Tag Archives: inverter

Solar Mumbo Jumbo

Why A 100W Solar Panel May Only Give You 50W

There is much to do about solar panels on RV’s. They are affordable, virtually maintenance free and easy to install. But do they deliver, what they promise?

Actually, most of these panels produce the indicated watts, with a big caveat: in summer under ideal weather circumstances. That’s fine for the average holiday traveler, yet poses obstacles for the more hardened RVer, who needs the power especially during the colder months of the year. Continue reading Solar Mumbo Jumbo

Solar Controller & Breaker Box


Watch all my videos on YouTube!

Solar Power has put Vandwelling within reach of ordinary people. So, with full-time RVing in mind, I have begun with the installation of some solar components.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an expert at this and this is not a How-To guide. 12V can KILL you; consult an expert first.

The very basic power source in an RV has always been the trusted lead-acid battery. That suddenly allowed you to have some (very) basic amenities, such as lights, but still required regular if not daily visits to a campground or other place where one could recharge it. Continue reading Solar Controller & Breaker Box

RV Hookup Cable


Watch all my videos on YouTube!

Boondocking is the primary use of this stealth van, yet a 15 amp RV hookup cable will be installed to connect the electrical system to the grid, when hookups are available.

Commercial campgrounds have never been my favorite places to stay, as I prefer the immersion that only nature can provide. But sometimes, when your black water tank fills up, fresh water is needed or your batteries run low, a campground visit may be required. Some form of access to the electrical system of the RV is necessary. Continue reading RV Hookup Cable

Samlex SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter

After the decision to buy the Samlex 450w inverter, it was a matter of ordering on-line. samlex plug-inI received the SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter this morning and by all means, it’s a fairly small and lightweight device, but that’s to be expected when we’re dealing with these small loads.

No remote start is included, but it has a built-in 2.1A 5V USB outlet, dual 110V outlets, a set of cables with a cigarette lighter plug, a set of cables with battery clips and a readable manual.
Continue reading Samlex SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter

How A Simple Inverter Saved My Day!

I’m just at the beginning of the conversion of my cargo van and the decision about the final design of the electrical system is still a long way off. I had to rethink the design again, as I’m preparing for my first multi-day trip with the van.

The Electrical System

I have long envisioned a basic electrical system, comprised of a few solar panels, lead-acid batteries and a modest inverter, supplemented with some propane for cooking and heating. Continue reading How A Simple Inverter Saved My Day!

RV Electrical System: My Setup

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.

Considerations

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.

Batteries

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

RV Electrical System: Batteries & Solar Panels

PREVIOUS: RV Electrical System: Design

Batteries

Central to the system and most visible are the batteries, which have to supply the electricity during the days when a hookup is not available. Two basic types are currently used in RV’s:

  • Lead-Acid Batteries
    Trojan T-105Types:

    • Starting Battery – Use only to start the vehicle; its plates are too thin.
    • RV/Marine Deep Cycle Battery – Used as start and house battery. Don’t use.
    • True Deep Cycle Battery – Has thick plates made to store and hold your power.

    Flooded or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)
    Flooded batteries, need regular maintenance, but their price make it the most affordable solution. Continue reading RV Electrical System: Batteries & Solar Panels