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


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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



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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


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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)


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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


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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)




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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