Van Life – Our Amazing Stealth Solar Power Set up! Off Grid Camper Van

hey everyone matt here from exploring alternatives we just finished installing our new solar system in our camper van and we're really excited and we thought we'd do a video just to give you a little overview so we went with a company called renergie they have really good reviews and have a good customer service their prices are reasonable too we decided to get three 100 watt bendable flexible solar panels they're only about just a few millimeters thick and they're very light and we decided to go with that instead of the conventional panels that are made of aluminum and glass for a few different reasons first one is that they're much lighter if the conventional ones they probably would have added over 50 pounds to the roof of the of the van and this only has a few pounds also we didn't want to change the aerodynamics of the van at all we wanted to make sure it wouldn't affect fuel consumption and since these are really flat on the roof they're not affecting fuel consumption at all and the third reason is that while they don't look like anything so it's a bit more sneaky or stealthy I guess as you can see there's nothing to see we followed the recommendations of renergie the company that sold us the panels and we used industrial-strength velcro to mount them on the roof it does seem to be very strong but I have to admit velcro is a little bit wacky we're not too sure about it so we're still gonna screw some holes directly in the van just just to be extra safe now there's a bunch of wires here as you can see it looks semi tidy right now but this was kind of a logistical nightmare to get it all looking like this we drilled several holes onto the roof rack and tried to bunch up the wires as best we could and use the zip ties to secure them and that seems to be pretty solid for now the three 100 watt solar panels are all plugged in parallel so we end up with one positive and one negative lead so we drilled two little holes here we ran the wires through and put some caulking so now let's go inside and take a look at the rest of this crazy stuff so our negative and positive leads are coming from our solar panels right through the roof here they're coming down here they loop back up and they come into this MPPT 40 amp charge controller out of the charge controller we have two connector cables going into our battery so the connector cables come here into the positive and negative terminals of the battery I also grounded the negative of the battery into one of the onto the frame of the van and we also have these two big wires here are going out from the battery and into our inverter so this is a 500 watt pure sine inverter from Renault G and this thing allows us to plug in normal household machines and we also have a USB port and also plugged into the charge controller is a little meter gives you battery status volts coming from the solar panels going into the battery and amps the battery is a hundred and fifty five amp hour deep-cycle AGM sealed battery and it's from v-max that was actually pretty hard to get it in here it weighs a hundred pounds so if you can imagine like lifting a hundred pounds in a tiny space like this but we got it in here we nested it in a in a plastic bin and then in a basket that kind of folds over this so it makes it look a little less nasty we bolted it down to the actual frame of the van and we have some some straps holding it down here this way is really safe and if ever we get in an accident or anything it would just stay right there and we also have this beautiful lid that that closes up on this so for us it's really exciting that have energy from the Sun to be able to like work our laptops and our machines and charge camera batteries and stuff like that from the Sun every day it's pretty amazing and so far we've been able to use two laptops and like charged batteries and use this little USB fan for pretty much eight hours every day rain or shine and the battery is pretty much always full so it's performing really really well like I said we bought it from a company called renergie they have really good customer service but I kind of feel like they're used to dealing with people who know what they're doing I had no idea what any of this was so I had to call them about a hundred times and ask him tons of questions and they were patient and they answered everything eventually I did have to harass them a bit but they did answer everything eventually and it works so there's a few things I didn't talk about fuses and and and other little details so if you want more information just check out the link at the bottom of of this video and we wrote a blog post giving all the details of the solar system so thanks for watching if you have any questions put them in the comments and subscribe if you like this video

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