Vanlife Q&A: Shore Power question

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Shore Power question

My thoughts:

This isn’t shore power, it’s a charger. The difference is that shore power will power any high voltage appliances and outlets and the charger will just charge the batteries.

It doesn’t show what kind of lead it has for input, but generally onboard chargers either have the plug or you wire it to a receptacle into which you plug an extension cord which in turn is plugged into a power source.

If you don’t have anything wired (or planned) for actual shore power and you have the receptacle installed, you’d wire the input of this to the receptacle.

Vanlife Q&A: Van Life and working while traveling with a dog questions!

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Van Life and working while traveling with a dog questions!

My thoughts:

Please do not suggest to people to get a fake service animal “license”

First, there is no such thing as a service animal “license” they need to be trained specifically to meet the medical disability of the individual, not just be a well behaved dog.

Second, these “license” things you buy are fake, illegal in most states, and above all that you would be part of what is ruining it for people who have real, trained service animals for real medical needs.

Vanlife Q&A: RV solar setup. Wiring into the rv?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

RV solar setup. Wiring into the rv?

My thoughts:

Assuming you mean “fuse box” as the breaker panel for 120v. It is not a fuse box. The inverter output will need to be wired to outlets or the breaker panel in which case You will want a transfer switch, not a breaker between the inverter and breaker panel. You don’t want to chance your inverter getting shore or generator power as it will nuke the internal fuse if not the inverter.

The fuse box is probably only 12v and has nothing to do with the inverter output side and will be fed off the 12v battery bank.

In order to calculate the wire gauge, we need to know the total distance of the wire run. Ex, down, up, sideways, back down, etc.

Vanlife Q&A: Arethere any companies that will do Astro Cargo Van conversions?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Arethere any companies that will do Astro Cargo Van conversions?

My thoughts:

Van specialties near Portland May be an option. Most of these companies are going to be expensive, more than may be cost effective. I also know an individual in Portland that could help with a bunch of stuff. Send me a PM if you want to be connected.

Vanlife Q&A: Dry ice on a road trip?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Dry ice on a road trip?

My thoughts:

I used to run a company that used thousands of pounds of dry ice a week to ship frozen items. Here’s what I have done for the best results when camping:

Pack a separate cooler with dry ice only. Bigger blocks you can get the better as the air surface is what causes evaporation. Sealed is fine as long as it is not 100% sealed on which case it can become a bomb (fun, but scary when unexpected) and the more air tight it is the longer the dry ice will take to evaporate = the longer it will last.

Then I resupply the main cooler with ice that has been kept or created/frozen from cold water in the dry ice cooler.

Certain things like vegetables don’t like dry ice because they will carbonate. It’s best to use the dry ice in either small chunks to keep ice from melting or to create ice and resuppply.

Styrofoam is fine, it just won’t last long. 2-3 days max. More airtight containers can last longer.

Vanlife Q&A: RV solar setup. Wiring into the rv?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

RV solar setup. Wiring into the rv?

My thoughts:

They make a few types, both with optional external and built in internal transfer switch depending on the model.

If he/she installs one of those they’d have to have it wired differently than one without an internal switch, and depending on the setup there may be some implications such as AC and generator that need to be considered.

Vanlife Q&A: Battery help

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Battery help

My thoughts:

It is actually 5.5A 12 VDC. Your stated 0.63 is at AC.

There’s really no way to know at what duty cycle it will run so you have to assume high. 80-100%

If you want it to run for 8 hours for a beach day then the minimum AH with the given info would be 8 * 5.5 for a lithium that you can discharge to empty or 16 * 5.5 for a lead acid that you can discharge to 50% without hurting it.

Find out how much it will run in the environment you want and you can adjust.

Vanlife Q&A: What to use as trim?

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

What to use as trim?

My thoughts:

Schluter makes a flexible transition strip. They make all sorts and sizes of trim and transitions check their catalog

Ex:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Schluter-Systems-0-375-in-W-x-98-5-in-L-Aluminum-Commercial-Residential-Tile-Edge-Trim/1000700564

Vanlife Q&A: Awful Water Smell (sometimes)

In this post in the Van Life Q&A, a user asks:

Awful Water Smell (sometimes)

My thoughts:

You really want a good water filter for your drinking water. Most municipal supply will be “safe” but it can be gross in various places.

If you have the room, on of [these berkeys ](https://www.amazon.com/Berkey-Gravity-Fed-Filter-Purification-Elements/dp/B00CYW3EVO?tag=tracie-20) would be one good choice.

I also liked to filter it on the way to the tank to reduce the mineral exposure on my faucets etc. with one of [these inline filters](https://www.amazon.com/Camco-TastePURE-Chlorine-Sediment-40045/dp/B0024E6V30?tag=tracie-20) but I didn’t notice a huge difference in smell or taste when I would get gross municipal water (like in so cal) so the drinking water filter is a big benefit.

If it’s a sulfur smell (rotten egg) it could be well water that was stored in the water heater if you hadn’t used the hot for a bit?

I would try to flush out the tank. Drain it and anything else (water heater) and run the water for a bit to empty the lines after a fill with known good water.

If a couple times doing that doesn’t do it then I’d look to add a touch of chlorine to it (make sure you don’t get too much and drink it) but most municipal supply has some.

If you want a test kit, there are PH and TDS pens but they are limited to what they tell you. Some strips like [these ](https://www.amazon.com/Drinking-Water-Test-Municipal-Well/dp/B06VVQ7Y2Q) might be useful. I never bother with them though.