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Old 08-20-2014, 12:34 PM   #61
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I do use those connectors that Jim linked to, only for really low amperage draws, and always use dielectric grease, and tape the connection after.
Is not dielectric grease an insulator?
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #62
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That's what it says on Wiki. It's an insulator, not a conductor, so you don't want to get it on the actual contacts.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:41 PM   #63
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Is not dielectric grease an insulator?
It is, that is what stops any oxidization from happening. It is easily displace by the contact points though, and causes no issue with conductivity. If you were mating two very flat surfaces, I would not use it. Most automotive electronics people use it in their connections, like light bulbs.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:44 PM   #64
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My left turn signal did not work until I wiped the dielectric grease off the base of the bulb and the socket.
My read of Wiki is that it can be used to seal a rubber boot, for instance, but not on the contacts themselves.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:46 PM   #65
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Remember, take info from Wiki with a grain of salt, even I could add to it if I wanted.

I use dielectric grease on almost all of my automotive electrical connections. With regards to your signal light baglo, I suspect something else could have been at play too. Some electrical connectors for splicing wire come with dielectric grease in them, some that I have used in the past are insulated crimp connectors for small wires, where corrosion could result in the connection failing.

I now use it in my 7-pin connection on my trailers, as before I did this, I was having a terrible time battling the corrosion on them, and since have not had a single issue.

It must be noted that it works great with connections that use lots of pressure, I would not use it on simple contacts like found in relays.

There are conductive greases used to stop corrosion as well, but need to be carefully used. When I worked as a power electrician, building electrical substations, we would use it on mating surfaces for the bus pipe (big conductors) and fittings, where oxidization would result causing arcing, and then heat failure.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:50 PM   #66
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All I know is we were doing the light check before leaving camp. When the lamp wouldn't light, I removed the lens and the bulb. Wiped the bulb off and the socket. Reinserted it and it worked. Nothing else had moved or changed.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #67
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Thanks Ron - we will examine our fuse box and see if there is a way to take off the front panel. We were leery of taking too much stuff apart! If we can get in there and run a dedicated line that would be a big help...we think we have a route for running the wiring to the loft. Probably can't get to it till tomorrow....
The front panel on mine is held on with two machine screws. Tilt it out and lift it out.

The second photo shows how easy it is to power a dedicated circuit. The screwdriver is pointing to a red wire I added for a voltmeter. A wire can be inserted from the back next to other wires already there.

All that's needed is to strip a little insulation and insert the wire in the terminal block. On mine I had several unused terminals.

On the left of the red LED are two female spade terminals that are the fuse holder. Insert a suitable fuse to match the load and wire size. The fuse is the larger of the two sizes available.

Connect the negative to the negative buss terminal at the rear of the panel.

Ron
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:15 PM   #68
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A proper soldered joint covered with a heat shrink can't be beaten though.

Ditto that. I was getting worried that solder was somehow becoming an ancient art. I've never had any success with crimps.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:38 PM   #69
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I agree that a good soldered connection is very good. Unfortunately, it takes a certain skill level to consistently make good soldered connections. Someone who does not have the skill is quite likely to make a bad connection. A crimped connection is easier to learn and more likely to be done well by someone who doesn't do it often. Of course, there is still some stuff that can go wrong. That's why I included the link I did. I could never explain it better than this guy does. I must admit, I've had little success with solder so I'm biased the other way.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:43 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
The front panel on mine is held on with two machine screws. Tilt it out and lift it out.

The second photo shows how easy it is to power a dedicated circuit. The screwdriver is pointing to a red wire I added for a voltmeter. A wire can be inserted from the back next to other wires already there.

All that's needed is to strip a little insulation and insert the wire in the terminal block. On mine I had several unused terminals.

On the left of the red LED are two female spade terminals that are the fuse holder. Insert a suitable fuse to match the load and wire size. The fuse is the larger of the two sizes available.

Connect the negative to the negative buss terminal at the rear of the panel.

Ron
Thanks Ron! Got it! We just got back from looking around at our panel and we see that there is one unused terminal and can see how to hook up the red and the black wires. (When we first looked it just seemed like a rat's nest of wiring!) We think we can run wiring from there to the loft by going under the curb bench seat, up the fridge wall, through the over-fridge cabinet, across the top of the door and into the over-pantry cabinet.
However, we are first going to try a couple of nights using the 2 solar powered outlets under the dinette - obviously we'll have to run extension cords to the loft. We tried it one night with one CPAP and the battery was at 95% in the morning, which seemed promising... we have the 90w ETI panel and a 1500w inverter.

We are going to install a functional 12v outlet next to the existing Cable TV/12v plate under the dinette so we will have a 12v for at least phone charging at each end of the trailer. It will be an easy fix since we can just pull off the wires from the existing too small 12v outlet and connect them to the new one.

We have learned LOTS about the wiring in our trailer and where the cable runs are, etc as a result of this process and we are grateful for the generous input and information from the Escape community!
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