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I've seen people talk about putting one ON the lid, so you could open the lid to point it towards the sun in off-high-noon hours. But haven't seen any follow through. Possible because of the size.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haven't seen that but this may be a good alternative...

LENSUN - Nissan Xterra solar panel
I did see your thread about that and that is an option for sure. Is the panel glossy? My issue is that when using my boob lights the glare is pretty bad. I plan on wrapping the center section in a flat/satin black.


solid idea. But you would ideally not want it recessed into the tray. The resulting shading around the edges would drastically affect the panels output. I'd suggest a flexible panel adhered right to the lid of the wet box.
Ya, I was kind of thinking that it being recessed would be bad. I'm just not sure if the size of the box would let you run a panel big enough to really be worth it.


I just never use that box for anything honestly. Its a cool idea but I feel like that space could be used for something better other then just storage.
 

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I find the wet box storage super useful so I'm always surprised to hear about people not using them.

What about getting a portable / folding solar panel, and just store it in the wet box when you're not using it? Then you can set it up facing the sun, rather than having to face the truck the right direction?


Something like this should fit in the wet box... it's pretty close to the size of a 2GL Rotopax and I know those fit.

 

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I'm no expert on solar panels, but there are some among us which are.

I would be concerned if such a panel was large enough to be effective for your intended use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I find the wet box storage super useful so I'm always surprised to hear about people not using them.

What about getting a portable / folding solar panel, and just store it in the wet box when you're not using it? Then you can set it up facing the sun, rather than having to face the truck the right direction?


Something like this should fit in the wet box... it's pretty close to the size of a 2GL Rotopax and I know those fit.

The fuel can is a good idea, I keep all my strap in my bag on my spare tire so I just never had a need to stach anyting up there.

What size if that fuel Rotopax? 2 gallon?


I'm no expert on solar panels, but there are some among us which are.

I would be concerned if such a panel was large enough to be effective for your intended use.
Ya that was my worry that the area of the box would be too small, I dont know anyting about solar panels.

Hood area is larger. 100W+ rating is good for panels.
I am not a solar fan for my uses, I prefer to charge storage banks when driving, but from what I read 100W panels are great, 2 of them together better.
I do remember reading your post about that maybe last week, I do see the benefit of the power banks. Im just at a premium for dry storage, when I camp with the family it's the wife, our 3 girls, and me. I can live out of a backpack for a week but they are not on that level or even remotely close lol. That fridge I installed is taking up a nice chunk but a necessary chunk.

My thought/plan was a dual battery with the 2nd battery being a deep cycle to run the fridge and other aux electronics/charing. Solar to help trickle charge the deep cycle, but I know I have much to learn with all the electronics and charging. The deep cycle might be a mistake too, I think I read they are not good for starting but might be ok as the backup option too.

I just don't want to get into all these crazy inverter setups and boards I have seen some people do, mainly just wanting to be able to power the fridge.
 

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At the risk of upsetting all the dual-battery guys I feel that the days of needing dual battery (unless you're running a winch) are over. If all you want is to keep your fridge running you only need an AGM starting battery to survive deep cycling and a lithium-ion or super capacitor jump starter for the few times you run your starting battery down.
I've run an Oddyssey 34R AGM for 5 years now powering my Domestic 35qt fridge. I've only run the battery down to where it wouldn't start the truck maybe 4 times and always in super-hot desert environments. My Li jumpstarter saves the day every time. I usually carry two of them, just in case, because they're so small. If I was doing it again I'd get a super-capacitor based one.
Just came back from 5 days of camping at Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens with the fridge running continuously, no problems whatsoever. Like I said 5 years of this and my AGM battery is still working fine.
If I were more worried about it I'd go with a lifepo4 battery bank in the trunk area, charged by the +bat connection on the towing connector and not worry about solar. But I'm not!
 

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The 300Wh version of the AmpRoad bank is what we used on an 8 day trip last week, for powering a big fridge with a car setup where engine off means no DC power. Not an Xterra. That powerbank was not enough. With another 300Wh it was still awkward. It did (involuntarily) 100% protect the car battery.

In my Xterra I can survive with (and need) dual battery. No delay wirh charging, instant power when driving. Power with engine off. I have Voltage gauge on both so if it drops from 12.8 to 12.3 and under 12V after engine was off for hour, it’s time to get alternator charging it.

when I was away from car for 48 hours (couple years ago), that’s when I need more than 300Wh power bank for fridge. Solar would make sense if I wanted to expose Xterra to sun, which I don’t. Rare occurrence and worst case of power use when stopped.

there are variables to consider, how much will you use it, how fast can you recharge the power bank.

start small, learn what works, return within Amazon 30 days if you really didn’t get the right thing.
 

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I find the wet box storage super useful so I'm always surprised to hear about people not using them.

What about getting a portable / folding solar panel, and just store it in the wet box when you're not using it? Then you can set it up facing the sun, rather than having to face the truck the right direction?


Something like this should fit in the wet box... it's pretty close to the size of a 2GL Rotopax and I know those fit.

This is perfect!! I need to get this stuff for my wet box.
 

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Before talking about batteries and panels it’s worth figuring out your power requirements.


My Engel fridge uses about 3amp an hour continuous, which works out to about 40 watts and hour. My pack is 1300wh which gives me approximately 2 days of power.

If I want to stay charged up, I need about 500wh a day, which for me works out to be a 100watt solar panel.

I think you could totally get away with a 50 watt panel, which is what you cAn fit on top of the wetbox. It may or may not be enough if you’re also driving as well.


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Solar power Solar panel Solar energy Slope Wood

This 70W panel has run my ARB fridge for the past decade. Doing the engineering (real stuff, sun angle, time of year, solar output calculators AND performance/power curves that were really buried deep in there old website) factoring in losses through a PWM charge controller. This is the minimum, and proven to work perfectly. Doing it today there are good 100 panels that are the same size. I would run one of those. I would even keep the PWM charge controller, it has proven to be super stable, trouble free, tolerant of the thermal swings and lives peacfully in the passenger kick panel while having nearly no dark current. It just works perfect, better than so many other fancy options out there.

Installed correctly, it lives in the slipstream of the roof basket. Don't even know it is there. Walking through a parking lot, draws ZERO attention. You can't see it is there unless you climb on top and look for it. There is roughly 130k of mileage. Arizona summers to sweeping snow off it in the winters.
 

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Have a 55 watt installed on the wetbox. It is about 3/4 inch larger than the length of the box. was going to install a lip on the back of the box but decided I really didn't need it. I looked long and hard to find the right size in an acceptable wattage
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have a 55 watt installed on the wetbox. It is about 3/4 inch larger than the length of the box. was going to install a lip on the back of the box but decided I really didn't need it. I looked long and hard to find the right size in an acceptable wattage
Do you remember which one you bought?

I do plan on running two AGM batteries, I have the harbor freight Badlands 12k winch.. way overkill I know but I wanted something that came with the synthetic rope. That sucker pulls some power, to the point that when I switch from HPtuner to UpRev I'm going to see if one of my maps can have an increased idle since I would never need a valet mode.

Im a complete newbie to this but im leaning towards a hood panel, I use my roof rack ALOT for camping so I need the cargo space.
 
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