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50A OEM RV Solar Retrofit Wiring Diagram

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50A OEM RV Solar Retrofit Wiring Diagram

This blog post is going to teach you how to add an Inverter, Alternator charging via DC-DC Charger, and Solar charging to your OEM camper or RV that came factory installed with 50 amp shore power hookups.

This setup will allow for 120V appliances/devices to run on shore, generator, OR battery power. 240V appliances will run on Shore/Generator only (and will need a 120V/240V compatible breaker box (Not shown below).

This diagram features:

  • 3000W Inverter Charger
  • 400+ Amp Hours of Battery Storage Capacity
  • 400W-1200W Solar Array Capacity
  • Alternator Charging
  • Shore Power Charging/Passthrough

50 Amp OEM Camper Electrical Upgrade Wiring Diagram

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE HI-RES PRINTABLE PDF OF THIS DIAGRAM

50A Camper – Inverter w/ Solar & Alternator Charging Upgrade Shopping List

The following list will show you 98% of the items you need to install this system on your camper. If you need clarification on where something goes, please refer to the ‘Detailed Parts List’ below this consolidated shopping list. Also, you will need to refer to the solar array wiring diagrams at the bottom to add the appropriate solar array parts to your system below.

A NOTE ABOUT QUANTITIES

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″.

For Example:

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.

Qty 8 – 2/0 x 5/16″ Wire lugs means you need 8 wire lugs… not 8 packs of wire lugs.

ProductQtyLink
1/2" Black Heat Shrink10
1/2" Red Heat Shrink6
100 Amp MEGA Fuse1
100Ah Battle Born Lithium Batteries6
2 AWG Black Wire5
2 AWG Ferrule5
3/4" Black Heat Shrink18
3/4" Red Heat Shrink16
4-Post Busbar1
4/0 Black Wire20
4/0 Red Wire15
4/0 x 3/8" Wire Lug2
4/0 x 5/16" Wire Lug32
400 Amp ANL Fuse1
400 Amp MEGA Fuse1
6 AWG Black Wire31
6 AWG Ferrule9
6 AWG Red Wire30
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug7
60 Amp MEGA Fuse1
60 Amp Terminal Fuse1
Heavy Duty ANL Fuse Holder1
Lynx Adapter2
Magnum MSH3012RV Inverter/Charger1
Master Disconnect1
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor1
Victron Lynx Distributor1
Victron Orion Smart 12|12 - 30A1
#N/A

50A Camper – Inverter w/ Solar & Alternator Charging Upgrade Parts Detail

Column AColumn BColumn C

Battery Bank Wiring

This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire the battery bank together. These products include the batteries as well as the related wiring parts that you will need to make the battery to battery connections.
ProductQtyLink
100Ah Battle Born Lithium Batteries6
4/0 Red Wire5
4/0 Black Wire5
4/0 x 5/16" Wire Lug20
3/4" Red Heat Shrink10
3/4" Black Heat Shrink10

Battery Bank to Lynx Distributor

This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire the battery bank to the main DC distribution busbar. The busbar itself as well as the shunt for the battery monitor and fuse mounted inside to the busbar protecting the positive wire from overcurrent can be found in this section. The busbar is essentially an extension of the battery terminals and allows you to deliver power where it needs to go and houses the fuses necessary to protect the wires leaving the busbar. The Battery monitor allows you to know how full your batteries are, know how much power you are actively gaining or losing, and see the historical data of your power usage.
ProductQtyLink
Victron Lynx Distributor1
Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor1
4/0 Red Wire5
4/0 Black Wire5
4/0 x 5/16" Wire Lug4
4/0 x 3/8" Wire Lug2
3/4" Red Heat Shrink4
3/4" Black Heat Shrink2
400 Amp ANL Fuse1
Heavy Duty ANL Fuse Holder1
Lynx Adapter2
Master Disconnect1

Busbar to Inverter/Charger

This section contains the Inverter Charger and all of the parts necessary to wire the Inverter Charger to the Positive and Negative busbars. The Inverter Charger allows you to re-charge your batteries from 'shore power' and also converts the 12v DC power stored in your batteries to 120V AC power like you'd find in your standard household wall outlet.
ProductQtyLink
Magnum MSH3012RV Inverter/Charger1
4/0 Red Wire5
4/0 Black Wire5
2 AWG Black Wire5
4/0 x 5/16" Wire Lug6
2 AWG Ferrule5
3/4" Red Heat Shrink2
3/4" Black Heat Shrink4
400 Amp MEGA Fuse1

Busbar to B2B Charger

This section contains the battery to battery charger as well as the wiring that you need to connect the battery to battery charger to the positive and negative busbars. This will allow you to charge your house battery bank from the engine alternator.
ProductQtyLink
Victron Orion Smart 12|12 - 30A1
6 AWG Red Wire5
6 AWG Black Wire5
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug2
6 AWG Ferrule2
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
1/2" Black Heat Shrink2
60 Amp MEGA Fuse1

B2B Charger to Alternator

This section contains all of the wiring necessary to connect the battery to battery charger to the starting battery. This will allow you to charge your house battery bank from the engine alternator.
ProductQtyLink
6 AWG Red Wire15
6 AWG Black Wire16
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug1
6 AWG Ferrule1
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
60 Amp Terminal Fuse1

Busbar to DC Fuse Block

This section contains the DC fuse block (which is inside of the AC-DC distribution panel) as well as the wires to connect it to the main DC distribution busbars. This will allow you to deliver power to the DC Fuse block for small branch circuits such as lights, fans, usb outlets, etc..
ProductQtyLink
4-Post Busbar1
6 AWG Red Wire10
6 AWG Black Wire10
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug4
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
1/2" Black Heat Shrink2
100 Amp MEGA Fuse1

Busbar to Chassis Ground

This section includes the parts necessary to allow you to ground your negative busbar to the chassis ground. The chassis ground will be connected to the negative busbar on one side and the other side can go to a factory chassis ground or simply anywhere good metal to metal contact can be made between the wire lug and the bare metal of the body or frame of the camper.
ProductQtyLink
4/0 Black Wire5
4/0 x 5/16" Wire Lug2
3/4" Black Heat Shrink2

Inverter Charger to AC Distribution

This section includes the wiring necessary to connect the inverter charger to the AC side of the AC-DC power distribution panel listed in an earlier section. This 6 AWG Triplex Wire is the same wire that is likely already running from your shore power outlet to your AC Breaker Box. You MAY not need to replace this depending on how close your components are together.
ProductQtyLink
6 AWG Triplex Wire10
6 AWG Ferrule6
1/2" Black Heat Shrink6

Choosing your Solar Panels & Charge Controller

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)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 4x100w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are three options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|30 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
100w Rich Solar Panels4
100w NewPowa Solar Panels4
100w Renogy Solar Panels4
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|301
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors6
2-to-1 MC4 Combiner1
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
6 AWG Ferrule2
6 AWG Red Wire2
6 AWG Black Wire4
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
6 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
1/2" Black Heat Shrink4
50 Amp MEGA Fuse1
600 Watts – 6x100W Solar Panels – 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 6x100w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are three options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|50 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
100w Rich Solar Panels4
100w NewPowa Solar Panels4
100w Renogy Solar Panels4
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|501
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors8
2-to-1 MC4 Combiner1
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
6 AWG Ferrule2
6 AWG Red Wire2
6 AWG Black Wire4
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
6 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
1/2" Black Heat Shrink4
80 Amp MEGA Fuse1
600 Watts – 3x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 3x200w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are two options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|50 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
200w Rich Solar Panels3
200w NewPowa Solar Panels3
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100|501
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors4
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
6 AWG Ferrule2
6 AWG Red Wire2
6 AWG Black Wire4
6 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
6 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
1/2" Red Heat Shrink2
1/2" Black Heat Shrink4
80 Amp MEGA Fuse1
800 Watts – 4x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 4x200w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are two options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|85 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
200w Rich Solar Panels4
200w NewPowa Solar Panels4
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|851
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors4
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
2 AWG Ferrule2
2 AWG Red Wire2
2 AWG Black Wire4
2 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
2 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
3/4" Red Heat Shrink2
3/4" Black Heat Shrink4
100 Amp MEGA Fuse1
1000 Watts – 5x200W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 5x200w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are two options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|100 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
200w Rich Solar Panels5
200w NewPowa Solar Panels5
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|1001
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors6
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
2 AWG Ferrule2
2 AWG Red Wire2
2 AWG Black Wire4
2 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
2 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
3/4" Red Heat Shrink2
3/4" Black Heat Shrink4
150 Amp MEGA Fuse1

1200 Watts – 4x300W Solar Panels- 12V Battery Bank (Click to Expand)
Column AColumn BColumn C
This section contains all of the parts necessary to wire 4x300w solar panels into your camper electrical system as shown in the diagram above and must be added to the master shopping list at the top of this blog post. There are two options for solar panels in this list and they will all work well for this particular diagram. Choose your solar panels based on their physical dimensions and which ones work with your own specific setup. The dimensions are listed on their respective product pages. This solar array is managed by the Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|100 and remaining products include the wires, solar disconnect breaker, solar disconnect breaker box, lugs, ferrules, heat shrink and everything else needed to make the full solar panel array to busbar assembly. This parts list does not include means to attach the solar panels to the roof as that veries GREATLY from install to install.
ProductQtyLink
300w Renogy Solar Panels4
Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150|1001
10 AWG Red Wire30
10 AWG Black Wire30
MC4 Connectors7
2-to-1 MC4 Combiner1
Roof Entry Gland1
63A Solar Disconnect Breaker1
Din Rail Breaker Box1
10 AWG Ferrule6
2 AWG Ferrule2
2 AWG Red Wire2
2 AWG Black Wire4
2 AWG x 5/16" Wire Lug3
2 AWG x 1/4" Wire Lug1
1/4" Red Heat Shrink3
1/4" Black Heat Shrink3
3/4" Red Heat Shrink2
3/4" Black Heat Shrink4
150 Amp MEGA Fuse1
15A MC4 Fuse2

How to Integrate a DIY Camper Electrical Upgrade with the OEM Wiring

The following section of this blog post will teach you how to integrate the wiring diagram and parts list above with your RV’s OEM electrical system.

Here is how the typical camper with 50A shore power hookups is wired:

  • The diagram above shows the typical bare-bones OEM RV/Camper with 50A shore power service.
  • Shore power flows into the breaker box, powering the breaker box protected by a 50A breaker where 240v power is divided up into 2 legs of 120V power to power both sides of a breaker box
  • One circuit is generally the Converter. The converter is usually built into the same enclosure that houses the breaker box (as shown) but is sometimes external. Either way, it’s wired in the same method.
  • The converter converts the 120V AC power to 12V DC power which feeds the DC Fuse Block which powers the various DC devices around the camper (Lights, Fans, Etc..).
  • From there, a positive and negative wire continues on to the house battery bank; usually two 12v batteries wired in parallel. These wires charge the batteries from shore power, and allow 12v devices to run when not connected to shore power.
  • At the batteries, there are usually 2+ additional positive and negative wires heading off under the RV somewhere that are going to power additional DC circuits around the camper. These may be slide-outs, powered leveling jacks, and other ‘chassis’ items like that. These wires will likely have fuses in line to protect these wires coming from the battery.
  • One of these wires is also likely the wire coming from the alternator to charge the house battery bank.

When the camper is NOT plugged in to shore power, all of the 12V DC appliances will run due to them still being connected to the batteries, but the 120V AC appliances will NOT operate because the converter is a one-way-street and will not convert 12V DC back to 120V AC. The charging from alternator is typically very slow (less than 10 amps) and should, generally, not be relied on to provide adequate power for recharging deeply depleted house battery banks.

In addition to wiring the components together, here is a breakdown of how the flow of power to the above diagram works.

WIRING THE INVERTER/CHARGER To Shore Power.

When connected to shore power or generator, power flows from shore power (or generator) to the inverter charger. This charges the batteries which feeds the DC fuse block and allows 50A shore power passthrough to power the 120v appliances. You will take the 6/4 wire that goes from the shore power inlet to the back of the AC distribution panel and instead, run that wire from the shore power inlet to the input of the Victron Multiplus.

Wiring the Inverter/Charger AC Distribution Panel

The 6/4 Wire from the AC Out of the Inverter/Charger will go to the same place that was just mentioned in the above step.

Wiring the Solar Panel Array to your Camper Electrical System

When charging from solar, the solar panels & charge controller charge the batteries. The batteries are connected to the DC fuse block allowing use of the 12v devices around the camper. The Inverter takes the 12V DC power stored in the batteries and converts it to 120V AC power to power the 120V AC items around the camper.

Replacing Stock Camper Batteries with Busbars

A positive and negative busbar take the place of the stock batteries in the stock battery location (assuming that upgrading batteries means you will not be able to store your new battery bank in the stock location). From the Lynx Distributor, power flows to these two busbars where power is then sent to all of the OEM installed components like the DC distribution block, power jacks, slides, etc.

50A Camper Converter

The OEM installed converter must be completely disconnected. It can remain installed, but the wires must be disconnected from both the AC and DC side of the power distribution center. These wires can usually be bundled up and stuffed next to the converter.

50A Camper Alternator Charging

You will likely have a wire charging your OEM batteries from the alternator. This wire will likely be somewhere in the 12 AWG range. This will either run directly from your starting battery isolator if this is a motorhome or from your 7-pin connector if this is a trailer. This needs to be disconnected completely. This diagram uses a 30A DC-DC Charger and the OEM installed wire will be too small. The 6 AWG wire in the diagram will take the place of the OEM wire you are to remove. In the case of a trailer, 6 AWG wire will need to be run all the way to the truck starting battery if alternator charging via DC-DC Charger is desired and disconnected by the hitch by means of an Anderson connector. If you do not wish to charge via the Alternator… this entire leg of charging can be omitted without ill effects.

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David Gahafer

Saturday 8th of May 2021

My factory positive battery wire goes to a mini breaker buss bar before it powers the slides and jacks. Do I leave this in the system or replace it with a buss bar?

David Gahafer

Saturday 8th of May 2021

You have 6 awg coming off of the lynx distributor at 2 points but one has a 50 amp fuse and the other has a 100. Is this correct or a typo? Shouldn’t they both be 50?

Jason Andrews

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Hi Nate, I'm grateful I've come across your page as a resource now that we've realized we need to adjust our wiring plans from strictly 30A 110 to a 50A 240 to power a dual-zone mini split in our 38' bus. We don't intend to install solar, at least not for a while, as we don't intend to live off-grid for more than a day or two -- most time will be spent in the campgrounds. My questions are related to the power center in your diagrams, because I like the idea of an all-in-one, and also battery bank size.

Do you have preferences for particular 50A service power centers? Our mini split requires a double pole 20A breaker and we have 7 other circuits to power, and 8 if we, ideally, have room for future expansion. We would like to be able to run at least one of the A/C splits while enroute to our destination and will have an apartment sized refrigerator to power as well until we reach our destination.

I genuinely appreciate your time and the thoroughness of responses you've provided to folks.

Mike

Friday 30th of April 2021

Hey Nate, curious if you updated the 50A diagram with the Multiplus II 2X-120V now that it's available (albeit on backorder). Thanks!

Marv

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Nate, Your B2B to Alternator wiring calls for 15ft of 6AWG wire. When I use SouthWire’s current/wire size calculator it tells me that in order to maintain a recommended 3% voltage drop for 15ft with a goal of 30A at the end of the wire, you need to use 4AWG wire. Yet the Victron DC-DC 12/12 30A charger terminals will only support a maximum of 6AWG. Can I assume that the varying alternator voltage means that the 3% drop rule really doesn’t come into play?