My power needs grew as the build progressed and my system has grown with it. What started out as using the factory battery and inverter in the bed has now grown to a DIY fuse block install, AGM battery, power sockets mounted in the bed, and a Goal Zero 400W solar generator. This post details how I put this all together to work for me.
Current Kit Contents
- X2 Power 24F AGM Battery
- Blue Seas 12 fuse block
- 100 amp Bussman circuit breaker
- Blue seas 12V/dual USB port
- Paranoid Fabrication Tacoma Mount
- Goal Zero 400W Solar Generator
- Various wiring and wire loom
HOW I DECIDED ON THIS KIT
I wanted a kit that would grow with my build and that I knew inside out in case I had trouble down the road. Also remember, this is my daily driver and I need to be able to convert from Daily to Adventure truck in under an hour. This led me down the DIY route, since no kit really encompassed what I wanted all in one and I didnt need everything at the beginning of the build. Doing DIY has allowed me to add as my build progresses.
It is a fairly straightforward process but there are some key elements you need to decide on before moving forward on a project like this.
- Where do you want your fuse block?
- How do you want to power your system (starter battery, dual battery, power bank/generator)?
- What are your power needs?
- How much power might you need in the future?
I was able to answer all of the questions which led me down the path I chose.
- I wanted my fuses in an easily accessible location, where other fuses might be found. This led me to mounting it under the hood which led me to the America made mount from Paranoid Fabrication.
- Initially I wanted to power my system with the starter battery, that worked for a little while but eventually killed my factory battery and left my starter battery drained a few times (I prepared for this situation). That’s when I upgraded.
- My power need would grow as I went on, getting a fridge was the largest draw I added over time and this led me to the Goal Zero 400W generator so I could keep my starter battery topped off.
Now for the actual install.
Blue Seas Fuse Block, 12V sockets, and paranoid fabrications mount
I used 6awg wire from the battery to a 100 amp bussman circuit breaker. Blue seas 12 circuit fuse block with 6awg positive wired to the 100 amp bussman circuit breaker and 6awg negative grounded to the body/battery. I then wired a blue seas 12v and usb circuit to the bed storage box using 12awg pos/neg and installed a 10amp fuse. I ran the 12awg along the factory body harness with zip ties every ~8 inches. Before installing the system I checked for continuity with a multimeter. The 6awg wires are crimped and soldered. Everything is loomed with braided wire loom and marine grade heat shrink with adhesive. I used insulated terminal connectors . This was important to me, for the reliability and longevity of the system.
X2 Power Battery and goal zero 400w solar generator
Both of these items were added at the same time and for the same reason. The dometic fridge and other power needs were draining my factory battery, which lasted longer than most, and I was fearful of being stranded with a dead battery.
I did a lot of research on various forums and landed on the X2 Power battery due to the overall reviews and performance compared to other brands. This battery is a 76ah battery, fits in the factory tray, is shock resistant (AGM), and is a dual purpose battery (meaning starting and deep cycle). This battery was purchased new from my local Battery Plus, I did this so that I could get a replacement if ever needed. These come with a 5 year warranty.
I also did a lot of research on power banks/solar generators. There are plenty of options out there but I ultimately landed on Goal Zero due to reputation, reviews, and quality/support. This solar generator has had no problem running my Dometic CFX50W fridge or charging lap tops/phones on weekend trips. I keep the Goal Zero topped off by plugging it into my Tacomas 100W/400W inverter in the bed and charging when I am driving, this has worked flawlessly. I did purchase this unit used so the packaging was a little beat up but I have had no issues with the unit itself.