Hey, looking to see what others are doing for power in the camper! What are you using for your diesel heater, fridge, LED lighting, or anything else you plug in to an outlet?
I know lots of folks are using Jackery-type portable power packs; wondering if anyone has diy’d their own version? Put a deep cycle in a case with a relay panel and a 12V outlet or two?
I bought a Dewalt ToughSystem toolbox for $70 at a local Fleet Farm. Installed a 100ah Lifepo4 SOK battery in it going to a small 12v fuse block and then a Blue Seat voltimeter + several USB ports + 1 cigarette port.
It was able to power a 5kw diesel air heater and charge my phone for 3 nights straight in 30-40 degree weather. Super pleased with it! I didn’t need 110v AC capability which was part of the reason I went DIY.
In the future I will add Anderson pole style connectors going to a solar panel + charge controller that will be permanently mounted in the truck. This will let me quickly remove the box if I need to use the bed for truck things. For now I am just charging the battery bank in the house before trips.
I built a DIY LiFePO4 270ah battery in a box. It’s worked great over the last year or so. A little more involved than a deep cycle in a case but it was not hard with all the information available online.
The only direct connection is the diesel heater so if needed I can just bring the battery and heater without the truck. The main power connects to the camper with an Anderson Connector.
See this post for more specifics Show me your solar set up - #43 by Chuck.D
You can see the battery in this pic. It’s mounted below the panel. Everything is sealed up and can be quickly removed without tools.
Nice, sounds like a great setup!
Thanks for sharing; that is a rad setup! Packout is the way to go. If I understand correctly, you can charge the battery off solar or your alternator?
Yes. It charges 30a solar or off the engine with a 30a DC-DC. So it can charge at a combined 60a in full sun. I usually keep the DC-DC off and let the solar keep it topped off.
This looks so incredibly clean. I am a complete novice when it comes to electrical and this is just visually impressive. Great job. Love the use of the packout system.
This is the setup that we were running for months we just recently changed up to 300w of solar and a yeti 1500x from the 500x. The larger battery makes it a lot easier to run our starlink for longer hours and will allow us to run a dedicated 12v system in the truck in the future to help power a heater and a few other accessories.
Awesome, love your build and the site! Thanks for sharing.
No pics… I bought a Jackery 1000 and 300 with solar panels on a pre-prime day at Amazon. The 1000 runs my fridge and whatever else I need to charge. The 300 will start and run my diesel heater (and charge miscellaneous items). When the power went out at the house a couple of days ago, I used the 1000 to run my Keurig coffe maker and the 300 for my wife’s 12 volt blanket and cell phone.
I went with a tool box with three 15 Ah batteries. Choice of tool box and batteries was really more to keep it small enough where it would still fit under the boards I have on the bed rails. Also made a distribution panel that mounts in the front of the camper. Wired it for a solar charger, but never bought a panel. I don’t do more than run some simple LEDs in the camper and charge phones etc.
OOOOO I really like that distro panel at the back! I might steel that idea…see what I’m doing there