Things to Know About DIY 12V Wiring
Working on the wiring and electrical system of you caravan isn’t difficult if you know what to do, how to do, and when to do it. All wiring should be done in line with Australian Standards 3000 (general) and 3001 (specific to RVs). This is one of the most important considerations that needs to be made before you go about working with the wiring. This is probably because caravans have certain specific requirements (suc as double pole power points, earthing and tagging/testing on power leads)when it comes to the wiring It may not be legal to work with the 240v mains supply on your own. But you can definitely work on the 12v wiring.
When working with then caravan’s wiring, it is important to take heed of the following problems which could prove to be problematic.
Drop in Voltage
Voltage drop can be a problem, especially for long lengths of cables. Most people consider 0.5v as the acceptable limit for voltage drop. However, industry experts reckon a 0.15-0.2V drop (at 12V) is a much more acceptable figure. Voltage drop can be avoided easily by ensuring the correct size for the cables and checking all the connections.
Sizing of the Cables
The sizing of the cables causes a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to the standard that needs to be followed. The safest bet is to follow the ISO standard. Make sure that you adhere to these standards when getting the cable for your caravan. Also, check the cable rating carefully and get professional advice if possible. Cable ratings indicate the maximum current that a cable can handle. But this does not necessarily take into consideration the length of the cable itself. Some installations require a specific length of cable to achieve the right charging voltage.
Electric Caravan Awning and Other Accessories
Electric caravan awnings provide great convenience to the caravanner as it sets up the awning within seconds. All it needs is the flick of a switch and the job is done. But the problem with electric awnings or any other caravan accessory that runs with a motor is that low voltage affects its performance. Make sure that you check the wiring and the connections to prevent any damage to the equipment. Accessories such as fridge can be selected in the gas variant to avoid running into problems due to voltage issues.
Most lighting systems can accommodate minor voltage drops. You can use low current LEDs as the cable length required with these lights is relatively less and voltage drop doesn’t become a major issue in such cases. It is important to have proper lighting in the caravan, especially at night, so as to have clear view of the area around the caravan.
DIY wiring is good only if you know what you are dealing with. You should not mess around with the electrical system without proper understanding. This would not only create unnecessary problems on the road, but also add to the overall repairing costs that would be incurred. Ask for professional help or guidance before going ahead on your own.