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Old 04-24-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
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Goal Zero Question

I can get my hands on a fairly inexpensive Goal Zero set up (Yeti 400 and Boulder Solar Panel) and am wondering if anyone knows if this can be set up to charge off the vans 12v system in a way other than the cigarette lighter adapter…?

The adapter they sell will charge the battery, but is only 2 ft, and I'd prefer to have something a little more hidden.

I think the solar will be awesome, but I do not want to rely on it solely… and am not sure I want to mount it to my roof (prefer to use once parked next to camp).

Thoughts>?
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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Re: Goal Zero Question

It looks like there is one port that accepts the charge connection. I imagine you could modify the car lighter plug by cutting off the car lighter plug and putting a different quick connect type plug on the end. You would then hardwire a pos/neg to the battery and connect the other quick connect end to it. Probably a good idea to fuse the pos wire.

Another option would be to wire in an aux plug to wherever you wanted (fused) and use the car lighter plug they supplied you with.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Goal Zero Question

Apparently it takes 13 hours at 30W to charge via a car 12v system, for a 33AH battery. So I guess you'd need some connection that supplies say 3amps. I imagine they do the short cord because of voltage drop, which would impede charging a little bit. Practically speaking you'd only charge it when your engine is running or on shore power, so wire it accordingly.

But if you are gonna go to the trouble of wiring it in, better to just buy a 33AH sealed lead acid battery with a handle and just wire it as an extra battery in your existing system and use the existing charging scheme. You could take out and move around as necessary. Save a ton of money.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Goal Zero Question

I have been thinking about just adding a battery, but I would need an inverter too, correct? I can get the Goal Zero set-up, with solar panel for less than a top quality battery and inverter.

I don't intend to power anything more than phone, lap top, go-pro…. lantern. Basic stuff.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #5
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Re: Goal Zero Question

It wouldn't be hard to make something yourself. I did something out of a soft lunchbox, a motorcycle AGM and some power ports. If you want something bigger maybe the Arcpak...expensive.

Kendrick also makes some nice stuff suited for clean AC power.
http://www.kendrickastro.com/battery.html
Probably a lot more out there.

Easy to make your own for pennies on the dollar though. A solar addition is a bit more complicated if that is what your after.

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Old 04-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Goal Zero Question

You could get something like this http://www.amazon.com/MinnKota-Trolling ... wer+Center

That has a couple aux ports built in and has pos and neg terminals. Get a small inverter from Harbor Freight and you're set. You could wire in an isolator and have the battery charge when the car is running. Of course this all depends on how much you are actually getting that Yeti for.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
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Re: Goal Zero Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
You could get something like this http://www.amazon.com/MinnKota-Trolling ... wer+Center

That has a couple aux ports built in and has pos and neg terminals. Get a small inverter from Harbor Freight and you're set. You could wire in an isolator and have the battery charge when the car is running. Of course this all depends on how much you are actually getting that Yeti for.
I bought one of those. The handle broke and the LED battery level indicator was...well it's a POS. Not saying it doesn't have a purpose, just it wasn't very high tech. Maybe I got a bummer???
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:07 AM   #8
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Re: Goal Zero Question

Thats a bummer. You would think for the price for that box, it would be halfway decent.

OP - Do you need a portable unit or are you just looking for an easy house system?
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Goal Zero Question

Easy house system. Ideally I would like to have a few options with 110 outlet, usb's, etc… I don't have a tons of room inside, so if I go with a more typical house battery set-up I'd prefer to mount them under the van. I could probably weld one up if I had a welder… I dunno. Looking for "simple" solution that for a guy with less than 0 experience with electrical.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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Re: Goal Zero Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2horsegarage
Easy house system. Ideally I would like to have a few options with 110 outlet, usb's, etc… I don't have a tons of room inside, so if I go with a more typical house battery set-up I'd prefer to mount them under the van. I could probably weld one up if I had a welder… I dunno. Looking for "simple" solution that for a guy with less than 0 experience with electrical.
Your easiest solution then would be to get the Yeti. You would just need to make sure its charged before you leave. Something I would look into is whether the battery in the Yeti is replaceable or not in the event it doesn't hold a charge well or something.

You could buy the oem frame mounted battery boxes on ebay. But then the issue would be wiring it all up. If you have a buddy who is remotely familiar with wiring car stereos or the like, he should be able to figure it out pretty easily.
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