Our original plan for this trip was to use a 12VDC refrigerator but bad planning on my part meant if we ordered one it would not arrive in time.
The core of this system is built upon a SOK Battery 12VDC/100A LiFePO4 battery. Yes, it is expensive, but we needed a battery that was rugged, user serviceable and had a depth of discharge that a LiFePO4 battery offers vs a standard 12VDC AGM battery. Our previous 12VDC/100A AGM battery weighed 64 pounds vs 28 pounds for the SOK battery. The SOK is encased in a steel enclosure with a built-in BMS (battery management system) and has 4 replaceable cells inside. I can’t repair a faulty AGM battery.
The main benefit for us was a modular approach, lightweight, user serviceable, 80-90% depth of discharge and a rugged build. Not to mention this battery has a 7 year warranty and 4000-8000 charge cycles! 12VDC AGM batteries are heavy and the depth of discharge is commonly quoted at 50% but reading the manufacturers engineering specifications, you will note that a lot of them say that 50% depth of discharge is 12.2 volts.
I am also an amateur radio operator and like to operate in parks and such so I needed the added capability of a bigger battery.
On this trip we brought a laptop to edit photos and videos, the navigation tablet, 2 cell phones and 2 GoPro’s as well as various other USB powered items. I do not like using the main vehicle starting battery to charge things unless the vehicle is being driven so it made sense to bring a separate battery for our charging needs.
We had all the power we needed or wanted for the duration of the trip. If we decide to get a 12VDC refrigerator in the future I think this battery can handle it.
The battery and breakout box ride behind the passenger seat while the solar panels ride behind the drivers seat. Just like a canoe or kayak, we try to keep the load balanced in the vehicle.
Well, that’s a snap shot of our Auxiliary Power Supply while camping. Maybe it will give you some ideas! Thanks for reading…