The following list are items that are found in many conversions that were determined unnecessary for my application so they were eliminated. Some items required to maintain stealth look for van.
1. DIRECT CONNECTION OF HOUSE BATTERY TO THE VEHICLE BATTERY
Instead of using a relay to connect the house battery to the vehicle battery to charge the house battery, a second pure sine inverter is powered by the vehicle 12 volt system. The "shore power" output can be used to power the charger. This method always charges the house battery with a proper 3 stage charge profile that matches the battery. The primary house battery charging method is the 300 watt solar panel. The ability to charge using the second vehicle powered inverter is a backup in case weather conditions force its use. Can have 120 volt power while driving without the house inverter turned on. Eliminates the heavy 12 volt power wiring between the house and vehicle batteries. The vehicle powered inverter output can be used for charging or heating shower water or for air heating.
2. 30 AMP SHORE POWER CONNECTION
Do not have a need for that much shore power. Have a 15 amp shore power connection. Can use a normal house duplex plug for power. Do not like RV parks so will seldom have access to a 30 amp service. More often I have access to 120 volt power from a friend's home so 3 prong house style plug is more useful.
3. WATER TRAPS ON SINK AND SHOWER DRAINS
Use a 1" rubber hose for the drain piping. The grey water tank is under the van floor. The grey water tank drain hose connection is on the bottom of the tank. The hoses go down out of the sink and shower and then up into the tank. The hose path creates a "trap".
4. GREY WATER TANK LEVEL SENSORS
The grey water tank has an overflow outlet out the top of the tank. If liquid overflows then tank is full.
5. FRESH WATER TANK LEVEL SENSORS
The fresh water piping from the tank to the sink goes down to the back of the slider step to the pump and then up to the sink faucet. Installed a clear plastic tube between pump and faucet. Tank level can be seen in the clear tube.
6. SOLAR PANEL SUPPORT FRAMEWORK
Eliminated any additional solar panel support framework. Bought a panel with a tube extrusion and used the existing panel support holes to bolt the panel to the roof . One aluminum 90 degree angle bolts to the panel and a second slightly more than 90 degree SS angle is bolted between the aluminum angle and the van roof. Did need to add wood stiffeners between the roof ribs inside the van glued to the van roof.
7. SOLAR PANEL COMBINER BOX
Bought a single 300 watt solar panel. Retained the MC4 positive and negative connectors. Used two 90 degree bulkhead fittings to get wires through the roof. Bought a MC4 extension which was cut in two to get the male and female connectors. MC4 connections are made above the roof between the bulkhead fitting and the panel.
8. LARGE NOISY WATER PUMP
Bought a small centrifugal solar water pump. Uses 1/4 the space and is quiet. Does not retain pressure in the water piping. A switch turns pump on when water is wanted. A small portion of the pump output is sent back to the fresh water tank to keep the pump cool if I forget to turn off the pump.
9. VAN HEATER
Let the van interior get cold at night. Use a 12 volt heating pad under the sleeping bag to stay warm. Very quiet and stealth. Bought remote start option so engine can be started to warm the van in the morning before getting out of bed. Do have to wear a balaclava to keep head warm because it is out of the sleeping bag. Power usage is about the same because refrigerator runs less in a cold van.
10. SHOWER HOT/COLD WATER PLUMBING
Heat the shower water electrically in a non-pressurized tank. Tank has a thermostat to control the water temperature. Set thermostat to 95 degrees. All the water is the same temperature so hot and cold mixing is not required. Submersible DC pump is used to get water out of tank and through a garden hose to the radiator fill valve. Shower water tank is filled with a hose. No plumbing required.
11. LARGE 2000 WATT HOUSE INVERTER
Have a 1000 watt pure sine house inverter. Bought a "600" watt Westinghouse microwave oven that will run on the house inverter. Use a propane stove for cooking. No need for large inverter.
12. MULTIPLE BATTERIES
Have a single 255 amp-hr AGM 8D battery mounted inside the van. Less space required and simpler wiring without multiple batteries. Does not require a battery support structure under the van floor.
13. FIXED BED PLATFORM
The bed platform is obtained by having four fold down 27" wide panels. Two on each side that can be stored vertically against the van sides. All four down for two people sleeping and just the back two down for one person. During the day the bedding for front bed is lifted and placed on the back bed. The two front panels are stored against the walls to expose the front half of the table and bench seats for a table for two. Use two inflatable camp pads for each person instead of a mattress. Table is quickly removable in order to haul cargo.
14. DOORS ON UPPER WALL CABINETS
Use baskets instead of doors to keep contents from falling out. Much easier to access the contents, less weight and easier to construct.
15. BLACK WATER TANK
Use portapotti. Easier to dump, no hose and less weight.
16. BUILT IN COOKING STOVE
Use a two burner portable propane stove. Want to be able to move stove so it can be used inside or outside. Want to maximize the available counter space.
17. AC POWER DISTRIBUTION PANEL
Just daisy chained 5 duplex plugs from the house inverter. First duplex plug is a GFCI. No need for separate breakers. Same duplex plugs powered by shore power when available.
18. SINGLE LOCATION FOR THE PRIVACY CURTAIN.
Most conversions locate the privacy curtain behind the front cab seats. The front privacy curtain in the Transit can be located at four different locations. Behind the front seats, just aft of the slider door, in front of the 54" wide bed platform for two people bed or in front of the 27" wide bed platform for one person. The behind the front seats location is only used when showering. Having the curtain in back aft of the slider door is better for stealth parking.
19. WIRING IN WALLS
Almost all of the wiring is outside the walls in or behind cabinets. Do have roof fan cord buried in the ceiling and four cords in the raised floor. Have one cord in wall for sink lights that is in the wall from top of countertop to bottom of overhead cabinet. All are accessible by removing covers.
20. CONDUIT AND WIRES
Use "SO" cords instead of conduit and wiring. Much easier to install.
21. HOUSE 12 VOLT SYSTEM GROUND
House DC system is not grounded. A free standing system unconnected to the vehicle. Possible because vehicle battery is not directly connected to the house battery for charging.
22. WATER FILTRATION IN VAN
Use a RV water filter attached to the hose used to fill the fresh water tank.
23. PERMANENT PROPANE SYSTEM
Use portable refillable 1 # propane cylinders. Filled free at local sporting goods store. Allows using the two burner stove on a picnic table.
24. LARGE PERMANENT MATTRESS
Wanted to be able to use the bed space for cargo hauling and as a table with bench seats. Use two REI 24" x 70" x 2 1/2" thick self inflating camp pads for each person. Pads are easily removed.
25. HEAVY 12 VOLT WIRING BETWEEN VEHICLE BATTERY AND HOUSE BATTERY
By using a second vehicle powered inverter to supply 120 volt AC power, the wiring can be a 14/3 cord instead of heavy 12 volt cables. Use the 3 stage 120 volt shore power charger to charge the house battery.
26. HOLE IN SIDE OF VAN FOR WATER CONNECTION
Fresh water tank is filled by opening the slider door to give access to the tank filling opening.
27. MICROWAVE OVEN PUSHBUTTON CONTROLS & CLOCK
Bought simple "600" watt Westinghouse microwave with two old fashioned mechanical dials. One for heat level and one for time. No clock so microwave does not use power when off.
28. VEHICLE HORN
After several occasions of the van having a fit with flashing lights and horn blowing, I disconnected the horn. Can not deal with the security noise for some unknown reason.
29. AUTOMATIC CARGO LIGHTS WHEN DOORS OPENED
Disconnected all cargo lights from the vehicle 12 volt power system. Reused the LED lights and powered them with the house battery and actuated with manual on/off switches.
30. HOLE IN SIDE OF VAN FOR SHORE POWER CONNECTION
Have a 3 prong 15 amp extension cord male end tucked up under the van below the driver's door. Use extension cord to connect to a standard 120 volt duplex shore power outlet.
31. CENTRAL SWITCH PANEL
No need for central switch panel. Prefer to have the light switches located where I will be standing when I want a light turned on/off. 6 lights with 5 on/off switches. One light switch above rear windows for rear interior light, one on bottom of each upper storage cabinet for LED string lights under cabinets, a switch on shower wall for the shower enclosure light and a switch on the sink cabinet for the two lights over the sink. The water pump switch is located on the wall behind the sink and the shower water pump switch is located on shower wall.
Bought gas engine so it can be idled. Vehicle engine is my generator. Quieter than a separate generator. Seldom need power from a generator.
Can not be stealth with an awning.
34. SINK HOT WATER
Wash dishes with cold water. No need for a hot water heater or plumbing. Could use shower water heater hose for sink warm water if I wanted it.
35. LITHIUM BATTERIES
Simple single robust 255 amp-hr Lifeline AGM 8D Lifeline lead acid battery. Provides all the power required for the conversion.
36. PRESSURE WATER SYSTEM
Water system is never pressurized. Use switch at sink to turn on/off small DC centrifugal water pump. Less chance of a water leak if system is not pressurized.
37. CHEST TYPE REFRIGERATOR
Prefer the ease of use of a front door opening refrigerator mounted high in a cabinet. Vitrifrigo front door opening refrigerator uses a radiator and fan instead of a coil on back of refrigerator. Same style refrigeration system as a chest type so same efficiency. No truth in the old wives tale about the cold air falling out of a front opening refrigerator.
38. CAB WINDOW CURTAINS
Cab window curtains are not stealth.
39. SINGLE USE SHOWER ENCLOSURE
Shower enclosure has towel rods at the top, a removable shelf at counter height, two storage boxes on a second removable shelf, the portapotti and shower water tank at the bottom in the shower enclosure. Items are removed to use portapotti or the shower.
40. TWO MAXXAIR ROOF FANS
One Maxxair over the bed platform draws air through a 4" square hole in the floor.
41. PULL OUT PORTAPOTTI
The portapotti does not move for use. Portapotti is mounted on top of the shower water tank. To use the two storage boxes are removed and the two hinged shelves are placed against the back wall of the shower enclosure.