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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

My goal is to learn as much as I can here in order to built my FIRST own stealth mode RV with my budget as below:

1- Ford Transit (not sure which model I need yet) ~ 30000
2- Solar Liberator 1000 Watts ~ 1400
3- Avanti CK3016 30" Complete Compact Kitchen (With 2.2 Cu. Ft. All Refrigerator, Stainless Steel Sink With Chrome Faucets, Two Drawers, Energy Star, Integrated Backsplash) ~ 599. I plan to use a 5 gallon water bottle as a gray water holding tank. Clean water is provided by # 4
4- (2) Rack mounted solar shower ~ 550
5- Nature Head Composite Toilet ~ 950
6- Queen Murphy desk/bed ~ 500
7- Shower (modify a Misty Mate 3 Gallon pressure hand pump as pressured water source with minimum water waste) ~ 350 (the Misty Mate costs 35.99 at Home Depot)
8- ???

Hope to get lot of guidance from the pros :)

John
 

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hey John welcome aboard, I think you'll find plenty of support here. We've got a couple serious RVers here who are looking to do a similar build :D
 

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Hi all,

My goal is to learn as much as I can here in order to built my FIRST own stealth mode RV with my budget as below:

1- Ford Transit (not sure which model I need yet) ~ 30000
2- Solar Liberator 1000 Watts ~ 1400
3- Avanti CK3016 30" Complete Compact Kitchen (With 2.2 Cu. Ft. All Refrigerator, Stainless Steel Sink With Chrome Faucets, Two Drawers, Energy Star, Integrated Backsplash) ~ 599. I plan to use a 5 gallon water bottle as a gray water holding tank. Clean water is provided by # 4
4- (2) Rack mounted solar shower ~ 550
5- Nature Head Composite Toilet ~ 950
6- Queen Murphy desk/bed ~ 500
7- Shower (modify a Misty Mate 3 Gallon pressure hand pump as pressured water source with minimum water waste) ~ 350 (the Misty Mate costs 35.99 at Home Depot)
8- ???

Hope to get lot of guidance from the pros :)

John
1. Will cost you more than 30K
2. What is solar liberator?
3. Link to Avanti?
4. and 7. A 5 gallon beer keg with electric heater and 12 volt pump works great.
5. Expensive toilet compared to portapotty and pee bottle.

You might want to search my Sprinter-Source.com posts for more ideas for a stealth camper. Search for "orton DIY" Where are you in Ca.? I am in Santa Rosa area.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello all,

Thanks for the warm welcome :)

Hi Orton,

1- I think I can get fleet price Ford Transit medium high roof, dual battery, long lenght for around 30K
2- It's a fully integrated smart solar power appliance https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-liberator
3- Avanti spec: Avanti CK3016 30" Combo Kitchens White
4- Would you mind give me more instruction on how to do it?
5- I know, but it's one of the best :)

Anh thanks for the tip on Sprinter-Source.com

John
 

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Solar Liberator: Would think you are better off with a single house style 200-300 watt panel and a Morningstar SS-MPPT-15L controller. Better to have controller inside the van than on roof. Get very hot up there. You also want an MPPT controller for maximum panel output.

Avanti: Nice package but you will need a huge battery package to run it. Anything that uses resistance cooking electric coils draws more energy than most DIY conversions have. The refrigerator is not a compressor driven refrigerator. Again that style "dorm" refrigerator is not efficient enough for use in a conversion. What you want is a compressor refrigerator that runs on both 12 volt DC and 120 volt AC. Much more expensive but does not require as large a battery pack. I use a two burner propane gas camp stove for cooking to avoid the battery draw.

Info on 5 gallon keg water heater:Sprinter-Forum - View Single Post - Orton DIY - Portable Hot Water Tank Note that it also can not be run off the battery pack. I have an inverter powered by the Sprinter 12 volt system to heat water as I drive. Not from the house battery.

If you live nearby you are welcome to look at the completed Sprinter conversion for ideas. One design does not fit all but some of it might be useful to you.
 

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I think I can get fleet price Ford Transit medium high roof, dual battery, long lenght for around 30K


I believe that the extended length is only available with the highest roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hi Orton

I totally agree on the Avanti Combo's power draw, I don't intend to use the coil burner, I use this instead: Portable Solar Cooker - Efficient Fuel-Free Cooking - GoSun Stove

I may take out the coil burner and install a propane version in its place. Regarding the "dorm" fridge, it costs way less so if it dies I could replace it cheaply and quickly.

I use this for water heater source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1199868030/rack-mounted-solar-shower-pressurized-hot-water-on

I intend to install two of them on the roof, drill holes to feed the water into the van. Gravity would do the work of creating some pressure for me.

Regarding MPPT controller (what's MPPT?), can I "cheat" by having the solar panel charged the battery banks (would 4 batteries be enough?) and then direct the electricity from the batteries to a 2000 watts converter to power an A/C, lights...?

I sure will try to drop by your place once I am back in the north, I am transferring to San Diego for about 4 months.

Hi Longboard,

I picked the long lenght (less than $1000), not extended lenght ($6,000 plus)
 

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Go Sun stove is neat. Do need sunshine though.
The problem with the dorm fridge is you save money on the fridge but that is offset by the need for a larger battery bank to run it. I have an 80 liter 12v/120v compressor refrigerator which is my largest load. My 205 watt solar panel keeps the 255 amp-hr. house battery charged. Have not charged with shore power or my Sprinter powered inverter "shore" power for the last 7 months since I upgraded the solar from 135 watts to 205 watts.
I am very satisfied with my Magnum MSS1012 1000 watt pure sine house inverter. No need for anything larger. It will run a 600 watt microwave.
Another choice for a sun powered water heater is a Heliatos panel. Just as the kickstarted one you need sun for heating. What keeps the kickstarter one from getting too hot?
I have a single Lifeline 8D battery. MPPT is a technology that extracts additional charging amps from a panel. Google it. More expensive than regular controller but you get what you pay for.
It is not cheating to charge your house battery with solar. It works. Sounds like you are into using less power. Do you really need a 2000 watt inverter? I get by fine with a 1000 watt pure sine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have been told that the startup load is much bigger than required wattage, for a 600 watts microwave I need 800watts. So that's why I want to go with 2000 watts (how many watts does an A/C need?).

BTW, where can I buy a 600 watts microwave and which brand should I get?

Thanks orton.
 

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The 600 watt Proctor-Silex I have from K-Mart ($40.00) requires 1140 watts to run. The 1000 watt Magnum has a surge capacity rating of 1200 watts for 5 minutes. So it is cutting it close but it works. Have run micro for 10 minutes without it stopping. Very close. A 2000 watt inverter costs about double and is much larger and uses more power when idling. So in this case larger is not necessarily better. Micro is good choice because it is old fashioned with out a clock or pushbuttons. Just mechanical power level and run time. I turn on inverter when I run it and turn inverter off when done. Inverter on all the time draws a lot of power.

AC requires over 2000 watt inverter and big battery bank. One of those "Y"'s in the road where you have to make a choice.
 

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Hi all,

My goal is to learn as much as I can here in order to built my FIRST own stealth mode RV with my budget as below:

1- Ford Transit (not sure which model I need yet) ~ 30000
2- Solar Liberator 1000 Watts ~ 1400
3- Avanti CK3016 30" Complete Compact Kitchen (With 2.2 Cu. Ft. All Refrigerator, Stainless Steel Sink With Chrome Faucets, Two Drawers, Energy Star, Integrated Backsplash) ~ 599. I plan to use a 5 gallon water bottle as a gray water holding tank. Clean water is provided by # 4
4- (2) Rack mounted solar shower ~ 550
5- Nature Head Composite Toilet ~ 950
6- Queen Murphy desk/bed ~ 500
7- Shower (modify a Misty Mate 3 Gallon pressure hand pump as pressured water source with minimum water waste) ~ 350 (the Misty Mate costs 35.99 at Home Depot)
8- ???

Hope to get lot of guidance from the pros :)

John
Hi JohnP, and welcome to the forum.

I wish you best of luck on your conversion. Stealth is the way to go, I think.

My plan is short wheelbase, medium roof, and for me it is KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. That's because I always (and I mean ALWAYS!) over-do it, over-engineer it, and generally do it the hard way. That's just me, but I'm trying to KISS this time.

I really like the misty coolerator thing. Thank you! A Home Depot bug sprayer with misty nozzles is a life saver way out in the Mojave Desert! Oh boy, another trip to Home Depot - haha.

Again, welcome to the forum, and I look forward to hearing about your conversion.
 
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