So many electrical


I am converting a box truck to a tiny home on wheels. So far, I’ve just been running an extension cord to my friends or moms house. I can’t do that for ever, and quite frankly-why would I want to!
Electrical is just so daunting, I’ve been putting it off.

I have gotten the majority of the supplies already, I just get so overwhelmed while looking at diagrams and researching which one of ‘X,Y,Z’ to buy…

My ride is a ‘96 Ford F-350, box truck

So far, I have:

  • 2x AGM deep cycle batters. 100 Amp each, 12 Volt
  • 2x 12 volt DC plugs
  • 7 Kohree LED 12v RV lights
  • 5 gang marine switch
  • 2000watt sine wave inverter
  • 2x 100w Renogy solar panels (Starter kit)
  • Fan-Tastic fan
  • Hamilton beach mini fridge

It came with:

  • Coleman AC/Heater unit
  • Honda EM1800 generator

There’s another battery near the genny but I haven’t looked into it at all.
The previous owner had wired in 1 electrical outlet to the genny under the rig and through the floor. He had placed it above the side door to plug in the Coleman roof unit and a microwave. Basically, his ‘lunch room’.

So, I have to wire everything together still. My batteries will be housed in a compartment underneath, beside the genny. Then I’ve had some helpers drill through the floor to a cupboard where I have attached the 5 gang switch. This is also where the inverter, charge controller and a main shut off will be located.

I have yet to purchase a battery isolator.
I still haven’t quite figured out which one to go with.
I still need to have it all connected together… that’s the stressful part. The lights and the fan have been tested so no stress there. While I was painting the roof I had taped a little 12v battery to the wires to test and enjoyed the light.

A friends boyfriend has been very helpful with wiring it all together for me. He’s quite handy but I don’t want to lean on him tooo much. I did reach out to 3 electricians but oddly they were all a tad too afraid to work on this project. My friend doesn’t mind, but he’s also more of a point and go kinda guy.

Who’s got pointers for me?
I need all the help I can get haha

Greetings & Welcome!

You need an RV specialist, not an electrician.

Are you sure it doesn’t already have an isolator?

I’d just go with the isolator and the generator and skip the solar.

Electric fridges are energy hogs. A better choice is either a 3-way RV fridge that can run on propane while stationary, or just a plain old ice chest and ice.


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller

Thanks for the reply.
I have been looking for other fridge options. The mini fridge was just a quick easy find as they seem to be a dime a dozen around where I am. I found a couple 3 way fridges for sale but a province away. So it’ll be an “upgrade” when I find the right one.

I guess I didn’t really think about it already having an isolator, good point. I’ll check that out.
I had emailed am RV tech before the pandemic. A friend said they’d charge me an arm and a leg for the “specialty” work…worth it if it actually all works properly though, I think.


Mini fridges are a better option than 12v compressor fridges. If you’re lucky you might find one with a wall wart that actually puts out 12vdc. Otherwise you will need to use an inverter, and to be energy efficient, it gets a little tricky.

Inverters draw power whether they’re actually being used or not. Because of this, you never want to leave an inverter running when it’s not in use. With a temp probe, connected to a relay, to turn the power on and off going to the relay, you can make a dorm fridge even more efficient than the power hog 12v fridges.


"Smiles are contagious, pass them on!" ~ Van_Dweller


Something else to consider is that electric fridges add a ton of heat to the interior unless they are vented to the outside. Not so good in the summer. This is just one of the many reasons that I prefer to stick with just an ice chest.


"Smiles are contagious, pass them on!" ~ Van_Dweller