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Discussion Starter #1
Early in my conversion I was overwhelmed with the enormity of what I was undertaking, and overlooked a few critical details.

Chief among these was covering over all of the factory ground points with wood. All of them.

I could go back and dig one or two out, but it'd take some doing -- and I'm not that interested in doing that if it can be avoided. They're really buried.

I've seen in pics of others' builds that some people have mounted a busbar to wood, and terminated all of their loads into that busbar.

I never quite understood this, and now I can't find any pics to scrutinize them in detail.

So -- at last -- my question.

If I drill a hole in my frame, under the van, and create a ground point there, and then run an appropriately sized wire up through the wall and connect it to my negative busbar which is mounted directly to a wood surface, will that work to ground my loads?

All positive loads terminate in a Blue Sea 12 circuit fuse block.

Thanks.
 

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One of my rules I ended up with over the years is to never bury anything , maybe sometimes exceptions are things that seldom get used but are needed , but even then at least have some form of access .
Makes for a way less stressful life but sometimes the only way to do this is to downsize because
you only have but so much space.
 

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There is a ground point at the parking brake. Is that one under wood too? No way to pull a ground from the battery under the drivers seat?
What is the concern of mounting a negative bussbar to wood?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There is a ground point at the parking brake. Is that one under wood too? No way to pull a ground from the battery under the drivers seat?

What is the concern of mounting a negative bussbar to wood?

Yeah, the one at the e-brake is under the front edge of my floor.

Concern = wood is not metal.
 

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I've tried to take multiple pathways to chassis ground. For example if you have an outlet with a ground wire, and your inverter is connected to the chassis (probably both the bare AC ground wire and the DC - connection), then maybe you can find a way to run a wire from one of your outlets to one of the many interior and exterior ground points (cargo hold-down bolts work great). Not every AC and DC circuit needs an independent connection to the chassis, but if you can run a few extra black wires and connect to the chassis in a couple spots, my thought is that it will help mitigate the risk in the future of one of the chassis points having the connection degrade and give me a confusing, intermittent electrical failure that might be hard for me to recognize, to find, and to diagnose. It also helps reduce the chance of ground loops. I actually connected a couple chassis ground points to each other with my own wires, besides grounding various parts of my system to different chassis points.

As far as mounting busbars--no problem mounting to something non-conductive. I try to mount + and negative busbars in a way that won't allow me to drop a tool or otherwise mistakenly bump into them in a way that will short + to -.
 

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Yeah, the one at the e-brake is under the front edge of my floor.

Concern = wood is not metal.
Take the plastic cover off the parking brake. You will find a bracket that bolts the parking brake to the driver's seat pedestal. That steel bracket has holes in it that can be used for a negative ground.

I went a step further. Did not ground the house system to the van steel. My house system is completely separate from the van electrical. That is possible because I do not directly charge the house battery through a relay to the vehicle battery. I can charge from the vehicle because I have a pure sine inverter powered by the vehicle 12 volt system. I take the 120 volt AC output from the vehicle powered inverter and power the shore power charger.
 

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My walls are covered with cedar planking, I just went to the hardware store and bought a bolt that fits one of the D-ring bolt holes (7/16 Fine Thread) near the floor and used that to hook my Negative bus bar to with a single large cable.
Four years later and no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Take the plastic cover off the parking brake. You will find a bracket that bolts the parking brake to the driver's seat pedestal. That steel bracket has holes in it that can be used for a negative ground.

I did find that. Could never get a solid 12v reading using that -- it bounced all over the place. Some combo of paint, or anodization/oxidation, etc... Even after some minor sanding to get at base metal it still had a lot of noise, so I rejected it.
 

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Well the bussbar would need a negative to the chassis somewhere. My thoughts were you are concerned that the bussbar would be a mounting issue as far as heat etc. A ground path to battery is always your best bet. I that's not accessible you will have trouble in the future changing batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My walls are covered with cedar planking, I just went to the hardware store and bought a bolt that fits one of the D-ring bolt holes (7/16 Fine Thread) near the floor and used that to hook my Negative bus bar to with a single large cable.
Four years later and no problems.

If I could still get anywhere near my metal floor (it is buried beneath insulation, linoleum, plywood, and carpet) that would be a great, easy path.
 

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I did find that. Could never get a solid 12v reading using that -- it bounced all over the place. Some combo of paint, or anodization/oxidation, etc... Even after some minor sanding to get at base metal it still had a lot of noise, so I rejected it.
I used the bracket for the ground for my vehicle powered inverter.

If I recall correctly there is a unused stud at the negative post on one or both of the dual battery installation on my 2015.
 

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[QUOTE goingforspeed
Makes no difference that it's mounted to wood man.
[/QUOTE]
I always thought that it made no difference but then again I never actually bolted a metal ground directly to wood , reason being is that when you look at negative bussbar or negative posts why are they on plastic mounts if it doesn't make a difference ?

140391
 

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I'd say cost but I'm an engineer. The last one I bought like that came with a positive boot cover too. I've seen airstream use a home bussbar bolted to the shell. That company does some weird stuff.
 

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My negative busbar is mounted on wood. My positive busbar is also mounted on wood.

My system can see 200+ amps so I run the negative back to the vans dual batteries (2019). It also connects to house battery negative.
 

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I'm still trying to figure out if the question was about mounting a conductive metal bar directly to wood, or an insulated bus bar assembly to wood.

At 12V the former shouldn't be a problem, but at very high humidity levels wood does conduct a small amount. This would only be an issue if something on the positive side of the circuit was also connected to the wood nearby. The importance of insulation/isolation increases with voltage.

But with all the insulated bus bars available for purchase, why wouldn't someone use one?
 
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