While these cooling tips are valid for all RV’s, I’ll be focusing on off-grid camping and boondocking. Those of us that frequent regular campgrounds with all their amenities have it much easier.
It is always difficult to stay cool in the Heat of Summer or warm when the temperature drops. The best we can strive for is a comfortable experience anytime we’re in our RV. But what do you do in a small van or Class B RV?
Before we talk about lifestyle changes, we have to discuss the structural composition of the vehicle. Unfortunately, many factory-built RV’s are still manufactured with little insulation, but with a custom van conversion we can add as much as we feel is necessary. The transfer of heat is a major concern, yet can be addressed with a variety of thermal insulation products. Continue reading 10 Cool Ideas To Lower Temperatures In Your RV
I’m pleased to announce the arrival of my little miracle (manufactured today, September 25th, 2015).
My little bundle of joy will come home in a few weeks (by convoy), where I’ll help him to quickly grow up (van conversion). As an adult he’ll be able to travel the country and experience America’s natural beauty.
My Cargo Van
It has been a fairly easy process up till now. I ordered the vehicle at the dealer on July 31st, expecting a 3 month wait. As expected, I received a copy of the ‘Confirmed Order’ less than a week later. This shows what was input at the dealership. If there are errors to the order or delays in a particular option(s), this will Continue reading It’s My New Ford Transit
The new Ford Transit cargo van is arriving soon and the conversion will start soon afterwards. To engage more readers and get them more involved in this project, I have planned several new features for this website.
Starting Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 @ 4 PM EDT, I will be holding the first Free LIVE Chatroom event, where I’ll have an update on my New Ford Transit cargo van and will discuss some of the issues I’ll face during the conversion process.
You’re invited to join me and chat about Van Conversions or anything related to modifying your RV. Let’s talk about vehicle choice, tell your boondocking stories or introduce us to your favorite campsites.
If we can make this a recurring event, more changes are coming, but I need your participation! If you want to take part and you have specific questions that require research, include those questions in an email and send it to me, well in advance of this Chatroom event.
Not having done anything LIVE before, your input about the time and day of the week for future events, are important to me. I’m on the East coast and a late afternoon session makes it convenient for West coasters too; just let me know what your preferences are and I’ll try to schedule future events around that.
If you want to receive a reminder prior to the event, then sign up here and get notified by email the day before the event.
You can join me on October 7th in our Chatroom at CargoVanConversion.com/live!
Buying overseas goods has become much easier and we can take advantage of that during our RV conversion. The inherent risks are manageable and the savings substantial.
As the start of the cargo van conversion comes closer, it’s time to get the first mods. Lots of materials will have a local supplier, such as your DIY Super Store and only require a short trip to buy what you need.
Yet many items have to be ordered and delivered by mail or shipping company and as the world gets smaller, that resource doesn’t have to be in your state or even in the US.
Continue reading Why I Order Chinese And Get It Delivered
Design and layout of a van conversion is a tricky proposition, as every available inch has a huge impact on the final livability of the van.
The new 2016 Ford Transit cargo van is coming soon and there’s still a lot to do and prepare for the conversion. One of those things is the design and layout of the van. Over the past few months, I have been working on the layout towards a good and hopefully somewhat unique design.
Continue reading How I Design My RV Layout
Before the starting the conversion of the new Ford Transit cargo van (ETA October 2015), I’d like to add a few electronics gadgets. Being frugal or cheap by choice, I declined one or two factory options with the purpose of saving some money in addition to creating a more personalized solution.
Reverse Sensing System
As an extension of your backup system, a reverse sensing system produces an audible (and sometimes a visual) signal, indicating an unseen obstruction behind the vehicle.
The optional Ford accessory consists of several ultrasonic sensors mounted into the rear bumper. This type of technology has the benefit to be able to detect objects and obstacles even when the vehicle is stationary, yet it has a limited detection range and the sensors have to be cleaned regularly to stay operational.
Another technology incorporates electromagnetic parking sensors, where an adhesive transceiver strip is Continue reading How To Guide: Parking Sensors and Vehicle Cameras
Lithium battery prices could fall from $550 per kWh in 2014 to $200 per kWh by 2020. That whopping 65% is one of the results of an energy storage study published by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
This would be a game changer in the RV environment, by making such a battery bank overall much more affordable, with big technological improvements over lead-acid batteries. Such a quick adoption would equal the current implementation of solar energy, which has been the second-largest source of new electricity generating capacity in the US.
Battery prices will be under big pressure starting 2016 when Elon Musk’s monster factories will go on-line and start producing 500,000 Lithium batteries a year in Nevada. May be just in time for my van conversion!
PREVIOUS: RV Electrical System: Sizing
Now that we have a good understanding of the intricacies of a well-designed electrical/solar system for an RV, it’s time to select the actual components for my upcoming Ford Transit cargo van conversion.
The goal I’m striving for, is a fully electrical, self-sufficient van/RV that can handle a minimum of 5-6 days off the grid. No other power sources such as propane for cooking & heating are considered and average consumption is calculated to be between 80-90 Amps per day.
The heart of the electrical system is the battery bank. Long dominated by lead-acid batteries (first flooded and more recently AGM’s), finally the more appealing Lithium technology is gaining a foothold. With the Continue reading RV Electrical System: My Setup
Dual alternators offer to double the amperage available to your house batteries, while keeping the original factory charging system intact.
The Mercedes Benz Sprinter has had an option for a while now, for a second alternator. Not many RV’s have a real need for such an upgrade, but especially with the introduction of large Lithium battery banks in RV’s, they may prove to be indispensable.
No other van had this option available, either as OEM or after-market product until now. Several companies are offering these kits for the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster, but don’t rush to the store yet without a big fat wallet. Continue reading Dual Alternator Kits
Color schemes and material lists play a big role in the early stages of the cargo van conversion. All further changes to the RV have to conform to those choices.
While waiting for the production and delivery of the new van, it’s time to make some final decisions and prepare for actual delivery. Design and layout are at the top of my list.
Layout of the vehicle refers mostly to the use as an RV and some major choices still have to be made. Today I’m researching and rethinking the general design, in particular colors and materials.
In recent years I’ve been experimenting with some natural hardwoods, such as Cherry, Walnut and Continue reading RV Color Design: Where Did My Artistic Mojo Go?