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Vagabond Drifter Camper Buildout and Mods

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by MTNHABITOVERLAND, Mar 27, 2018.

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  1. Apr 12, 2022 at 5:29 PM
    #6281
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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    Definitely need stiffeners! It'll pull your bed back together. Top bolts tightened last, use them to pull the bedsides in.
     
    cobes likes this.
  2. Apr 12, 2022 at 5:39 PM
    #6282
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    Cool. I bought some back in the day, but something in this thread convinced me I might not need them. Thankfully there's room on the side that's moved, but the other side might get in the way of my fridge slide so now I'm really stressing haha
     
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  3. Apr 12, 2022 at 9:56 PM
    #6283
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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    Space up the fridge slide so it slides over the stiffener!
     
    JasonLee likes this.
  4. Apr 13, 2022 at 11:08 AM
    #6284
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    It may have been me... I never saw my bed flex out on my 1st gen when I had the Drifter on it for just over a year.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2022 at 1:00 PM
    #6285
    Windmill Road

    Windmill Road Well-Known Member

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    highly recommend bed stiffeners..did not run them on our first generation With a FlipPack and the tailgate gaps have spread to about 3/8” on each side. We picked up the TC stiffeners for the third generation build; would like to avoid the same mistake this go round.
     
    surfjones likes this.
  6. Apr 13, 2022 at 1:46 PM
    #6286
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    Oh yeah, I also had a heavy Flippac on my 1st gen before the drifter… I guess I was lucky or didn’t wheel hard enough to flex the bed.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2022 at 3:43 PM
    #6287
    Windmill Road

    Windmill Road Well-Known Member

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    Might be a short bed vs. long bed thing, I’m speculating that there may be more stress caused by weight/leverage on the longer bed lengths.
     
    JasonLee likes this.
  8. Apr 14, 2022 at 1:49 PM
    #6288
    chetterthecat

    chetterthecat Well-Known Member

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    OR
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    Deaver pack + 285s has the truck sitting noicely20220414_132551~2.jpg
     
  9. Apr 14, 2022 at 3:03 PM
    #6289
    RCRcer

    RCRcer Well-Known Member

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    Yes it does!
    Stage 3?
     
  10. Apr 14, 2022 at 6:29 PM
    #6290
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    For those of you doing electrical systems. I have had a Renogy 20A/40A charger for my LiFePO4 battery, which had worked fine until it didn't. For a 2kWh (170Ah @ 12V) battery on 20A charging, it would charge about 10% capacity every half hour. Unfortunately it went up (safely) in smoke at the end of a trip. I usually switched it on during the day while I'm driving and switch off when stopped, always using the 20A charge mode (set by a 12V source to an input). The unit spent a few months on the shelf before install and use, so I estimate I got 20 days of use out it total. Because it wasn't installed right away and I didn't pay attention to the warranty (1 year), I was out of warranty when it smoked and Renogy isn't supportive as expected. They were nice in emails, though, and apologetic. The wierd thing is I met a couple in a Tundra/4wCamper-like setup and he had the exact same model die on him after a couple months on the road (met them days before mine went).

    So just a fair warning- I probably won't buy their higher amp electrical products again. I am disappointed as Renogy usually has positive feedback and I have run their monitor panel without issue. It was surprising how short of a warranty, but that seems to be roughly common for charging components. The exception is Victron with 5yrs. The Redarc dual-input 40A (MPPT solar + alternator) I got to replace it has 2yrs I think. It is built like a tank, but time will tell. The main reasons for choosing the Redarc is I've yet to see any negativity or report of failure for them, they have a built-in low temp cutoff, and silicon potting + conformal coating for their PCBs, which makes them basically sealed and protected against vibration. The units are surprisingly small with no active cooling and have very high thermal tolerances. A common installation is behind the front grill somewhere, but I've already got wiring set for the cabin so it's going inside. The downside of the Redarc is no display, rudimentary way to set battery type, no bluetooth (I think Victron is the only one with that), and no way to lower the charging amperage. They also drop out of boost after 2hrs, so either you run it like that or reset it.

    Hopefully this helps someone putting a system together to be careful with choices and research as much as is practical.

    Now I'm going to go research some small tankless 120V water heaters for a hot water/shower setup. :D And I guess a bigger inverter.
     
    snwbrdr852 likes this.
  11. Apr 14, 2022 at 6:45 PM
    #6291
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    It sucks to hear that the Renogy failed so quick...
    But I think you'll be very happy with the Redarc. My BCDC1240D has been solid for over 3.5 years now. I agree, I'd prefer to have more monitoring/configurability from it, but those are things that can be worked around and done in other ways.

    I put this Rheem electric water heater in a few months ago, and it's working out great. And you can convert these things to 12v too, if you prefer. That's how I've got mine setup, as I didn't want to step up to such a big inverter.
    Edit - here's the link
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-P...t-Of-Use-Water-Heater-XE02P06PU14U0/204318371
     
    xplorn likes this.
  12. Apr 14, 2022 at 9:33 PM
    #6292
    MountainRecipe

    MountainRecipe Well-Known Member

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    Where do people get their Merlin solar panels? I contacted them and they said they would put me in touch with a sales rep but they never followed up. I can't seem to see prices or many places that even sell them.
     
  13. Apr 14, 2022 at 11:18 PM
    #6293
    socalexpeditions

    socalexpeditions IG: @socalexpeditions

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  14. Apr 15, 2022 at 8:07 AM
    #6294
    fastgherkin

    fastgherkin Easy being green.

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    Is there a white taco in the wild with a grey PC drifter? Waffling on my original decision a year-and-a-half ago when I chose two-tone grey lower / white upper on my original order. Now thinking of going all white for heat reasons if/when I get a final invoice and get to choose final options.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2022 at 8:48 AM
    #6295
    Twizted

    Twizted 1GR FE

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    stock af, but hover if you think you disagree... RV living: Vagabond Drifter (6' bed) Custom bed cabinet buildout 175w Renogy solar panel 40a Rich Solar MPPT solar controller 1000w Wagan Pure Line inverter Lavaner Pro 2kw diesel heat exchanger Suspension/wheels: Toytec Aluma 2.5 front shocks with resis 13x700 coils (soon 14x700) Toytec Aluma 2.5 rear shocks SPC UCAs Deaver Stage 3 rear leaf springs Wheeler's 3 degree axle shims Wheeler's U-bolt flip Wheeler's Super Bumpstops 18"x9" XD Monster (x5) 275/75/18 Cooper ST MAXX (x5) EBC Stage 3 pads/rotors Electronics: Kenwood DNX773S iDatalink - Maestro RR Stubby Antenna No-name Switchback LEDs Hella Sharptone horns (no relay) Relocated backup camera w/DIY bracket Armor/recovery: BruteForceFab Rear HC w/swingout BAMF Sliders (DOM, 10 degree w/kick out, rattle-canned) BAMF IFS Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF Mid Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF TC Skid (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF LCA Skids (BAMF powder-coated) BAMF Rear Diff Skid (early model, powder-coated) BAMF CMC Plates US Offroad Winch Bumper Smittybilt X20 10k synthetic rope winch Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners ARB compressor w/air-up kit DIY cowl snorkel ARB rear air-locker Interior: Husky Floor Liners (F&R) Rear 40% seat-delete Hinged fridge platform in place of rear seat Exterior: CaliRaised Low-profile Ditch Light Brackets CaliRaised Side-projecting LED pods CaliRaised Faux TRD Pro Grille Morimoto amber LED fog lights One-of-a-kind 1GRFE plate (second iteration) Removed: OEM Bed Mat CaliRaised bed molle panels
    I've had zero issues with my Rich Solar 20a MPPT controller (linked above) so far; I've had it connected and working for over a year now.


    upload_2022-4-15_9-45-17.jpg


    It also supports the Renogy BT transmitter, but you do have to "add new device" each time you use it because the Renogy app was developed by idiots.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2022 at 9:16 AM
    #6296
    cobes

    cobes habitual line-stepper

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    I got mine at Arizona Sun and solar when they had them mispriced for like $300. Not sure if they still have them as you have to call, but it looks like hi Vis overland does as well.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2022 at 12:27 PM
    #6297
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'd love a 12V solution. Already have capable wiring into the bed. Do you have a pic of your tank to get an idea of bulk? And this thing is more of a warm up tank than instant hot? How long do you run it before water gets hot?

    Sorry for the questions, it's a weird problem to solve efficiently and not dealing with fuel is my goal. I've already swapped out my 1-burner white gas camp Coleman for a silicone collapsing electric kettle (900W AC).

    Could almost see finding a 12V heating element to stick into a collapsing silicone bucket and do a gravity shower from a siphon. :drevil: Two weeks without a shower gets a bit much for even one person alone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2022
    JasonLee likes this.
  18. Apr 15, 2022 at 7:03 PM
    #6298
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, definitely not an instant type of thing. I don't think instant electric hot water is even (reasonably) possible, to be honest.
    I put a 12v/600W element in it, and that amount of power will basically give you 2 degrees per minute for this 2.5 gal. So 60* to 105* is ~22 min.
    If you were to end up using this heater and leaving it AC, that element is 1440W, so it would only be ~10 min.

    I took it one step further, and plumbed the water heater output into a thermostatic mixing valve. That way, I run the heater on a 176* thermostat, and the mixing valve will blend it with cold down to 105*, which stretches my hot water "capacity" to more like 4.5 gallons or so. The downside there is a fair amount more plumbing complexity.
    I also added a cheap little temp display, so if I don't need the extra volume for a shower, I can just switch the water heater off once it's up to 105* or so.

    One other simple (but inconvenient) option for you would just be using your kettle to boil probably a few batches of hot water to mix with cold for a simple gravity shower or whatever...
    Oh, and for the record, I debated about using pex for the plumbing, and I think deciding against it was definitely the wrong call. Haha

    20220415_173156.jpg 20220415_183834.jpg
     
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  19. Apr 15, 2022 at 7:44 PM
    #6299
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    On the topic of BCDC (I have 1225D) and simplistic monitoring, what are y'all doing to monitor solar throughput? I want to have a basic idea of what my in/out is - a Victron battery monitor is the obvious solution for output. Ideally I'd be able to see a total sum of solar input over the last, say 24hrs, since it's additive and I'm not gonna be staring at a voltometer all day.

    Am I dumb and not looking for the right thing? I read that you could theory put one MPPT in front of another, but that seems complex?
     
  20. Apr 15, 2022 at 10:20 PM
    #6300
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    The evolution in complexities of mods in this thread is amazing. Keep em comin everyone.
     
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