catraprez (catraprez) wrote,

Is this wire live?

Spent most of the weekend playing RV electrician.

In preparation for our upcoming trip to California, I added a fan to the roof vent in our popup camper. The camper doesn't have A/C so sitting out in the sun all day will make it unbearably hot inside. The roof vent has one of those Maxx-Air covers, which allow you to keep the vent open in the rain. I found a Vortex Vent Fan Upgrade at the local RV store. The kit replaced the screen from the inside, so there's no need to break the seal at the roof. Unfortunately it's designed to replace an existing vent fan, but there was no fan in the vent originally. Luckily there's a light not far from the vent. I had to drill a couple holes and poke through the foam insulation to reach the wires. That was the toughest part of the whole installation. The fan works great and moves a lot of air.

My next job involved rewiring the 12-volt plug-in socket. This had been added by the original owner of our popup. I'm sure they just paid someone to add it. Whoever did the work tapped into the 12-volt water tank pump. Unless the pump is turned on, which isn't needed when hooked to city water supply, the socket didn't work. I pulled the icebox out and tapped into the 12-volt power source coming off the battery. Now the plug is live all the time.

The next job I tackled was replacing the electric trailer brake controller. The Reese unit I installed back in '08 had quit working. It had a five-year "limited" warranty, so I sent it back to the manufacturer. All they could tell me was that I must've installed it improperly and shorted out the circuit board. Evidently my claim that it had worked for three years dumbfounded them. I also I had a photo showing the installation and all the wires connected as per their instructions. After going back and forth I was told they could replace the entire unit for the same price, around $35 + shipping, as changing out the fried circuitboard in my controller. Ended up telling them where they could stick their controller and spent $65 for a new Hayes controller.

I was never happy with the Reese controller to start with. The sensitivity adjustment was either too much or too little and using the manual lever did not override the sensitivity setting. Should've bought a Hayes controller to start with. Hopefully I never have a chance to test their three-year "unlimited" warranty. It'll be a cold day in hell when I buy another Reese product.
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