Wiring diagram for RV electrical work

A licence is required in Australia to work on installations over 50 volts ac. The state of Victoria, however, claims that RVs are not installations – and are thus exempt. It classifies RVs (legally) as ‘plug-in appliances’. Furthermore, it advises that licensing is outside its jurisdiction.*  Your RV must meet Australian Standards AS/NZS3000:2018 & AS/NZS3001:2007. In Victoria, however, it need not be inspected. Nor need a Certificate of Electrical Compliance be provided.

In 2018 I inspected a new Victorian-made RV. Unlike the superb DIY unit shown above, it had so many electrical issues it needed total rewiring. I make no suggestion, nor imply that others are similar. Nevertheless, insist on a Certificate of Electrical Compliance. You need this anyway if re-registering interstate (particularly) in Queensland.

Legally Do it Yourself

You can legally install your own solar system, however, as long as no part exceeds the prescribed voltage limits. These are (in 2019) under 50 volts ac – and/or 110 volts (ripple-free) dc. RV solar arrays are usually a nominal 12, 24 or 48 volts. Seventy-two volts just scrapes in but is not recommended as it may reach almost as peaks reach over 100 volts and deliver quite a shock. Battery voltage is typically 12 volts dc up to 1.5 kW, 24 volts up to.2.5 KW and 48 volts there-on.

You can legally install a ‘stand-alone’ inverter. These units have integral outlet sockets as shown below.

Inverter for an RV

This Powertech inverter accepts a single power cord. It is legal to alternatively plug in a multi-socket power board if required. It may not be connected to any fixed wiring. Pic: Jaycar.  

You may plug an appliance directly into a stand-alone inverter’s outlet socket (some have two) or several via a multi-output power board. You must not, however (in many countries) connect the inverter’s output into any fixed wiring.

Electricity is dangerous

Do not attempt any such work unless you truly know how.

For full details of how to do this work yourself, please buy our book Solar Success and/or Caravan & Motorhome Electrics. These books explain all.

  • Energy Safe Victoria sent us written confirmation that it does not regard (in Victoria) an RV as an ‘electrical appliance’.