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go with # 12 wire for Voltage drop 16 to small
Wrong, a 12 AWG can carry 20Amps, or 240 Watts of course it will work, but its a complete waste and way overdone. Just have a look at the Puck light lead wires and you will get the picture.
 

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It is difficult to understand why anyone would use wire smaller than 14 awg in a van.

16 awg (and esp 18 awg) can be easily torn with your fingers, and even crimped terminals ripped apart - a sure indication that they won't hold up in a mobile environment.

IMHO, what is wasteful is buying a lot of different sizes of wire and terminals vs just 1 or 2.

If someone really cares about being "wasteful" with wire, they would build a 24 volt system instead of a 12 volt based system.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
A couple of other questions as I get ready to work on my van today.

1. My battery will be behind the slider but my light switches and most of my outlets will be on the other side of the van. Should I keep my fuse box close to the battery and run multiple wires across the roof to the other side? Or can I run one wire to fuse box and place fuse box on the driver side closer to electrical needs?

2. Can I use 12awg for everything? Even outlets ran off the inverter? I am willing to get some 14awg if some things should have a smaller wire.

Thanks!

PS 3m90 spray adhesive in stock at Home Depot in Bemton, AR.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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1. My battery will be behind the slider but my light switches and most of my outlets will be on the other side of the van. Should I keep my fuse box close to the battery and run multiple wires across the roof to the other side? Or can I run one wire to fuse box and place fuse box on the driver side closer to electrical needs?
How many circuits? I wouldn't want 12-16 wires hidden in my ceiling. I would run power to box or panel on the other side and do circuits from there. You could have a smal/meduim fuse panel on each side.
 

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How many circuits? I wouldn't want 12-16 wires hidden in my ceiling. I would run power to box or panel on the other side and do circuits from there. You could have a smal/meduim fuse panel on each side.
I agree with @83Grumman

In 12v you want to keep your runs as short as practical. Having a panel on each side might be a good idea for you. How many circuits do you need on each side? & how big “amps” do the panels need to be?
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I purchased a 100’ Marine spool of 12g & ran that from my panel for distribution on all 12v circuits

105C

Red/Black
View attachment 74487
That is what I purchased as well. Do you know if I should keep fuse box by battery or can it be moved to the other side of the van to greatly reduce the amount of wires running across the van? Thanks!
 

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That is what I purchased as well. Do you know if I should keep fuse box by battery or can it be moved to the other side of the van to greatly reduce the amount of wires running across the van? Thanks!
Hi @Boondogger

Your question is a bit too broad without seeing your electrical drawing, BUT;

It is best to keep the run from your batteries to your panel as close as practical. That being said there is nothing wrong with running a properly sized & fused wire to a panel on the opposite side of your van. Try to design this as short as practical & size the wire for minimal voltage drop & the current “amps” for the panel max. Also you may want 1 panel on both sides of the van (ie 2 panels).

A rough electrical drawing might be helpful - even if just the intended loads/circuits per side. Can you post your loads “drivers” vs “passenger” side?
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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That is what I purchased as well. Do you know if I should keep fuse box by battery or can it be moved to the other side of the van to greatly reduce the amount of wires running across the van? Thanks!
How many circuits? I wouldn't want 12-16 wires hidden in my ceiling. I would run power to box or panel on the other side and do circuits from there. You could have a smal/meduim fuse panel on each side.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I am still working on electrical plan so here is just a list of each side of van.

Passenger side
Battery and other components behind slider.
One combo usb-cig lighter outlet
2 outlets ran from inverter. One of which will be in garage.

Driver side
2 switches that each control 4 puck lights
Two combo usb-cig lighter outlets
Possibly 2 reading lights with integrated usb charger
Two 110 outlets from inverter

I ordered a 30 qt Bougerv chest style refrigerator. I do not yet know which side of the van it will go. So potentially 1 more cig lighter or direct wire for this thing on either side.
 

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I am still working on electrical plan so here is just a list of each side of van.

Passenger side
Battery and other components behind slider.
One combo usb-cig lighter outlet
2 outlets ran from inverter. One of which will be in garage.

Driver side
2 switches that each control 4 puck lights
Two combo usb-cig lighter outlets
Possibly 2 reading lights with integrated usb charger
Two 110 outlets from inverter

I ordered a 30 qt Bougerv chest style refrigerator. I do not yet know which side of the van it will go. So potentially 1 more cig lighter or direct wire for this thing on either side.
That helps;

In Short - IMO - 1 DC Panel near the battery @ passenger side. Your described driver’s side loads are light

Pretty light 12v loads really (the biggest looking like the fridge)

No roof fan?
No water pump?
No Heater/Furnace?

The 110v or 120v inverter wiring - length of runs will probably not matter as 120v - However I am assuming you are installing your inverter close to your battery for the 12v connections - that is very important to keep close

In this case, your drivers side looks like it could be done with 2 circuits (maybe 3). If that is the case I would keep the 12v DC panel close to the battery, & run the 2 or 3 circuits.

For the cost of the wire, you may consider running a heavier pair of wires (red/black) that could service 30amps in the event of adding a “drivers side 12v panel” in the future - but if you can easily “fish” after your build is done then I would not bother. This “heavy” wire could also be used as one of the distribution circuits on the drivers side (4 LED pucks & 2 power/usb plugs will draw what 10 to 15 amps tops
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Thank you all for helping. I get a little overwhelmed with the electrical even though my set up will be minimal.

For the reading lights w usb integrated I am assuming they can go on a circuit together but if usb is used on both of them for charging purposes at the same time is that ok? I don’t know what the draw would be but perhaps it is self limiting? Acegoo reading lights are planned but not purchased. They might be skipped completely since headlamps are easy enough.

I will keep 12v fuse panel by battery which is what I originally intended.

My ceiling panels will be removable. Wall panels will probably also be. So much to do!

It is so nice to have questions answered! Thanks!
 

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2. Can I use 12awg for everything? Even outlets ran off the inverter? I am willing to get some 14awg if some things should have a smaller wire.
You do know that you need a different wire (e.g. 12/3, not 12/2) for your AC loads, yes?
 
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Thank you all for helping. I get a little overwhelmed with the electrical even though my set up will be minimal.

For the reading lights w usb integrated I am assuming they can go on a circuit together but if usb is used on both of them for charging purposes at the same time is that ok? I don’t know what the draw would be but perhaps it is self limiting? Acegoo reading lights are planned but not purchased. They might be skipped completely since headlamps are easy enough.

I will keep 12v fuse panel by battery which is what I originally intended.

My ceiling panels will be removable. Wall panels will probably also be. So much to do!

It is so nice to have questions answered! Thanks!
Lots of help on this Forum from Members 👍

You're running 12g for distribution circuits right? Here is the Bluesea chart;


Example; 3% voltage drop & 12g = 5amps 30’ total circuit (add up red + black) so 15’ of 12/2

Example; 3% voltage drop & 12g = 10amps 15’ total circuit = 7.5’ of 12/2 (the 12 is gauge & the 2 is the 2 wires red & black)

If your ceiling is removable & you can access the void in “C” pilars then you can fish wire inside one “C” pilar, then across the ceiling, then down the other “C” pilar. If not in a ceiling rib, you can easily attach the wire “double insulated 12/2 flat” in the photo of post #24 above with aluminum HVAC foil tape to the underside of the van corrugated painted metal ceiling. Make note (build photos) or the location(s) so you never drill thru or screw thru your hidden wires.
 

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You do know that you need a different wire (e.g. 12/3, not 12/2) for your AC loads, yes?
@MaggieMarty caught this for you incase you thought you could wire 120v AC with 2 wire you need 3 wire.



example; My Shore Power connection is 10/3. Black / White / Green (the green is ground). 10 gauge 3 wire. The reason why 10gauge on the shore power is it is a max 30amp shore power connection. Inside for distribution I ran 12/3 (black/white/green) & it was the same multi strand marine grade wire I used for DC. Some use solid “house” wiring, but I treated my van electrical like I would a boat. YMMV.

74492


Here is a link to my build thread for more info;

 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Ok. Different wire noted for 110. Thanks.

I also have a maxxair fan up front and a scirocco fan will go in the back.

I know solar generators are not thought of nicely and I know they aren't generators! But what if I used one for my 110 needs? Some redundancy in systems might be nice. Thinking suitcase style solar panel could be taken out and used to charge generator and house as needed if I am ever in one spot long enough to need it.
 

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Major overkill.... I used #18AWG for my LED lights. They work perfectly fine.

The slight voltage drop will amount to the lights being 1 or 2% dimmer than they would be with #12... who cares! Undetectable!
I did the same. I even used gasp solid 18 AWG.

PS 3m90 spray adhesive in stock at Home Depot in Bemton, AR.
Does anyone know the story with 3M 90? Why is it out of stock everywhere?
 

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Question relating to all the above. Is everyone using a "romex" sheathed cable? Wondered if running a flexible conduit is ever considered and running "single" unsheathed wires? Much easier to pull ,if you want to change out / add circuits later. cheers
 

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Does anyone have experience with the ones that furnitureguy posted?
It says 0-100% pwm but does it really draw 0 current at switch all the way down?
I'm doubtful of that concept from these switches that don't have a on off function as well as dimmer function.
Thoughts, all?
Thanks!
I ordered that switch a few weeks back (on back order) and they said it will not draw current when clicked down to the off position. Lets hope they are correct
 

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2014 - 136 - High Roof - Oakland CA
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Does anyone know the story with 3M 90? Why is it out of stock everywhere?
the kind lady at my local HD told me that they are re-building their formula to comply with air emissions standards.
 
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