Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

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PWJouster
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Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

Post by PWJouster » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:06 am

simply put

Half height bed rack with Solar array.(could be mounted on top of RTT)
My goal is to keep the height of the truck where it is. I fit in alot of garages. I dont fit in alot of garages.
Bed mounted Lithium Battery bank.(will be partially shaded by the bed rack)
Red-Arc Manager30 BMS
Bed mounted fridge/freezer
ill end up with an awning
and a boatload of other gear so we can take the truck camping in remote south florida decommissioned waste dumps.

So this is a placeholder for this project that i have researched to infinity, and will continue to do so.
Any input or comments are appreciated.

logistically, i know what i want it to look like but-
working out bed rack heights
solar panel options and dimensions
battery management wiring
slide out fridge
is deeming difficult
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Re: Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

Post by DamageWagon » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:10 am

Do you have any constraints figured out that you want to aim for and operate within?

In a vehicle application you can usually get away with a surprisingly small amount of solar. If you’re only powering something like a fridge even in Florida heat that’s a fairly straightforward job.

Fridges are picky in the bed. Most aren’t made for exposure. The new ARB series fills that unique role. I run a Dometic and it has been one of the best camping investments I’ve made. It stays in the cab behind the driver’s seat and the power draw is very minimal with the single battery. If the truck is left more than 2 days the fridge will cut out from low voltage, well before there is any risk of the battery not starting the truck.

As to bed racks I did a lot of development to get the geometry of my Contour series dialed in. They are at the ideal height specifically for a ram 2500 power wagon. Would this work for what you’re doing? I forget if you have ramboxes or a standard bed, the racks are the same height but different mounting.

https://dethloffmfg.com/shop/contour-ra ... 2500-3500/

There are a lot of companies now doing bedslides for fridges that might work for you. I don’t think that you could run a slide with a Decked though. That would be a cool combo but I don’t think the Decked would structurally take it?

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Re: Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

Post by PWJouster » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:54 am

DamageWagon wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:10 am
Do you have any constraints figured out that you want to aim for and operate within?

In a vehicle application you can usually get away with a surprisingly small amount of solar. If you’re only powering something like a fridge even in Florida heat that’s a fairly straightforward job.

Fridges are picky in the bed. Most aren’t made for exposure. The new ARB series fills that unique role. I run a Dometic and it has been one of the best camping investments I’ve made. It stays in the cab behind the driver’s seat and the power draw is very minimal with the single battery. If the truck is left more than 2 days the fridge will cut out from low voltage, well before there is any risk of the battery not starting the truck.

As to bed racks I did a lot of development to get the geometry of my Contour series dialed in. They are at the ideal height specifically for a ram 2500 power wagon. Would this work for what you’re doing? I forget if you have ramboxes or a standard bed, the racks are the same height but different mounting.

https://dethloffmfg.com/shop/contour-ra ... 2500-3500/

There are a lot of companies now doing bedslides for fridges that might work for you. I don’t think that you could run a slide with a Decked though. That would be a cool combo but I don’t think the Decked would structurally take it?
yea...it was without quarrel that i decided to put your rack in the number 1 spot. It will most likely be my choice(the sway bar spacers and trans skid recently installed says plenty of your quality, THANK YOU)

i have ramboxes, and that means no decked, at least nothing plug and play, i would love to even modify to have a single drawer.

no constraints really. I thought, why not mount a Solar array with as much coverage on the rack as possible.
covering and partially protecting my now open bed with a drawer/fridge/BMS and battery. i can mount recovery gear/pressurized water/awning on the rack.

tow my trailer with the kitchen,tent/teardrop style,toilet/shower,extra fuel including additional batteries, excess camp gear and leave it at the campsite while exploring in the truck.

and honestly, i was thinking heavy on the battery. Two large Lithiums? for a total of 3 batteries in the truck.

then the truck it just a utility explorer and basecamp is off truck saving weight.
One big draw will be figuring out how to keep cold. i have looked at the different kickstarter portable AC units, and other camper/semi style units, and each have huge draws. i work out of my truck alot on the road, and i hate idling the 6.4. Need to figure out engine off AC. Have you been in a closed vehicle in south florida with the engine off?
2018 Powerwagon-6.4 Hemi
Nanny kill switch and Locker Bypasses
Thuren Tuned King 3.0 & 2.5 Pintop Stage 3/2
17 Method NV-Toyo RT 37
Evo On-Demand Air Swaybar Disconnect
S&B Intake-Mufflex-Magnaflow/resonator delete
SPOD Bantam
On-Board air ARB CKMTA12
Baja design and Rigid Industries
Purple Cranium Spider dif guards
Pedal Commander

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Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

Post by DamageWagon » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:04 pm

I used to build command vehicles and a frequent addition was a bigger air conditioning system. In Suburbans and Tahoes it involved swapping out the alternator for two high output alts, going to 2 Odyssey batteries, and adding a $1,500 inverted just for the AC. We took RV rooftop AC’s and disassembled then into components, removed a window and formed an aluminum panel to fit in its place. The condenser mounted in the window with an EBM-Papst centrifugal fan and the evaporator and compressor mounted inside, also with EBM fan. Worked amazingly well. Cost a lot of money to buy those AC’s, hire a glass guy and a AC guy to do their work, and make custom parts to get it all inside.

With all that tech and experience, I say just idle the vehicle. Run good oil and call it good. It’s cheaper to buy two replacement engines than to make one moderately good AC setup.

Edit to add: if you want better performance when stopped for long periods, look at adding a SPAL fan in front of your AC condenser and radiator. Put it on a manual switch if you want. That will help a lot.

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Re: Bed Rack/Solar/AC/Fridge/offGrid

Post by PWJouster » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:40 am

command vehicles have alot of hot running equipment that i probably wont.

cab vent area and bed mounted ac system provide a compact footprint to mount.
but i was thinking even smaller. Im not talking about a huge Air conditioning load, but a smaller unit.
there are a few emerging startup companies producing ever smaller footprint AC units. Such as Zero Breeze

in essence, the AC is the only overnight/extended stop load of any substance.
ill build the power systems first, and work on the fridge mounting.

in a year or so, i bet there will be further options to consider.
2018 Powerwagon-6.4 Hemi
Nanny kill switch and Locker Bypasses
Thuren Tuned King 3.0 & 2.5 Pintop Stage 3/2
17 Method NV-Toyo RT 37
Evo On-Demand Air Swaybar Disconnect
S&B Intake-Mufflex-Magnaflow/resonator delete
SPOD Bantam
On-Board air ARB CKMTA12
Baja design and Rigid Industries
Purple Cranium Spider dif guards
Pedal Commander

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