I’m turning my Jeep into a mini camper
I like to get out and away from civilization. I feel so much better mentally when I can spend time in nature. But being on a fixed income, I just can’t go out and buy a $50,000 (that’s on the less expensive side) camper.
So I decided to do some research and make my suv into a mini camper. I’m going to be building it out slow, but the first thing I wanted to do was get my power situation taken care of. I don’t want to use any of my vehicles power, to run anything other than the vehicle. It’s an old Jeep, and has a lot of miles, so I need her power system to be dedicated to just her. Her name is Daenerys btw. 😁
I could get a solar panel, controller, inverter, and battery. I was going to do that initially, but with limited space (I have a Grand Cherokee), I opted to go with just a solar panel and a solar generator. Small, nothing huge, just enough to make it possible for me to stay warm, charge my electronics, and heat food.
These are what I chose: Generator is a Ctechi portable 300w LiFePO4 299w. It has enough power to do what I need. (I also have some other small solar power stations, but this will be the main one.) Right now it has a $55 off coupon on Amazon. I’ve looked A LOT of solar generators, and it’s the same as anything…they make good ones, that you can get for less money, that don’t have a name brand. If it fails, I’ll learn, but that’s the point of all of this. This has great reviews, and I depend a lot on that. I don’t need any fancy bells or whistles, I just need it to work. I like the LiFePO4 as it has a longer lifespan. We’ll see! I’ll be posting updates as time moves forward. My first camping “trip” will be close to home, where I keep my horse, and it’s almost February, so I’ll for sure be testing how warm I stay. I’ll cover the windows with homemade thing-a-ma-jigs, but I’ll post those later as well.
The solar panel I chose was a basic polycrystalline 12v panel by Newpowa. The generator already has an inverter built in. My main concern was space, and I don’t have much of it. I’m not going to be running a water pump, or any lights, as I have that taken care of, so I really just need these to be able to power a small heater (150w), which won’t be run a lot, or for long periods of time, a food heater, (I’ll link the one I’m using as well) and electronics. This should be enough.
I’ll need a longer cord from the panel to the generator as well.
The food prep that I’ll use is this…I’ve seen videos of other van lifers/campers/truckers using this and it has a ton of good reviews.
The rest of my build will be a composting toilet, (really easy to build and won’t stink if done the right way), small sink/ cooking area, with a grey water tank and filtered water tank, supplied by a foot pump. On the other side will be another small cabinet for food storage, clothes, whatever I need it for.
I am going to move my spare tire from the floor storage area, and put it on the top of the Jeep. I’ll use that area for more storage of tools, food, misc…whatever.
This is totally new to me, I’ve never built anything out by myself so it will be a learning experience. I will share everything as I go, with all the mistakes I’m sure I’ll make, and all the things that work.
Wish me luck! Lol… I’ll need it.