Well the guys at AIMS replaced the Inverter-Charger for free and admitted that they haven't done a good job being clear about the installation. My relative is a journeyman electrician with about 40 years experience with heavy duty commercial and industrial electrical installations and his comment was to be very careful about bonding the neutral and ground.
We're still alive, still working on the van - between operations and working full time. Here's a couple of pictures of tanks being installed. And a couple of pictures of the vinyl planking on the hardboard on the foam insulation on the sound insulation.
We don't recommend denim which is cotton and can absorb moisture. We offer Thinsulate(TM) SM600L and SM400L which are engineered for vehicles. The fibers are hydrophobic so do not absorb moisture. It will do an excellent job for noise reduction and provide thermal insulation as well. Most of our customers do not find is necessary to install any additional noise abatement or thermal insulating products. Thinsulate(TM) is a safe, well recognized brand that is being used by more and more DIY and professional up-fitters. Please send a PM to request a sample.
Thinsulate works ONLY if there is an air layer between the body panel and the Thinsulate.
That is incorrect. You must be thinking of Reflectix or other thin foil faced products which require an air space to achieve their often lofty R-value claims. Thinsulate SM600L is ~1 3/4" thick and has an R-value of 5.2. It's also very good a blocking noise.
If more insulation is desired after installing Thinsulate(TM), we recommend Low-E as a radiant barrier towards the inside of the van.
Both Thinsulate(TM) and Low-E pass Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flammability. (FMVSS-302) This standard has also been adopted by RVIA.
We have extensive experience plus technical support from 3M and Low-E engineering in regards to insulating vans. Please call or write if you need further assistance.
Am looking for an answer to what may well be a simple question. My Wire Sizing Chart says to measure Total System Length (length of positive feed +length of negative return.) So, to properly size my wires from the Secondary Alternator to the Batteries, I need to also include the wires from the Batteries to the Inverter? And back to the Alternator? Or am I misunderstanding the concept of "negative return"?
Assuming your chassis is grounded, and it should be, your ground wire might only be a few inches in length. Your application may require a ground wire back to the source but typically that is not required.
Might suggest running the largest gauge cable you can physically run from the alternator to the battery and to the inverter, something like 4/0 welding cable so it will be as efficient as possible. Go up a size in wire everything adds to the efficiency of everything you are running without too much more expense. Try to use non insulated lugs followed with marine heat shrink. This method insures a better connection and are less apt to pull apart or corrode. The marine heat shrink has a sealant/glue. Run an extra cable or two to different areas as you may want to add on latter. SO cable for 110v and 12v is a good idea. Buying the wire and connectors in bulk will save $$$. I try to buy everything marine grade as they are usually more durable and corrosion resistant. If you install a switch on everything, you can control parasitic loss. It requires allot more wiring effort and expense, but you will be able to maximize the battery capacity and not have to charge as often.
Am looking for an answer to what may well be a simple question. My Wire Sizing Chart says to measure Total System Length (length of positive feed +length of negative return.) So, to properly size my wcires from the Secondary Alternator to the Batteries, I need to also include the wires from the Batteries to the Inverter? And back to the Alternator? Or am I misunderstanding the concept of "negative return"?
The Total System Length would be...
length of the positive feed to the battery, times 2.
I don't run a second alternator, I have an Onan installed.
The van body will offer the least resistance vs cable as long as you have a solid connection. I would run a heavy braided flat ground from the alternator to the body. I use a bolt with copper washers after grinding away paint to connect the lug. Then I cover with silicone. I added an extra ground to my battery this way. I didn't like the way the factory did it, looked pretty weak.
Keep in mind when sizing wire that you will loose voltage depending on the run and gauge. What is recommended is the minimum size of acceptable loss. Using heavier gauge will lessen the voltage loss and make your gear run more efficiently. Every little bit helps and it doesn't add to your cost that much. To a RV MFG who has to worry about the bottom line, running heavier wire only increases their cost.