Ford E350 XLT Build Questions

  1. Help with picking out an MPPT
    -2 315 watt solar panels wired parallel
    -1 200ah lithium 12v battery
    **Would the Victron 100|50 work?

  2. Help with Insulation
    -Flooring I think I have down but with the E350 there are a lot of “pockets” in the walls
    -I was thinking rockwool in the pockets
    **What would be the thinnest application to maximize space on the walls?

Thanks for any help! I am sure I’ll have more as this project goes along

Greetings & Welcome!

Never stuff those “pockets”, they are ventilation holes to prevent condensation build up inside the ribs.

With passenger vans, they leave open space between the outside walls and the interior paneling for this same reason, to prevent moisture from becoming trapped against the outer wall. At the bottoms of the outer walls & doors are also weep holes to drain any excess moisture. These must not be blocked. If they are, that is the major cause of door bottom, wheel well, and bottom of wall rust to form.

I like to do 3 layer walls, foam board insulation sandwiched between 1/8" panels, using Glidden Gripper to attach them to each other. I build the cabinets the same way. Light weight, but incredibly strong. For top cabinets, I run cables diagonally through the ends and dividers to attach to the tops of the walls, then add sliding doors instead of swinging ones. Sliding doors stay shut when driving, and don’t need extra interior space when opening or closing. I use sliding doors on the lower cabinets as well whenever possible.

Why lithium? They are over rated and over priced. All things considered, deep cycle lead acid is still the best choice for our application, regardless of what the promoters would have us believe. While technology marches on, zinc oxide batteries are aready becoming a better choice for applications where lithium has been promoted. Lithium/LifePo4 batteries are dying faster than lead acid, and the warranties are not being honored. They claim the failure is due to over/under charging/discharging, and lack of adequate temperature control. Therefore user error, and not manufacturing defects. The promoters & sellers are predators, in search of victims, and the customers/fans haven’t owned them long enough to offer objective reviews. That’s why sellers want fast reviews, before people can learn the down sides.

What we need is long term reliability at a reasonable price, and to date, deep cycle lead acid batteries are the only ones meeting that expectation. Other types are just too temperamental, even the AGM’s.


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

1 Like

Rockwool in the pockets or anywhere there was a gap works I did that in my e350, same van, I used ridged foam and rockwool on the walls, my ribs worked out at 1 1/4 inches deep so to take up the space I used the wool to take up that space then screwed wall paneling 1/4 inch, it has a finished face, the wool also took out any squeaks from the ridgid foam, which I had in my other van. it will also keep it warmer hope that helps


In my other van e350 I stuffed the walls with pink insulation then 1/4 inch wall paneling, then lived in it for a while then removed everything when I got this other e350 which I am doing up now, I am using rockwool this time, when I removed the insulation from the old van I found no rust inside the walls, maybe I got lucky, I live in Canada, on the west coast, lots of rain in the winter here, Vancouver Island, this is my 3rd van. I have 650 watts of solar and 4 AGM deep cycle batteries.

1 Like

HAHA also my batteries are golf cart batteries never had an issue with these,


Re: Rust

Rust can be a very challenging opponent, and there are many factors that can play into it.

Theoretically, if the paint on the inside of your walls is intact, and no moisture gets trapped, rust should be a minor issue. But one scratch in the paint could start problems.

Sometimes it gets started where people drill holes too, because that can expose bare metal.

Re: Batteries

Golf cart batteries are a reasonable choice too. Just about anything is cheaper and better suited for our needs than lithium/LifePo4 batteries. Newer isn’t always better, especially for special use cases like ours. Maybe they’re better for some uses, but certainly not ours.


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller

1 Like

For two 315 watt solar panels you will need at least a 60 amp mppt controller. Never used Vicrom but my Renogy doesn’t work correctly. But they did that on purpose. I’m sure both are good products. You need to make sure it can handle the 630 watts at 12v output to battery bank. Check the manual or contact the seller. Also check the wattage that the controller will convert. If your panels are 40v open circuit then you need a 48v controller that will charge 12v.

200ah battery is not a lot of battery for 600 watts. I have 400ah batteries and 640 watts producing 60% power and when the batteries were good they completely charged in a couple hours. I really have too much solar power even at 50% usage. If you want a lot of daytime power, you may want the extra panels.

1 Like