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Vagabond Drifter Camper Buildout and Mods

Discussion in 'Bay Area Metal Fabrication' started by MTNHABITOVERLAND, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Dec 18, 2020 at 10:19 AM
    #4861
    Iggy

    Iggy Vagabond Outdoors

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    Check out the build
    Sure thing! Just shoot me a DM.
     
  2. Dec 18, 2020 at 10:52 AM
    #4862
    mattys010

    mattys010 Well-Known Member

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    Wow such an awesome build!
     
  3. Dec 20, 2020 at 2:54 PM
    #4863
    tacoburn327

    tacoburn327 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not too far from Clackamas, what do you need?
     
  4. Dec 20, 2020 at 6:39 PM
    #4864
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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    Would you want to go test out foam mattresses and compare it to the stock mattress of the Drifter?

    I guess just tell us if it's better or worse.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2020 at 7:44 PM
    #4865
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Finally caught up on the last ~4 months of this thread too.
    I really enjoy seeing all the different builds/ideas/solutions, as always...

    I'm definitely due to post on some of the random updates to my setup, so I'll try to get around to it in the next week or two.
     
    Eazy.E and d.shaw like this.
  6. Dec 20, 2020 at 8:10 PM
    #4866
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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    Who has wrapped their Drifter?

    Ordering material this week
     
    Trdooper likes this.
  7. Dec 20, 2020 at 8:26 PM
    #4867
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'm so late to respond!
    Yes, 1/2" (12mm) Baltic birch, and I finished it with semi-gloss urethane, which has really held up surprisingly well. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000Y4BRDG
    As far as connecting/hardware, I was trying to find the right balance of cost, weight, durability, and ease of dis/re-assembly, so I ended up just using L brackets which I individually chopped off of sticks of angle aluminum and drilled, and then tee-nuts (not ones with the teeth because of a few reasons including difficulty seating in the Baltic birch - https://www.mcmaster.com/90611A400/) and button head screws.
    You can see it pretty well in this post: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...uildout-and-mods.540940/page-20#post-18666911
    This system has worked out extremely well over time, but I definitely wouldn't recommend the self-made L brackets, cause it was an enormous pain to do, and every one has a different hole pattern...



    I'm in the exact same mindset as far as the price of those things. I completely understand that the costs add up quick, and obviously plenty of people are willing to pay that, but I'm not one of them...
    I'll get around to fabbing up my own (certainly not as good looking) version at some point, but it hasn't made it high enough up the list of priorities yet. I'm only interested for the sake of putting a full height wind fairing up there anyway.


    Yep, I've got a 3rd gen with no forward cubbies, but for a few different reasons, over the driver wheel well was the obvious spot for me to mount my diesel heater, so I just put the hole saw to work in the side of the bed there so that I could mount it with the combustion intake/exhaust running directly out into the fender area.
    It hurt to do it, but it was the right way to go for me.
    I'll get some more pics and details of the install up in here sometime soon.


    I used one on my install that I just finished. It's definitely not making the noise any worse, but I'm not sure it's really worth it at all either.
    From my (minimal) experience, it seems like it's just all about how you mount it. You'll see the road-going van lifers suggest putting it in a webbing of zip ties, which I'm sure works great, but (in my opinion) it's not necessarily gonna go well for those of us that actually leave the pavement.
    We'll see, but I definitely think it's something I'm going to be spending more time on to figure out a better mounting solution in the near future...
     
  8. Dec 20, 2020 at 10:04 PM
    #4868
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    I took a look at the ExPortal thread about the BMS30 to see if there was any mention of BCDCs having the same cold weather limitation, but it didn't seem like they were mentioned in there.
    Do you happen to know if the older BCDCs have the same logic built in to shutdown charging below 32*F?

    I've absolutely had my BCDC1240D below 32, but I never specifically looked since I didn't expect that to make a difference for the charger. And I'm not on a lithium profile, either, so not sure if it would apply or not...
     
  9. Dec 21, 2020 at 7:01 AM
    #4869
    joeydurango

    joeydurango Nightfall Overland

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    As I mentioned above, I have a BCDC1225D and I've talked to Redarc about this after having charging issues in cold weather.

    The BCDC chargers apparently have a low-temp operating limit of 14 degrees F. However, *if* you are on the Lithium charge profile, that limit is hard-coded at 32 degrees F.

    So, since you're on the AGM profile, it's 14 degrees you need to worry about.

    For those of us using the Lithium profile with a battery that has a built-in heater, we have to get creative. At Redarc's suggestion, I wired a switch into my BCDC the other day to flip it from Lithium to AGM easily, to get the battery's heating element going - once warm and charging, hopefully it will warm the BCDC (directly adjacent) as well. I will simply need to remember to flip back to Lithium profile once warm.

    Less than ideal, but I'm willing to try it.
     
    snwbrdr852[QUOTED] and Kclamer like this.
  10. Dec 21, 2020 at 7:43 AM
    #4870
    Kclamer

    Kclamer Well-Known Member

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    I worked with Redarc tech support and they told me that it must have been a bug as I have the latest shunt and firmware. In the end I think that unplugging the charger and pluggung it back in solved the problem. Worked this last weekend without a problem when it was 19F outside.
     
    snwbrdr852[QUOTED] likes this.
  11. Dec 21, 2020 at 7:46 AM
    #4871
    Kclamer

    Kclamer Well-Known Member

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    My plan when i get a lithium battery is to manually wire in a heater so it warms up the battery, then once its up to temp the BMS temp sensor should recognize that the battery is warm and start charging. Battleborn makes an external heater that has a built in thermostat that turns on when temp is below 32F and turns off when its above 42F
     
  12. Dec 21, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    #4872
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    Battleborn has done away with the heat blanket and instead now sells a colder version with built in heater and controller-It is on their website if anyone wants to know more. It does saves some money and space which is nice. When I bought mine for Black Friday I was actually talked out of buying the cold version (I live in Reno and intend to use the battery in the winter months). Everyone is different so give them a call, they are super helpful over the phone to get you a system that will cover what you need.

    *Edit-Battleborn might still have the blanket in stock and available for sell over the phone if you want to use it for something other than a BB battery.
     
  13. Dec 21, 2020 at 8:28 AM
    #4873
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I was cruising through the 40 or so pages trying to get caught up, but now that you mention this, I think I just associated that response with the BMS instead of BCDC.
    Now I'm wondering if any of those BCDC lower limits are US-specific, cause I actually got mine from Australia before they came to the US. Hmm...
     
    joeydurango[QUOTED] likes this.
  14. Dec 21, 2020 at 9:09 AM
    #4874
    joeydurango

    joeydurango Nightfall Overland

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    Seems that, if anything, any US-specificity would mean lower operating temp limits...
     
  15. Dec 21, 2020 at 9:17 AM
    #4875
    Kclamer

    Kclamer Well-Known Member

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    I will be buying a battery from SOK, it received very positive reviews on the quality of their build and is serviceable. Its just over 1k for a 206Ah battery so half the cost of Battleborn. Hence why I will be getting an external blanket. Battleborn still have it up for sale on their site for a hefty $220, yikes
     
    BertH2O and Eze1139[QUOTED] like this.
  16. Dec 21, 2020 at 9:59 AM
    #4876
    Eze1139

    Eze1139 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds solid. Good warranty? I bet you can find a different blanket option somewhere else. Definitely not the first time someone wants to use one of these in the cold.
     
    Kclamer[QUOTED] likes this.
  17. Dec 21, 2020 at 11:05 AM
    #4877
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Right, that's what I'm afraid of...
    Have you actually seen yours hit the lower limits before? Just curious if I'd be able to tell when it stops based on the little charging indicators - I'd hope so.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2020 at 12:16 PM
    #4878
    joeydurango

    joeydurango Nightfall Overland

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    Mine has indeed hit the lower limit, but while in the lithium charge profile (so 32F). I camped at probably 18-19F for a few nights. I got the "two flashes" error code every morning, which is indeed the low-temp error. During the day it was 45-50, and the unit would eventually warm up enough to begin charging - but it took a while!

    I assume that if you're in AGM mode you will see the same error code - two flashes - but only once you reach 14F. At which point, I begin to think of not camping any longer anyway.

    Next time I'm out I will be testing this hypothesis, with the newly-installed switch.
     
    snwbrdr852[QUOTED] likes this.
  19. Dec 21, 2020 at 1:14 PM
    #4879
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any recommendations on a battery heater? I don’t have a garage, and I realize that it is difficult to charge my LiFEPO4 batteries in the Eastern WA winters. It just doesn’t get warm enough. I want to be able to heat up the batteries so I can charge while driving.

    BTW, I am much less solar power in the winter than I had planned on. I had planned to get an average of 10Ah from my 160W panel (12v). However, over the past 3 weeks, I have been averaging about 5Ah per day. That means that it would take me over a month of solar charging to recharge my 90Ah battery. The limiting factor is the number of days below freezing, in which I can’t charge. I need one of those new BattleBorn heated batteries.
    3B8DE07E-DE1B-4228-AE71-A3B04EAAFE14.png
     
  20. Dec 21, 2020 at 1:18 PM
    #4880
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I didn't expect an error code specific to the temps ....well, I guess for a non-lithium profile.
    Sounds like I just really need to pull up the pdf manual and go back through that first.

    And I agree - I don't really expect to see interior temps below 14F while camping, especially with the diesel heater now, but if it's also gonna prevent charging during travel, or just day to day life in really cold temps, that's where the problem lies.
     

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