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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 300W solar, 2-6V battery, free standing (not connected to the alternator), electrical system. The loads are a 3cuft TruckFridge, a few LED lights, Atwood furnace, Maxx Fan, water pump, 1000W inverter. Do we need to ground the batteries to the chassis? Our system is not connected to the car battery or alternator.
Thank you for any assistance. The final wiring is possibly the last of the many challenges.
 

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If its not connected to the chassis battery or alternator, no need to ground to the chassis. I have the same kind of setup; all solar with batteries, inverter, and DC loads. Technically I could take the entire system out of the van and it wouldn't be any different.
 

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Two thoughts... no answers...

1) Have you ever put an ohmmeter from the aux battery set ground to chassis? There may be a ground already there via the fridge, furnace, inverter.... If there is a ground path already there, a real ground wire to the chassis would be better.

2) The inverter. Is the 120v output grounded to chassis? .... lots of discussion in RV circles as to whether to ground the inverter to chassis... I've found a variety of answers.

In any case, grounding the aux system should do no damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. The husbands' hair is getting thinner and patchy with this 12V electrical messing about. Our build is great with baltic birch and cherry, cork flooring, Ikea beech countertop. Challenging project for a retired contractor with nothing level or plumb. I am in charge of sanding and finishing.... All suggestions are welcome. We've been forum lurkers for about a year.
 

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We have a 300W solar, 2-6V battery, free standing (not connected to the alternator), electrical system. The loads are a 3cuft TruckFridge, a few LED lights, Atwood furnace, Maxx Fan, water pump, 1000W inverter. Do we need to ground the batteries to the chassis? Our system is not connected to the car battery or alternator.
Thank you for any assistance. The final wiring is possibly the last of the many challenges.
Maybe a better way to put the question is why not? There's no harm in ground to the chassis. Also it would allow you to add a switchable battery relay and have the option to charge from the alternator in the future (also not sure why you wouldn't do this as well). Might as well juice up those batteries while you drive.
 

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RD, doncha know a woman's work is never done! Just ask msnomer ;)
 

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Yes but She gets to do the Woodworking and designing as well as the finish..... I think MrNomer gets the electrical hair pulling part IIRC.
 

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Yeah, the design is the really fun stuff. Harberneily, I suspect that cork floor is going to serve you well. Our local courtroom has cork that has survived 80 years of women's stilettos. Welcome.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
The system will work without the ground, but grounds are there mostly for safety.
If there is an short somewhere that results in a high voltage being applied to the frame of one of your appliances, then the ground insures that a fuse will blow or breaker will pop.

If the inverter provides 3 prong outlets (ie the normal sort of 120VAC outlet where one of the 3 wires is a dedicated ground), then the inverter will need to be grounded to the chassis or the ground wire on the plugs won't be grounded -- it seems to me that this would definitely be a safety hazard.

I'd say ground to the chassis -- its easy to do.

Gary
 

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Hi,
The system will work without the ground, but grounds are there mostly for safety.
If there is an short somewhere that results in a high voltage being applied to the frame of one of your appliances, then the ground insures that a fuse will blow or breaker will pop.

If the inverter provides 3 prong outlets (ie the normal sort of 120VAC outlet where one of the 3 wires is a dedicated ground), then the inverter will need to be grounded to the chassis or the ground wire on the plugs won't be grounded -- it seems to me that this would definitely be a safety hazard.

I'd say ground to the chassis -- its easy to do.

Gary
Gary is correct that the 120VAC inverter/shorepower systems MUST be grounded to the chassis. Also GFCI outlets and/or breakers should be used. A metal van chassis is a potentially much more dangerous environment than in a house which is generally made of non conductive materials.

The 12v DC system isn't as critical from a safety standpoint but again there is little point in not grounding it to the chassis.

Also make sure to have a disconnectable fuse or breaker on BOTH sides of your solar charge controller. This box works well for that: https://www.amazon.com/Midnite-Sola...491290&sr=8-1&keywords=midnite+solar+baby+box

If you're not feeling confident about any of this then hire it out. Electrocution or electrical fires are no joke.
 
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