Ram Promaster Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dammit here, just requesting some kind feedback on my wiring diagram set up before I re-re-finalize my decisions :)

Context:
Planning on building a "simple" camper van, not a live-in /full-timer van.
The electrical setup location is behind the Driver's side in the back, over the wheel well.
  • 2021 RAM Promaster 136WB
  • No built in stove, AC, or toilet
  • No large central water tank, just a 6 gallon under the kitchen galley and a separate 2.5 gallon in the rear fo a shower (2 x H2O pumps)
  • mostly using 14-2 and 12-2 awg for my 12v devices
  • wanted to save $ so my wire choices may seem odd but I tried to go larger ie. I just bought 2/0 and 4 awg wires
  • still not sure what solar setup I am getting between 200W-400W of solar
  • already did my pre-wiring for my 12v and 120v wires

Any tips and advice are welcome, first timer who is 3 months into the build...

Thanks,
Dammit, Van

Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Technology
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Mr. Dammit,

Batteries: With 1x 170AH Renogy your max discharge is 125A. Given your possible load (1000w microwave + others) that is getting rather tight for my taste. I'd either do 2x 175AH or 2x 100AH (max discharge 200A)

Solar: Your breaker is going to depend on exactly what panels you have and how you run them. A breaker is definitely a good idea though. Wiring should support this amperage, obviously. 30A at 12v will be very different than 7.5A at 48v.

Water pumps: Why two? Just extra cost when one will do just fine.
(Edit: I missed the extra water container for the shower. Running PEX is easy and simpler. I'd honestly just combine the tanks and use one water pump. If that is what you want to do though it seems fine)

Breakers: Make sure you buy good breakers (MP,NTE, Optifuse. MP specifically has been found to have quality breakers) The cheap amazon knockoffs will give you problems.

Wiring in General: Your wiring for all the LEDs is oversized, you can stick with 14awg for it all. Those LEDs pull like 5-7w (.5A) each.

AC: Does your inverter have a built in breaker? I would be nervous about not having any breakers in my AC. Right now your battery will actually shut down before your DC breakers pop if your AC short circuits and that is a lot of wattage to dump somewhere.

They make AC/DC breaker panels like this (coincidentally what I have) that do both.
 

·
Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
Joined
·
3,592 Posts
Dammit here, just requesting some kind feedback on my wiring diagram set up before I re-re-finalize my decisions :)

Context:
Planning on building a "simple" camper van, not a live-in /full-timer van.
The electrical setup location is behind the Driver's side in the back, over the wheel well.
  • 2021 RAM Promaster 136WB
  • No built in stove, AC, or toilet
  • No large central water tank, just a 6 gallon under the kitchen galley and a separate 2.5 gallon in the rear fo a shower (2 x H2O pumps)
  • mostly using 14-2 and 12-2 awg for my 12v devices
  • wanted to save $ so my wire choices may seem odd but I tried to go larger ie. I just bought 2/0 and 4 awg wires
  • still not sure what solar setup I am getting between 200W-400W of solar
  • already did my pre-wiring for my 12v and 120v wires

Any tips and advice are welcome, first timer who is 3 months into the build...

Thanks,
Dammit, Van
Hi @van_dammit

For a 1st timer - good start (ya gotta start with something) 👍

Good comments by @Dekkars 👍

In General; Electrical is designed from the intended loads (now & future added loads) and worked back to the battery. Once the battery is “picked” then you figure out how to charge it.

The more “we” understand what you are trying to accomplish the better advise we can give you. The more defined your loads the higher resolution your design can be. As an example of “defined” you have shown a 2000W inverter, & although I can assume what “animal” that is without manufacturer specifications like peak Watts or peak amps I assume a 2000W inverter will peak @ 4000W (I have an unused 3000W that peaks @ 6000W or so says the manufacturer).

Sounds like you have prewired; where that might work out fine, it is best to finalize your electrical design before wiring.

Here are my point format comments;

No Shore Power?
2 pumps (for 50 seconds of running & 120seconds of running til empty @ full 3gal/minute) “need more info”?
How are you cooking - microwave only?
Fuses vs Breakers (maybe in some locations)
2 post battery terminal fuse holder?
Need for bus bars (2 post battery terminal fuse & negative shunt)?
If you go “breakers” get good quality ones.
Make your DC to the Inverter as close (short) as possible.

If you are going to add “Shore Power” then a “Power Center” similar to what @Dekkars referenced would be a good investment; AC Panel / DC Panel / Converter / Charger all in one box @ $200 to $400.


Font Screenshot Rectangle Electronic device Terrestrial plant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
A few more things:

A battery post fuse and a breaker is redundant. Drop the breaker.

Ditto on avoiding cheap breakers. BlueSea and Bussman are also good brands.

Diesel heaters often do better with 12AWG.

Consider using a 2/0 chassis ground in the back so you don't have to run a 2/0 ground all the way up to the starter battery. Connect it to the negative bus bar.

Also make sure your bus bars are rated for your system's max current. At least 250A.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
A few more things:

A battery post fuse and a breaker is redundant. Drop the breaker.

Ditto on avoiding cheap breakers. BlueSea and Bussman are also good brands.

Diesel heaters often do better with 12AWG.

Consider using a 2/0 chassis ground in the back so you don't have to run a 2/0 ground all the way up to the starter battery. Connect it to the negative bus bar.

Also make sure your bus bars are rated for your system's max current. At least 250A.
I see 4 awg to the starter battery and 2/0 to the bus bar, same sizes I did. If everything is wired back to the negative bus, I don't see a need for a huge chassis ground.
 

·
Premium Member
2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
Joined
·
2,467 Posts
Hi,
I'd say good job!

Agree with Steve on dropping the 250 amp breaker near the house battery - the battery terminal fuse provides better and more reliable protection.

Agree with Dekars that you need to look at the 120 VAC wiring coming off the inverter. It might be OK if the inverter has some protection for its AC outlets. I have the same Progressive Dynamics combined AC/DC panel, and it works OK, but for the very little bit I use my AC outlets, it seems (in hindsight) like overkill.

You need to nail down what kind of solar panels you plan to use and whether they will be hooked up in series or parallel and how much solar you plan to have before you can settle on the wire gauge and breaker (if any).

Remember that your breakers for the loads coming off the positive busbar should be as close to the busbar as possible. Any wire between the busbar and the breakers is unprotected against a short to ground.

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Batteries: With 1x 170AH Renogy your max discharge is 125A. Given your possible load (1000w microwave + others) that is getting rather tight for my taste. I'd either do 2x 175AH or 2x 100AH (max discharge 200A)
I may scale back to a 700w microwave, I wonder if that would help. I wasn't aware of the 125A max output part Thanks! I figured 1000w would meet the inverter threshold 2000w, 4000w peak. 1000w/12v = 83.333Amps. I guess I'd have to know what the peak surge for the microwave usually is, ie. 1500w * 12v = 125Amps!
700w/12v = 58Amps <-- im wondering if this calculation would be safer than 1000w...

Water pumps: Why two? Just extra cost when one will do just fine.
(Edit: I missed the extra water container for the shower. Running PEX is easy and simpler. I'd honestly just combine the tanks and use one water pump. If that is what you want to do though it seems fine)
I'm thinking this is just a space saving issue for me. I'd prefer to have smaller water jugs compared to a bigger 10-12 gallon tank to maintain. If I were a full-timer van lifer, I'd go with the bigger tank. For a weekender/vacationer van, I'm fine with having smaller refillable jugs.

Breakers: Make sure you buy good breakers (MP,NTE, Optifuse. MP specifically has been found to have quality breakers) The cheap amazon knockoffs will give you problems.
I got these Tocas branded breakers off of Amazon, I saw one of the youtubers recommend these breakers

AC: Does your inverter have a built in breaker? I would be nervous about not having any breakers in my AC. Right now your battery will actually shut down before your DC breakers pop if your AC short circuits and that is a lot of wattage to dump somewhere.
I'm planning on not having shore power, hoping that the alternator and solar charging will be enough. I plan on buying this 2000w GoWise inverter Will Prowse recommends. Someone mentioned that it has "internally fused with 4 30a fuses, for 120a". I've see a few videos of people just connecting 12-3awg extension cables into the inverter for AC

Bus bars are 250A rated Blue Sea for both + and -
Going with a simple propane Coleman camp stove setup, I am never 100% level at camp sites I can't see myself liking a stationary stove setup.
Just to clarify the 2 pumps would be for 2 separate water tanks, one in the Galley 6 gallon and one in the rear for a shower/rinser.

Agree with Steve on dropping the 250 amp breaker near the house battery - the battery terminal fuse provides better and more reliable protection.
Hmm this is something I've seen in multiple builds, I pretty much copied that setup. I'm wondering what the logic in those setups were... ie. Seven-O-Savage diagram
 

·
Registered
MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
Joined
·
5,479 Posts
Hmm this is something I've seen in multiple builds, I pretty much copied that setup. I'm wondering what the logic in those setups were... ie. Seven-O-Savage diagram
I'm guessing he copied it from someone else who copied it from someone else and so on.
 

·
Premium Member
2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
Joined
·
2,467 Posts
...
Hmm this is something I've seen in multiple builds, I pretty much copied that setup. I'm wondering what the logic in those setups were... ie. Seven-O-Savage diagram
Hi,
The battery terminal fuse and the breaker you have just before the main disconnect switch protect the wire run from the house battery to your busbar. They both do the same thing and there is no need for both of them. The fuse will do a better job in that it protects the full length of the wire and fuses are more reliable than breakers - especially if you plan to use cheap import breakers, which many people on the forum (including me - search the forum for "amazon breakers") have had trouble with. If you do use a breaker, use a quality one like a BlueSea.

Unlike most things, the power rating for microwaves is output power, so a 700 watt microwave power input is more like 1000 watts. So, a 700 watt microwave is going to pull something like (1000 watts) / (12 volts)(0.8 inverter efficiency) = 104 amps - maybe more.

Check the specs on your proposed battery - the way I read it, it was good for more than 125 amps, but maybe I got the wrong battery.

Gary
 

·
Registered
MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
Joined
·
5,479 Posts
Maximum Continuous Discharge Current:125A

Someone may have done a test to see how far over 125A it would go.
 

·
Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
Joined
·
3,592 Posts
I see my mistake, so the shunt should be connected to the negative bus bar with that same 2/0 awg negative wire
Hi van dammit

If you are going to neg. ground as @SteveSS suggests there are 2 sides of the shunt (battery & everything else).

My original comments were made in attempt to simplify your system. Neg Bus; on my system is the non battery side of my shunt (they have big lugs & IIRC I had 2 major ring connectors - chassis ground & Power Center which is my van DC panel). You only have 3 connections - that might be pushing it - you would have to research - if you did go this route I would ensure a Neg Bus could be added later if more space was required. On the Pos Bus; If you installed a double battery post fuse holder (Blue Sea photo);

Product Font Screenshot Brand Advertising



Then one fuse could go to your inverter & the other fuse could go to your other Pos connections. That was my initial thought after a quick look at your proposed design, but it was low resolution until I knew more what your electrical intentions were.

I saw & agree with @SteveSS post. I am not a fan of breakers - more of fuses unless a switch function is needed (even then I like fuses & switches especially if multi functioned.)

I had no DC breakers in my van, but have several of these ones I have installed in airplanes (IMO if they are good enough for aviation they are good enough for vans);

Circuit component Font Electronic device Electronic component Gas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
Is this okay to do with the Renogy 50A MPPT/DCDC charger? The manual says to connect the negative ground to the starter battery?
It's what I did and it works, but stick with the manual if you aren't comfortable. Grounding back to the starter battery takes more wire, but it's simple and straight-forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How far is you B2B and batteries from the starter battery?
It's a 136WB and the battery/electrical is near the driver's side wheel well.


It's what I did and it works, but stick with the manual if you aren't comfortable. Grounding back to the starter battery takes more wire, but it's simple and straight-forward.
I already chipped the paint out for the ground location in the back near the driver's wheel well, no going back now lol. I just wanted to be sure after I re-checked the manual. I've also read that you get better electrical current using 2/0 awg on the chassis rather than 4 awg ~10 feet or so to the starter battery.

Thanks for clarifying, it makes me feel better that you confirmed
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top