Briohny: So we’re here inside a Sunseeker Mirage. Andrew, why did the customer wanna go to lithium?
Andrew: So this one’s about to go around Australia, like the rest of them, and they really wanted air-con off-grid, and he’s an IT guy, does a lot of office, so he wanted plenty of power to run his computers and so on, and work while he was travelling.
B: Cool, any other extra appliances they wanted to run?
A: Oh, this one’s got a washing machine, obviously air-con, microwave, all the standard stuff.
B: And so, what was in here when we got the caravan?
A: It had two 100-amp AGMs and a very basic solar regulator. That was really about it. Oh, and a 240-volt charger.
B: So let’s start with the solar then, ’cause you mentioned it. What was on the roof and how much extra have we added in?
A: So this one already had a bit. It had two 170Ws from standard, but then we’ve added another two 180Ws and done a shuffle with the 170Ws. So we’ve got bang-on 700 watts on the roof.
B: And why is it important to get that sort of minimum 6-700 of solar on the roof?
A: Well, if you, basically, if you’ve got a tank this big to fill, you need to be able to fill it. So that should… What are we doing at the moment? We are charging at… We’re at 32 amps and it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. So we can give the batteries a bit of a hiding at night and we should be able to replenish them and recover them through the day.
B: So what batteries have you put in here?
A: Yeah, so this one’s got two Enerdrive 200-amp Gen 2s. So 400 amps in total.
B: Cool. And the cool thing about the B-TEC in the Enerdrive is that they’re Bluetooth compatible. Can you just tell us a little bit about that? How it works?
A: Yeah. They’re Bluetooth compatible. So you can connect to both of them with your phone, check your amperage draw, percentage left, and balancing of cells. The other thing that’s cool with them is they’ve got an auto start, so if you do completely flatten them, hold a button down and they’ll restart themselves. Cool little feature.
B: And so, how close do you have to be to the batteries when you’re using the app? Like, can you be away from it? Or is it within a certain distance?
A: Yeah, it’s a Bluetooth connection, but it seems to work quite well. Definitely outside the van’s no problem.
B: OK. So I can see the Morningstar TriStar solar regulator under there. What does that do? Why have we gone with it?
A: Yep. So that’s the 60 amp we’ve put in there. There’s a bit more space on the roof. Just if ever somebody did want to put more panels on it, there is the capacity in the solar regulator to do it. And, yeah, the 60-amp’s a good one so we’ve chucked that out in there.
B: And we’ve then got the DC-to-DC charger.
A: Yep. So down in the corner there we’ve got the 40-amp DC-to-DC charger. It’s obviously running while you’re driving. We’re using that to charge from the battery. And because we’ve got a separate solar regulator and DC-DC charger, 30 amps, 40 amps, whatever we get when the sun’s full from the sky, and also 40 amps from the car. So we’ll get very good charging, up to potentially 80 amps or so while we’re driving.
B: So is that basically saying you’re gonna get 80 amps per hour and we’ve got a 400-amp-power battery set up there, so we should be looking at sort of six hours if both are at full charge to recharge your batteries from zero?
A: Yeah. Yeah. But obviously, you know, we won’t have six hours of full sun throughout the day. Maybe in the middle of Queensland in the middle of the day, but, yeah, something like that.
B: Yeah, cool.
A: It’ll charge quite well.
B: And then the AC charger. What’s in there?
A: Yeah. So it’s just a 40-amp AC charger. This van really is gonna be off grid an awful lot, so we, sort of, didn’t really lash out there. The 40-amp will be plenty for this job. And, yeah, it just fires up when we plug in to power from outside and it’ll start charging.
B: So then the big one that works all the 240 appliances and that sort of thing in here, an inverter, what have we got in this caravan?
A: Yeah. This has got the standard, we use the Enerdrive 2600 transfer inverter. You can’t really see it. Actually, most of it is under here. It heads that way. And, yeah, it’s an auto-transfer inverter. We fitted the switch up there, that we’ll show you in a minute. And it’s pretty much a seamless transition between 12 volt and 240 volt.
B: So that basically means if you’re plugged in, pull out the 240 cord, it will just keep working? All your power points?
A: If the inverter’s turned on, you won’t even notice the difference. So here we are, up in… This is obviously factory Sunseeker. So we’ve just whacked our ePRO in here and our inverter switch. So at the moment we’ve got the inverter switch on. And, like I said, it’s still early in the morning, but we’re making 33 amps from solar. We haven’t got too much going on, turned on. So that’s probably the bulk of what’s coming in. And, yeah, it’s all integrated into it. It kind of looks factory. It’s pretty cool.
B: So thanks for taking a look around this Sunseeker Mirage and what we’ve done to get it off-grid and touring without those costly caravan-park fees. As always, if you wanna check out any of our caravan lithium installations, watch this video here. YouTube really thinks you should watch this one here. And if you have any questions, please comment below.