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Can someone help me ... not sure what I need for cargo trailer camper...

Can someone help me ... not sure what I need for cargo trailer camper...

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  #1  
Old 08-10-18, 12:18 PM
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Can someone help me ... not sure what I need for cargo trailer camper...

Hello: I decided to purchase a 6 X 10 cargo trailer and convert it to a camper. I am going to customize it some but I am stuck on what I need.

I want to be able to plug it into shore power and have lights, fridge, fan, TV or radio, AC, toaster oven, small pump for tap?

We plan on NOT being plugged in to shore power most of the time so when not ... ...lights, fridge, TV or radio, fan ....... I guess one would need a generator for AC but a solar panel could take care of the rest??

I don't even think we are going to install AC but I would like to have the electrical set up just in case...portable unit inside or outside.

I would like to have a solar panel to take advantage of that source of electricity.

I want to order the van with most of this electrical done.

I called the one place (which I wont be using) and asked about this but he said he had no clue about solar. Basically, if electricity was available I would use it (too cheap to pay for it .. once in a blue moon) ... but I want to be able to be off grid as most of the time we hope to be in the boonies.

What do I need in this unit? Like .. my husbands small cargo has a light and switch which you can use when plugged into the vehicle ..... without the vehicle though ... how do you energize these lights? If a fridge is AC/DC .. what or how do I wire for the AC? This stuff I don't understand .. right now.

Hope I am not all over the place too much... thanks for any feedback. I know I have a lot to learn on this and I am keen to but .... I also don't want to delay ordering the trailer any more than I have to so, if someone can help speed things up for me then I would really appreciate it.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 01:24 PM
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What are you converting..... a 6x10 trailer or a van ? You mention both.

6x10 is not very big. You need to consider what you must have.
That could be heat, toilet, stove etc. A/C will not be a priority.
Probably consider propane for heating/cooking.
Generator..... where ?

Batteries and solar is good. Need a place for the batteries.
Cargo trailers don't take tremendous weight so overall weight must be considered.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 01:29 PM
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I would consider a 6'x10' trailer just big enough for a place to sleep and store clothes/stuff.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 02:08 PM
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As the two previous replies suggest, a 6' x 10' cargo trailer is a bit cramped for all the conveniences you mention. I have one that exact size in my driveway, and with far less than you would like to install, it is already too tight inside. Perhaps, instead of trying to cram all the normal household items into it, you try adapting your camping to what the trailer can support. A small propane light can illuminate a trailer that size, especially if you paint the interior with a high gloss light color. A small propane, two-burner camp stove that can be used inside (in inclement weather) or outside (when the sun is shining). A folding camp table, water jugs, insulated ice chest.
If you are camping in the "boonies" are you really needing a TV? A toaster oven? A fridge? What you are talking about sounds more like a mini-motorhome, or what is now being called "glamping".
With a solar panel setup you need batteries to store the energy they produce so that it is available when you want to use it. And from the list of appliances you want to power, you'll need a pretty sizeable set of panels.
It might be good to spend more time researching what you really need where you'll be spending your time. Chances are you can get by just fine with far less than you think.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 03:07 PM
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Rather than piecing together a list of odds and ends at a high price, I would suggest you shop for a small travel trailer camper.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 03:52 PM
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Used RV trailers are CHEAP. I would go that route if it appeals to you at all.

If you want to go the cargo trailer route I have a 6'x 10' that I sleep in for a week once every year. I'm using it as a 1/2 step up from tent camping. My mat and sleeping bag on the floor leaves enough room to walk down the side and store my stuff in the nose of the trailer. Not much else. It's pretty small. I put up a 10'x10' canopy over the folded down ramp/tailgate and that's my kitchen.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 12:05 AM
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Thanks for not really answering my question I backpack so I know that one needs very little and that is how we have camped so far. I could buy a camper and I did look at that option but the conversion excites me more. Plus in the end I will have a better quality camper. A 6 X 10 cargo van pretty much has the same amount of room as a Sprinter van .. maybe a bit more with V nose. If you look at some of those camper conversions you will see they have a lot features packed into a small area. I don't want to cook inside, but use a propane stove, My heat will be a Mr Buddy heater, sink will have two water jugs, one for fresh and grey, plan on using an outside solar shower if needed, portable potty stuffed under the bed ... etc. etc. I have it taped out on my kitchen floor right now and there is plenty of room for what we need. I was just uncertain how they tied in the shore power, solar, etc... thanks anyways ...
 
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Old 08-11-18, 05:41 AM
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That's what happens when you ramble and don't clearly ask a question. If you ask a question we can help.

Generally solar and shore power are two different systems. You have AC power when you're plugged into shore power. Usually there is an AC powered battery charger for the battery. When not on solar you use DC power from the battery. A solar panel and charge controller can be added to charge the battery when off the grid.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 05:51 AM
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I would suggest wiring it the same as any other camper which uses one or two deep cycle 12v batteries to power the lights. Then the standard 120 volt receptacles would be powered by shore power, typically 30 amp, 120 volt. You could also install an inverter the change 12 volt DC to 120 volt AC to power some items from the receptacles, but run time would depend on the batteries and what you are running.

You would also want some type of charger that would charge the batteries when attached to a running truck, shore power, or a solar array if available. Inverter might need a disconnect somehow to disconnect from the AC wiring when connected to shore power.

As a side note, we are all volunteers here and can only answer questions the best we can. This is a forum, not a service.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 04:16 PM
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Thanks for the info .. I have it figured out now. Fortunately we are short enough to sleep across the back of the unit on bunks .. that gives us 7 feet to play with plus the V ... Seeing that we will be sleeping in it for months on end, hubby thinks a Tv or radio would be great for news, toaster oven beats a micro, don't have either right now at home just thought it might be a treat when on shore power. We plan to be outside the unit more than inside the unit. I appreciate all of the help that I get on this site, never thought of it as a service! I thought that maybe there would be someone in the know, that has had experience doing this .. thanks
 
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Old 08-12-18, 07:34 AM
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I ordered flexible screen, velcro and zippers online. I sewed up screens for back end and side door. They are attached to the trailer with a strip of velcro along the walls and ceiling. It's great having those huge areas open for ventilation while still keeping the bugs out. The sippers go full length floor to ceiling so you can come and go without having to take the screens down.
 
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