Wiring help!

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Catfish, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Catfish

    Catfish Read Only Funster

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    Hello people of the internet!

    I'm in the early stages of converting my LWB High Top LDV Maxus into a stealth camper. I'm trying to complete a wiring diagram but I am a complete novice. I have never converted a camper before and I have minimal experience with wiring on this scale so I'm looking (more begging) for some help and guidance. I have attached the diagram I came up with, but here is a description of the setup.

    I plan to run a cable from the starter battery (connected to the alternator) through a split charge relay and a fuse and to the leisure battery. This is so the leisure battery can gain charge from the alternator. I also plan on running a line from two solar panels (2 x 150w) to the leisure battery through solar controllers, so that the solar panels do not over charge the batteries and cause damage. This will be run through the same line as the power coming from the alternator and run through the same fuse. (unsure of what fuse I would need for this, any recommendations are welcome).
    Then for the means of a hook up I plan on using a 12V battery charger with a built in power controller (to prevent over charge) which can be connected to the mains and will be wired directly to the leisure battery terminals.

    Then run a cable from the + terminal of the leisure battery through a consumer unit (6a trip switch) which will feed directly to low power LED lights, the hob ignition and to a Sine Wave 12V to 240V power inverter. The cable will then run from the inverter, through the consumer unit (32a trip switch) and lead to the sockets for the appliances.

    I would like to also have a battery power monitoring gauge but I have no idea where to wiring it into (and I can't find one!). Do I just run it directly off the battery terminals?

    Furthermore, I plan on having 2 leisure batteries wired in parallel to keep them at 12V.
    Please advice me as best you can, this is my first time doing anything like this. All help is welcome.
     

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  2. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Is it possible to go online and download a diagram from a known vehicle that's similar to what you are building.. Just asking !!Roy
     
  3. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    You don't need a separate solar controller for each panel. A single controller of 20A-30A will do the trick. You will need thickish cables though so depending on your layout it may be best to connect the output directly to the batteries. You will need an in line fuse between the panels and the controller which will also allow the panels to be disconnected if you're working on the electrics.
    If you are not skilled in vehicle electrics I would suggest you involve someone who is, it won't be very cost effective if it catches fire.
     
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  4. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Good suggestion ..in fact the best advice .
     
  5. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    I would buy one of these - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/0-100V-10...087220?hash=item3f43a8fa34:g:cCAAAOSwyZ5UmhT~

    It will monitor your voltages and if you wire the shunt into the lead to the domestic battery's it will tell you the amps in and out.

    AmmeterShuntWiring.jpg

    I would keep the solar panels completely separate with this type of kit.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10A-Dual-...399110?hash=item3f2d62f306:g:qT0AAOxy5jxScKup

    I also fitted one of these, which could be also useful for other applications.There are other sizes.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181592246704?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
     
  6. Catfish

    Catfish Read Only Funster

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    I dont actually know anybody skilled in vehicle electrics who I can ask to be honest!
    I like the idea of doing it myself, but I do obviously want me work checking over. Hence why I'm here :)
    I'll take on board the suggestion for the solars being separate with the thicker cables and the in line fuse too! Thanks a lot.

    Anyy more suggestions are welcome :D
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Run ALL your 12v wiring using regular automotive fuses of whatever amperage is needed.....DO NOT mix 12vdc and 230vac within the same fusebox/consumer unit

    Using a 6a MCB in a 230v consumer unit to protect the 12v LED lights isnt safe.....if it works at all..

    You can buy multi-way 12v fuseblocks on eBay for a couple of quid

    Use the 230v consumer unit for charger, sockets, fridge etc
    Connect the hookup directly to the cons unit and the 230v circuits out of the MCBs
     
  8. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  9. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    what do you think you need an inverter for? as much as possible its best to run everything on 12v using 240 only for charging and emergencies
     
  10. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  11. Catfish

    Catfish Read Only Funster

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    Sorry, cant you explain this further with less abbreviations and jargon? As I said I'm new to this...
     
  12. Catfish

    Catfish Read Only Funster

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    I'd be running the inverter for some appliances, TV and phone/laptop charging. Whats the issue with running an inverter? What problems can occur and why do you not advise it?

    Thanks :)
     
  13. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    I think it's looked on as not being efficient to start with 12 volts, run it through an inverter to create 240 volts then take it back down to 5 volts usb etc or 12v for a telly, better buying stuff that will run direct from your battery bank. We have a 600 w cheapo inverter but only use it to recharge the bike batteries (36 v).
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Sorry......

    What I'm saying is dont mix 230 volt mains electric and 12 volt electric in the same fuse box.....which is what I interpreted as your plan.

    All 12v circuits (from your battery) need car type fuses.
    These can be individual fuses or all combined in a central multi fuse unit.

    All 230v circuits (from your hookup lead) need a mains fuse box....same as in your house.....with miniature circuit breakers (MCB's)
    Use the mains fuse box for your battery charger supply, fridge (if mains powered), 3 pin mains sockets etc
    Use the 12v fuses for all 12v circuits.

    Inverters.....

    Extremely power hungry.
    To run a small tv (20 watts) using an inverter may use 40amps of battery power per hour...which is almost half your batteries usable power for an average battery.
    To run the same sized tv on 12volts would use less than 2amps per hour.

    Running the mains wiring to sockets only needs a 16amp breaker in the consumer unit, not a 32amp.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Referring back to inverters.....

    You say running thrpugh a 6amp breaker to an inverter.

    It wont work.
    A 200 watt inverter will need a 17 amp fuse between the battery and inverter and the wire will need to be as thick as a pencil depending how long it needs to be.

    Motorhome wiring is complex as far as there are two completely seperate circuits (12vdc & 230vac) to consider.

    No offense intended but your knowledge of electrics of both types indicates you arent competent to work on either safely.
    My best advice is get an auto electrician to do the 12v wiring and a domestic electrician to do the 230v wiring.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
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  16. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    phones laptops and tvs will all run of the 12v circuits with the right adapters a lot of small tvs actually run on 12v and use a transformer when run from the mains
    many items will only run on pure sine wave invertors electric toothbrushes being one and some coffee machines
    if you have an rv with 6 batteries then yes you can have the home from home experience when your limited to 3.5 tonnes lots of batteries will steal your available payload not to mention your money
    run as much on gas or 12volt as you can
     
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  17. wingman

    wingman Funster

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    @Catfish
    Please listen to these guys. Your enthusiasm is great and we all love to help BUT, I'm not being OTT when I say that if you get this wrong, at the least, it could mean a fire/loss of your van and worst, electricity is lethal!

    I've got half an idea with electrics, but would never attempt this on my own.

    There's all sorts of hidden issues, like cable sizes for DC voltage and mixing mains power with 12v. let alone solar and inverters.

    Praps you could get an auto electrician from the net, or local yellow pages. You might get a bit of a reduction for doing some of the donkey work for him (like fishing cables).

    Mains is a whole different ball game however. I don't think I've ever read on this forum about someone attempting this with such limited knowledge. That's NOT a criticism of you personally. Maybe there's a funster near you who would be willing to help for a few bob?

    Best of luck with the project
    James
     
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  18. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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    I don't want to pour water on the OPs enthusiasm, ... but

    A few observations, acknowledged that some have already been covered.
    You can't have 12v and 230v in the same CU
    You have 32A MCB supplying the sockets. In the event of a fault, that'll cause fault current discrimination issues with the site supply, which'll have a 16A MCB. Assuming all protective devices are the same type, then the protective device nearest the fault should normally operate first. Cable doesn't count as a "protective device" :whistle:
    Inverters - buy a decent "pure sine wave" inverter. Also consider - they are typically only around 90% efficient. Make sure you allow for adequate heat dissipation.
    Cable sizing - not difficult, I get away with it most days. However, it has to be done right.
    Also make sure you use the right type of cable !! I recently rewired a MH that some halfwit had used twin and earth for the DC circuits (inc solar controller to batteries).
    Use the correct type of crimps / connectors / tool for the application. A pair of pliers just doesn't do it !

    Personally, I'd recommend you get a professional to do the work. It'll (hopefully) be done correctly (and safely), and shouldn't be that expensive.
     
  19. Khizzie

    Khizzie Funster

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    Stop faffing about and get a professional to do it. ..there are many small companies that do fitting out . I am sure they would do the work as you want ,but safely..
     
  20. Catfish

    Catfish Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for putting things so kindly (unlike some others).
    I am obviously planning on getting things checked over, of course. I didn't come here to be slated, I came for advice. I would at least like an idea of how things work seen as I am converting the van myself, I would like to do as much as possible and learn along the way. I would also like to at least have something for the electrician to look over, not just ask him to 'do everything'. I want to have a basic understanding of how my own van runs and works. And yes, i do plan on getting my diagram looked over by a pro, I'm just struggling to find one at the moment.
    In the mean time, I would still like to learn and do some planning and not just be told 'no' or to 'stop faffing about', i don't think thats constructive at all.
    You have to start somewhere, guys. This is a motorhome forum, not 4Chan.

    I've done a little more research and taken on board what some of you have suggested, which lead me to come up with this new wiring diagram.
    Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks
     

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