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pre-log EV transit RV conversion [van life]

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i'm starting this thread to help myself plan for a future conversion of a cargo van to a RV [van life] i don't have a van yet so some aspects here will be hypothetical. there is no guarantee that a EV transit will be the chosen vehicle but ford is currently the leader in EV vans so...

some minimum goals:
  • EV, the van will have an electric only drive train
    • minimum 200 mile real world range, preferably 300-500 mile range
  • lots of PV panels for both comfort and charging the van [1k-3k watts]
  • high level water reclamation/filtration system
    • minimally reuse shower water for more showers
      • hopefully also reuse shower/sink water for more shower/sink use
  • mini-split heat/AC
  • separate battery system 3-10 kWh size pack
    • both 120v and 240v outputs
      • 240v minimum output of 4000 watts, 6000+ watts preferred
  • stealth camping
some lofty goals:
  • pulling water from the air system
  • 100% water reclamation/filtration with tiered outputs [drinking, dishes, shower]
  • self driving option
  • onboard AI system to record/respond to people outside van when owner is not available
undecided goals:
  • signage on the side of van to pretend like its a commercial work van [stealth camping]
    • large e-paper panels to change what is displayed on side of van
    • permanent option "<last name>'s electric van"
timeline:

looking to buy/start conversion in 4-8 years. there are a number of variables that go into this projection the two biggest ones are "retirement" and van availability [currently there are no EV van options with sufficient range]. other factors that could come into play would be if start a relationship between now and then.

checklist and rough sequence
  • body/floor modifications
    • mini-split: false wall and possibly floor cutout
      • given the difficulties of mounting the condenser unit, i think i will give up some of the inside of the van. ideally i would like to cutout part of the floor so i can lower the unit minimizing how much of the inside is taken up. if that is not possible then i would like to add enough ventilation below the unit to help with air flow.
      • i think it would be best to put close to a wheel well, for load balance it would be best in front of the tire, however, for best air flow place unit behind the tire. also for load balance on the passenger side would be ideal but then the fan and noise will face the side walk which might impede stealth camping
      • i think i can use the wheel well to help with air flow. this would require a filter with sufficient air flow yet durable enough to block debris from the tire. alternatively, a removable barrier [preferably one accessible from inside].
      • placing the unit behind the tires will give it vent access at the wheel well and at the rear of the van.
      • air space clearances of the condenser unit below, however, the snow covers seem to violate these minimums so i think there is some wiggle room. i assume too much air gap clearance restriction will decrease the maximum power and possibility the efficiency. most of the units stated that if there more clearance on the bottom the other clearances can be decreased. while facing the fan, summary of various minimum air space clearances units i've looked at had, in inches [brackets are preferred gaps] [[driver side placement] [passenger side placement]]
        • 8-14 [20] on the right [[vents to rear of van] [vents to wheel well]]
        • 4-6 [10] on the left [[vents to wheel well] [vents to rear of van]]
        • 4-6 [10-20] back, false wall will need to accommodate this and taper up...
        • 16-20 [40] on top, ...to also accommodate this, large vents will be on the side
        • 2-4 [10-18] bottom, either exposed to the outside or ventilation in the floor
        • lots in the front, cut hole in wall and make fan grill flush with wall.
    • water tank; if possible either make a floor cutout or mount the tank directly under the van leaving enough room to insulate around it so that it can be partially heated by the interior.
  • ceiling modifications; i would like to make the cuts before putting anything into the van but it would be easier to wait until the insulated ceiling is going in for best fit but also don't want holes in the roof for an extended period of time
    • ceiling fan
    • skylight; shallow dome window [two ply] that would only extend above the van roof top by an inch or two. need to make sure there is enough gap between solar panels, however, the skylight will be positioned in the middle of a solar panel so it will have more room. a removable insulated panel will cover the skylight on the inside and be flush with the ceiling. i'll make this cover large and mounted with magnets. when removed the magnets on the ceiling will then be used by the shower curtain.
    • roof rack mounts for solar panels

  • insulated floor
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
solar panels

i'm hoping to get 1000 watts or more fixed on the roof and and at least 1000 watts more in portable panels. while it would be nice to charge the van's battery directly from solar panels that is not likely to be an option anytime soon if ever. if we are really lucky they might make some purpose built EV RVs that can do this but even then i doubt it will allow input of a large array and again not anytime soon nor do i want some clunky premade RV. thus i will need to to have a separate storage/power management system to use the solar to charge the van
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
heating/cooling [most likely mini-split]

not too surprising but disappointing still is the lack of 6k BTU mini-split options for 115/120v plugs, however, researching how to best setup a 230/240v system in the van forced me to think about things i should have already given some thought to, namely how to "fast" charge the van from the separate battery system [spoiler you can't fast charge from 120v]. there will be more info in the battery system post but 240v system will not be an issue and it gives me more better options [eg 240v high watt portable induction 'burner']

the leading contenders are the MSZ-FS06NA or MUZ-FS06NAH with a 33 SEER rating and only 300 watt @ 200 sq feet, it will use very little power to heat/cool a van. i don't have soild data but it seems that the higher the SEER rating the heavier the unit. also 240v units seem to be a little lighter than 120v units and 12v units are really heavy. not that it will help me but many manufactures 6k, 9k and often 12k units are the same size and very close in weight. that would imply that would would be possible to make a smaller, lighter 6k unit. i assume they don't to save on production costs. for the 6k and 9k units the lightest i've seen was 100lbs [25, 75] but that was a SEER 20, and the heaviest was the carrier 42 SEER 9k 150lbs [35, 115]. though the 12v was 190lbs, if the 12v unit can be mounted underneath the van it might make it back into the consideration list, however, i'm not sure my current power system would work well with a 12v unit. ideally i would like to find a 120v or 240v 6k system that can be mounted underneath the van [it would also be nice if they purpose built a 6k unit and did not just use the parts from 9k units]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
separate battery system [cabin battery]

i've been thinking about an RV that would be able to charge the host vehicle for a long time now and since i've built a few EVs from scratch i was originally assuming i would just build my own battery pack, charging system [both shore, van and solar], battery management system, inverter, monitors, fuses, safety, etc... however, the 'portable'/backup battery power systems has exploded in the past few years. there are lots out there and what's nice is they are complete systems. i would have a hard time beating the prices with my own custom system [unless i had used parts] so i'm thinking i will just use a premade system. they have units going well beyond 10k kWh so they will meet my needs easily and they have both 120v and 240v options. i've not looked in depth with all of them but at first glace a couple have popped on my radar: bluetti and ecoflow.

there are some unexpected pit-falls using these systems with my intended setup. first to get 240 volts you need to identical matching units paired together. that is not an issue, since these units are designed to be 'stacked' to get greater capacity and i was planning on get two or three to reach my power needs, however, the ecoflow for example will not allow you use 120 while it is configured for 240 so i would need three ecoflow units to cover my needs which would be 9kWh which is fine. the sticking point would be charging. would i be able to connect all my solar to all of the units or would i need to dedicate some solar to one and the rest to the other? these are answers i would need to know. i've not dug to deep into bluetti but they seem to have a similar setup. i'm not going to spend too much time on this right now as i won't need a final solution for a few more years and by then there will likely be more options.

furthermore, these systems have built in 'through put' technology. i could also have had such a thing with my own custom system but it would be trickier and more expensive. through put allows for a fluid transfer, exchange and change of inputs and outputs. so could be charging van at 240 volts and running some 120 volt stuff [lights, refrigerator, etc...] from the cabin battery while simultaneously inputting power from shore and solar panels. this allows for a lot of flexibility and options the greatest of which is transforming a 120 volt outlet [level one charging] into a 240 volt level two charging. for example lets assume i have 2200 watts of solar and i plug into an 120 volt outlet at 15 amps [1800 watts]. i can combine those into a 4000 watt 240 volt output to charge the van without even draining the cabin battery. of course if i wanted i could drain the cabin battery and add another 2000 watts to the mix for a short time [2-5 hours depending on the size of the battery] for a total of 6000 watts of charging. for a reference point 6000 watts is a typical amount of power you will get from a public EV charging station and most EVs base charging systems cannot go above this. there options for faster charging but currently over 90% of EVs are charging at this rate.

other options include capitalizing on multiple public charging stations simultaneously. i could plug the van into one station and charge the cabin batter from another station. [note: please only do this if there are other EVs needing to charge]

UPDATE 27JUL22

ok i lied, digging into bluetti, it seems their system will easy allow both 120v and 240v simultaneous. get a paired set of either two AC300 or two EP500pro should work fine. they seem to have roughy the same specks other than the total size. the two EP500pros yield about 10kwh for about $10k and the two AC300 6kwh for $6k. the AC300 is expandable with additional battery packs, however, i don't know if that also works with split phase 240v setup, i assume would but they might fight over one cable port? however, there are two other aspects to keep in mind [not unique to bluetti], one the solar charging array will need to be split into two identical parts charging each unit separately. also to charge from shore two separate 120v power sources will be needed simultaneously and i need to dig deeper into that as well. if the AC300 works i think that would be my first pick as they can be expanded if 6kwh is not enough and more modular. the EP500pros would be two large heavy units, whereas, the dual AC300 6kwh setup would be 4 items of roughly the same size [so smaller and lighter], the 12kwh would be 6 items, the 18kwh 8 items and finally 24kwh with 10 items. so more modularity and expandability make it a better choice. furthermore, if push comes to shove, a 24kwh cabin battery would be roughly a 20% increase in range if the largest EV battery i can get is 120kwh, thus if the 24kwh cabin battery is a possibility then it would make a van with only 120kwh feasible [but 150-200 is preferred]. if ford did nothing but double the size of its battery then it would give, conservatively, a 300 mile range, 200-250 mile real world. starting early with a full charge, assuming sunny day and taking a couple of long breaks, it would be easy to go over 300 miles in day without any charging stations or setting up additional solar panels. setting up panels and/or stopping at charging stations will provide even longer daily distances and shorter breaks. furthermore, those breaks could also power the heating/cooling [and everything else] at full power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
water filtration and hot water

most likely going to get a tank-less water heater [electric of course]. i could get a 1 or 2 gallon electric tank but tankless will be more efficient, more on demand and smaller/lighter. there are 120v models that would basically work [.5 gallon/min which is doable but a pain] but since i have 240v i'll have more options. i've been using an electric tank-less unit in my house for years and i love it

considering using an infinite loop system for both sink an shower. the drains for sink and shower will have a screen filter then dump into a small tank [3-5 gallon]. the tank will then go through a carbon filter then UV filter by being drawn up with pump. the pump then pushed the water through a tankless water heater. this system would allow for continuous water use and since the water is pre-warmed after the first cycle it will require less power. any extra room taken up by the filtration is easily compensated by the small tank size. i might also put an UV light in the tank to continuously cycle on-off to keep the tank clean and add a little more filtration.

while plumping both a sink faucet and shower hose would be trivial i might just combine them
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i could raise the floor by the bed and install a shower basin or i could leave the floor uniform and have a portable shower basin. while the portable unit would be more of a hassle [pick up, put down, store, connect to tank] it would make it easier to keep clean and i could use it for outside cleaning needs. plus it would keep the floor uniform. the basin could be plastic or metal, however the final unit should have metal sides for magnetic attachment of shower current to avoid spilling any water outside of the basin. it would also need a false floor [grate] to stand on to allow the water to pass through. all in all i think 4-5" high might work. 1-2" for the grate and 2-3" for curtain to attach to inside. for safety i should make the portable unit able to lock in place while using. furthermore, assuming it is clean enough the grate could be used for a dish drying rack? alternatively the grate could double as a small step to put down outside the door to help keep knock dirt and debris off shoes

i'm not sure if installing a fresh water system [eg tank, input port, lines, pump, faucet, etc...] will even be worth it. i'll only need fresh water for drinking, brushing teeth and cooking. i might need worry about washing hands but wipes and sanitizer are about as good and if my hands are really messy i can wash them with the infinite loop system first and follow it up with wipes or sanitizer. to be clear the infinite loop system should be producing clean safe to drink water so that should not be an issue but then the question some might ask then is why wouldn't i just use the infinite loop system for my drinking water? that would deplete the water reservoir so i would still need to go get water to replace it and i would need to be 100% sure about the system and keep a close eye on it. for cleaning and showering as long the plates are completely dried [maybe even wiped down] and i'm not drinking the shower water or letting it get into my eyes then 98%, 99% safe will be fine. if i made a super doper filtration system i could recycle my urine but that would be a much more elaborate system, there would be a yuck factor and i would still be at a net loss for water. all in all, for my drinking water needs, it might be easier to have something designed to take standard 3 or 5 gallon 'office' water jugs and some bottled water on hand just in case. getting those 3 or 5 gallon jugs are easy and so is refilling them. two or three 5 gallon jugs will last a long time.

worse case scenario would be running of drinking water and not being able to get more. if less than safe water is available i could pre-treat it first with chemicals then run it through the infinite loop system a couple times and/or boil it. if the water is really bad [ie muddy] i could use cloth to strain filter it first. if there is no water anywhere i still have 3-5 gallons in the infinite loop that can easily be made safe to drink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
other
  • things i learned about on the forums and need to look into
    • 3m ceramic glass film, security and heat block
    • various security measures

  • hot water
most likely going to get a tank-less water heater [electric of course]. i could get a 1 or 2 gallon electric tank but tankless will be more efficient, more on demand and smaller/lighter. there are 120v models that would basically work [.5 gallon/min which is doable but a pain] but since i have 240v i'll have more options. i've been using an electric tank-less unit in my house for years and i love it

  • refrigerator
going to use a 120v chest freezer with modified thermostat. i've been using a chest freezer with modified thermostat for my keg-orator for decades and it uses about 1/3 the power a standard fridge would be of the same size. there RV designed fridges and some folk use 'off-grid' fridges, however, most [if not all] RV fridges are not efficient since they can be powered by multiple power types there was never much motivation to make them efficient in the first place. now many 'off-grid' fridges are efficient, but the biggest part of making a fridge efficient is its insulation. i'm fairly certain [but it has been a while since i researched it] that a mass produced chest freezer with modified thermostat clocks in at about the same level of efficiency as an 'off-grid' fridge, the only difference really is the mass produced chest freezer needs 120 volts and is a lot cheaper. my 5.1 cubic ft igloo has a rating of 172 kwh per year [as a freezer], when new it used 56 kwh per year while set to 35-40F and a decade later it uses 101 kwh while set at 33F. the most efficient cooler/freezer i've found thus far is the dometic cfx3-100 is 3.5 cubic ft and rated at 168 kwh per year. generally the bigger a frig/freezer the more efficient but even still the energy start 5.1 chest freezer is three times more efficient than the dometic 3.5. even looking at 3.5 cubic ft chest freezers they clock in at 152 khw [as a freezer] so likely four times more efficient than the dometic 3.5. i found similar results with other frig units [eg isotherm]

unfortunately, chest freezers are single zone that means i will not have a freezer. a couple of options placing a small thermoelectric unit inside of the fridge or separate freezer. the thermoelectric idea would be very inefficient. a separate unit would be expensive [cause, i'll get the most efficient kind which is pricey] and take up some room but it provide lots of options. if i have a 5.1 cubic ft frig and a 1 to 2 cubic ft cooler/freezer. then i could either have a medium and small frig or a medium frig and small freezer and even just a small frig/freezer if i don't have a lot of food, all though the 5.1 frig will use less than half of the energy of the smaller unit. i might drop down from a 5.1 to a 3.5-3.9 chest freezer if i can find one that will fit a 1/6 barrel keg. i extend the height of a 3.5 unit, however, that will decrease the efficiently of the unit. i don't think by much because if i'm running it as fridge instead of a freezer it will have plenty of cooling potential even with the increased space. but once i put a keg into a 3.5 unit i won't have a lot of room left. the keg and CO2 tank will take up about half the space leaving 1.5-2 cubic feet. i could put the CO2 tank on the outside but that would make running lines more complicated. i could also use something smaller than a 5 pound tank but that is a very standard size which is cheap and easy to fill/replace. plus the 5 pound CO2 tank is not that big.

another possibility could be a counter-top ice maker. half of my desire for an freezer is ice and the other half would be for keeping things frozen for a few days to a couple of weeks. i could get a small well insulated, not powered, cooler [i could even make my own], put some ice into it with some already frozen food and put the whole thing into the chest freezer. this should keep the cooler contents frozen for at least a few days and i could replace the ice. i don't think an ice maker is a good idea, they have counter top units that are small for about $100 and that might work but likely it will take a lot of energy to go that route? there are also 'undercounter' units that are just a little freezer with the same kind of ice maker you would see in a regular household frig, however, the starting point for these are around $500 but the cheap one seem sketchy and i will be at least $1000 but really $2000+, and i'm not sure how much energy they will use but it seems like a lot. for the same size i could get a 2.5 cubic ft chest freezer for $200-300. the avanti - cf24q0w [target carries these] is rated at 137 kwh per year [as a freezer]. the 2.5 unit would be about the same size [but tall instead of long] as a 70-80 liter cooler/freezer but maybe a little heavier but use 1/2 to 1/3 the the power and 1/3 to 1/4 the price.

TL;DR provided chest freezers won't break from road bumps, the best system for me seems to be a 3.5-5.1 cubic ft for a fridge and a 2.5 cubic ft for a freezer.

keg issues aside, i could put in smaller than what i think i need frig and use a height extension. add 10" of height to a 3.5 and you have 5 cubic ft unit. the height extension would not take up much storage as it would just be a 20" by 20" by 10" box and 2" thick sides but no top or bottom. i could put it into the pan/cooking supply drawer and fill it up. or even make it collapsible. if do go with a keg system, which is very likely, then i might just make a 3.5 into a permanent 5 cubic ft unit. it would be taller but not an issue for my counter height. i was planning on raising the chest freezers by 8-12" anyways to make it easier to dig into. right now the Sylvania - SFRF434 at 152 kwh per year seems like the most efficient 3.5 cubic ft but i'm not sure where to get these but there might be new options in a few years

it might seem like a lot but both the 3.5 and 2.5 together is still only about 160 liters and i've seen lots of vans with 130-150 liters. plus if i'm low on food they become storage space.
  • bed
since i'm likely going to be traveling solo i'd like to maximum the space in the van for one person, however, i would also like the option of making it two person friendly. for the most part the only difference between a 1 or 2 person configuration is the bed size. so i'm planning on making a split bed. i'll have the foundation [bed frame] for half of the bed be a permanent feature [namely the a raised platform in the back] and other other half be removable [i'm thinking that same plank would make a great desk area]. i've not yet narrowed down the bed's orientation. based on others videos and measurements it seems like there would be just enough room to place my head and feet from left to right side. most tallish folk are not able to put their beds like that, but that is mostly because of their decisions about the interior walls. most often folks will run a straight wall all the way down but because of the wall geometry that results in several inches between the outside and inside walls at maximum curvature. this yields a distance between the inside walls of 6 feet at the most. i think this is a common choice out of aesthetics and simplicity, however, by placing the bed height in such a way to maximum the distance it think it will be possible to sleep comfortably and still have 2 inches of insulation if the wall contour is followed, at least for where the head and foot of the bed is located. i might need to add a set of flares to the sides by the bed but i would like to avoid that because it will detract from stealth camping and might be less aerodynamic, however, depending on how i put the mini-split into the false wall it blend better?

the split bed setup i'm considering two 30-32" wide beds [32+32 = standard full size bed so sheets would be easy to get]. the second bed mattress could be placed as a back rest on the first mattress to make the rear of the van into a couch during the day and at night the other mattress could lean against the sliding door. i will make two different layouts in case there really is not enough room to have the bed go side to side in the van. 30" is not super wide so i think i put a bungee cord net on the side of the bed. just enough to remind you about the edge but not enough that it would make getting out of bed more difficult. plus that net would make it easy to toss a bunch of stuff on the bed and it will stay there while on the road. i might also make the area near the sliding door either extra strong or have some tie down points so that the removable plank that would be the second half of the bed could be setup for a separate bed in case i needed to shelter someone but did not want them too close, however, this would be low priority.
 

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Ambitious.
Gonna have to wait a few years for a Ford eTransit that gets more than 150 miles, though. It's hard to imagine one that will go 300 miles being released in the next 10 years. Maybe there will be aftermarket battery packs or range extenders, though.
 

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****, all that AND stealth camping? Definitely ambitious. Sounds like one of those cool concept RVs at a car show. Can't wait to see some designs
 

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Ambitious.
Gonna have to wait a few years for a Ford eTransit that gets more than 150 miles, though. It's hard to imagine one that will go 300 miles being released in the next 10 years.
What makes you think that? The 300-mile range F150 electric is on sale now.

I suspect Ford will release longer-range Electric Transits as soon as they they're able to complete the backorder of the current variant. Which probably won't be this year, but hopefully less than 10!
 

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I think of of the challenges of solar on an EV, is the tradeoff between stationary off-grid charging, and reduced range due to aero losses from the rack and PV array. Somebody moving daily might be better off with a very modest amount flexible panels, for house loads. But a large array of rigid panels might make more sense if you drive short distances and park for a few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ambitious.
Gonna have to wait a few years for a Ford eTransit that gets more than 150 miles, though. It's hard to imagine one that will go 300 miles being released in the next 10 years. Maybe there will be aftermarket battery packs or range extenders, though.
yep that is why i have the 4-8 year window. there are about 10 EV van models from half a dozen companies expected to be available in the next year or two most of which have 200-300 mile range. while it is true that ford might not have a 300+ mile van in the near future [if they follow the Nissan leaf business model] there is nothing stopping them or other companies from making 300-500 mile range vans. the technology exists, the room exists, all they need to do is put in more battery. it is mostly a matter of if they think the larger battery packs will sell on the lots and partially if they think they can meet demand. if they are smart they will work out the logistics now [it would only take an engineer a day or two, if they have not already done it] and offer larger battery packs as a special request order option. ford could literally offer 300 miles next year if they wanted to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think of of the challenges of solar on an EV, is the tradeoff between stationary off-grid charging, and reduced range due to aero losses from the rack and PV array. Somebody moving daily might be better off with a very modest amount flexible panels, for house loads. But a large array of rigid panels might make more sense if you drive short distances and park for a few days.
i don't have hard numbers but rigid solar panels on the roof done well [eg snug to roof and a little 'ramp' fairings in front and back] will not have much relative aero drag increase. the frontal cross section area on a ford transit is about 56 square feet [and i'm not even sure that is for the tall option] so adding 2" high 72" wide panel cross section to that would increase the frontal area by less than 2% and closer to 1% for a tall transit. conversions with top mounted fans, heaters and AC units could have just as much drag

plus i'm considering adding a removable tail fairing [it would double as a side shade awning when parked] to help with aerodynamics
 

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As a dedicated camping vehicle, I can see where this would be viable, especially if the style of camping is to not be driving around constantly. If you get somewhere and STAY there for several days or weeks, PV could top off batteries as well as charge the house elec. system. But if you're touring, stopping someplace to camp and then going to look at something 50+ miles away and return to the camping spot every day, it's probably not well suited. Given currently available tech, I'd stick with the ICE drivetrain for a campervan. STILL crossing fingers for a PHEV Transit, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Enjoy that 150 mile range. A giant step backwards from current ICE tech, which actually works.
confused by your post, i expressly said that i'm not starting an EV van conversion until the range is much more than 150 miles? and of course getting 300-500 miles is extremely easy to do
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As a dedicated camping vehicle, I can see where this would be viable, especially if the style of camping is to not be driving around constantly. If you get somewhere and STAY there for several days or weeks, PV could top off batteries as well as charge the house elec. system. But if you're touring, stopping someplace to camp and then going to look at something 50+ miles away and return to the camping spot every day, it's probably not well suited. Given currently available tech, I'd stick with the ICE drivetrain for a campervan. STILL crossing fingers for a PHEV Transit, though.
i'm not worried, i've been driving electric for almost two decades now and i've built several EVs and installed various solar arrays so i know what the limitations/hurdles are and how to avoid them. i plan to do both long term camping and touring. the long term camping as you pointed out will be easy and i won't need to be near campgrounds or anything, completely self-reliant. as for touring, assuming we get the 300-500 mile range travel will not be much of an issue, i don't really want to drive much further than that in a day any how. plus with my proposed system i could stop any where [don't need to hunt for a place to charge] for lunch, nap or what not and give myself a 'fast charge' from my cabin battery. basically i'll have a built in range extender
 

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Gonna have to wait a few years for a Ford eTransit that gets more than 150 miles, though. It's hard to imagine one that will go 300 miles being released in the next 10 years. Maybe there will be aftermarket battery packs or range extenders, though.
Inside chatter from F indicates sooner rather that later, in the 3- to 4-year range. Keep an eye on the F150 presaging E-Transit drivetrain developments. I have a source, but to protect his job I can't say much more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I still think a small diesel generator with an all electric drivetrain would be the best of both worlds. Unlimited range, very low emissions, with a decent sized battery could be all electric for everything but the longest trips.
if i was stuck with 150 mile range and i needed to do a lot of driving, that would be a good setup. but i'm 99% sure there will be much better range options in a few years [edit, looks like the previous post agrees with this assessment]. and like i said i really don't want to drive more than 400 or 500 miles in a day. even if i get a van with only 250 mile range, plugging into a charging station during lunch and taking a couple of breaks to use my on board charging option will still get me up to 400-500 miles in a day. so i'm not worried, this is not my first EV rodeo, i've been doing it for a long time now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
i want to thank everyone thus far and send more thanks in advance. you are more than welcome to share your experience or useful insight on the approaches i'm taking. there are several aspects regarding this potential conversion where there are much more knowledge people on these forums than i, however, to save everyone's time there are few areas where i am likely to be more knowledge and hence we don't need to worry about them. one such topic is the range limitations of EVs i built my first EV in 2005 and have been electric ever since. i know what the issues are and i'm worried, so the range of the EV van not a concern, no need to discuss it. worst case scenario is that in a few years they are not making an EV van with the range i need in which case i will not attempt the conversion. also lets keep discussions on topic; one off topic item is using fossil fuels. i'm not going to even consider the possibility of using fossil fuels in any regard so no need to bring them up in any way*

* i am aware that if i plug in to charge somewhere [eg a business, public charging station, etc..] the electricity from that outlet might not be coming from 100% renewable sources. i'll try to avoid that as much as possible but i doubt i will be completely successful.
 
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