How do you get electricity in your van?

I have two golf cart batteries that are charged by the alternator when I’m driving.

I believe the other options are shore power, or solar - maybe there’s more that I don’t know about

I’m curious about what y’all use to power electronics inside your van?

1 Like

Some people carry gas generators to run appliances or charge up batteries, although they take up space and it’s not always practical to use them. They can be loud, especially the cheaper ones. Most campgrounds have restrictions on using them at night.
We already have solar on our skoolie so we can go off the grid, but you might check the Goal Zero line of solar panels and inverters. Their smaller packages might be good for a van. Plus you can get pro discounts through Expert Voice.

We have shore power, briefcase solar for the van, and a generator. Plus, we carry a bunch of small battery blocks for recharging phones and small devices, small solar panels to recharge the battery blocks, and a larger portable power station that we can use to charge our larger devices, such as laptops. We are never without a way to power or recharge something, which is crucial given our remote jobs and our YouTube channel. -Ari

3 Likes

I don’t have a van yet but I was so inspired by Shari and Hutch’s solar setup that they explained on our Facebook live earlier this year. I definitely will want solar panels in my future van!

1 Like

We use a battery that charges either plugged in to an ac/dc outlet or when the van is running. It was installed in a way that we could use solar panels to charge also; but it turns out we use way less electric than we thought we would so we haven’t added those yet.

1 Like

In the planning process of making our van into a camper, step one was window covers, step two we put together a portable kitchen camp box, step three is portable power, I bought a 300 and 500 watt battery pack we can charge via 100watt solar panel or as we drive, this will more than power our electronics and my cpap at night on our road trips.

I plan to do a video for the power stuff for our youtube channel soon but I have tested both batteries out here in the house extensively on laptop, cpap, lights, fans, this combo to me seemed to make the most sense and totally portable.

Stacey & Bill’s Adventures

1 Like

I camp in my minivan, and I have a solor setup that I use. I charge my batteries with the alternate when I drive, and have a solor panel for when I go boondocking. With this setup, I have all the power for my needs. ie lights, charging phone, even a 12 v tv.

1 Like

Goal Zero 1400 lithium battery here. Connected to 260w of solar (would add 320w if had to do it again as you never get 100% of rated watts), connected to van battery to charge while driving as needed (rainy days), connected to shore power outlet as needed (when hookups are available or at a friends house). My electrical needs are minimal; no hot water, Dometic cooler, 2 roof fans, 6 led lights, 700w microwave, and charging ports. Hope this helps. ~ Vanpe Diem

1 Like

I use every way possible… trifecta of power…
Solar (325w panel, MPPT, 2x 100AH LiFePO4s), alternator (Sterling 30A B2B) and shore power (Magnum MS2012)

2 Likes