Advice needed - DIY Build

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
If you are going to use that project box, why would you need the waterproof fuse panel? Seems like the existing one would work OK?
I wanted the individual branch circuit switching in the Weatherdeck panel. If I didn't, then yes, my original 8 position fuse strip would have worked just fine.

With the individual switching, I can cut off power to branch circuits independently, making sure I don't have any drains except for the refrigerator, for instance, or perhaps lighting. Not a choice I would make for a super economy build, but the extra expense of the Weatherdeck fused/switched panel was not an issue in this case since I like control options.

If I were doing more of a standard RV type build I would have just put all this stuff in a cabinet, but I really wanted (and use) a very multi-purpose van so I don't have a cabinet that gets left in place.
 

erik.wahlstrom

Active member
Yes, I'm doing the same thing WTR to trying to keep the van a van. I'm less worried about the $ than having the physical space for things. The panel is quite deep which limits where it can go. I've also already run my harness which limits things too.
 

solovam

Member
1) Electrical: Would Goal zero Yeti 1500 or 3000 be able to power below items for 3-4 days?
The internet is saying Winnebago Revel has 3.2 kW*h battery. Yeti 3000 is 3.075 kW*h, a little less.

***

I do not have solar, since solar seems useless to me in winter (short day light, overcast, snow and ice on the roof). Is generator an option to recharge batteries?

I am planning to take the GoalZero route as well (plus a generator). I am an engineer, reasonably mechanically inclined. Yet, having looked into DIY, I decided it is not worth it for me. I'll spend more on gas driving to Home Depot than the money I'd save by not buying a ready made product. The kits I have seen so far are prohibitively expensive, not sure what is the point.

In fact, rather than GoalZero, I am looking at Jackery 1kW*h battery for ~$1K. I figure this should be enough to run a fridge and charge a MacBook. I also want to run a Nespresso coffee machine and the smallest is 1.2kW. I kind of suspect that GoalZero won't like this, so I fully expect having to run a generator to have coffee :)
 

marklg

Well-known member
The internet is saying Winnebago Revel has 3.2 kW*h battery. Yeti 3000 is 3.075 kW*h, a little less.

***

I do not have solar, since solar seems useless to me in winter (short day light, overcast, snow and ice on the roof). Is generator an option to recharge batteries?

I am planning to take the GoalZero route as well (plus a generator). I am an engineer, reasonably mechanically inclined. Yet, having looked into DIY, I decided it is not worth it for me. I'll spend more on gas driving to Home Depot than the money I'd save by not buying a ready made product. The kits I have seen so far are prohibitively expensive, not sure what is the point.

In fact, rather than GoalZero, I am looking at Jackery 1kW*h battery for ~$1K. I figure this should be enough to run a fridge and charge a MacBook. I also want to run a Nespresso coffee machine and the smallest is 1.2kW. I kind of suspect that GoalZero won't like this, so I fully expect having to run a generator to have coffee :)
If you have an inverter / charger you certainly can use it to charge a battery from a generator. Generator built in 12V output is generally low and will take a long time to charge. The newer, more expensive inverter / chargers can supplement generator output, something I don't have and was not aware of.

Our Vitrifrigo 115l fridge uses about 500-600 Wh per day. You will need some power for lights, heater fan, fans, etc. Find a calculator to estimate all of those. It seems to me 1 kWh battery may be a little light unless you plan to run your generator twice a day to recharge. Many places have no generator hours.

Regards,

Mark
 

Bassman2

New member
Good info in this thread. We just picked up a 144 with an Adwagon kit installed. We only have a single battery....No aux. I ordered and just got a GZY 3000x to power a dometic cfx3 55im and a wrappon toilet. Maybe other stuff, don't know yet. We also just pulled the trigger on some solar panels from RB components that fit around our two roof fans. Kinda the only thing I could find that would fit.

I'm hoping they will keep the 3000x topped off so I don't have to buy the nearly $500 car kit.
 

hein

Van Guru
Hi all. This is a great forum. I'm trying to learn although I don't understand a lot of it!

I'm planning to build a van...

Thanks!
I would be my pleasure to answer your van building questions in a phone call.
If I don't answer then I am likely having a van related conversation with another customer.
In that case please send me a text so I can call you back when I am available.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
541 490 5098
 

Elementbldrs

New member
To revive this discussion as I’m finding myself on the fence with a Goal Zero, I’ve see no one has made mention of the Yeti Tank to extend the capacity of even a 1500x on an as needed option, somewhat future proofing your needs.
Likely if I went this route I would bypass the Goal Zero brand tank (AGM) and just add a lithium battery expansion. This could be wired back in multiple ways withoff the shelf GZ accessories.
For my weekender needs (3-4) days with regular driving, I’m sorry I’m just not going to give up the ridiculous amount of space I see some of you dedicate to your electrical systems. Craftsmanship aside, super inefficient use of space. Plus I have a houseboat that I could double duty the portability of my use of the GZ system. Unique to me, but not everyone on here needs a full time system, by any means.
 

marky

Member
Forget the goal zero and solar panels. Keep it simple using only 12V and the engine alternator to charge house batteries. I have done this for years and 200,000 miles. I built my own van on 144" and one on a 170". The 140" has: Isotherm refrigerator/freezer, espar D2 heater, maxxair fan, lights and usb charging ports. The house batteries are two 6 volt Lifeline AGM batteries under the passenger seat for a rated 220 amp/hours at 12V. We run the refrigerator into the freezing range when driving down the road to store cold, and never run it during night, stays plenty cold overnight. If we are staying somewhere for several days we will run the refrigerator only during the day.

The 170" van has: Webasto Dual Top Evo (for hot water and hot air heat), pressure hot and cold water pump, lights, refrigerator, 12v outlets, USB charging ports, Maxxair fan. It has two Lifeline 6V batteries under the passenger seats rate at 300 amp/hrs at 12V. Theses batteries are charged only off the engine alternator. Both vans have a 250 amp rated Blue Sea rotary switch to isolate the house batteries from the starter battery. Both use Blue Sea 12V fuse blocks.
 

solovam

Member
Forget the goal zero and solar panels. Keep it simple using only 12V and the engine alternator to charge house batteries. I have done this for years and 200,000 miles. I built my own van on 144" and one on a 170". The 140" has: Isotherm refrigerator/freezer, espar D2 heater, maxxair fan, lights and usb charging ports. The house batteries are two 6 volt Lifeline AGM batteries under the passenger seat for a rated 220 amp/hours at 12V. We run the refrigerator into the freezing range when driving down the road to store cold, and never run it during night, stays plenty cold overnight. If we are staying somewhere for several days we will run the refrigerator only during the day.

The 170" van has: Webasto Dual Top Evo (for hot water and hot air heat), pressure hot and cold water pump, lights, refrigerator, 12v outlets, USB charging ports, Maxxair fan. It has two Lifeline 6V batteries under the passenger seats rate at 300 amp/hrs at 12V. Theses batteries are charged only off the engine alternator. Both vans have a 250 amp rated Blue Sea rotary switch to isolate the house batteries from the starter battery. Both use Blue Sea 12V fuse blocks.
12V is fine, but what about appliances requiring 110? A coffee machine (not a convenience item, a necessity; cuts down breakfast time). Macbook needs 110 power, won't take funky USB-C power. Or you need an inverter anyway.

There's is a lot of value in just getting an off the shelf battery bank that simply works.

I would not be surprised if by the time one is all done with a custom battery system, the cost would be more than a GoalZero/Jackery. Not to mention the time wasted. Although I don't know that there are 3 kWtH batteries from these companies.
 

marky

Member
Well 12V has been fine for us for 5 years. First time I have heard a coffee maker referred to as a necessity. Morning coffee is a necessity for me. We use the propane stove heat water for drip coffee or French press coffee. The cost of the batteries, isolation switch, cables, fuses, terminals, and fuse block total about $1,000. Half the cost of the GZ system. I assume the OP can do the installation himself, it is very simple to do.
 

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