As we worked through the Sprinter build we were extremely fortunate to meet individuals who had the foresight to see an opportunity to use the Sprinter and us, as long term adventurers, as a marketing tool for their product.
Reflected below you'll find a brief overview of the sponsor, their product and of course, a link to their website.
We will offer feedback to each sponsor on their product as we put it through it's paces in the next year as we travel the road.
Go Power is a Victoria BC based company specializing in solar energy products. After exhaustive research on the other solar companies in the Pacific Northwest, it was clear Go Power leads the "pack". After sharing an overview of our Sprinter build, overview of travel plans for the next year and specific needs for electrical power, Go Power stepped up and offered us a package that would compliment our build and life style. Knowing we would use our Sprinter on a full time basis and in all conditions and seasons gives Go Power some strong visibility and us a superb solar power system.
Products integrated into our Sprinter:
2 @ - 170 watt solar panels with full "tilt" capacity
1@ - 100 watt flex solar panel mounted on our roof box
4 @ - 6 volt AGM batteries providing a total of 440 amp hours of power
1 @ - 2000watt pure sine Inverter which functions as charge controller as well. Direct pass through on 120VAC
1 @ - Inverter Remote control and readout.
1@ - Temperature sensor mounted into battery bank feeding info into controller.
1 @ - Remote controller and readout for status on panel output and battery bank.
2@ - 30 amp service both installed in "spa" service boxes.
1 unit to service outgoing 30 amp service from inverter to 2 GFCI outlets
1 unit just inboard of 30 amp shore power hookup running into the pure sine inverter
1@ - Blue Water 12 point breaker box for 12VDC power management.
1@ - 200amp fuse in place between battery bank and DC feed into inverter
1@ - Battery "on/off" switch
I met with owner Jeff Kelson mid winter '18 to discuss the possibility of fabricating a set of bumpers and side rails / steps for the Sprinter. Jeff, renowned designer and creator of some of the most extreme steel fabrications for off road 4X4 addons was interested in this new fast growing market of van conversions of 4x4 Sprinter vans for overlanding and light off road use.
We started with a simple tubular front bumper that would offer protection for the front end and do it without removal of the front factory bumper. His lead tech, Cameron, was extremely collaborative and open minded to what I envisioned and what he saw as best practice and efficient design for esthetics and function. After a few days in the shop to develop this one off prototype, the crew moved to the rear where the flimsy and useless factory bumper was pulled off and a simple, clean but knarly multipurpose bumper was added. The bumper still offered the standard 2" hitch, but had double swing out arms. Each arm built filled the bill to carry the spare and the other, well whatever I wanted to adapt to it. For the time being I will use it to carry two 5 gallon fuel cans, but may move to a storage box as we travel in the winter months.
The team produced the products and I finished the bare metal with UPol ( like a Linex) and mounted up myself, great for the DIY guys.
I can' t say enough about how Jeff, Cameron and Cayden worked to create very functional products. Given the Sprinter step up access was quite a bit more than factory we asked the team to consider building some simple rock rails / steps for the rig, wow they came through with quite a cool design, matching the lines and design of the bumpers, the rails and steps exceeded our expectations.
If you are considering adding some protection to your rig, Sprinter or otherwise, I highly recommend you talk with Jeff and the Badland Bumper team!
Dragon Fly Tarps
While at the NW Overland Rally in Plain, WA, we had the privilege to meet Matt Nelson, owner of Dragon Fly tarps. based in Arco, ID, Matt produces the finest multi purpose "bombproof" tarps which will meet the needs of any adventure.
In search of a solution to produce shade and shelter on the "door" side of our Sprinter, it didn't take but few seconds of perusal of Matt's product to know this would meet our needs. With an objective to be "off grid" as much as possible and over 500 watts of solar on board we will need to maximize solar gain by parking in sun and yet still try to stay comfortable in shade of an awning.
The Dragon Fly tarp attaches to the upper edge of the Sprinter roof via a very unique, but secure rail in which the tarp slides along. A pair of very stout poles enable the tarp to remain high until guyed off with provided straps.
Will be continued ……………….. with photos of install and periodic reports on wear, functionality etc.....