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 > 12V wiring Aluminum Cargo Trailer conversion

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SlideInDad

Massachusetts

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Posted: 05/26/20 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Been searching for days and haven't found a clear answer on whether or not a 12V system should be grounded to the chassis of a 100% aluminum framed enclosed trailer. Am I better running negative wires back from every light and fan back to the batteries or will the aluminum frame conduct well enough without corrosion?

All my searches regarding grounding aluminum framed trailers talk about vehicle wiring from the truck back for running lights/directionals... This line actually says do not ground to the trailer chassis: Aluminum trailer grounding But my question is for a house 12v system unrelated to the tow vehicle.


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CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 05/26/20 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your link sounds like a concern for corrosion which can become a problem. Good maintained grounding would do the job. 10 ga is likely over kill for the running lights ground especially for LED lights.

Are you going to use the TV to charge the trailer battery? Regardless I'd ground the 12V interior system including any incoming AC to the trailer.

Aluminum conductivity would not be a concern for me but long term corrosion can be a issue.


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SlideInDad

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Posted: 05/26/20 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Your link sounds like a concern for corrosion which can become a problem. Good maintained grounding would do the job. 10 ga is likely over kill for the running lights ground especially for LED lights.

Are you going to use the TV to charge the trailer battery? Regardless I'd ground the 12V interior system including any incoming AC to the trailer.

Aluminum conductivity would not be a concern for me but long term corrosion can be a issue.


Trailer house batteries will be charged by solar and a IOTA 45 converter when connected to AC via either a generator or when at home. Exactly what do you mean regarding a well maintained grouding? Cleaning were it grounds to the frame from the batteries frequently?

opnspaces

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Posted: 05/26/20 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think most RV's have interior ground wires coming back to the electric panel. You could try reaching out to Jayco or any other manufacturer customer service and ask them how the interior lights are grounded.


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WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 05/26/20 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you have missed the point that there are 2 separate 12v systems in a TT. One is the TV (tow vehicle and the DMV lighting) circuit and the other is the TT. They should not be mixed.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 05/26/20 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Poor grounding is a common problem. Keep it corrosion free and use anti corrosion product.

Dusty R

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Posted: 05/26/20 10:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is an anti-oxidizing paste/grease used on aluminum wire. If you do use the aluminum body for the 12v ground be sure to use past/grease on all places where grounding to the body. And do not fasten copper wire to the aluminum body.

Dusty

DrewE

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

I think you have missed the point that there are 2 separate 12v systems in a TT. One is the TV (tow vehicle and the DMV lighting) circuit and the other is the TT. They should not be mixed.


Both ought to be bonded to the trailer frame, though, regardless of whether that forms the negative return for current or not. For the house electric system, if there is a converter included, I think this is a requirement of the NEC. (Similarly, the 120V ground needs to be bonded to the chassis.)





Horsedoc

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wire it like a house and don't take any chances

SlideInDad

Massachusetts

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Posted: 05/26/20 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Should I bolt a grounding block onto the aluminum frame? I saw comments of no copper against aluminum but what about a steel grounding block on the chassis?

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