RV electrics – a few pointers

Most projects require an electrical system which may include road-lights, a 12 volt system and/or a 240 volt system. Choose at the design stage what items you require and where you intend to install them. Key areas to consider include :



  • Battery location – Unless you use Lithium this is one of the heavier items in the unit. Ideally locate on the RHS and in front of the axle. Also the batteries need to be accessible for testing and/or replacing.
  • Electric locker – Most projects include an electric locker accessible from the outside. Main items are 240 volt switchboard, 12 volt fuses, battery charger, solar controller and the battery. DIY strongly recommends two extra components:
    • A battery protector will prevent over-discharge of your battery by cutting power off when it reaches a preset voltage set by you – will save you damaging the battery
    • An 12 volt isolation switch will allow you to turn ALL 12 volt circuits off when you leave the trailer for some time. This saves you coming back to a flat battery.
  • Control Panel – Depending on your appliances you may need a few switches inside the unit eg. Hot Water System switch, tank monitors etc which can be located in one locker. DIY recommends installing a 12 volt voltmeter here also. Managing your battery state eg with solar is MUCH easier is the voltmeter is easy to see.
  • Wiring – Consider how you will run your wiring from the appliance to the electric locker and control panel – this may affect where you choose to locate them. The DIY chassis and composite panel system has been designed to make this easy and accessible.