Running the Electrical in the Sprinter

This was the step I had been dreading for almost 6 months since I decided to buy and build my own rig.  Sure I can wire an electrical outlet but I had no idea on what to do with inverters, circuit breakers, house batteries etc.  My brother who was the master carpenter said “No problem one of my best friends owns a hug electrical contracting company, we’re good”  So the first thing.  Never listen to your big brother, they are full of shit and just say what ever they want to like “No problem, that’s easy etc”.  Anyways I had met with this “Friend” and he said he didn’t know DC but would have one of his guys come help us out and he had him draw up a wiring schematic.  At every turn with every facet of this build I was learning, this was no different.  We had finished everything including pulling all the wires and hooking up lights, appliances, etc.  The only thing we had left to do was hook up the batteries, inverter and wire the fuse box.

So this electrician shows up from the “Friend’s company” and I explain everything that we have going on.  You would think he would have gotten a copy of the wiring diagram BEFORE showing up but hey that’s just my opinion.  So after a few hours of hooking up “what he knows” he says he calls someone else out to go over things with him then a few hours later he says he needs to take the inverter book home to look it over.  The next day he says he’s still waiting in some info as he’s stumped.  I was like “Why have we been waiting on these guys for 3 months if they have no clue WTF they are doing?”  My brother made another excuse of course, something to it must be my fault, lol.  Then he says lets go down to the RV store and see if they can explain it to us.

Off we went to PPL Motorhomes. I had been here about 5 times already for plumbing fittings, misc stuff etc.  These guys are great ad very helpful.  NOTE these are the guys in the store.  If you call the 800 # my experience is the exact opposite.  It’s a different location and they don’t seem to have the knowledge or care to be honest.  So we arrived at PPL and I spoke with Earl who had helped me in the past and he took me to meet the service mgr.  This guys was awesome and in 10 minutes he had explained to us and sketched a rough diagram on a piece of notebook paper that we had.  It all made sense to me now, FINALLY.  I had been on the Sprinter forums before I bought the van and then again after starting the build but couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone.  I would get a bunch of replies but no one could ever tell me how to hook stuff up and show me a diagram.

The Wiring Diagram

That night I drew out the wiring diagram on my computer and made a much easer to read diagram.  The next morning I pulled up at the shop early and went inside to see what “had been done already”  After about 5 minutes of poking and prodding to see what was what I saw that I had to rip everything out and start over.  I spent half a day rewiring things and getting them where they were suppose to be.  I spoke with the electrician and told him I needed a grounding bar that was missing from the fuse box and that I had everything figured out and asked if he could show up the next morning with the missing part and my manual for the inverter he still had.  The next day he showed up and I explained to him “how to wire everything”  We got the grounding bar on and went to test everything and had power but something wasn’t right.  We came to figure out when he was wiring stuff a few days earlier he had mislabeled 2 wires when he had shortened wires.  About 45 minutes later everything was up and running perfect!

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