Designing the Van Part 14 – Installing the 240v hook up

Aldi and their cut price camping equipment had just made my life a whole lot easier with their multi-socketed, trip switched, safety testable, 30 metre mains hook up array.

I feel it’s important to note that building a campervan from scratch is a series of blessings and curses which balance themselves out over the course of the job. If the two days spent fitting a window, removing it because of a massive leak and refitting it again was a curse, then this gismo from the Scandinavian cheap people was a boon.

I made another trip to the caravan suppliers for a few more bits to complete the job, those being a male hook up connector and a adaptor for a normal plug socket. My plan was to cut the lead leaving three metres on the plug board which I would connect to the hook-up socket on the side of the van. I would convert the rest of the cable into a hook-up lead by fitting the male plug on the end.

The hook-up connector socket is a rectangular box with a hinged socket inside that pops out when you open the security hatch on its front. The hatch also acts as a rain cover which performed admirably when tested by the UK weather.

To fit it I had to remove the side panel inside the van and drill four pilot holes so I could get the jigsaw involved. The hole was the easiest of the lot to cut and took me about a minute.

The hook-up socket fitted perfectly so I sealed it with the boat window sealant, screwed the casing in place and removed its inards so I could fit the cable to it. I found a good spot next to the kitchen area where the plugs would go and ran the three metre cable behind the wood panels and through the van’s supporting struts. I had to drill a few holes in them and fitted grommets to make sure the cable didn’t rub and wear on any sharp edges.

Because the cable was hard wired to the plug board I had to work from front to back, running the wire from the board’s location to the back end and through the little hole in the hook-up casing where I would wire in the plug.

I only mention that because it would have been easy to try and do it another way which frankly wouldn’t have worked.

I took the plug off the end of the cable to check the wiring colours, fitted the hook-up plug to the cable inside the van, wired the plug onto the hook-up cable, plugged it into the domestic plug adaptor, plugged that into the wall and switched it on.

GREAT SUCCESS! I tested it with the battery drill charger and almost did a sex wee when the little green light came on. I was wired.

With that in place I could now test the fridge in readiness for its installation but before that could happen there was the small matter of plumbing in the water and gas supplies.

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