The interior of an expedition vehicle is a tough job.You can find the complete path from fire truck to expedition vehicle in the section “vehicle”. We are often asked what technology we use. Finding the right material involves intensive research, comparison and clarification. The most important components of our vehicle we will gladly put together here in the section “Vehicle equipment”.
Sources of supply and delivery to Switzerland
We had organized the material all via Germany – for once we also became shopping tourists. The offer was simply larger. In this report you will therefore find the links to German provider pages. For those interested in Switzerland, check out the siteMein Einkauf The complete assortment of Campingshop 24 and Amazon can be delivered duty paid and taxed to Switzerland via this provider. For a delivery applies – often even without shipping costs – the same final price as for customers in Germany (in euros). Mein Einkauf requires a small service fee in the process. We have not tested this, but the reviews seem very positive.
Once the plans are drawn and the material has arrived, the work really starts. For us it was always clear that we would do the interior work ourselves. Manufacturing would be convenient, but beyond our budget. In addition, we know exactly which screw is located where. Since Sandro is a technical multi-talent, it simplifies the work. As a skilled electrician, the electrical system is the “masterpiece”. If you have any questions about the expansion, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to support you with your project.
Way’s to say thank you!
We will be happy to help you with the expansion. If you want to know more, send us a message. We are happy to provide advice and assistance. Of course we would be happy if you could support us on Patreon in return.
For us, there were two suppliers to choose from: Votronic and Victron. At Votronic, we found all the elements that were important to us. Price / performance convinced us. A simple system with meaningful displays in a beautiful design were important to us. The following products are part of our electrical installation.
1. Combi-panel: Votronic 5747 VPC Jupiter 400 VPC
The Combi-panel from Votronic is virtually the “egg-laying willow sow”. The display combines water management, battery computer, solar displays, temperature sensors and much more. Not a day goes by when we don’t need our switch display for water and power management. With a low installation depth, low power consumption and 12V & 24V compatibility, the panel is especially suitable for installation in motorhomes.
2. votronic switch panel 4S
The Votronic swtich Panel for 12V systems – specially developed for motorhomes – is equipped with four separate ON/OFF switches, with which different consumer groups are controlled. Each switch has its own control LED and a maximum load of 8A.The switch panel 4 S belongs to the Votronic switch and fuse panel series, which we have installed. Visually, therefore, it fits perfectly with the rest of the elements. The connection is via screw terminals. WIf you need 24V instead of 12V, you will find the suitable model under MPN 6287.
3. votronic DC/DC converter 24V – 12V
With the Votronic DC/DC Converter 24V/12V we ensure the optimal and fast charging of the 12V supply battery from the 24V alternator while driving.
Max. Charging current: 30A, Dimensions (WxHxD): 160 x 71 x 145mm, weight: 0, 28KG. Increases or decreases the voltage to the necessary level to accurately charge the on-board battery with the optimal charging characteristic for it. Connected 12 V consumersare automatically supplied, even if the on-board network is heavily loaded. The automatic power control ensures the necessary safety and startability of the vehicle.
4. Votronic Battery charger 30/20/250Triple
The Votronic Battery Charger consists of the following three elements:
- VCC charge converter with 30 A
- Pb mains charger with 20 A
- MPP solar controller for max. 250 Wp
Either two consumer batteries, two starter batteries or one supply and one starter battery can be charged.
With the Battery Charger VBCS Triple, a completely new device combination has been created, consisting of a Pb mains charger, VCC charge converter and MPP solar controller, which ensures the power supply in the motorhome. The batteries are always charged automatically, whether while driving or on the pitch. Above all, the amply dimensioned charging power of the integrated charging converter with 30A ensures that the on-board battery is charged with full charging current even during short trips and is fully charged at the destination.
5. Votronic Mobile Power Inverter SMI 1700 ST-NVS Voltage Converter
The Votronic Mobil Power SMI Invertercan be used to operate any household appliance, provided that the permissible input line is not exceeded. The converter works perfectly for us for the operation of electrical appliances. Since we have neither a coffee maker nor a hair dryer on board, the main use is charging batteries and PCs.
The special feature of the type series NVS is the integrated mains priority circuit. It ensures that when shore power is supplied, the mains sockets in the vehicle are automatically supplied with shore power. The inverter shuts down completely and no longer draws power from the battery. If the vehicle is disconnected from the external power, the inverter automatically (adjustable) takes over the supply of the 230V consumers again.
The control panel is removable and can thus be freely placed in the vehicle as an external remote control.
Büttner solar module MT Power Line MT SM 210
The market is filled with solar panels. But which one should you take? The solar panels are an issue, where we do not want to save money. Installing a high-performance system in a small space is important to us. A healthy ratio it should be; no “overproduction”, but also no restriction of our self-sufficiency desire of 10-14 days.
We find what we are looking for at Büttner Electronics. The MT Power Line MT SM 210 solar modules are “power packages” in the truest sense of the word. The individual mono-crystalline cells are already selected in the first production stage, and the most powerful ones are combined to form a POWER Line solar module. The efficiency is therefore particularly high, even in less than ideal weather conditions. In the latest generation of MT Power Line solar modules, 40 cells have been interconnected instead of the usual 36. In order to be able to use the extra voltage optimally, an MPP charge controller should always be used with this solar module. As a result, an optimal yield is always guaranteed.
How large should the the solar system be? This, of course, is completely individual and depends on many factors. Where and in what season will you travel? How many hours a day do you need light and other consumers? How much electricity does the refrigerator consume? With our 2 x 210 Wp panels, which each reach a daily output of 920 Wh/day, we cover our power needs and charge the AGM batteries as well as an external battery pack. Our main consumers are the Dometic cooler, water pump, Truma heater and LED lighting. These are easily coverable for several days – even in bad conditions. We also charge many electronic devices such as I-Phone, drones, cameras and laptops. If we are only traveling in bad conditions without sunlight, we will reach the limits after 3-4 days. In sunny conditions, it is the water reserves that put an end to self-sufficiency after about 12 days. The SM 210 are not available in the camping store. For those who can manage with less power, here is the link to the smaller version MT Power Line MT SM 130
We are more than convinced by the Power Line modules. Certainly not the cheapest, but the quality and excellent result justify the price. Regular washing increases the performance once again.
Truma Combi D 6 E CP plus heating
The first question is: hot water or hot air heating? In our case, it was quickly clear that we install air heating. A hot water system is associated with higher costs and installation effort. Although the water heating warms more evenly and pleasantly, the air heating in turn warms faster. We travel mainly in warm seasons. In addition, our fiber optic cabin insolates very well. We only need our heating when the outside temperatures are in the single digits. The important thing for us is that when it’s cold, we want to heat quickly.
Decision & Installation
We decide on the combination unit from Truma: heating and hot water in one; the Truma Combi D 6 E CP plus heating. Mainly we use the heater to enjoy a warm shower. During installation, we paid attention to a uniform ventilation of our living room and bathroom. The garage is also supplied with warm air. The heat can be evenly distributed via several flexible air tubes. In addition, the interiors of the cabinets are ventilated to keep the humidity low. The 10l hot water tank continuously supplies water at a constant temperature while showering. Hot water continues to be produced even when the heating for the living space is completely switched off. Warming up on the “Eco” level takes about 15-20 minutes and is enough for a warm shower for both of us. We solved the diesel supply with a separate 10l canister to ensure good diesel quality for the heater at all times.
With a heat output of 6000W, the Truma Combi D 6 E CP is very powerful. The heater is very robust and has worked trouble-free so far.
Cooking stove incl. oven
Thetford oven Triplex
A cook stove is of course a must in our expedition mobile – preferably with gas. But why not combine the hob with an oven? Homemade bread, casseroles, cakes or other delicious meals from the oven would be perfect. With the Thetford oven Triplexwe have all in one.
When we received ourThetford Multiplex oven, we were not convinced how it would cope in everyday use. Sandro rather dismissed it as an attrape and was convinced that we won’t use it much. But it has worked its way up to become the favorite utensil in our kitchen. Whether nut bread, fruit bread, focaccia, baked potatoes or wonderful casseroles – it has already delighted us with many delicacies and works flawlessly.
The 3-burner gas stove is also very practical, easy handling and cleaning options convince. When not in use, the stove disappears under a permanently attached dark glass cover.
Dometic CFX 3 95DZ
We consciously decided to use a cooler box instead of a refrigerator. Already during our first off-road trip through Australia, the use of a cooler box proved its worth. The first six months on the road with Whaly confirm this picture. From our point of view, the advantage is clearly the optimized off-road capability, no food falling around and the better used storage space due to filling from the top.
The choice fell on the largest cooler from Dometic, the Dometic CFX3 95 DZ. With 93l, the filling size is enormously practical The two compartments are separated and can be tempered individually. Optionally, the smaller unit can thus be used as a freezer compartment. Since we use very little frozen food, this is not worth it for us. Therefore, in our everyday life, one compartment is reserved for drinks and the other for food items. With the large capacity, we can store food for a good 10-14 days.
The cooler is very durable, the handles are sturdy. If necessary, the temperature can be controlled via a smartphone app.
Originally, we installed a “normal” chemical toilet. We quickly realized that this was not a solution. The unpleasant smell of the chemicals, the poor worldwide availability, and the high water consumption actually speak clearly against it. So we replaced the chemical toilet with a Natures Head separation toilet. This purchase was 100% worth it. The easy disposal of the “compost” as well as the urine tank offers a very pleasant handling. It is also excellent that no water is needed. The toilet works absolutely odorless. Only a few times some odor came up in strong wind, when this presses directly from the outside into the ventilation grille. Outside the vehicle it begins to smell a little when the “compost” must be changed.
First, a softened coconut fiber brick is placed in the solids tank. After each session, the crank inside the solids container operates an agitator, which you use to stir the fresh solids into the already pre-composted solids. Odors are thus prevented.
An integrated separating insert ensures the separation of liquid and solid excreta. The flap to the solids container prevents urine from entering and at the same time ensures that the urine is drained into the urine canister. Urine must be emptied every 1-2 days.
All parts can be easily cleaned with a vinegar/ or lemon solution (1:10) and a soft cloth.
The mobile alternative
The TRELINO toiletis ideal for use in vans, where space is more limited than in an expedition vehicle. The compact separation toilet is designed for mobile use in the van. Soon they will be available not only in plastic, but also made of wood. Those who do not want to give up complete independence are very well served by this product. Since the TRELINO does not look like a toilet, it can also be used as a seat or stool.