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Old 05-20-2022, 02:03 PM   #1
DT6
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12V Drop for Cabinet Lighting

It looks like Escape is now offering to put a 12V wire drop in cabinets as an option and I've never seen this one before. We are going to Chilliwack in the next few weeks to pick out options for our 21 and am wondering if it is a good idea to ask for this? I'm not an electrician, so are there 12V lighting kits that can be easily attached to the drop?

One of my minor frustrations with our 19 is the cabinet interiors are so dark, so I'm always holding a flashlight to help find what I'm looking for. I understand that you can buy battery powered puck lights, and if we were keeping the 19 I would get a set, but I'd like a better solution for the 21 if possible.

Also, we don't watch TV while camping (we do watch things we have recorded in advance on our iPad Pro), but I understand that having the TV antenna wiring installed helps with a later WeBoost Cell Phone range extender installation?
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Old 05-20-2022, 02:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DT6 View Post
It looks like Escape is now offering to put a 12V wire drop in cabinets as an option and I've never seen this one before. We are going to Chilliwack in the next few weeks to pick out options for our 21 and am wondering if it is a good idea to ask for this? I'm not an electrician, so are there 12V lighting kits that can be easily attached to the drop?
. . .
.

I can see why the 12V drops might be a good idea, depending on how much they cost. Running my own 12V drops was a challenge because the upper cabinets seem to have two bottom layers with a space between them that I haven't figured out how to get into to run wiring.

I was able to push out the end panels on the rear side upper cabinets to get access directly above the tall corner upholstered covers that run from the benches up to the cabinets. They're easy to unscrew and you'll see all sorts of wiring behind them.
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Old 05-20-2022, 04:50 PM   #3
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They have been offering 12V drops for awhile. I had them put in all my overhead cabinets in a 2017 21C. I added strip LEDs (similar to these), and manual miniature toggle switches (similar to these). I prefer toggle switches to refrigerator door type that turn on the lights when you open the cabinet door. I tend to leave the doors open when winter camping to reduce condensation in the cabinet - I don't want the lights on all night!
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:26 PM   #4
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Do you have a picture handy of how you mounted the on/off switch? I get the LED strip, that looks pretty easy (even for someone like me), but I have a bit of trouble figuring out how you mounted the switch for it. It looks like one of those where you need to drill a hole to mount it and secure it with a nut/washer on the other side of the hole with the switch.

Oh, BTW thanks for pointing out the drops have been available for awhile. I must have missed them all this time.
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Old 05-21-2022, 09:16 AM   #5
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In thinking about how to get power to the overhead cabinets in our new 21C I considered 12v drops, but at the cost I think we will just order all 4 captain's lights instead of only 2. We will want two of them for lighting anyway, and it looks like it is not a problem to remove the other two for access to the wiring. Not sure if we will install small fans, or reroute the wiring into the cabinets for lighting or some other use. I often change my mind and added flexibility is a plus.

See other's opinions at: Captain's Lights vs Wire Drop in Shopping Escape in the forum.
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Old 05-21-2022, 10:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DT6 View Post
Do you have a picture handy of how you mounted the on/off switch? I get the LED strip, that looks pretty easy (even for someone like me), but I have a bit of trouble figuring out how you mounted the switch for it. It looks like one of those where you need to drill a hole to mount it and secure it with a nut/washer on the other side of the hole with the switch.

Oh, BTW thanks for pointing out the drops have been available for awhile. I must have missed them all this time.
I drill a 3/16" (or what ever the switch requires) in the face of the cabinet & use the mounting hardware that comes with the switch.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:51 AM   #7
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I had Escape install the 12V drops in all of the overhead cabinets as well as the shelf above the dinnette. I then installed LED light strips. Not only does it light up the cabinets to find things, it makes for great ambient lighting with the new cabinet doors with the plexiglass windows in them. We find that with just a couple of the cabinets lit up, we don't need the overhead lights on which to us are a bit bright for when you are just eating dinner or relaxing. I installed a toggle switch for each cabinet.
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:10 PM   #8
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Hi, just so I understand, 12V drops are pre-wiring that will make it easy to add LED lights inside the cabinets, right?

Is this just for the upper cabinets, or all of them?
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:25 PM   #9
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In considering wire drops vs 4 captain's lights, is the wiring the same size, or is the drop a larger wire? Does anyone know the actual size(s)?
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:34 PM   #10
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I think the 12V wire drop is 16 gauge but you should check with Escape. No matter what it is plenty strong enough for LED strip lighting.
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:36 PM   #11
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Hi, just so I understand, 12V drops are pre-wiring that will make it easy to add LED lights inside the cabinets, right?

Is this just for the upper cabinets, or all of them?
The 12V wire drop gives you a direct power source for whatever you want to connect up. I put the drop in each of the overhead cabinets as well as the shelf above the dinnette. Gives great ambient lighting. We seldom use our overhead lights anymore
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
The 12V wire drop gives you a direct power source for whatever you want to connect up. I put the drop in each of the overhead cabinets as well as the shelf above the dinnette. Gives great ambient lighting. We seldom use our overhead lights anymore
As far as I know, Escape will put these drops wherever you want them. Upper cabinets, lower cabinets, under the bed area. They just charge for each drop so the more you have the cost can start adding up
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:29 PM   #13
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When we went to Escape last week to pick out options for our 21C, we were told that two drops in the upper cabinets is sufficient to allow you to run wire to all of the cabinets. I'm sure you can add more if you do not want to drill a hole in a cabinet wall. Anyway, I thought I would pass that information along. We are going to add the two that Escape mentioned to us.
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Old 05-30-2022, 01:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DT6 View Post
When we went to Escape last week to pick out options for our 21C, we were told that two drops in the upper cabinets is sufficient to allow you to run wire to all of the cabinets. I'm sure you can add more if you do not want to drill a hole in a cabinet wall. Anyway, I thought I would pass that information along. We are going to add the two that Escape mentioned to us.
I'd love to see where they put just 2 drops to cover all the upper cabinets. One over the kitchen would cover both the cabinets over the stove & sink, and one in the front driver's side cabinets would cover both on the driver's side of the bed, but what about the front overhead, the rear overhead & the rear side cabinets on both sides? You can get to them by removing the corner fill pieces inside the cabinets, but doing that without breaking them & putting them back is a bit of a pain.

When my 21C was built in 2017, they did 5 drops to cover all the overhead cabinets: "5- 12V Drop 1) P/S O/H Cabinet 2) Rear O/H Cabinet 3) D/S Dinette O/H Cabinet 4) O/H Cabinet above Kitchen 5) D/S O/H Cabinet in Bed Area". The drops were $20.00 each in 2017...
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Old 05-30-2022, 02:50 PM   #15
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I'll update the locations when we update our options list. Probably in a week or two once we get our updated list sorted and contact Escape.
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Old 05-30-2022, 04:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DT6 View Post
Do you have a picture handy of how you mounted the on/off switch? I get the LED strip, that looks pretty easy (even for someone like me), but I have a bit of trouble figuring out how you mounted the switch for it. It looks like one of those where you need to drill a hole to mount it and secure it with a nut/washer on the other side of the hole with the switch.

We had drops in nearly every corner. Here's a quick pic of the illuminated toggle switch I installed, next to the Captain's light I also installed. Too bright outside to see the blue glow. The toggle controls a Caframo Bora fan at the other end, not the light. Yes, you do need to reach into the cabinet to mount the switch but it's fairly simple, even for a Luddite like me. Hope the visual helps.
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Old 05-30-2022, 04:47 PM   #17
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From one Luddite to another, It helps quite a bit - thanks!
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:33 AM   #18
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I also requested the 12v Drops in our upper cabinets. One drop was on the passenger side / rear of the camper, the other was on the driver side / front of the camper. I was able to run led lights through all of the uppers with the two drops, just had to drill a small hole on the corners to run wire.

I also had the factory wire each drop to an independent switch. I had them install a two gang rocker switch directly below the standard switch at the door for the main cabin lights and the exterior flood light. It looks really good, and is really convenient to control the lights.

We have a 2019 21C with Maple, so they actually look pretty slick with the frosted glass.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:44 AM   #19
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My guess, one in rear, one in the front......
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Old 06-08-2022, 02:08 PM   #20
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Just as a side note:

If you have the power awning and did not get the external led lights…there is a power wire for this in the white awning control box located in the front passenger side of the trailer. This power wire is activated by a button on the awning remote.

Using some creative wiring you could power all your cupboard led lights from that.
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