new to me 2005 12 foot expanda outback

Brenton

Active Member
Dec 17, 2014
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#23
Sorry have been stagnant for a long time am in the middle of big house renno's. anyway have bought a fair few goodies for the van and will soon be installing.

-12v pressure pump
- 2 x 200w solar panels on the roof (will expand battery bank in the future)
- 30A MPPT solar regulator
- 12v outlets and usb chargers in the van
- strip lighting under the awning on a remote control

Will install a gas hot water system at some stage soon, unsure of whether to go a Truma inside or one of the auto igniting smaller on demand units and mount it in the front boot then just open the hatch when it is in use. I had one of these in my camper trailer and its a great little unit.

http://www.smarttek.com.au/shop/smarttek-6-smart-hot-water-system/

I am all about off grid and free camping in places a lot of people dont go, hence why upgrading from a camper trailer i picked such a small and light weight van, i want to be able to take it some hard to get places. Will probably swap the axle upside down as well for a little more clearance, has anyone done this?
 
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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#25
so have you been on any trips lately @Brenton

is it going well for what you want?

I'm trying to talk my sister out of her Swan, into either a 12' or 14' expanda

she is coming around to the idea
Hey bigcol! absolutely loving it. only used it once to be honest as have just been so busy as am renovating a house extensively and haven't had time. before that i was going away one a month at least so it will get some use soon. I am going away four wheel driving to the springs 4x4 park this weekend so will take the van and also will get away for Easter so thats twice this month. I went from a camper trailer to it and skipped the wind up campers totally. i knew if i got one i would end up doing this upgrade anyway.

My folks have a 1649.3 2012 expanda and to be honest mine feels as big inside. i think the fact its got the bed at one end only makes the kitchen feel larger. there is more bench space as it wraps right around the corner. perfect for a couple and with the annexe you could have kids on stretchers out there no problems.
 
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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#26
started on the mods on the weekend. replaced an old cig socket with a new baintech wall mounted one with 2 usb chargers and a 12v socket. also ran a new cable from the battery to this MPPT solar regulator and mounted it in an easy to see spot. Will mount the panels on the van soon and wire them up. Then just need to install the 12v pressure pump and some strip lighting here and there.

Will leave it at that for a bit and sort out a gas hot water system soon.

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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#27
mounted my 2 x 200 watt solar panels on the roof today. plenty of sika around the junction box I installed and also around the mounts. i sika'd them on and also screw the brackets in just for a bit of extra piece of mind.

Overkill I know but I have learnt with camper trailers you just can't have enough. the beauty is it will be full by 10am so an overcast day wont matter. For the moment its only got the 100ah battery it came with, i will remove that and install something between 200-300ah worth of battery bank and plan on ripping out the 3 way fridge and installing a compressor one at some stage. I love beach camping and doing longer extended trips free camping so for me its all about the solar and battery bank. happy with the install, very easy.

haven't tested yet but each panel is suppose to be good for 12.2 amps, if i can get 20 amps out of them combined i will be a happy lad.

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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#28
Also mounted some strip lighting around the place. put some in the wardrobe cupboard and above the bench as below. going to install some over the kitchen sink too. can't have enough of the stuff. mounted some cool flat mounted switches off eBay, just used a small hole saw and they look factory. very happy.

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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#30
Good work there Brenton, I intend to do the same including replacing the fridge. Where did you source the panels and stuff from, they look like they have a good mounting bracket.
I might have to drop by one day and have a look.
Hey Rags, yeah no dramas mate come by some time. panels are off eBay they're from this seller, i have used his gear before and its very good. all of the below is connected via 38amp rated 6mm tycab 12v cable.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200-Watt...538743?hash=item4d3483dcb7:g:-6wAAOSw-itXtqJk

mounting brackets are also from him, have a look at his store. this is them
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/White-So...t-Kit-Motorhome-Caravan-RV-Boat-/331530500474

A lot of people on here seem to solely use marine 291 sikaflex but i want to keep the van for a while and not worry about them coming loose so I put heaps of sika under each bracket and 2 screws in each corner into the van. used small metal screws from bunnings, 8gx20mm and put them in with a drill and did the final tighten with a screwdriver. i also sika'd the brackets to the panel and put 2 screws in each corner into the panel as well. then I ran a bead of sika around the brackets between the bracket and the van just to stop vibrations etc. should last forever!

the MPPT regulator is one of these, i ran one of these in the camper trailer and also have one in the jeep, they work great. do everything the expensive ones do and the ones been in the camper 4 years hasn't missed a beat. I like the fact it has a cut off voltage set so wont overcharge, it also tells you exactly how many amp hours the panels are putting in and if you connect load wires from the reg to 12v devices like a fridge, lights, water pump etc it has an inbuilt auto resetting circuit breaker and also tells you exactly how many amp hours each device is drawing. good for working out what items use what amounts of power. also has a button to turn load on and off so basically its a kill switch for everything wired through it.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/30A-MPPT...722231?hash=item5b31b139f7:g:cOYAAOSw6EhUPL~1

Not sure what your van is like Rags but i had no top mount a/c or anything so had the whole roof to work with. My old mans got a 2012 1649.3 and i put the same panels on his roof a year or two ago and it was a lot harder to fit them with the roof mount ac. i had to move his wind up aerial as well to make it work.
 
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1DayIll

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2016
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South Morang, Victoria
#31
soooo cute:biggrin-26::behindsofa:

now seriously

on ebay you can buy the fiamma awning for the rear bed end------------ maybe a bit easier to open and close as opposed to the bag awning........?

like this...........
View attachment 46030

View attachment 46031

if I had seen them before selling my Flamingo - I may have kept it
Did anyone ever look into this? does it work?
 

Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#33
this weekend I will be installing a shurflo pump and a switch in the van for it so i can have water. will tap into existing tank line for now and later on will be installing a gas hot water system.
 

1DayIll

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Apr 26, 2016
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South Morang, Victoria
#34
this weekend I will be installing a shurflo pump and a switch in the van for it so i can have water. will tap into existing tank line for now and later on will be installing a gas hot water system.
I am very interested in the hot water system as i would like to get one as well, just not sure which way to go.
 

Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#35
I am very interested in the hot water system as i would like to get one as well, just not sure which way to go.
Hey Daryll, am either going to install an instant hot water unit in the front boot and just open the boot when its in use. This option is much cheaper, they're under $300.00. i had one hard mounted in a camper trailer i built and it is pretty awesome. had it running to kictchen sink and external point for a shower.

https://www.joolca.com.au/hottap

other option is buy a truma gas unit as they're small and compact and mount it in the van. they're about $800 but obviously i still have the boot space and its probably better doing it this way to be honest. I know the truma's cop a bit of negative comments but from what I've read its the electric/gas units as the anodes bugger up. i will just do a gas one, most of my camping is free camping anyway and its a lot less work installing one that doesn't need 240v.

https://www.caravanrvcamping.com.au...tem-gas-only?gclid=CM7o1bCMkdMCFUhwvAodtTUFhg

plan to mount an external shower box on the side and probably buy one of these joolca ensuite showers to use next to the van as they pop up in 30 seconds.

https://www.joolca.com.au/ensuite
 
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1DayIll

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Apr 26, 2016
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South Morang, Victoria
#36
Hey Daryll, am either going to install an instant hot water unit in the front boot and just open the boot when its in use. This option is much cheaper, they're under $300.00. i had one hard mounted in a camper trailer i built and it is pretty awesome. had it running to kictchen sink and external point for a shower.

https://www.joolca.com.au/hottap

I had looked at them and been told that they did not get hot enough for dishes. What are your thoughts?
 

bigcol

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Nov 22, 2012
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Swan Valley Perth
#37
as far as I know, with the Joolca, it has a better setting range than most normal Home Gas HWS...............

I have not got one, but I was very interested when they first came out

still havent bothered, I use the kettle for hot water when needed
 
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Brenton

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Dec 17, 2014
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#38
i have a smart tek in my camper and it was great. easily hit 60 degrees c and showered in about 30 degrees c most of the time. great range and easily hot enough to wash up, i just assumed the joolca was the same
 

Dobbie

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Jun 18, 2014
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#40
image.jpeg
Same here.

Even with a good hot water setup, I can't see the point in turning it on, waiting for water to heat just for washing up.

A kettle...either gas or electric ...is so much quicker.

Maybe we should take the dishlicker with us then we wouldn't need to wash up at all.
 
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