Your battery can’t regulate how much charge it receives. It has no smarts at all. You could easily damage it by pushing too much “charge” into it. The thing is, that’s really not going to happen if you build your system correctly.
The stock speakers in a Sprinter are cheap and nasty. They sound just about OK with the engine off, but they can’t compete with road noise and have no dynamic range. Here’s how to take them out and replace them.
If you’re planning a van conversion and you want to run some beefy 120 volt appliances, like a microwave or (heaven forbid) a 120v air conditioner without a shore connection, be prepared to spend a lot of money on your batteries as well as on your inverter.
In order to assemble your 12 Volt power system, you’ll be connecting cables between your batteries, your inverter, your solar charger, your fuses, relays, switches and bus bars. Most of those devices have studs and bolts for the connections, which means you’ll need cable lugs to attach the wires to the items. Continue reading “Crimping cables for a 12V power system”
It’s not a good idea to use the van’s starter battery to power the electrical items in your conversion. It’s too easy to leave yourself with a flat battery and no way to start the engine. The van’s charging system can be used to help charge a second battery that you isolate from the starter battery, but there are some constraints. If you’re trying to charge a large house battery, you may need some additional equipment.
There’s a lot of confusion about the different types of battery that you can find in Sprinter vans, and how to go about connecting to them in order to power things inside the van. Here are some photos to help make things clearer.
There’s a physical constraint to how much solar energy you can gather from your van. We thought we had it pretty much maxed out until we came across this Advanced-RV build that added even more panels. Continue reading “How to size a solar system for your van”
We didn’t want to always be fussing with multiple switches on the electrical system. The goal was to make it “like a laptop.” In other words, you just use it. If the state of charge gets below around 40%, make sure you park it in the sun to let the solar panels recharge or plug it in to a wall outlet.
We decided to go all-electric for the van so we could avoid the hassles of a fixed propane tank. It’s working really well for us but we do still carry a small butane stove for extra capacity.