Projects, projects, projects! And there’s nothing more challenging/fun than trying to shove an offgrid power plant into a van!
So when I got asked me to set up a power system in this Coachmen Crossfit van, the first subject was figuring out where to put all this equipment. Well our phone calls and emails came up with at least one solid idea but when install day came around, a long game of Tetris managed to reveal a much better plan.
In the back of the van I disassembled and rearranged the water tank supports to make juuuust enough room to squeeze our 3 BattleBorn Batteries under the couch. Then I built a small enclosure with a disconnect switch so they can pile all their gear in the back without worrying about damaging anything.
In the front, we legitimately couldn’t find anywhere to put the inverter in any cabinets. So we had to think just a little outside the box. About 1/4” outside it to be exact. Cutting the face out of one of the storage cabinets, flush mounting the inverter and putting a little protective plexi glass allowed us to shove this massive inverter in as little storage space as possible.
On the roof there were a couple flexible panels we pulled down. To maximize solar on limited roof space we went with ZampSolar's new obsidian series 100 watt panels. Ultra thin. Ultra light. Ultra small. 300 watts will now be pumping power whenever the sun is out. But of course that’s never enough, so we took out the old cable TV connection on the outside and installed a solar plug for a future ground array.
The rest of the system was updating the alternator charge system, putting in remote/monitoring panels and installing an easystart in the rooftop AC so they can keep the doggies cool.
What a fun project and we hope we run into you two on the road!
Batteries were placed under the bed at the back of the van
Squeezed the inverter into one of the storage cabinets
The cable TV connection became a solar plug, plus a view of the roof-top array