This DIY camper solar wiring diagram and parts list is perfect for ground-up electrical installs into campervans, skoolies, or expedition vehicles. This system is most suitable for systems that do not have a pre-existing house electrical system installed.
This diagram features:
- 3000W Inverter Charger
- 400+ Amp Hours of Battery Storage Capacity
- 400W-1200W Solar Array Capacity
- Alternator Charging
- Shore Power Charging/Passthrough
Not quite what you are looking for? Check out other system setups here: https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
History of Changes to this Page (Click to Expand)
Changes Made July 17th, 2020: Changed main DC Distribution busbars to be the Victron Lynx Distributor system instead of the EXPLORIST.life busbar. The EXPLORIST.life busbar is still available to be a DIY solution but I simply could not keep up with the demand for making these. Building busbars was taking up so much time I was having to neglect producing more videos and blog posts, which is what EXPLORIST.life is really about. The Victron Lynx Distributor is an all in one DC distribution unit that houses the fuses, positive and negative busbars needed to take the power from your battery bank to your individual main components. This product is an EXTREMELY elegant solution I think you will be very happy with. I also added an inline fuse and fuse holder between the battery bank and Victron Lynx as well as an inline switch. If you have any questions, as always, leave them in the comments below.
Changes made to diagram July 8, 2020: Changed equipment case ground wires to daisy chain back to the negative busbar instead of each having their own individual runs all the way back to the negative busbar. This results in less wire used, less clutter, and more free space at the negative busbar. I also removed the 300 amp terminal block at the house battery in favor of a 400 amp ANL fuse attached to the busbar. The 300 amp terminal block is adequate but I have heard of isolated events of this fuse blowing prematurely. When a 3000w Inverter is running at full capacity, it could be pulling near 250 amps. At surge capacity and heavy DC loads from around the camper, it’s possible the 300 amp terminal fuse could blow under normal, safe operation. If you are reading this and already have a 300 amp terminal fuse attached to the house battery bank; you do not need to replace it UNLESS it starts blowing prematurely. Finally, the 50A terminal fuse attached to the house battery bank protecting the wire going to the battery to battery charger was replaced with a 60A terminal fuse as I could not find a 50A terminal fuse in stock. If you have a 50A terminal fuse in that location, that’s completely fine and you need to make no changes.
Changes made to the parts lists July 8, 2020: A complete audit of all of the parts on this page was performed. Supply chain issues took a toll on this page recently and left many of my links incorrect. I have found a way to keep up with my links in a much easier way I have been doing in the past which means the links on this page should be MUCH more accurate going forward. Also, I added MULTIPLE different solar wiring examples to the bottom of this page so you can choose which solar configuration suits your own needs rather than providing a crash course in solar array design as that was proving to be too complex and therefore leaving the ‘done for you’ nature of this blog post lacking.
This page was originally published February 27, 2020
Thanks for your patience with these changes. I’m constantly trying to find better ways to teach this stuff and these parts lists and diagrams will be continuously optimized over time. -Nate
HOW TO USE THIS PAGE – VIDEO
This orientation video will show you how to best use this page to build your DIY Camper Solar Setup. It’s a quick watch but I think it’s pretty important.
DIY Camper Van Wiring Diagram
DIY Camper Solar Parts – Shopping List
The list below is a consolidated parts list for this entire system (Minus the solar charging leg, which is listed at the bottom of this blog post).
For the ‘Quantities’ in the below shopping list, each singular component is listed a quanty per each, wire is listed a quantity of feet, and heat shrink is listed as qty 1 = 2.25″.
Qty 1 – Inverter Charger means you need to purchase 1 Inverter Charger
Qty 3 – 4/0 Wire means you need 3 feet of 4/0 wire. This may mean you need to buy 5ft from the product page
Qty 5 heat shrink means you need 5 pieces of 2.25″ heat shrink. This means you’ll need 5 x 2.25″ pieces of heat shrink for a total of 11.25″ of heat shrink.
Camper Solar Parts Detail
The section below will tell you where each of the parts from above fits into the wiring diagram. This is quite lengthy, but if you are having trouble seeing the diagram or just want more clarification that the diagram above doesn’t deliver, hopefully this will help:
Solar Charging Parts List & Wiring Diagrams
The following section provides you with several different options for solar charging. The above parts list can remain completely unchanged and the diagram above can remain mostly unchanged except for the alterations noted by the diagrams below, but whatever solar array setup you choose below for your needs, these parts will need to be added to your shopping list. These are broken up by total solar wattage. As a general rule, you want to have twice as many watts of solar as you do amp hours of batteries. So, 300Ah Batteries = 600W solar. 400Ah Batteries = 800W solar. 600Ah Batteries = 1200W of solar. This is just a rule of thumb. Not a law.
400 Watts – 4x100W Solar Panels – 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
600 Watts – 6x100W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
600 Watts – 3x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
800 Watts – 4x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
1000 Watts – 5x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
1200 Watts – 4x300W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Order of Operations for DIY Camper Solar Install
This list is a rough guideline of what order things need to be connected for systems using this wiring diagram. THERE IS MORE TO KNOW about this process, though, in the user manual for each component. READ THE USER MANUAL FOR EACH COMPONENT as this ‘order of operations’ does NOT supersede anything in the user manual.
- Arrange all parts & components where they will be mounted
- Mount & secure all components to the wall/enclosure as necessary (EXCEPT Lynx Distributor)
- Wire battery bank together
- Assemble Lynx Distributor, master disconnect switch & shunt assembly
- Mount Lynx Distributor to wall/enclosure
- Verify Main switch is in the “OFF” position
- Wire Positive wire from Lynx Distributor to Main fuse
- Wire Positive Wire from Main fuse to Battery Bank
- Wire Negative Wire from Shunt to Battery Bank
- Connect negative wires from Lynx Distributor to Inverter/Charger, Charge Controller & 12V Fuse Block
- Install fuses inside of Lynx Distributor
- Connect Positive Wires from Lynx Distributor to Inverter/Charger, Charge Controller & 12V Fuse Block
- Connect Positive Wire from Lynx Distributor to B1 Terminal on Shunt
- Verify dual-pole disconnect switch for solar array is ‘off’
- Connect Charge Controller to Dual Pole Solar Disconnect
- Connect wires going to solar array to dual pole disconnect
- Cover Solar Panels with Cardboard
- Connect solar array together (Order does not particularly matter)
- Remove Cardboard from Solar Panels
- Verify proper solar array voltage at dual pole solar disconnect
- Remove ‘wire bridge’ on Victron Orion DC DC Charger
- Connect positive & negative wire from Orion to Starting Battery pos & neg (as per user manual)
- Adjust Orion Output Voltage Setting as appropriate in Victron Connect app
- Connect 10/3 wire from shore power inlet to Inverter/Charger
- Connect 6/3 wire from Inverter/Charger to AC Breaker Box
- Verify all 120V breakers in breaker box are ‘off’.
- Connect AC Branch Circuits to AC Breaker Box if not already connected
- Connect DC Branch Circuits to 12V Fuse Block if not already connected
- Connect RJ-11 cable & BMV-712 Monitor Gauge to Shunt
- Verify proper voltage between main fuse & shunt (Approximately 12V-14V)
- TRIPLE CHECK THAT ALL WIRES ARE CONNECTED, POS (+) TO POS (+) & NEG (-) TO NEG (-) (except series wired solar panels) AND CONNECTED TO THEIR PROPER PLACES IN THE COMPONENTS AS PER THEIR USER MANUAL
- Turn on Master Disconnect Switch
- Turn on Dual Pole Solar Disconnect
- Replace wire bridge in Orion
- Turn Inverter/Charger ‘On’.
- Turn on Main AC Breaker in Breaker box & Branch Circuit breakers
- Configure system charging through the parameters as per user manual of each component