Van Life – Our Amazing Stealth Solar Power Set up! Off Grid Camper Van
Hey everyone matt here from exploring alternatives. We just finished installing our new solar system in our camper van and we’re really excited and we thought we’d. Do a video just to give you a little overview.
So we went with a company called renergie. They have really good reviews and have a good customer service. Their prices are reasonable. Too. We decided to get three 100 watt bendable flexible solar panels.
They’re only about just a few millimeters thick and they’re very light, and we decided to go with that. Instead of the conventional panels that are made of aluminum and glass for a few different reasons.
First, one is that they’re, much lighter if the conventional ones, they probably would have added over 50 pounds to the roof of the of the van, and this only has a few pounds. Also, we didn’t want to change the aerodynamics of the van at all.
We wanted to make sure it. Wouldn’t affect fuel consumption, and, since these are really flat on the roof, they’re, not affecting fuel consumption. At all – and the third reason is that, while they don & # 39, t look like anything, so it’s a bit more sneaky or stealthy.
I guess, as you can see there’s, nothing to see. We followed the recommendations of renergie, the company that sold us the panels and we used industrial-strength velcro to mount them on the roof. It does seem to be very strong, but I have to admit: velcro is a little bit wacky.
We’re, not too sure about it, so we’re still gonna screw some holes directly in the van just just to be extra safe. Now there’s, a bunch of wires here, as you can see, it looks semi tidy right now, but this was kind of a logistical nightmare to get it all.
Looking like this, we drilled several holes onto the roof rack and tried to bunch up the wires as best we could and use the zip ties to secure them, and that seems to be pretty solid. For now. The three 100 watt solar panels are all plugged in parallel, so we end up with one positive and one negative lead.
So we drilled two little holes here. We ran the wires through and put some caulking. So now let’s, go inside and take a look at the rest of this crazy stuff. So our negative and positive leads are coming from our solar panels right through the roof.
Here they’re coming down here. They loop back up and they come into this MPPT 40 amp charge controller out of the charge controller. We have two connector cables going into our battery, so the connector cables come here into the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
I also grounded the negative of the battery into one of the onto the frame of the van, and we also have these two big wires here are going out from the battery and into our inverter. So this is a 500 watt, pure sine inverter from Renault G, and this thing allows us to plug in normal household machines, and we also have a USB port and also plugged into the charge.
Controller is a little meter? Gives you battery status volts coming from the solar panels going into the battery and amps? The battery is a hundred and fifty five amp hour, deep-cycle AGM sealed battery and it’s from v-max.
That was actually pretty hard to get it in here. It weighs a hundred pounds, so if you can imagine like lifting a hundred pounds in a tiny space like this, but we got it in here, we nested it in a in a plastic bin and then in a basket that kind of folds over this.
So it makes it look a little less nasty. We bolted it down to the actual frame of the van, and we have some some straps holding it down here. This way is really safe and if ever we get in an accident or anything, it would just stay right there, and we also have this beautiful lid that that closes up on this.
So for us, it’s, really exciting that have energy from the Sun to be able to like work, our laptops and our machines and charge camera batteries and stuff like that from the Sun every day it’s, pretty amazing, and so Far, we’ve, been able to use two laptops and like charged batteries and use this little USB fan for pretty much eight hours every day, rain or shine, and the battery is pretty much always full.
So it’s performing really really well like I said we bought it from a company called renergie. They have really good customer service, but I kind of feel like they’re used to dealing with people who know what they’re doing.
I had no idea what any of this was, so I had to call them about a hundred times and ask him tons of questions and they were patient and they answered everything eventually, I did have to harass them a bit, but they did answer everything eventually and It works so there’s, a few things I didn’t talk about fuses and and and other little details.
So if you want more information, just check out the link at the bottom of of this video and we wrote a blog post, giving all the details of the solar system. So thanks for watching, if you have any questions, put them in the comments and subscribe.
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