Van Electrical Calculator

Van-Electrical-Solar-Calculator-Heading-V2
Made with in our van.

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Van Electrical Calculator

12V DC
SUMMER
WINTER
LOADName of the appliance. CUR
(A)AVERAGE CURRENT (in amps) drawn during operation. Find this info on Google, product's website, owner's manual, technical sheet.
HRS / DAY
(h)How many HOURS per day this appliance is in operation. It's a guesstimate.
DAILY USAGE
(Ah)CURRENT x HOURS
CUR
(A)AVERAGE CURRENT (in amps) drawn during operation. Find this info on Google, product's website, owner's manual, technical sheet.
HRS / DAY
(h)How many HOURS per day this appliance is in operation. It's a guesstimate.
DAILY USAGE
(Ah)CURRENT x HOURS

TOTAL

120V AC
SUMMER
WINTER
LOADName of the appliance. PWR
(W)MAX POWER (in watts) of the load. Find this info on Google, product's website, owner's manual, technical sheet.
HRS / DAY
(h)How many HOURS per day this appliance is in operation. It's a guesstimate.
DAILY USAGE
(Ah)[(POWER/12) x HOURS] / 0.85
INVThis column is used to size the inverter. Check all the appliances that you plan on using simultaneously. Note that the biggest load is automatically selected by the calculator. PWR
(W)MAX POWER (in watts) of the load. Find this info on Google, product's website, owner's manual, technical sheet.
HRS / DAY
(h)How many HOURS per day this appliance is in operation. It's a guesstimate.
DAILY USAGE
(Ah)[(POWER/12) x HOURS] / 0.85
INVThis column is used to size the inverter. Check all the appliances that you plan on using simultaneously. Note that the biggest load is automatically selected by the calculator.

TOTAL

Battery Type

Your Type


Alternator


1- Size Your Main Components
Use the calculator above
Daily Energy Usage

? Ah

Battery Bank

? Ah

Solar Panels

? W

Solar Charger

?|?

Alternator Charge

? A

Shore Charger

? A

INVERTER

? W

Manual Mode Enabled.
Bold options = automagic values.
2- Size Your Wires, Fuses & Breakers
+ Wire Lengths & Terminals Calculator

Appropriate wire gauge (AWG) varies with length & load and, therefore, is unique to each installation. Our wiring diagram automatically sizes the wire gauge, fuses & breakers to ensure that your own system is safe and performs as it should. Bonus: it also calculates all the wire lengths & terminals that you'll need by type/gauge, which will make STEP 3 (customize your items list) super easy to complete. No other diagram does this!

3- Customize Your Items list

Fill these tables per your wiring diagram:

WIRES LENGTH (FT)

AWG4/03/02/01/01246810121416
RED
BLACK
DUPLEX

TERMINALS QUANTITY

AWG4/03/02/01/01246810/1214/16
#8
#10
1/4
5/16
3/8
Cost EstimateIncludes everything on your Items List, except the 12V & 120V loads (appliances) and Tools. Prices on Amazon change frequently, so our estimate is subject to change.

$X,XXX USD

Items List

The list below defines your entire electrical system. Click on "ADD ITEMS TO AMAZON CART" section-by-section; make sure that all the items are valid (links to Amazon products sometime change, please let us know if that's the case!), and make sure all items are in stock at the moment.

Main
#ItemDescriptionQuantityView on Amazon
1Terminal Fuse Block with Fuse 250ABlue Sea (Catastrophic Fail Safe. Connects directly to battery post.)1View
2System SwitchBlue Sea (Main System Switch)1View
3Bus Bar (250A, 4 studs)Blue Sea2View
4Cover for Bus Bar (for 250A 4 studs)Protect the Bus Bar2View
540A Breaker/Switch, Surface MountBetween Fuse Block and Bus Bar1View
6Fuse Block (12 circuits)Blue Sea (12V Distribution Panel)1View
7Fuses KitAssorted Fuses (2A 3A 5A 7.5A 10A 15A 20A 25A 30A 35A)1View
8Battery MonitorVictron BMV-712 with BlueTooth1View
Hardware
#ItemDescriptionQuantityView on Amazon
1Heat Shrink Butt Connector, Ancor MarineTo connect to Loads (75 Pack Kit)1View
2Heat Shrink Disconnect, 10-12 AWG Cable, 1/4″ Tab, Female
To connect to certain loads (i.e. 12V Sockets) , to make “removable” connections (i.e. Fridge, LEDs) and to connect cable of different gauge together (i.e. LED Dimmer) (25 Pack)
1View
3Heat Shrink Disconnect, 10-12 AWG Cable, 1/4″ Tab, Male1View
4Heat Shrink Disconnect, 14-16 AWG Cable, 1/4″ Tab, Female1View
5Heat Shrink Disconnect, 14-16 AWG Cable, 1/4″ Tab, Male1View
6Heat Shrink Disconnect, 18-22 AWG Cable, 1/4″ Tab, Male1View
73M Scotchlok Quick Splice with Gel (14 AWG stranded)We used that to parallel our LED lights (25 Pack)1View
8Heat Shrink Tubing Kit (with adhesive)To protect lug after crimping1View
9Split Loom Tubing, 3/8″ diameter 25 feetTo protect wire bundles1View
10Split Loom Tubing, 1/2″ diameter 25 feetTo protect wire bundles1View
11Split Loom Tubing, 3/4″ diameter 10 feetTo protect wire bundles1View
12Nylon Cable Clamps KitTo secure cable/split-loom to wood1View
13Zip Tie Mount with AdhesiveTo secure cable/split-loom to metal1View
14Nylon Zip Ties KitTo secure cable/split-loom1View
15Rubber Grommet KitTo protect wire from sharp edge (going through metal hole)1View
12V Loads

These are the appliances we personally use in our van:

# Item Quantity Buy Link More Info
1 Maxxair 6200K Roof Fan 1 Amazon Fan Installation
2 LED Ceiling Lights (Dimmable) 3 Amazon
3 PWM Dimmer for LED Lights, 12V, Slider 1 Amazon
4 Blue Sea 12V Socket 4 Amazon Electrical System Guide
5 Shurflo Revolution Water Pump, 3 GPM 1 Amazon
6 ON/OFF Switch for Water Pump 1 Amazon
7 Webasto Air Top 2000 STC Gasoline Heater 1 Amazon Webasto Installation
8 Propex HS2000 Propane Heater 1 Dealers Propex Installation
9 Novakool R5810 Fridge, 12V only 1 Campervan-HQ Fridge Guide
10 Sirocco ii Gimbal Fan, 12V 1 Amazon Sirocco ii Installation / Review
11 Nature’s Head Composting Toilet 1 Amazon Toilet Installation
12 Propane Solenoid Shutoff Valve 1 Amazon
13 ON/OFF Switch for Propane Solenoid 1 Amazon
Tools

These are essential to build your electrical system. Do NOT cheap out on tools (e.g. using pliers to crimp), or you'll compromise the performance and safety of your system.

# Item Description QTY View on Amazon
1 Crimping Tool, Single-Crimp (8-22 AWG) Single-Crimp should be used with Heat Shrink connectors to prevent tearing the insulation and loosening the watertight connection (corrosion prevention) 1 View
2 Cutter / Stripper for 10-22 AWG Stranded Wire Nothing to add! 1 View
3 Hydraulic Crimping Tool (4/0-10 AWG) Provides adequate, repeatable results for larger gauge lugs. 1 View
4 Cutter for up to 4/0 Cable For large gauge cables 1 View
5 Heat Gun for Heat Shrink Connectors 1500W, Dual Fan Speed, Variable Temperature Control 1 View
6 Digital Multimeter (Voltage, Current, Continuity, Resistance) You don’t need it until you need it! Your friend when you need to troubleshoot… 1 View

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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017, we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers, and moved into our self-built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then, and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

112 thoughts on “Van Electrical Calculator”

Heads up! As of summer 2021, we are currently travelling to Yukon (and hopefully Alaska) and have very limited access to Internet. As a result, we might not be able to answer all comments. Thanks for understanding and see you on the road! -Isabelle and Antoine