Charlotte’s Volkswagen Crafter Electrical Build

Charlotte’s Volkswagen Crafter Electrical Build

Firstly, why did Charlotte choose Tiny Build Electrics?

“The van electrical system was the part of the build I found most confusing. I really like that Tiny Build Electrics offered personal consultations where I could ask questions and iron out any worries that I had. I like that I was being given answers by someone who was electrically trained as well as having built and travelled in their own vans. I also really like how everything seemed to revolve around safety and the best practices. I like that my individual power requirements were mapped out so I knew my system was going to be able to handle my personal usage rather than predefined usage profiles that weren’t designed around my specific build and usage”

Campervan with mountains

Tiny Build Electrics Consultation & Design

Charlotte booked her electrical design consultation with Tom at a time and date that suited her. During the consultation Tom asked Charlotte specific questions about her usage and where and for how long she plans to travel. The answers from these questions help Tom spec the system and build the personalised schematic.

Once the consultation was complete, Tom set about designing Charlotte’s schematic for her electrical installation. Along with the schematic, Tom also produced a component list with everything required to build the system. Charlotte purchased the components via Tiny Build Electrics.

Components were picked and packed by Tom and Tiny Build Electrics HQ and sent across to Charlotte’s address.

Tom Consultation
Tom Diagrams

Van Electrical System Installation

Charlotte decided to use Tiny Build Electrics as the electrical system installer. Charlie, our resident electrician, travelled to Charlotte’s unit where her build and fit out was taking place.

“I wanted to be confident everything was installed safely. So many things that can go wrong, and having spent so much money on the build so far so it seemed silly not to spend a little bit more and have confidence someone who knew what they were doing had installed it!

Also the time element – the build had already taken 5 months, I was desperate for my life back and to get on the road with the van and what took Charlie a couple of days, would’ve taken me quite a few weekends/late nights.. and no guarantee I would’ve done it right (or safely!!) so it seemed like an absolute no brainier to use the installation service too!”


Charlie had Charlotte’s personalised Tiny Build Electrics schematic emailed across and from that he could design a layout.

The electrical system was to be fitted into the garage area, under the bed, within a pre-manufactured cupboard supplied by the furniture manufacturer. This made the layout a little tricky as space was a premium and heat dissipation of the electrical components needed to be taken into consideration,

More Cables

The bulk of the viltron energy components were to be mounted to a 18mm ply backing board supplied and cut to shape by Charlotte and her partner Gavin. This made the install a lot easier as the board could be taken out to do the majority of the fiddly work on the work bench.

Charlie mounted the Victron Energy DC-DC converter and Victron Energy MPPT solar charge controller on an aluminium backplate, this helps to better dissipate the heat produced by both of these electronic devices. Charlie also separated the devices by the 100mm recommended by Victron Energy themselves to help with the heat. The cooler that the devices run, the larger their charge current.

Orion Smart

The cupboard unit, planned for the electrical system, had been left out of the van, which made first fixing the electrical system very easy. Charlie was able to work around the cupboard adding all the components and cables that would be hard to get to once in place in the van. The main isolator was fitted to the back of the unit which was convenient for Charlotte and would also be within close proximity to the whopping 460ah lithium leisure battery,

Pre Wired Cabinet

Once both the cabinet and panel were pre-wired, Charlie could move the cabinet into the van and marry the two together. The panel trunking had been cut so that it would all line up creating ventilated cable protection within the installation. The time that had been taken to pre wire these units meant they seamlessly attached together.

Wired Cabinet

At this stage the vans electrical system really started coming together. The 230V AC circuits were terminated as well as the 12V DC circuits. Once all the final circuits had been terminated, earthing and bonding had been connected and panel trunking lid fitted, it was time to fit the battery and inverter. The reason these two units were left until last was because they were both the largest of the items and also had specific areas in which they were to be fitted.

The battery sat snug in under the unit next to the wheel arch of the van, while the inverter sat up on a shelf in front of the electrical system.

Victron Energy

The system had a Victron Energy Cerbo GX, a controller which integrates the whole system together as well as having a 5 inch touch display screen. These items were fitted and all associated cables ran between all the electronic devices, allowing Charlotte to see exactly what her system is producing in real time, both from the 5 inch touch screen and her mobile phone via bluetooth.

Cerbo GX

Tiny Build Electrics remote commissioning via VRM

Due to Charlotte’s system having a CerboGX, which not only interconnected the whole system but also connected to the internet, commissioning could be done remotely by Tom.

Tom logged into the system from Tiny Build Electrics office and could set all charging parameters for the chargers. The Victron MPPT solar charge controller, DC-DC converter and Multiplus inverter/charger needed commissioning so that the system knew what size and type of battery was connected to the system. A system thats not commissioned correctly is inefficient and has the potential to damage the lithium leisure batteries.

The installation also had a second DC-DC converter which was used for the sensitive LED lighting that had been installed. This stopped the LED lights from flickering and mitigates any potential damage that could be caused from higher charging voltages.

Bulk Charge
Absorption Charge

Tiny Build Electrics Test & Inspection plus Certification

A few weeks passed before Charlie returned to test the system, this was due to the Crafter being sent away to have various other components fitted such as the double bench seat and shower unit. Once returned, the van could have its 230V 3 pin sockets second fixed as well as a few lights around the van.

Once the sockets were second fixed the testing stage could take place. Charlie tested the 230V install and produced a Electrical Installation Certificate proving that the system was safe, the RCDs were tripping in the correct amount of time and the earthing and bonding were connected.

The results from the test were typed up and the certificates emailed directly to Charlotte to keep with her build should she ever sell the vehicle so that she can prove the installation was installed and tested by a competent person.


Living the van life!

Since the build finished in March 2024 Charlotte, her partner Gavin and their dog, Thor, have certainly been making the most of their tiny home on wheels. Taking it to Scotland for a shakedown tour, before heading to the Lake District.

Both lucky enough to have remote jobs, the Crafter enables them to be anywhere in the UK meaning their lunchtimes, evenings and weekends are spent in the mountains where these guys like it best!

The electrical system that was designed, installed, commissioned and tested by Tiny Build Electrics and what a pleasure it is to now see the van out on the road, enabling Charlotte and Gavin to work remotely with power on demand!

Think we could help you and your build? Get in touch and start your journey to owning your very own tiny home on wheels!

Van Life
Tom Alderdice

Hey, I’m Tom – founder of Tiny Build Electrics

My mission is to help sustainable-minded folks develop their electrical knowledge, giving them the confidence to do their own tiny build electrics.

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