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Mains Hook Up

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BlackBeltBlakey View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 12:26
I'm nearly there on the leisure battery set up now.  I have the battery, mains charger and SRC systems all bought.  Next weekend the plan is to build a box in the back of the van to store them all and wire them all together.  Sweet.  So I have turned my attention to the last phase of the project:  the Mains Hookup.
 
Been doing some research this morning but am drawing blanks.  I can't find a single place on the net that sells "mains hookup kits".
 
What I'm after is an underside inlet like this one.  I am happy to fit that to the underside of the van, cutting a suitable sized hole to slot it into.  I don't want to fit it to the side of the van, definitely underneath.
 
The question is:  what do I attach to that inlet plug on the inside of the van?   I guess I'm after a double 240v socket on the inside of the van.   Do I need something between the 240v socket and the inlet?   Does anyone know of a kit which provides this stuff?
 
Also, do I want to wire this directly into the leisure battery so that when the mains is pluuged in the battery is charged?  Can I even do that?   Of course I have my mains charger already bought and this will be fitted into the battery box so an obvious thing to do is simply plug that into one of the 240v sockets I'm bringing into the van.
 
Last question: How many 240v sockets can you sensibly run off the mains hook up before you're getting dangerous?   I think I'd like to run the mains charger plus have 2 spare sockets available for use.
 
Cheers
Blakey
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Andi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 13:13

The socket needs cabling to a small consumer unit like in a shed or garage, you then have 2 trip protected circuits. Normally one powers the fridge and the other the battery charger / transformer and a couple of 240v sockets.  If you're not bothering with a fridge, then I'd have my charger on one and the sockets on t'other.  The charger can be wired in to provide power to the LB when on hook up and so alow you to use your internal 12v stuff of that without flattening it - lights and whatever - good idea to wire your stereo up to the LB too.

Something like this



Neatly tucked away under my RnR.  I know it's a T3 but the principles are the same

Hope this helps a bit


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BlackBeltBlakey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackBeltBlakey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 13:28
Hey Andi,
 
Cheers for the reply.  I have a 12v cool box and no fridge - and currently no plans for a fridge either.   The 12v cool box runs off the LB.  So I'll go mains charger and double 240v socket - sounds good.
 
So I just need a "consumer unit" in the mix (and some wires of course).  Any links to a suitable consumer unit?
 
I'm amazed there are no kits to do this on the net.
 
Blakey 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote energysolutions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 13:56

As your installing 230V into what is considered a "high risk" area (caravans etc) you need to install 30mA RCD earth leakage protection

To do this there are two methods:
  1. As has already been mentioned, take a cable (2.5mm 3 core) from the 16A appliance socket a distribution board inside. This cable will be connected to the main switch, (30mA RCD) This means that you can have several outgoing circuits (dependant on the size of board you purchase eg 2 way, 4 way etc), individually fused via seperate MCBs, all protected by the main RCD. One circuit will be the charger, one circuit could be used for additional sockets etc etc This is a good method with room for future expansion but installation will take up additional space due to the distribution board
  2. A simplier method, if you only require 230v power to the charger (which will charge the leisure battery and in turn feed all the 12v systems eg lights, radio etc) and provision to plug in some appliances occasionally (girlfriends hairdryer, tv etc) would be to install one of these near the charger, and perhaps one or two else where to generally serve the rear area. This would mean taking a cable (2.5mm 3 core) from the 16A appliance socket to the first socket, then to the second etc. The cable would be fused correctly as the incoming supply should be 16A as dictated by the socket, the appliance would be protected from overload/short circuit by the fuses in their respective plutops and each would have earth leakage protection from the built in RCD on the socket. No distribution board would be required and space would be saved, also if one appliance develops an earth fault it will only affect one double socket at most, not everything (as would be the case with the distribution board with only one RCD protecting everything)

Hope this helpsBig smile

 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 14:03
All good advice there too.

One last "cat amongst the pigeons" though, tecnically this is covered by the Part P regs and as such should be done by a "competent person".  It may be worth getting it done properly so as you can then prove it's integrity to your insurance company...  Sorry I forgaot all about that bit before 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote energysolutions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 14:16
Originally posted by BlackBeltBlakey BlackBeltBlakey wrote:

Last question: How many 240v sockets can you sensibly run off the mains hook up before you're getting dangerous?   I think I'd like to run the mains charger plus have 2 spare sockets available for use.
 
In theory you can install as many sockets as you like (provided they`re wired in 2.5mm cable) because the incoming supply is via a 16A socket and as such should be fused at 16A
 
This means no matter how many items you connect if the total load exceeds 16A the main supply breaker feeding into the van will disconnect
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blue Sweeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 15:52
Originally posted by Andi Andi wrote:

All good advice there too.

One last "cat amongst the pigeons" though, tecnically this is covered by the Part P regs and as such should be done by a "competent person".  It may be worth getting it done properly so as you can then prove it's integrity to your insurance company...  Sorry I forgaot all about that bit before 
 
Park homes, caravans and mobile homes dont come within the definition of buildings in the Building Regulations. Therefore they are not normally subject to the requirements of Part P.
Have a look in the IEEE 17th edition of wiring regulations. It's online somewhere, see section 708 & 721 for special locations. This is for static caravans but I can't find anything for mobile homes or vans!
 
However, if you're going to play with mains voltage, best be sure what you're doing or get a competent person to check it out after.


Edited by Blue Sweeper - 31 Jan 10 at 16:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BANANABUS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 16:12
Originally posted by BlackBeltBlakey BlackBeltBlakey wrote:

 
Been doing some research this morning but am drawing blanks.  I can't find a single place on the net that sells "mains hookup kits".
 

 
Cheers
Blakey

http://www.justkampers.com/shop/camping/leisure-camping-outdoor-accessories/electric-power/240-volt/mains-flush-mounted-hook-up-kit-240v-j11916.html

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Edited by BANANABUS - 31 Jan 10 at 16:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackBeltBlakey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 20:56
Originally posted by BANANABUS BANANABUS wrote:

http://www.justkampers.com/shop/camping/leisure-camping-outdoor-accessories/electric-power/240-volt/mains-flush-mounted-hook-up-kit-240v-j11916.html

Wacko
Okay, I did actually see that kit. But I'm after an inlet that fits under the van, not the side as that one seems to.
 
Guess I could buy that kit and the inlet I posted a link to but now with all the other posts I'm thinking this mod could be one for Bodie and Doyle...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reverend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 10 at 22:56
[QUOTE... if you're going to play with mains voltage, best be sure what you're doing or get a competent person to check it out after...[/QUOTE]
 
Blakey,
 
It's ok to experiment with 12v but mains voltage...
 
This is the best bit of advice I can give with your level of knowlege.
 
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlackBeltBlakey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 10 at 09:06
Yeah, I think, all things considered, this is the best advice.  I'm going to try and get CMC to do this when they add my reimo roof and carpet.
 
Thanks for the help all!
 
Blakey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote john brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 12:46
Mainly Mains Charger are under gov. authority but you can review the specification and user manual for that charger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 15:10
Originally posted by john brown john brown wrote:

Mainly Mains Charger are under gov. authority but you can review the specification and user manual for that charger.

Nope, sorry, you've lost me there Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote energysolutions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 18:20
Originally posted by Andi Andi wrote:

Originally posted by john brown john brown wrote:

Mainly Mains Charger are under gov. authority but you can review the specification and user manual for that charger.

Nope, sorry, you've lost me there Confused
 
Dont worry, its just some rambling asshole touting for business selling mobiles
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Chaos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 19:17
has anyone fed a cable through the engine bay to get power into the van?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote energysolutions Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 10 at 19:31
Originally posted by The Chaos The Chaos wrote:

has anyone fed a cable through the engine bay to get power into the van?
 
Yep - me!
 
My advice - remove the glove box (simple enough, 6/8 torx screws) and look over towards the top of the passenger wheel arch, there is an empty rubber grommet in the bulkhead which is perfect for this purpose
 
Once the cable is through this grommet open the bonnet and look behind the battery, there will be a screen type item stopping you from getting to the cable. To remove this you have to remove the rubber cover over the metal edge above it (the rubber that stops water getting in from outside) and this will expose the screws to remove the screen
 
I drilled a hole through the solid metal adjacent to the screen, put a rubber grommet in it and fed the cable through this to the battery and put everything back together 
 
This is all from memory so I hope its accurateLOL
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ian156 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 10 at 19:59
You don't need to remove the glove box. Just take the panel off in the passenger footwell (where the pollen filter is).

If you get a torch you will be able to see the above mentioned grommet. 

Just poke the wire through from the engine bay and you will be able to get hold of it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Delfhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 10 at 20:29



Towsure do a suitable kit, (www.towsure.com/product/532-Caravan_Mains_Kit ). I attached the socket to a towbar mounted step and fed the wire inside through an existing hole under the bumper up behind the trim over the nearside rear wheel. I'm sure a simple bracket could be made if you have no step or towbar. Seems better than cutting holes in the bodywork and it's worked fine for 5 years. The instructions with the kit are very staightforward, basically the 3 core cable supplied connects the exterior plug to the supplied consumer unit from which you distribute your sockets. The picture shows the mains hookup on the left with the two 12v sockets above and to the right. As you can see I spend hours polishing the van!


Edited by Delfhill - 14 Aug 10 at 20:30
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