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Old 04-27-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
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Repurposing a 12v wire in overhead cap

Hi All,
I'm trying to source 12v power for my tech equipment in the front overhead cabinet passenger side. I know I can tap into the TV antenna booster cable, but I'm not sure how much load it would put on that circuit. I'd rather have a dedicated circuit for my cell booster, router, vent fan, etc.

I found an unused 12v cable up there, but it is only hot when the key is in the accessory position. The wire guide calls it a "run only power source - GENERAL PURPOSE (RELAY TRIGGER, REAR AUTO HTR,DRL,MONITOR,ETC)

Would there be a simple way to switch that wire at it's source (wherever that is?) so that it would run off of the house batteries instead of the chassis battery? I'm not really sure where to go here.

TIA,
Jim
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:01 PM   #2
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You'll need to locate the fuse that controls it. Your chassis' wiring diagram should help as should the owners manual for your chassis. Once you've isolated it, you can repurpose it with a feed to the fuse from your house battery instead of your chassis battery along with a switch in a convenient location. If the fuse feeds multiple circuits, you'll need to add a fuse or breaker so as not to disrupt the other circuits. You can also find the fuse by trial and error. Hook up a multimeter between the wire and ground and pull one fuse at time until the voltage reading goes to zero.

In repurposing it, you'll need to determine the load you plan on placing on it in order to determine the proper fuse size and if the existing wire gauge is adequate.

And, don't forget to document what you've done in your manuals and in the overhead cabinet. Label both ends of all wires for the benefit of a future owner or yourself in a couple of years after you've forgotten the details. Sorting out previous owner electrical mods can be a nightmare.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:10 PM   #3
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This wiring diagram might help you: https://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram...ire_184170.pdf

If that wire you found has KE printed on it, then it is sourced out of a fuse in the Ford fuse box in the engine compartment. Unfortunately it feeds numerous places and has splices in the Winnebago wiring harness. Even if you wind a 14 gauge yellow wire labeled KE at the chassis bulkhead connector that passes wiring into the engine compartment, under the dash, at that point it is not just a home run wire you can use.

You may want to use the circuit breaker protected circuit that Winnebago provides for an aftermarket CB addition that has two 14 gauge wires stored near the steering col under the dash, EEE (12V) and EEF (GRD). I understand that they are pretty hard to find, but are there, likely taped to the Winnebago wiring harness cable some where. The power comes off a 15 amp circuit breaker labeled MISC-COACH in the breaker box under the dash. Pretty sure it's not ignition key switched, but comes off the coach battery system. You can remove the winshield trim and do a 14 gauge hidden wire run behind the trim into the area above the driver's seat to get from under the dash to the overhead area.

Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:23 PM   #4
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BobC and Powercat,
Thanks for the replies...good information. It is indeed labeled KE so I think I'll take Powercat's advice and run the CB cable back up into the overhead. I know others have had trouble, but my CB run has always been in plain sight (thankfully). And labeling and documenting sounds like good advice. I don't remember what I had for breakfast!

Jim
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:11 AM   #5
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Have you considered running a new wire up into that cabinet? Look up add-a-fuse on Amazon. I’ve used them on many applications and have a bunch in the rv for purposes of running new fused and non fused just place it in the fuse box where you need. I was able to remove the a-pillar trim and get a new run into the cabinet over the drivers seat for a dash cam in about 30 minutes.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Japple55 View Post
BobC and Powercat,
Thanks for the replies...good information. It is indeed labeled KE so I think I'll take Powercat's advice and run the CB cable back up into the overhead. I know others have had trouble, but my CB run has always been in plain sight (thankfully). And labeling and documenting sounds like good advice. I don't remember what I had for breakfast!

Jim
Keep in mind that the CB circuit runs off your chassis battery. If you want to run off your house battery, running a new fused wire of an appropriate gauge from your house battery will probably be your best solution in the long run.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:31 PM   #7
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Two other thoughts

- if your 2014 had an optional bed over the driver's / passenger's seat then there is a large 12 or 10 gauge yellow wire that runs from one of the coach fuse box fuse positions to power the bed platform lift/retract motor on the optional bed. If you don't have the bed that fuse position won't have a fuse in it but it will still have the wire run from that un-labeled fuse position. In my Vista that yellow wire and a corresponding same gauge white ground wire is dead ended in the space above the passenger side overhead cabinet.

It is not shown on the wiring diagram I gave you a link for as that's a 2013 model wiring diagram. Unfortunatly Winnebago stopped creating and posting that particular kind wiring diagram after the 2013 model year as a cost cutting move. You'll be able to identify both ends of the same wire, if there, from the printed label on the wire insulation.

- I believe that there is coach battery power distribution feed wire going to the back side of that circuit breaker panel from a circuit breaker in the main circuit breaker panel. So, under the driver's side dash, you might be able to move the battery side of the CB 15 amp circuit breaker from the chassis distribution wire to the coach distribution wire if you are electrically handy.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:36 AM   #8
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Thanks guys! I do have the loft bed but it is manual not power, so I won't have that motor up there. But the Add-a-fuse looks interesting; I've never seen those before so I'll check those out. Also, powercat's suggestion of moving the CD breaker to the coach distribution wire sounds like that may work too, so I'll investigate that too. Running a new wire from the battery sounds like the most difficult option, so I'll try the other two first.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

Jim
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:29 AM   #9
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It would nice if the RV had a wring diagram. Let alone any other really useful information
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:34 AM   #10
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It would nice if the RV had a wring diagram. Let alone any other really useful information
Actually, Winnebago has tons of info online about their coaches...wiring, plumbing, etc. See the third post above for a link to the wiring diagram.
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