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Discussion Starter #1
I just spent the last 10 years traveling the world but now it’s a new reality. No more hotels or restaurants for me. I’ll be doing all my traveling in my new 2020 Metris camper. I will be doing my conversion mostly by myself. I’ve done 2 vans into campers before. My last one was the Honda Odyssey. Yes, I lived in it for months at a time. My Honda is for sale...

I‘m in the design phase, planning on a very modular system that can be removed easily should I need the cargo space. I’m going to be living in it for long periods of time. Few campgrounds, mostly primitive sites. Solo traveler...
Here are some of my ideas so far... please, I welcome any feedback or suggestions!

1. pop top to be installed by Empire Coach Works in Eugene, Oregon
2. Eberspächer gas heater
3. Driver and passenger seat swivels.
4. Single bed platform behind drivers seat also a sofa. I’ll do my winter sleeping here.
5. Heavy duty plastic totes beneath single bed slide in and out for gear, clothes, food, etc...
6. Rear cargo drivers door mounted cook stove. I’ve the 270 degree doors. This will allow cooking inside as I sit on the end of the couch, outside cooking when I swing open the door. Gimbal mounted propane 2 burner camp stove.
7. 5 gallon refillable water bottle with a hand pump.
8. Nalgene wide mouth 1l. water bottle for my urinal.
9. Replace and upgrade stereo.
10. Photovoltaic system, 2nd battery.
11. Some sort of cooler.... still researching.... suggestions?

thanks,
Jeff
 

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Sounds like fun. Two suggestions: take a look at the sportsmobile.com website and look at how they are building their modular camping Metris. You might get some clever ideas. Also, when you are spending long stretches in the van at one camp spot it's nice to have a small pop-up screen room. The fold down to nothing and they can shelter a couple of chairs and a small table. Oh, and three--get a top-loading fridge they're easier to get stuff out of and they're more efficient at keeping the cold in. See you on the road!
17985
Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 10.03.19 AM.png
 

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A Dometic CF-25 fits nicely between the front seats. Due to the slope of the floor, I built a base for it to sit on. With swivel seats you'll need to move the cooler when you want to rotate the seats.

 

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I spend a lot of time off grid so I’d like a dual fueled cooler, 12v and propane or gasoline fueled... know of any like that?
 

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Remember that when running a dc/propane fridge in the propane mode, the van has to be level otherwise it turns itself off without warning. I'd suggest going with a dc-only fridge and a solar panel to keep the aux battery charged.
 

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The electrical system is most likely going to be your biggest challenge if you're doing most of the work yourself. There are lots of things to consider. Calculating how much power, amp hours, you'll use each day is a good place to start. If you're moving frequently, getting power from the alternator will give you a lot more flexibility. If you're more stationary, you'll need more solar and/or more batteries.

Since you want to put a pop top on, you'd be wise to consult with the manufacturer and/or installer to see what is feasible. You might have to go with a flexible panel, which is less efficient than a rigid panel. Chances are that the pop top installer has already dealt with installing panels and can offer some advice.

This article has a good round up of options and things to consider. 6 Best Solar Charge Controllers | 2020 Reviews (EPEVER, Outback) There are lots of other sites with good info too- just do a bit of searching.

I attached a schematic of my electrical system. I have a fairly complicated set up for a small with an inverter/charger, a solar panel, a battery to battery charger, a gasoline fired heater, and quite a few lights and outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for your suggestion. I can see right away that this will be beyond my capabilities. I will have a pro do this for me.
 

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The electrical system is most likely going to be your biggest challenge if you're doing most of the work yourself. There are lots of things to consider. Calculating how much power, amp hours, you'll use each day is a good place to start. If you're moving frequently, getting power from the alternator will give you a lot more flexibility. If you're more stationary, you'll need more solar and/or more batteries.

Since you want to put a pop top on, you'd be wise to consult with the manufacturer and/or installer to see what is feasible. You might have to go with a flexible panel, which is less efficient than a rigid panel. Chances are that the pop top installer has already dealt with installing panels and can offer some advice.

This article has a good round up of options and things to consider. 6 Best Solar Charge Controllers | 2020 Reviews (EPEVER, Outback) There are lots of other sites with good info too- just do a bit of searching.

I attached a schematic of my electrical system. I have a fairly complicated set up for a small with an inverter/charger, a solar panel, a battery to battery charger, a gasoline fired heater, and quite a few lights and outlets.
The electrical system is most likely going to be your biggest challenge if you're doing most of the work yourself. There are lots of things to consider. Calculating how much power, amp hours, you'll use each day is a good place to start. If you're moving frequently, getting power from the alternator will give you a lot more flexibility. If you're more stationary, you'll need more solar and/or more batteries.

Since you want to put a pop top on, you'd be wise to consult with the manufacturer and/or installer to see what is feasible. You might have to go with a flexible panel, which is less efficient than a rigid panel. Chances are that the pop top installer has already dealt with installing panels and can offer some advice.

This article has a good round up of options and things to consider. 6 Best Solar Charge Controllers | 2020 Reviews (EPEVER, Outback) There are lots of other sites with good info too- just do a bit of searching.

I attached a schematic of my electrical system. I have a fairly complicated set up for a small with an inverter/charger, a solar panel, a battery to battery charger, a gasoline fired heater, and quite a few lights and outlets.
On second thought, it might be time for me to learn how to do it. I’m going to start out with a circuit diagram.
On second thought, it might be time for me to learn how to do it. I’m going to start out with a circuit diagram.
Good Morning Ransom,
I think that the bottom part of your schematic got cut off. I’m curious to see what is there...
‘I hope that you don’t mind if I just start with a copy of your diagram and apply it to my project. I’m going to do the electrical myself. Thanks for your information.
jeff
 

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Remember that when running a dc/propane fridge in the propane mode, the van has to be level otherwise it turns itself off without warning. I'd suggest going with a dc-only fridge and a solar panel to keep the aux battery charged.
Good advice...thanks
 

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I use a portable Dometic CF-25. I built a stand for it between the front seats and it plugs into a 12 volt socket that I added to the pedestal of the passengers seat. I have to move to cooler to pivot the seats.

You're correct, the cooler does not show up on the schematic since it plugs into an outlet.
 

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I just spent the last 10 years traveling the world but now it’s a new reality. No more hotels or restaurants for me. I’ll be doing all my traveling in my new 2020 Metris camper. I will be doing my conversion mostly by myself. I’ve done 2 vans into campers before. My last one was the Honda Odyssey. Yes, I lived in it for months at a time. My Honda is for sale...

I‘m in the design phase, planning on a very modular system that can be removed easily should I need the cargo space. I’m going to be living in it for long periods of time. Few campgrounds, mostly primitive sites. Solo traveler...
Here are some of my ideas so far... please, I welcome any feedback or suggestions!

1. pop top to be installed by Empire Coach Works in Eugene, Oregon
2. Eberspächer gas heater
3. Driver and passenger seat swivels.
4. Single bed platform behind drivers seat also a sofa. I’ll do my winter sleeping here.
5. Heavy duty plastic totes beneath single bed slide in and out for gear, clothes, food, etc...
6. Rear cargo drivers door mounted cook stove. I’ve the 270 degree doors. This will allow cooking inside as I sit on the end of the couch, outside cooking when I swing open the door. Gimbal mounted propane 2 burner camp stove.
7. 5 gallon refillable water bottle with a hand pump.
8. Nalgene wide mouth 1l. water bottle for my urinal.
9. Replace and upgrade stereo.
10. Photovoltaic system, 2nd battery.
11. Some sort of cooler.... still researching.... suggestions?

thanks,
Jeff
You can save a lot of grief if you go with a portable battery setup. None up to my needs yet, but honestly, I'd rather have a removable multi-purpose powerpack than a dedicated system. The upcoming Bluetti AC200 (1,700Wh, 2000W pure sine inverter, 700W solar input, looks promising, but it's vapor ware for now. Can't spend $1300 without assurance it will be built.
 
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