A Step By Step Guide To An Awesome Powerful Fully Off Grid 12v Set Up - PART 2

Updated: Jun 1




Welcome back to PART 2 of our post.


If you have found this post via a link and want to catch up with the post so far please click the blue text to take you to PART 1



If you have already read part one and are ready for the 2nd part of our post here it is, we won't wont waffle on we will just straight into it and pick up where we left of and that was with your set up looking something like this and ready to start adding all of the bits and pieces you will need for every day van life...




So before we can start adding all of our little bits and pieces to our awesome set up we will need to add a couple of fuse boxes, for this set up we will have quite a few lights and accessories so we suggest a 12 way fuse box and a 6 way fuse box so you have enough terminals for everything and some spaces left over for some ADDED EXTRAS AND UPGRADES


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MICTUNING 12 Way Blade Fuse Box with LED Indicator for Car Boat Van



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6 Way Blade Fuse Box, Circuit Fuse Holder Box Block with Negative Bus, Car Standard Blade Fuses Box with LED Indicator for 12V/24V Automotive Car Boat Marine Truck



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From now on pretty much everything we add to the set up will run from the fuse box so every single accessory, light, socket etc will be fuse protected.


Making sure every circuit is fuse protected is really important for two reasons first if there is an unwanted power surge it will protect all of your equipment from getting damaged but most importantly it will protect your van from fires.


If there was a power surge and your cables were not fuse protected then it would be possible for a lot more amps than intended to travel through the cable all the way from battery bank to your accessories, lights sockets etc. If the cable has more amps running through it than it has been rated for then the cable can get very hot and start fires quickly.


With the correct fuses in place if the battery tries to send more amps through the cable than the fuse is rated for the fuse will blow, the circuit will break and fires will be avoided.


To connect your fuse boxes to your battery bank you will need a few more bits



All Trade Direct 1M Metre Red Battery Starter 50Mm Cable Kit Car Van Truck Marine 345A 345 Amps


YOU WILL NEED 1 X METER OF THIS



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All Trade Direct 1M Metre Black Battery Starter 50Mm Cable Kit Car Van Truck Marine 345A 345 Amps



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Sealey LT5010 Copper Lug Terminal 50mm² x 10mm Pack of 10


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Once you have your cables and lugs just like before we are going to need to attach the lugs to the end of cables. So first take your negative (black) cable and attach one of the lugs below to each end and crimp into place.




Next take the positive (red) cable and cut 20 cm off of and attach cable lugs to the end of both the 20 cm piece and the 80 cm piece


You should now have three cables all with a lug on both ends


For another layer of safety you will now need one of these...




12V-24V DC Circuit Breaker Trolling Motor Auto Car Marine Boat Bike Stereo Audio Inline Fuse Inverter Waterproof with Manual Reset 300A 300Amp



YOU WILL NEED 1 X OF THESE


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And to keep things neat and tidy and easy to wire together you will need 2 x more bus bars too...




T Tocas 300A BusBar Box - Heavy-Duty Module Design Power Distribution Block with 4 x M8 Terminal Studs


YOU WILL NEED 2 X OF THESE



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First take the 20 cm positive (red) cable that you have just made up and bolt one end on to the bottom terminal of the 300 amp circuit breaker.


Next take the 80cm positive (red) cable and bolt one end of it to the top terminal... Please see picture below.





Next bolt the other end of the 80 cm positive (red) cable to any terminal of one of your new bus bars... please see picture below.





Now flip the switch on the breaker so no current can flow through it and bolt the other end of the 20 cm positive (red) cable directly to the positive terminal on the first battery in your battery bank... please see picture below.




Next bolt one end of the negative (black) cable to the remaining bus bar and the other end to the negative terminal on the last battery in your battery bank... Please see picture below.




Once the bus bars are in place you can now wire your fuse boxes into your set up, so let's start with the 12 way one, for this again you are going to need a few more bits.


We will need more cables, more lugs and an isolation switch so you can cut the power to anything running off of the the fuse box at the flip of a switch in the event or an emergency or when the van in in storage etc.


So for this I suggest these




Red & Black Battery/Starter/Welding Flexible PVC Cable Wire 35mm by MKGT® (35mm² Red, 1 Meter)


YOU WILL NEED 1 X METER OF THIS


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Red & Black Battery/Starter/Welding Flexible PVC Cable Wire 35mm by MKGT® (35mm² Black, 1 Meter)


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SurePromise Battery Isolator Switch Battery Disconnect Switch 12-48V DC, 275 Amps Continuous



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Sealey LT358 35mm² x 8mm Copper Lug Terminal - Pack of 10


YOU WILL NEED 1 X SET OF. THESE



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So for this step start with the negative (black) cable and attach a 35mm2 8mm lug to each end and crimp securely into place, you are getting use to doing this now so I won't bother posting the photo of it again.


Next take your positive (red) cable and cut it in half so you have 2 x equal lengths, on one end of each cable attach a 35mm2 8mm lug.


The isolator switch has bigger terminals on it so on the other end of each of your positive cables attach a 35mm2 10mm lug (they came with the isolator switch) and crimp into place.


Take your isolator switch and bolt one of your positive (red) cables to the terminal on the top and the other one to the terminal on the bottom.




Next take the cable that comes out of the top terminal of the isolator switch and bolt the other end to the positive terminal on tour 12 way blade fuse box.



Make sure the switch is in the off position the off position and then bolt the other end of the positive (red) cable to your positive bus bar.


Now take the negative (black) cable and bolt one end of it it to the negative terminal on your blade fuse box and the other end to your negative bus bar and the fuse box is installed... Please see picture below




The final thing we need to install before you can start adding your accessories, lights, sockets etc is your 6 way fuse box. It is pretty much exactly the same process as above but with much thinner cables.


so for this you will need...



Red Battery/Starter/Welding Flexible PVC Cable Wire 110Amp 16mm MKGT® (16mm² Red, 2 Meters)




YOU WILL NEED 2 X METERS OF THIS



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Black Battery/Starter/Welding Flexible PVC Cable Wire 110Amp 16mm MKGT® (16mm² Black, 2 Meters)



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SurePromise Battery Isolator Switch Battery Disconnect Switch 12-48V DC, 275 Amps Continuous



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4 x Crimp or Solder Battery Lug Terminals for a 16mm² Cable with 10mm Bolt Hole


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WEO Copper Tube Terminals Pack of 5 16mm² x 8mm



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Theres no need for me to type it all out again just follow the same process you followed for the 12 way fuse box above until you have something that looks like this... please see picture below.





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Wooooooooooo now you are ready to start adding all of your accessories, lights sockets etc so this is the fun bit... choosing what you want in your van.


So for this set up these are our recommendations...


The first thing that everybody needs in a camper van is lights and to keep everything as simple for your install as possible for your ceiling lights I recommend touch sensitive lights, these are much easier to wire up than ones that need switches as you can wire them directly to your fuse box and not have to go via a switch.


This means if you want to turn a light on and off you just have to reach up and touch it.



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As these are such low powered lights we could wire them all together into one circuit however if you have a problem with that one circuit whilst you are out and about you will be left without any lights, it is best to wire them together in two circuits so if something goes wrong with one circuit whilst you are in it you have another for back up.


I know this sounds complicated but don't worry it really isn't. You will need a few more bits to do this... please see links below



WAGO 221-412 x10, 221-413 x10, 221-415 x10 of Each Splicing Connector Conductors 0.14-4 mm². Compact Design with Lever


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*11 AMP Rated* 0.5mm2 Thin Wall 2 Twin Core Cable Wire Car LED Lights (30M Roll)


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H&S Crimp Connectors 520pcs Electrical Connectors Assorted Insulated Crimp Terminals Kit Pack Spade Bullet Butt Fork Wire Connectors



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So to wire these together into two separate circuits you will need to use 4 x lights for each circuit


First we are going to take the positive cable from each light and wire them to one of your Wago 221 connectors with 5 x terminals... please see picture below




Next take some of your 11 amp twin core cable and remove enough of the outer layer of insulation to reveal enough red and black cable and connect the positive (red) cable to the Wago 221 connector that you wired your lights to... Please see picture below






Once you have done that run all of the negative cable from each light and connect the to another Wago 221 connector along with the negative (black) cable from your twin core cable... please see picture below.






Now run the twin core cable neatly to your 6 way fuse box and cut to size


When you have cut enough cable to reach your fuse box strip the ends off of the both the positive and negative cables and crimp one of these connectors on the end of each.



Now you can connect them to your 6 way fuse box so first take the positive (red) cable and screw it into place on one of the positive terminals then take the negative (black) cable and screw it into place on any of the negative terminals.


As you are wanting two circuits for your lights repeat the same process again with the remaining four lights so you will have something that looks like this...




To finish off the down lights the last thing you will need is some blade fuses.


These lights are very low powered at 1.8 watts per light, this is a very low power draw and will only need a small fuse, the exact maths is


4 x 1.8 watts = 7.2 watts

7.2 watts ÷12 volts = 0.6 amps


So in theory if a 1 amp fuse would be enough for each circuit but the cable is 11 amp so anywhere between 1 amp and 10 amp would be suitable.


I like to go for something like a 3 amp of 5 amp but as long as it is over 1 amp and under 11 amp you are good to go


Standard Fuses,TKING 100pcs Assorted Auto Car Standard Blade Fuses Replacement Kit 2A 3A 5A 7.5A 10A 15A 20A 25A 30A 35A With 1 Fuse Extrator 1 Carrying Box (Car Standard Blade Fuse)


YOU WILL NEED A SELECTION OF BLADE FUSES

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Another type of light that a lot of people like to install in their van builds/camper conversions are reading lights.


There are the wall mounted ones that you can mount next to your bed or seating area and can be directed in any direction so they are perfect for reading at night or for softer lighting in the evenings.


Again these are really easy to install as they have a built in switch and apart from the actual lights you already have everything you need to fit them.


There a some really good ones on the market but these are our favourite style



SUPAREE 12v LED Spot Reading Light Adjustable Switch Warm Light for Camper Van Caravan Boat Interior Led Light (2pcs+2pcs extension cord)






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For this set up I suggest two pairs of these, 1 x pair for next to the bed and one pair for the seating area.


As I said before you already have everything you need so the first thing you are going to need is 2 x Wago 221 connectors with 5 x terminals.


You then take all four of your reading lights and wire all of the positive cables to one of your Wago 221 connectors and all of the negative cables to the other Wago 221 connector, then attach some of your 11 amp twin core cable to the last free spaces in your connectors just like you did with your down lights... please see picture below.





Now run your cable directly to your fuse box and attach the positive (red) cable to any of the positive terminals of your 6 way fuse box and the negative (black) cable to any of the negative terminals... please see picture below





And finally you will need a blade fuse to finish the circuit, these lights use slightly more power per unit but not much at 3 watts per light so the maths we need to do for the circuit is...


3 watts x 4 = 12 watts

12 watts ÷ 12 volts = 1 amp


So for this circuit 1 amp wouldn't be quite enough so anything between 3 amps and 10 amps you are good to go, again for this circuit I am going to use a 5 amp fuse.







When all of your lights are wired up and your fuses are in place your lights should now be fully working when you flip the switch one your circuit breaker and turn your isolator switch to the on position, If you want to to that now to text that they are fully working feel free to do so but make sure you switch it all back off after before wiring anything else into your system.


Your set up now will be looking quite complicated but as you will know from following the step by step instructions it really isn't and your set up should now look something like this... Please see picture below.



You should now have three spare terminals on your 6 way fuse box, one of those spare spaces we are going to use for a roof fan.


Roof fans are very important in a van build for ventilation, fresh air, extracting smells & fumes and with some adding a little bit of day light for the day times, there are a few good ones on the market but (in our opinion) the best one and our suggestion for this build is the Maxxair Delux.


Not only are these fans unique in the fact they have a built in rain cover so they can still be used in the rain but they also are one of the only fans on the market that can both extract and blow.


They do have a downside though they stick up quite high so if you are trying to be stealth this fan probably isn't for you.




Maxxair Maxxfan Deluxe 400 × 400 Rooflight Clear Tint Remote Control Rooflight




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These are very easy to hook up and you already have everything you need to do it.


So first find your 11 amp twin core cable and run a length long enough to reach from your 6 way fuse box to your roof fan, at the fuse box end attach two ring crimp connectors and connect the negative (black) cable to any negative terminal on your fuse box and the positive (red) cable to any positive terminal on your fuse box... Please see picture below.



Next at the fan end of the twin core cable attach one of these to the both the positive (red) cable and negative (black) cable and crimp into place... see pictures below.







Now you are going to have to connect the cables from the roof fan to your cable and to do that you are going to need to know which cable is positive and which cable is negative.


Just to make things a little bit more complicated the cables coming out of your Maxxair fan will not be black and red they will be black and white, common sense will tell you that black is negative as it has been for everything else so far but with this accessory it is not the case.


When it comes wiring your Maxxair fan black is positive and white is negative, as the background for the wiring diagram is also white for the sake of the wiring diagram this cable will be Green... please see picture below


Again the last thing you will need to finish the circuit is a fuse


Maxxair fans are built for 12v set ups so we don't really need to do any maths to work out how many amps these will pull as the they already tell you in amps


Set on the highest fan speed the Maxxair fan draws a maximum of 5 amps and the cable we have use is 11 amp so for this set up we are going to use a 10 amp fuse.


Once you have inserted your 10 amp fuse into your 6 way blade fuse box you should have something that looks like this... please see picture below



You will now have two remaining spaces on your 6 way fuse box and we are going to wire three different things to them... A kitchen tap, a water pump and the ignition for your gas hob.


When it comes to kitchen sinks there are loads of options out there and you can even make your own out of an old mixing bowl and some decretive piping if that's what floats your boat or you are going for the homemade rustic look.


This is not what we are going to suggest though as the title of the post contains the word SIMPLE and what we just described above is far from.


So for this build to keep things as simple as possible we are going to suggest a Dometic all in one unit and not only is it an all in one sink set up is also has a double hob too 🦜🦜💎 (2 birds 1 stone)


There are a few bits and pieces you will need...



DOMETIC HSG 2370 Litre Two-Burner Hob and Sink Combination with Glass Lid, 900 x 370 mm




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Comet Cold Water Tap 12V Micro Switch Fits Smev Sinks Caravan Motorhome Boat





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Whale GP1352 Standard 12V Submersible Electric Pump-White, 13 litres







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Everything else you need to wire these bits and pieces to your fuse box you should already have from before. you might be running low on twin core 11 amp cable though so you might need some more of that.


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