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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 15, 2022 at 10:38 PM
    #6301
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    I just use this guy between the solar and BCDC, so it solely measures the incoming solar.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017BCXQO6

    Not the most convenient/user-friendly option on Earth, but you can manually reset the cumulative measurement each day to get your 24hr total.
    Just keep in mind, you will get a little voltage drop across these different measurement devices, so you'll lose a sliver of your total wattage
     
  2. Apr 15, 2022 at 10:42 PM
    #6302
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    Got it. That’s what I thought. Was hoping I could do some sort of bluetooth device unification. Thanks!

    That’s my one knock against the BCDC series. I wish it had some sort of output monitor. It does it all, but I wish there was just an optional display.
     
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  3. Apr 16, 2022 at 5:33 AM
    #6303
    DesertRatliff

    DesertRatliff Well-Known Member

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    Quick question for y'alls here on the ol' T Dubb:

    If you had to read this thread or the Drifter Specs and FAQ thread, which would it be?

    I'm pretty sold on the Drifter but want the most info possible, in addition to getting ideas for a future home-welded build out. I'll probably read both threads over time, but want to start with the more informative, interesting one first.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Apr 16, 2022 at 5:39 AM
    #6304
    Built2Ride

    Built2Ride Who wants to ride out?! PM Me.

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    All my rigs are purpose built. From crawling to camping. I also enjoy a nice stock truck for what that’s worth. Toyota’s are the jam!
    You can purchase a Bluetooth Shunt from either Victoria or Renology if your wanting your phone to work with your setup.
    They also make solar controllers that have this as well.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2022 at 6:38 AM
    #6305
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    Although there’s a bit of overlap between the two threads, they each serve its own purpose. The FAQ thread has more info on the Drifter itself and this one is more of the build outs and mods that people have done. Again, a lot of overlap so it’s best to probably read both threads.

    The wait time for the Drifter is pretty long. I’m sure you’ll have time to read both threads and then some before you have to start finalizing your options. Happy reading :thumbsup:
     
  6. Apr 16, 2022 at 7:28 AM
    #6306
    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
    You've answered your own question; grab a coffee, and start reading.
     
  7. Apr 16, 2022 at 8:13 AM
    #6307
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    The thing is the BCDC acts as a solar controller, so it seems redundant, no?
     
  8. Apr 16, 2022 at 6:13 PM
    #6308
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    Mad props for getting all that to work. Yeah I thought about using the kettle as well. I have a 300W and 600W element on order to experiment with. Wouldn't have thought the 600W would take that long, and I was thinking of rigging up something while stopped. A bucket, a secure mount for the element, completely protected wiring to an Anderson, thermometer with a temp alarm, siphon to a valve to gravity feed to a shower head. Could make a lot of use out of little water.

    You *can* get a ~1500W tankless for instahot water. That starts to get near the edge of my electric comfort zone in a mobile platform, though there are plenty of good inverters to run it and my battery has a limited peak discharge rate of like 375A, so 125A isn't impossible over short duration and 15A AC to the system. I start to think about all the vibration over time I subject anything complex to (especially plumbing); Baja roads are not forgiving.

    edit: The webbing net is a cool idea. I swear I creep closer to selling Iggy's Frontrunner drawers and building cabinets. Maybe after my under storage project gets off the ground.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
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  9. Apr 16, 2022 at 6:23 PM
    #6309
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    I just have the Renogy non BT square display, which doesn't care what the input is since it is measuring next to the battery. The shunt is also on ground, so you're not able to select an input. I want to say Victron can do value over time on your phone? at least I've seen that somewhere on the Will Prowse YT, but it might be for a home unit MPPT. I do have a keen interest in data collection and analysis (I do it partly in my profession) and at one point found a kind of industry standard for data collection to use with anything you build, but that was also home use systems. Mobile stuff rarely gets the goods, which will hopefully change as more app developers enter the energy market and we have conveniences like bluetooth.

    EDIT: Yeah the Victron SmartShunt can do it, and I assume anything else that makes use of the app.
    "The VictronConnect app provides battery monitor data logging. Providing that the firmware battery monitor is up to date, the battery monitor will store up to 45 days of past data and two of the following parameters can be viewed alongside: • Voltage (V). • Current (A). • Power (W). • Consumed Amp Hours (Ah). • State of charge (%). • Temperature (°C)."
    Victron seems ahead of the game in a few ways.. I just don't get why they relied on convective cooling for their chargers. Though I guess Redarc is doing the same, but their system doesn't seem to get as hot.

    More EDIT: Sounds the the Victron app does dumb stuff with logging, like the phone must be on the app and connected the entire time you want to see anything over time. Thornwave Lab's shunt might be a better experience.

    Have only seen the charger types advertise additive (up to 4 units usually) and not for solar, but it should be possible there too? I'm not focused on solar (yet, or ever, haven't decided), as part of my goal is simplicity as much as I can because of what I subject equipment to. Don't want to get into chasing one problem after another more than I already seem to be. This hot water pursuit is already testing me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  10. Apr 16, 2022 at 7:57 PM
    #6310
    trashrose

    trashrose Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, I’m no expert in electric stuff. Know enough to get by.

    The Victron is just a battery monitor though. So while I can see the status of the battery over time, it doesn’t help me understand what would be generated from the solar panel based on conditions. I suppose I can infer from battery status and charge rates. Anything I have found for solar monitoring is connected to a MPPT, which I already have in the BCDC. Urgh.
     
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  11. Apr 16, 2022 at 10:19 PM
    #6311
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    I recently bought this tiny 6L 12v hot water heater for my build. My plan is to use it as a dump load from my solar when it gets charged around noon. I have 300w of solar, so have extra power especially in the summer. I am guessing it would 20-30 min to get up to temp. I didn’t have space for the larger units, so 6L will have to do. Will report back after install.

    FFAE432C-4005-49D8-B93F-242848D25A14.jpg
    https://expeditionupfitter.com/collections/water-solutions/products/12-volt-water-boiler-for-camper
     
  12. Apr 16, 2022 at 10:41 PM
    #6312
    snwbrdr852

    snwbrdr852 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's relatively similar to what I was doing before the water heater, just by using my propane stove instead. Personally, I got really tired of that process, and having to fiddle around with all of it, to the point that I highly preferred just using one of those solar shower bags. Though I also live and work out of the camper for months at a time, so...
    I wired my heater such that I can also turn it on from the cab while I'm driving, so the heating time really doesn't bother me. And with the thermostat, I could even turn it on in the morning, go hike or whatever for several hours, and then be ready to shower immediately upon returning.

    No way, that does sound pretty intriguing. Though, (without knowing any details about this product) I have to wonder how well that would work out in terms of raw heating ability, flow rate, temperature spikes if/when the flow isn't constant, etc.
    Definitely keep us posted on that one if you go that route!

    I had the same concerns on vibration, but I had to go through a lot of effort to get it all sealed originally, so that really led me to go above and beyond. I'm pretty confident in its current state, though I don't expect it to be 100% maintenance free long-term, so I'll always be keeping an eye on it.
     
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  13. Apr 17, 2022 at 8:56 AM
    #6313
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking- infer or get a dedicated MPPT for the data logging you want. I'm only interested in the battery getting fully charged and not how well it charges while stationary. 30 years of doing this and I still have trouble staying in one place very long.
     
  14. Apr 17, 2022 at 9:07 AM
    #6314
    xplorn

    xplorn Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting unit. I like that it is all in one and only 200W. I would be curious of actual time to get ambient water hot (104F/40C ish for shower hot). I've come quickly to realizing there isn't much efficiency to find in this game (even with things like peltier or heat pumps), and moar power is the way to quicker heating.
     
  15. Apr 18, 2022 at 9:26 PM
    #6315
    MountainRecipe

    MountainRecipe Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone use an electric kettle?
    Looks like most kettles would require an inverter to use. There are a few 12v ones but I imagine they take forever to boil.

    What do other people do here? Inverter or 12v for these types of power draws?

    I am fairly new to the power systems world, but I’ve got a 100ah lifepo4 with 100w of solar and a DC to DC charger that I have hooked up to run the drifter and fridge so far.
     
  16. Apr 18, 2022 at 9:34 PM
    #6316
    JasonLee

    JasonLee Hello? I'm a truck.

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    @xplorn is the only one to say so in this thread from my searches... I've been thinking about it. My Dad has an electric kettle from the 80s, but he usually runs it off "shore" power.
    @xplorn - what kettle do you have?
     
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  17. Apr 18, 2022 at 10:01 PM
    #6317
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    We have been using the Brentwood Electric Kettle for a year. For $27, it is our favorite accessory. We have it dialed in to fill to the brim with water for breakfast in the winter. No need to fire up the stove and open up the heated camper to vent CO. One kettle full uses about 12 Ah and will make 2x instant coffee and 2x instant oatmeal bowls. Perfect and easy breakfast while in the go. Power from the sun can be hard to come by in the winter, so we are adding a DC/DC charger to charge while driving.

    5E56392E-82D3-46E8-980C-BFCDD507A8AF.jpg

    Brentwood Appliances KT-1508BK .85-Quart Dual-Voltage Collapsible-Travel Kettle (Black), 0.85Q https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NMT99NB?_encoding=UTF8
     
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  18. Apr 19, 2022 at 1:52 AM
    #6318
    evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

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    I've posted this elsewhere, but here is the shower system I built. At first it had no heat, but it didn't take too many cold windy days to realize showering when its cold out requires a heater or it just ain't gonna happen So I decided to try out an electric immersion heating element.

    It will heat water from 50's F up to 100F+ in just over 20min and uses about 40-45% of my 100Ah battery capacity. After using it a couple days ago battery was back up to 100% by end of day yesterday, from solar panels alone (2 x 100W). My system also charges from alternator when driving.

    The only shortcoming I've found is the water level has to be high in the jerry can for the heater to work. Which may mean I need to add another water container if I plan to take showers often. I have a 6-gal Aquatainer as well for drinking water.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Apr 19, 2022 at 7:41 AM
    #6319
    MountainRecipe

    MountainRecipe Well-Known Member

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    Nice! Those are the exact reasons we plan to go that route.
    What size inverter do you use to run it? Looks like it the draw is around 800 watts, so I’m assuming at least a 1000w inverter?
     
  20. Apr 19, 2022 at 7:54 AM
    #6320
    MapJunkie

    MapJunkie Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I am using a 1000w Victron inverter. It turns out that is the largest size Victron that I can fit in my build. So, I have managed to find appliances that work on 1000w or less. I have even been experimenting with a induction cooktop. Fair warning, however. All these electrical appliances increase your appetite for battery storage. I am upgrading from 80Ah to 200 shortly. Enduro Power Battery.
     
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