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Post Info TOPIC: help with my new RV


RV-Dreams Community Member

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help with my new RV


Greetings from London! Hi to one and all. I'm new to the forum and new to boondocking, but I have been camping all my life and now hae the oppertunity to travel the world in a camper van. I have been looking at all the great advice out there, the opnly problem i have thus far is a lot of the info out there is aimed at the American market.

I do not own a van as yet, but have been looking at some nice models online. At this point in time I am seriously considering a trip to the states to buy and fit my van as with the currcncy exchange I am theorising to get more bang for my pound even with the cost of flights and container shipment for the van?

I have done some research into solar systems and pretty much know what i am on about there, i am a little anxious as  to how many batteries to get (and maybe how many 130w pannels) I am going to be boondocking from London through most of europe and through mongolia, china, maybe india and back to china to ferry to singapore maybe and defo on to australia where i am not leaving for at least a year doue to family commitmants.

I want to be off the grid as much as possible and my planning and research so far has got to 2 X 130W panels @ 24V in paralell?, an MPPT charge controller 2 X 6V 240AH trojan deep cycle batteries in series. (Do you think this system will recharge it's slef on a sunny day?) will this be suficient with stops in cities lasting up to a week and driving at other times? DO YOU THINK IF I'M GOING TO BE DEPENDANT ON BATTERIES I MAY NEED MORE? I don't want to spend a fortune on my battery bank, but if i'm invesiting on the solar side of things there is no point doing it half-assed!

Now I am thinking of a generator for those times when you just NEED one (cloudy days) and an inverter/charger. A couple of questions here... 1 I can't find many inverters to 240V (obviously my home power supply) so I have the choice of buying all my equipment from america and shipping it to UK (TV, Microwave ect) or finding a 240v model... What would be easier on the battery bank? I am assuming the lower voltage? If I'm going to be on solar and Generator is it worth even worrying about on-site hookup? If i'm going all over the world I may have to battle a few different electrical outputs, should the dire need arise that i have to hook up!

So in a nutshell what i am asking is do you think this solar setup will provide me with suficient amp hours for a few hours evening use of laptop TV and lights, water pump a for half hour AND be able to recharge it's self? What should I do about inverter/charger? Go all american and get my products shipped over, or try and find a model that will do UK or even worldwide? I am starting from scratch here, i only have a laptop to bring at the moment so it's not like i'm replacing all my electrical goods if i do get them shipped from America!

Any advice and tips are more than welcome and that includes what model to go for as i am no stranger to the outdoor lifestyle, just doing in on 4 (or more) wheels! Thanks in advance!



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Go here for a wealth of information    http://www.jackdanmayer.com/



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RVing probably not a reality any more.It was a good time while it lasted.



RV-Dreams Community Member

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thanks for all the help, not quite what I was looking for, but that's life.

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Almost all the major inverter manufacurers in the US build export versions that are 240v. That should be no issue at all.

I would build my system as 240v. That is the most common voltage worldwide. So I'd build around that. You want the ability to plug in if you can, to shore power. In the US/Canada you would have to step-down the power. While possible to do it will add expense and bulk. I'd just depend on solar and genset. Actually, I'd look into an upgraded alternator and smart charging system on the van for efficient charging. Given your stated energy use that would be sufficient along with solar. You will also need good battery instrumentation.

The battery bank is likely enough based on what you know now. You can add to it as you go as long as you do it in the first 6 months or so. I'd seriously consider 12-volt batteries instead of 6-volt. More widely available, and if one dies you can replace it without adversely affecting it with the older batteries. It also makes adding one later if you need it more "acceptable". Just get good deep cycle batteries.

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RV-Dreams Community Member

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Thanks Jack, that is useful to know. Another site suggested 6V batteries as the 12V type need a higher voltage to recharge and more frequent equalizing. I have come across another dilemma in the past few days though, i will be going around Europe and Russia so will likely have tight roads to navigate, is it worth getting a trailer and separate tow vehicle. My logic in this is not only ease of transit but in case of engine failure it will be easier to replace a tow vehicle than the RV engine. I had my heart set on a full RV though... any thoughts?

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