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PGs camper van
13 March 2019, 15:50,
PGs camper van
Finally got round to this post as suggested by MB and here i go.

We’ve had campers for over 40 years, we are now on our 5th, we’ve always liked the freedom to take a break when ever we can.

Our current camper is a professional conversion of a peugeot boxer and comes with the usual fittings, bed, gas stove, 3 way fridge ( gas, mains electric and 12volts-when the engine is running).
There is gas heating, a shower (hot water), and a flushing toilet with a removable waste tank.
And there is storage for two gas bottles, water is from an underfloor 10 gallon tank.

When i bought the van i had it fitted with an alarm and extra rear door locks, over time i’ve fitted a battery isolating switch, locking wheel studs, we use a steering wheel lock as a visible theft deterrent.
I’ve also made up thermal screens for the windows from the foil backed insulation, the kind used behind domestic radiators.

Spares and consumables kept in it are engine oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, screen wash, WD40, fuel stabiliser, syphon pump, tyre weld, bulbs, fuses, cable and connectors.

As the van is used for holidays it is always kitted out with, as a minimum, food, water, bedding, clothing appropriate to the time of year. Enough to last for a couple of weeks minimum.

As it is our bug out vehicle during winter a dehumidifier is kept running to stop any damp, the water tank is drained in case it freezes, as is the water heater and the water pump, but there is a full jerrycan inside just in case.

The van is always parked up in gear, wheels chocked, no hand brake, incase the rears brakes seize up if parked up for some time.

I ensure the van is ALWAYS parked with a full tank or fuel and usually top up when i get to our destination.

That’s all i can think about the basic vehicle and the “holiday stuff”.
14 March 2019, 00:14,
RE: PGs camper van
Nice post Pete ! …...I thought you may have said about a fold out solar panel in another post ? …...I am still looking at campers btw .
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
14 March 2019, 17:19,
RE: PGs camper van
(14 March 2019, 00:14)Straight Shooter Wrote: Nice post Pete ! …...I thought you may have said about a fold out solar panel in another post ? …...I am still looking at campers btw .

Yes i do have a solar panel, will post more details soon.
15 March 2019, 21:01,
RE: PGs camper van
(14 March 2019, 00:14)Straight Shooter Wrote: ......I thought you may have said about a fold out solar panel in another post ? .....

Yes i have a 100 watt folds solar panel, bought in January, not used it properly yet.

The leasure battery in the camper is in a box under the driving seat. On ebay i have seen a little panel with two cigarette lighter sockets and a double USB socket, i intend to fit one on the battery box permanently connected to battery. I will then remove the battery clips from the panel and fit a cigarette lighter plug.

I will then be able to use the panel to charge the leasure battery through one socket while drawing power from the other, either 12 volt or through an inverter.

I will also be able to charge any vehicles battery through their cigarette lighter socket.

I have second leasure battery which i will make a box for, this will also be fitted with a socket, i have 4 battery chargers 2 of which are charger/maintainers these will have cigarette lighter plugs fitted. I have just started to order the parts i need.

Standardised plug/sockets would make the system more versatile.
16 March 2019, 23:21,
RE: PGs camper van
Do you have the leisure battery tied into the charging system of the van?

At one time a couple of decades ago I had a Ford pickup rigged with a normal battery and a 200 amp/hour leisure battery on an isolater. I charged it driving to work and plugged the caravan into it when I got home.

I also had a charger under the hood and I could plug up to the power at one of the lamp poles in the parking lot at work and make sure the thing was always topped up.

I lived in that caravan for a year while building my house off grid. Only problem was that I always ran out of battery on Sunday during the auto races!
17 March 2019, 20:48,
RE: PGs camper van
Yes MB the leasure battery is tied to the van charging system, through a split charge relay. It will charge only when the engine is running, and will not draw power from the vehicle battery. Normally any reasonable journey will see us arrive at the destination with both batteries fully charged.

There is also a built in battery charger which i can switch to either battery as and when nesessary.

With the solar panel while using the camper on holiday on a commercial camp site we will not need mains electricity, and in a bug out situation we will have power for lights, walkie talkie and cb battery charging etc.
26 March 2019, 01:17,
RE: PGs camper van
Plugs and sockets have arrived not fitted yet, a few other jobs to be done before we start camping, mainly checking everything out and a good clean. I have however been running the engine regularly and checking tyre pressures over the winter.

I’ve mentioned before we try to keep our preps in plastic crates where possible, reasons are, they stack so it keeps everything together, easy to check contents and if we need to bug out it’s quick and easy to load up the camper.

For bugging out the plan is as follows.

We’ve got two crates of canned food, usual stuff, corned beef, stewed steak, chicken breast, tuna in oil, sausage and also some canned vegetables and canned fruit.

Dry foods are one crate with flour, rice, pasta, oats, lnstant mashed potatoe, peas, beans, dried milk and some herbs and spices. There is also a brewing bucket full of packets of soup, pot rice and pot noodle snacks, cereal bars etc.

Next crate is meds, OTC medicines, first aid requisites ( there is also a comprehensive first aid kit in each vehicle), latex gloves, aprons, scalpels, wound irrigation syringes, dressing tweezers, hydrogen peroxide and methylated spirit.

We also have a crate with kitchen and household items that would make life easier to manage long term. Extra pots and pans, jugs, funnels, thin bleach ( bulk water sterilisation), oasis tablets, laundry detergent, candles and cleaning materials stuffed in any available place.

We have a crate with tools ( apart from the vehicles tool kit ) a bow saw, spade, axe, crow bar, work gloves, claw hammer, screw drivers, pliers, nails, screws, nut/bolts, two tarps, bailing wire, rope. We also have spare gas regulators, both screw on and snap-fit for both propane and butane, incase we “find” any full gas bottles on a foraging trip.

Then there is a crate of extra clothing.

We have another two propane bottles, two water jerrycans ( empty- we know where to get water at our BOL ), a fuel jerrycan ( 20 litres ), the second leisure battery and the folding solar panel.

Finally there is the faraday cage ( metal dustbin ) with a sw radio, the walkie talkies, the cb radio, rechargeable batteries with a solar charger, some led torches, the inverter, a battery charger (mains-incase power is available), blood pressure monitor, tens machine, and a 12volt usb charger, then some cable and a box of fuses and assorted connectors.

And weapons.......

It will all fit in the camper, i have a “loading list” made up ready and we should be loaded and on the road in about half an hour.

That’s the plan.
28 March 2019, 00:08,
RE: PGs camper van
I used to keep a loading list hanging on the wall in the garage. It was on laminated plastic and I could use a dry erase marker to check off the items as they were loaded.

I had one list for weekend camps and another list for long duration camps, since the wife and I often did two week adventures.

The list did sometimes change slightly when we knew what amenities were available at the destination, or when we were taking extra people in the form of munchkin grand-kids along.

My latest venture is requiring a new, refined list for the motorbike. Something half way between back packing and car camping. Sort of like camping with a pack mule.

BTW, have you had a good sunny day to try the solar panels out? I would consider them a primary part of any power system once you got set into a static location.
28 March 2019, 22:21,
RE: PGs camper van
Things have pretty much been on hold since mid January due to illness in the family but i am slowly starting to catch up with some jobs.

The first chance of sunny day i will fit the cigarette lighter socket to the leisure battery box and try the panels out.

As you say a solar power system will be a priority, second only to a water supply, after an BO event.
29 March 2019, 16:06,
RE: PGs camper van
I have probably mentioned this before, but back in 2001, when the technology was not what we have today, I spent a year off grid while building a house in an area with no mains power.

I had a caravan on site and lived fairly comfortably even without air conditioning for a whole U.S. "over 30C every day" summer.

I was teaching every day and had access to power while at work. I kept power tools charged up and used a small 3k generator for power tools on the building site.

There was a 35amp solar panel on the caravan roof and a 200 amp hour battery in the system and I went from April until November without needing to add charge to the leisure battery.

I must say that I was not spending much time indoors to use the battery power though. I was working until daylight ended, which in that area was around 9pm, and only using a little florescent light to prepare for bed and to leave in the mornings.

Now, aside from such practicalities, do you have a skim net or other camouflage to aid in hiding the van?

I use a lot of camo around my place just to keep the occasional dog walker or citizen that makes a wrong turn down my lane from noticing various things or activities I am using or pursuing.

Your van may blend into the urban/suburban setting but stand out like a big intrusion to the surroundings in the natural setting.

I'll bet a pint that your van is white. Every van I see on British TV is either white, gray or black, but mostly white.

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