8 July…well I took the plunge…finally…been planning this upgrade for over a year…I replaced the Renogy 2000 watt inverter/charger with a state of the art Victron Multiplus 3000 watt inverter/charger, added a forth Battle Born 100ah Lithium battery, and a Victron Color Controller GX system monitoring computer to control everything. I love the set up.
There’s rubber and foam padding between the batteries for a bit of vibration isolation. The batteries also sit on a .5 inch think heavy rubber mat. I’ll be installing tie down straps over the batteries in the morning for the times I jump the van over rivers and creeks to keep them from busting me in the noggin.
I made all of the high current carrying cables from 600 volt rated 0awg sized copper stranded cabling…I have my own crimper for doing the connection eyelets and used heavy duty shrink wrapping to complete the cable builds. The small bluetooth transmitter taped to the battery is an interface for measuring the battery temps.
I’ll be adding carpeted plywood panel in front of the batteries to protect them from any items in the back that may shift around when I’m traveling…for now it’s not in place so you can see the battery bank.
The Color Control system monitoring computer will mount on the cabinet wall in the living area…pictures of it installed to follow next week. Here is a photo showing the main screen…the system values are not mine, they are from the Victron description of the unit.
Cost…batteries $3600, Multiplus Inverter/charger $1200, Color Controller $500.
11 August…it’s been a while…lots of stuff…spent a nice week in the NC mountains with my niece and sister…it was my niece’s first time seeing mountains…had a great time…rewiring the van and installing more Victron stuff…almost done…adding more solar too…made an appointment with Agile Offroad in San Diego to completely change the van suspension…planning to do more off road and head back to Alaska in the spring…something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.
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14 August…been thinking about next spring…I know I’ll be headed back to Alaska for the fourth time..my sister Debbe will join me for the whole trip or for a week or so when I get there…we will see…I’m in the process of setting the van up for the road conditions and can’t wait to get’er all done.
A few places I’m planning to boondock for a day or 10:
Salmon Glacier overlook near Hyder…Dawson City YT during the Dust2Dawson gathering…at a special place on the Top of The World Highway…along the Denali Highway…several places along the Dalton Highway…at the summit of Atigun Pass on the Dalton to watch the bikes pass by headed to Deadhorse…Thompson Pass summit near Valdez…Homer Spit…the community of Hope…Hatcher Pass…and a friend’s place in Wrangle St Elias NP.
I look forward to just pulling off the road all over Canada and Alaska, making coffee, and relaxing for the night (or 5).
The van is only 2wd but the places I like to go to really don’t require 4wd. The new suspension, besides having a two inch lift, is super heavy duty and I’ll surely not have any problems. Before I leave I’ll have a nice set of BFG KO2 tires fitted. I’ll also have a great ARB air compressor onboard to I air the tires up and down for the gravel roads…it’ll make for a nice ride over the corrugations.
More after the break….
Oh BTW…I’m in the process of rewiring the electrics…moving all the stuff to the panel near the inverter/charger…when done I’ll enclose the shelf under the bed to store my Ensure and pull-ups…and yes…I’ll clean up that rat’s nest of wires 🙂
16 August…I know the Alaska trip is about 9 months out but I love planing stuff…will have a new set of BF Goodrich All-Terrian KO2 load range E tires fitted for the journey.
Also upfitting the solar this week…taking the two 100 watt panels off and replacing them with two 200 watt panels to give me 400 watts of solar…good because my expresso machine is a power hog 🙂
20 August….new solar panels installed…. 400 watts total now…the electrical upgrades are complete except tidying up some wiring…gonna be nice.
The panels are offset slightly to make them fit but are still inside the sides of the roof.
The panel brackets are not screwed down into the roof…I use 3M VHB tape…same stuff they put aircraft together with…then the brackets are further secured with Eterna Bond over the foots.