A Step By Step Guide To An Awesome Powerful Fully Off Grid 12v Set Up

Updated: Jun 1, 2021




Hi everybody, we are back again with another full set up and today we have an awesome one for you.


If you don't know anything about 12v electrics it can be a very confusing but it is something you are going to need to get right first time round so you can move on with your build. In this post we are going to try and make the a lot easier for you without the need of watching endless youtube videos that only cover bits of what you need to know and just post everything here in one post...


This is not going to be one of our budget posts where we try and keep everything to a bare minimum but as usual we will try our hardest to keep the costs as low as possible and everything as simple as possible, although we will add luxuries as most people want them.


We will include everything you need from start to finish including all devices, accessories, cables, fuses, switches, outlets, batteries, chargers, controllers, solar etc.


So here is our...


Step By Step Guide To An Awesome Powerful Fully Off Grid 12v Set Up



The first thing we want our 12v set up to be capable of is being off grid all year round without the need for a hook up. For this will will need a decent amount of power storage (batteries) and a way to keep the charged up. So I will start with leisure batteries.








For this set up I would go for three of these 100ah Photonic Universe AGM batteries, that will give you 150ah of useable power





12V 100AH Platinum AGM Deep Cycle Leisure Marine Battery







https://ebay.us/fo9xz3






FOR SOME MORE AWESOME AGM BATTERIES PROPERLY PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW BLOG POST...






The next thing you will need is some cable to join your batteries together in parallel to turn it from 3x 100ah batteries to 1 x 300ah battery bank, for this you will need 2 x positive cable and 2 x negative cables, As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases



30cm 50mm2 heavy duty red battery cable link with eyelets to connect batteries together in one battery bank


YOU WILL NEED X 2 OF THESE



https://amzn.to/2GPOUwM




30cm 50mm2 heavy duty black battery cable link with eyelets to connect batteries together in one battery bank


YOU WILL NEED X 2 OF THESE



https://amzn.to/3lrwtgP




Joining 3 batteries in parallel is very simple, you just join the positives to the positives to the positives, and negatives to the negatives and it is as simple as that. Please see below...


The final thing you will need to finish your battery install is another negative cable to earth your battery bank, you should try and find or make your own earthing point as close to the battery bank as possible, for this you should use one of these cables.




Battery Inter-Connecting Cable - 50mm Cable With M10 - M10 Lugs - 50cm



CLICK HERE TO BUY FROM BIMBLE SOLAR



To earth your battery bank you need to either find an earthing point that is already there or make your own, it saves a little bit of time if you already have an earthing point near where you want to install your battery bank but it only takes about a minute to make your own.


To find one that is already there you just need to find somewhere on your vans chassis that already has a bolt in it, the most common places to find them in the back of a panel van would be near your light clusters where your lights have been grounded but they are usually quite hight up.


To make your own drill a hole into a bit of your bodywork that is connected directly to your chassis, remove all the paint from the area around the hole with a grinder or some sand paper so it is bare metal, pop a bolt through the hole, attach the earthing cable, screw a nut onto the bolt and you are done.


Now you have your batteries installed you will need a way to keep them charged, so the next things we will add to this set up is solar.


For a powerful set up that can be used off grid all year round you really need to fit as much solar on your roof as possible, if you have a smaller van like a MWB (medium wheel base) then you are going to struggle to fit enough solar on your roof to get you through the winter.


This set up would be an ideal size for a LWB OR XLWB (Long wheel base or extra long wheel base) vans however instead of writing a separate post for a MWB van anything that wouldn't be suitable for a MWB van we will let you know and post a link to what you need instead in green and we will post the wiring diagram on our facebook and instagram pages.


So as we want to fit as much solar as possible for this set up I am going to recommend 3 x 200w solar panels giving us 600w of solar, we could have just gone for 2 x 300w solar panels but with 3 x 200w then there is normally still space for 2 x roof fans/skylights etc and most people want them too.


These panels are good quality, a decent size and are strong enough to charge 12v & 24v battery banks, this means later on we can tweek the settings in the solar MPPT controller for a better charge on cloudy days etc.



200W Photonic Universe monocrystalline solar panel for charging 12V or 24V batteries in a motorhome, boat or yacht, or off-grid


LWB OR XLWB YOU WILL NEED X 3 OF THESE

MWB YOU WILL NEED X 2 OF THESE



https://amzn.to/3183hDP



The next thing you will need is some inline fuses, we have 3 x 200w solar panels and a 12v battery bank 200W ÷ 12V = 16.6AMPS so we round up to 20 AMPS. So we will need 3 x 20 amp inline fuses.



Renogy 20Amp 1000VDC Male to Female PV Solar Panel MC4 Connector Waterproof In-Line Fuse Holder w/Fuse 20A


LWB OR XLWB YOU WILL NEED X 3 OF THESE

MWB YOU WILL NEED X 2 OF THESE



https://amzn.to/2IqUc2p




These inline fuses need to be attached to the positive cable coming off of each solar panel, they just clip on and it couldn't really be any simpler. Please see picture below...





Once your inline fuses are clipped into place and you are safe from any unwanted power surges frying your cables, equipment and van we need to join them all together so that we only have one cable going through your roof and into your solar charge controller.


For that you are going to need a pair of Y-Branch connectors.



ANFIL T-type MC4 Branch Cable Connectors


LWB OR XLWB YOU WILL NEED 1 SET OF THESE

https://amzn.to/3bLyjXj


MWB YOU WILL NEED 1 SET OF THESE

https://amzn.to/2QEjPkK




Again these couldn't be easier to install you just clip all of the inline fuses into the positive Y-Branch and the connectors on the end of all your negative cables into the negative Y-Branch connector, please see the photo below...




The next thing you will need is some solar cable to run from your Y-Branch connectors to your solar charge controller, as we have 3 x 200w solar panels all running into one we need some cables thick enough for the increase in amps.


600w ÷ 12v = 50amps