Wiring diagrams can save your sanity


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

It wasn’t but a few minutes after we’d been doing a little roof work on our “camper project,” that another problem surfaced: All the fluorescent lights and the bathroom light “quit” working. What happened here —let’s see. Ah, yes! The luggage rack seemed a little wobbly, as did the roof access ladder, and a new set of lag screws had been introduced to try and shore up the situation. Did one of those new screws sabotage the circuit? (Word freaks, stick around. We’ll discuss that old origin of “sabotage” question at the end of this entry).

Poking around in the fuse panel revealed a definitely “blown” fuse, but was this the whole story? If only we knew just where the wires ran, it would make the whole job of trying to resurrect the lights much easier. Since the rig is an “orphan” — it’s manufacturer having gone out of the camper business long ago — we despaired. However, a Google search led us to others who had success in finding diagrams for their more current rigs. Hence, we took courage and phoned phleetwood. A sympathetic listener at the other end of the line took the request, even called back later asking for a VIN number, and next morning, hot off the email, a five-page wiring schematic for our out-of-production rig.

Long story short department: It didn’t take long to figure out a pretty likely “point of impact” for our errant lag screw. We’ll attack the roof shortly, and armed with the schematics, if worse comes to worst, we may have a hand on a “work around” solution. Moral of the story: Even if your rig is out of production, if the company still exists give them a call and ask about the possibility of getting schematics. They may even give them to you for free!

And a word about “sabotage”: Star Trek fans, while it’s a popular notion that throwing sabots (French for clog) into powered looms could “clog up the works,” there doesn’t appear to be any credible report of such a sandal scandal. More likely, since the word sabot can also be reckoned as a literal clog, the sound made by someone clunking around in clogs leads to the word, saboteur. Such walking was oft associated with clumsiness, and later extended to deliberate clumsiness that damaged machinery.

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