Our story in a nutshell: We are a family of 4. Myself, my wife and our two kids (son 6years old and daughter 3years old) We bought a 1995 Chevy g30 (v8 diesel)short school bus about three years ago at auction. Converted it out, love it, but it is not the "go to rig" for regular trips as i had hope it to be. It is somewhat cumbersome on the road (in comparison to our nissan Titan), my wife isn't as comfortable riding it (haven't ever gotten a second seat installed up front), it gets 10mpg standard, on occasion 12-14, but usually 10-11 and it is no power house up hills, usually pulling most at 45mph.
SO, last week we took the jump and invested in a 2018 Promaster 159wb tall roof. (it was the winner for the usual reasons: better interior dimensions for converting, price is right.
I did like the Transit i test drove better for: handling, where it sat me looking out the window, mirror positions and better back up camera quality. It was the tall roof but it was a short wheel base and finding tall roof transits was hard -gotta have the tall roof- transits medium roof is no good. being 6'1" i couldn't stand up straight in a medium roof.)
As we did with the bus, we are taking an "off grid" approach to our build. Which means most if not all systems (apart from the van itself) are not dependent on electricity. This means gravity fed drinking water, compost bucket with ceder shavings for a toilet, Pelican ice chest for refrigeration. to name the big players
The one system that is very convenient and easily achieved to have electricity for is lighting. For this we use a strand of led lights with a usb connector (i believe commonly referred to as fairy lights) and hook those up to a portable solar battery bank. Works great, easy to put the bank up on the dash to solar charge during travel, or plug it into the dash usb charger, or place it in any sunny spot outside when parked. We have several banks as they are also great for charging phones or other electronics.
The other electrical based luxury is fans. We have had a few times in the bus where we have all the windows and doors open (bug nets and screen doors installed, definitely having that in the PM!) but since there was no breeze there was no air flow and it was still muggy. My wife found these great looking 8inch fans (usb rechargeable battery), we are going to at least have one (trying to talk her into getting two):
The advantage i see to these is you get to place them anywhere you want, or use them during travel, or take them outside with you. It isn't confined to the roof of the van. Reviews sound good, will update when i have first hand experience with them.