Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

Truck and Trailer discussion
Tin Cup
Donator '10
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#1

Post by Tin Cup »

Greetings,

I will be rebuilding my aluminum I beam trailer in the coming weeks, basically replacing all of the hardware that is rusting out. My biggest headache with my trailer is the wiring. The typical 18 gauge (or so) wiring just does not last with the salt exposure. I even dunk my rig in fresh water after most of my outings.

Can anyone recommend a heavier gauge wiring harness? I have not found too much out there.

Thanks,

Eric
Bucket
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#2

Post by Bucket »

Some thoughts:
Use tinned wire
Run Positive and Negative wires to each light separately
Use heat shrinks with sealant
Get waterproof junction box, install at lounge of trailer
Tin Cup
Donator '10
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#3

Post by Tin Cup »

Thanks this is exactly what I'm doing. Part of my problem I discovered on Sunday, my wiring harness on the truck needs to be replaced.
Wantry
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Oneida Lake, NY

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#4

Post by Wantry »

What he said.

Also, I use a lot of this stuff: https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-an ... 914-1.html
(they make duplex, 4-wire, and 7-wire options that I know of) it lasts a lot longer than the little flat 4-wire harnesses.

And anywhere I've got a ground to trailer frame, after I get done putting it together I hit that little patch with a shot of cold galvanizing spray, which slows down corrosion of the screws and ring terminals a little bit.
kmorin
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Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#5

Post by kmorin »

tin cup, Bucket, Wantry,
aluminum trailers; exactly like aluminum boats shouldn't have 'grounds' or DC return circuits involved with the frame. Whenever the trailer is immersed the DC Neg leg being 'hot' relative to actual Earth Ground, will degrade the contact points, the trailer itself and corrode the aluminum - not much if the immersion is a few minutes of launch or load; but all circuits on all aluminum frames should have DC Plus and DC minus return to the vehicle battery.

As best practice. Just a reminder that using the chassis as a DC Neg bus, or 'return' or "ground" (sort of relative term for a metal frame insulated from Earth by rubber tires!) isn't the best way to design or build electrical circuits into/onto an aluminum frame.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
Wantry
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Oneida Lake, NY

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#6

Post by Wantry »

Kevin, thanks, you are absolutely right.I completely missed the "aluminum" part in OP, and I was referring to my practices for a galvanized trailer. The Deka cabling will help but grounding to frame is not a good idea for his application.
Tin Cup
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Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#7

Post by Tin Cup »

Image

Trying to post some pics of the rebuilt trailer but this site does not make it easy. Covered the bunks with a 'commercial' vinyl flooring product that I found at Home Depot. Seems to be a good solution so far, time will tell, only cost $30 and easy to work with. Had them cut me two 10" strips. Electrical is all dialed in, ran 16 ga tinned wires to junction box mounted high on the bow post and everything is directly grounded. Should be problem free for a while.
kmorin
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Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#8

Post by kmorin »

tincup,
hope by saying "everything is directly grounded" you mean that you ran DC Neg Return legs back to the trailer's power distribution junction box for all the trailer loads, brakes included!! And NOT that you used the trailer frame as a common bonded "ground" ?

Of course, when we use the automotive terms or even building wiring terminology for anything that floats, or is mounted on rubber tires..... things get ambiguous pretty fast! Where is a ground on a vehicle? I can find the DC Neg Bus or Batt NEG but I always snivel when I'm in a conversation and the terms automatically confuse the circuits!

Hope your rebuild mods work for you. Vinyl over the bunks will be an improvement over carpet, but its OK to wrap the ridges @ 90 to lengths of the bunks as they drain better that way.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
Tin Cup
Donator '10
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#9

Post by Tin Cup »

Yes sir, nothing is grounded to the trailer. The flooring on the bunks is going to be a home run I think. Seems to provide the right amount of slide but not slippery.
IMG_20210517_194525330.jpg
IMG_20210517_194525330.jpg (123.6 KiB) Viewed 5202 times
kmorin
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Re: Heavier Gauge Trailer Wiring

#10

Post by kmorin »

TinCup good choice of vinyl the raised rounds will drain and also allow the rest of the area and not allow standing water to deareate.

can use spray paint on rusted areas ; Cold Galv in a can to help those areas where the U bolts or brackets wear off the zinc coating on cross members or bunk brackets?

Looks like you're set for a season of boating? hope you and the family have a great summer w lots of time on the water.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin
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