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 > Starcraft Wiring!!!!

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StreetRodderTom

South Western CT.

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Posted: 08/13/10 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On 04-19-10 I posted this:

As long as I'm here it has crossed my mind that I would like a better wiring diagram of the Starcraft then what comes in the manual. Is there a "detailed" wiring diagram available? The manual does a fair job of showing the 12 VDC circuit but shows nothing of the 120 VAC circuit.


Well since then I decided to up grade the converter and have pulled the old one out and have muddled my way through Starcrafts AMAZING wiring system!!!! Seems they bought the world supply of black/white & green/white wire, as that seems to be the ONLY color codes in this whole mess. At point of origin (Converter) you are absolutely clueless as to where each pair go. Every 12VDC ground (chassis) wire is twisted into one giant rats nest with a single wire going from this "ball" to the chassis ground buss. As to where any of the 12VDC hot wires go is any mans guess. Remembering that they are either blk/wht or grn/wht. The ONLY thing in this whole mess that makes any sense is the A/C Romex line which is yellow. There are 2 white Romex lines that you are left to chase down where they go. My Dad was an Electrician and I would just LOVE to see an inspector go through one of these installs. It would make a great movie. I pulled the duplex outlets out to see how they were terminated and they are a horror show. I've redone all of them and gladly realize that it could have been a fire that I've averted!!! Well now the next owner will be better informed then I. Every cable & wire pair have a cable tie number on them and there is a sheet inside the converter cover & in the owners manual that tells by cable number where it goes. Makes me really wonder how many of us are rolling up & down the highways with "in my opinion" sub standard wiring. Are there no standards or organization that controls these wiring systems? If so I'd love to read their regs.. Better yet, who's enforcing these rules (if they exist)?

Am I a licensed Electrician, no. Did I spend every spare minute of my youth being the "go for, cable puller, ground rod pounder, etc", YUP! Spent a few years after that repairing USAF SAGE Computers, then spent 11 years as a Field Service Engineer for Friden Inc. repairing desk top & small main frame computers. The one thing I've learned after all this time is that I know sub standard work when I see it!


Hope to see you on the road!!!
Retired Gunsmith (35+ years)
Wife is retired RN (VA Hospital 37 years)
2005 Starcraft Model 2409


RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 08/14/10 07:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I changed out my converter to a WFCO8945 (Read my post on that) and went through all you described here as well... It is amazing how it all went together. I am still working on the cables..

My plan is to use a square plastic UL rated box at the three holes in the floor I have here where all the wires go through to get to the bottom of the trailer and then they are drooped all along anything they could attach them too under the trailer to where they suppose to go to. There they come back up thru the floor and connect to their spot.

I will cut a two inch or so hole in the bottom of the plastic box and mount it upside down to the floor of the trailer. Then I can use the box lid to cover up all the wiring. I will need three of these boxes installed and will connect each box with one inch flex conduit and dress it all up like it should be under the trailer. I have the STARCRAFT RT and have already snagged some wiring under the trailer running off road.

After I get the boxes mounted which will make me pull all the cables back to the converter then I will do what you did and get all the cables marked. I have the KROY professional cable marker that uses heat shrink material that the machine writes all the wire info on the heat shrink before you install the cables.

Some of my DC cables ended up too short when I installed the WFCO8945 so I will want to get them at the right length.

The new WFCO8945 45 Amp system was a great buy for me - gives me 8ea 120VAC Breakers and 10ea 12VDC fused connections. The on-board charger is the three-mode smart charger that charges my two batteries up in around 4-5 hours whereas before the original Starcraft 25A charger would take a good 12 hours (maybe) to recharge the batteries back up

I too replaced all of the 120V receptacles that Starcraft used with plastic wall boxes and standard 20A duplex wall plugs. Starcraft used the type of receptacles where the romax wires would lay in a pinch grove and make contact then daisy chain on to the next wall plug location. Scared me too haha..

Changing out the converter also made me clean up the rats nest of DC wiring and actually it only took a couple of hours to reconnect all of them. At least Starcraft ran a white and black wire to everywhere needed and didnt ground to frame for the return except at the converter...

I had a couple of goofups where being a radio guy the standard wiring is RED and BLACK where red is hot and black is ground which is completely turned around in the house wiring world using WHITE and BLACk where white is return and black is hot haha... I blew a fuse when I hooked that one up backwards... Getting rid of the rats nest cables and all the wire nuts tieing them together is a good thing...

I had to laugh tho with the converter wiring to the battery.. I was getting all use to the WHITE AND BLACK wires then I was told to RUN a RED WIRE to the battery connection. They eventually had to mix both worlds..

I have all my WFCo connections looking real clean now with all the BLACk wires going to the circuit breakers or fuses, all the white wires going to a non-grounded terminal bar and all the green wires going to a frame grounded terminal bar. I had to add an extra terminal bar to the wfco - RAN OUT OF SPACES TO USE...

NOW all the circuits have their separate circuit breaker or DC fuse and I feel much safer. I did add a 120V boxer fan just behind the WFCO unit which will pull the air fromthe inside of the trailer thru the WFCO and out the hole that shore power cable is pulled thru. I was getting alittle more heat buildup from this hookup then the original 25A comverter was doing.

Oh I sent an email to the WFCO technical people and asked if the had a better schematic of the WFCO unit and they sent me a real nice drawing of WFCO 8945 unit. Much much better than what came with the unit.

Glad to hear similar story from someone else experiencing the same wiring problems.


My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me
Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS
POPUP PHOTOs-Pg52


RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 08/14/10 07:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We all got our lesson on different color of romex wires... White is for 120V 15A circuit and YELLOW is for 120V 25A circuit. There is post down the list here describing all of that...

My popup only had three 120V receptacles inside - one outside - Fridge - and roof mounted AC... I ended using all of the 10ea 12VDC fuses to get all the DC circuits going... I think I have had two that I have no idea what they went to and later figured out one was the cassett pottie water pump and the other was the gas detector.

RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 08/14/10 12:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StreetRod - As soon as it cools down abit I will get started again on my rewiring project. I am going to run marine grade 12/2 and 14/2 DC wiring and pull that thru the plastic flex tubing I am going to install under the trailer.. That has all come in already and looks like real nice heavy duty wiring. These both have BLACK and WHITE wires... Oh I have already had a case where field mice have took up residence in my popup. This is another good reason to get all the cable holes in the popup floors mice proof. All of the pvc boxes and flex conduit are available from Lowes. It should look real professional looking when I'm done with it.

My trailer wiring for tail lights - electric breaks - etc all in the same mess. Wires going every which way. I am going to fix that up as well using the flex pvc tubing... I will end up using standard metal cable clamps to tie all of the flex tubing to the flooring or metal frames under the trailer... I've never looked under any other trailers but this is abit shoddy. I was talking with another trailer guy on here and said that was the first thing he did when he got his new trailer - rewire it haha...

I am also considering adding two more marine batteries to my popup as well and tring to decide to put the xtra weight of two more batteries up front or install them behind the wheels which is closer to the converter location.. Haveing the RT series I am way up off the ground and have several places under the trailer to add some more boxes for batteries or extra water tanks etc... I have 16 inch wheels on my trailer (Maybe they are only 15 inch wheels) my truck has 16 inch tires. lots of room under the trailer...

GrimmReaperSound

Montreal

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Posted: 08/15/10 07:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was just wondering why we RT owners are the only ones to see the shoddy wiring that is surely on all pups. Maybe because we bring them off pavement and can get snags on branches, we are more stringent on the wiring quality. All I know is that the wiring is definitely sub-par, probably on all pups not just the RTs.
I was debating about redoing all the wiring, your comments have just brought me past the tipping point. My next mode is to redo all the wiring. My DW is going to shoot me, but it should be done.
BTW, our company does industrial automation with 120vac and 24vdc, the standard color codes are blk-120, wht-neutral, blu-24, Ora-0vdc, red-120(2nd hot on 120/240)
Have seen white used for both neutral and 0vdc, but that can be confusing. I'll be using this color code when I rewire.


Michel, '64
DW, '64
Kasey (Black lab/GSD mix), '08
Nissan Xterra OR, '05
Starcraft 11RT, '08


StreetRodderTom

South Western CT.

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Posted: 08/15/10 09:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can maybe give them a pass on the color codes but I would "like" to see them use a similar system as automotive. Not only is your fuse panel labeled as to what each fuse controls but the wire is color coded to that circuit. At anyplace in the wire loom you can tell what you are looking at by the color code. When I looked at the outputs from my panel in the Starcraft all I saw for 12VDC was blk/wht & grn/wht. If they don't want to color code the system then AT LEAST label the fuses. They don't give these campers away! I can't believe that there are any cost savings in wire as after you do the initial setup of inventory the cost of wire is virtually the same regardless of color.

RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 08/15/10 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am wondering who wires these trailers up... Is it the Indiana bunch or the local distributor.

This is what got me started on changing out my converter which led to the wiring rats nest.

I was camping fat dumb and happy of course and the power glitches a couple of times. I mentioned to the wife "I think we are fixing to loose shore power". Then it glitched again and I got the oder of burning bakelitte. Then I realized it was us causing the power outage.

I shut everything down (one circuit breaker is all I had on my original converter) and unplugged from shore power. I gathered up some tools and opened up the converter which was hotter than a firecracker around the circuit breaker both front and rear. The old converter was in a metal case (ELIXIR Model ELX-25) and had ONE AC breaker and THREE 12VDC fuses on the front panel.

Then I see for the first time the rats nest wiring... I had two or three ROMAX wires all tied together with TWIST-ON WIRENUTS with one pigtail going to the converter. The shore power went inside the converter and a YELLOW ROMAX wire went inside the converter.

On the 12VDC SIDE I found five wires coming out of the converter (BLUE-BROWN-YELLLOW-RED-WHITE). Three of these were 12VDC FUSED circuits (BLUE-BROWN-YELLOW). The RED went to the BATTERY. The WHITE was the COMMON RETURN for all the 12VDC circuit. The METAL CASE of the converter had a GROUND LUG and a large BARE WiRE was attached to the ground and went thru a hole in the floor and connected to the trailer FRAME.

The RATS NEST of DC CIRCUITS (I counted 9 DC cables) were all stripped back and connected together in a rats nest fashion in three groups all tied together with TWIST-ON WIRE NUTS and feeding the three DC circuits (BLUE-BROWN-YELLOW) coming from the converter. Then all of the WHITE wires were tied together with one or two groups with pig tails between them using more TWIST-ON WIRE NUTS and all eventually tieing into the one WHITE WIRE coming from the converter.

I was afraid to even touch the rats nest...

I opened up the metal screw down panel door on the ELIXIR converter and got even a bigger surprise. I had added the AIR CONDITIONER OPTION at the dealership which they installed before I picked it up. They ran the YELLOW romax which was the 120V 25AMP wiring for the A/C unit.

Since there was only ONE CIRCUIT BREAKER in the ELIXIR (Which I assume was intended to be the MAIN AC CIRCUIT BREAKER), it was used as the A/C Circuit breaker and the shore power connection (BLACK WIRE) bypassed the circuit breaker terminal and was HOT WIRED to the aluminum strip that is behind the circuit breakers to add up to three circuit breakers. I only had one in stalled on this aluminum bus bar. The HOT WIRE job connected the 30A BLACK WIRE SOURCE from the shore power cable to the small number 8 or 10 size self taping screw that held the aluminum bus bar in position on an one inch thick BAKELITTE block which isolated the AC source from the metal ground of the ELIXIR case. I guess the thought here is you dont need a MAIN BREAKER. The shore power breaker will trip if you short out something. The heavy AC load of the from the trailer A/C finally started heating up the small screw connection and had burned all the bakelitte around the screw and made about a 1/4 hole in the bakelitte. It was arcing rather good now and finally burned up a portion of the aluminum bus bar and destroyed the crimp-on lugs of the shore power BLACK wire connections.

Here I am out in the middle of nowhere camp site with a couple of tools and no resources to fix much of anything. I scrounged through all my tote boxes and tool boxes looking for something I could use to get back online again for the next two days of our trip. Found a few things I thought I might use but could not find any nuts and bolts. I visited the neighbor campers inhopes one of them would have some nuts and bolts with them with no luck. One camper was a ATV BIKER group and you just knew they came with all kinds of fix-it supplies but no luck. I even identified some nuts and bolts to steal from the trailer if I couldnt find any... It was early evening on a sunday so no chance of going to an autoparts store close by.

Then walking back to my trailer I noticed one more tote box slid under the trailer I hadnt looked in yet. I found a couple of 1/4-20 nut and bolts in it. I ended up reconnecting the HOT-WIRE JOB to the aluminum bus bar and tightened down real good. The 1/4-20 nut and bolt just fit into the hole made by the arcing in the bakelitte. Couldnt have done better by drilling it out haha... Before I hooked all of this up I had to clean up all of the burn marks on the aluminum and crimp-on lugs etc. Could not locate any sand paper at all. Then I notice the wife is sitting there watching me drip sweat on everything and cusing under my breath etc doing her nails with a one of those nail boards. WOW WHAT LUCK... I snatched up her nail board and it cleaned up all the burned area probably better than I could have done with sand paper. I had everything back up and working in short order after that and did an hour or so of trail run using the Air Conditoner and it ran cool as could be after that. The nail board is part of my tool box supplies now for sure.

We finished out the camping trip in the cool of the camper and watching HDTV etc just like nothing happened... Beer was good after that work effort.

The rest is history now... That incident could have very easily gone very bad for us and burned the whole thing to the ground just because someone wanted to save a buck and not install a second $12 circuit breaker...

GrimmReaperSound

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Posted: 08/16/10 05:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyB,
Did your wife make you buy her a new nail board?
Seriously, you were lucky the whole mess didn't catch fire
Happy to see that you managed to fix it. A botched wiring job like that should be compensated with at least a few dozen beers!

StreetRodderTom

South Western CT.

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Posted: 08/16/10 05:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd just love to be able to go the guys on the line that are putting this "stuff" out and ask them if they would like to have there kids spend the next year in what they just wired? Think not!

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