The Electrical System… Ready to install!

Well, it’s full speed ahead now.  The electrical system, the most expensive part of the conversion, is bought, paid for, and ready to hook up as the time draws near.  I was debating about when to get the pieces I needed, but a settlement from a car accident lawsuit was recently paid to me.  I was waiting for that time to arrive.  When it did, a couple of phone calls later and I had a robust battery bank, inverter, and charger.

Here is what I bought and why I feel it was a good decision…

1)  2 AGM batteries, 230 AH (conservatively 200 AH each).  I believe this represents a realistic 3 day electrical need.  Perhaps next year I can add a solar panel to extend that by a day…  I found the best deal on the Internet and transported the batteries myself (saving a lot of freight cost).

2)  Xantrex 1000W pure sine inverter.  I use a CPAP machine as well as other devices which I wish to treat gently.  Though I plan to power the CPAP directly from 12V batteries, I believe that the cleaner the waveform, the better for all other devices needed alternating current.  Modified sign was not an option for me.  The Xantrex was rated conservatively and had an excellent set of customer reviews.  It’s a good machine for the price and I believe will serve the needs well.

3)  Iota 55Amp/IQ4 battery charger.  Whether using shore power or a generator, it is essential to be nice to your batteries.  Since they are the most costly part of the investment, it makes sense to use a three stage, microprocessor controlled charger to pamper the batteries by doing a quick charge and tapering down to a small maintenance charge.  The IOTA is a quality machine at a decent price.  You can get a battery charger for less money and fry your batteries in a year or  two as opposed to getting 5 or more years out of them.

Everything is basically ready to go.  I plan to add the electricity some time next week.  The batteries are in place and I am building the bulkhead around them.  More pictures will be coming over the weekend as things further take shape.

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

3 Responses to The Electrical System… Ready to install!

  1. texascom says:

    I’m going a different route on my stealth van plans. I plan to go strictly 12 volt and hand power (hand pump faucet etc) and be completely self-contained even though I do have a complete inverter I salvaged from a travel trailer. Of course, later on I might change my mind.

  2. Bradford says:

    Going 12V is the best and most efficient way. The only things I power from 110V are: Microwave (rarely used), and the TV and DVD player. Oh, yeah, an occasional emergency charge for the cell or laptop. 12V is much better.

  3. texascom says:

    If you ever decide to buy another TV, you might consider a 12volt. As I mentioned elsewhere, I put a Skyworth in my dad’s rv. Any time you buy a 12 volt TV, you’re also getting a 110 volt since they run on both. I don’t think the amp draw is much and if you have dual batteries, you’ll have no problems. The down side is that I don’t think the major brands like Vizio, Sharp, RCA etc. come in 12 volt models. And the price is higher. We paid $198 for a 13″ model. As far as the Skyworth, I have no complaints and it has every great feature and convenience. From the info I’ve gathered, stay away from Jensens. Hope I don’t sound like an infomercial.