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Old 09-26-2019, 10:53 PM #1
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Help with camping power setup

Sorry for the broad question, but I'm new to the electrical side of the 4Runner. I'm going camping this thanksgiving, RTT and all that jazz. But I need a simple way to just charge phones and maybe a little LED strip in the tent.

What would you guys recommend doing to deal with this power need, dual battery setup while I'm at it? I am really a noobie as far as power goes in the 4Runner so any help is greatly helpful.

Thank you!
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:03 PM #2
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You can also run a battery box like goal zero or arkpak
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:14 PM #3
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For such simple needs I would consider a lithium power bank, you could charge it through the existing power ports and something like the goal zero yeti 400 would have enough power for your needs and more.

IMO a dual battery setup would be going overboard for charging cell phones and a running a small led light in a RTT. In fact, you could probably get away with those a small handheld powerpack like a 20,000mAh and an led light that you can recharge with USB.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:48 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkviv View Post
In fact, you could probably get away with those a small handheld powerpack like a 20,000mAh and an led light that you can recharge with USB.
Start with this^^^
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:38 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabang View Post
Sorry for the broad question, but I'm new to the electrical side of the 4Runner. I'm going camping this thanksgiving, RTT and all that jazz. But I need a simple way to just charge phones and maybe a little LED strip in the tent.

What would you guys recommend doing to deal with this power need, dual battery setup while I'm at it? I am really a noobie as far as power goes in the 4Runner so any help is greatly helpful.

Thank you!
I just got back from camping. I used a power bank for my phone. For about $30 you can get one that will charge your phone several times. These batteries are useful anytime you are traveling. When camping I try not to use my phone much, but I do use it for music. This was the first time I brought a power bank camping, and it was very handy.

For a tent light I used a cheap led light that takes a single aaa battery.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:25 AM #6
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If you have more money than time, major brands like Goal Zero and the like are sold everywhere with every available attachment and gizmo you can think of, and you can buy the solar panel(s) that those brands make as well and be totally off the grid and not have to worry about your truck needing to charge up the battery banks. It can get a little pricey, but you're good to go out of the box.

If you want to get a little creative and do some research, you can build a small box of your own, buy a couple 6V deep cycle golf cart batteries (true deep cycle batteries, not the ones that are commonly used for dual battery setups), wire them safely in series, add a high quality solar panel with charge regulator, and basically be good for weeks on end out in the bush. Depending on your storage needs, the battery box can be tucked away in the cargo area and you can run lights, charge phones, tablets, computers, etc....

If you aren't tapping into the vehicle's charging system, a stand alone home made unit isn't really that difficult to build, and as long as you use quality components, will out perform any all-in-one system you can buy. But it will take some time, tools, and research. But isn't that what modding our trucks is for?
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:52 AM #7
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If you want a battery pack don't get a goalzero, get a smaller brand off amazon, they cost a lot less
(jackery, rockpals, etc...)

Here is a pretty good comparison video:
YouTube

I have a 31m battery with plenty of power for camping stuff but still carry this 300Wh Rockpals so I can power stuff away from the vehicle (also comes in handy around the house when there is a power outage or something): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FFNTGZ6..._noGJDb39VC72N

I have to power an apap so ended up with the rockpals because a lot of the other batteries will shutoff after so many hours if you're not pulling a certain wattage (jackery is I think 6 hours if less than 10W) and my apap often only watts.

if you have no need for 120V and just need to power USB devices, then those are really cheap
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:03 AM #8
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you don't need anything for that. the light strip will last the trip. your phones will be fine till you get back in service so they'll be in airplane mode anyways. charge them in the car on the way there and back. 4runner has a 110 plug in the back anyways. run the car a bit to charge whatever you need.
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:44 AM #9
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I have a Goal Zero Yeti 100 that has plenty of juice to keep my phone, wife's phone, my watch, wife's watch, lanterns, flashlights, speakers, etc. charged for 3-4 days, easy. You can find them under $200. I plug a power strip into mine and keep stuff on it pretty much the whole time we're camping.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:26 AM #10
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For something this simple, I use a battery jump box deal and I have solar charging camp lights.

As a back up plan I have 12v rechargeable flashlights but I try not to use much light as it attracts insects.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:27 AM #11
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I like this idea a lot actually, we're camping for about 5 days so really the more power the better. I'd be interested in doing some more research to build this.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:02 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhguth View Post
If you want a battery pack don't get a goalzero, get a smaller brand off amazon, they cost a lot less
(jackery, rockpals, etc...)

I have a 31m battery with plenty of power for camping stuff but still carry this 300Wh Rockpals so I can power stuff away from the vehicle (also comes in handy around the house when there is a power outage or something): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FFNTGZ6..._noGJDb39VC72N

I have to power an apap so ended up with the rockpals because a lot of the other batteries will shutoff after so many hours if you're not pulling a certain wattage (jackery is I think 6 hours if less than 10W) and my apap often only watts.
That rockpal is awesome, I've had mine for over a year and it is great. It's also gone down in price, like they always do. Except for anything with goalzero on it.

No matter what you get, you have to have realistic expectations about capacity and use.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:25 AM #13
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Highly recommend an external battery system. It separates the power usage from the vehicle and can be portable.

In my case, I have a custom built, LiFePO4 50Ah battery system that is charged via a 100W solar panel on my RTT. Works fantastic and does a great job running my fridge, charging devices, more.

And...FWIW - my total spend on this DIY system was right around $750.







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Old 09-27-2019, 11:36 AM #14
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You can ignore the dual part if youíre not looking to go that route but this video also includes how I set my roof top tent up with power.

YouTube
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:44 AM #15
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we have a Jackery 240 and it's more than enough for our needs (phones, iPad, Garmin inReach, head lamps, LED lanterns, etc) though we aren't running a fridge or any other equipment that would be a huge draw. longest we've been off grid is 3-4 days and using the car to charge stuff when driving and the Jackery for when camped i think we only used 25-30%, and that was without recharging the Jackery when driving on purpose to see how much we'd draw it down. honestly, its probably a little overkill for us at the moment but for $250 and the option to potentially power a small fridge in the near term were why we sprung for it.
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