Electrical Expertise from OHV
Electrical systems are easily one of the most complex parts of a custom van build. If you’ve been considering starting your own custom van, you’ve probably run into the electrical language barrier that so many have discovered. We believe it’s important for our customers to understand these terms so they can make educated decisions about what they need and how it works. Below is a general overview of some important electrical components and upgrades we offer, such as inverters, batteries, and our onboard lithium generator kit.
The inverter really does one thing and that’s convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). In other words, it converts electrical energy to a usable current. But what’s the difference between a 2000W and 3000W inverter?
To explain the difference, it may be helpful to think of electricity like water. Inverters act like the pipes that water travels through. A larger pipe means greater output/capacity and in turn, more power or wattage. In our builds, 2000Ws is enough to power each of your appliances one at a time. For example, our induction cooktops use 1800W and our microwaves are 700W. When used simultaneously, those appliances exceed 2000W.
Powerful Inverters installed by Off Highway Van
A 3000W inverter comes with greater capacity, powering multiple appliances at the same time. This becomes more important to consider as you add more passengers to your trip. One person may want to reheat some leftovers while the other is trying to get coffee started. A larger inverter can help avoid this kind of inconvenience and keep passengers happy.
AGM and Lithium Batteries
Lion Energy is trusted by OHV for our Lithium Battery Neeeds.
All of our builds start with a 2.5 kWh AGM battery pack (2 batteries) which can be upgraded to another AGM pack or swapped for all lithium batteries. The difference, simply put, is that lithium batteries use better technology making them more efficient and longer lasting. But there are important differences to be aware of as you begin your build.
The main difference has to do with something called “depth of discharge” which refers to how efficiently a battery supplies energy as charge decreases/as it’s used. Lithium batteries consistently deliver about 95% of their capacity without a significant change in voltage, whereas AGMs voltage begins to quickly taper off after they reach about 75% capacity. Lithium batteries are like an endurance runner who maintains a consistent, powerful pace throughout the race; AGMs are more like the sprinter runner who tires and slows down only after the first leg.
After all that it may sound like AGMs are a waste, but this isn’t true. They are a great option for the more conservative/essentialist build. Our base builds supply you with an efficient and basic system which AGMs are more than capable of powering. They are also a much less expensive option, saving you money on build cost. However, if you plan on using a lot of power or need upgrades like air conditioning, lithium is a must have. Not only do these batteries charge faster, but they also produce an efficient output through each cycle/use. Their long-lasting lifespan and stable output ensure plenty of power and gives travelers peace of mind. Check out one of our trusted partners, Lion Energy , for more information on the lithium batteries we install in our builds.
On-Board Lithium Generator Kit
Upgrades to batteries and inverters are a great start to a more comfortable and capable build. Without an efficient recharging setup, however, you underutilize your electrical system. Our onboard lithium generator kit maximizes your energy use by delivering faster and efficient recharging which in turn provides constant power and greater comfort. The kit includes 5kWh of lithium batteries, a 3.6 kW auxiliary alternator, and a charge controller/protector.
An Off-Grid Setup with Off Highway Van