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Interesting application. If that were me, I’d be all about low capacity batteries and a high capacity generator. But that’s me.
One thing I think builders tend to forget is the juice fron the alternator isnt free, it just seems free.
 

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I feel like in a situation where you are staying the vehicle continuously a large battery bank is overrated. If you have a the ability to charge the thing quickly you don't really need the capacity, if you don't have the power sources to charge it, then the extra capacity will do you no good. If you use it one the weekends only, or a few days a week like I do, then it can be very beneficial but your use case really determines the utility of a large battery bank.
Having enough battery capacity to power the air conditioner overnight seems to be the minimum many factory Class B camper vans include presently. Because of the large battery bank they must have a large alternator to charge in reasonable time, which led to one early manufacturer using a smaller battery bank that required the van engine to run some in middle of night (like half hour a couple of times) but owners didn’t want to sleep in a van with idling engine at all. That, plus cheaper lithium batteries, led to larger batteries that can last all night. Daytime charging isn’t seen as big an issue.

The Winnebago Travato with Volta lithium system recently increased largest battery bank size even though it already had enough to power A/C overnight. People who want battery power apparently are willing to spend a lot to get what they want.


Step 1 in any design is to really understand your use.
Exactly.
 

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I wanted to add something before anyone looks at my design (or any other design) and thinks that it is a solution to their issues. My circumstances are very unique to me.

Step 1 in any design is to really understand your use.
I totally agree. What @jracca states here is ultra important in the design stage of DIY camper van conversions.

When we started (although I have more than 40 years in trades, building, and construction experience) we did not have any adult RVing experience. We had to research a lot (all part of design). We didn’t know RV standards (I don’t know if we even know them now). There are still tons we do not know.

But this I do know; If you DIY have limited experience & can build in stages IMO it is best to design all you can, build the least possible & get out onto the road and start using your partly built camper van & get some experience & keep an open mind of design changes for your intended use. If you can build in stages you will probably alter your original design (or complete your design as you build). Take comfort in this; None of us DIYers get everything right (we all have “design/built regrets” if we are honest with ourselves. Some of us even finish the project (I am not in that category 🙄)

If you want to see some of the “build regrets” other DIY have reported then visit the Build Regrets thread;

 
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