Hiya vanlifers! My name is Adriene and I’m working ever so slowly on my build. Reading about solar/electrical feels like I’m reading another language. I have no idea what I’m doing and I have no carpentry experience! I’m doing my best to gather information before each task so I make good choices. I expect I’ll make a few errors along the way but reading about everyone’s experience has helped me avoid a few already. My van is a 2019 Mercedes HR sprinter 144 WB. His name is Tank. I’m looking forward to a complete (or at least livable) build in a few months. Cheers!
Greetings & Welcome!
Having power doesn’t need to be as expensive, complicated, or convoluted as the promoters would like it to be. They are after your money, and are not your friends. The more they can convince others to spend, the more money they make.
I’ve been a nomad my entire adult life, well over 50 years, and I’ve lived COMFORTABLY & CHEAPLY in vans, buses, RV’s, and even on boats. My full featured conversions cost hundreds, not thousands of dollars, and are better equipped and more comfortable & convenient than any of those multi thousand dollar builds the promoters like to promote.
I’m a firm believer in the KISSAC principle (Keep It Stupidly Simple And Cheap). It’s extremely easy to do more with less, and the simpler we keep it, the more reliable it is. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not doing without anything I want or need, I’m just doing it differently.
I have a super comfortable bed, a toilet & shower, full kitchen, comfortable seating in my work/lounge area, 4 season climate control & ventilation, and all the power I need. What I don’t have is solar panels, roof vents, expensive batteries, a diesel heater, a 12v compressor fridge or freezer, built in fresh/grey/black water systems, or any plumbing to freeze. I just fill those wants/needs differently, cheaper, and much more reliably.
I am proud to choose cheap used, recycled, or repurposed, but like new items, and the cheapest but most reliable options available. I prefer to move things in and secure them, rather than actually building everything in. The final fit & finish will still rival the most expensive builds.
I can offer more specifics if you’d like.
I like your style! Thanks for the beta.