Van Build: Running our Electrical Conduit and Wiring

Written By Freedom Strider

On June 27, 2020

Today we begin to tackle the huge task which is campervan wiring! Before we start 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 vans 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 our 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 are going to need to get creative.

Running the wires completely horizontally down the van inside the cavities would mean using a holesaw 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… 🤔

wiring working out - van conversion
DC Wiring - Van Build Freebie
VAN BUILD ELECTRICS WORKSHEET – BEGINNER

FREE WORKSHEET DOWNLOAD

Plan your electrical wiring for your van build. Electrics are a palm-sweating, procrastination inducing thought, and starting is the hardest part.

This worksheet will help you identify the terminology you need to advance your research and explain what and why you need what you need

2

Layout first, then wires

Before we could finalise anything, we first had to know where all the electrical cables were running to.

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…). Now we know what we’re working with…

conduit wiring working out - van conversion

3

Drilling more holes

After much debate, we decided to run the main wire loom run along on 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 conduit to poke out.

We used our holesaws to drill said holes, filed the edges and covered them in hammerite so they wouldn’t rust.

Also, we ran a piece of conduit in and around the back door to easily poke any wires we need through that channel.

conduit wiring working out - van conversion
conduit wiring working out - van conversion
conduit wiring working out - van conversion
conduit wiring working out - van conversion
conduit wiring working out - van conversion

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 will act as our conduit.

We cut and ran our 4.5mm twincore 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 3 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.

conduit wiring working out - van conversion
wiring working out - van conversion

quick look

Quick Steps Overview:

  1. Figure out what appliances goes where
  2. Finalise conduit paths
  3. Drill holes for vertical conduit + fit
  4. Run wires + label each one, feeding through conduit if needed

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