9 - Electrical Hook Up

January 18, 2017

9 - Electrical Hook Up

There are two videos for the electrical. The first shows the main hook up and the second how I ran the solar through the top of my van. 

  

With the electrical there are so many different ways to run it. Solar, generator, trickle through your alternator, inverter chargers etc etc. Below is how I chose to do mine.

Also worth a mention ... normally you'd want to do your electrical sooner, but with my lack of knowledge and confidence doing this myself I wanted the wiring to remain accessible vs putting it behind walls. I wasn't sure how many lights it would take to drain my battery, where to put them etc etc. 

I decided to run my van completely off of solar. I didn't want to be forced into having a campsite or a place to plug in and wanted to just roam around. I went with a 150W solar panel, which is about as big as you could go on my little van. I am jealous of those people who have room for a few. 

When buying a solar panel be sure to get the kit so you get all the cables, mounting brackets and the proper charge control to hook up to your batteries. You will need 12V in your battery bank in some form or another. Whether you buy 2 - 6V and series them together or just simply buy a 12V battery it will work. Just try to figure out how much power you will need and what you want to run off of your batteries. I will post more about this later, as I don't even know myself if I have enough battery power at this point for my solar panel. 

From there I am running as much as I can as DC power. This is your regular 12V power or a cigarette lighter type plug. My fan (which was #1 on my must haves for Baron) and my fridge along with a few lights are wired right into this. Drawing right from your batteries is more efficient and if I could avoid turning on my inverter to simply plug in a light I wanted to do so. 

I also have a 1000W inverter. This is relatively low on the amount of power it gives out, but I really only need it to charge batteries for my camera and computer. There are low quality inverters and higher ones made for electronics, so if you aren't plugging anything fancy into it and just want a 120V (regular) plug then I wouldn't worry about an expensive one. Beside charging batteries it is just nice to have a regular plug if you want cute lights like I do. 

One thing to consider is getting an inverter charger. It is more expensive, but this will allow you to not only plug right into a 120V outlet on your inverter, but also plugging into a power source will allow you to charge back to your batteries. I chose to save the money on this option as I didn't know how often I'd be at a campsite and needing to charge my batteries. I figured if I was at a campsite I'd just switch over to all my 120V plugs and just use the power right from the site vs taking the power to charge my batteries. 

Definitely watch the videos to visually see how I hooked everything up for electricity. 

Now the solar panel. I ended up making a second video because getting your power from your solar panel into your vehicle can be an interesting battle to make sure it doesn't leak into your van. Most people will feed the cables down a vent in the roof, or through the fan opening, but I am showing you how I decided to do it. 

Good luck and just watch tons of youtube videos. I hope mine helped you out a little bit though in solving how to get electricity. 

 





Also in The Van Build

The Full Video
The Full Video

January 18, 2017

1 - Tearing Out The Interior
1 - Tearing Out The Interior

January 18, 2017

2 - Installing The Floor
2 - Installing The Floor

January 18, 2017