Caravan wiring

Hi everyone, I'm after some advice or help with changing the connections to my toe vehicle. The van is a Windsor rapid, there is no battery installed in the van, and had a 12pin plug on the van. There is not really much room to install a battery and the patrol has a second battery and Anderson plug already installed. So there is a large gauge orange cable that goes to a fuse panel for the fridge, at the same fuse panel are two reds that do the internal and external lights. The orange is at the trailer plug but the reds aren't, so who knows where they pick up their power. I would like to change the wiring so all the running lights and brakes are through a 7pin plug and the lights and fridge are powered by the Anderson plug and second battery. Any advice is much welcomed.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 05:58

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 05:58
Darren,

What type of fridge does the caravan have: 3 way or compressor type?
The reason I ask is that if it's a 3 way then (in my opinion) it should NEVER have been designed (by Windsor) to have been powered through a small pin on a flat 7-pin trailer plug.......I probably wouldn't even have done that with a compressor fridge due to the length of the cable run.

In my opinion there needs to be an Anderson plug used for this AND the negative/black wire needs to be run through to the same earthing point that the fridge is bolted to on the chassis. The reason for that is that the negative connection is just as important and is currently relying on a relatively thin black (?) black wire to earth everything back to the tug.

Judging by the diagram, I can only surmise that the 2 red wires are piggy-backed onto the orange wire somewhere behind the panel where they disappear.

Either way, it looks a bit shoddy to me!!!

If you're not entirely sure of what you're doing, it might be wise to enlist the help of a friend or, as a last resort, take it to an auto sparky.

Good luck,

Roachie
AnswerID: 608753

Follow Up By: Darren J5 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 10:53

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 10:53
Thanks for the reply. On my last van i ran a new 6mm cable with a anderson connection directly to the fridge and disconnected and isolated ( in this case the orange cable) That way the running lights, blinkers,brakes and service brakes worked through the 7pin plug and the interior lighting and fridge was through the anderson plug and second battery. That allowed me to have the vehicle up to 10mtrs away when camping and connected with a anderson extension lead.

Thanks Roachie for the reply
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:39

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:39
How did we ever survive before Anderson plugs became the norm in recent times? I am sure that plenty of caravan fridges were powered through the 7 pin plug.
Yes, I know Anderson plugs are much better!
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:56

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:56
SHAKER....We also drove model T fords. Anderson plug is just so much more efficient and capable of handling more power though it than any 7 pin plug..
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:16

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:16
We did too, & those T-Models went everywhere without any ARB gear!
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 11:08

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 11:08
"How did we ever survive before Anderson plugs became the norm in recent times?"

Things were simpler then. Way back fridges were only 2 way so no heavy 12 V power feed was necessary. The few who put batteries in vans used 3 pin power plugs to charge them.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 11:27

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 11:27
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To add to what Peter said, in earlier times it was common to use the Clipsal 2-pin polarised plug & socket Cat. 402/32 which was rated at 15A 32V. Problem was that there was no standard as to pin polarity. Freedom of choice prevailed.
As Peter said, some people also used standard 3-pin plugs & sockets which was somewhat unsafe and not legal. As an aside, I once saw an unauthorised telephone extension using a 240v 3-pin plug & socket..... imagine if that phone was plugged in to a 240v power outlet!
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 20:55

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 20:55
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Ha, just reading the latest issue of Silicon Chip magazine and coincidentally, a contributor to "Mailbag" talks of 12 years ago successfully using the above 32v plug to feed the 3-way fridge from the tow vehicle. But he now uses "the 35A pins on the 12-pin connector".
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Allan

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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 08:03

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 08:03
Get it wrong and you may have a fire and lose the lot. I would be a bit stronger than Roachie and go to an auto electrician and get them to do it. Them show you what they have done.

If you do it yourself you risk your insurance. Not so with a qualified workshop etc.

Phil
AnswerID: 608755

Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:37

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:37
Was it 6mm Automotive cable or 6mm section cable (Like 8 B& S) which would be the minimum for a fridge . Also wouldnt hurt to tidy up the rats nest going into the 7 pin so that wires dont cross like that as when you put the clamp on puts unecessary pressure on them. The tape is not exactly the right stuff either as that type has a habit of unrolling fairly quickly..

Get some good quality electrical tape or even better some amalgamating tape.

As said would be best to get a professional to at least have a look and give you some advice or even do the job. Electricity is not the stuff to play with if you are a novice.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:41

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:41
That is electrical tape, it's for earth cables used by electricians
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:12

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 13:12
First off you need to consider the fridge, if it is a three way type then you need two power circuits.

You could keep the orange wire, to power the fridge, you would then need to change the lighting circuits over to a new fuse panel which is connected to your new battery. The anderson plug would then be used to charge that battery, obviously suitable wiring and fuses would need to be installed for this circuit ie at least 6B&S cable.

If it is a compressor type fridge, then you could run a new at least 6B&S size cable from the anderson plug through suitable fuses to the new battery, the disconnect the orange at the fuse box and connect to the battery via a suitable fuse. You should also install an isolator in the car to protect the cars battery from discharging.

Another option for a compressor fridge if you didn't want to run an extra power circuit would be to use a small 10A DCDC charger, you then most likely get away with using the orange cable but it will take a long... time to charge the battery from a low state if charging via the vehicle.

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Follow Up By: Darren J5 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:22

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:22
I think the best way to sort this out by the sounds of everyone advice,will be to do the following.
1 run a new 6B&S cable direct from the anderson plug to the fridge with a inline fuse behind the fridge access panel and connect the fridge and the orange cable to the fridge along with the neutral. In effect this will back feed power through the internal fuses and power the internal and external lighting.The orange cable will need to be disconnected at the trailer plug and made safe. The trailer plug will then power thee running lights, tail lights and electric brakes only. That should have made the general power fed from the cars second battery that is charged while camped with solar panels leaving the main battery unused unless driving. The fridge will run on gas when camping. Sound right?
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:43

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 10:43
More info is needed:

What sort of fridge to you have, is it a three way or compressor type?

Is the orange wire connected to the fuse box bus bar?

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Follow Up By: Darren J5 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:26

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:26
Thanks, the fridge is a three way fridge, and the fuse panel is not a bus type the red wires are joined to the orange perhaps in the wall.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:40

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:40
OK,

Next question is are you still intending to install a battery?

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Follow Up By: Darren J5 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:31

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:31
No i'm not going to install a battery, as we will use the second battery in the patrol.This was how the last van was connected for fridge and lights.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:42

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:42
Ok, I assume you have a reasonable length of trailer cable at the plug end, I would open up the convoluted tubing or whatever and splice a new longer length of wire to the orange, I would also run another earth wire of similar thickness to the orange to a suitable earth point. then put these in their own convoluted tubing with an Anderson plug on it, ie you end up with two tails and plugs, that would be the easiest.

If you still want to run 6B&S then I would disconnect the plug side of the orange and reds at the fuse box and connect to the new 6B&S there thereby isolating the orange wire.

Make sure there is a suitable fuse in the car side to protect the wiring from the car to the van.

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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:09

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:09
Is it a BIG toe vehicle or a small toe vehicle?
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Follow Up By: Darren J5 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:28

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:28
GU TD patrol, We have done the full lap of this great big place in a regent tourer ( with 3 young boys) My problem with caravan wiring is the older vans have such a basic wiring structure and no real central connection point inside the van.
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