diy camper electricity
2 Sep / 2014

How To Wire Your Own Truck Camper Electricity

Does My Camper Really Need a Fuse Box?

Nope! For a small camper, a fuse box is overkill. 

I place an "Inline Fuse" on all the red wires

I place an "Inline Fuse" on all the red wires

(Though you do absolutely need fuses -- I personally use inline fuses on the red (+) wires) 

But let's say you have a large camper, and you want to set up more permanently-installed wiring using a standard household wiring scheme with a fuse box, outlets, switches and all that. All you have to do is literally PLUG the fuse box into the inverter (by adding a plug to the end of your entrance cable). That's all. Then you just run your standard NM cable from the fuse box to your outlets and switches and fixtures the "normal" way you'll learn in any book on home improvement.

small 12v battery

You can safely "practice" and test your camper electrical system with a small 1.2Ah 12V battery. (I often find them in thrift stores.)

However, I really think that standard wiring is completely unnecessary for a small truck bed camper. If that's what you're used to, then go for it! But if you're a relative beginner, it's a lot easier to understand what you're doing if you start simple, stringing around loops by hand, so you can see where the electricity flows without trying to design an electrician's schematic.

Just remember -- especially if you're a beginner -- electricity can kill! Your huge battery can deliver a lot of juice. For a hands-on approach to map out your camper circuitry, I would recommend that you practice using some smaller circuits with a little 12V project battery.

 

For more info on wiring your own camper electricity, I've posted some excerpts (with diagrams!) from my book at this post:
DIY Truck Camper Electricity Made Easy! (Book Excerpts)

 

 

3 thoughts on “How To Wire Your Own Truck Camper Electricity”

  1. I’ve just finished a week of researching this subject and I can offer some advice to people. 1. An RCD will not work in a caravan or camper and you have to look into a Mobile RCD or RVD if you want the extra protection from the high voltages. Either that or only run one appliance at a time from any generators or inverters. 2. Getting an electrician to do the high-voltage wiring in a mobile application is often dangerous because they only understand M.E.N. systems which doesn’t apply to mobile homes. If you’re going to get an electrician to do wiring then get one that does caravan wiring. 3. For larger and more complicated systems, the all-in-one solutions become more worthwhile (for example, the Victron EasySolar which is what I’ve decided to go for). 4. If you want to be able to connect up to caravan park power, then use some type of safety device as a malfunctioning appliance can turn your camper live without tripping anything and when you touch the camper and ground at the same time, you’re in trouble. This is just a few safety issues I’ve found and it varies from country to country (different voltages and systems). If you can, stay with voltages below 32V and be careful around any voltages higher than that.

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