As a mechanical engineer, electrics are a bit like magic to me. There are different types and flavours of magic and woe betide any electrical item you feed the wrong brand of power. They really don’t like it. If you spot any magic white smoke escaping the product, it needs replacing, no joke. With this in mind, I did some research and along with Vandogs ebook guiding me, came up with this.
It looks like a mess but I know what I’m on about. I just wanted to lay out roughly the plan. Chiefly and most importantly are, what I’m calling, my Zombie Lights. Presumably wherever this Police van came from, yobbo’s steer clear of bright lights. Useful to know. There are two sandwich boxes stuck to the outside of the van with bulbs in. Not yet sure if they work, been putting off testing them… I’m a bit worried about giving them the wrong flavour of electric because I plan to keep them. I think they might be useful for some midnight, roadside bouldering.
From my highly technical and accurate design, I counted the following circuits:
- Vent Fan
- Big Lights
- LED (mood) lights
- Lighter and USB Sockets
- Zombie Left
- Zombie Right
- Reversing camera and screen
I’ve decided to mount all the cables on the surface, hidden nicely, but easily accessible. If I need to fix or change something I want to be able to get to stuff. I have a plan (more dodgy sketches) to have a recess between the wall boards and the ceiling where the LED strip lights will reside and also have space to hide the cables.
An inverter has been suggested in the van for “household” electrical goods but I’m not sure why I would need them? Kettle – got a stove. Hairdryer – got a towel. Microwave – got a stove. Hoover – got a broom. TV – got a laptop. Laptop – ah… Charging a laptop? Not worked that one out yet. Is it possible to charge a laptop from a 12v car battery? I’m sure ebay has the answer. Until then, I am going to do without an inverter.
For now, it’s a weekend van so won’t need to support me full time. I’ve got an outside socket so I will just charge the battery if I absolutely have to but I am sure for a weekend the split charger will cope. This is also true for solar panels, not going to be needed much as a weekend van. They are expensive and if in the future I want them, relatively easy to retrofit. Some special magic boxes dotted around the van and then free electricity. How wonderful technology is!