Designing the Van Part 27 – Planning the Electrics.

Happy that the kitchen was as complete as I needed it to be I next had to install our internal electrical circuit. We didn’t need much from it but what we did need was essential so I felt the urge to do some vital sketches and list writing – something that doesn’t come easily to me.

The whole van designing and building process was a steep learning curve, so listing things to do, buy, fix, design, etc quickly became a vital organisational element and without it I’m sure the van would have been a complete mess.

With that in mind I got down to the intricate doodling of the wiring system; a complex map of lines and intersections that sprouted from the leisure battery and infested the back of the van like those troublesome Tribbles on the Starship Enterprise. Of course my wiring wouldn’t reproduce in vast numbers and sap vital oxygen. At least I hoped not.

I had a handful of vital components already; a leisure battery, a 200w solar panel and a regulator to stop the battery overcharging. These things alone would give us enough power to charge our mobile phones, laptops and run the lights of an evening. There was also the small matter of the water heater which had an electronic ignition and the removable lighter socket which would allow us to connect an adaptor for a 220v plug – great for the hand held mixer and laptop chargers.

I spent some time scanning various websites for low current lighting and it seemed that the most efficient were LED light strips which would run on the 12v system and not cause a stir. I found some on eBay and put a bid in.

With those on the way I factored them into the tidy looking wiring diagram; my road map to happy camper-vanning. Before I started I was going to need some cable which I procured from a local, independent car accessory store along with a whole batch of crimp terminals, in-line fuse holders, an array of blade fuses and electrical tape.

The crux of this chapter is planning – always plan thoroughly, no matter what the job – and I was glad I did come the installation because I had all the materials and tools I needed to do the job properly.

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