How to work out what full electrical camper conversion kits you need in your conversion
It can be really tough working out what wiring you're going to need in your camper conversion, particularly if you're just starting out and this is your first conversion. So this article is designed to help you identify which combination of our kits you will need to achieve your desired finish. Although there are a few popular combinations that keep coming up. So we will link these as a predetermined pack, so you can choose from these if they match what you need.
We also have some sample layouts here, which you can use for inspiration, or if it's exactly what you need, just quote the sample reference when checking out and we will make the system to suit that exact layout. (The same layout can be applied to all vehicles of a similar size, e.g. Trafic and T5 or Sprinter and Crafter, just say what make/model and wheelbase your van is).
Once you've worked out what items you'd like in your camper, please fill them out in our customer layout form using this guide. Then send it over to us and we will give you a quotation.
To make this as straightforward as we can, we've divided the main wiring into 4 simple sections
- Full electrical camper conversion kit 12V core wiring system
- Full electrical camper conversion kit 240V mains wiring system
- Full electrical camper conversion kit off grid - inverters
- Full electrical camper conversion kit off grid - solar panel and wiring kit
When designing any van conversion we identify the core wiring system as the main part, this would feature in all conversions and as a result it is the starting point. In this article we will deal with each of these 4 elements individually, go through all of the variations and when you might need them, linking in lots of our other articles to help.
12V Core wiring system
As we've identified that every conversion would typically start with the 12V core wiring system. Each van can then have any combination of the other 3 simple sections, depending on your needs and budget.
There are three different attributes in this core wiring kit. They are detailed below. You can make your selection using the menus marked by the red arrows.
Attribute 1 - Control panel style
|Brushed silver (image coming soon)||C-line modular system (image coming soon)|
We have 3 control panel styles available that can be added to the kit. They will all do the same job, have the same number of switches and sockets. Simply select the style you like the most.
Attribute 2 - Split charge type
There are 3 different split charge systems that can be used across the conversions, although in lots of vehicles ages/models there are only one option. See Which split charge type is for me?
The three options are: Voltage sensing split charge (default), CTEK battery to battery charger and ignition triggered split charge relay. which one you need depends on your budget and age of vehicle. See the article above for a more in depth view of this.
Attribute 3 - Fuse box capacity
There are two choices here, 6 way or 10 way. See this article to know which one is best for you.
Add-ons are a feature we've added to our site to make our kits even more customisable and to allow you to see the various different options you have when converting your van. We've subdivided these into the categories below for the 12V core wiring kit.
Full electrical camper conversion systems.
These are the other 3 other simple sections listed above.
Batteries are an essential part of the conversion, In the add-ons section, we have listed the three most popular combinations we sell. Use our battery capacity calculator article here to see which one suits your needs. There is no harm in having a larger battery bank if you'd like some potential for future expansion.
You are also free to add any of the non-lithium batteries in our batteries category to your basket, and we can make the system around those too. (Although this way will not prohibit you from selecting an invalid combination).
if you don't select one to buy from us, we will still provide you with the wiring and terminals for the batteries. Just be sure to make sure you size the mains charger (if applicable) according to your battery bank capacity.
We have a range of LED lights you can add to your system by ticking the boxes and using the drop down menus to adjust the quantity of lights. When you purchase the lights. The wiring looms in the kit will come cut to size with the connectors for the lights already attached, so all you need to do is plug them in.
Switches and sockets.
Adding in extra USBs and light switches are a common practice. Either to give you more than the standard spare 5 switches we have on the control panel or to add more convenience, for example having a separate light switch by your bed for the rear two lights so these can be turned off last.
All of the switches and sockets come in the C-line modular frame system, so you could add two side by side and we can put them into a double frame. Be sure to mark this on your layout.
Simply add the desired quantity to your basket. If you're adding more than two extra types of switch from this section, we would recommend upgrading your fuse box to the 10 way version. When to upgrade your fuse box?
The only invalid combination here would be trying to add the dimmer switch and the touch sensitive lights, the touch on/off lights are not dimmable. Which lights are dimmable?
Advanced battery monitors and isolator switches can be added here. You don't need any of these for a fully functioning system. but you can add them to any system to give you more functionality.
240V Mains wiring system
The mains is an OPTIONAL system that you only need to install if you're planning on going to camp sites and using their 240V hook up plugins. It can be a great addition for a backup even in off grid campers. The 3 pin sockets from this will only work when you're plugged in to an external power source. See here.
The other great plus point for adding the 240V is that when you hook up, it will automatically charge your leisure battery up from the mains power.
Attribute 1 - Number of double sockets
Simply select the number of double 240V sockets you would like in the vehicle. We will supply these with enough cable to fit the socket locations on your layout form. Some may be wired directly from the consumer unit or in a radial style.
Attribute 2 - 240V socket colour
Select your desired finish for the 240V double sockets. Please note, the single socket will always be supplied in white as it's for the battery charger rather than on display.
Attribute 3 - Battery charger size
You have the choice of either an 8A or a 20A smart mains to leisure battery charger here. This will depend on the capacity of your battery bank. See this article for more help on sizing battery chargers.
Attribute 4 - Inlet socket type
The inlet socket is the plug in point for your hook up cable to join the van. It's available in two different types of socket:
Surface mounted covered inlet socket, this is a popular option. It's best for putting the inlet under the bonnet or under the rear bumper. It has a sprung cover over the terminals to keep the worst of the elements out.
Flush mounted inlet socket, the classic inlet socket for cutting a hole in the side and having an external lift up flap. Available in white or black. (white is default).
Add-ons are a feature we've added to our site to make our kits even more customisable. We've subdivided these into the categories below for the 240V mains wiring kit.
Full electrical camper conversion systems.
These are the other 3 other simple sections listed above.
Mains hook up lead. This would be the van to site lead. Simply add if you require us to supply a 10M cable with your kit.
The inverter is an OPTIONAL system that's great for running low powered 240V items when you're off grid. See do I need an inverter? for more information on this.
We have classed these as off-grid as when you're hooked up. You can use the mains sockets without an inverter. So if you only plan on going to campsites or if you're not plugged in, you don't have anything 240V to run, you don't need to add an inverter.
Attribute 1 - Power inverter
There are two types of inverter, pure sine wave and modified sine wave. See here to find out which one is for you.
Then you can choose from multiple sizes of inverter. from 300W to 2000W, this just depends on what you need to run when you're not plugged in. Also it's worth bearing in mind that even with a large inverter, you will need a substantial battery bank to run heavy duty equipment.
Off-Grid, solar panel and wiring kit
The solar panels are an OPTIONAL system too. When you're running off grid, i.e. without being hooked up, it can be difficult to get enough power into your batteries without driving long distances each day. A typical split charge system will only average around 20A/hour of charge. This is where solar panels come in. They can provide no effort clean energy throughout the day.
Check out our Sizing solar set ups with the off-grid calculator to work out what you might need.
Attribute 1 - Solar panel
We have two main types of panel, flexible stick down ones or rigid framed panels. They each have different benefits, When choosing your solar panel, there are 4 factors to consider, see here for more information. In short, rigid panels are more efficient and cost effective, but less aesthetically pleasing. All of the panels we supply are mono-crystalline.
Attribute 2 - Charge controller
When buying any of the panels in the off-grid elements kit listing here, we will send the correct size solar charge controller for that panel, so you need not worry about the size of controller, just whether you'd like to use a PWM, MPPT without bluetooth or MPPT with bluetooth.
If you decide to go with the MPPT controller. Some panels will wire into your CTEK battery to battery charger's integrated MPPT controller. If you're having the CTEK, this can be great for cost and space saving, putting both the split charge and solar through a single unit.
Both the CTEK and the Bluesolar chargers have no live data view. They have LEDs to indicate whether they are charging or not, but don't have any indication as to the level of charge or the yield of the panel. This is where the Smartsolar controllers excel, they can be linked to Victron connect the smartphone app. Then you are able to see live panel data, battery voltages and the last 30 days of solar yield. Ideal for making the most out of your solar for off-grid systems.
Attribute 3 - Mounting kit colour
When buying a rigid panel, it will come with a 4 or 6 piece mounting kit depending on the panel size. These are available in white or black. When buying a flexible panel, it doesn't come with a mounting kit, just the cable entry gland. This can be supplied in either white or black too.
There are some invalid combinations across the kits, such as adding the "wiring into the CTEK" option on the solar panels, but without selecting the CTEK option in the Core wiring kit. These combinations won't add to your basket. Please check this document if you're not sure which combination you have is invalid.