electrical

Solar Panels [$230]

 

I chose to go with the HQST 200 Watt panels I had narrowed it down to Renogy, HQST, & Eco-Worthy and after tons of research, these seemed to be undoubtedly the best bang for my buck. So far (as of 4/7/20 (2 years in), I have been very happy with the decision. This particular one comes with a MPPT charge controller, which are superior to PWM controllers. I don't see any reason to spend more for Renogy, but if it makes you more comfortable, you can find the link here.

Product Link: HQST 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kit with 20A MPPT Charge Controller

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Battery [$300]

 

In the original build, I made a huge mistake with the battery. I found resources online suggesting a Lithium Ion deep cycle battery, which are very expensive. I was okay with paying extra after what I read. Big mistake. This original battery cost $850. I bought a StarkPower 100AH Deep Cycle Lithium Battery. About a year and a half later, StarkPower went out of business. 6 months after that, my batter went DEAD. My battery that I paid extra for because it was supposed to last 10 years. I take responsibility for this mistake, probably not doing enough research before making the big purchase.  With that said......

I have replaced that battery with a more traditional AGM Deep Cycle that I got from Batteries Plus Bulbs. The AGMs are relatively maintenance free and do not require ventilation (compared to Lead Acid), which I needed because of where the battery is located in the van. I've had the new battery for about a month so far and it is behaving perfectly.

Product Link: Duracell Ultra Platinum AGM BCI Group 31M Deep Cycle

Image by Harley-Davidson

2000W Inverter [$120]

 

With the 2000W inverter, we have plenty of wattage to run everything we need to. The price difference between 1000W, 1500W, and 2000W inverters was not significant enough to buy one of lower wattage. Most of the inverters on Amazon had fairly poor reviews. I went with this one because it seemed like the best overall and the negative reviews were not as "bad" as the bad reviews for other inverters. So far, I have been happy with it and have had no issues to date.

Product Link: POTEK 2000W Power Inverter

Laptop & Coffee

Outlets [$18 each]

 

The outlets did not take a lot of researching. These had fantastic reviews and did not cost a lot more than the ones without the USB plugs so it was a no-brainer. We have 2 of these, as you can see in the photo. We put them where we did so we would easily be able to charge stuff from the bed or plug stuff in at the kitchen.

Product Link: TopGreener Outlets

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Recessed Lighting [$65]

 

I really wanted recess lights in the ceiling. It was a little tricky in the beginning of my search. Also, it was very hard to tell from searching online how bright they would be in the van. These lights are amazing. They are so bright and with these on at night, the van looks incredible! I would highly recommend these.

Product Link: Dreamlights

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Roof Vent Fan [$180]

 

It was really between MaxxAir and Fan-Tastic. I felt more comfortable going with MaxxAir for some reason, but I think both seem great. I've been happy with our fan. I think I paid an extra $50 to get the model with a built-in rain-sensor. We were finally in a situation where the rain sensor kicked in! Usually, if we go to bed and we know it's supposed to rain, we don't keep the fan open but recently we had it open and it started to rain lightly. I actually woke up to a drop or two on my face and then about a minute or two later, it closed automatically! The only downside was, after it closed a flashing red light continued and that bothered me quite a bit, even with my eyes closed. I had to get up and shut it off. Nonetheless, I was very pleased that the rain sensor actually worked and is definitely worth an extra $50!

Product Link: MaxxAir Fan with Rain Sensor

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About

We are both traveling physical therapists. Traveling since September 2016. And we have a camper van.

 

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