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We are not building fine furniture here. The ply needs to be good, not great. In general, more plys is a better product.

Don't glue it down. You can bolt it down with the existing tie down points or just let your bolt in cabinets hold it in place.
 

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Didn't attach mine to the van floor. By pure chance the 3 pieces of 1/2" plywood I cut (using the black cargo mat that came with the van as a template) fit very snugly and don't shift; can't even move it a little bit. Over that I lay the black mat, then water resistant carpeting. After 12K miles including lots of twisty mountain roads and a couple real-world, emergency braking sessions, nothing shifts at all.
 

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Baltic birch is great for cabinets but way overkill and costly for a floor. Just get some decent ¾" plywood with at least 5 solid plys. Hardwood is better than softwood because it’s usually better quality not because it’s hardwood. You don’t want sheathing or CDX, for sure. I just bought some ¾" "white wood" hardwood plywood whatever that is from HD for about $45 a sheet it’s 5 ply and has a nice smooth sanded face on both sides - perfect for this application. ½" or 5/8" is fine if you can find it but I personally prefer ¾" on a floor when there is only one layer and the price difference isn’t enough to make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
Baltic birch is great for cabinets but way overkill and costly for a floor. Just get some decent ¾" plywood with at least 5 solid plys. Hardwood is better than softwood because it’s usually better quality not because it’s hardwood. You don’t want sheathing or CDX, for sure. I just bought some ¾" "white wood" hardwood plywood whatever that is from HD for about $45 a sheet it’s 5 ply and has a nice smooth sanded face on both sides - perfect for this application. ½" or 5/8" is fine if you can find it but I personally prefer ¾" on a floor when there is only one layer and the price difference isn’t enough to make a difference.
How did you join the seams? Or did you at all?
 

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We put marmoleum over our 3/4 ply, but we had to do the install in the house first because of the temperature to make the glue happy. We had joined two of the 3/4 sheets together, but it was a beast to move into the van. If I had to do it again, I'd use 1/4 ply (or even hardboard) to build a lightweight one-piece setup. Install the sheet flooring on that. Then just lay the 3 sheets of 3/4 in and lay the pre assembled floor on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Got my 3/4" polyiso foam subfloor base in place today & cut 3/4" tongue & groove plywood subfloor to fit. Doing a floating floor and foaming everything in with Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks after I seal the plywood. Numbered and cut all my wall & ceiling 1" polyiso insulation - will put that up throughout this week as I am on "work-from-home" and it's gonna be raining. Ordered some MC4 connections to extend my solar panels into the entry gland and where I'm going to do my electrical infrastructure.

Has anyone reviewed this: Renogy 50A DC to DC (with MPPT) charger? Searched the forums in Camp/RV & Electrical and didn't find much about it. Seems like it has good reviews online, but albeit pretty new. Also, has anyone seen people doing their electrical infrastructure in the cargo shelf above the cab? I think that's my best bet for spatial reasons and to keep everything nice and tidy
 

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Discussion Starter #93
Subfloor installed - haven't filled the gap edge yet though. Sealed the plywood with Kilz premium to make it mildew and water resistant... it is exterior grade CDX tongue & groove with 4 decent plies, so it should already be pretty water resistant, but with surf & snow gear I just threw a gallon on it. Windows get here in a couple weeks; haven't heard any news otherwise from Motion Windows despite the COVID-19 issues going on right now.

62040
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Please critique my electrical system?

Load calculator looks like max daily use of (rounded up) 150Ah, so I'm looking at two 100ah lithium batteries to compliment my 360W solar system, and a 1500W inverter.

Most curious about folks' thoughts on Renogy's DC-to-DC with MPPT charger. It's 50A, but that's actually 25A & 25A for the solar and alternator each if both are active, meaning to maximize alternator charging I would need to cut off the solar panels before driving (or vice versa, but that would be stellar amp output on my panels). My attraction to the combo alternator/PV charger is space-saving for similar price point to separate devices. Conversely, I didn't combo the inverter/shore charger because I didn't read very good reviews on any particular models. Open to any & all thoughts, thank you!

DC loads:
fridge, lights, maxxfan, water pump
AC loads:
4 outlets (TV, nintendo switch, laptop, phone charging, drone charging, bluetooth speaker) and fridge backup

62203


62204
 

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Nice diagram. Without distances we cannot eval wire size vs run.

50A breaker on 10 AWG off the solar is too big. Smaller breaker or larger wire. Blue Sea says 6 is the min.
70A breaker on 8 AWG off the DC-to-DC is too big. Smaller breaker or larger wire. Check the Blue Sea chart
missing breaker from Pos bus to DC Load center. You have stepped down the wiring size, so you need a breaker on that run.
No wire size from + bus to inverter. Should be 2/0
No wire size from - bus to inverter
Is that 30A shore charger 30A on the DC side? Why a 60A breaker on that?
You have 4AWG listed by the main switch and 200A fuse. Should be 2/0 to the bus bar. Same problem on the neg side.
The 4AWG from "the alternator" is probably too small for the distance.
Check the instructions on the shunt. Usually these are in line between neg bus and battery.
+ and - switched on Shore Charger
 

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Discussion Starter #96
Nice diagram. Without distances we cannot eval wire size vs run.

50A breaker on 10 AWG off the solar is too big. Smaller breaker or larger wire. Blue Sea says 6 is the min.
70A breaker on 8 AWG off the DC-to-DC is too big. Smaller breaker or larger wire. Check the Blue Sea chart
missing breaker from Pos bus to DC Load center. You have stepped down the wiring size, so you need a breaker on that run.
No wire size from + bus to inverter. Should be 2/0
No wire size from - bus to inverter
Is that 30A shore charger 30A on the DC side? Why a 60A breaker on that?
You have 4AWG listed by the main switch and 200A fuse. Should be 2/0 to the bus bar. Same problem on the neg side.
The 4AWG from "the alternator" is probably too small for the distance.
Check the instructions on the shunt. Usually these are in line between neg bus and battery.
+ and - switched on Shore Charger
Haha ThomD I feel like I'm back in school. Thanks for pointing out the missing details/mismatches. Will take a deep dive on wire & breakers sizes tonight. I am hoping to house most of my electrical system main components in the overhead cargo shelf above the cab, so the runs to the van battery and solar panels won't be too long. But I gleaned a lot of wire sizes from other folks' systems so in retrospect theirs are probably designed to their component distances.

Greatly appreciated!
 

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. . . Will take a deep dive on wire & breakers sizes tonight. . . .
Some "conceptual" ideas about wiring.

1) Breakers are there to protect the wiring. So the breaker is not about the load, it is about the wire that comes out of the breaker. That being said, of course, you need wiring (and its breaker) that can handle the load.

2) Wire size is about 2 things - Heat generated in the wire and Voltage Drop.

2.a) Heat: If the wire is too small, the wire will heat up, eventually smoking and catching fire. This is why you have a breaker to limit the current in the wire, so it does not get too hot and thus cannot start a fire. Look into your toaster for a demonstration.

Sizing the wire for the load based on heat (current) is all you need to stress about in most cases -- check the special cases under Voltage Drop for DC below.

Since the wire safety is about heat, it is a kind idea to not bury it in insulation - maybe run it in the metal chases of the van or inside or outside the insulation, but not buried in it.

2b) Voltage Drop

For AC:
Fuggit about it! In a van with short runs and the light loads that our inverters and batteries can handle, AC voltage drop is not an issue. Just use wire for AC that is big enough for your load current. Some people use romex (solid) house wire others recommend extension cord wire which is stranded. Pro-tip: I bet a heavy-duty 100' extension cord from HFT is cheaper than buying the extension cord wire as wire. Also, just use GFI outlets everywhere. They are cheap, you don't need many in a van and safety.

For DC: You need to calculate voltage drop through on any "heavy" runs. Specifically:
  • The run from the van battery to the DC-DC charger or inverter. This tends to be relatively high current and is also often quite long. Estimate your currents, estimate how many volts you can afford to lose, look up the wire size on the charts. Interestingly, if you are using a DC-DC battery charger, it is insensitive to the input voltage, so you could get away with smaller wire. This wire run is often buried under floor mats which allow it to heat up more for a given current, so some folks oversize the wire a notch or two to keep the temperature down.
  • The run from the battery to the inverter. Mine draws more than 200 amps at full tilt, which makes even 0000 "four-ought" wire slightly warm after some time. This run is often short -- at least it should be -- which helps reduce the voltage drop. Fair warning: My inverter came with some cables that were entirely inadequate for the job.
  • Medium loads like water pumps, furnaces, fridges and such you should do voltage drop calculations on them and make sure it is not an issue. You should be able to look up the voltage needed for each device,
All the little fiddly loads like LED lights, USB phone chargers, etc will not be sensitive to voltage drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
Some "conceptual" ideas about wiring.

1) Breakers are there to protect the wiring. So the breaker is not about the load, it is about the wire that comes out of the breaker. That being said, of course, you need wiring (and its breaker) that can handle the load.

2) Wire size is about 2 things - Heat generated in the wire and Voltage Drop.

2.a) Heat: If the wire is too small, the wire will heat up, eventually smoking and catching fire. This is why you have a breaker to limit the current in the wire, so it does not get too hot and thus cannot start a fire. Look into your toaster for a demonstration.

Sizing the wire for the load based on heat (current) is all you need to stress about in most cases -- check the special cases under Voltage Drop for DC below.

Since the wire safety is about heat, it is a kind idea to not bury it in insulation - maybe run it in the metal chases of the van or inside or outside the insulation, but not buried in it.

2b) Voltage Drop

For AC:
Fuggit about it! In a van with short runs and the light loads that our inverters and batteries can handle, AC voltage drop is not an issue. Just use wire for AC that is big enough for your load current. Some people use romex (solid) house wire others recommend extension cord wire which is stranded. Pro-tip: I bet a heavy-duty 100' extension cord from HFT is cheaper than buying the extension cord wire as wire. Also, just use GFI outlets everywhere. They are cheap, you don't need many in a van and safety.

For DC: You need to calculate voltage drop through on any "heavy" runs. Specifically:
  • The run from the van battery to the DC-DC charger or inverter. This tends to be relatively high current and is also often quite long. Estimate your currents, estimate how many volts you can afford to lose, look up the wire size on the charts. Interestingly, if you are using a DC-DC battery charger, it is insensitive to the input voltage, so you could get away with smaller wire. This wire run is often buried under floor mats which allow it to heat up more for a given current, so some folks oversize the wire a notch or two to keep the temperature down.
  • The run from the battery to the inverter. Mine draws more than 200 amps at full tilt, which makes even 0000 "four-ought" wire slightly warm after some time. This run is often short -- at least it should be -- which helps reduce the voltage drop. Fair warning: My inverter came with some cables that were entirely inadequate for the job.
  • Medium loads like water pumps, furnaces, fridges and such you should do voltage drop calculations on them and make sure it is not an issue. You should be able to look up the voltage needed for each device,
All the little fiddly loads like LED lights, USB phone chargers, etc will not be sensitive to voltage drop.
Thank you, what a wealth of info!! I was going to use spare Romex my dad had left from building his house last year for most (all?) of the end loads. I am planning 4 total outlets, 2 GFIs. I am planning to use an AC/DC combined load center from Progressive Dynamics, which will be right next to the coach batteries and inverter in the overhead storage shelf above the cab. My DC-DC charger will be in that same shelf and the van battery is in the floor under the drivers seat so it's ~6-7ft to the charger. I have polyiso foam board, so no wires will be buried under insulation at least. Thank you for sharing all that.
 
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