G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

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glanyard
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by glanyard » Thu May 05, 2016 7:45 am

JR,
Little Bowen River becomes the Bowen River after it convolutes with Broken River.
I tried to air my knowledge yesterday but this site was extremely slow and frustrating.
glanyard
2014 Isuzu D-Max twin cab ute
2006 5.5 metre Golden Eagle Mini Mi rear entry van

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J.REEVES
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by J.REEVES » Thu May 05, 2016 8:08 am

Hi Glanyard,
It was a simple case of reading what I wanted to read (Brown instead of Bowen)and not what Milton had written.
Even Little Bowen River takes some finding thanks for the explanation.
Yes I find this internet site very slow and not just yesterday.

JR
:razz:

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Tue May 10, 2016 9:39 pm

Some pictures of the external lighting I fitted to the van during the build. The bright lights fitted to all 4 sides are useful for maneuvering in the dark & enable you to see the creepy crawlies when moving around the van at night. Not to be used in sociable locations however.
I have also installed a led strip under the van. When sitting outside at night, it throws enough light to see the ground in the immediate vicinity under the awning but does not shine in your eyes.
20150109_211644 (Custom).jpg
20160510_210410 (Custom).jpg
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Bussy
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Bussy » Tue May 10, 2016 10:19 pm

G’day Rory, your van in those camping spots looks great. How is the generator box mounted to your van? Did you use the existing spare wheel mount bracket bolts? I have been thinking of having some expanded metal mesh between my rear bar and the back wall of the van and just temporarily mounting the generator there when camped and if needed. Fuel fumes are always a worry when its stored in front boot so in the past did you run yours dry before putting it back into the boot?
Nice spots on the back are a must I reckon. What sort of rear camera did you fit and are you happy with it?
I like the idea of the LED under the skirt of the van so might pinch that one for mine.
Cheers,
ALLAN
Computer Engineer. 200Series TTD Altitude SE with TAJ in tow.
Home built 21.6ft off-roader "The Taj Mah AL".
Steel Chassis, Simplicity Suspension, Aluminium Frame.
Paulownia Cabinetry, 800 W solar.
Its finished, now WE retire.

Milton477
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road v

Post by Milton477 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:03 pm

My spare wheel brackets just bolt onto the rear bar as does the generator box. At the time, I thought that I needed to leave things flexible so the rear bar is a length of 100x50x3. The generator box hooks over the bar & is secured with 1 bolt through the upright. I can take the box off in 30 sec & thought it might be useful for noise abatement issues if the genny was in the box away from the van if using it for extended periods. When it was in the front boot, I never ran it dry but my boot is sealed from the van by plastic welds so never had a problem. The fuel storage is more the issue as the plastic stuff seems to 'breathe' I'm going to change to a steel jerry can when I am next home.

My reversing camera is a Jaycar bluetooth system with 2 cameras. Good for seeing who is behind but my better half with a 2 way is a better reversing camera. I used the front camera for hitching up with varying degrees of success. My new tug has a reversing camera which is light years ahead.

Rory

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3 year update

Post by Milton477 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:15 am

Well its 3 years since I completed my build. We have covered 45 000 km & spent around 250 nights in the van, the majority of which has been for work.

What's gone wrong you may ask. A couple of destroyed drawer slides after forgetting to latch the drawer before setting off. A couple of drawer catches self destructed. Oh & the hitch came loose somewhere along the line. Chewed through 2 tyres due to bad wheel alignment, now fixed. Replaced the lino with a better quality. Brakes are still original but I replaced the wheel bearings at 25 000 km only because I had them apart. Water pump expired.

TV & microwave still work so I believe that the air suspension is kind to appliances.

Currently installing 360Ah of LifePo4 lithium batteries & a 3.3kw inverter. I'll update when completed.

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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

Post by Lance » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:32 pm

Broken and/or forgotten drawer locks Huh....... :shock:
......Milton, mate.... ;-)
......do you know anyone who hasn't had Broken and/or forgotten drawer locks Huh :lol:

Considering the mileage covered in that homebuild, you've done damn well.
Are you still out on the road or back home ?

I'm gonna go back through the 15 pages here and have a look, but have we seen any pics yet ?
Lance & Anne
......always on the lookout for places & dates for Folk/Blues Music Festivals

SLWB HiAce Campervan
600kg home build TearDrop Camper

Milton477
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

Post by Milton477 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:35 pm

This is the inverter I am going to use with the new LifePo4 batteries. I did not fully appreciate the size of the thing but at least it stayed cool while test running the aircon for 20 minutes.

20171109_153056 (Small).jpg

I am installing 2 CALB 180Ah battery packs which I have purchased as individual cells so will have to sort out my own management system. These were the battery volts & amps of 1 battery after 20 minutes or so of the aircon cooling solidly.
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20171110_192834 (Small).jpg

More as I go.
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

Post by Milton477 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:46 am

In place of the original pair of 120Ah AGM batteries I have installed 4 x 180Ah CALB LifePo4 cells from EV-Works in Perth.
These are covered by a shelf & are invisible once the shelf is re-installed.
20171123_114005 (Custom).jpg
I have mounted a second set of identical cells on the floor along side the island bed in the front of the van. A step used to get up onto the bed covers this battery.
20171117_180243 (Custom).jpg
To manage this whole lot I have come up with a simple system that sits in a box on the front face of the mudguard next to the first set of batteries:
20171117_180751 (Custom).jpg
-3 x 250A isolators: One each for the batteries & the other for the supply to the 3 kW inverter.
-My Victron BMV 600 battery monitor will manage the upper & lower voltages by controlling the blue Voltage Sensing Relay.
-The Voltage Sensing Relay has a solid state relay built which can be overridden externally or opened by it's own settings.
-The VSR is the second line of defence against a low voltage after the Victron BMV so the cut off voltage is set slightly lower than that on the BMV 600.
-I have 2 CellLog battery monitor on order which will take care of any significant imbalance of voltages between the cells.

I am not doing any active/top/bottom cell balancing but I will manually balance the cells if necessary using a 3V charger.

Charging: I have 3 independent ways of charging.
The first is from solar through a Victron 100/30 controller.
The second is from the tug & is initiated by connecting the Anderson Plug on the draw bar.
The third is a stand alone Victron 15A battery charger which gets connected o the system as needed. No DC to DC chargers or anything sophisticated.
Any of the charging sources can be used alone or can be used in conjunction with each other.
I have run a 25mm2 cable from the draw bar to the Anderson plug to minimise the volt drop when charging off the alternator.

An advantage of having all of this battery power in the van is if the alternator fails in the tug, the van batteries + solar charging can be used to keep the tug going for a while.

As for costs, the 360Ah of batteries cost $2400, VSR was $245. I already had the BMV 600 so along with a 25m roll of 25mm2 cable, the inverter & some crimp lugs the whole exercise came in around $3000.

I guess there is no use for the generator now...
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Legendts
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Re: G'Day, I am in the throws of designing a semi off road van

Post by Legendts » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:39 pm

Very neat work Milton and a credit to you. Not cheap, but if you factor in the cost of a generator that most people purchase it is very cost effective and best of all, NO NOISE!
You only have one shot at life so make it an enjoyable one.
Jeff & Me Darlin'
2009 Landcruiser TTD
2003 Evernew caravan

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