Niche Camper van question… Show me your “busbar” or power dist solutions…
Fitted my split charge system in my T6 (using the excellent CTEK 250) underneath the driver seat. Other than the battery, CTEK, cabling and an isolation switch (accessible from the front) that is all I can get in.
I have a 12v dist board which I will put somewhere convenient when I install my side kitchen units later and I would like a solar input which I will also install later. I also want an incoming battery charger feed for when I spend a couple of days on a site with a hookup.
My challenge is pretty much sealing what I have done so far, and fitting the seat back so I dont have to keep removing it when I want to connect other things up. How should I present the termminals at the back of the seat so I can add the above as I install them?
Thanks muchlyPosted 9 months ago
I like some of the stuff you can find here: https://www.vehiclewiringproducts.co.uk/c-46-battery-fittings-isolators/c-97-terminals-connectors
theres bus bars with covers or the distribution box if you have space off the postPosted 9 months ago
Thanks Stoner, really useful.Posted 9 months ago
I’ve mounted all my electrics (excluding batteries which are very very secured!) on a sheet of ply which is then attached to the frame of the bed with super strong velcro, it means if / when i faff with the electrics I can pull it off and fiddle in comfort.
I’ve got a 12v distro fuse box mounted next to the solar charge thingy and the split charge thing along with all the normal big fuses and isolation switches. When i insulated the floor and added the florring, I left a ‘utility trench’ which I have run fat power cables to the other side of the van – this is where most of the electrics are – at that end i have another fuse box with the fridge, waterpump, gas heater, USB chargers etc connected up.
EDIT: I did this in 2016, and if i were converting another one today, i’d do the same thing as it’s been quite easy to work on as and when.Posted 9 months ago
I have a set of DC circuit breakers all mounted on a DIN rail in a junction box. It’s overkill and takes up space, I don’t think I’d do it again.
Previous van just had a m6 bolt pushed through some ply and everything attached using crimped eyelets with inline blade fuses.
In both cases the individual loads (lights, fridge, other lights, usb ports, 12v ports etc.) are fed off one of those fuseboxes with integrated busbar that you can find on Amazon or eBay.Posted 9 months ago
Cheers! I think maybe a positive and neutral busbar as per Stoners link may be the best option with each fused separately. I can attach inputs/outputs to/from the battery from each of the things I add on later as I do them.
1: Out to 12v fuseboard
2: Out to Inverter
3: In from battery charger
Although need another as an input later to the CTEK from the Solar charger so may need 3rd busbar/connectorPosted 9 months ago
I used a fuse box connected to a busbar in the landrover like this onePosted 9 months ago
Just accept you are going to have to keep removing the seat and make connections right to the battery terminals with inline fuses. Less connections, less to go wrong, less voltage drop.
Route the cables from seat base, under the mat, to the drivers side B pillar, which hides a convenient hole you can use to pass cables through to behind the adjacent panel. Then all cables and connectors are hidden so it will look better. (edit: at least the hole is there on T5s, probably on T6s too)
If you are planning a 12v fridge these work best connected direct to the battery +ive, so that’s another connection for you.Posted 9 months ago
@llama Thanks for the tip about that cable route!
If I have a 4 post busbar fixed to a hideable panel behind the battery (around 12 inch cable from the posts) then I can add and remove without moving the seat. 2 x single 16mm cable runs.
Probably easier to have a single connection at the battery posts as too many cables runs a risk of adding to the height and snagging on the seat above.
Yes will be adding a fridge but again that can be on a dedicated connection to the busbar and will be a very short cable run given its location.
Edit: I suppose the other option is to take a 10mm cable run to the back of the van and have it all stored their which makes it easily accessible. That way I can close of the Seat area…Posted 9 months ago
Ive got one of these things in mine but can be had much cheaper on ebay, just cant get on it at work.
It wasn’t my tip, I got it from these guys, who I can’t recommend enough:
They have ready made kits and cables, with VW specific step by step instructions. As a vehicle electrics numpty, I couldn’t have done mine without it.Posted 9 months ago
+1 for TravelVolts, great guys.Posted 9 months ago
I got a ‘RIPCA’ 12 way fusebox which has positive and negative busbars built in – I think they also do a 6 way one.
The positive busbar is split, so I have half of it switched (for lights, fridge, etc.) and half of it permanently “live”. Mains charger, solar, B-B charger etc. are connected to the permanent side.
The ‘switched’ side is controlled electronically through a ‘Battery Protect‘ which can be turned on and off with a small switch, and will disconnect the battery if the voltage gets too low.
Main feed is fused at the batteries.
The box is limited to 40 amps per way, so if I decided to fit a big inverter, it would need a dedicated supply direct from the batteries.
Gubbins is normally hidden by a plywood cover held in place with magnets.
Posted 9 months ago
Thats a neat setup!
I do already have the smaller fusebox its really the presenting of the cables from the battery for items such as the Invertor which need higher amppage and thicker cables.Posted 9 months ago
Decided on running them to the back of the van then doing all of the distribution from there. That way I only need 2 larger gauge cables coming from the battery
its really the presenting of the cables from the battery for items such as the Invertor which need higher amppage and thicker cables.
Decided on running them to the back of the van then doing all of the distribution from there.
Have you seen the combined Mega / Midi fuse holders?
May help where you need high current distribution.
Posted 9 months ago
I put the batteries under a seat in my last van conversion. Never again, it was too cramped under there and you end up wrapping your spanners in tape for fear of shorting out the terminals when playing with the connections!
They are in the garage now and I just need to remove 4 screws holding a shelf to access the batteries. The blue unit is a combined solar and battery to battery charger by Ring (RSCDC30) and there is a Nasa BM1 shunt and battery monitor in there too.
I recommend using a fused board like below for all your small connections, it manages both positive and negative connections and the fuses.
Thanks everyone I decided to run the cables from my underseat battery to the back of the van then set up the whole thing there. I will be binning the old floor so I actually screwed things to the floor to go over the setup an testing. When ready I can unscrew and install in the final location within the cupboards. Looks a bit messy but will be a much neater job when in final situ.
Posted 9 months ago
Final stage is to bring in external power when I have an external hookup. Other than cutting the windows out I am reluctant to cut another hole for the external plug but I suppose I have to. Anyone got any tips on how and where??
Mine goes through the floor near the drivers side back wheel to a surface mounted plug underneath so it’s accessible from the back. It’s ok, visible from the back but not overly so. Routing the cable was a bit of a faff with exhaust and bits of chassis in exactly the wrong place. If I did it again I think I’d put it next to the engine battery and route in along side the split charge which would have worked out easier and been neater.Posted 9 months ago
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.