Today we begin to tackle the huge task, which is campervan wiring! Before we started covering up the walls, we had to figure out where and how to run our electrical conduit throughout our van, but there are so many hidden barriers in the van’s inner tubes! And a hole saw cannot reach everywhere…ponder ponder ponder…
1. PONDER PONDER
After purchasing our electrical conduit, we began to ponder over where to run it in the empty shell of a van. The result of said ponder was that we hit a lot of dead ends (or rather, blocked off channels in the framework of the van) and realised we were going to need to get creative.
Running the wires completely horizontally down the van inside the cavities would mean using a hole saw to drill through the structural rib connections of the van, which we didn’t like the idea of.
All vertical ribs apart from the one over the wheel arch we found could have conduit running through them but we’d need to drill a hold in the top to poke the conduit out of.
Hmm…decisions decisions… 🤔
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2. LAYOUT FIRST, THEN WIRES
Before we could finalise anything, we had to know where all the electrical cables were running.
So we masked out our layout, including where all the plugs, appliances, and such were going to be located, each with different coloured masking tape (sockets were red, appliances were green etc…).
Planning your campervan layout is key to many steps, including this one! Now we know what we’re working with…
3. DRILLING MORE HOLES
After much debate, we decided to run the main wire loom run along the floor of the van, so we ran some conduit from the front to the back of the van along one side, using zip ties to fix it in place.
Then we picked 3 locations for some vertical conduit to run, mostly for our lighting and ventilation fan wires. In order to make the vertical conduit fit, we had to drill a 36mm hole in the top cavities to allow the conduit to poke out.
Also, we ran a piece of conduit in and around the back door to easily poke any wires we need through that channel.
4. LET THE WIRING COMMENCE
When we thought about how many wires we’d need to run through the floor conduit, it seemed impractical (20-odd wires vs a 30mm wide pipe…not going to work). So we pulled it out and ran the wires through some zip ties temporarily. This section will have a box around it anyway, so we figured that would act as our conduit.
We cut and ran our 4.5mm twin core cables one at a time, making sure to put labels on each wire at the front and back, so we know what each one is going to be used for because I can imagine three months from now when it comes to connecting them up, we’ll have no idea what leads to what without labels.
Aaaand we ran out of cable.
We ran most of the major cables, so we’ll have to buy more cable and continue later.
- Gather all electrical boxes
- Create a mockup
- Move to van, and refine mockup
- Use string to wire everything together
- Measure string lengths