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EV Camper - charging / battery / inverter

1877 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Ross Macdougall
I would like to replication what Glyn did with his eNV200.

Looking for help and advice, van is ordered but I have no measurements or specifications

I'm finding an all electric EV setup interesting in terms of rethinking the norms of power charging and consumption. For example, since we need to recharge the main battery when travelling we can also charge devices / cook at the same time. The "leisure" battery maybe does not need to have the same capacity than in a traditional van because the DC-DC charger can top-up when the van is turned on, and no driving needs to be done (unlike alternator).

  • Heating and AC during night
  • 12V Aux battery supplies 12V DC power and 240V via inverter (Phoenix 1200W)
  • Solar panel charges 12V Aux battery (thinking 400W panel)
  • Mains hook-up allows charging and 240V power overnight if available
  • Support 2 x 800W Induction hobs (all electric install) (assume no max power since 800W + 800W > 1200W)

  • Can OEM battery support inverter draw?
  • Will solar panels support Fridge consumpion during the day?
  • Is there a limit to the DC-DC built in charging provided from the Van?
  • Could the DC-DC charger support induction hob cooking for 20 mins (for example), how do I measure the DC-DC charge rate? Smart shunt?

Current thoughts:
  • Upgrade 12V aux battery. Not sure whether AGM or LiFePO4? Max physical dimensions? Minimum capacity?
  • No point having Multiplus, since van has built in DC-DC charger. Hoping solar will charge battery during day and support daily consumption.
  • Need to split shore power to van charger and 240V circuits, so it's not going through the battery (inverter) when not needed
  • Cooking may only be possible when at charging station or on camping hook-up. Depending on above
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Related Threads (similar questions):
Answered here: Can anybody solve this inverter issue
Good questions!
1000W is probably way more than I actually require, but I believe would need a 100Ah battery. The Renogy unit has UPS so I could utilise 4-5A from hook-up and simultaneously charge using my ESVE adjusting the rate depending on what can be supplied. This would negate the need for any switching between inverter and 240V shore supply (?).
This was my other thought, if EV DC-DC charger can cope with the inverter then the van can be charging and no need for separate 240V shore circuit, alway go via the inverter. But would it affect the 12V battery being discharged and charged with a 1200W draw? Effecting the number of cycles and reducing life. Regardless of the type of battery, it would be better to avoid if possible.

Can you provide more information about your portable ESVE charger. Is it from AliExpress or UK. I like the ones with multiple input cables (EU, UK, CEE) to T2. I believe Glyn had one which he modified to have two outputs T2 and CEE.

Does anyone know of the OEM 12V battery can safely be swapped for a LiFePO4 100Ah unit i.e. can the DC-DC supply enough power (how does it regulate?) and can cope with this chemistry?
Reading the forums for information, it seems they don't OEM Lithium batteries because of the cost to the consumer. To me that means if I can afford the upgrade then it should work. Big Assumption! But for me it also depends on how much space is physically available for a bigger sized battery. It does not require the peak for starting, with an EV just for running 12V services. From my understanding.

I wasn't considering solar, but if I did then would a DC-DC battery charger with MPPT be a sensible option to manage charging from solar and the 12V starter battery?
Are you considering a second battery? Why would you need a DC-DC charger? What are you going to connect it to? From starter (aux) battery to what?
I was thinking with the fridge running all day and wifi devices then the Solar would charge the 12V battery during sun hours, until we return and turn on the van to perform the DC-DC top up, using built-in DC-DC charger. With enough solar, we might not even need the top-up the 12V. Also depends if the 12V OEM battery supports the mppt charge rate (again if it supports DC-DC then should be OK). Otherwise, another reason to change the battery.
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Other thought I have is to buy a EcoFlow (or equivalent) portable battery station. Ignore the Van 12V aux battery, run everything off the power station, recharge power station via solar, or via cigarette lighter plug.

I have seen videos where the solar panels have provided enough power to charge a Telsa via the power station's inverter!

Sounds great, but again not sure about the lifetime of the power station doing this.
This what @donald mentioned here: Using vehicles 12v battery as the leisure battery for a...
The other way to do it, and safer, is to use a separate leisure battery to your high power inverter running your electricals. When your leisure battery is going a bit flat, connect it with jump leads to your EVs battery and then start the EV up. You'll need at least 10V to start it, so obviously don't flatten your leisure battery too far. The EV will then see the combined battery as its 12V and charge them both up.

Having a spare battery and jump leads also means that if the 12V on the EV is the one that goes flat, you can jump start it!! ;)
Maybe the leisure battery could be permanently connected in series? But this has the risk of draining both batteries. Would batteries need to be matching for this? Capacity and battery type?
Tell me more Dan! What happened? Actually (for fear for voiding the warrant) I have bought an EcoFlow Delta and plan to use that as the power source. I can charge it via the 12v Cigarette charger and via solar.
Thanks for your comments @baronmax. Also worried about voiding warranty on new vehicle. Decided to simplify many aspects of the build and start off with an Ecoflow Delta and a 400W single solar panel. Still in the build phase but hoping to run fridge, lights, induction hobs straight from the portable power station. Keeping the van untouched but using the 12V cigarette sockets if required.

The main limitation of the power station is the 12V power. There are enough 240V USB A and C sockets. But only one 12V cigarette socket to use.
I'm actually wondering why Stellantis didn't add a 230V socket. It would've made things so much easier and it's a no-brainer design decision.
I think it is available in some models, the people carriers (eg SpaceTourer), but not the Panel vans.
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