My 2 main questions is what is the most power i can possibly buy... wanting to combine solar,thermo,carbattery all together to stockpile energy and store it.. i want more than ill ever use...
i guess i could just keep adding batteries and panels but i was curious if there was any crazy ones out there if like money wasnt an option... super settups lol
The power capabilities of an RV are limited even if you throw a “crazy” amount of money at it. The closest thing to unlimited power production is a generator. Period. Its not sexy, but nothing else comes close. That’s why all the big Class A diesel pushers (with their washer, dryer, French door refrigerator, multiple AC units) have them. When connected to the vehicle's fuel tank, boondocking for days with all the comforts of home is possible. In my RV I have an Onan 8000, it can run everything if I don’t mind the noise, maintenance, size, and pollution. It retails for about $12k. If you’re willing to spend more to get less there are other options.
Generators create power for as long as there is a fuel source, in systems lacking a generator, that task falls on the batteries. But the utility of a battery bank is also a function of fuel- how quickly they can be recharged. The rates of solar and DC to DC charging aren't practical for large battery banks (like 8kWh in this comparison with my Onan). The only viable way to recharge super size battery banks is via a dedicated high output alternator that can throw 125+ amps into the batteries. After market dual alternators plus the cost of batteries exceed the cost of a generator. The Volta system in Storyteller Overland’s $200k rigs is a top notch, lithium based power system, but cannot be reproduced inexpensively, even as a DIY project.
If you’re serious about spending big coin, Bluetti and EcoFlow have large capacity home backup power systems that can be adapted to vehicle use. EcoFlow recently released a plug and play power distribution system specifically designed for RVs. It starts at $5000 and can be sized up to 15kWh for a five figure sum. They’ve been giving them out to influencers, so there are several YT videos on the product.
I am a big fan of power stations and have an EcoFlow Delta Pro in my van. Its 3600W inverter and 3600Wh battery (expandable to 25kWh) is sufficient for my needs. I have multiple high draw appliances- induction cooktop, microwave, hot water heater, Nutribullet. I have sufficient power to use them as desired, along with longer use appliances like diesel heater, fridge, fan. The only thing that I cannot run is a rooftop AC, which I haven’t bought because I’m not sure its worth the five figures it would cost for the unit and requisite batteries. I suggest you figure out how much power it takes to run what you want and buy accordingly. Gross excess is a waste of money.
How long it takes to replenish the power consumed is also crucial to sizing. A system that takes 2 hours to replenish what’s been used over 3 days can be sized smaller than a system that takes 12 hours to accomplish that task. The Pro can be charged via multiple inputs simultaneously. Mine is continuously on trickle charge (~85W/hr) whenever the vehicle accessory port is active. It's connected to the starter battery via inverter (400-800W/hr) on an ad hoc basis. It is plugged into shore power (1800W/hr) when convenient. It can be charged at an EV station (3000W/hr) when I’m in a hurry/desperate. I've never used solar.
Very simple van builds don’t need anything more than a power station and the appropriate cords for plugging in devices and appliances. In more sophisticated builds, the number of ports needed (eg. roof fan, water pump, lighting, diesel heater) may be more than a power station has. So permanent installation of wiring is required. Rather than assembling all the components from scratch, it's easier (cheaper, more efficient, portable, warrantied, uses less space) to use a power station with a 25 or 30A DC port* and connect it to a busbar that has wires running to where needed. The process for AC power is also simple. Connect a decapitated female end of an extension cord to an outlet box and plug the male end into an outlet in the power supply. Although some power stations have 30A RV ports, combining DC and AC on the same busbar would require that the inverter be active even when only running DC loads.
*Power stations with high output ports include: Goal Zero Yeti 1500 and above, Bluetti AC200 and above, EcoFlow Delta Pro and above.