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Discussion Starter #1
I did all this in my T5 but the memory is dimming. I've got cable from the panel to the controller but can't for the life of me remember whether I used the same cable to the leisure battery or some other twin wire I've got lots left over from before. I think it may have been for connecting up the battery to the fuse box. Not bothering with a split charge this time as it's only for a fridge and lights when travelling to and from Portugal.
Any tips welcome.
PS. Windows going in both sliders next week so then i can get a move on with other things. Might remove the top of the bulkhead and leave the bottom.
Bought some nice blue Altro foor covering and waiting on Veltrim velour carpet too.
Rob
 

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A friend at work put a 200w set up in his van with a controller etc,it cost several hundred pounds and gives him about 2 amp on a sunny day.
It maintains his battery just about where it is with the lights,12v tv etc he uses.
It seemed like a lot of expense for very little benefit in my eyes.
I went down the split charge route (which you are not going to do )
My alternator is about a 150 amp battery charger ,already built into the van.
I went to world superbikes last summer for 4 days and nights,
I only ran my van on tick over once ,for about half an hour and my leisure battery was good again.
My musings would be,
2 leisure batteries ,split charge,then,
1 leisure battery with split charge
Solar panel , waste of cash
But everybody specs their van differently.
I appreciate I'm not really offering any input for your dilemma ,
Just praising the split charge system,which I know you already are aware
 

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My van also has a fully carpeted bottom half bulkhead with the top half removed.
It was what I wanted initially and works well for me ,as I like the separation from the front half.
However,after using it quite a few times ,I will be removing it completely for a swivel base for my twin front passenger seats.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Kratos,
My 80w panel gave out 3.8amps and the whole kit cost about £65. Just bought the same panel for this van.
I'm nearly ready to move to Portugal and can't see me wild camping when I'm there. I did it for a month 2 years ago and loved it, no parking charges, stay next to the beach and no yellow lines.
I had a swivel base in the YT5 and used it twice, nearly £300 so a bit of a waste for me so this time a minimal conversion so it can be a van as well. I did find the T5 was cramped inside and more so with the bed down and Evomotion furniture down the side.
 

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Portugal in the summer,next to the beach,,sounds idyllic mate ,
Your route sounds credible now with sunny climes and almost wall to wall sunshine plus hook up.??
My mates under performs so much cos hes trying to get usable power from it in the middle of a blighty summer ,which as we know isn't too much sunshine ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Drove down to Portugal twice last year, can't stay away and even here I got good power from the Panel so maybe his was a bit faulty.
When the windows go in and the rain stops I'll get a move on and book the ferry. The front room is full of bits and pieces.
 

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2 amp out of 200w panel does sound a bit low. Panels tend to be a good way to run a compressor fridge without draining the battery right down.

If you're just running led lighting you don't need a lot of juice. I've got an ickle 40ah car battery in mine which runs about 8W worth of leds plus water pump, fans, soundbar and USB chargers. It lasts a while and doesn't take much time for the split charger to get it back up. I mostly wild camp so it gets topped up every few days.

As for wiring work out the max amps the controller will pump out and use whatever cable is rated a bit higher.

Portugal sounds amazing. I miss getting to Europe, this country is so hostile to wild camping.

If it were me I'd put in a cheap split charge unit just to make sure you arrive topped up. Going against my own advice I know - It won't be perfect on the newer vans but it will be enough.
 

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It was a "professional" install in a 17 plate van,
I think the 1 or 2 hours sunshine he got was the fault lol
It couldn't really achieved the stated outputs on the days he was away.
That's not going to be an issue where you're going tho ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm torn on the split charge, I have the panel here and at least before my next trip I'm keeping it simple, running a CRX50 and some lights. Quite a bit to do to make it comfortable by then.
I only did a few trips to sites with hook-ups in UK and for found Portugal to be so easy and relaxed. The problem was many "campers" were actually coaches and I think some locals were getting fed up with their parking being taken over by them next to the beaches.
I'm told I have a smart alternator so may look at the kits on offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just got back from Poole having had an opening window fitted to each slider by Andy at AAW.
He fitted some in my T5 in 2017 and if you want a first rate job on the south coast give him a ring.
Wish I was on commission?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I advised Direct Line about the windows and they said it's a decline but luckily I'd phoned them in December to check it it was ok. I had the details of my call so when they checked they couldn't refuse. Had problems with them last year going to Portugal, a fully comp policy but to only TP abroad unless you pay £45, Had a row but they wouldn't back down so cancelled my house and breakdown cover and of course the motor in April.
Anyway, just ordered curtains from Kiravans, no Viv stock until the end of April so getting universal. P+P on ebay £7.99 for the two sides, direct from them, free P+P, weird.
Will get stuck in soooon!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm fed up with pulling on the steering wheel getting in the cab so has anyone fitted handles on the A pillars and if so what handle did you use? For fixing I'd probably use rivnuts unless there is another way.
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For the past three days in the sun I've......
insulated behind the rear panels and under the fitted floor, only 3mm closed cell foam this time. In the T5 I did 10mm then bubble wrap tin foil AND plastic bottle stuff everywhere and quite honestly it was total overkill. Sill got a roll of bubblewrap in the shed if anyone is interested.
Removed the three roof rack bars and the BT flashing lights and will put the lot on ebay.
Next to do will be the Altro onto the floor but I'll wait until next week for that then tracing all the extra wiring for the lights and get rid. Then wheel arch ply boxes.
Nice to get started at last and would do photos but it's nothing to see really, perhaps when finished.
Would still like to try the handle as above but not yet.
Rob
 

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How's the curtains?

Currently I'm using homemade blinds made out of foil bubble wrap that connect using magnets. They're pretty good and reflect a lot of heat but I would like some proper curtains. Not really wanting to pay the camper scene tax on branded specific ones, 8 quid is pretty mad. I would get those if they are half decent?
 

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Just installed my solar btw. Getting about 2.5 amps out of an 80w panel through a mppt box. I did expect closer to the 3.8 you mentioned but it might be because my battery is brand new and fully charged, and the controller is only pulling what it needs?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I did think of making some blinds with the bubble wrap and bought press stickers before but in the end bought proper curtains from Kiravans and have bought them again and will fit when the rest is done, meanwhile I have press sticker black curtains I had around already.
Is your panel flexible or framed? Mine is framed panel as before that I'll fit when I get new roof rails. Never tried a mmpt regulator just a cheapy about £8 from ebay. I didn't want to stick a flexible to the roof because I like to use the car wash and can remove mine for that.
Much too hot to work today and I'm aching so waiting for the storms forecast to pass.
Really like deja vu doing all this again but it's keeping me occupied and will be ready for a trip to Portugal in November and it's a lot bigger inside than the T5.
 

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Know the feeling. I stripped mine back around a month ago and it's all a bit deja vu. Nothing seems to get quicker despite having done it before and the heat doesn't help.

It's a flexible panel as I like to use multistorey car parks when abroad and the van fits nicely under the 2m barriers. I felt the solid panel would put me over. Currently having the same debate around roof vents as they add quite a lot of height.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've never been in a multi storey in a van but got caught in a barrier at a car park on Portland. A slight grinding as I slowly drove under. When measured it was 6" lower than the sign said:oops:.
I've seen mushroom vents that stick up less than three inches with or without a fan or could some kind of cowl be adapted on the side panels or the rear doors to give some ventilation.
 

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I've seen mushroom vents that stick up less than three inches with or without a fan or could some kind of cowl be adapted on the side panels or the rear doors to give some ventilation.
I’m converting a 2016 LWB Trafic and have roof bars for sea kayaks, and a PV panel. However, I want a roof vent so I’ve just ordered a Flettner low profile wind-powered roof vent which only projects 58mm. I’m hoping there’ll still be some airflow with just the vent open, even when there’s no wind to rotate the fan?
 
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