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Old 09-29-2018, 09:08 PM   #1
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Questions from a soon to be skooliean.

Hello everyone. Glad to be apart of the forums!!!

I've recently become obsessed with building a skooliean for myself. It's all I think about now. I think I have an addiction to be honest. 😂😂🤣

Anyways. I have a few questions before I begin planning my build.

1. I'm from Victoria BC in Canada. We get a ton of sun during the middle months of the year. Not so much during Oct - March. Is solar power going to be an issue for me? Does anyone else live north and have experience with this?

2. How difficult is incorporating a bathroom/shower into the build?? Is it too ambitious?

3. How often do you get bothered when you park placed to sleep for the night? Is finding places to stay for longer periods of time tough?

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more soon .

Thanks in advanced
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:59 AM   #2
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Any takers?

BUmp
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:14 PM   #3
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Welcome Brandon,

If you read through the build and travel threads here you will find many of your questions there.

There are many great examples of conversions to learn from.

As far as finding places to spend the night, it varies significantly depending on your location. I found Southern California to be challenging as well as New York and New Jersey.

Take a look at www.freecampsites.net

Also, Lars van Dweller
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon634 View Post
I'm from Victoria BC in Canada. We get a ton of sun during the middle months of the year. Not so much during Oct - March. Is solar power going to be an issue for me? Does anyone else live north and have experience with this?

You may want to re-think solar that far north. In the summer you get quite a bit of sun, but the winter you'll be lucky to get two or three actual "solar hours" per day. If you do go with solar, be sure you build it in a way that allows you to change the panels' angles during the seasons - maybe even go with stowaway panels instead of mounting them on the bus. You want to keep the panels as perpendicular to the sun as possible - especially during winter.



If you are planning on being reliant on solar, the limited sun during the winter will lead to short-charging your batteries (i.e. not charging them all the way up), which will shorten the batteries' life. This is with lead-acid.


If you go with a different battery chemistry, such as Lithium Ion or Lithium Iron Phosphate, then the short-charging won't be as big of a deal, but it does still have an impact.


If you do go with solar and won't have guaranteed access to the power grid, be sure to also have a genny to top off your batteries and equalize them during the winter months.


Check out "handy bob solar" for more info on solar than you ever wanted to know.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:03 PM   #5
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Your solar panels will produce as long as there is light, sometimes not alot but they will produce.. the best thing about building your own is, if you want a full bathroom, put it in, if not,dont...good luck!
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for your input. Greatly appreciated
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:10 AM   #7
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The thing to remember about power/solar is that you have to match your input with your output. If you're not using much power, you don't have to make much power. I see a lot of people who are spending way more power than necessary because of design choices. It's pretty common to see folks running everything from an inverter, which can be a HUGE waste of power. You didn't mention what all you hope to use power for but it doesn't take much to run efficient LED lighting, fans, phone/tablet/laptop chargers. Adding much above that and in the less sunny months you should be considering how to charge your house bank from your alternator or generator power.

We were caught 2 different times last year while they had some really nasty weather come through, we didn't see the sun or dry weather for 2 weeks at a time. Very little power incoming, but we were still able to power our necessities. If we had an isolator of some sort we could have run the bus for short periods of time to keep things closer to full and run our less critical things.
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