Wacky Wanderers

exploring on the road as a family

Electrical system upgrade: Phase II (the van)

Our GTRV camper van came fresh from Craigslist with two open cell lead acid deep cycle house batteries installed in a sealed battery box in the rear of the van (and vented to the outside).  These two batteries provided roughly 100 amp-hours of capacity.  In this phase of the electrical system upgrades, we’re going to replace these two batteries with lithium batteries, which will double the capacity to 200 amp-hours and reduce the weight from about 100 pounds to 60 pounds (that might not sound like much, but since we’re just about at the van’s weight capacity when we are towing Wobbles (the Airstream), every pound is important to us.  We’ll also be adding a battery monitor (the same one we installed in the Airstream).

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Staying connected while on the road

During short weekend camping trips, not having a phone or internet connection can actually be part of the pleasure of getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  However, for longer trips staying connected is essential for communications, navigation, planning, etc.  For our travels, I researched various options (WiFi, cellular & satellite).  In this post I’ll tell you what we chose and why.

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Meet our GTRV Camper Van

When Sarah and I got married, for our honeymoon we did a 3 week road trip to many of the western national parks.  We considered tent camping, but since it was our honeymoon we splurged and bought a camper van.  The van was a 2001 Ford Econoline cargo van that had been lovingly converted to a camper by its former owner, a man named Vince who we met when we responded to his Craigslist ad.  On the outside the van looked like a generic plain white cargo van.  On the inside was a simple yet very functional camper.

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