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Old 05-13-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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12 volt wiring

How hard is it to wire a bare bones empty Ford cargo van? I want to add two house batteries, inverter, blue sea 7622 and 12 volt outlets. My friend has installed car stereos etc. but has not done the stuff I listed. Is it necessary to buy a wiring diagram? Do I need to add fuses and fuse box? Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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Re: 12 volt wiring

For a quick reference, check out CascadeWalnut's factory SMB build in the following thread
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=6924 and ask your self if that looks hard or not? Will you have the ability to keep your wire lines neat and tidy, organized and labeled so that you know where things are being hooked up?

I wouldn't necessarily say that it is 'hard', however it is time consuming and you need to be fairly meticulous to ensure you do a safe job. I think if a person has the time and some reasonable skills that it can be done; however you've got a few questions that would lead me to believe you still have a bit more homework to do before jumping in:

Is it necessary to buy a wiring diagram? Nope - you are MAKING the wiring diagram. You need to have this planned out. Figure out where your wiring needs to go, determine how long your runs are and what your electrical demands will be and size your wiring and fuses accordingly.

Fuses / fuse box? YES! I'd recommend a main fuse/circuit breaker off the auxillery batteries as a main disconnect point / connection for inverter, and then a distrubution fuse box to run your accessories out of. Blue Sea makes a nice little one.

Where are your batteries going? What type of batteries? If the batteries aren't sealed, are they in a location that allows proper venting?

I'm certainly not an electrician or a mechanic but am currently working on wiring my own van. It's tedious work, but rewarding when you flip a switch and the light comes on! This is definitely an area that you want to feel comfortable with your work though, as the consequences could be very serious if things are not approached properly.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: 12 volt wiring

I just ran across this 'bar napkin' drawing that I had sketched up while I was planning my electrical system:


This certainly isn't my final product (maybe second or third of about a dozen sketches), but was a start of understanding how everything needed to flow. You'll see pretty much smack in the middle where the Espar and Solar Controller com into the #4 wire - I've added a fuse block at that point so each item can be protected accordingly.

Work on your map - if you can develop and understand your wiring diagram, I'd guess you could tackle wiring things up. If this sketch looks completely greek (I know it isn't the greatest detailed plan, but there should be certain things that look familiar), I'd advise hiring the work out.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #4
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Re: 12 volt wiring

Positive to positive, negative to negative. Right size wires, fuse everything- not hard at all... just has to be done 100 fold, and can get annoying- although admittedly most of my experience has been with things that were fully built not empty. Nothing worse than pulling your wire and realizing you needed 5 wires, not 4...



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Old 05-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #5
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Re: 12 volt wiring

Jage, was that side door light a Christmas present??? Better then socks.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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Re: 12 volt wiring

Thank you for the replies.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:15 AM   #7
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Re: 12 volt wiring

Google - " 12 Volt side of Life"

This will get you started.
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