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2016 Frontier CCSB VS 4WD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys, the time has come and I am putting together/gathering parts to redo all of the 12v accessories on my build the proper way. Along with pre wiring for additional items down the road. In doing so I've been on google/YouTube/FB/here looking at different videos/post about wiring and adding fuse boxes/relay panels/etc. and I've got a pretty basic idea of how I'd like to do this but wanted to see what you all have done and ask if there's anything that you would have done different? Right now my 12v needs are pretty simple, ditch lights/GMRS/couple chargers, however, I'm doing this in prep for a dual battery and fridge install plus some more basic 12v items and maybe solar down the road. This will mainly be an overland focused setup with the intent to be able to go away for at least a week at a time (preferably longer) without having to come back into town at all but still being able to run all electronics needed.

Pic of the truck just because...

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No pics at the moment as I'm at work, but I have a fridge as well as a dual battery and dc-dc charger with a solar panel on my truck and the way it's set up is 6 gauge wiring going from starter battery (with appropriate fuse near starter battery) under the truck by the frame rail, and then up into the truck bed and under cap through the slot in the tailgate on the passenger side. It then goes to a battery box and a Ctek DC-DC 250 charger takes that input and gives the aux battery a true proper voltage and charging cycle. Solar comes in the same way through the tailgate gap and into the DC-DC charger which then uses that when it needs to. It also charges the starter battery if the aux battery is fully charged. Victron battery monitor BMV-700 mounted in the battery box. Dometic CFX35 runs 24/7, no issues between normal truck use and solar.

I'll include some pics in the next day or two.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll include some pics in the next day or two.
Sweet, thanks. Sounds like you've got a pretty good set up that's similar to what I'm looking to do. I'm leaning towards putting the 2nd batter into the cab and the fridge in the bed but not dead set on that yet. Just don't want to take up too much of my already short bed.
 

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99% of people do not need dual batteries. Put in a larger group 31 battery (just needs longer cables and hold-downs) and you will likely be fine. Dual batteries are really only needed if you are parked for multiple days without running the truck, and solar pretty much solves that issue if you are going that route. I'm still running my stock battery and have an ARB fridge, Viair compressor, and small inverter, but I drive the truck every day, so it never had a chance to drain down too much. I bought a lithium ion jump started to be safe (have never needed it); that is waay cheaper and easier than a dual battery or solar setup. Stay simple first, and see what you really need. Too many people see all the cool stuff on expeditionportal.com and think they need $50,000 in overland gear just to go camping.

I'm running a VO Switch UV100 from Amazon. I chose it because it makes wiring simple, has a great switch interface, and has 8 switches instead of 6 that most use. Also, it uses mechanical relays which are easily and cheaply replaced instead of solid-state relays which render the whole unit unless when they die.

Crappy pics, but it is all I have at the moment. Sorry no pics of the underhood relay unit at the moment. As you can see, I still have 3 switches available.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
99% of people do not need dual batteries

Agreed. However, I do plan on being out/parked for a couple days at a time, and am not sure if/when I'll get solar. I take a couple, week long trips, each year and if the truck gets driven during these trips it's rarely more than a couple miles at a time. Mostly less then 5-10 miles per day, which I don't think will keep the main battery topped up if the fridge is on 24/7. Honestly, not even sure that a house battery would keep up for that long but I'd rather kill that one then a starting battery.

It also helps working for a parts supplier and being able to get new batteries dirt cheap, so my battery and all the wires/relays/fuses/holders/etc. will cost less than what most will spend on a battery alone. The way it's looking, the DC/DC charger will be the most expensive part of my set up.
 

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Agreed. However, I do plan on being out/parked for a couple days at a time, and am not sure if/when I'll get solar. I take a couple, week long trips, each year and if the truck gets driven during these trips it's rarely more than a couple miles at a time. Mostly less then 5-10 miles per day, which I don't think will keep the main battery topped up if the fridge is on 24/7. Honestly, not even sure that a house battery would keep up for that long but I'd rather kill that one then a starting battery.

It also helps working for a parts supplier and being able to get new batteries dirt cheap, so my battery and all the wires/relays/fuses/holders/etc. will cost less than what most will spend on a battery alone. The way it's looking, the DC/DC charger will be the most expensive part of my set up.
If you are parking for a couple days at a time, then yes, it sounds like you may fall into the 1% of people who could benefit from a dual battery or solar setup.
 

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A brutally simple yet very effective dual battery setup would be just a Voltage Sensing Relay that you can buy for under $100 bucks, and run an aux battery in parallel. It would need to be two batteries that are the same, does not work well with a starter battery and deep cycle. Use either two starting type batteries that are the same, or two dual purpose batteries.

I would hesitate to put your aux battery in the cab, just personally speaking. Limits you to sealed batteries, and also is a big heavy item flying around. Also hard to get heavy gauge wire into the cab. I would sneak the battery into the dead space in front/over the wheel well in the cab. Still gives you the big square space of usable bed.
 

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I upgraded the battery to a group 35 agm deep cycle that could pull the amps needed for the winch comfortably. Hooked up the winch with a high amp battery disconnect, so it's physically disconnected unless in use. Put a 300A fuse on the winch positive for good measure, making sure that the intermittent capacity of the fuse is higher than the max ampage of the winch.

Then I installed an sPOD sourceLT with a mini6 panel for accessories. This controls the front lightbar, running lights, and soon ditch lights and rear light bar. I routed the spod through the firewall using a waterproof cable gland.

My GMRS radio is installed in the center console and just uses the normal 12v outlet there for power.

Ensured all the grounds for the spod, winch, air locker, compressor, etc. are chassis grounds so that it does not mess with the Frontier's variable voltage system (do not ground direct to the negative terminal of the battery where possible).

I have a goal zero yeti 500X in the bed with a 100watt portable solar panel for aux power on trips that I can mount to the bed cover as well. I was looking into dual battery setups, but I like the idea of having an independent (i.e. portable) power source in the truck that I could also bring into the house if needed. I also carry an emergency jump starting kit just in case.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would hesitate to put your aux battery in the cab
Yeah, I'm not 100% set on in the cab but if I do, it'll be an AMG and more than likely on it's side under a platform that I built for my dog. That way I'll be able to secure it and not worry about anything flying around in the truck in a worst case scenario.


I installed an sPOD sourceLT with a mini6 panel for accessories
Nice set up, I like the idea of portability too but it's not what I'm going for on this. Plus, that sPOD and goal zero doubles (if not triples) my entire budget for this project. :LOL:
 

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Beyond what many folk can or want to do, but sometimes bake your own's the best way.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sometimes bake your own's the best way.
Definitely plan on doing this mostly as a DIY. My background is in electronics so I’m confident in my skills/capabilities.

Also, I’ve study your set up the most, on here and YouTube. Anything you’d change about it?
 

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Definitely plan on doing this mostly as a DIY. My background is in electronics so I’m confident in my skills/capabilities.

Also, I’ve study your set up the most, on here and YouTube. Anything you’d change about it?
Hey, in that case Buddy, jump on it. If you're fully comfortable in the electronics world, this isn't really rocket science at all, my biggest headaches were making sure the housing'd fit in the selected hole ( taped together a 3D cardstock mockup first ) & the 7 relay harnesses all with the same 4 colours ( LOL ) making sure they got wired right and did what they do. I went slowly and everything came out perfect the first time around.
Would I change anything? Actually, no, it works great for what it needs to do and haven't had to repair or change anything since installation, it just works. Please post pix of yours when completed, I'd love to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Please post pix of yours when completed, I'd love to see it.

Will do, but it'll be a while before it happens. I'm aiming for sometime in November to actually do this as I work 6 days a week and that'll be my next full weekend off. Figured I wanted two full days to complete just because of Murphy's Law and this also being my daily. So for now I'm still looking and gathering parts (as well as doing other small projects to it) but I will start to pre assemble what I can once parts arrive.
 

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@RyanD1966 ; Just curious why the diodes?
DRR, those are snubber diodes, they kill the EMP pulse when the field in the relay coil collapses, otherwise you can get transient noise in the audio system and possibly damage sensitive electronics in the same circuit. You point the diodes towards the relays positive coil terminal otherwise you'll blow fuses as soon as you turn one on, dead short. If you get 'em installed backwards you'll very short(ly) LOL know. Some relays already have these internally but most don't, you'll see all the OE engineers building circuits this way.
 
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Currently waiting on all the pieces to arrive to start making my relay panel for a system. I'll post pics when done.
 
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