About electricity…

So when do I get all the fancy stuff for powering the van after conversion…?  The answer is not any time soon.  In the past, I had planned to buy all of the batteries, inverter, charger, and generator, etc. prior to the conversion.  Then it dawned on me… Why?  It’s not needed right now!

The idea is to insulate the van, put in walls, roof vent, roof, etc. and build out the inside of the van.  Until I sell my existing mobile home, I am going to power everything from the outside outlet.  When I get the inverter and batteries, etc., the same appliances (TV, microwave, George Foreman grill, etc.) will run from the exact same 110V outlet system as what I will be wiring in now.  Instead of going outside, I will just plug into the inverter.  Why not wait till the last to do that part of the wiring?  It just makes sense.  The 110V system will use a single plug so that I can switch it between the inverter and dock power.

I like this approach.  It’s comfortable and practical.  Why stress the batteries when I can just run from dock power till I get the bugs worked out?  Geez, can you imagine wiring something wrong and stressing (or worse yet, blowing up) the inverter or pounding the shit out of the batteries?  I think a cautious approach is best.

I wrestled with the issue of running wiring inside the walls or external to the walls. I have decided to do it externally.  I don’t want to dick around with wires in the metal walls, grommets, possible shorts, etc.  Putting wiring in the walls means a lot of extra work to build, maintain, and possible risks.  The wires can still be concealed.

Since the bed system will be running down the driver’s side of the van, I will run the wires inside something such as pvc pipe or conduit to protect them away from touching anything metal.  I’m not too worried about fancy breakers.  I’m sure I’ll just be using 110V outlet strips which are breaker protected.  Now on the battery side, I plan to be much more cautious:  There will be fuses to make sure the inverter doesn’t pound the piss out of the batteries due to an excessive current draw or in the case of a 12V wiring short. 

This is another example of how much planning goes into the whole project.  Take your time, think about what you want and how others have done it and enjoy an egg mcmuffin at your McOffice.

I’m going to go home now and start working on some more insulating!  Have a great day!

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.