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Converting My Survival Camper To Solar Power. Living Off The Grid.

Since my survival camper  already had half of its power hungry appliances stripped out, I decided to go all the way and remove the rest of the 120 volt junk. The camper had a huge circuit breaker box and a very heavy, large power inverter. The power inverter converted the 120 volt mains power to 12 volts to run the internal camper electronics and lights. All the lights in the camper are already 12 volt. The water pump for the sink and the toilet are also 12 volts. When you plug the camper in at a campsite, the voltage is converted to 12 volts inside the camper.


I will not be using this camper at a campsite. And if I ever do decide to visit a normal campsite, I plan to run purely off solar power anyway. The optimum bug out camper should be fully self sufficient. It should not rely on outside power sources.


In the photo below you can see the original power control box. It was behind a door, just inside the entry door of the camper. This area will be used for more storage space. You can see some wires attached to the power inverter. I have been experimenting with hooking up a solar panel into the original power box. But the inverter was such a power hungry device that I decided to remove it. Over a period of days it killed my small test battery that I was using. It was just a small 12 volt 7 AH battery I was using to test the lights and electronics in the camper. Even with a small 5 watt solar panel I had hooked up, the inverter killed the battery.





I am using the original camper heater space for a battery compartment and new electronics box. The new battery box is large enough to hold 4 deep cycle batteries and all the necessary electronics. All of the original wiring ran below the sink and through the heater area anyway. It was not problem to simply pull the wires back out and into the new battery box compartment.


Below is the photo after I removed the original circuit breakers from the existing power control box.



Then I removed the power inverter and freed up the rest of the space. You can see all the wires hanging out. These will now be routed back through the wall and into the original heater space, which is now the new battery box.



Next I hooked up a fuse box and started to hook up the solar power charge controller in the new battery box. In the photo below you can see the fuse box and the charge controller. The only thing hooked up at this point is the wire to the camper lighting.



Then I took my deep cycle battery and placed it into the new battery compartment. You can see in the photo below that there is plenty of space for 4 batteries and all the control electronics. I temporarily used aligator clips to mount the battery into the new fuse box and hooked up my little test 5 watt solar panel.



Later I will be fixing up all the wiring to make it more permanent. I will also be hooking up the solar charge controller. The large 89 Watt solar panel will be removable for traveling. There will be a quick disconnect cable leading into the battery compartment. This way the solar panel can be mounted anywhere for better positioning in direct sunlight. I can park the survival camper in the shade, but put the solar panels out in the sun.


Anyway, it works for now. I have light.

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Troy Reid


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