OUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM DETAILS
Below is a list of products we use in our personal van. After 10 total builds, these are the products we recommend for your off grid set up. With these products, you can seamlessly charge your house batteries by solar, your vehicles alternator, plus by shore power. If your confused with your DIY electrical set up, reach out to schedule a consultation call.
We chose to have 500amps of battery in our van mainly due to having our 12 volt Dometic AC. If you're not planning on having a 12 volt AC we suggest 300-400amps of battery to be sufficient for most people. These aren't the big named brand of batteries, but they work identical while saving your pocket some money.
Our van has three panels totaling to 600 watts (200 each) of solar from Rich Solar Panels. We've used Renogy panels in the past and had a decent experience, but during past client builds we found Rich Solar being overall a higher quality. RecPro offers a 600 watt kit, however we don't recommend it because the kit offers only a 40amp controller. Buy the panels separate and the 60 amp controller below.
Use code "beerrunbus" at checkout with RecPro for a discount.
SOLAR PANEL CONTROLLER-60A
This solar controller connects to the Rich Solar Panels then connects to your house batteries. The point of this unit is to safely convert the solar energy to your battery bank. This controller works with AGM or Lithium deep-cycle batteries. For example, if you're doing 600 watts of solar, do a 60 amp controller (this is what we have). If you only want 400 watts of solar, do a 40 amp controller.
Use code "beerrunbus" at checkout with RecPro for a discount!
DC TO DC CHARGER
A DC to DC charger is a must, especially if you'll be driving long distance. Essentially it takes the power from the van's alternator and charges your house batteries while you drive. This Victron unit is by far the easiest one to install on the market and connects to a handy app on your phone.
RENOGY 2000W INVERTER CHARGER
An Inverter is a necessity for any off grid system. Essentially, this unit converts your 12 volt battery bank into a standard 120 volt house outlet. To learn more about this check out the battery system blog post. The difference between a basic inverter versus an inverter charger is than this unit can also charge your house batteries by of shore power when at a camp site for example. The price is a little higher compared to a standard inverter but it's well worth it. Afterall, the unit will serve an additional- another way to charge your batteries !
DC wire is a necessity for wiring up your 12 volt appliances. This type of wire is nice because it runs both a positive and negative wire at the same time.
You'll need various sizes of wires and fuses depending on appliances like your fridge. Be sure to read manuals fully to ensure a proper installation.
A Class T fuse goes between your inverter and batteries to prevent a fire. You will need various fuses for your system based off your appliances. For example, we used 20,60,80, even a 150 fuse for our system. Keep in mind, all systems are different and can require other size fuses. Be sure to check the manuals to your appliances for proper fuse sizes.