Avion ’73 Fuse Panel Upgrade and Wiring Mess Cleanup

May 7, 2017- Fletch (Bill Fletcher) has sent over this photo update today to show how they have upgraded the fuse box to a more modern system and also cleaned up and provided some safety and order to the wiring that goes to the inverter box which is under our curbside dinette bench storage.

We had previously experienced some problems with the fuse box (old glass fuses) blowing really when they should not have.  Also, the location of the fuse box was on the front wall of the interior of the rig, just to right of center.  This location was fine when the rig was new and it had a jack knife or pull out sofa covering it.  Since the front of these rigs, like Airstreams are bowed, and the manufacturers used to build a little shelf at just under front window height with under-storage and so the sofa back could be folded down and access to the fuse box was easy, but when the sofa was used on a regular basis the fuse box was safely hidden (in other words…away from little grandson’s curious hands and eyes).  Since this was no longer the case– our rig’s former owner had removed the sofa and put in a custom built dinette with two benches.  The fuse box now was completely exposed, ugly and unsafe.

We had hoped that Fletch would be able to have enough wire and a clear path between the wallboard and exterior of rig to snake all the lines to underneath the dinette bench and completely relocate a new fuse box under the bench.  Not to be.  Avion’s are so well constructed there are steel braces, sprayed in solid foam insulation and other supports that prevented him from getting a straight shot.  So we opted for retaining the same location, but a wood box cover would be made to install over the top.  (see below)

We not only wanted a more modern fuse system, but that area had to be secured and look better since now it is visible (….and remember those curious grandkids….)

So here is his carpenter, EJ’s handiwork, a great upgrade and custom made cover which we will stain to match other woodwork or paint.  I have not decided quite yet.

From Fletch on May 7, 2017:
Hi Luisa,
 Here are a few shots of the work I did yesterday and today.
 As you will recall the factory fuse panel and wiring looked like this.
old fuse box wiring set up
The first step was to unhook all the connections and remove the panel.
 Various wires had to be traced to find what and where they went.
old fuse box removed, bare wires
 [yes, he did make us a template with a mapping of what wire goes to what.]
The larger ‘hot’ wires had to be lengthened to reach the appropriate terminal on the new box.
All wires that needed extending (6 on the panel box) were soldered together.
wire extensions completed
And finally we ended up with this. Modern fuses and a compact design.
new fuse box upgrade, wires wrapped
The wiring on the converter wasn’t much better. Rather a rats nest.
Fletch was able to make some improvements here as well.
 Below is the wood cover E.J. made for the fuse box exterior.  I requested that the cabinet door be hinged on bottom so that it flips down, fully exposing the entire panel with out it being in the way when you want to work in there.  We will also doubleface tape the wiring plan and key to wires on this inside of the door (smart eh?).  Magnetic closures on the top fully secure the door (we can always put a 90 degree angle hasp and lock if need be to keep out little fingers).
Here are a few shots of the electrical box cover that Fletch sent over:

We are very pleased with how this fuse box project came out and feel much more confident and safe with our electrical work now too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s