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My first ides are to have on-board batteries to run when we are out in the wild. I would like solar panels to keep the batteries topped up and possibly a second battery charging system to charge through the alternator when the engine is running. I also want the option of connecting a standard 16amp caravan connection as well for when working at festivals or camping at a powered site (and the batteries are low!)

As I research bits I’ll add sub pages that you can get from the menu at the top.

Plan so far…

I’m not entirely sure that I’m going to install a ZIG unit! I think I am just going to go for a consumer unit and a switching unit.

Here is a rough sketch of the layout that I am aiming at…

Van Electrics Version 1
Van Electrics Version 1

This is fairly complex and expensive for me to implement in one go so as long as I know what I am aiming for then I know the capacity I have to build into the system. The only thing this really affects is the size of the Consumer Unit.

Here’s my massively over complex design for the final layout featuring solar panel set up and a single multi-pole switch to switch both the AC inputs, the DC inputs and isolate the two sockets providing the battery charging and transformer.


This is way too over complex so my next step is to massively simplify this!

Stage 1…

Stage 1

Step one is to cut a hole in the side of Frankie (Frankie the Tranny, Transit…. Tranny, Frankenfurter the Sweet Transvestite… keep up people!). This is scary pilot holes, jigsaw to a template, forget to mask off the paintwork to stop scratching the paintwork I want to keep…. Bugger.

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Here’s the inlet from the inside once fitted.

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Two supplies run to the switch, one from the battery and one from the inlet….

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The switch then runs the power to the consumer unit, and the first of the socket pairs.

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…a second pair in the ‘bedroom’.

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A third pair at the back of the cupboard for the fridge and battery charger!

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Still need to sort out the battery compartment!

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Getting there now, this shows the inverter and charger mounted on a shelf at the back, there are aluminium brackets stopping the battery sliding about, the 12V fuse box and my first cut out switch. This is to be upgraded and I’m going to upgrade some of the cabling but my usage will only pull 20A in total with everything flat out (the current cabling is 25A).

I still need to put a strap over the top of the battery to stop it jumping the brackets if we go over a bump and drill a small hole for the drop out. Lead Acid batterys can give off Hydrogn when charging which is why the come with a plug that you remove and attach the supplied right angle and tube.