Started the Fan Project

Tied into the dinette light wiring

Tied into the dinette light wiring

Traumatic!  That was today.

First, I tried to run the wires under the ceiling carpet with a coat hanger.  But the foam under the carpet caught where I connected the coat hanger loop, forming an impenetrable glob.   So I ended up having to cut through the carpet, pull it out a bit, and push the wires back under.  When I’m through, I’ll go back and contact cement the foam to the fiberglass and to the seam, and I am hoping it will be invisible.

I had never cut wires, connected wires, or used a connection crimper before, so I had to learn to use the tools as I went along.

First of all, the trailer wires were too short to connect with the new wires.  So I had to splice in an additional length onto the main white and black wires.

Cutting the hole in the carpet was nerve-wracking!

Cutting the hole in the carpet was nerve-wracking!

I’ve seen guys tighten a wire stripper around a wire, give a little yank, and it was done.  Not me.  I tightened the wire stripper, then tugged and tugged with all the brute force I could muster, busting a knuckle against the top of the cabinet in the process.  No dice.  So then I tightened the crimper on the wire, then turned the wire a quarter turn and cut from that side, too.  Finally I got one wire stripped.  Then I repeated 7 more times.  Next I connected the two bunches of 4 wires each.    When I finished the second bundle, I noticed that there were only 3 wires in the first bundle.  One wire had worked free.

Apparently I hadn’t stripped the wire far enough, so I had to disconnect that connector, and restrip the wires.  In the process I accidentally cut off one of the little copper strands on one wire, and two on another.  I remember an electrician telling me that was bad news and could make the wire overheat.  So with almost no wire left on the dinette light, I had to cut it even shorter and strip it again.  Finally I got them bundled back together.  This time I checked to make sure all the wires were secured.

Testing the fan to make sure it works.

Testing the fan to make sure it works.

Just to make sure the fan wasn’t defective — or that I hadn’t wired it improperly, I reconnected the battery, taped my black wire to the black wire on the fan, then touched the white wires together.  IT WORKED!!!!  Beautifully!

I decided to cut the hole in the roof from the inside to minimize the time I have to spend up on the trailer’s roof.  But first I had to cut the carpet away so I could see what I was doing.   I Just knew that I was ruining my little Casita.  But eventually I managed to get the area cleared of carpet and it doesn’t look so scary now.

I probably would have time to finish the installation today, but I’m going to wait until I get a good night’s sleep and my blood pressure goes down a bit!  🙂


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  1. EmilyO

     /  May 23, 2013

    Way to go friend. Admire you. I wouldn’t take that job on now in my life, but if I was a youngster like you. . . . I am so proud of you getting in there and doing it!

    • Thanks, Emily! But at 65 I’m not exactly a youngster. What really worries me is getting up on the roof of the trailer tomorrow. Hope my weight doesn’t pop some rivets, and really hope I don’t fall! 🙂

  2. Hi Sharon,

    It sounds like you are doing just fine with the wiring. What you have done so far is OK. The trim flange around the fan should cover any hole that you make, so just remember that and the rest should be OK, too. Just don’t use silicon to seal the fan on top. Use a good grade of white adhesive sealant made for exterior use and it should last a long time. There are several brands on the market, but if in doubt, call any RV service facility and ask them what brand they use.

    It’s a little late now, but one trick to get your “fish tape” through the ceiling carpet is to keep an ice pick handy (an awl is too fat) and when you see the foam starting to bunch up, stick the ice pick through the carpet at that point and use the point to loosen up the foam around the end of the fish tape as you go. The ice pick won’t leave a hole in the carpet when you pull it out. Sometimes you can use the fish tape straight and use short jerky strokes to push it through and then bend your hook on the end after you get it to the other end. Also, it helps to tape around the hook, especially on a coat hanger, so that there won’t be any sharp ends to snag anything when being pulled back.

    As always, let me know if you have any questions, but it looks like you’re doing fine. Best wishes with it.

  3. cozybegone

     /  May 23, 2013

    Bravo…sounds like your the next electrician apprentice. And thankful no jolts along the way. Good luck tomorrow, at this rate your bound to succeed again…so cool you did it!

    • Thanks, Carla. I am pretty amazed it went as well as it did. I do feel like the rest of the project is downhill (she said hopefully). 😀

  4. Ugh. Sounds like a hideous process but I know you’ll make the final product not only functional, but lovely.

  5. Sleep and lower BP are a good idea. Also you may want to place tape on the Casita. What I mean is tape like Duct tape on the side opposite from where you cut. In this case if you are cutting from the inside, you want tape on the outside along the cut line. This will minimize any ‘chip out’ along the cut line.

  6. OH, John is right do not use silicon, look into using Geocel Pro Flex RV Flexible Sealant.

  7. Linnith

     /  May 23, 2013

    you are a brave lady! I’m sure you will do a great job.

    • Linnith, none of my jobs are perfect. I just usually do a good job of covering up my mistakes. 🙂

      Thanks for the vote of confidence!

  8. You are my hero….

    • No hero, for sure! Believe me, I tackle this stuff only out of necessity!

      It comes from either not being able to afford someone to do the work, or not being able to find anyone who will do a reputable job. We have a very sorry excuse for an RV repair shop in our area. I figure I can do a better job than he can even when I have no clue what I’m doing! At least I want to do a good job!

  9. Its funny how similar ‘scary’ is to ‘exciting’. A good nights sleep (and perhaps a glass of well deserved wine) well do wonders. Also the feeling of satisfaction you will have every time you look at the new fan! – priceless!

    • Ann, I already couldn’t believe the feeling of accomplishment I got when I tested the connection and the fan worked! And you are right — scary and exciting are two faces of the same sensation, although I never put it together before you pointed it out. 🙂

  10. Hi There,

    Sounds like you had an exciting day.. The next tome you go to strip a wire think of peeling an apple with you paring knife or a box cutter razor knife… The best thing for covering the wires is good old black electrical tape sometimes wires will work there way loose. Love your blog and the little miss…:)

    • Rob, that tip is priceless. It will save me a lot of frustration in the future. Thank you!

      I do plan to tape the connections to keep them from vibrating loose.

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog and Sheba. 🙂

  11. You have taken on quite a project. Good for you and I can’t wait to see it all done. You have some good tips here from your readers.

    • Jo, I have the best readers. They are so supportive and helpful! (That includes you.) 🙂

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