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Old 03-21-2014, 11:37 AM   #11
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

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Originally Posted by SteveInLA
Regarding water, check out this post: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewto ... 24&t=12336.
The fridge is going to eat electricity so you will want an auxiliary battery if you don't already have one and solar too. Mine was pre-wired for solar so I didn't have to mess with wiring up the controller, but I added my own panel. I have a 135W Kyocera and it is attached to the crossbars of my Thule roof rack. Again, solar works best when there is sun, so consider your area's normal weather when making a decision. Another option is a 2000w generator if you can be in one place long enough to use it to charge up.

Steve in L.A.
Are there any writeups on your solar install? I'd be interested in seeing how different people have their solar systems setup.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #12
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

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Originally Posted by mikracer
As people have mentioned above, do you have a "house" battery? I imagine you do since it looks like you have something plugged in on the wall. There are a couple different ways you could go with solar. Fixed panels or portable panels. A lot of people have panels mounted to the rooftop. Others use a portable panel that you plug in each time you want to use solar for charging.

What is your budget for your upgrades? You can get a very efficient 12v refrigerator from Engle or ARB but they're almost $1,000. They look and open like a cooler so you would have to figure out a place to put it, although you could place it where you have your cooler placed up front behind the dog house.

It is weird that you dont have water plumbed in since you already have a sink. Might want to look into that a little more. Post up some more pics of the exterior (both sides) so we can see what "inputs" you have.
$1000 is out of my price range for a fridge. Im looking for an installed fridge rather than a powered cooler. I'm really interested in seeing how people have their solar setup on the roof.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #13
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

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Originally Posted by stanw909
Welcome to the van life. Maybe if you tell us your location , someone may be nearby to help you out. As stated above. Nobody puts a sink and faucet in without a water tank and pump. Where does you dishwater go? I don't wash my dishes per se but wipe everything off using paper towels then scrub with Tub o Towels wipes then rinse. Lots of different techniques.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:24 PM   #14
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

Adding the tank under the passenger side bench seems like the easiest route. However, you would have to tie into the existing city water hookup in order to fill the tank.

If you want the fridge to install into the existing cabinet, you would have to measure the dimensions and see what you could fit. The fridge I have in my SMB is kind of small. It doesn't fit much so I always have to take a cooler when I go camping in it. You can get a taller fridge, but then you give up the cabinet space. I think either way you go, you're probably going to spend close to $1,000 unless you can find a used unit that fits in there.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:00 PM   #15
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

Why not just get an Energy Star 120v refrig for $150-$250 and run it off the inverter? Yes the inverter would cost some added power (maybe 10-15%??) when running on DC in the conversion but it would be much cheaper and probably higher quality then an RV refrig.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:24 PM   #16
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

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Why not just get an Energy Star 120v refrig for $150-$250 and run it off the inverter? Yes the inverter would cost some added power (maybe 10-15%??) when running on DC in the conversion but it would be much cheaper and probably higher quality then an RV refrig.
Wouldn't this pretty much necessitate a solar panel setup? I briefly looked at the prices for a NorCold...I had no idea they were that expensive. Almost seems like I could hook up a home unit as you suggest along with a solar setup for the same price as a new NorCold.
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Old 03-21-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

Are you parked all day or are you driving around every day? Assuming your house battery charges while your motor is running, you wouldn't really need the solar setup. If you are parked for several days in a row, then a solar setup would definitely help you out. Check the electronics forum and look for the Solar Blvd thread. They sell a portable solar kit for a very affordable price.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #18
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

Seems like the setup is for a "hook-up" scenario with city water pressure for the sink. Is there a shore-power connection outside? Also, I think I missed it, is your van diesel or gas?

Power: Are you in a place that would allow you to connect up to shore power all day? That might help drive the fridge decision. Also, the Norcold/ARB/Engel chest style units are great but they are normally single space and single temperature all the way down to zero degrees F. You can set it somewhat to keep stuff at the bottom frozen and the stuff at the top cold but it is not a freezer AND refrigerator in the normal sense. A house unit might work if you have shore power available, but I doubt it would work for extended boon docking off batteries, too inefficient in terms of insulation and electrical usage.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:53 PM   #19
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

[url]http://www.truckfridge.com/models.html/url] truckfridge.com.Seriously . Check it out. Great prices and a great product according to members here.These chest fridges are not what you want. I have a great little dometic cf/18 that sits between my front seats but I use that at as a freezer. Never thought of a city water hook up for faucet. Your rig is setup for hookup campgrounds I guess. This can be remedied. Go into my profile and check out my van page regards your sink situation . Sink mod starts at the 3:08 mark. I use the old fashioned hand pump but it could easily be done with electric pump.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #20
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Re: 'Inherited' a SMB E-350, Now Living in it - Need Advice

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Originally Posted by BDiddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodavan
Hey BDiddy a van and hopefully freedom from a mortgage your living well!

I agree make sure there isn't already a tank and pump hidden from view.

For running water I took a blue 5gal water jug and built a piece of PVC pipe that is threaded into the cap and hangs down into the jug. It has a garden hose quick connect on the top. Then I added a 12v pump from Camping World and ran the pump inlet to the quick connect on the water jug. Ran a water hose behind my cabinet to the faucet. The switch for the pump is near the sink. Works perfectly and the jug is easy to remove and fill-up. For my sink drain there's another 5gal jug with a quick connect that's clear, when it's full I dump it in a public restroom.

I have a 12v ARB fridge that sits between the front seats and is very efficient I'm very happy with it.
Yeah, I second the request for pics...have any available on your fresh water setup?!


I'll get some pictures posted for ya.
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