Tesla Batteries Make This Camper Van Perfect for Off-Grid Living

Great batteries and solar panels mean getting away from it all is easier than ever.

If you’re planning on getting away from people for a while — which, presumably, an awful lot of us are doing at the moment — a camper van is a spectacular way to go about it. By combining the sleeping, cooking and living areas of a camping trailer with the easy-to-maneuver footprint of a passenger vehicle, it offers a best-of-both-worlds approach to mobile camping.

Still, there are a couple issues that can arise; tightly-packed quarters can leave you wistful for the relative expanse of a Manhattan studio, and running electricity-heavy appliances often forces the engine to work double-time as a generator, spewing extra emissions into the natural world you’re so keen to see.

Ready.Set.Van of New Jersey can’t help you with the former issue, but they have found a good way around the latter: packing a bunch of Tesla batteries and a big ol’ solar panel onto their camper vans.

The company, whose work came to our attention via Automobile, specializes in turning Ram ProMaster vans into rolling apartments that wouldn’t look out of place in the nicer parts of Brooklyn. The refrigerators are a massive 21 gallons in volume, the kitchen sink home-worthy, the cooking surfaces commercial-grade induction stovetops. Composting or portable toilets, indoor showers, heaters and air conditioners, water hearts and awnings are all up for grabs on the options list, while two of the variants offer a storage area below the bed big enough for bikes, surfboards or other recreational gear.

But the real story lies beneath all that, where mighty Tesla-sourced batteries lie to serve up electrons to all those accessories. The standard package uses a single 840-amp-hour battery cell, which the company says weighs 140 pounds less and takes up 57% less space than the lithium battery setups most camper vans would use; it’s capable of running the air conditioning for 4–5 hours all on its own, and can be charged either via the alternator or through the 400-watt solar panel array that’s standard on every van the company makes. If that’s not enough power for you, though, Ready.Set.Van also offers two-battery and three-battery setups.

Ready.Set.Van offers three pre-made van packages: the Basecamp, which starts at $35,750; the Basecamp Plus, which takes the regular model and adds an indoor shower for $45,250; and the Wanderer, which ditches the cargo space and fixed bed for a Murphy bed that folds away to create room for a large dining area, which runs $45,750. None of those costs include the van itself, of course, but with a Ram ProMaster 159″ base vehicle starting at $36,995, you could have plenty of fun with the options list and still walk out paying less than six figures for the ultimate social distancing van.

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