Originally Posted by Cctodd2530
I am looking gain recommendations from people who are full timers or own a Pleasure Way Excel TS on how to power full time living in a 07 PW Excel TS.
What are your recommendations for modifications to the battery/electric/solar to make this feasible? I will likely be paying a dealership to do this work for me, so I want to know what I need to tell them to make full time off-grid (no hook up needed) possible.
There are solar conversion kits available on the market to retrofit your van. Your best bet would be to talk to the dealer to see if they sell and service a particular model.
Generally you need four pieces:
- solar panel
You have to discuss with your dealer your power needs to determine the capacity of all these components.
For solar panels and off-grid camping I would go with no less then 200Wt. Also determine if you prefer a roof installation (means you have to park in the sun for panels to charge your battery) or portable panels (so you can park in the shade but position batteries so they get optimum sunlight exposure)
You have to look at the current battery you have in the van and see if it needs upgrade. Most probably, you would need to upgrade to AGM style battery (or Lithium if you can finance it) from the lead acid battery that was standard for long time. You would need to match the capacity of the battery to your solar panel and power needs.
Controller is required to manage battery charging from solar panels and to ensure that batteries are not overcharged. Again, controller has to match the panels capacity that you would install.
Finally, inverter is required to convert from 12V DC to 110V AC to power your outlets. Bear in mind that unless you splurge on a very large battery installation and big inverter, you would not be able to power power hungry appliances like AC, microwave, electrical heater, induction stove, electric kettle, etc. But you can easily put a substantially smaller inverter to power daily needs like laptop recharging, various small appliances and even a compression style fridge if you want to upgrade from propane.
You should also consider switching all 12V lights in your van to LED as they have much smaller power load and would therefore require smaller panels, battery, inverter, etc.
Hope this helps.