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Introducing the Solar Taco

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by qwertynerd, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    #1
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    After many hours of wiring, soldering, and wrenching, my Solar Taco project is nearly complete! My ride is a used 2005 DC I bought last year with the TRD 2x4 Sport package (I think that's the right description - it's NOT 4WD but it has the 4WD lift and suspension and locking rear diff).

    Modifications:
    1) Stereo upgrade - Reused Kenwood KDC-X890, Image Dynamics XS65 Components in the front, Image Dynamics CTX65 in the back, Taco Tunes 10" sub boxes and amplifier board behind rear seats. Powered by Alpine PDX-4.100/F4 and PDX-1.600/M6 amps.

    2) 200-watt solar array mounted on camper shell used for running the stereo during the day and charging my Concorde PVX-1080T accessory battery for ARB fridge/freezer in the back seat and lighting and AC/DC outlets in the camper bed.

    3) National Luna Intelligent Solenoid split-charging system for charging both the main (stock location and size) and accessory battery (behind passenger seat) while car is running. It can also be used to start the car and/or charge the main battery in an emergency. If I start the car and run it for 5 mins (when the solenoid engages), the solar array will charge both batteries as long as the sun is out.

    4) LED lights and AC/DC outlets, and ventilation fans for camper bed. Still in progress. Lights will include live wire, white LED bar, and LED color strips with a controller (to adjust brightness, color, and patterns). The LED strips are for raves in the camper bed!

    Stay tuned for detailed pictures of all the projects!
     
  2. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:05 AM
    #2
    TacoIII

    TacoIII Mr. Boombastic

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    Andrew
    Boone, NC
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    3" OME 886 coils, ARB bumper warn M8000, Lightforce 240's and 255/85 16 KM2, Redline hood struts, custom offroad bodywork
    Cool I like the idea of a constant running fridge without the truck running!
     
  3. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    #3
    rufus1138

    rufus1138 Member

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    Russell
    Pensacola, FL
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    CAI, Sound System (boston acousics, orion amps)
    O.O me gusta
     
  4. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:08 AM
    #4
    NYCO

    NYCO ┌∩┐‹(ಠ_ಠ)›┌∩┐

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    dents & scratches
  5. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:14 AM
    #5
    HonoluluTaco

    HonoluluTaco Well-Known Member

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    Koi
    Reston Virginia
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    10 TRD 4x4 OffRoad DC/SB
    2010 TRD OffRoad DC/SB, 285/70/17 KM2's, Mickey Thompson Classic Locks, Total Chaos UCA's King 2.5 RR Coilover 3" AllPro Leaf Pack, 2.0 Fox RR, Ubolt flip kit, MBRP dual cat back, URD TCAI and MAF Calibrator, TRD Sport Hood w/ scoop, E&G Classics Custom Stainless Grill, Color matched grill and door handles WeatherTech floor mats, FormulaOne Pinacle 15%+Air blue windshield Tint, RedLine hood struts, TRD 3rd Brake light Decal, Relentless Fab Hybrid 2 piece Sliders with Kick out Relentless Fab Aluminum Front bumper, Relentless steel rear bumper, Relentless Steel IFS B.A.M.F LCA Skids, w/ Rear Diff Skid ordered In my Spare room waiting to be installed sits, Wet Okoles, Illuminated 4x4 switch mod, SockMonkey Hawaii TRD OffRoad Decal, Big box of Rammat, Speakers and Custom Sub from Mr.Marv,
    sweet got photos???
     
  6. Mar 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM
    #6
    Papa Tac

    Papa Tac Adjunct Anarchist

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    Codroy Valley, Newfoundland
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    Pupped my ride - Dog bench, Black stock rims, Tail Gate antitheft mod, Bed storage and sleeping platform, Action Cap w/Yakima rack and Rola basket, Seatbelt chime off, Tentasaurus
  7. Mar 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM
    #7
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    I'm a beekeeper. Right after I posted this, I had to run to catch 2 swarms. I'm back and working on the pics right now.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM
    #8
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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  9. Mar 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM
    #9
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    Buffalo NY
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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    Uh, ya. [​IMG]
     
  10. Mar 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM
    #10
    mcdowell

    mcdowell My name is Mudd

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    mobile al
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    2in Toytec leveling kit TSB 4 leafpack 130w KC driving lights Wsetin 3 tab lightbar Black headlights Trex eyelids TRD sport wheels Firestone MT Hood protector Vent visors Tube stepbars Colormatch grille
    Beekeeper/ Electrician/ Engineer/ magician. Good job
     
  11. Mar 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM
    #11
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    Pic descriptions are up. Enjoy!
     
  12. Mar 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM
    #12
    ChamYota

    ChamYota Crash Bandicoot Or Groot, Just Depends

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    Clemson,South Carolina
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    05 PreRunner
    H1 Morimoto projector with XB35 4300K bulbs with Mini-gatling gun shrouds, BHLM. Debadged,OEM roof rack,TW sticker,Sockmonkey Beside decals,265/70/16 Nitto terra grapplers with dick cepek DC'2 wheels,weathertech floor liners(front/back),USA Spec Ipod reader,Scanguage II,Bestop Supertopper and more in the works...
    This is crazy! I've seen it all now :goingcrazy:

    Sorry for asking this but what are you essentially accomplishing by doing all of this?
     
  13. Mar 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM
    #13
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    A little background on all of this.

    I proceeded with this project after deciding that getting a full-on Sportsmobile/Sprinter setup just wasn't going to happen due to the $$$$ involved in that kind of rig. I had bought the Taco used a year and a half ago for my beekeeping and figured it was all my wife and I needed for our extended camping and hiking expeditions.

    It started with a really ghetto charging system which I fried after the wires shorted on the charge controller terminals because I did a crappy job with wire termination and lack of fusing. Luckily the panels were OK, but I went through a $300 solar battery and maybe a $120 charge controller learning the lesson the hard way. The battery went dead after storing it in my garage without charging it for months. Duh.

    Thanks for the props so far. Solar Taco ver. 2.0 will be heading out on its 2.5-week maiden voyage to AZ and Death Valley next week!

    Thrifty
     
  14. Mar 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM
    #14
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    1) I'm a part-time DJ that likes to spin in the middle of nowhere, so this setup will let me use the truck system for this. I really love my music and must have it wherever I go.
    :rockband::rockband::rockband:

    2) My wife and I like to go on long, middle-of-nowhere wilderness hikes and to car camp well off the beaten path. This setup lets me keep fresh veggies, fruit, cold beer and guacamole (and cold whatever) as long as I want to while the car is parked. I can also control the lights in the bed of the truck via the Morningstar to turn on and off on a schedule to make someone think it's occupied and therefore less likely to get broken into when I'm not in it.

    3) I needed an emergency starting battery. If you've even been out in the boonies and had a main battery die on you, you'll understand this immediately.

    4) I "despise" generators with a passion. Solar is in, baby!

    In short, it's our "economy" camper Solar Taco.
     
  15. Mar 7, 2012 at 5:02 PM
    #15
    ChamYota

    ChamYota Crash Bandicoot Or Groot, Just Depends

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    I like it! Definitely unique!
     
  16. Mar 7, 2012 at 5:13 PM
    #16
    Bobbb

    Bobbb "Rumors of Bob, but never Bob. It is Bob, right?"

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    This is badass! :thumbsup: Now you've got me thinking about doing something similar. I have a rooftop tent that can take a rack on top of it for light loads. A panel up there would be perfect and for the same sorts of usage as you're doing. What did the solar setup (panels, battery, controllers, etc) without counting the fridge/sound sytem set you back? Damnit! Like I needed another thing to think about doing to this rig! :D
     
  17. Mar 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM
    #17
    zul

    zul Professional Goofball

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    too cool!!
     
  18. Mar 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM
    #18
    AlphaEcho2k5

    AlphaEcho2k5 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome & Welcome.
     
  19. Mar 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM
    #19
    ink junky

    ink junky I phucking hate people >:(

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    TEXAS
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    Aero turbine 2525, Snorkel, AFE pro dry drop in filter, BFG 33s, spydertraxwheel spacers :/. Debadged, rebadged black, TW sticker :D, bed lights, rod holders, OEM roof rack, Complete OME lift, bed lined fenders. Armor Tech Off road wrap around HC rear bumper w/ tire carrier swing out. Relentless front aluminum bumper. Le Devil Horns (_)
    subbed for awesomeness!
     
  20. Mar 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM
    #20
    qwertynerd

    qwertynerd [OP] Solar Taco Addict

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    Before I tally, note the word "economy" in quotes in my earlier post!

    Let's see:
    Panels - $800/panel. These are expensive not so much because they are the most efficient, high wattage panels, but because they are solid and weatherproof and easy to mount together with the included hardware. Trying to mount the panels without these extras would probably involve some significant metal work. I had the panels for about 3 years before I did this project which helped spread the cost out significantly.
    Custom rack - $100 - Made entirely with OTS parts, some hacksawing and drilling required.
    Yakima rack with extras - $400
    Deep Cycle Concorde/SunXtender Battery - $300
    Morningstar Charge Controller - $200
    National Luna with monitor/controller - $250
    Copper and circuit breakers and battery terminals and misc - $300
    Labor - "Free" but priceless

    So, about $3,150 total. That's about 1050 bags of ice! ;)
     
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