Caravan battery wiring help pls

zena1, Jun 27, 8:30am
I have rebuilt our van and am ready to buy off grid power system. Solar panel, battery and charger. I need a simple wiring diagram and suggestions for best kit and set up. I would like to buy battery and charger solar panel then possibly add an inverter later. cheapest option for 100ah battery! where to buy and approximate costs. I would like to wire myselftips needed.
We will run low use lights for emergency only,(mainly gas and tilley) 3 way fridge on gas needs 12 v to switch. Modern 12v tv dvd is main use.

petermcg, Jun 27, 8:45am
Solar Panel is good, make sure to use a regulator for this,,, also battery Charger for when connected to shore power. Use 12 volt for everything, except fridge ,, that needs to be gas. You dont want to use an invertor for anything other than charger plugs for laptop phones etc, just the light load stuff. The best battery to use is a big boat battery, about 5 or 600mm long, i forget what there called. 12 volt wiring is generally pretty easy but you must use some heavy duty automobile wires for this.

zephyrheaven, Jun 27, 8:53am
I got a cool 80W solar panel with a smart charger built in for around $700 (quality one) & a deep cycle battery - important to give them a burst over winter to avoid early death of these lead monsters
I wired up a simple fuse block from jaycar & run a 4 outlet cig lighter block with a usb port to boot ($8.00 at Korean junk shop on Blenheim rd Chch) it was awesome at Xmas free camping - got some led low drain high power lamps outside for evening stuff, runs a gas shower waterpump (cadac brand very good incl instant near boiling water for dishes etc) & a 12V dvd player with screen for the wee one when he is tuckered out & good for rainy days

Cant WAIT to get out in it again in summer (Topagee Brave Campa6)

zena1, Jun 27, 8:54am
will i need fuses, is the wiring back to common earth on chasis!
will fridge run without power to pilot flame I think I need 12v to switch over!

zena1, Jun 27, 8:59am
Tks Zephyr
where did you get the shower califont!

zephyrheaven, Jun 27, 9:08am
mitre 10 got them in a few years ago for their 'seasonal' range (with bbq's etc) was about $300 from memory but unlike other brands it has all the attachments etc - ive seen them pop up on trademe sometimes (loads of people think they are going to love camping & buy up large, have a bad experience & hate it / sell everything) which is great for us budget campers!

My system has a common / chassis earth - pretty big battery cable / overkill really - check your fridge - ours doesnt need power to switch over - we run it on power at home to cool it down for a few days before then 12V on the way to the destination (can use the 'spare' terminal in your trailer plug like a few of us do, works well) & has a peizio ignition self powered igniter for the flame) it is very economical, crazy actually - we only used a 9Kg bottle in 2 weeks of solid running!

bigfatmat1, Jun 27, 9:09am
Yes you need fuses and itgood practice to run above earth i.e everything has its own earth wire. in caravans normally just connected to a buzzbar you can get 12v /gas/electric fridges these are good if travelling alot as having gs going while moving is not a good idea you can then wire this to your car while towing to keep ya batt charged and fridge going while travelling. A wiring diagram would depend on your layout a solar panel will need a regulator to stop it from overcharging the battery. A smart charger is a good idea as well rated to at least 10% of the a/h of the battery. You would be best to use led lights due to lower power consumption. deep cycle batteries are pricey 100a/h will set you back a couple of hundy.

zephyrheaven, Jun 27, 9:10am
i fused my system because I like the idea of a wee fuse blowing not an expensive tv, if I did it again I would use more marine style switching etc as its lovely to look at & way overbuilt for what it is

zena1, Jun 27, 9:23am
ok guys so do I run from battery to fuse box to switches with a seperate circuit for each appliance, lights or ciggy type plugs then back to buzz bar for - ve earth!
How best to connect solar panel to regulator to battery!
Charger to battery!
Wire sizing!
Battery ventilation
Battery isolation switch needed
Best place to place battery I have space underbed mid ship and front left

solarboy, Jun 27, 10:41am
I'd suggest something like this regulator - auction no. 387251419. as it has multi stage charging control i e it's not just a voltage controlled on/off switch - also handy is LED battery state of charge guide and low voltage load disconnect to protect your battery.Battery, solar panel and load feed all connect to the controller. Seller has 130 watt panels for $399, one would probably handle your needs. Battery should be sealed off from van interior but vented to the outside so mounted adjacent to an exterior wall (and away from exhaust etc heat ). Battery fusing/isolation switchI use Jaycar 70 amp circuit breakers (were low $30 area and have a button/ lever mechanismto act as an occasional switch.

petermcg, Jun 28, 4:29am
Yes you should have fuses. The 12 volt wiring can be earthed to common ground, but for some things you might as well run a red and a black wire. I dont think you will have a problem with the fridge pilot light, if it has one it will be lit by a magneto in the control, or manually lit, if it is electric start fridge, then I am unsure. But so far as 12 volt goes, if your fridge is a commpressor type, it might be ok while you are driving, but if the fridge is the heater style, which it should be if it also runs on gas then it is going to chew through batterys and alternators in time,, and gas is by far the cheapest option here.

petermcg, Jun 28, 4:37am
zena1 wrote:
ok guys so do I run from battery to fuse box to switches with a seperate circuit for each appliance, lights or ciggy type plugs then back to buzz bar for - ve earth!
How best to connect solar panel to regulator to battery! Solar Panel to Regulator then to any where in the system, but near the battery and on the hot side of the fuses.
Charger to battery! Close to the battery, heavey wire, must carry up to 6 amps.
Wire sizing! Sorry dont know the numbers but probable the heaviest you can find for automobile use for most things, maybe a bit smaller for the lighting.
Battery ventilation,,, if possible yes
Battery isolation switch needed,, optional but a good Idea
Best place to place battery I have space underbed mid ship and front left
cabinet, If possible find somewhere that you can place battery, charger, and solar regulator

richms, Aug 8, 3:17am
If you can avoid them, dont use ciggy plugs except for low power stuff like mobile chargers etc.

The plugs you want to use are called anderson powerpoles, and are hermaphroditic so just plug together. Bloody nice plugs and there are shrouds available too.