Packing System Build

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iandvl
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Packing System Build

Post by iandvl »

I've got a drawer system and a fridge slide in the boot. When I first started on the overlanding type thing, a very large number of trips I did solo and that worked perfectly. However, since Liana, the LF, accompanies me these days. And since wimmin like packing everything including the kitchen sink on trips, space has been getting more of a problem.

The draw system I have has a "built in" fridge slide. The top shelf on the right hand side can slide in and out. I always found this a little impractical though. Although I'm tall, even I'd battle to rummage around inside the fridge if I used that. So I put on an Alucab tilt fridge slide. It means I can get to my beer easily. :)

Sure - there is enough space for the two of us, but what has been sort of annoying me recently is that using the fridge is sometimes a pita when I'm packed. If there is stuff on top of the fridge, I need to unpack it. And then if I slide the fridge out, it is always a mission getting it back in as stuff falls down behind the back of the fridge when I pull it out. This means that despite the tilt slide, I cannot get to my beer easily. :(

A couple of months ago, I welded together a frame for a packing thingy that fits over the fridge and thus solves the problem. I never got around to finishing it, as this was when I broke my foot and tore ligaments - I was welding, my one leg went dead and my "dead" foot caught on the door step when I walked in. Stupid, but these things happen.

Last weekend I finished the frame, gave it a dash of Hammerite and got it mounted and started cutting the shutter ply for the sides. On Wednesday, I finished cutting the shutter ply. Although I'd normally carpet these things, I don't have enough time to finish it properly at the moment. So I just gave the shutter ply a spray of matt black.

Apart from providing unmolested access to the fridge when we are completely packed, it has also provided me with a nice spot to mount my DC-DC and my MPPT charger. The DC-DC charger is new - I think I have eventually seen the light... The MPPT I always had stashed in a drawer and would just haul it out as needed...

I've got to finish wiring up the electrics, after which I can put my aux battery in again and finish it up for now. Well, until I pull it all apart again to carpet the panels...

I know Manny is going to make disparaging remarks about the welding as he has already done on FB. But it is actually properly (if a little scruffily) welded and it will do the trick.

The sawdust in the boot is from the build. But yes - my truck is filthy and I need to have it washed some time... :)
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by Witbobbejaan »

Nice. A practical setup!

Sorry to hear about your foot! Reminds me....

I was watching the latest upload on youtube of Offcourse 4x4 adventures (Anthony on this forum used to drive on it). Anyway, they banged up this guy's Defender propshaft and didn't get the car to basecamp that night. Then when they went back for it the next day, there's a 10 second insert saying the guy broke his leg that night! No details given on it, but jeez talk about bad luck.

Anyway, I was wondering where you fed the wiring through (presumably from engine compartment?) that I can see coming out the side...through the chassis rail?
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by mvcoller »

Great mods...congratulations, well done.

I see you have fitted the same make and size DC2DC charger and same make and size MPPT unit as well. Now you must just fit the same Victron AC to DC charger as I have.i also fitted a Victron 500a Snart Shunt.

What battery did you fit, and where did you fit it?
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by iandvl »

Witbobbejaan wrote: 10 Aug 2023 19:18 Nice. A practical setup!

Sorry to hear about your foot! Reminds me....

I was watching the latest upload on youtube of Offcourse 4x4 adventures (Anthony on this forum used to drive on it). Anyway, they banged up this guy's Defender propshaft and didn't get the car to basecamp that night. Then when they went back for it the next day, there's a 10 second insert saying the guy broke his leg that night! No details given on it, but jeez talk about bad luck.

Anyway, I was wondering where you fed the wiring through (presumably from engine compartment?) that I can see coming out the side...through the chassis rail?
Yes. That is really bad luck... I must ask Ant about that.

Wiring was done by a fitment center. It runs from the battery along the chassis underneath the vehicle. Enters the cab via the rubber bung behind the back light - where the jack stays.
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by iandvl »

mvcoller wrote: 10 Aug 2023 19:57 Great mods...congratulations, well done.

I see you have fitted the same make and size DC2DC charger and same make and size MPPT unit as well. Now you must just fit the same Victron AC to DC charger as I have.i also fitted a Victron 500a Snart Shunt.

What battery did you fit, and where did you fit it?
Thanks Malcolm. I've got a CTek I use for charging from AC. A smart shunt is on my list of "wanted things" but I'll get to that later.

I'm a luddite when it come to batteries. Cannot afford the new-fangled lithium batteries and normally only use large crank batteries. The current battery is a Dixon 674. It has worked well, but it is on its way out now. That said, I bought it in 2018. So this has lasted 5 years. I find that excellent. Aux batteries do get a little more "abused" than the primary battery.
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by mvcoller »

I used to have two GEL batteries in my Patrol, one in the engine bay and the second one on top of the left rear wheel arch, which is wasted space with the pacing system in place. Both of them gave up after about 5 years, and at the same time.

Two of them were only about R500 cheaper than a 100AH Blue Nova LiFeP04 (on special at Leroy Merlyn) for R7500, so I went for it. The expensive bit was however the 4 Victron units I had to buy. I however bought those over a period of about 9 months while rebuilding the whole system. The LiFeP04 battery lives on the left rear wheel arch.
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by iandvl »

Wired up charge controllers over the weekend - it is a little messy (I await disparaging comments) but I'll neaten it up when I remove the panels again for carpeting after this trip...

The packing system is done, but I am rebuilding my aux electrical system at the moment. I'll post more details on it when I finish it, as I do not have much time before I leave.

I've colour-coded the plugs so that it is idiot proof. Well, I presume it is idiot proof. I've still got to find an idiot to test this theory with though...

Yellow == PV input.
Red == Alternator input.
Blue = Fridge output.
Black == Output from charge controllers to aux battery.
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Re: Packing System Build

Post by iandvl »

Since I've now got the DC-DC charger, my NL battery box was redundant. It's also been annoying me. The plugs and everything are on the side, so it's always been a mission plugging things in etc. It's also massively big. So I acquired a Voetspore battery box - just the bare box with no internals... It's nice. It has lugs for bolts - so I've bolted it to the steel from of the packing system. And the place where the plugs come in fit on the ends. Even better - the side the plugs are are interchangeable. So you can decide which side you want the stuff on. It has space for a hella plug, a lighter plug and three brad harrisons.

I wired it up over the weekend. Naturally, I've got a strip fuse as close to the positive as possible, a positive bus and a negative bus. Two of the BH plugs are wired to provide input from the MPPT and DC-DC chargers. The other BH is output for the fridge. It's super basic currently - no controller bits so I will need to rely on the fridge settings to prevent it from discharging too much etc. Overall, I am happy.

When I get back from this trip though, I'll make some changes to the setup. I need something to prevent running down the aux battery too much. I'd also like to include a few USB charging ports and a voltmeter. And I must also neaten up the wiring on the side of the packing system.

I do need to get a new Aux battery though, as my current one is over 5 years old and is starting to give problems. I'll do that sometime this week.

Anyways, all is good to go for this trip. In a week I'll be somewhere between Kuruman and Augrabies. :)
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Ian de Villiers

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