Doing Things I Don’t Know How to Do

(Casita wiring schematic removed by request.)

Sometimes projects overwhelm me because I have no prior knowledge or experience to draw on.

Installation of the Fantastic Fan is one of those projects.

I suppose my fear of working with anything electrical goes back to the dire warnings of electrical shock and electrocution that my mother instilled on me thoughout my growing-up years — based on a near-death experience during her teenage years.

Anyway, I understand now that if the trailer is unplugged and one cable of the battery is removed (or the breakers turned off) that I’m not going to get fried.  But that’s about all I understand.

These connectors came with the Fantastic Fan

These connectors came with the Fantastic Fan

First of all, most Casitas come prewired for a Fantastic Fan.  The original owner of my trailer ordered it without a roof vent at all.  So there is no existing fan wiring to tie into.

I called Casita, and they said to tie into the dinette lighting.   They are wonderful people, but they are also extremely busy, and my dumb questions apparently frustrated them.  So all I know is that I need to tie into the dinette light wiring.

One size fits all. :)

One size fits all. 🙂

I found a DC diagram for the Casita and it shows me where the wires run.  I will have to lift the carpet inside the cupboards, find the  wires, then glue the carpet back down later.

I am going to have to run the wires under the carpet from the cupboard to the ceiling.  I have some heavy aluminum wire that I think I can create a fish tool from.

I have the wood spacer for the fan cut out.  Just need to sand and finish it.

So now I am down to trying to figure out how to follow the Fantastic Fan electrical directions.  They say, “Hook 12 volt power to fan.”

Two wires are attached to the fan, and the package includes two little blue connectors.  I have never seen connectors like these before.  So I do a web search for a tutorial.  Finally I find an article that says to slide the wires in from both sides and crimp in the middle.  But I don’t know if one crimp in the middle will keep the wires from vibrating apart.  Would it be better to crimp each wire separately near the middle of the little blue thing?  I have no clue.  I’m guessing it couldn’t hurt.

Then I start thinking that if I cut the trailer wires and connect the fan that probably the lights and bathroom fan, farther down the circuit, wouldn’t work unless the Fantastic Fan was switched on.  So I searched the web again and found diagrams of jumper wires that would apparently route the current around the fan if it was off.

So I did a little sketch of how I thought I needed to do a jumper wire and emailed it to a guy who has answered questions for me in the past.  Although he graciously replied, he apparently was amused and his reply was so flippant that I would never dare ask him another question again.  🙂

Next I needed to decide what size connectors to use inside the cabinet.  I know from experience with battery connectors that there is no way I can crimp a wire tightly enough to get it in the size connector that’s supposed to fit.  I finally find some connectors that say they replace several different sizes… kind of an all-in-one solution.

Fortunately I do know how to use them because I have seen my ex connect wires with that screw on type connector.

Once I get the wires fished and figure exactly where to connect them, mounting the fan should be fairly simple — because I have used butyl tape and self-leveling caulking before, so I’m not expecting any hidden monsters to jump out and bite me there!

We have some rain on the way, so this will probably take a while!

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15 Comments

  1. Shelly

     /  March 15, 2013

    I have to tell you, I was on Pinterest the other day and someone had posted a picture of you interior of your camper. It said something about liking the colors or something. You are famous!

    • I really appreciate that, Shelly. I get quite a few hits from Pinterest and am amazed at the interest in my decorating scheme. My Casita’s upholstery was another learn-by-the-seat-of-my-pants on-the-job learning experience!

  2. Tim McDougall

     /  March 15, 2013

    Not sure if I sent you my phone number before but if you send me an email I’ll send it to you. I may be able to answer some of your wiring connector questions.
    Tim M

    • Thanks, Tim. I just sent you an email. 🙂

      • Tim McDougall

         /  March 15, 2013

        Hope this is the email.

        • Tim, no you posted your phone number and I immediately copied it and deleted it from this post.

          I’ll be calling you from a Georgia cellphone tomorrow. Will email you the number so you will recognize it. 🙂

  3. Barbara Goodman

     /  March 15, 2013

    Cant you go on the Casita site and post the question ? I’ve read they are very helpful. R V Sue seems to get help very easily, maybe ask her where she gets help.

    • Barbara, my problem with asking electrical questions on the Casita forum is that I can’t understand the replies. They all assume that everyone has a basic understanding of electricity. I end up feeling confused… and very dumb! 🙂

  4. Tiny, you are more courageous than 99% of trailer owners anywhere. Once again, I am awed by your determination to plow into such a complicated project. Wish I had your doityourself skills.

    • Judy, I am so blessed. I just got a VERY detailed explanation THAT I CAN UNDERSTAND by email from a reader. And I am going to call Tim tomorrow (see comments above) after I peel the carpet away from the wires and see what is actually there, and he will fill in any details I am missing.

      Now I know that I can do this… and get it right!

  5. I can tell you will be successful after reading this post – you’ve planned it well, done your research, thought through at least some of the problems you’re likely to encounter, and gotten some good help – kudos to you for attempting such a significant job on your own!
    I’ve been hesitant to tackle jobs that involve running wire – I look forward to hearing how that last works for you.

    Good luck!!

    • Anne, the helpful explanations that I have been offered just blow me away. I have some of the kindest, most generous, blog readers!

      Thanks for the good wishes. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures to share in the next few days. I do need to buy some more wire, as what I have isn’t quite long enough.

  6. lynne

     /  March 16, 2013

    You are an amazing woman and don’ even realize it! Love your can do attitude!

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