I am sorry, I have been too busy to update some of these things, but now I am going to be Semi-Retired, and travel on Expedition a couple of trips a year. I will have more time to keep you up to date with the latest.
This is a bit extreme, but in my opinion bigger is better in the Outback. I like being a self-sufficient Station when I pull up, and I have a medical condition and cannot sleep in very hot weather. This will give me air conditioning in peak solar times, and four-five hours and night, AND a way to charge it back up quickly the next day to do it all over again. This beats the generator dependence, because you cannot run them in some areas..
There ARE Companies that CLAIM that do this, is a bit of deception and a rort as their version is just a Sales Gimmick. Their system will work off Lithium, but only once and then struggle to charge back up. They are doing silly things like flat plastic solar panels that suffer heat degradation and output drop, and they have no practical way to charge the system back up once it is massively depleted. The generator run time to do that would be about equal to the run time of the air conditioning, so they might as well run the generator in the first place instead of advertising the Sales Gimmick that doesn't work....
Look, it is possible, and we have broken a few barriers on my new Bushtracker.
I am building myself a new (outrageous) 23' Bushtracker right now that will run the air conditioning (one of two) off the inverter and Lithium batteries...
HOWEVER, to do this right, it runs off of our new electrical system, 600 AH in two 300 AH slim line Lithium packs, with obvious massive recharging requirements if you want to do it every day. Sooo, I am going to run (6) 150 watt solar panels lifted off the roof with a Laminar air flow so they will actually work in the hot weather: OK!!!
It can be done, and during peak solar times it will be running at a very low loss because of extreme solar. It will also run about five hours at night, and we have just broken a barrier with new technology on my van that will allow it to be charged up the next day in normal travel. (More to come on this).....
This is only available for larger vans and larger tow vehicles. It is being done by other Companies, but their system is woeful, and you could only deplete their system once with no practical way to charge the big Lithium system back up. Their system is a sales gimmick as their solar is glued down flat panels that perform poorly in hot weather, and the generator run time to charge the system back up would be about equal to the time the air conditioning was run in the first place..
We have broken that barrier with a couple of new tricks. I have a new extreme truck ordered, and will release these new tricks when the truck is here in April-May. I like to travel with the extremes of gear, a virtual Station when I pull up... Like all the tools and boxes and fuel and fridge freezer on the bed slide out like this:
Massive Ranch Hand Bull Bar in steel and winch, and heavy duty Ranch Hand rear bumper, and more gear yet, so I have upgraded this 2500 HD to a 3500 HD 5200 kg GVM with Firestone Air Bags in heavy duty sleeves, inside the coils..
I have a new truck ordered, since I am carrying a long tonne, nothing beats a Dually off-road with this large of a van. The difference between a regular ute and four wheel drive, is that much again with a Dual Rear Wheel and limited slip rear diff being virtually 6-Wheel Drive. If you have the weight in the back for traction, it works a treat. I know, as I have done the Outback for 15 years with Duallies and Bushtracker, and I am going back to a Dually. This one is as extreme as the idea of air conditioning running off the Lithium and the ability to charge it back up. This truck even has Air Suspension over the main springs, for an adjustable ride. A Dodge Cummins Diesel Mega Cab, Long Horn, top of the line with rear Air Suspension...
I am going back to a Dually, for DVD Expedition, but my Six Wheel Drive will have bite due to the weight on it. In addition to the long ton I carry now in bed slide and tools and fridge/freezer, I am going for three tanks, 500 litres, 410 diff gears, Aisen A6, 2500 km Range. Big American Alternator system running two DC to DC chargers.
The point of all of this is if you want the extremes like air conditioning off of Lithium, it is here, but to do it properly so it works right you need a larger van (six 150 watt solar panels) and a big alternator, and the proper tow vehicle to handle it all with ease... Really beyond a modest sized Bushtracker and a Landcruiser OK? This is Mega Yacht stuff!
Here is the latest, adjustable Air Suspension over the main leaves on a 3500 Dually..
And a major sized Bushtracker to handle it all... Air Suspension, six solar, My point is these extremes are possible, but only in the larger gear to handle it... This system will work well.. But then again this is a 23' Bushtracker, a Mega Yacht with everything, matching the tow vehicle extremes:
Further You will see more on all of this as we are going on Expedition this coming year to some of the roughest country in Australia, to make a new DVD for Bushtracker..
Pioneering, out scouting the trail ahead with the lone Ranger....