PNW outdoor family 4x4 Build

slamo

Member
Starting the long process of another build on a 2020. I feel lucky to get one of these 4x4 from someone that pulled out while it was finishing the production line and it was pretty close to what I would have ordered if I had the chance. Lots of options up front and a blank slate in the back.

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I have been ordering parts for a couple months now and have most of what I need to get started. The overall goal will be sleeping for a family of four, larger fridge, internal water system (had external in SoCal but now in PNW so don't want it frozen) and trying to maintain as much open space as possible when not out on a trip.
 

slamo

Member
Got some big items last night so finally got the fist look at the fit for the fridge and fold up seat. Our idea is to turn this into the kiddo bed with help from the swivel driver seat and a pop out support leg. Primary (wishfully parents) bed will be from Flarespace to patch the flares and custom mattress. Also decided to go with the Havelock wool this time and really stoked on it. Besides being great for insulation, sound deadening, good for the environment and non-toxic it is fun to play with. Our boys love it and it is now all over our house and yard.

layout.pngMavic bed.png
 

slamo

Member
What fridge is that?
What are you cutting a hole in the side of the van for? Shore power connection, Propane heater intake/exhaust?
Yes, shore power. Added this and I believe it is the same as what is used on the Revels. I have all the power components going in on the driver side behind the rear wheels so it should keep most of the system within 18".

Fridge is the Isotherm Cruise 130. It is 4.6 cf which is up from our previous fridge that was 1.3. I noticed that the overall external space is not much more for what you get in storage. We were always short on cold space in our previous fridge.
 
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slamo

Member
More flatline gear going in...I am a fan. The rack was super easy to install and provided plenty of options for the fan I already had installed and open air for the factory XM antenna. I plan on adding a few external lights to in in the future.
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Did some test fitting for the upper cabinets and lined them with some felt and marathon material before getting them set. The plan is to have two of these 48" wide cabinets with room for an open shelf between them that lines up over the fridge. Shiplap for the ceiling.
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driver cab.png

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As my friend recently told me, "it is looking more van than can now" ;)
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slamo

Member
Getting some extra holiday time for the build...

Adding some flexible door storage was a fun little project but I have been putting off actually plugging in any of the power system. I plan to put this behind the driver rear wheel in the 80/20 cabinet so 90% of the larger draw will be close in proximity. Any advice would be appreciated as I have been updating this drawing as I confirm things but still questioning if I should have a pro complete the power install.

Slamo2 power setup.png
 

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45Kevin

Active member
I'm still trying to wrap my head around an electrical system design myself and appreciate this graphic schematic and others like it.

Why are you grounding your 12v system to the chassis? My plan is to keep the house and the vehicle systems separate with the exception of the vehicle end of the DC-DC charger.

I don't know what 120V loads you will be using, but 200 watts of solar will take all of a good day to charge the batteries I think, maybe more. It looks like your only method of charging is from the solar.
 

slamo

Member
Where else would I ground it besides the chassis? That is just what I have read and we had in our last van.

I may add charging from the alternator in the future if we need it (had that in the last van too) but we also have the charger/inverter so there is an option to charge from shore power. Honestly, the only thing we used our inverter for in the past was charging laptops and occasional small ninja blender but I just ordered an induction cooktop so our loads maybe bigger going forward.

I am interested to see how much we will use the shore power and I will post up some charge times once I get it all hooked up.
 

45Kevin

Active member
Where else would I ground it besides the chassis? That is just what I have read and we had in our last van.
That's one of the areas I am somewhat vague about.
Does it even need to be grounded?
My last van had a simple solar set up charging a pair of batteries and feeding a single 12V circuit and an inverter. Wires went through a switched relay from the starter battery to the house battery for alternator charging as well. Neither the house 12V or the inverter were grounded to the chassis.
Does the chassis ground provide some protection in the event of a short? Prevent static build-up?

Hoping someone can answer this question.
 

VanGoSki

Well-known member
Frame-grounding house 12V circuits has been discussed quite a bit in this forum and the consensus is that it's the right thing to do.

Having only separate ground paths to all your 12V appliances can cause ground loops.

Another benefit of using the frame as ground is that you only need to run the positive wires to appliances. That's useful in some devices like an auxiliary alternator where you need huge cables to connect it.

And finally, there's no downside to having a frame ground. It will not interfere with your vehicles electrical system which also uses the frame ground.

Tagging @avanti and @Midwestdrifter in case they want to chime in.
 
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slamo

Member
Also got the power setup complete for the most part. I ended up removing the positive power bus bar and adding a few fuses.

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Still waiting on some of the lights to ship and plug in the espar, etc but this should be complete. Here is the updated diagram if it helps anyone.

installed power setup.png

ANL fuse from charge controller to the batteries is still shipping but I used this 30A breaker and may just keep that there since is is "reusable" if it trips.
 

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