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Rough Electrical, Insulation, and Walls

So, it was time for the rough electrical installation, so that I could move forward with insulation. This will include any AC wiring, shore power, outlet connections, etc. The second part can be DC wiring, particular any main bus wires, that I want to tuck behind walls. This also includes solar cables, solar aux input and such.

The Transit has a lot of places to stuff wires, but can be limiting in going top to bottom, and from the back of the van to the front driver’s area. The Ford Main wire harness is a pain in the A$$ and will probably be a different post, as I’m completely sure how I will handle it. In any event a couple of wires will be on the outside of the walls. But I try to get what I can tucked behind the walls.

The solar panel access was already done. I brought the wires inside for each panel inside before connecting in parallel. All these will be connected inside the van.

I also had to mount the Shore Power input, outlets, and aux solar input. I have two aux solar inputs, one on each side of the van. I use Anderson pole panel mount housings.

It comes with 30-amp terminals, which I generally replace with 45-amp terminals to fit the 10 awg wire. The housing has two power and ground outputs, so I make sure both are used. In this case I ran 8 awg wire over to the panel and split in to two pairs of 10 awg wire. This is done using an 8 awg butt connector. I finish this off with a Rubber Waterproof Straight Boot installed over the back of the connector.

For shore power I use a SmartPlug inlet. This is just as easy to install as regular RV shore power inlets.

And here is an outside plug and cover, it should be noted the GFIC is upstream in another outlet.

Wire protection

I generally wrap all wires in flame retardant spit loom, I also use rubber grommets for passing through metal, and also use the slit loom to cover sharp metal edges

Because I am going with flat walls, I needed to build extension frames for the windows, I was able to use the upholstery carpet that I had left over from my vancillary shelf.

Insulation was pretty much cutting and gluing, again I am using Thinsulate (SM600L) for insulation. Because of the difficulty of finding 3M 90 spray adhesive, I used weldwood landau top & trim adhesive. I bought a gallon with a cheap spray gun. The spray gun works fine, kind of a small tank, which means lots of refills. I found a good pour spout cover that made this much easier.

The other part of insulating was stuffing various channels with insulation. All in all, the insulation project went fast. I had lots of supervision, although they got mad when I kicked them out when spraying glue.

For the walls I have been torn on this decision, but I had a acquired a Legend Dura Therm Wall Liner Kit on craigslist for very cheap. I figured it would be a quick way to get some walls in and worst case they would be good templates. The insulated backing provide a good thermal barrier. I did know that I didn’t want to use tung and grove cedar or pine, that seems to be the rage. Not because I do not like wood, the fact is most of the walls will be covered by cabinets. That and wanted a relatively quick solution.

The first issue I ran into was my floor, because of my insulated floor I need to trim some material off. The walls have predrilled holes for all their push pin connections. What they didn’t expose was the already existing bolt holes on the lower and upper walls. I made some templates using the existing holes so I could like up the spots for new holes to be drilled. I also found that I need to drill holes for wires coming from the roof and panels, cut out window holes and holes for electrical outlets. This was a test fit for the passenger wall.

A little trimming and some access holes cut, and walls are up and mounted.

The driver side walls are two piece this is pretty much to accommodate the Ford wiring harness. The harness brings forth its own dilemma, I have seen people pull the whole thing out and reroute into the walls. Because of the connector size, there are some strategic areas that the wires need to be routed outside. The other choice is to splice the wires to get through those locations, or drill through the cobalt steel locations. I have not decided on my final solution yet, for the most part the cable will behind cabinets, except where the bathroom/shower is going.

Since I have connections behind these walls that may need future access, I made access panels.

For now, I am liking the walls. This allows me to start working on my electrical panel and get the house power system in. The window cutouts need some trim, we will see.

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