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Old 12-31-2019, 01:47 PM   #1
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a wiring rat's nest...:(

Part 1 of 2 (hoping to maybe sorta educate some members on the potentially hazardous wiring that may exist within their van/mobile):

Started taking the walls off and found a lot of substandard electrical work...
*** None of this is owner work...it is all from a "professional shop."
My entire understanding for automotive electrical is based on research, learning from the internet and from working on my vehicles...and all of this is actually really sad. I try to follow boating standards as they're essentially equivalent for an RV - a boat that travels on land.

I'll try to provide some "after" photos when this crap is fixed.

Issues:
1. Not protecting wiring that passes through metal thresholds.
2. Not protecting wiring that is sandwiched between two hard surfaces.
3. Using crimp splices.
4. Grounding every connection to the nearest metal surface - there were 8-9 individual ground connections behind the passenger rear wall panel.
5. Using the wrong size of solderless terminal by using a 0.25" female terminal for a 0.187" male or a 0.11" male terminal.
6. Stripping too much wire for a solderless terminal so the wire is exposed beyond the terminal insulation.
7. Running the shore power thru the fuel filler cavity inside the van, to the drivers pillar, up the wall across the front of the penthouse, back to the rear side door, down the wall, to the old inverter.
----- I just ran 10-feet of ancor 6/3 awg wire from a Smartplug on the drivers side through an Ancor wire seal in the floor in front of the passenger wheel well...about half the distance!
8. Really crappy soldering jobs - fyi, all wire should be encapsulated in the solder.
9. Branching four 12-gauge wires from a single 12-gauge wire in a dual 'y' configuration. the stock 12-ga WH/RD wire under the dash near the fuse panel feeds four 12-gauge red wires for the cheap fuse holders that feed four of the switches near the parking brake release.
10. Not using adhesive heat shrink to protect splices or terminals...electrical tape = a not-so-good laugh.
11. Using only zip/cable ties to secure wiring.
12. Not labeling wiring...except with a sharpie on a fuse holder!
13. Putting individual wires in split loom.
14. Routing wires divergent from an existing bundle or wrapping the wire around an existing bundle in a manner that will make future maintenance more difficult.
etc.
Now...on to the pictures:
behind rear side door...



wire splice from the house battery fuse panel to a rear 12v port + rear A/C...



the speaker wire with the two sets of butt connectors was to power the propane heater...


The penetration into the penthouse area...notice the fuse wire and the wire passing through unprotected metal:





Drivers side cabinet:
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:52 PM   #2
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Part 2 of 2 - the coup de gras!

The trim panel under the steering wheel (this is after about an hour of removing corrugated loom + electrical tape + cable ties + the trim piece).

The trim panel had five round toggle switches on the left and three toggle switches on the right:




At the time this work was done (it's a 2006 SMB), there were products that made this crap cleaner, safer, and better.
I'll list below what will replace this absolute disgrace.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:56 PM   #3
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Welcome to Sportsmobile typical wiring. Which shop location built it? My Texas built 1996 definitely has better wiring than I've seen from the CA branch.

I looked at a 2017 build from another professional van upfitter and it was actually worse than this.

The best work I've ever seen is from a local shop called AV-Tech. They do upfitting on emergency vehicles.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:39 PM   #4
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The list of upgrades:

* BlueSea 2314 bus bar to connect grounds at the dash to the house battery bus bar - https://www.bluesea.com/products/2314/Common_100A_Mini_BusBar_-_5_Gang_with_Cover

* BlueSea 4306 switch panel - https://www.bluesea.com/products/4306/WeatherDeck_12V_DC_Waterproof_Fuse_Panel_-_Gray_6_Positions

* Ancor 4 awg tinned wire (+ and -) from house battery to switch panel (the 4306 panel is rated at 45amps and I don't expect to get anywhere near that) https://www.imarineusa.com/Ancor113902.aspx & https://www.imarineusa.com/Ancor113502.aspx

* BlueSea SafetyHub 150 for house battery circuits - https://www.bluesea.com/products/774...150_Fuse_Block

* BlueSea 7149 (200 amp) to protect the SafetyHub 150 - https://www.bluesea.com/products/714...ace_Mount_200A

* Ancor 1/0 + 2/0 + 4/0 awg tinned wire (+ and -) for battery + circuits + bus bar;

* BlueSea 2104 bus bar between house batteries and frame connection for starting batteries - https://www.bluesea.com/products/210...3_8in-16_Studs

* BlueSea 5185 & holder on + house battery lead - https://www.bluesea.com/products/518...al_Fuse_-_150A

* SterlingPower BBW12120 with remote gauge to keep house batteries charged - https://www.sterling-power-usa.com/B...r12vto12v.aspx

* Balmar SG200 (per greg's/scalf77 recommendation) not yet wired - SG200 Battery Monitor | Balmar

* BlueSea 7700 not yet wired (to disable start circuit) - https://www.bluesea.com/products/770..._-_12V_DC_500A

* still need to design and buy the solar system when funds allow.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplesez View Post
Welcome to Sportsmobile typical wiring. Which shop location built it? My Texas built 1996 definitely has better wiring than I've seen from the CA branch.

I looked at a 2017 build from another professional van upfitter and it was actually worse than this.

The best work I've ever seen is from a local shop called AV-Tech. They do upfitting on emergency vehicles.
California - for all electrical work. Can't pinpoint which exact shop (SMB or other) did this since we've only owned the van for ~14 months...but we can presume!! :|
Regarding emergency vehicles...I'd love to see the wiring for a $$$ boat or yacht.

I just see the images on BlueSeas website and drool...
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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I had the dealer replace all the fuses in the fuse box a while back (I was unable to access myself) - they charged me 3hrs labor, and sent me on my way with a nicely structured assurance they would not attempt it again because of all the other "aftermarket stuff".
I cant even see the fuse box (wires & fuses for each of the following: front & rear ARB Lockers, ARB Compressor, Extreme Air compressor, 6 separate Lighting toggles, Atlas 4x4 light, high idle toggle, a separate for each of the rear Air Levelers & air gauge, Viper Alarm...and that just the stuff we managed to identify - still have wires and fuses that I have no idea what they all belong to - suspect some associated with stereo speakers, subwoofer, overhead monitor, rear camera, & both amps?).
**Yours looks good to me - can actually see the fuse box.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:32 PM   #7
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That looks exactly like my old SMB did and pretty much like every other one I've seen.

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Old 12-31-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
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It’s disheartening that under the skin of something that commands a premium like the smb vans do that you find wiring sub par to shade tree mechanic installing a stereo for his neighbor for a 6 pack of keystone.

My van was a service vehicle for South Carolina electric and gas. While I was impressed with all the proper relays and larger gauge wire where it was needed, all my under dash wiring looks identical to what you found under the knee panel. I’ve fixed some of it, but there’s still quite a bit to fix, but I didn’t pay what the majority of smb owners generally do. Sorry to see man look forward to seeing your upgraded work.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:13 AM   #9
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But at least it has that RVIA sticker on the side. (Kind of makes you wonder what it takes to get that certification). Actually your pictures are better than some I have seen.

-greg
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:41 AM   #10
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Those pictures pretty much sum up what my SMB West wiring looks like on my 2005. If I do a full van refresh when I return from SA next year, doing a full re-wiring is on the list.
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