We have found a few things have changed since we planned our build. One of which was how much stuff we’d run with our solar power. When we designed our solar/battery system, the guy we were using asked us to list every appliance we would be using so he could calculate how much battery and then how much solar we would need to be able to run everything (fridges, lights, water-pump, blender etc..)

At the time we were planning to install a gas cooktop and have a gas bottle storage system on board somewhere. The more we considered using recycled materials and minimising our footprint on the earth, the more our design changed… and one of the things we considerd was the way gas is mined from the earth (largely fracking) and how much this damages the earth. So we decided to utilise (and expand) as much of our existing solar set-up as we could for general living stuff… We already had the solar panels and batteries, so we decided to do away with adding another “service (gas)” and the associated pipework/storage/appliances etc. to our build, also eliminating the space that the gas stuff would take up in the build.

And we found out – it wasn’t the end of the world when we added a chunk of power consumption to our carefully calculated solar/battery system.

We actually found that our power needs are very flexible and always changing, and only needed a minor tweak to the system to be able to power an electric induction cook-top instead of gas. It’s really efficient and great in summer when using gas heated the whole room (incredibly) and our switch to induction meant a heaps cooler inside space as the cooktop only heated the pots and pans and not the whole room. Because we also have a pot-belly stove in the bus, in winter when we get less solar, we use the pot-belly for cooking so the solar can have a rest… and still no gas.

EDIT: we’ve had comments that using an induction cooktop can shorten battery life, but we’ve been using this cooker for 3 years now and still on the same set of batteries (YAY)