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Thread: Camper van - electric question

  1. #1
    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Camper van - electric question

    Hello,

    On my 1968 chevy camper van I'm trying to learn more about the electronics involved. I'll attach photos of my current setup with the hope somebody can provide more information on what this "electronic center" is doing. The camper does have a few 110 plugs, so I didn't know if it's an inverter? Also, it looks like at one point it might have had another house battery(see 3rd photo) for the camper lights and outlets? I know this is hard by just looking at some photos, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Thanks for any information you can provide.

    Dwight

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Electronic2.jpg   electronic3.jpg   Electronc1.jpg   electronic4.jpg   electronic5.jpg  

    Last edited by DwightHyde; 04-06-2018 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Trying to make pictures bigger....

  2. #2
    VCVC Member
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    Welcome Aboard!

    Welcome! I'm not seeing an inverter but those pictures are mighty small on this PC.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  3. #3
    VCVC Member m1dadio's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site Dwight

    I can probably help, but like 108vanguy said, I cant see anything in the tiny pictures.

    M1D
    Don't ask me!! I'm still stuck on "who am I?" and "What do I want?"

    1965 G10 all window "ChevyVan" with 1988 305 Tuned port injection V8, 700R4, 1980 10 bolt posi.
    1968 G10 "sportVan Custom" under construction.

  4. #4
    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Made original pictures bigger

    Sorry...still learning this system. I uploaded them again and then double clicked on them and changed them from thumbnails to original size : )

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    VCVC Member digz's Avatar
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    The guys can correct me if needed. It looks like what you have is a setup to charge an auxillary battery. The blue finned thing is an isolater I think.
    64 Project,65 Driver,66 Parts sorta

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    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by digz View Post
    The guys can correct me if needed. It looks like what you have is a setup to charge an auxillary battery. The blue finned thing is an isolater I think.

    I'll check that out. I was hoping that's what it might be, I'll have to see if it runs back to the alternator, because as you see in the photo it doesn't connect to the vehicle battery. Also I'm hoping to find a switch because I noticed when the van is running I've got power to the interior camper lights. I'm hoping there is one so when I get an auxiliary battery that I could switch to it and not drain the vehicle battery. Thanks again for the info.

    i also have to figure out where/how the 110 outlet is suppose to get power. There is no hookup for shore power.

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    Looks Like..

    Thanks for the bigger pics, helps alot. I agree with Digz. The blue finned thingy looks like a battery isolator. The other items visible are the terminal strip and a thermal circuit breaker. The thing I don't see is an inverter for the 110v outlets you mentioned. I would look around to see where that might be hiding. Get a model number off of it if possible and look up the specs to get an idea of how many watts it can handle and the quality of the power. If there's no exterior plug for the 110 receptacles then there would almost certainly have to be an inverter somewhere to change that 12v DC to 110v AC. A second battery is a great idea for this kind of setup where you want to run power with engine off and save the main battery for starting. There are many ways to set that up so I would think it a good starting point to find out what the previous owner did before you made too many changes.
    A word about inverters is worth a mention here. Quality ones cost significantly more but are well worth it if you plan on running anything other than just lights. For running electronics like computers, TVs etc., I advise a pure sine wave inverter. Avoid square wave or modified square wave inverters as they will cause issues with your electronics over time. If the inverter does not say it provides a pure sine wave then it most likely is a lower quality type. One other item that jumps out at me is the ground wire for the auxiliary battery. Simply running it to the fender is not recommended. I would advise changing that ground wire to a better location. What worked for me is welding a 3/8" bolt/stud to the frame near the battery box. Then I ran all my ground wires to that. You can also add a battery cable size wire running from the engine to the frame. If you have good grounding on your electrical system then that's half the battle, it's just usually not the easy half. ;>)
    Best wishes my fellow VCVanner.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

  8. #8
    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    Welcome to our forums Dwight...
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Thanks so much 108vanGuy for taking the time to provide all this great information! Much appreciated!!

  10. #10
    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wookee View Post
    Welcome to our forums Dwight...
    Glad to of found this site.

  11. #11
    Van Addict Chevboner's Avatar
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    Glad to see you're here! Will you post more pictures of your van please. The other thread you started won't open for me for some reason.
    1965 Chevy Panel Full restoration in progress

  12. #12
    New Guy DwightHyde's Avatar
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    Will do Chevboner. It doesn't open for me anymore either. I sent an email to info@vcvc.org to delete it.

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