Energy System

An RV’s Energy System includes all of the components, wiring, and even fossil fuel plumbing, that make it possible to have the RV feel like a home, for effortless cooking, lighting, climate control, etc. Here I detail my concept for an ultra-compact electrical system in a drawer. It includes the batteries and their BMS (battery management system), inverter, solar charge controller, shore power transfer switch, shore battery charger, and the shore power “Energy Management System” which is a surge protector and pedestal wiring fault protection system. 

Our Solar/Shore/Diesel powered Energy System consists of a Webasto Duo Top Evo 6 diesel-fired combination water and space heater, which although is fossil fueled, it efficiently sips diesel fuel from the Sprinters’ stock fuel tank to give us abundant, consistent, fairly quiet cabin space heat and hot water for showers. We have no plumbed propane at all, so the entire rest of the system is pure electric, and we tend to “boondock”/”drycamp” most of the time, and so our solar system is our main source of energy. And it has proven to be enough to run our fridge, induction cooktop, microwave, toaster oven, blender, instantpot, coffeemaker, popcorn airpopper, vacuum, hairdryer, computers, home theater, Ebike chargers, electric awnings, electric entry step, solar tilt motors, lighting, etc.  The components we used are the following:

two 325watt SunPower brand solar panels on the roof (that can tilt up better production during morning, evenings, or winter months)

300ahrs of LiFePo4 lithium batteries @12v (3,600whrs) with an integrated, 12cell, full-featured BMS (battery management system)

a Midnight Solar Classic 150 solar charge controller

a Kisae SWXFR1230 3000W Pure Sine Inverter w/ 30amp TransferSwitch

an Iota DLS-55 55amp shore battery charger with IOTA IQ-LIFEPO Smart Charge Controller

a Progressive Industries HW30C 30 amp hardwired EMS Surge and Electrical Protector

to keep cables from tangling, a Cable Drag Chain Wire Carrier 

5 3.5″ 27cfm fans, and a thermostatic fan speed controller

total cost: ~$4,000

here’s a video overview of the system: