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12V Camper Branch Circuits – Parts & Components

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12V Camper Branch Circuits – Parts & Components

This list will show you some of the more common parts and pieces necessary to wire all of the 12V branch circuits in your camper.

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Kirk

Sunday 17th of January 2021

Hi Nate! If I did a longer run of AWG 12 to the location where I am installing a 12V Power Outlet Receptacle (cigarette lighter socket) and it came with an 18 AWG spades on the back, and 18 AWG wire kit with an inline 10A fuse would you use the wire that came with it (or just put a 10 A fuse in the panel? If so what is the right way to reduce to the 18 AWG size socket? If not, what is the right way to connect an AWG 12 wire to a 18 AWG Spade?

On a related note the the LED lights for in the ceiling came with hubs, that don't seem as reliable (bouncing in van) as joints with adhesive shrink wrap. Would you recommend using the hubs or wiring directly to lights? Again, what is the right way to reduce from a 10 AWG run to an AWG 20 or 22 or so?

These little things I did not see in your videos. If I missed it or a blog entry I am sorry but please refer me!

Kirk

Monday 18th of January 2021

@Nate Yarbrough, Thanks. I did go look at the Lever nuts, but I did not see any lever nuts that allowed for an AWG12 and AWG18-22 in a single lever nut. It is that reduction that I was looking for. Are you saying that information is in your guidebook?

Nate Yarbrough

Monday 18th of January 2021

Lever Nuts are the perfect thing to use for that and is what is shown in my 12V branch circuit guidebook.

Lever Nuts: https://amzn.to/38WCjn7 12V Branch Circuit Guidebook: https://www.explorist.life/shop/solar-wiring-diagrams/12v-branch-circuits/

Estefania Martinez

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Hi Nate! As always your blogs and posts are incredible, and always raise questions in my brain :) So, I want to have at least 1500w of solar in my skoolie (maybe even more) I already bought 6 battleborn batteries, a 3000 Victron inverter charger, 250/100 charge controller is this enough? What else do I need? And if i want to increase the Wattage of solar is it doable with what I already have or do I need more?

Nate Yarbrough

Sunday 10th of January 2021

The max wattage of the Smartsolar MPPT 250|100 is 1450W. So, if you want more than that, you would simply use dual charge controllers and effective create two seperate arrays on your roof. Both Charge controllers would get connected to their own slots on the lynx distributor similar to what is shown in this diagram (Just pay attention to the connection of the charge controllers... this is a 24V system, so it shouldn't ACTUALLY be followed in your case; just an example of connecting multiple charge controllers to the system): https://www.explorist.life/24v-6000w-120v-240v-split-phase-camper-solar-wiring-diagram/

DAVE

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

Absolutely amazing collection of information!!! Nate, you have saved me COUNTLESS hours researching these topics!! Here's my ? while using the power audit I started to try to figure out the consumption for my stereo and speaker systems, starting with Deck (no external amp), and using ~ 10amp /4 ch with at 100 watts each, equals 480watts and guesstimate listening at 50% and play the system for 4 hours a day... 240w x 4hrs = 960 amp hours ??

Nate Yarbrough

Thursday 7th of January 2021

240w / 12v = 20A

20A x 4hrs = 80 Amp Hours

Ian

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Hey Nate, do those round rocker switches need need to be mounted in some sort of enclosure? Or can you just pop them into a hole?

Nate Yarbrough

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

They do not need to be in an enclosure.

Kennedy Odowick

Monday 4th of January 2021

I have a few questions. I love all the diagrams and this website has been so helpful. I attempted to comment earlier this week but not I can't seem to find it so I figured I would ask again in case I forgot to submit the comment. I am building a school bus tiny house and for the most part, it has been wired on the inside (By previous owners) and I am hoping to add about 600 or 700 Watts of solar. My first question is can I wire it to 700 Watts of solar or is it recommended to be an even number of panels? I am planning on using renogy because of the available information and they are highly recommended. 2: My next question is about in inverter, on your supply list you say to get the Victron charge controller, is there another option that you would recommend that might be a bit cheaper? 3: Also, how big of a difference in power capacity between a 2000 W inverter versus a 3000 W inverter? 3: Last question, is the bus bar required for a 600 or 700 W set up? On the renogy site, their diagram doesn't show the need for a bus bar so I was just curious

Thank you for your time and all your information on this site, I love looking around and learning more as I try and figure out my own solar system.

Nate Yarbrough

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

1: If you are using 100W panels, you should REALLY try to use either 6 or 8 panels. Using 7 panels will force you into the next tier of charge controller (250V version) which is even more expensive.

2: I recommend the Victron SmartSolar line of Charge Controllers because they are, IMO, the best performing AND (more importantly) the data that they provide within the VictronConnect app helps GREATLY when trying to make sure your system is running as it should. So, no... I do not recommend any other charge controller, but the charge controller you actually decide to use is ultimately up to you. You can always go against my recommendations if desired. :)

3: 2000W from a 120V outlet is 16A. 3000W from a 120V outlet is 25A. I'm not sure if that helps, but thinking about the 15A or 20A circuits in your house, this is the best metric I can provide.

4: If wiring in multiple devices like an Inverter/Charger, Charge Controller, 12V fuse block and/or Alternator charging; yes, it's necessary. If you are only wiring in one of those devices, no it's not necessary.