– (1) 50′ roll of 12 gauge stranded black wire
– (1) 50′ roll of 12 gauge stranded white wire
– (1) 50′ roll of 12 gauge stranded green wire
– (1) 50′ roll of 14 gauge speaker wire
– (6) receptacle boxes
– (6) standard 20 amp receptacles and olive plate covers
– (6) 12 volt click on RV lights
– (1) 25′ roll of flexible wire conduit
– (1) pack of wire nuts
– (1) junction box, capable for 110 standard power and 12v power, (with built-in converter for battery)
– (4) 2” torque screws
– (2) 20 amp breakers
– (3) 20 amp fuses
– (1) deep cycle marine battery
– (2) 8 gauge 10′ wires (one black, one red)
– (1) roll of solder
– (1) roll electrical tape
– wire stripper/cutter, pliers, utility knife
– cordless drill, bits, and drill bits, Phillips screwdriver, straight driver
– tape measure, pencil, tri-square
After acquiring all the necessary materials I began the tedious task of creating the electricity for the bus. I wanted to mount the receptacles and lights under the upper cabinets, to give the bus a cleaner look. I measured under each cabinet directly in the middle and drew out the pattern of the receptacle box. I then cut out the markings with the jigsaw and placed all six of the blue, plastic receptacle boxes into place. They have a tab on two sides, that hold themselves into the cabinets. I screwed them in to flush mount the boxes.
After the receptacle boxes were installed I then measured and cut the electrical conduit the lengths of the cabinets. I drilled 3/4” holes in the backside of each cabinet for the wires to slip through. I ran the conduit directly to the bathroom, and geared it toward where the junction box would be mounted. On the passenger side cabinets I fed the conduit up and over the door jamb, as I had done with the hot and cold water lines.
Now that the conduit is installed in the proper locations, I can run the wires. I unraveled the green, white, and black stranded wire and cut them to the desired lengths of my runs. For the main run, from the junction box to the first cabinets on either side were the trickiest to push through. The wires had to be fed through several bends. I used a bit of dish soap to ease them through the conduit.
For each receptacle I made sure to run the wires at least 6” through the receptacle box, to allow room to work with the 15 amp receptacles. There is an incoming and outgoing feed to wire these receptacles. On the cabinets, the wires are coming in from the rear of the bus. This is the incoming sequence. In each receptacle box you should have an incoming white, black, and green braided wires, and an outgoing white, black and green braided wires.
I stripped each wire in the cabinets about 1/2” with the wire strippers. I then twisted the wires together and on the black and white wires I used the torch and solder to fuse them together.
On a receptacle there are two sides to attach the copper stranded wires. Say, for instance in my case, the left side of the receptacle there is a silver and gold screw, and the right side there is another set of silver and gold screws. When wiring receptacles in series, the three wires will feed into the receptacle from the incoming junction box.
Take the black wire and wrap it around the silver screw with the wire stripping tool or pliers, then, set the screw with a Phillips screwdriver. Wrap the white wire the same way on the gold screw on the same side of the receptacle.
The outgoing black and white wire will be set on the opposing side of the receptacle. With each receptacle series, wire the outgoing wires to the next incoming receptacle and then so on and so forth.
The grounding wire connection is another concept. You will have the green grounding wire coming in to the receptacle, and then it is supposed to feed out to the next. To do this, first cut another piece of grounding wire. Braid the one end of the cut wire to the incoming grounding wire. With the solder and torch, fuse the ground together. Now braid the outgoing wire with the other to the same end where the incoming is ran. The other end of the cut ground wire will be wrapped around the green screw on the 15 amp receptacle. Once the receptacle is wired, push it into place and screw the receptacle to the box. Put the face plate on and snug the screw up with a straight driver.
Now that the receptacles are wired it is time to feed them into the junction box. I bought a specific 110 power panel with a converter and 12 volt system. It is the Electronic 7300 Series (this panels runs about $350.00). I will be wiring all the receptacles to the 110 side of the panel. I mounted the power panel to the backside of my bathroom wall, attaching it to the studs with 2” torque screws. After pulling off the face cover I can see the hot side of the panel (gold screws), the neutral side bar (silver screws) and the grounding bar. The set of wires for the receptacles were placed into their proper sequence and set in with a Phillips screwdriver. All my grounding wires were set in the same way.
On the 110 power side of the panel there needs to be an incoming source. I took a 25′ 12 gauge extension cord and cut off the female end of the plug. With the wire strippers i cut back the jacket and striped the three wires. The extension cord was then fed into the power panel and wired into the MAIN side of the 110 panel. I bought 20 amp breakers and put them in there place on the panel. The receptacles are run on two separate breakers. Now, we have a power source (the extension cord) that runs directly into the panel, and disperses the electricity through the breakers and into the receptacles.
When running any electrical accessory through 12 volt system you will only need a hot and neutral wire. In this case, we will use the black wire as the neutral and the white wire as the hot. I mounted my 12 volt lights just the same as I had with the receptacle boxes, just 2” in front of them. I fed the black white wires through the same conduit in the cabinets. The two wires were then set onto the proper screws in the lights.
On the 12 volt section of the power panel box I wired all the incoming hot and neutral wires to their directed bars and set the screws in. My water pump is also a 12 volt system, so I ran those wires to the panel as well.
I bought a deep cycle marine battery to be the main source of power for the 12 volt system. Just as the same with all the other wiring, I had to run a hot and neutral wire from the battery to the 12 volt panel. These wires are set as the MAIN on the 12 volt panel. These wires had to be much thicker than a standard 12 gauge. I used 8 gauge wire so that there would be no power loss.
The wires on a 12 volt system must be run to a fuse, just in the same concept with the breakers. If anything were to fault in the system, they would blow the fuse before blowing the device in use. I used 20 amp fuses for the lights and water pump.
Now that the system is wired together properly to the panel and all electrical components, I now have lights and water moving through the bus. When I need to recharge my system, the battery bank, I simply need to plug the 110 extension cord to an alternate power source. This will allow all my receptacle to work and will charge the battery. The battery takes roughly 8 hours to reach a full charge. Thus far, my one battery can last about two weeks with all my lighting and water pump needs!