The Team Blue Electrics setup was going to be the same as with latest Team Silver but as I didn’t need to keep flat tyre equipment under the passenger seat I want to keep it 100% free for luggage and therefore opted for the all-in-one driver’s seat approach. After some research on the VWT4Forum I felt I could get do this and still meet my requirements. Below is my circuit diagram minus the negative/earth(s) required by the end components e.g. fridge.
Preparing the base.
It is much easier to prepare the base out of the van. As the handbrake must be completely removed in order to remove the base – make sure the van is in gear, ideally chocked and on level ground. It is worth mentioning that to remove the handbrake you must release the clip under than handle and pull forwards.
Having removed the drivers seat and base from the van I started by bolting a corner/angle section of metal to the two holes already drilled in the seat base. I then measured this up against my chosen battery and drilled and fixed a second strip in place closer to the front as shown in Images B1 and B2. The battery is a Alphaline XV110 from BatteryMegaStore (L354mm; W174mm; H:190mm) which ideally just fits in the seat base with just enough headroom (I would have purchased from Martyn @ Travelvolts but since they have started charging VAT they are about 25% more expensive). The battery must be secured down and I intend to use a strip of metal attached front to rear than can be bolted into place (Image B3). This did require one additional hole to be drilled in the front leading edge.
I have planned on using a wooden front panel to hold the fuse and split charge relay with the more significant fuses attached to the back of the panel. At the rear I will fix a strip for the 240v Site Mains distribution box (Image B4). After some consideration of bolting, bracketing and/or welding I elected to use NoMoreNails as it would involved less modification to the seat base (Image B5). The master on/off switch and mains charger will be attached to the side of the base.
Whilst I had the seat bases out I took the opportunity to remove the rubber mat for cleaning and to run the cables through from the engine and rear area to the driver’s seat base location. I don’t know whether VW have improved the bodywork to allow for easier cable runs or I’ve just got better at finding routes that don’t require additional holes but I have managed to run all cables without additional holes except for those that need to exit into the main living area where I drilled a small removable panel (Image C3)
Image C1 shows the entrance point into the engine bay. It is located behind an additional piece of soundproofing just above the front wheel arch / earthing point. Image C2 shows the cables neatly arranged in the cab area. Image C3 shows cables running coming from the floor via the small LWB panel into the lower nearside rear panel and then up into the panel above. Image C4 shows cables entering the body work form the floor via the seat belt case, it then passes through a hold behind the belt and into the lower offside front panel.
Rather than allow the cables to move around I used sticky backed cable clips from B&Q to hold everything in place. I will use the earthing and venting points under the drivers seat position.
Installing the Seat Base Electrics
With the seat base prepared I have been able to install all the units. As space is tight I predrilled the front panel (Image I2) for the cables and installed as many as I could prior to refitting the seat base. The rear consumer unit still needs bolting in and I am aware that if I wanted to work on this in the future then I would probably need to loosen the seat base bolts to lift it slightly. The master isolator has been mounted to the side of the seat for clear access and the mains charger has been mounted along side for ease of access. I have used the indentation in the metalwork to hide its cables behind the unit and threaded them through a single hole. You could thread them behind the seat without cutting the ends off but in a desire for neatness I opted to destroy my warranty instead! You can also see in this gallery the 13A sockets have been installed and the engine bay battery has been wired in.
As I have started to install the carpet panels I am also thinking about the lighting that we have purchased from Wicked Camping. The first step in this was to connect the single Blue LEDs together that are installed behind the side panels – these light will operate on the rear door interior light circuit. The left pictures shows how I have connected the lights together, using crimp connectors, in parallel so each one gets 12v (If you want to understand about parallel vs series circuits try this page).
We approached the roof lighting in much the same way. Making sure we had the light positions well marked up before doing any drilling (We checked the amount of space we had in the roof here a few times to be sure). When I connected the lights up I used cable tidy clips and a glue gun to hold everything in place reliably. I’ve tried to use duck tape before but it just kept coming undone. I also used the blue piggyback style connectors to join single strand wire to the lights rather than the approach seen above as it was easier and quicker.
Last set of lighting was to be installed in the side step but after initial investigations I realised that I didn’t have the space so instead fashioned a metal bracket that could be bonded under the overhang.
There will be two panels in the van: one that is just 2x12v sockets; and another that holds more switches etc. Our previous van had panels that I was able to get cut at school but I intend to get this set laser cut out of plywood using our local company (Bristol Design Forge) at a cost of around £50. I have designed our panels using Adobe Illustrator but there are free vector/CAD style programs you can use such as Inkscape – download our panel designs. The cables have been prepared with terminals for each of the panels so they can be just slotted straight in when they arrive. I have used females for those supplying power and males for when they take power away from the board.
The Electrical Shopping List
The following is an almost complete shopping list with approximately correct prices as of May 2014.
|Dimatec 18 LED (SMD) Downlighter Touch Bezel||£62||WickedCamping||4 x Touch Bezel @ £15:50 each|
|Dimatec Single LED in Warm Blue
|Marine Battery Isolator Switch – 2 Positions||£19.78||12VoltPlanet|
|Copper Tube Terminals – 16mm² Max. 6mm Stud||£3.83||12VoltPlanet||2 x Pack of 10|
|Copper Tube Terminals – 16mm² Max. 10mm Stud||£0.98||12VoltPlanet||Either side of the Battery Isolator|
|Ring Terminals – 1.5 – 2.5mm² Cable (Blue) – 4.3mm||£0.68||12VoltPlanet||Pack of 10|
|2 Core Thin Wall Cable – 2 x 25A (2.0mm²)Also get:
||£32.47||12VoltPlanet||2 x 30m Roll|
|Extra Flexible PVC Battery Cable – 16mm² 110A RED||£68||12VoltPlanet||10M Reel|
|Extra Flexible PVC Battery Cable – 16mm² 110A BLACK||£3.45||12VoltPlanet|
|Cigar Lighter Power Socket – 12V/24V, 20A||£18||12VoltPlanet||4 x 12V Sockets.|
|Superseal Waterproof Connector Pair (1.5 Series) – 2 Way||£7.04||12VoltPlanet||To connect the flying leads from the Fridge and Pump to the control panel.|
|Midi/Strip Link Fuse Holder||£7.05||12VoltPlanet||Either side of Split Charge and Supply. 4 required in total. Plus matching 100A fuses.|
|Fuse Box With Common Power Bus – Min – 6 Way||£9.78||12VoltPlanet|
|ON/OFF Mini Rocker Switch, Round, With/Without LED Illumination – 16A@12V||£4.98||12VoltPlanet||2 x Red – 12V Sockets|
|£2.49||12VoltPlanet||1 x Green – Pump|
|£2.49||12VoltPlanet||1 x Blue – Fridge|
|£7.47||12VoltPlanet||2/4 x Amber – Lights|
Other 12V Electrics
|Extra low height 110ah leisure battery||£77||Travel Volts||Ultimatly I purchased this from BatteryMegastore as TV has started charging for VAT making them more expensive.|
|BEP Voltage Sensitive Relay DVSR (also available is the cheaper 12voltplanet DVSR relay @ £35.00)||£69.50||Force4 Chandlery||Not required as have spare 12volt planet version.|
|Consumer Unit – Ip55 Model 5 Module Garage Kit||£34.98||B&Q|
|MK Single Socket||£2.98||B&Q||Plus 40mm backboxes not included on the list ~£1.50 each.|
|Cable – 32A Cable – Tower Flex Artic 3 Core 479833 Yellow 2.5mm x 10m||£24.98||B&Q||1 Roll|
|MK Commando K9201 Angled Socket Inlet 16 Amp 2P+E 200-250 Volt (IP44) Blue||£5.25||Amazon|
|CTEK Multi MXS 10 10A 12V 8-Stage Battery Charger Conditioner||£103.08||Amazon|