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Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access
Posted: 13 August 2005 6:19 PM
Subject: Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access

I intend to fit an external light below the awning and above the door. Internal wiring is easy behind the control panel above the door on the inside.

Could anyone advise on the best way to seal the hole through which the cable will pass from the internal switch to the external light fitting. The primitive way would seem to be - drill a hole and seal around the cable with sealant. This would not be seen as cable passes straight into the light housing.

A more elegant way might be to use something like a deck gland used on boats and designed for the purpose of waterproofing cables passing through the deck. Problem is that most deck glands are only 21mm deep. My camper wall is 35mm thick.

Anyone got any advice on bets way of waterproofing the cable passage?

I also intend to fit a solar panel so will have the same problem on the roof. Anyone know how cables sealed as they are are passed through the roof to the panel?


userDavid Powell
Posted: 16 August 2005 12:06 AM
Subject: Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access

Hello Keith...Water should not really get into the light fitting, but to make sure water does not get in through the cable access, bore the hole upwards at about 20 to 30 degrees, water should not run upwards, put some sealant into the hole onto its inner surface so that if any water gets in, it will not soak into the insulation of the 'van, then seal the cable into the hole. If you like belt and braces, you can always drill a couple of drain holes in the lowest part of the lamp casing. Several 'vans ago I had solar panels on the roof, but I was lucky as there was a small mushroom vent over the shower and wires fed down through there just right.
userMel E
Posted: 17 August 2005 11:57 AM
Subject: Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access

Seal such holes with Sikaflex. It bonds as well as seals and is used for sticking (without screws) solar panels to the rooves of motorcaravans.
Posted: 19 August 2005 9:26 AM
Subject: Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access

A good mastic / adhesive sealant applied sensibly is required as said previously. Fill the hole around the cable and also around the fixing screws. Drilling at an aggle will be of little use as the outer aluminium skin is less than half a millimetre thick and any water that does ingress will travel down between skin and polystyrene insulation. However what drilling at an angle does help is ensuring that the wires run up hill from the lamp unit. At least water won,t run down the wiring into the living area.

Don,t forget to use a lamp with a mechanical external delay push button on it. So when you come back you can press the button on the outside, the lamp will come on for 30 seconds or so, enough for you to find your keys. Then go off automatically.
(P.S. If you find one of these please tell me as I want one as well)

Good luck

userDavid Powell
Posted: 19 August 2005 11:08 PM
Subject: Fitting exterrnal light - waterproofing cable access

Just a little thing regarding solar pannels, the small shop that sold me mine many years ago said to be sure to leave a good air gap [about an inch] between the roof and the pannel for cooling as the glass ones can crack if they get too hot.
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