The interest in our quality manager Thomas' overlander project became great and many questions have come in. Here, Thomas has answered the most common questions and written a short description of the system and its construction.
This is the third part of the series about Thomas’ project “Alde expedition offgrid”.
Part 1: The less conventional camper – Part 2: the prototype – Part 3: Alde Expedition OffGrid – how it works
Alde expedition is a compact build in an aluminum transport box that provides hot water in the kitchen, heat in the tent and the possibility of connecting e.g. booster fans and other accessories. Everything is mounted on the drawbar for the trailer, which entails some extra weight. But since I pull the trailer with a powerful off-road vehicle, the extra weight is no problem for me. I have also done some rebuilding which in the end has given me a ball pressure of only 90 kg. With a few simple grips, the box can be docked loose from the trailer and used completely independently.
Alde Control panel with associated USB and switch is weatherproof under the lid of the Alde Expedition box, I paid for some extra o-rings and silicone gaskets to provide better protection against moisture.
If you lift the kitchen, we find an ALDE 3020 prepared for remote start via telephone, water tank (40 liters) with pressurized water pump, Alde AquaClear and 230V inlet with earth fault circuit breaker. The equipment is placed at such a height so it can withstand a water depth of 50 cm when wading and crossing watercourses. The box has properly sized drainage for fast water drainage.
The gas supply takes place via Truma Mono Control CS from a gas tube located inside the trailer. Composite bottle is not completely optimal when it is cold, so the next development will be to put a heating loop with reduction under the bottle and dock on the heating loop to the tent.
The heating loop is 16 mm surface-mounted hose for the tent. The loop loses some energy on the way into the tent, so as a next step the hoses will be insulated. Out of the box is a valve package with three outlets and non-return valve so that when dismantling the tent you can disconnect the heating loop without having to empty the system. One loop goes permanently to the tent while the other two are to be able to choose to mount e.g. booster or heating mat for awning (in my case a 270 awning).
The heating for the tent is simply the radiation from the heating loop, there is no room for other equipment in the tent and for me it is important tobe able to quickly take up and take down the tent. The tent does not have such a large volume, so a heating loop is more than enough to heat and keep condensation away.
The carriage is completely off-grid adapted, there are two 50 W solar panels mounted on the lid and another 100 W panel to attach if needed. 150 Ah battery in the trailer can handle long and high power outlets.
Charging is controlled by a CTEK system consisting of D250S and Smartpass. The system is integrated with the car’s charging system, which guarantees full charge of both the car’s and the trailer’s battery without the risk of discharge. Another comfort-enhancing gadget in the trailer is Truma’s fridge/freezer, a really good construction. The entire interior is modular and everything can be lifted out to get an empty trailer or quickly reconfigured for other needs.
The box is equipped with standard components that the average caravan owner recognizes, 230V inlet, gas outlet and water inlet.