In a world where many are seeking ways to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle, exploring the great outdoors in a recreational vehicle (RV) remains a cherished tradition. However, traditional RVing has often been associated with using hefty built-in or standalone generators that cause noise pollution and consume significant amounts of fuel. The Mini-T Campervan is transforming this paradigm with a unique design that eliminates the need for such a generator, offering an opportunity to enjoy RVing in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way.
Built on the reliable and fuel-efficient Ford Transit Connect platform, the Mini-T Campervan does not employ a standalone generator. Instead, it harnesses the power of its 2.0L 4 CYL engine, which turns a high-output alternator to generate power and charge the house batteries.
These house batteries, in turn, supply power to a 2000W inverter that transforms the 12V system into a 120V household equivalent of power. With this setup, you can run your power outlets, microwave oven, and more off the grid. This system significantly reduces the noise typically associated with traditional RVing and lessens fuel consumption.
The next notable aspect of the Mini-T Campervan is the absence of an auxiliary air conditioning unit. Instead, the campervan utilizes the engine-driven air conditioner, which is ducted to both the front cab area and the rear of the campervan. This efficient use of existing systems further minimizes energy use and simplifies the setup. Not only does this effectively cool your Campervan, but also, with the engine running (acting as a generator), your house batteries stay charged off the grid, whether the sun is up or not! You see, the Mini-T Campervan house batteries charge from the sun through solar power, through the engine when it is running, and when plugged into shore power, if you choose to do so.
An additional notable and impressive feature is the ability to start your engine via your smartphone through a free and available app. With this, you can also program your vehicle to start at a specific time, say 2 AM. This means that while you are sleeping, your engine will start, run for 15 minutes, thus running the AC and charging your batteries without your intervention.
Now let's delve into the main concern of many potential campervan owners - fuel consumption. According to several Mini-T Campervan users, running the air conditioner and other amenities for an overnight stay (approximately 7 hours) consumes just about a gallon of fuel. However, let's try to quantify this a bit more accurately.
Fuel consumption depends on multiple factors such as the specific model of the engine, the energy consumption of the air conditioning, the condition of the engine, and more. For a Ford Transit Connect with a 2.0L 4 CYL engine, the idling fuel consumption rate is typically around 0.16 to 0.39 gallons per hour. At this rate, if you keep the engine running to generate power and provide air conditioning for a 7-hour overnight stay, you're looking at consuming approximately 1.12 to 2.73 gallons of fuel.
However, considering that you're not just idling the engine but also charging the house batteries and using the inverter, the actual fuel consumption may be a bit higher. Assuming that these activities increase the fuel consumption by around 30%, we're looking at a total consumption of around 1.45 to 3.55 gallons for a 7-hour overnight stay. This is still quite impressive when you compare it to the 0.5 to 1 gallon per hour consumption rate of traditional built-in or standalone RV generators.
In conclusion, the Mini-T Campervan offers an innovative, efficient, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional RVing. By utilizing the engine for multiple purposes - from power generation to air conditioning - it significantly cuts down on noise and fuel consumption, making it a fantastic choice for modern, eco-conscious travelers. The ability to run essential appliances off the grid using the built-in inverter only enhances its appeal, reinforcing the idea that you can indeed enjoy RVing without the need for a built-in or standalone generator.
DLM-Distribution / Campervans is a licensed manufacture and dealer located in Lake Crystal Minnesota serving clients around the country