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Old 10-15-2018, 10:47 PM   #1
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Turn on interior lights with engine off?

I have a 2002 39ft bluebird 454 gas automatic.


there are lights in the ceiling and they work fine. I want to power them independently with the key off (when I turn the key other things turn on including a very loud buzzer/alarm thing (back door ??) that does not turn off unless I START the engine.


I just want to turn on the lights so we can work inside with more light.


anyway to bypass this so I can power the lights directly? ie where do I begin to find how its powered etc.. ?


or is there some trick/process to get the lights on without turning everything else on? They will be LED so won't consumer much powered not worried about that.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:15 PM   #2
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If you won't have a house battery bank you could connect the light circuit directly to a wire that's always hot. If you connect to the battery side of the fuse box you should add a fuse in line with the new hot wire. The problem with powering stuff from the starting batteries is the possibility of draining them enough that you can't start the engine.



If you'll have a house battery bank you can power your lights directly from it. This circuit should also have a fuse protecting it. Fuses should be sized to the wire size, not the draw of the device.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:33 PM   #3
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Yes I keep a charger on the battery a battery tender until I get a solar panel hooked up

I just want to turn on the interior lights is there any way to do that? Or would I have to rewire it?
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:00 AM   #4
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You'll have to rewire.



I assume your interior light switch will be on a switch panel of some sort. Access the back of the panel and find the back of the light switch. There should be two wires plugged into it. One will go to the lights and the other will be the power supply from the fuse box or ignition switch. You'll need a volt meter to figure out which wire is the supply. With the key on, one side will be always hot and the other will be hot only with the switch in the "ON" position.



Now turn the key off and check the other wires on the switch panel looking for one that is hot when the key is off. If you find one you can run a new wire from that terminal to the light switch (being careful to tape off the old switch supply wire).



If no "always hot" wires are found at the panel you'll have to get creative. The simplest answer would be to run a wire directly from the switch to the battery positive post. Just be sure to put a fuse inline near the battery post to protect the circuit.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:37 AM   #5
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I used a double throw solenoid, in place of the installed on-off solenoid. When the engine is on the alternator powers the lights and fan. When the engine is off the house battery bank powers those things.
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:33 AM   #6
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inside your switch panel, bluebird has banks of circuit breakers, they are silver modules, there will be 2 or 3 banks of them.. from the light switch you will find that wire likely goes to a breaker on the switched side of the big solenoid.. there is one bank which has items on the circuit breakers which are hot all the time.. you can mve the wire from the switched bank to the hot bank and your dome lights will work anytime you like.. be sure to place the wire on the screw terminal of the circuit breaker that is NOT on the same side as the Bar... this would make them un-fused which is bad.. you'll see other wires.. you may need to pop another module into the rail if all the terminals are full.. they are all 20 amp breakers and 12 gauge wire in my bus.. you can buy those modules at a regular auto parts store.



im out of town or i'd show you a pic of mine.

-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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VERY cool. sounds like exactly what I need. so just remove the swint panel and the breakers will be underneath it?


in process of removing all the seats today. got an idea to bolt 2 bother with a support in the middle to make a little "couch" I can use at work!! gonna try it out and see how it goes.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
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yeah they are behind the panel.. its a pretty large cavity inside. be careful pulling the panel.. there is a LOT of wires! so go easy and dont just yank it out of there you might disconnect something..

-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:20 PM   #9
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Anyone know how to do this on a Thomas?
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
Anyone know how to do this on a Thomas?

should be real similar on a thomas.. either an outside electrical access panel or an inner one like the bluebird.. I dont believe the thomas of your year had gone fully Multiplex on the switches yet.. you should have a hot bar and an ignition bar.. most school busses are similar in that respect.. some of the newer stuff like oyurs has a pabel outside that makes life easie to work on the wiring..
-Christopher
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