Nissan XTerra Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have boondocked in my Xterra, with just a bed in the back with one rear seat taken out so that it folds flat, but only for up to a week at a time. An old lady and her poodle having fun in the woods, mountains, and deserts 馃А 馃槉. I want to be able to go for longer, farther off road away from towns, and be able to use more electrical while camped. For example for refrigerator/freezer, electric blanket, possibly a small blender, or even an instant pot. Plus keep my air pump, starter, computer, cell, etc charged without having to drive, or run my X.

Planning on making some changes so it is more of an itsy, bitsy, mini RV 馃 馃惄. I will be 75 tomorrow and solar may be my birthday present to myself ! Not sure whether to use a solar generator thing similar to a Jackery or Bluetti, or try to put together my own system.

Is anyone else doing something like this?
Ideas?
 

Registered
2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
Joined
770 Posts
I have a Jackery 240 that I plan to use for my nighttime photography. I need to keep a tracking mount, laptop, and a few small accessories powered and still be able to start my X. Using a different source should do the trick for me.

You might want to consider one of their larger offerings along with 1 or 2 solar panels to help keep it charged. You can also add some LED strip lights inside and/or outside the rig that run off of the extra power source to ensure that your starter battery can do its job.
 

Registered
2002 3.3 NA 5 speed 4x4
Joined
33 Posts
Kinda building the same thing, but slightly larger scale.

I am working on building out my popup for boondocking for the dogs and family and am going to be adding solar mounts to the top of the camper, install a couple large deep cycle batteries, and get a large enough inverter to run the AC in the summer. I am also going to rewire my trailer plug on the X to a 7 wire so I can have backup lights, run my fridge while on the road, and keep the batteries topped off.

It is a work in progress, as I am converting all lights except headlights to LED on the X, converting everything on the popup to LED inside and out, and still have to figure out which axle I am going with on the camper to handle larger tires and wheels, and still have clearance for them.

All that said, I have a smaller battery pack with a 110 outlet that can handle simple stuff, along with a few USB ports to keep phones and tablets charged, and it has solar/110VAC/12VDC charging. Thing has worked great so far in testing, and would like a larger one just for the USB devices when camping.
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
For the different things I want I might need a 2000 watt inverter, and Lithium batteries to save on weight and size. Womder if maybe I should do one stationary panel on the roof rack, and then figure out how I could also use one or two additional portable ones to be able to set out in the sun if I am parked in tha shade. Not sure at all how to hook them up that way. Solar is advancing so quickly in just the last few months!
 

Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
1,089 Posts
solar technology may be getting some refreshing updates, however the math remains the same.

The amphour rating on the battery combined with conversion loss in the inverter would tell you how long this power will last. The wattage rating on the solar panel will help you determine how quickly the system will be recharged.
a 24F lead acid battery has about 75Ah. A 2000 watt inverter is actually a 1000 watt power supply which will draw 75-100 amps or so which will completely drain this battery in one hour. Most inverters this size recommend AT LEAST 2 12v lead acid batteries. Portable solar panels are around 100 watts a piece.

Instapots I saw online are 700-1200 watts so if you wanted to use your electric kettle for one hour, you鈥檇 need 7-12 panels to charge it in one hour. If you had 3 small panels like you suggest then you may have 200 watts charging on a fully sunny day which means you鈥檇 be charging nearly all day to cook for an hour

this gets more complicated because allowing the batteries to run too low shortens their life. Lead acid batteries are not recommended to operate below 50% SOC. AGM batteries are better at doing this

lithium ion batteries are NOT recommended for this type of setup

lithium batteries require sophisticated electronics to prevent excessively low or high states of charge because when lithium cells run much below 3v per cell they get very unstable and present a significant fire risk.

many batteries produce dangerous gases while charging making the interior of your vehicle an unsuitable location for most power banks.

Please be careful because dealing with these systems without any knowledge or experience can be fatal
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Don't worry, I would have a pro do it, or else buy something like the 2000 Bluetti which is all in one. I will not use anything but lithium, which the 2000 Bluetti is also, as are the Jackery's and other top quality all in one units.
Smaller instant pots come in 500-600 watt sizes, and if you have used them, you do so for just a few minutes, not hours as they are pressure cookers.
 

Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
1,089 Posts
Looked at the bluetti and it looks like a pretty neat device. I service electric vehicles for a living and some of my customers expectations are unrealistic and have a hard time factoring in all variables. This power unit looks like it would definitely power what you鈥檙e talking about and seems like you鈥檝e done your research. My only grievance on this particular unit would be the misleading recharge time. They give 2.5-3 hours recharge time using 700w solar. The only panel they list on their website is 200w(in full sun) and weighs 14.5lb. It seems like one panel would probably be enough for you but to reach their advertised spec, you鈥檇 need 4 of their panels. I may explore how to charge the power station using your vehicles charging system and maybe putting one panel on the roof. In the event that the one panel couldn鈥檛 keep it charged after several days of camping then you would always be able to start the truck and cook dinner.
 

Registered
2002 3.3 NA 5 speed 4x4
Joined
33 Posts
My only grievance on this particular unit would be the misleading recharge time. They give 2.5-3 hours recharge time using 700w solar. The only panel they list on their website is 200w(in full sun) and weighs 14.5lb.
Read it again:
*700W Solar+400W AC Recharge in 2.5-3Hrs
So with 1100 watts will take 2.5 - 3 hours

Or with DUAL AC adapters will charge in 3-3.5 hours.

It also says 4.5 - 5 hours with 3 of their 200 watt panels hood to the AC200P, so without full sun, may be looking at 8 - 10 hours easy to get a full charge.

Also digging deeper, they are talking about 18 hours to charge fully from your cars 12VDC system.

Just some things to think about, they say a lot on their site, but have to dig for what they really mean.
 

Registered
Joined
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks Blackberry, I really had tried, with my limited understanding to make sure it would be suitable. I watched Will Prowse who is amazing, and Hobotech, and a couple of others.

Darn if charging will be a problem. Someone had told me that you could use two different charging sources at the same time and do it more quickly. We are quickly getting far more advanced, but obviously there are still issues to overcome! I wonder what will be their next version coming out?

I look forward to suggestions:)
 

Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
1,089 Posts
It looks like you can use multiple charging sources but in the boonies you may not have even good sun let alone a plug. I didn鈥檛 look for long and was just reading the website but you鈥檇 want to read the manual before you spend that kind of $$$. Sounds like a really cool thing you鈥檙e doing
 

Registered
2002 3.3 NA 5 speed 4x4
Joined
33 Posts
Thanks Blackberry, I really had tried, with my limited understanding to make sure it would be suitable. I watched Will Prowse who is amazing, and Hobotech, and a couple of others.

Darn if charging will be a problem. Someone had told me that you could use two different charging sources at the same time and do it more quickly. We are quickly getting far more advanced, but obviously there are still issues to overcome! I wonder what will be their next version coming out?

I look forward to suggestions:)
Charging any of these is going to be a bit of an issue. They are huge batteries and take time to fill back up. 2 - 200w solar panels will help, but also running an inverter on your X and charging with the dual 400 watt (would run at least a 1000 watt continuous inverter for this) would work great for when you're on the move. Charging any of them over the 12VDC is going to be very slow.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top