As I’m sitting here laid up recovering. I’m wondering if there’s an appetite for custom AUX battery solutions?
I know there’s some companies out there doing this already; but I’m think of something modular that can be built into your truck platform. I know some people may not have the time or desire to set up DC systems for their rigs.
I’m in the process of designing one for a friend that’s going to be 14”wide x 9” deep x 9” high w/ an upper 3” deep x custom height to match bed rail ( 5 - 10”) to house wiring, controllers, sources, fuses etc. I’m also going to be retrofitting my set up in the summer to be removable so I can store my battery at room temperature when it’s not in use (especially during the cold winter months)
Seems like it would be a great solution for people who didn’t want to necessarily run dual battery’s in the engine bay. It would be pretty simple to do. You could make or purchase a box for the auxiliary battery. I saw a guy do this on the ih8mud forum. His was removable and portable. Cool build
Yeah that’s what I’m thinking, using 10 series 8020 and lightweight panels is my idea. Access door to remove just the battery and Anderson power poles to quickly disconnect the whole thing and take it out.
How many people do you feel are actually housing their secondary battery under the hood?
If you could make something like the National Luna DC25 system for a fair amount cheaper… you would have an instant best seller… Don’t get me wrong, I love mine and would buy it again in a heartbeat for the ease of use and portability factor but that price is a bit YEOW!
Looks like there’s already for sure some options out there. It would be hard to keep the price down if you kitted it out with batteries, controllers, etc. I feel like most would want to choose that stuff individually; that would be the direction I’d think of and try to have it come in at the $500 mark, pre-wired but no battery or controller unless that option is selected.
before I built the chest in my camper, I built a crate big enough to hold 2 group 27 lead acid batteries. On the lid was the DC/DC charger, inverter and cheap 12v cig plugs and USB plugs I got off amazon. That whole setup was an easy 150 pounds but in a single unit I could roll to the tailgate and dead lift into the bed. now everything is more permanently mounted in the chest in the bed. I wish I had a picture of the crate fitted out
I have been looking at something like this myself. I don’t know anything about this company, so I haven’t pulled the trigger, but it is more or less what I have been looking for and seems like an affordable option.
Yeah I built on of those for my work truck; but find it quite cumbersome and ugly. So I’m thinking of a more elegant approach that should hopefully match people’s build outs by doing it either in a wood or 8020 (goose gear style) w/ light wood panels.
I’m still very curious how they’re keeping the cost down so low when they include an MPPT controller. Looks like I have some investigating to do. It may not be worth the effort since the market seems to have quite a few options already.
I agree there is no perfect turnkey solution available, especially suitable for cold weather. I went down the same path and designed and built my system. Having the battery easily removable is essential. I housed the electronics in a separate removable case. The battery box just contained a shunt and master breaker. The electronic box has the solar, DC-DC, transfer switch and fuse panel.
This setup allows the battery to be hot-swapped or removed without losing power. The dual-engine batteries can be used to power everything if needed. Also, with the main pack removed, the solar is still available to power the system and charge the start batteries—something to consider if you’re doing a DIY setup.
That’s pretty much what I have in mind, 3way iso switch that will allow DC to DC, House, or both. Anderson connection on the battery to remove that and still have solar. This is kind of the layout I’ve mocked up.
Front access to easily remove the battery, plexiglass window to access/see controller and fuses. Then have Anderson Pole connectors on the left side for connection to house power, DCDC charging, and solar. The simple setup will have USB, 12V socket, DMM, 4 switches, Battery isolation switch. I might build the first prototype out of wood. Then see how it works and refine it to a more lightweight solution.
The price per ah is relatively high but nice unit, but for that price, it should be 200ah! You can build something similar with all Victron electronics, Blue Sea switches and a 270ah LiFePo4 battery for less. You also learn and understand the complete system as you put it all together.
One major limitation of the Redarc that is seldom mentioned is they only support 12v unregulated solar input. That’s why you see so many of their ambassadors running wimpy solar setups (my opinion). With, say a Victron 100/30, you can feed it any panel or panel combos that would fit on the roof of a GFC.
So I have the first rough prototype almost done. I’ve run some numbers and would be able to build 4 different versions:
$250 for Adventure Ply - box for the DIY user that wants to do their own wiring
$550 for Adventure Bronze - Wiring, switches, connectors
$850 for Adventure Silver - Budget solution 50AH Lithium, PNW solar controller
$1700 for Adventure Gold - Renogy MPPT, Renogy 100AH Lithium
$2250 for Adventure Platinum - Renogy MPPT/DC to DC, Renogy 100AH, BT connection
So I’m really curious where some of these other outfits are sourcing their materials. I think the big issue with this type of venture is shipping. I do still think the solution will be more elegant built with 8020; but the cost would likely increase.
As someone who built my truck’s “house” battery setup using mostly Renogy products (dual 170 AH LiFePo4, 4x 100W panels, DC-DC, inverter, etc), it was fun designing and assembly everything. However, looking at the adventure platinum specs vs a Yeti 1500x, it is hard to justify. Yeti has MPPT, a port for DC/DC, >100 AH, etc. It isn’t an exact apples to apples comparison but close. Not trying to be a downer, it is just hard competing with mass produced items.
I thought about monetizing my design two years ago and just couldn’t justify labor on top of material costs. Even with added bells and whistles like power monitoring for each source/sink, SPOD, etc.
I like the design of your prototype. Much smaller and more compact than mine. I could have probably made due with only one battery and a much smaller inverter.
Why not just use a turn key unit from bluetti or jackery etc? Portable and easy no problems……cheap. I run a bluetti ac50s plenty of power for fridge lights etc. on sale $300. I have a different setup in another truck 100amp lith battery dc to dc, mmpt, ac charger gauges stints etc. much more complicated and expensive $1500++ it really makes no sense the turnkey units are much more complete and for a lot less money for the majority of applications.
Very true, valid point. I did think the same thing; but I’ve found that solution for me and the fellow I’m building this for was for something different than mass produced.
That being said, I think what I’d be more into now is sharing a design. Unique to an individual build concept.
@PNW You’re right though, that’s what makes DIY so expensive when you look at selling what you’ve done and calculate man power. It sure is fun though; even with a broken ankle and only being able to work on it in 30min at a time
I agree, I guess it just boils down to "how much power do you need ? 9 to 3 day trips are my norm so my Bluetti 200 is all and frankly more than I have ever needed.The two portable solar panels that came with it 3 years ago and the price of $1100 (Bluetti promo start up) runs Dometic frig,all lights etc.with power to spare.Best part is that when its not in the truck its in the house as backup for power outages not the whole house but enough for the essentials.