13. Electrical

This is a big part of the build and my favorite.  Teaching electronics for over 30 years, this is kinda my thing.  The advances that have taken place in the past 20 years are amazing.  LED light and LiFePO4 batteries are prime examples.   Be sure to scroll down to see the videos for each section.  … Read more

Custom Fuse Covers, and removing logos

In this video – the making of custom fuse covers. Acrylic sheets  – https://amzn.to/3odwI23 Fuse holder      https://amzn.to/3ETqH17 Disconnect switch        https://amzn.to/3CTCRGI What to remove logo from plastic?   This simple method may get the job done – watch this video: Deep Woods Off –  https://amzn.to/3mWcJFK   If you watched the video above you … Read more

Wire size, AC and DC circuits

You need to have the correct size wire for the amperage and voltage that will run through the wire.  Remember every wire should be protected by a fuse, limiting the amount of current through the wire. To determine wire size I recommend using Blue Sea Systems calculator – http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/ Wire size is based on the … Read more

Charging with the Alternator

You can charge your batteries from your vehicles alternator.  The alternator delivers power to all the vehicles electrical components and keeps the starter battery charged.  The vehicles alternator may deliver more than 180 amps.  Let’s say that 80 amps are needed for the vehicle that leaves a surplus of 100 amps.  Those 100 amps can … Read more

Solar Controller

I will use a MPPT charge controller.  Based on my research this type of charge controller does a better job when it receives high voltage.  So my solar panels will be connected in series.   Connecting them in series adds up the voltage from each panel, and keeps the current the same.   If I connect them … Read more

Fuses and Circuit Breakers

A fuse is an intentional weak point in a circuit.  Fuses are designed to fail!   When too much current flows through a circuit, the filament in the fuse melts.  This stops the flow of electricity and protects the wire and equipment. Fuses and breakers are essential in any electrical system.  It will protect the circuit, … Read more

Furrules and Ring Terminals

There are many ways to connect wires together or to a terminal. Soldering an crimping are the most common. Crimping is easy, fast and effective.  Crimping crushes the wire around the connector and ensures a solid electrical connection. When purchasing ring terminals, be sure to purchase those with heat shrink tubing.  The heat shrink tubing … Read more

Wire size

Solid wire (Romex) is commonly used in houses.  Solid wire cannot be used in a moving vehicle.  The constant vibration would break the conductor over time. All wires used in your van build should be double insulated, or routed through split loom tubing, and secured with cable ties. If placing a wire through the metal … Read more

Solar Panels

How many watts of solar do you need? The design of this van will have room for two, 200 watt solar panels.  That’s 400 watts.   Some vans have 200, 400 or even 1000 watts of solar. Generating solar will vary with the season ( in winter months the “Solar day” is shorter), location and where … Read more


You need to decide how many cloudy days you want to go without moving.  What I mean by this is – if it is cloudy, overcast, or winter you will not generate much solar power.   If you are not moving the van you don’t generate power from the alternator.   Batteries are rated in Amp Hours.  … Read more

System and Inverter size

How big, and how much will this electrical system cost? To get an idea you need to find out the electricity you will consume each day.  To do that gather together every item you expect to power. You will need to calculate your usage in Amp Hours (Ah). Amp Hours = Current in amperes x … Read more

Cables and Lugs

Crimping terminals onto cables requires heavy duty crimping tools.   The most basic, and cost effective crimper is the hammer crimper.   This is what I used. You can also buy a hydraulic crimping tool.  This tool may provide more consistent results, but it is more expensive. It’s also not as much fun.  The hammer crimper lets … Read more

Cables + Lugs

This video show how to make your own battery cables.  Attaching lugs, and using a crimper. Bus Bar Copper Fuse holders   Fuse holder      https://amzn.to/3ETqH17 Fuses      https://amzn.to/3qiPmZ7   Ring Terminals with heat shrink    https://amzn.to/3BULhMA   Ferrule Crimping Tool Kit https://amzn.to/3EQTwLG   Ancor Marine Grade Duplex Wire    https://amzn.to/30bsQ9C Ancor produces … Read more

Main panel prototype

This is the main electrical panel prototype.  It include the solar panel circuit breakers, the solar charge controller, the main shut off, the 12 volt fuse panel, and the A/C fuse panel.   I am still deciding on the 3000W Inverter/Charger and the 300 AH of LiFePO4 batteries. Bus Bar Copper Fuse holders   Fuse holder  … Read more

Bus Bars

These videos show you – Step by Step – how make a bus bar for your electrical system.   By using a bus bar you will cut down on the number of short wires and lugs needed at your main electrical panel.   Fuse holder      https://amzn.to/3ETqH17 Fuses      https://amzn.to/3qiPmZ7   Bus Bar Copper … Read more