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Old 10-21-2020, 08:49 PM   #1
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Just got this van. It's pretty much a sports mobile, need advice.

Just bought this van, you can see the post here with pics. https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...eal-27235.html
Not experienced with RV's at all so need some general advice.

I need to make a few upgrades. My immediate upgrades are -

1. Increased solar capacity, preferably 300-500 watts
2. extra battery
3. roof rack mounted awning that attaches to the rack holding the solar panel.

1. I think i can fit 2 rectangular panels that extend past the roof rack in the forward and rear a little bit. 2x 250w panels would be ideal. but even 2x 150w panels would be better then what i have. any suggestions? I dont have measurements yet.

2. The house battery i have isnt that great, and can run the fridge for maybe 4 hours. I need the fridge, a fan, and a couple small device chargers to run over-night and be replenished by solar during the day. So i need some battery suggestions?

3. I just want a cheap roof rack mounted awning thats easy to set up. Any suggestions?

Look forward to hearing what you guys have to offer. Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:40 PM   #2
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You're going to kill almost any size battery bank with a big AC fridge like that. I'd yank it and go for any of the 12V DC models available on Amazon unless you want to pay nearly a grand for ARB, Engel or one of the top brands.

Neat van.

The rack you need will be very large and very expensive unless you build it yourself or know someone who can do metal fab work. If you don't care how it looks you can get creative with wood. it's been done. It all depends on your skill level.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:08 PM   #3
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Will definitely look into alternative fridge options as well. Thanks for the tip
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:24 AM   #4
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What they said.... that setup was designed to be plugged into shore power at a camp site. AC, big fridge, microwave, TV etc. Unfortunately I am not seeing a stove so I am guessing there's no propane setup. If that happens to be a 3 way (DC, AC, gas) fridge you could run it off propane for a very long time.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I'd yank it and go for any of the 12V DC models available on Amazon unless you want to pay nearly a grand for ARB, Engel or one of the top brands.

Wow..86scotty posted about Fridges without using the word "Truckfridge"....


You feeling ok?
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:53 AM   #6
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Camperdude: there are lots of threads here about solar.....try the search button.


Here are a few basics on panels/controllers:


There are two types of solar panel controllers...PWM (pulse width modulation) and MPPT (maximum power point tracking). They both work well for RV's


PWM:


Cheaper than MPPT...typically around $100-$150 or so (generally speaking-I highly recommend NOT buying a cheap ebay Chinese controller)


These require a 12V RV style solar panel with a max panel voltage of around 17V or so. These RV style panels are going to max out around 150W/panel or so. You can wire multiple panels in parallel to keep max voltage at 17v or so, but need to run good sized wire to the controller since each panel doubles the current.


MPPT:


More $$, a bit more efficient and these can use any panel including large residential house type panels that are around 37v or so. These big panels are 250-300W+ each typically. Depending on the current rating of the controller you could parallel a couple of these large panels for 500-600W if you have the roof space. One of these one a E350 roof takes up a lot of space, but you could possibly squeeze two up there.



You can run a pair of 17V RV style panels in series with these; that keeps the current lower than using these panels in parallel with a PWM controller and eases wire sizing.


You also need to size your house battery bank according to solar wattage. If you are charging one group 65 size 100ah battery with 500W of solar on a sunny day it may be fully charged by 10am...so wasting lots of solar.


Conversely, if you have a single 100W panel charging 300ah of batteries after a night of running the fridge you may never get the battery topped up, especially if camping under trees or on a partly cloudy day.
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Old 10-23-2020, 12:53 AM   #7
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For a roof rack mounted awning, check out the Yakima Slim Shady or the Rhino Rack Sunseeker. Also, etrailer.com has brackets for attaching conventional awnings to a roof rack.
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Old 10-23-2020, 12:27 PM   #8
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Regarding #3 (rack mounting solution for awning).


Certainly you can go that way, but just wanted to make sure you were aware of the body mount brackets that many of us here use for our awnings. They are available from member "1der" here: https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...tch-16967.html


They work great for the popular Fiamma F45S awnings as well as some others.
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Wow..86scotty posted about Fridges without using the word "Truckfridge"....


You feeling ok?
Uh oh, am I looking like a fanboy?
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Uh oh, am I looking like a fanboy?
Yes.
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