What's your problem Vanlifers?

Hi !

As part of a course, our team of 11 engineering students must target a concrete problem and come up with an innovative solution (real product) to solve the problem. As several members of our team have an interest in the VanLife, we decided to focus our research on this topic. This is when you come into play. I would like to think what is your biggest problem with your Van that could be solved with a real-life product (you can be creative here and we’ll evaluate the feasibility)?

Thank you !

I’ve got some ideas of things that would make vanlife a lot easier:

A cassette-style water tank that allows fixtures to be plumbed up to it. Many vanlifers do the 6 gallon water jug shuffle both for fresh water and for grey water. For the fresh water, it could even be as simple as a water cooler jug receptacle that can be built in. For grey water, something like Thetford’s or Dometic’s cassettes, but with pipe inlets instead of a toilet fixture. Bonus points if you can come up with a housing that uses those existing cassettes.

A “universal” charger for the battery bank, that can take input from alternators (14v-ish DC), solar (up to 75v-100v DC), or AC (both 120v and 240v). I think EV charging stations are way underused by vanlifers. Some may argue that an ICE van shouldn’t be allowed to use an EV station, but the whole point of EVs is to be better for the enviroment, and vanlifers have much less of an enviromental impact than someone living in a home or apartment.

Maybe not “real product” enough, but a set of DXFs/paper templates for wall, floor, and ceiling panels for any of the common vans (Sprinter, Promaster, Transit, E-Series, Express/Savanna) would be a huge help to many people. Vancillary has shown that selling a paper template (cab shelf) is a viable product.

A 12v mini-split style AC system would be awesome. I’ve yet to find one in the 3000-5000 btu range that would be perfect for most van builds.

Maybe more if I think of them…

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Greetings & Welcome!

Here’s what comes to mind instantly…

A) A high powered portable AC/DC generator capable of running 24/7 silently, or nearly so, that requires no fossil fuels. On demand hydrogen, where you fill the fuel tank with water would be good, or perhaps portable self contained hydro power, like you can do with a river or stream, except small & portable. And doesn’t require batteries. Eliminating the need for house batteries would be a huge plus. Needs to be capable of powering A/C’s, heaters, fridges, microwaves, etc. One that starts/stops automatically on demand would be perfect.

B) A conversion kit to run our vehicles on hydrogen, converted from water as needed just before entering the engine.

(A) would solve all of our power problems & eliminate noise, pollution, & weather/sun related problems, and (B) would solve our gas mileage, fuel costs, & pollution problems.


"There are those who learn, and those who wish they had learned." ~ Good2Know

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