PM »

my two cents for whatever.  I wired my Crown around twenty years ago with solid copper purchased from home depot and secured it cottectly. Everything still works.  Wired my MC8 with the same stuff, except from the generator to the main control panel, I expect when I finally kick the bucket every thing will still be working, but I won't Cheesy
« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 10:08:43 PM by BJ » Logged
JackConrad
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2006, 04:40:52 AM »

     Waytek catalog # 212, page 4, top listing: Automotive GPT Primary Wire.  Gauges 18 throug 8 are available in 100', 250, 500, 1000, and some gauges availble in even larger rolls.
    I had forgotten about SkyCraft, they are another great source of wire. If you are ever in the Orlando, FL area, by all means stop by there store. But plan to be there for several hours, there is much to see.  Jack
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2006, 10:30:47 AM »

I think I'm just going to use marine wire from Skycraft.  It is inexpensive compared to Waytek and others.

How do I pigtail in the electrical boxes for 110 volt AC?  I assume I would not want to use wire nuts in a bus as they may work loose.

I wasn't meaning to restart the stranded/solid debate again here.  I already read dozens of those debate messages over on BNO.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2006, 01:05:25 PM »

Good quality crimp on connectors will do the best.

THIS IS AN OPINION ONLY

Some people say to solder etc.

I would just crimp but be sure to get good quality connectors.

Melbo
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2006, 01:12:01 PM »

my bus has standard romex been in there for 19 yrs never ever had a problem of anykind.
Frank Allen
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belfert
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2006, 03:02:36 PM »

Good quality crimp on connectors will do the best.

THIS IS AN OPINION ONLY

Some people say to solder etc.

I would just crimp but be sure to get good quality connectors.

Are there crimp connecters that can handle three wires for the pig tail? 

Soldering connections is just as bad as solid wire.  The joint will vibrate and eventually fail.

Brian Elfert
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2006, 03:28:46 PM »

Yes Brian,

Wytek or SkyCraft sells all sizes of Crimp terminals!

Nick-
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