Electrical system help

Have a quick question around an electrical setup. I have been running a Goal Zero Yeti 500X in my camper. I have the fridge and lights running off of it and use it for solar input and the rare times I need 120V.

I just got a Planar heater and on startup it pulls more than 10amps so it trips the breaker on the Goal Zero. I am trying to get the heater working with a limited amount of $$$ out, and also something I can pull easily to use in the GFC.

Was thinking I could just put a 12v battery inline and run the heater straight off that. It would charge when driving only of course, but would also keep the goal zero topped off. Solar and 120V input would only charge the Goal Zero.

Of course eliminating or updating the Goal Zero would be ideal, but trying to get everything working for a cheap as possible. Anyone see any reason this wouldn’t work? Thanks for the help!

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and i kinda messed up the diagram… Both setups have 120V inside trailer

Looks like it would work to me. You could also just bypass the goal zero safety and wire directly to the battery inside of the goal zero just for your heater. A quick fuse to keep things safe and you are good… assuming the yeti main battery is 12v



Also noticed the operating temperature of your Goal Zero cuts off at 32F, probably because it uses Lion and not LiFePO4 batteries. Lithium Ion are lighter and more energy dense than Lithium Iron Phosphate, but Lion batteries don’t work as well below freezing.

I’ve been looking at this cheaper brand of LiFePO4 batteries https://a.co/d/0hLyRnR $160 for the generic 50amp hour one, it has a BMS that will protect it, and it’ll run at lower temps. Another $50 for an AC charger for it, because you’ll need something with a LiFePO4 charging profile to fully charge it up. I need to replace my mini camper’s battery because i stole the BattleBorn I’d put in it for my truck GFC setup.

To charge off the alternator, you’ll need a dc/dc charge controller or a battery isolator, so you don’t burn out your truck’s alternator/battery. Well worth getting, just more $, and you might not need it depending on how long you’re going out. The additional bus bars, wires etc, all adds up.

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Oh man that is an idea right after my heart! Taking apart Goal Zero now :+1:

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What does your goal zero AC wattage top out at? I’m running a diesel heater off my ecoflow delta mini. The heater is too powerful for the 10A DC outputs, but the AC output goes up to 1800W I believe. I got a little AC-DC converter from Amazon and it works.

[AC-DC converter ](AstroAI AC to DC Converter,… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082SDLNCK?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share)

(Got this set up from overlandunderbudget)

That is an interesting idea for sure. The goal zero is pretty low unfortunately (120VAC 60Hz, 2.5A (300W, 1200W). Getting the 500x vs the 1500x or another brand has ended up being a mistake. Thanks for the tip!

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Second thought. Are both of the 12v plugs on the 500x on the same circuit or do they act independent of each other? If they are independent it should be easy to just bind them (maybe with a diode to stop backfeed) and have higher amp availability…

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My assumption is that Goal Zero removed this capability on their “X” series devices. I know they produced a Max Current Cable, which allowed for easily combining outputs to increase amp capacity on a single circuit, but explicitly state that the cable doesn’t work for the “X” series (I currently run a Yeti 1000z). I had initially thought of combining the outputs and wiring directly into a fuse, but just plug everything directly into the GZ now. I haven’t seen a great diagram of the internal circuitry to figure out what’s possible.

I have a similar situation in that I have the 500X as well that I have been using to power my fridge. I’ve added a Chinese diesel heater and yup, need a different battery. I ended up taking a risk and buying a Dr. Prepare 100 aH LifePo and a Renogy DC to DC charger. It is an off brand and priced accordingly, but the battery itself is built of Renogy cells.

This will become my house battery for fridge, heater, lights, etc. I’ll use the 500X as a floater. So kinda in the same boat as you Josh where the 500X ends up in kind of an in between space - it’s big enough for fridge/phone/tablet/laptop but nothing bigger. I could have had the same functionality with a smaller Yeti.

As someone else said I think you are better off charging a LifePo with a lithium specific charger and I have also read you don’t want to charge this type of battery straight off your alternator as it can place a huge draw.

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Hey Josh,

I think your dual battery concept is likely more stable than altering the Goal Zero. If you’re going to use that heater in the same capacity I do. I think you’ll find if you have more than just your heater plugged in there and you intend on running the heater all night. You’re likely going to cycle through the battery capacity or close to it on a daily basis.

I would build an all in one case for that heater with the battery in the case, then use an Anderson connection to hook it up to a DCDC charger. Remember, you can’t charge the Lithium safely off the Alternator unless it is designed for that kind of charge profile (which is unlikely with Ram)

Otherwise, personally I would eliminate the Goal Zero and use it as a portable unit. Then have a house battery in the trailer. I find for myself when I’m multiday’ing in the winter that I wouldn’t trend below a 100aH capacity. The charge time using a DCDC charger is quite long (even at 40A)…so at that point you might as well just get a Honda AC generator and some form of NOCO genius with 12V supply.

On a side note, I have a 40A DCDC charger that we could barter on. I owe you, so I could send it your way for a song.

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Thanks everyone! I really want something I can swap between the camper and the GFC easily so maybe I should just bite the bullet and get a larger all in one solution.

Morning Josh. I’ve been using a Bluetti EB70s and it fires up my diesel heater just fine but I haven’t run it combined with a fridge yet just random small stuff.

I know when I was researching a lot of units couldn’t handle the amps for glow plug startup which is how I ended up with this unit. I’ve been super happy with it.

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Are you running it off the cigarette lighter plug? It only shows 10amp which is what I have now so maybe my heater is pulling more than yours does?

I am using the cig plug.

How long are your wires to your heater and what gauge? I have found that too much wire resistance on mine will cause a higher amp draw for sure. Also the cig plugs sometimes cause a bump in amps if they aren’t fully rated

Would starting it on the vehicle battery and transitioning it after it warms up work or is the draw anytime it fires up?

They are really long as they are what came with the kit. I also installed a cigarette plug even though it specifically said not to… This is all great info! I’ll make some tweaks to the plug and report back.

I tried that and it works until it fires back up then it trips again.

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Yeah change that wire out completely if you can. The OEM stuff aucks

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