Originally Posted by brandon634
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.