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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have to install wood furring strips on the ceiling ribs to make space for another layer of insulation.
I plan to use self tapping metal screws to hold the the wood strips on the metal rib if that is a good choice?
BUT I will also be running insulation AND wiring in the ceiling ribs.
What keeps the screws that hold the furring strip on the rib from hurting/puncturing/scraping my electrical wires
that run from one side of the van to the other via these ceiling ribs? I know many have installed wood furring strips,
how is everyone attaching them to the ribs?
THANKS!!
 

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Buy a Astro Rivnut tool kit, $60 on amazon or ebay. Buy extra rivnuts, at least 50 or 60. They go fast! Greatest tool for doing a van conversation. Self tapping screws will eventually vibrant loose and possibly damage the wire. Practice compressing a few rivnuts first in a bench top type test, if you squeeze hard on the smaller size
(10/24th) it is possible to pull the threads out of the rivet.
 

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I have 1 x 4 furring strips run lengthwise fore and aft attached to the ceiling ribs with self drilling/tapping Teks screws. I used 4 of them purchased in long 12 foot lengths. These hold the insulation in place. I ran wires across above the furring strips not in the ribs.
 

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If you're running furring strips and insulation why does the wiring have to go through the ribs? Why not add a length of PVC conduit along side the ribs instead?

I've run wiring in ceiling ribs before, but I'm not a big fan of doing so. First of all, it's not exactly easy to feed wire through most of them. There's excess adhesive, sharp edges, 90 degree turns, and all sorts of things that make doing so difficult. It's also metal, so it's a likely place to wear or cut a wire and could result in a short which would then be a very difficult place to repair. The ribs are also needed for securing things later on in the build, and that's not easy to do when there are wires to watch out for. When everything going to be covered in in insulation anyhow, hiding 1/2" PVC underneath would be a breeze.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
TravelDerby that is a great idea. I could run 1/2 inch pvc from one side of the van to the other adjacent to the rib.
Only thing I'd loose is the very small amount of rigid foam board where the pvc occupies space.
There really are a small number of outlets on the far side of the van. Over there I want 3 AC plug-ins and 3 DC plugins. I don't think that much
will fit into 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe so I could have two pipes making the traverse.

Forgot to add that will make stuffing the Thinsulate into the ribs easier :)
 

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PEX Tubing - A PVC alternative

I could run 1/2 inch pvc from one side of the van to the other adjacent to the rib.
We bought a roll of 1/2" PEX tubing (which we'd never heard of prior to this project) to plumb water from point A to B. Turns out, however, that we've used far more of this tubing as a protective conduit for both low and high voltage cabling . . . particularly where we feared shape metal edges. PEX tubing is more flexible than PVC and easily cut with a Stanley knife.
 

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What type of 12V wire

Hi MM4040. I'm enjoying following your build and questions, you are about 8 weeks ahead of my build so I'm happy to learn from you. Quick question on low voltage wiring. I have ordered 12 AWG speaker wire for my build. Based on various voltage drop calculations it seems 12 AWG is more than sufficient. My question to you and others is, is speaker wire a good idea? This wire actually has an overwrap, so it looks more like "regular" low voltage wire than speaker wire, at least to me. Here is what I ordered (100ft).

http://www.primecables.com/p-313373...ll-installation-4-lengths-monoprice#sku313373

Thanks
Shaun
 

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This discussion is bringing back memories of why I wish I hadn't run wires in the top channels, and that PVC would have similar issues. In cold weather, you could have a condensation issue. Consider burying the wires in the insulation.
 

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Hi MM4040. I'm enjoying following your build and questions, you are about 8 weeks ahead of my build so I'm happy to learn from you. Quick question on low voltage wiring. I have ordered 12 AWG speaker wire for my build. Based on various voltage drop calculations it seems 12 AWG is more than sufficient. My question to you and others is, is speaker wire a good idea? This wire actually has an overwrap, so it looks more like "regular" low voltage wire than speaker wire, at least to me. Here is what I ordered (100ft).

http://www.primecables.com/p-313373...ll-installation-4-lengths-monoprice#sku313373

Thanks
Shaun
12 AWG is way overkill for most any 12 vdc circuits will ever run or need. Even !4 is overkill. 16 should suffice for just about any lighting or charging circuit. You might need 12 or 14 for a fridge but that is the exception. I would say I probably used 16 speaker wire for 80% of my DC circuits and a bit of 14 for the rest and I've never ever had a blown fuse or overheated wire. As usual the wire size is dependent on the load you put on it obviously but most 12vdc loads in a van are not very large.
 

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Hi MM4040. I'm enjoying following your build and questions, you are about 8 weeks ahead of my build so I'm happy to learn from you. Quick question on low voltage wiring. I have ordered 12 AWG speaker wire for my build. Based on various voltage drop calculations it seems 12 AWG is more than sufficient. My question to you and others is, is speaker wire a good idea? This wire actually has an overwrap, so it looks more like "regular" low voltage wire than speaker wire, at least to me. Here is what I ordered (100ft).

http://www.primecables.com/p-313373...ll-installation-4-lengths-monoprice#sku313373

Thanks
Shaun
Shaun,

That's good wire... real copper. Nowadays wire is often CCA - copper clad aluminum.... not as good as all copper.

Next time, I would suggest you buy straight from Monoprice to get a better price. The outside covering is just another layer of protection from abrasion, cuts, etc. I use the Monoprice stuff for lots of projects, and it's in my van too! 12AWG should work well for 12V outlets... less voltage drop than smaller wire.

KOV, I agree, but I also note that from front corner of my van to the opposite back corner, with 16 AWG, I measured about a 3/4 volt drop... ended up using bigger for that run.

ed
 

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Thanks KOV and ProEddie.

I checked out Monoprice. I'm in Canada so after US/CDN conversion and shipping etc, it's $10 cheaper to order from Canada. Good to get positive feedback on that wire.
 

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Thanks KOV and ProEddie.

I checked out Monoprice. I'm in Canada so after US/CDN conversion and shipping etc, it's $10 cheaper to order from Canada. Good to get positive feedback on that wire.
Ah, that explains it.... I use that wire for a lot of low voltage stuff on model railroad setups. And, oddly enough, for wiring speakers!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ShaunB I'm learning too.
Example, I would never have known or thought to use speaker wire for DC runs.
My electrician said two days ago that we'll go shopping soon. I said to Lowe's, he said
no to a sound shop :)
MsNomer you're not helping ;)
Just went I decided to run my three circuits from the passengers side over in PEX now I'm puzzled again.

One thing I've gathered here is that often there isn't a wrong or right absolute black and white answer.

ShaunB our big day comes tomorrow. The van heads to the man who will cut all the big holes (windows/AC/fan).
When it gets back from him--a week, maybe two--then things will start happening.
In the mean time we're just collecting stuff...it's like a mini-warehouse here, even today the heavy dynomat generic arrived.

It's fun though. It's like I'm learning a new language, def. learning a bit about electricity. I'm also learning that this whole process can be a economically friendly as you want or seriously painful on the wallet. 100 years from now it won't matter and in that I just gave 80/20 $1300 for a giant tinker toy erector set (and I haven't even bought the connectors yet!)....
 

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Wiring does not need to be in conduit. It does need to be secured so that it does not move causing chafe. Burying it in insulation can work. Lightly compressing it between finished ceiling panels and insulation works as long as it does not contact sharp edges. It is important to prevent movement. Some years ago an owner on the Sprinter forum claimed that he could hear wires rattling in overhead conduit (conduit was possibly excessively large).

Also on that forum a couple of owners had installed conduit crosswise under insulated floor between the edges of sheets of rigid foam.
 

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ShaunB I'm learning too.
Example, I would never have known or thought to use speaker wire for DC runs.
My electrician said two days ago that we'll go shopping soon. I said to Lowe's, he said
no to a sound shop :)
MsNomer you're not helping ;)
Just went I decided to run my three circuits from the passengers side over in PEX now I'm puzzled again.

One thing I've gathered here is that often there isn't a wrong or right absolute black and white answer.

ShaunB our big day comes tomorrow. The van heads to the man who will cut all the big holes (windows/AC/fan).
When it gets back from him--a week, maybe two--then things will start happening.
In the mean time we're just collecting stuff...it's like a mini-warehouse here, even today the heavy dynomat generic arrived.

It's fun though. It's like I'm learning a new language, def. learning a bit about electricity. I'm also learning that this whole process can be a economically friendly as you want or seriously painful on the wallet. 100 years from now it won't matter and in that I just gave 80/20 $1300 for a giant tinker toy erector set (and I haven't even bought the connectors yet!)....
MM you're learning! You don't need conduit as others have suggested but it is very cheap and helps if you ever want to make and later mods, especially over the roof or under your floor after it's finished. I have both bare cables wire tied together in accessible spaces and the blue plastic flexable conduit (make sure you use ¾" conduit if you do, NOT ½") in other places. PEX could also be used and being smooth inside could be a better choice but the blue plastic bx has fittings that allow it to be easily connected to electrical boxes. So many choices ;). I'm sure your Sparky will also advise you.
 

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Wish we'd thought of PEX. Once when we needed to pull a wire, we thought we had it made because we had used the plastic conduit. Unh-uh. Stuff did not budge.
 

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There is 1/2 and 3/4” smooth and rigid plastic conduit that is PVC. Get it instead of the water pipe and they will think you are a pro. Pull a string through and then use it to pull the wire. First time use a fluff ball and your shop vac to pull in a string. No problem. I pull a string each time I pull a wire so I always have a way to add another. In the van I really did not see much need for conduit but used lots of wire ties to keep everything from moving around. I wish I had not used that romex to the 110 outlets and shore power outlets. Stranded wire!
 

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Yes the blue plastic bx is a real pita it's almost a requirement to use the ¾" stuff the corrugations really make it difficult to pull anything thru after the first wires if you can get short pieces of ¾" smooth pvc go for it. It probably comes in 10' lengths and 50' foot coils . You can easily use up almost 50' in a van!
 
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