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Thread: The Van Plan




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default The Van Plan

    The plan: I'm going to buy a van, something similar to this:



    And use this van as an RV for camping, road trips, etc. My problem now is figuring out how to run a laptop inside the van for around 4+ hrs a night to watch movies without running the van's engine to keep the car-battery charged. The only thought I've had so far is to have a separate battery system that the laptop runs from that is then charged by another method when the laptop is not in use. I'm just not sure what kind of batteries would be best for this application, how many I would need, or what method of recharging them would be best. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Central Alberta , Canada
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: The Van Plan

    A lot of "camper special" trucks use a two battery system that is charged using the already present alternator/regulator system that is on most (all?) motor vehicles. Your best bet if you are planning to use your van for regular camper duty is to do some research on rv forums or find a mechanic who knows how to install an additional battery and hook up the charging system and switches necessary to avoid draining your main battery. Deep cycle batteries are best for camper use rather than conventional automotive batteries. Deep cycle batteries will withstand discharge/recharge cycles over and over whereas conventional batteries will eventually stop recharging properly. In this way you should be able to run a laptop without issue using an adapter from 12Volt for as long as you like without worry about starting the van in the morning. ... you should also be able to hook up a fan to keep you cool in the summer and keep a light on. As you drive the van during the day it will recharge your additional battery as well as maintaining the automotive battery.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: The Van Plan

    ahh, deep cycle batteries, thanks. I'lll do some googling on those and see what I can come up with.

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