What are the options for power, so you can use electronics on the road? Read this info sheet to find out. Then complete our Power Checklist.
Lithium Batteries: Your New Best Friends
If you want to use any electronics while your van is not running, you’ll need to store your own power so you can use it later.
Many of us don’t think about where our power comes from or how much of it we have left. (It comes from the wall, silly, and there’s always more!) In a van, you will develop an intimate relationship with your power supply and in particular your batteries.
Why lithium batteries
We only use lithium batteries because they are the most sustainable option for power storage. With lithium, you don’t need to worry about over-charging or over-draining your batteries. They don’t have any “memory” the way other batteries do, so charge them freely and often. There’s a failsafe on the battery that keeps them from draining to zero. So use them until they run out! They’ll fill back up when you turn your engine on or when the sun comes out.
How much battery storage do you need?
Ideally, we set you up with a battery bank that’s customized to your needs. That way, you can run your typical electronics and appliances without running out of power.
A basic battery is 100AH. If you plan to run high wattage appliances like an electric cooktop or microwave, you’ll want a more robust battery bank, up to 600AH. We can help you figure out how much power you need.
How will you charge your batteries?
There are three ways to charge your batteries:
- by running your engine
- by plugging into shore power (like at a friend’s house or a campground), or
- via your rooftop solar system.
Store power so you can use it when you need it, without worrying about draining your batteries.
Lithium batteries last longer and are easy to use
They can be drained and recharged without hurting the life of the battery
Levity Vans prefers:
Solar Power: Put Your Roof to Work
Is your roof just sitting there, doing nothing? You might as well make it your own personal power plant!
Rooftop solar converts photons from the sun into useable energy in your van. It allows you to charge your batteries and use electronics while out in nature without needing to turn on your engine for days or even weeks at a time.
Different types of solar panels
There are different types of solar. You can use small panels that typically come in 100W or you can use high-efficiency household panels which are larger and are typically 300+W. You can even use a portable solar panel connected to your system so you can park in the shade and drag your solar panel out into the sun.
Your panel absorbs sunlight, which goes through a charging device that charges the batteries, then goes to your plugs.
The safety of solar power
Power going out? Wildfires threatening evacuations? With your own solar system atop your van, you literally have a mini mobile power plant. That you can also sleep and cook in.
It’s pretty cool.
Ideal for van dwellers who like to park in one place for days or weeks at a time. Put your roof to work!
Panels range in size, both in wattage and square footage
Make your own power as long as it's not raining
Inverters: Plug It In
Now that you have all this power, what are you going to do with it? Without an inverter, you’re stuck trying to charge everything off your cigarette lighter.
If you want to be able to plug regular appliances like your laptop or your stovetop (or your Vitamix and movie projector??) into wall outlets, you’ll need an inverter to convert your 12V battery power into 110V household power.
Inverter Size Matters
The size of the inverter determines how much power you can draw. Just want to charge your laptop? A tiny 40W inverter will do that. But if you want to run a microwave, stovetop, or hair dryer, you’ll want something larger and more permanent like a 2800+W inverter.
Pure vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverters
Inverters come in two styles: modified sine wave and pure sine wave. Modified is an older style that adequately powers very simple electronics, for example, a fan. Certain electronics won’t work or charge due to the “choppy” frequency of a modified inverter.
Pure sine wave, which is what we use, delivers power exactly how it would come out of the house and allows you to use more delicate electronics, like your TV and charge other devices like your phone or laptop.
Charge Two Directions with Inverter/Chargers
Inverters also come with the option of converting power as well as charging your batteries. These are called inverter/chargers. They allow you to plug into your friend’s house or to campground hookups, for example, and charge your batteries while also powering your outlets. If you plan to do a lot of camping near electricity, this might be a good option for you.
USB plugs can be mounted anywhere convenient in your van. They can also be included in your household plugs for a dual household power/USB experience.
Both our flagship models come with 2000W inverters standard so you can run all your appliances.
If you want to be able to plug appliances and electronics directly into the wall.
Plug your everyday electronics straight into the wall
To use household plugs, you'll need an inverter
Add USB ports to household plugs for easy charging
Decide what types of appliances you’ll want to use to figure out the size of your inverter.
Converts 12V battery power to 110V household power
Get the size you need to power your appliances
Parked by power often? An inverter/charger will charge your batteries
The Levity Local
Sleek and functional while still warm and beautiful, the Local has the essentials you need without the extras you don’t. It’s perfect for:
- The adventure-minded who use their van for outdoor recreation
- Those who want a sleepable travel van on a tighter budget
Removable bed system / Solar electric / Full insulation and ventilation / Waterproof floor / L-track to secure gear / + Add features like kitchen galley, outdoor shower, cabin heat, & more
$45K average price
+ or – features to fit your lifestyle and budget
The Levity Lifestyle
This home-on-wheels makes spontaneous adventuring a breeze. Just pack up your stuff and leave your life behind – while taking all the comforts of home with you.
- Part-time adventurers who value comfort and ease
- Glampers and festival-goers who want to upgrade from a tent to a tiny home
- Full-time travelers whose van is their dream home
Queen bed / Full kitchen / Indoor dining / Outdoor shower / Composting toilet / Cabinets / Solar power / Robust electrical system to power appliances / + Add features like hot water, indoor bathroom, rooftop deck, & more
$95K average price
+ or – features to fit your lifestyle and budget
You’re kicking a** and building your dream van – but need just a little help with the features beyond your skillset. Or you’re stuck trying to figure out how it will all fit together, and it’s been a few months (or years) – and you need help.
We install one-off features for DIYers and offer hourly consultation to take your project from stress to success.
Windows / Vent fans/ Electrical work / Solar / Cabin & water heaters / Flares / Seats / Swivels / Project consultation & more
Priced per project
The Levity Legend
Bring your unique vision to life with our fully custom option, the Legend. The sky is the limit. We partner with you from start to finish as we design and execute your masterpiece. Best suited for:
Vanlife connoisseurs who want the ultimate adventure vehicle
Business van uses like mobile offices or kitchens
Those with unique recreation needs
Fully custom / Your unique design / Get exactly what you want / Create a legend / Our most extensive and expensive option
Time & Materials
Due to the extensive nature of custom work, this is our most extensive and expensive option.
If budget is a top concern, we advise selecting the Local or the Lifestyle.
How do you decide what’s right for you?
Our three biggest tips as you’re dreaming about your van:
- Do your research
- Know what you want
- Know your budget
This sets you up for success because you’ll know what features you need and which ones you don’t. You’ll end up with a van that works for you and your lifestyle – not anyone else’s. Because that’s what vanlife is all about – freedom to be yourself, travel on your own terms, and enjoy the natural world without the typical hassles of camping or limitations of RVs.
We’ll build a van that works for you.
🔋Do you want stored power, aka batteries, on board?
- Yes, and I know how much storage I need
- Yes, and I need help figuring out how much power I need
- No power storage
☀️Do you want a solar system?
- Yes, and I know the panel size I want
- Yes, and I need help figuring out the best panel type for me
- No solar system
🔌Do you want household-style plugs for your electronics?
- Yes, and I know where I want them and how many
- Yes, but I need help knowing where’s best to place to put them
- No outlets
🏡Do you plan to camp near shore power often? At a friend’s house or near RV hookups, for example?
❓What other power features are you considering?
- We want to hear about them!