Designing the Van Part 28 – Let the Wiring Commence

‘Meticulous’ is the word I would use to describe my planning for the electrical system. The rest of the van had been sketches and loose arrangements of “that’ll be fine there,” or, “this should work” combined with moderate rethinks, tape measuring and a bit of shuffling things about.

That’s all well and good for things made of wood but for wires carrying electricity I had to make sure everything was to the letter. I’d devised a system of accessible yet hidden wiring that would make any visitor marvel at the professionalism of the installation (until they opened the access door in the cupboard I intended to build in the overhead compartment above the cabin).

The leisure battery now sits above the driver in said compartment. It’s out of the way, hidden and safe there as the floor of the compartment is made of thick plastic that the battery is fixed to by some 25mm screws. Believe me, it’s not going anywhere.

There was a measure of grounding work to do before I got to the exciting job of running the wires and connecting everything, things like making sure there were no snaggy bits of metal that might cause a split in the wires and short the system, as well as finding good places to stuff the cables.

There was the small matter of fitting the solar panel and running its loom too but I wanted to get the wiring in place before I did all that. I knew for a fact the solar system worked, I’d seen it running in Reddy so I had no worries about that.

I fixed the battery in place; the hub of all things electrical then began the task of running the fine wires out to their destinations and discretely taping them in place behind panels, out of sight.

Initially I ran the cables for the lights and left them isolated until needed again, ran wires for regulator, water heater then connected them to the battery terminals.

That was about it for stage one. The next job was to build the cupboard in the overhead compartment, fit the battery access door and drill lots of holes in it for the wires and various meters, gadgets and components to sit in.

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