just wanted to share a little about electrical connectors. crimp connectors come in a range of quality as do wire nuts. they are often criticized but getting a good quality connector and proper installation goes a long way towards satisfactory performance. look for a thick wall on the crimp connector where it makes contact with the wire. that will ensure it holds a crimp well. good wire nuts are edge wound square wire inside instead of round. they will actually bite into the wires you are connecting. you should be able to twist these on tight and then test by pulling hard to ensure they are secure. i got a pic of connectors but cant figure how to post...sorry

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Comment by Rich Thomas on March 4, 2017 at 3:07pm

David I have used black, red and Blue RTV  automotive gasket making material; after the nut is tight on the conductor. It works well. I don't think silicone or dielectric grease is as good but I know there is a challenge to that thinking. One complaint is you pretty much have to cut the nut off to separate it when trouble shooting. the argument being you can't use the nut again. That's not valid because you should not use the nut's over again anyway and, you should re terminate the ends of the wire as well. 

Comment by david craft on March 4, 2017 at 2:27pm
grease in taht application, because the bottom of the nut is not sealed. what about just a dab of silicone before install?
Comment by Ralph Javins on March 4, 2017 at 11:20am

Good morning, David; 

     Thank you for providing the link to the "direct burial wirenuts."  Like you, I also had no idea that such a thing existed.  At least that $49.00 price tag (reduced from $68.60) is for a package of 20 each.  If the method for keeping in the silicone grease is effective, then that will do the job, won't it?  If the silicone grease stays in place, it will keep the water away from the conductor surfaces. 

     Again, thank you, David, for that information. 



          Latté Land, Washington 

Comment by david craft on March 4, 2017 at 10:51am

direct burial wirenuts...had no idea they existed. maybe just a dab of silicone instead of an expensive connector like this.
Comment by Dawn Michelle on March 4, 2017 at 9:39am

Guys, this has been a great conversation.  I feel much more prepared to make decisions dependent on the situation I'm in.  Especially the concepts of "in an emergency" and "how temporary repairs become -unintentionally- permanent".  And also the discussion about tape and what it's good for (and what it's not good for - waterproofing).  I love that there are options in how I approach any situation.  Feel much more confident going into my first projects. For example before I install a battery monitor in the rig, I want to test it out with the battery sitting in my basement. Starting with wire nuts gives me that opportunity to do that, but easy to remove and rewire permanently in the truck with a different connection - not sure which one in that situation yet as I need to practice both manually crimping and soldering, but I can see the reasoning on how different choices meet what I want to accomplish.  Really appreciate everyone's input!

Comment by Lakota Wolf on March 3, 2017 at 11:54pm

As David mentioned, A lot has to do with the conditions your RV is going to exposed to,

A good weather tight seal is the best if traveling to different climate areas, (i.e. salted roads areas). On permanent applications, I have used heat shrink with butt connectors,, On my brakes how ever, I use wire nuts,,, I know,, Bad idea in some ways. But the logic behind that is every year or at the latest every 2 years I disassemble my brakes and remove the electric magnet assembly and give the wheel area a good cleaning with brake cleaner, and having wire nuts makes it easier to undo the wire so I can set the magent brake aside.. It all depends on weather conditions of the areas you are going into, and the method of maintenance.. Thats just my 4 1/2 cents worth,

Comment by david craft on March 3, 2017 at 11:52pm
even more in depth is that direct current connections are prone to corrosion due to electromagnetic lines of flux that typical ac connections are not. also dissimilar metals guarantee all connections will corrode over time. nothing is indeed permanent.
Comment by Ralph Javins on March 3, 2017 at 8:49pm

Good morning, David; 

Yes, sir.  Your comments and observations are indeed valid.  And we do agree that the best way is to restore the integrity of the wire insulation with its ability to keep moisture and contaminants away from the metallic conductors, whether we are referring to the wire itself or to the connectors used to join wire conductors.  

In the trouble shooting of trailer lighting systems that I have done, there have been some where I did find a problem with a household electrical wiring type wire nut having been used to make connections in the wiring on a trailer; usually along the frame.  Normally wire nuts are not recommended for use in areas where the wiring and any electrical connections are not in at least a weather tight enclosure.  Inspection of those removed wire nuts has shown the steel insert in the plastic housing to have been rusted.  Any oxidation in an electrical circuit will normally provide at least a high resistance point if not an outright insulating layer preventing the flow of electrical current.  By definition, oxides are normally considered to be insulators. 

     Am I saying that a wire nut should never be used on trailer lighting wiring?   No, I am not.  If there is a lighting problem and a wire nut is the only thing conveniently available to get the lighting system back in operation so that the trailer can be towed safely in the dark, go ahead and do it, especially if that problem is with such things as the brake lights.  However, I cannot suggest that a wire nut exposed to the outside weather environment, including roadway spray, should be considered to be a permanent repair for that original wiring problem.  But, what I have found in practice, is that most of the time it seems to have become something where, if the lights are working now, then any thought or consideration of a permanent repair to the wiring is usually forgotten.  Well, forgotten until at least the next time that the lights do not work again.  If the wire nut winds up in an orientation where the opening is up, then it only aggravates the situation; water collects inside the wire nut body. 

Again, the real problem so often seems to be that a temporary patch to get the trailer back home, will become the permanent repair. 



Latté Land, Washington 

Comment by david craft on March 3, 2017 at 8:01pm
excellent points. my trailer work was rv only. to clarify...i believe that if connections are not sealed water tight, they are better left unsealed, so moisture is not trapped at the connection to speed corrosion. tape alone is not water tight in my experience. heat shrink or sealed connections are in better than unsealed.
Comment by david craft on March 3, 2017 at 8:01pm
excellent points. my trailer work was rv only. to clarify...i believe that if connections are not sealed water tight, they are better left unsealed, so moisture is not trapped at the connection to speed corrosion. tape alone is not water tight in my experience. heat shrink or sealed connections are in better than unsealed.



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