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Tech Tips: OHV Electrical Systems

When you first purchase an offroad camper van, all the guides and tips and systems can seem daunting. Not only are you learning how to drive a new vehicle, you’re also figuring out how to use critical systems like your OHV electrical system at the same time. The experts at Off Highway Van have compiled their electrical system tips and are here to help!

Locating Your OHV Electrical System

To locate your electrical system box in your Off Highway Van head to the rear of the van on the driver’s side. There, you will see an aluminum box purpose built to store your electrical systems. Unclasp the latch on the front panel of the box to expose your electrical systems.

OHV Electrical System

Inside your Off Highway Van electrical system box you will find:

  • Your Van’s Battery System

  • A Fuse Panel

  • An External Cutoff

What’s An External Cutoff?

The external cutoff allows you to cut all power to your van with the flip of a switch. This is especially helpful for winterizing your van or if you plan to store your van long term.

Using Your Solar Connection Panel

When you shut off your solar connection, you will cut all power to your solar panels and regenerative solar power. We highly recommend shutting this feature off if you plan to store your van long term.

Solar Connection Panel

How To Power Down Your Solar Connection

To shut off your solar system, start by pressing the extended blue button on your solar switch.

Power Off Solar Connection

Then, push the blue-ringed button to the right of the switch and hold it down for 10 seconds to power off the battery combiners. This ensures that no power is flowing from your starter battery.

Solar Shutoff Step 2

To ensure that your system is powered off, check to make sure that the button you just held for 10 seconds is no longer illuminated.

Solar System Shutoff 3

Finally, you will want to turn off your main power switch. This switch looks like the standard breaker switch you’d see in your home. To turn this switch to the off position, flip the switch to the right.

Powering On Your Solar Connection

To turn these systems back on, simply repeat the process in reverse order with an added third step to finalize your power up.

  1. Flip the black breaker switch to the left position (ON).

  2. Hold the blue-ringed button for 10 seconds until it is illuminated

  3. Finally, push the yellow “Reset” switch into the up position. This will extend the blue button and the yellow reset switch should push flush up to the switch.

Solar Reset Switch

Your van solar system should now be fully powered on and ready for use.

Accessing Your Breaker Box + Fuse Panel

Next to your solar system control panel, you will see another compartment to the right. This compartment houses your fuse panel. This panel can be a great place to start when you’re troubleshooting any electrical issues.

Off Highway Van Fuse Box

We suggest taking a look at your fuse panel every few months even if you do not have any troubleshooting issues just to ensure that everything is working as expected.

The Inverter In Switch (INV IN)

The first switch on the left-hand side of your fuse panel is your inverter in control. This breaker attaches the inverter (Xantrez / Victron) to all the outlets in your Off Highway Van. By turning this switch off, it will remove your van’s ability to invert power.

Inverter In Breaker

Even with this system shut off, you will still have access to your 12V power systems.

Shore Power Switch (SHORE)

The second breaker from the left on your fuse panel will be labeled SHORE.

Shore Power Breaker

Shore power refers to any power that is coming into your van externally via an outlet or some other power source. If you switch this system off, your shore power will no longer function.

Common Shore Power Problems + Solutions

In some instances, your shore power may not function as expected. These cases includes running multiple, high-draw appliances at the same time (which can overload the system). This can be avoided by either running one high-draw appliance at a time or simply unplugging your van from shore power.

The Inverter Out Switch (INV OUT)

The inverter out switch works very similarly to your inverter in switch. However, this fuse controls all of the outlets in your van. By switching this breaker to the off position, you will disable all of the outlets in your van as well as your stove and microwave (if applicable).

Inverter Out Breaker

This switch prevents system overload and will turn off to protect your inverter and batteries if an overload is detected.

The Rixen Switch (RIXEN)

If you opted for Off Highway Van’s four-season package for your camper van build, the next breaker to the right of the INV OUT is RIXEN.

Rixen System Breaker

Note: if you DO NOT have our four-season system, you will not have this breaker. Instead, you will have a fuse that you can pull out that powers your Espar diesel heater.

This RIXEN breaker controls your Rixen hydronic heating system. This is a basic breaker that will turn the system on or off. If you are experiencing any issues with your system, this is the first place you should check.

The Outlets Switch (OUTLETS)

The final breaker switch you will see on your fuse panel is the “Outlets” breaker.

Camper Van Outlets Breaker

This switch powers any outlets you can plug into in your van. If an outlet in your van is not working, this is the first place to check.

Using Your Fuse Panel

The fuse panel in your Off Highway Van is located directly to the right of your breaker box. This panel controls the DC or battery side of your camper van electrical system.

These fuses are labeled 10, 15, and 20 amps depending on the system it is used for. All of these systems controlled by your fuses will be labeled to the right of each fuse.

Van Fuse Panel

The fuse panel can be a great starting point for any electrical troubleshooting for your van. Check the fuse to make sure it is not blown and is tightly in place. In case of a blow out, head over to your provided toolkit and grab one of the provided replacement fuses.

Replacing A Fuse In Your Van

To replace a fuse in your van, firmly grasp the blown fuse and remove it from its slot. Once a fuse is removed, you should see an orange indicator light run on below the fuse port. This orange light means that the fuse is inactive. This indicator light will also illuminate if a fuse in your panel is blown.

Much like a filament in your lightbulbs, a fuse has a small wire that will sever when the fuse is blown.

Shown below, you can see the difference between a normal and blown fuse when they are held up to a light source.

Blown vs. Standard Fuse

Simply press a new fuse into the inactive slot to reactivate the system. Be sure that the illuminated “inactive” light has gone out and you’re all set!

Off Highway Van

Ready To Build Your Own Off Highway Van?

If you’ve always been curious about van life, we can help! Stop by for a tour of our shop or talk to an OHV expert today to learn more about our builds, our systems, or our complete camper van conversions.


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