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Setting up a dual battery system is a key part of creating home in a camper van, especially if you want to travel with fresh food. For our requirements, we needed a fridge; lights (in the van and over the outside kitchen); an invertor to run our blender and charge our laptops & a USB connectors to charge our phones. We ran our stove on gas as they use an immense amount of electricity. Kettles, toasters, etc also use huge amounts of electricity, so the stove was used for this as well … a pot for boiling water, and if you eat toast – a cast iron griddle with a bit of coconut oil will do the trick. Below is how I did it .. Firstly consider all your energy requirements and what you will then need. You want to run as much as possible off 12V – as this is what the battery system is. A lot of power is lost in the conversion to 240V on an inverter.
Living in a small space becomes about the initial planning, having everything set up, in its place, with no space wasted, and as far as possible all items serving multi functional uses. For ourselves, we chose a high top van with a long wheel base, it allows one to stand up inside, get the extra space, but you can still fit in regular parking spots, it had a relatively small size engine, so is more sustainable in terms of fuel, and who’s in rush when you’re living on the road enjoying the scenery.