Let the Renovation Begin – First Up The Electrical

We started by pulled almost everything out of the Boler – everything that could come out, did. The fridge, the propane heater, the cushions and the stove top, etc.

Then we lifted the Boler using a screw-jack and then set the frame on 4 jack stands. This enabled G to get under the Boler and check the frame. When we bought it from the seller they said the frame was in good condition and when G quickly looked at it when we picked it up, he thought the same. Once it was raised, he was able to get underneath to take a good look. He determined that it appeared to be in pretty good shape, and during the winter we may take it in to have a few welds reinforced just to be safe.

Next, we moved onto the electrical. When we picked up our Boler we knew something weird was going on with the electrical. So we wanted to make sure it was safe right away because one thing we both know is weird electrical is probably not safe electrical.

One quick side note – I do not have the knowledge or skill when it comes to wiring, so I was G’s gopher. I do not make a very good gopher because I don’t like being commanded and I don’t know the difference between simple tools like a Philips screwdriver and a Robertson screwdriver or drill bits or driver bits (I seem to have some sort of mental block when it comes to learning proper tool names – we’ve done tonnes of house renovations and I still cannot learn them – it drives G absolutely insane!) But, we made it work – G learned to ask politely and in L appropriate speak (i.e can I please have the star screwdriver?) and I learned to return with multiple star screwdrivers just in case I misunderstood, so he had an ample selection. It’s not necessarily the best solution, but it ensured we stayed married through the renovation.

Okay, back to the subject at hand – the electrical. The old electrical was an absolute mess, it had been cut and spliced more times than we cared for. We decided we would feel better if we started from scratch. So, we tore everything out! I mean everything last piece of old electrical and started over. Thankfully, G is skilled enough to be able to put in all new wiring. The basics of the electrical renovation included:

  • All new wiring.

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  • Plastic conduit to hold all the new wiring.

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  • All new LED internal lights.
  • All new LED side running lights and LED rear lights.
  • A new metal conduit to run electrical between the lower and upper kitchen cabinets (we used a metal shower curtain rod cut to size).

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  • A new 120 volt electrical socket.
  • A shorter internal electrical cord to hook up at campgrounds.  Our idea is the smallest possible cable inside the kitchen cupboard and a separate extension cord to actually hook up with.  This will provide us with significantly more space under the sink.
  • A 12 volt charger for our cell phones using the old cigarette lighter (clearly we rough it when we camp).

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  • A new deep cycle marine battery mounted at the front of the frame.
  • A 2 amp battery charger (to charge the marine battery) mounted inside the read seat in a rubermaid container to protect it from water should there be a leak and tied it down with All Round Galvanized Pipe Strapping.

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We ran into one problem while finishing the wiring – we could not get all the rear light combinations to work (i.e. break and right blinker; brake and left blinker; brake and emergency lights, etc.). I sat in the car trying different combinations while G tried to figure it out. 2 hours later, he determined the problem was actually the wiring harness in the 4Runner and the Boler was wired perfectly!! So a quick trip to the mechanic to fix the problem with the 4Runner, and we were good to go.  Funny enough, this was also likely to original problem with the electrical the day we picked up our Boler, but we are still glad we re-wired everything because now we have peace of mind that it is done correctly.

We found the most economical place to buy our electrical supplies was Princess Auto. Much to our surprise during the summer months they stock an entire section for RV trailer lighting. So, we bought almost all our electrical supplies there because it had the best prices we could find.

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