How to Connect Devices to the RV-C Network

The diagram below outlines the basic RV-C network layout. The Firefly Gx panel has a 12 volt power supply feed and this is where the switching and dimming takes place for the lights (or other devices) as shown to the left of the diagram. The right of the diagram shows the RV-C network. The blue line is the main Trunk, note the ‘T’ at each end of the trunk indicating a 120 ohm termination resistor. There are only 2 terminations allowed per network, one is located at each end of the Trunk cable. The green lines are Drops, these connect to wall switches, shade controllers, tank level sensors and whatever other RV-C devices are in the network. Drop cables must not be terminated and are technically limited to about 6′ in length.

 

 

 

 

Not shown in the diagram above are Drop Taps – these will be located where the green Drop cables meet the blue Trunk. Connecting eRVin (a RaspberryPi with an RV-C compatible “CAN” board) or any other RV-C device to the network can be at any location with a Drop Tap.

The Drop Tap shown below is over the entry door. The two green cables are Drops, The orange connector at the bottom connects to the Trunk. This Drop Tap has 4 Drop sockets, only two of which are being used. This Drop Tap also happens to be at the forward end of the trunk, so is a version with a terminating resistor built in.

 

 

On my Entegra Aspire, taps can be found in the following locations:

Behind the panel above the entry door, this is a wider view of the drop tap shown above.

 

Under the bed.

 

The under the bed tap is a “Common Drop Tap” and has no termination resistor. Also it placement is unusual and not entirely “legal” because it is not connected directly to the Trunk and is being used to create a Drop from another Drop cable.

 

On the front of the G6 panel in the half bathroom (labeled “Network” port).

 

On the back of the G6 panel there are several more open connections. On my Aspire there were 12 sockets total and 7 of those were open. Note the termination resistor at the bottom left of the photo – there are three more empty drop sockets behind it.

 

Normally the easiest place to plug in your eRVin system is to the Net Port on the front of the Gx panel. Keep in mind you want it in a location that will ensure even WiFi reception throughout your rig. Also it is best to keep it in an area not subject to temperature extremes such as over the entry door. Other devices such as with the SeeLevel upgrade will most likely plug in directly to the back of the Gx panel.

4 Comments to How to Connect Devices to the RV-C Network

  1. John says:

    Will this also integrate with Truma heaters?

    • Rob says:

      In order for eRVin to support it, it would need to be capable of connecting to a non-proprietary network, preferably RV-C CAN, but there are other possibilities. I did a brief search and didn’t turn up any info regarding Truma support for the RV-C CAN. But I did notice Tiffin is using some of the Truma devices and they are heavily into RV-C so – maybe? However, even if it had an RV-C network connection, eRVin as it is currently wouldn’t support it, but it probably wouldn’t be too difficult to add at least some of the functions to the eRVin dashboard. If you have any info regarding RV-C support let me know.

      • John says:

        Thank you for your prompt response. Truma has a proprietary connection between the heater and its display controller. Its a rj12 connection.
        It also intergrates with Firefly systems and others like you mentioned.
        I will mentioned that i did purchase a LIN bus encoder/decoder so that I can further “learn” its communication, but I can see its going beyond my head at this point. I was able to communicate with this LIN bus, but have not gone any further.

        I wonder if this LIN bus is just another name for rv-c communication.

        This is my last piece of the puzzle to integrate with HOME ASSISTANT. I was able to accomplish all different aspects to make this class b sprinter “smart” except for this TRUMA. From lights, holding tank gauges, Victron battery system, water transferring system, and much more.

        I will continue researching and provide you with additional info if it will help come up with a resolution.

        So far, firefly systems , caracontrol (EU) , and now Tiffin proprietary systems can intergrate with TRUMA heating systems.

        Thank you so much for you time,
        JOHN

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