Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Solar, wind, hydro and other non-fossil sources of electricity.
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lcyclist
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Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by lcyclist » Sep 18, 2017 11:14 am

This is my camping and exploration rig. This is a system: suv, ebike and kayak where I can go almost anywhere; where the suv can't go, it can be reached by e-bike not even 4x4's can't go.

The ebike is a downhill bike with a cyclone 3000w motor+48V, 25AH lipo. This is geared for climbing hills and rocky forest roads. It is charged via
100W solar+125AH lead battery+1000w powerlab charger. The downhill bike+cyclone has been reliable so far; the tires are tubeless.

The rig 100W solar panel is mounted permanently on my roof rack and supplemented by additional 100W of flexible solar panel.

The panels+lead acid also powers my 12V compressor fridge and 800W induction cooker.
Inside the SUV is a bed platform I built so I can sleep inside. With this setup I can be out for many days (weeks) in the wild until I ran out of water and food.
Not shown is an inflatable kayak for water crossing and lake exploration.
camping_rig1_res.jpg
Solar panel
camping_rig1_res.jpg (102.79 KiB) Viewed 392 times
camping_rig2_res.jpg
Inside SUV
camping_rig2_res.jpg (125.22 KiB) Viewed 392 times

chvidgov.bc.ca
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Sep 18, 2017 3:46 pm

Nice setup...I have a very similar setup on my Toyota Sienna van, and I recently did a road trip from Victoria BC to South Chilcotin Mtns Provincial Park near Lillooet. I took out the passenger seat, and put in a very small Costco kid's plastic table in the front. Also carried a Trojan AGM battery for charging my small electronics. I ran a Mobicool piezo cooler from the van starter battery when the vehicle was running. I'd like to add solar panels and integrate the 2 lead acids starter and house and I've found the appropriate solution to do that...you might wish to have a look at this...

https://www.amazon.ca/CTEK-56-677-Batte ... B005LBCVL4

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9c1hVXBggk&t=18s a very good primer on dual battery integration

It has a built in MPPT charge controller, and keeps the house and the starter batteries all integrated nicely, charging both from the alternator.

I got in a lot of nice riding up some rough logging roads, into the alpine, and carried 3 lithium packs with me, opportunity charging e-vampire-wise whenever I ran out.

Solar isn't really "there" yet for charging my bikes off the vehicle, but eventually this will be a good option.

The DC compressor fridges are great - I wish I had one...the piezo cooler was cheap but uses 4 amps most of the time/12V - a compressor fridge like an ARB or Dometic or Waeco would be much better, but they are around a thousand bucks.

I use a really nice cot in the van for a sleeping platform. Vans make pretty good RVs for one person. I'm studying roof vents/fans next.

Enjoy!
Catrike Road Rear9C2805 KU123Sensorless CA
Devinci Vancouver Hybrid Front9C Disk
SunEZ1LWBent 20"R/16"F Bent C404 Front 48V KU123
Townie D7 Cruiser C406Front KU123 Sensorless 48v Headway
Sun EZSportCX 26R/20F LWBent C405 Front 48V 35Amp Crystalyte Start Imm
Giant Revive LX 20" 7Sp RearSusp with Conhis front. 48V KU123
Actionbent T1 trike with Rear9C2806 KU123Sensorless CA
CannondaleHooligan EZEE 48VHead 60T ring Ecrazy48/15

craneplaneguy
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Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by craneplaneguy » Sep 18, 2017 11:21 pm

I drove 145 miles today in the Prius, charging the ebike as I drove with a cheap little 400 watt inverter, to get to an area that's been on my list all summer. 14 miles of riding (high alpine terrain, with some patches of snow, already) later and to my amazement, I got a text. Worse, it was for a crane job, worser, the guy got my text saying I was out of town, and next thing I knew I was bagging it and hauling ass back to town. I STILL can't believe texting worked out there, big mountains, all around (10 to 12K, voice, not even close), but knowing my ride was going to be cut short, I really romped on the throttle and the hell with the amp draw, and still had fun! Plus made some dough, which I've earmarked for me ebike stuff. It is probably snowing there now.... but it will still be there next spring. Nice adventure rig you have there!

Speaking of vans, I am really seeing a lot of Sprinter vans around here, being used by well heeled outside types, most self converted so a bit crude but lot's of room with low to mid 20's mpg.

DRMousseau
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Location: Panama City, FL (Jan-June) Traverse City, MI (June-Dec)

Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by DRMousseau » Sep 19, 2017 1:15 am

DAMN have I gotten soft!

34', 6mpg 460ci, w/4kw genset, multiple 6V Trojan's, 12V marine, assorted inverters converters and chargers,... e-bike cruiser isn't for off-road, and 14' fishing kayak jus carries electronics and tackle,... ALL of it, lol! Numerous extras include gold pans, sluice and hip-boots for some stream-side relaxation.

All that diggin' work and adventurous fun, and ya ain't even got a cheap simple "multi-purpose" gold pan??? :P

craneplaneguy
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Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by craneplaneguy » Sep 19, 2017 11:16 am

I see all the high dollar RV's of all types parked around peoples home, looking like they get very little use, what a waste. BUT, when I see one like a did yesterday in a remote high altitude area that was threatening rain/snow, it looked like a great setup and worth every penny! Tents are great but nothing beats a hard roof and walls when the weather turns not to mention when the critters are out.

I like that big awning you have, nice touch. One thing I recently got for plane camping is a roll up water bag, 5 gallons and with a spring loaded spout. Handles for hanging, plus it's black, so a solar shower also, best off all when room is tight (always) when empty it takes up NO room, food grade rated also.https://www.amazon.com/BudK-Swiss-Liter ... +water+bag The best addition to my camping gear since these:https://www.survivalfrog.com/products/s ... ival-tools Two of them, one really but hey they don't need batteries so what the hey, will light a tent or whatever up like Times Square, and they also take up no room when deflated. I also just got some high grade Li-ion rechargeable AA batteries, that like our ebike batteries hold an amazing amount of energy https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-li- ... ficient-20

lcyclist
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Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by lcyclist » Sep 19, 2017 12:06 pm

craneplaneguy wrote:I see all the high dollar RV's of all types parked around peoples home, looking like they get very little use, what a waste. BUT, when I see one like a did yesterday in a remote high altitude area that was threatening rain/snow, it looked like a great setup and worth every penny! Tents are great but nothing beats a hard roof and walls when the weather turns not to mention when the critters are out.

I like that big awning you have, nice touch.
RV's are nice but limited on where you can go and park; I like the stealth factor of suvs and vans. I enjoy tent camping, but sleeping inside my suv has some advantages.
Last time I tent camped in the desert, I got a snake visit.

After I saw the high cost for suv awning, I built the awning using aluminum poles and just a $6 tarp. I use guy lines/stakes to secure the tarp when setup. Takes me less than 5 minutes to setup and holds up great when windy. Nice to have when out in the desert or raining.

craneplaneguy
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Re: Camping and exploration system with solar charging rig

Post by craneplaneguy » Sep 21, 2017 11:11 am

Agreed, I also like the super stealth I have in my Prius, with dark tinted windows and some trick flat black fabric (never seen any other like it, stumbled upon it in a fabric store, it sucks up light and is totally opaque, shining a flashlight in, like a cop would, you just see....black, can't even tell it's fabric hanging there, I screen off the back sleeping area with it). Plus, the Prius has a squeaky clean rep, it pretty much screams "I'm a productive law abiding member of society, ain't nothing going on here." If they only knew, ha ha! With my E-Montague folder inside, where the removed passenger seat goes, ( with another piece of that fabric covering it) no one can see squat. This stealthness has been handy a few times, almost accidentally, and allowed me to take a ride that may or may not have been allowed if I had pulled in with a bike on an outside rack. The lack of worries about theft while parked is nice too, mostly though I just like being sneaky, "it's easier to apologize then ask permission."

But, seeing your rig has inspired me to see how my non folding efat bike fits inside my RAV4 Toyota, (I'll take the front seat out, roll it up far as possible, tire against the dash, just not sure the height will work) as I have another Moab trip planned around Thanksgiving and the fattie is my preferred ride there. When I carry the fattie on the Prius rear trailer hitch rack, I can see the difference in the mileage due to the extra drag, (2-3, I have a ScanGauge that gives real time mileage) so usually on long road trips I take the Montague, inside, and keep it all aero clean as possible, the trade off being less plush accommodations once camped out of course. 20+ mpg difference between the RAV4 and the Prius, so something to consider! Even more if the fattie is carried outside on the 4's rear rack, 25 mpg difference.

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