Frequently Asked Questions

  A small selection of answers to your questions. Certainly many things and details are still unclear, we will revise this page regularly to provide more information. Please feel free to send us your thoughts and suggestions at any time!

 The relay board can be seen as an extension of the Hat. You could also speak of a big sibling. The basic functions (water tanks, temperature sensors, display and measuring shunt) are present in both, only the relay board has the possibility to connect 4 instead of 2 water tanks and is extended by 8 relays. The relay board also has several expansion slots.

You can find our quickstarts and user manuals here.  

​With the VAN PI HAT you can connect 2 water tank sensors and 4 with the VAN PI Relayboard. Resistance sensors or capacitive sensors can be used. The calibration is then done in the web interface.

​We support the most popular Lifepo4 battery management systems. These include Daly, JBD, Liontron. These can be integrated either via USB, Bluetooth or serial interface. Furthermore the Ve.Direct Shunts from Victron can be integrated. These monitors are standalone systems that communicate with our system.

​If you don't have one of these systems installed, or the data of the systems are too inaccurate, you can use our VanPi Shunt. This is connected via an RJ11 cable to the Hat or the relay board and collects all data directly via the Raspberry Pi.

​The current is measured with a measuring shunt. The measurement does not directly indicate the current but a defined voltage drop across the shunt at a certain current.

 The different shunt sizes are designed for the maximum current. If you have a small system and your current will not exceed 100A, the smallest shunt is sufficient. Short-term exceeding of the 100A is no danger. Only the measurement becomes less accurate. However, if you have a larger electrical system and cooks, for example, with electricity. You must dimension the shunt accordingly.

​With our PeKaWay Dimmy you can dim 6x LEDs (up to 5A) or control a fan (1x15A). The board is connected to the system via WLAN and uses a widely used Wemos D1. A detailed manual and info about this can be found in the MakersArea.

​In the web interface you will find a tab "get temp sensors" under Config -> Sensors. This will retrieve the temperature sensors for 1min in 5s intervals. You can now assign the different sensors by changing the temperature. For example, take one in your hand or put cold water into a tank.

​Our display receives regular updates. However, the firmware we have developed is not open source and cannot be uploaded to other displays.

​For the Makers there is a Nextion HMI file available in the MakerArea. With this you can build your own user interface for Nextion displays. The schematic for the adapter board can be found in the documentation.

​There are many different ways to realize remote access. We have with our IOT-Bridge an almost worldwide covered hardware for you with which you can control and query the basic parameters of the system.

​Furthermore, there are tutorials in the MakersArea on how you can integrate Telegram, for example, to communicate directly with your system via the messenger.

​If you want to have your whole dashboard on your phone, you can also use Remote-Red. A tutorial is available for this as well.

​As a plug and play solution we support the Autoterm heaters. They can be easily connected via USB and controlled via the touchscreen as well as through the web interface. All important parameters of the heater are recorded and displayed.

​Furthermore we support the widespread "China" parking heaters, LF Bros via 433MHz and the W-Bus protocol from Webasto. Who wants to use these heaters will find tutorials in the MakersArea.

​Basically, you can use up to 4 temperature sensors without any problems. It is important that digital temperature sensors (DS18B20) are used for this. The sensors are then placed on the same slot - the assignment and differentiation is then done in the web interface. If you want to use more sensors, there is a potentiometer on the relay board with which you can change the Pull-UP calibration to use up to 10 sensors. ( pay attention to the cable lengths)

​At the moment we only support the Raspberry PI hardware. From Pi3, Pi4 and Zero2 you can use everything. Tests with other Pi compatible systems are in progress.

We provide you with the 3D data for free, so that you can easily print the cases yourself with one of the commercially available 3D printers - or if necessary, customize them to your own requirements. For this purpose we have created a profile on Thingiverse - just search for "pekaway" or directly via this link:

​Highly efficient buck converters are installed on the Hat and the Relayboard. So you can connect the VanPi system directly to your 12V system and don't need USB-C adapters or similar devices.

​We currently only support the Ve.Direct enabled solar controllers from Victron. Other systems from Eactive, Eepever etc. are in development. If you use our shunt or a compatible battery management system you will see your charge current to your battery even without a direct connection to the solar controller.

​4 USB devices can be recognized by default. Of course there is always the possibility to add more devices to our open source software with Node-RED and adapt it to your situation and preferences.

At  http://downloads.pekaway.de you will always find the latest version in the various folders. There you will always find the latest SD image. www.pekaway.de

​You can also update the system via an existing Internet connection or USB. To do this, simply call up the update page in the web interface under the Config tab.

For all developers and makers you can also find everything on our GITLAB.

We have a troubleshooting section here. Furthermore, you can also ask a question in our FORUM The community will be happy to help!

​Our product line has been given the name VAN PI. However, with this camper control a brand "Pekaway" has been created and under this brand other products and services will be developed and released in the next years.

​But now to the technical difference of the boards.

​The VAN PI board has slightly modified dimensions and the following sections have been added:

  • ​Temperature potentiometer - this can be used to fine tune to adjust cable lengths or use more than 4 sensors.
  • ​The relays are controlled by an extra chip and can be controlled by a WEMOS.
  • ​A Wemos base has been added.
  • There are more UARTs out to extend the board e.g. GPS, RealtimeClock, ...
  • ​You can now choose between the resistive or capacitive tank sensors via plug-in jumper.
  • ​Beside the MultiUART also the I²C bus is led out via JST connectors.
  • ​An expansion slot for 433mhz transmitter and receiver is available.


​For all of you who were wondering who is behind PeKaWay, here is a short insight into our team and our philosophy.

PeKaWay is colorful, practical and versatile.We are a young team of passionate people who enjoy working with software, electronics and 3D printing. We love the concept and flexibility of open source & our goal is to improve the lives of all travelers through disruptive products.

We want to create more transparency with our community-based systems. At the same time, we see this as an opportunity to become independent of IT giants and other socially irresponsible monopolies and thus create added value for society. The goal is to improve the lives of everyone through disruptive products.

​With the VAN PI series we present our first system and want to break through technical boundaries in the vanlife boom and give the DIY van community an open system in the hand with which they can develop more individually. However, VAN PI is only the beginning of the journey. We want to take you with us into our technical cosmos, bring you closer to the open source world, show you further areas of application and analyze, among other things, technical and related social problems - for this we will provide you with regular blog posts, podcasts and new videos!