solar-panel-guide

Solar Panel Guide (1)

New approaches for small RV’s.

THIS DECADE HAS SEEN MANY ADVANCES IN SOLAR PANEL RESEARCH, WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A WIDE ARRAY OF NEW MATERIALS, WHICH IS CHANGING RV LIFE.

Less important to the big rigs, that have large, flat roofs to support a large numbers of panels, the smaller Class B RV’s and Cargo Van Conversions tend to have preciously little room for sufficient solar power generating equipment. And those with curved roofs (p.e. converted vans or Airstreams) are even less fortunate. Another concern for smaller vehicles is overall weight, as their restricted payloads limit installation of an extensive photovoltaic system.

flex-solar-panelMost often the rigid residential solar modules have been adapted for use by RV’s, but flexible panels started to make inroads a few years ago. These low-efficiency panels offered no solution for the Class B traveler, as they came in clumsy sizes and needed more, lacking, roof space.
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version 2.0

Cargo Van Conversion V2.0 – Van Use

AS I EXPLAINED IN MY PREVIOUS POST Cargo Van Conversion V2.0. BEFORE CONVERTING A NEW VAN, WE CAN REVISIT OUR EXPECTATIONS AND BUILD ON OUR ACQUIRED EXPERIENCES DURING OUR FIRST VAN CONVERSION.

Define Van Use

Intended use may take precedent over other uses. With solar panels on the roof, a roof-top kayak is out-of-the-question. Some uses like a private shower, require a medium-or full-height van and thus rule out the standard low-roof models. We first have to prepare a list of desired features and determine what can be included in the design of the new cargo van. When these requirements are set, their impact on the specifications of the new van will narrow the selection of available models.

Electric Scooter

scooter rackLong desired to reduce use of the van, both at home and on trips, battery technology is still in a state of flux with new technologies quickly replacing old. The electric feature would work well with the solar panels on the van.
As it can be added on a rear-rack, it has no real impact on the van model, but adjustment of the solar specs should be explored.
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foldable-bucket-3

Foldable Silicone Collapsible Bucket

SOMETIMES, YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.

During my previous adventures in a sizable travel trailer, I always struggled with a bucket. Even with the abundance of space available to store it, most locations in the trailer either were not deep enough or were obstructed by drains, shelves, etc.

foldable-bucket-2A bucket is one of these things you can use in a multitude of situations: clean the RV, do a small hand wash, retrieve some drinking water or if you like fishing, hold your catch of blue crabs.

foldable-bucket-1So, my new converted van MUST have a bucket and when I found this Foldable Bucket, I finally knew what I needed as a RV accessory! This will make living in a van a lot easier, without sacrificing on size and weight.

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version 2.0

Cargo Van Conversion v2.0

I HAVEN’T WORKED ON THE VAN MUCH LATELY. HAD TO FOCUS ON MY JOB, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE 1992 DODGE B-250 VAN HAS STARTED TO FAIL.

Its age and the increasing number of repairs have redirected my focus on the purchase of a new cargo van and restart the van conversion from the beginning.

Fortunately, the new cargo van models available on the market today have many improvements over the old models and manufacturer support is guaranteed for many years to come. Knowledge and experience gained with the current conversion can be applied to the new cargo van and improvements in materials, such as solar panels, may lead to a better end result.

In the next few weeks/months I will make a wish list of desired features, create new concept layouts, research materials, appliances and finishes and define requirements for the new van.
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zenith electric ram promaster

Is electricity the future of Van living/camping?

Zenith Electric has made available an electric version of the Ram ProMaster cargo van.

It has an electric drivetrain, including a 180-hp motor and a 62.5-kWh bank of lithium-ion phosphate batteries and a list price of $89,500, that can be offset by a federal tax credit of $5,500 and perhaps other grants or credits. It removes the powertrains from completely finished vans from Chrysler, and installs the electric equipment.
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