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Discussion Starter #21
Thanks for the info. It looks like there are several of us on here that use our vans for paragliding. I switched from 25 years of hanggliding and that allowed me to get this high roof van since I didn't have to worry about loading on top.

Cheers,
James
James,

While we don't have many compared to PGs, we (Washington) still have a number of active HGs. You have to admire the performance capability.

Soon-ish I'll have the first try of a mesh burrito that I'm hoping will envelop the wing, holding along the driver side. I'm hoping it will gently secure my wing while also allowing it to dry. Effectively a loose concertina bag made of mesh.

Let me know if you have a fly-in or event that you would recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
This weekend I had some tedious work re-routing wiring and making it neater. Once it was at a reasonable progress point, I moved to a more enjoyable project of attaching mount points on the rear of my van for hanging a paragliding harness. I used 5/16 rivnuts and bolted a short handle of webbing with grommets.

It worked out well and seem secure.

Once we start traveling again, it should give a great spot to watch the scenery and relax.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Scopema swivel seat install

This is an expensive but easy installation.

After reading various threads on this site, I emailed [email protected] and got a quote for a Scopema swivel seat.
$350 and a couple weeks later, it arrived. Quite heavy and solidly built, it didn't take long to install by myself. The directions were good outside an obstruction on the rear of my seat when I tried to rotate the seat for the first time. I think it was a LATCH anchor for child seats (see pics). I cut it off and the seat rotated normally.

No wobbles or rattles, I'm quite happy with this change because it gives another seat when we are parked. If I do something wrong, it might be where my wife makes me sleep at night:)
 

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Yes, Tiger is my local. I love it the most because it's a short drive from my house:) but the PNW has quite a few great sites. If you are looking for distance flights, retrieves can be a problem in some of the more remote launches. Drop me a note if you are headed this direction and I can give the 411.
Thanks, I plan to spend more time in the PNW once I finish the conversion on my van
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I'm procrastinating while I ponder my seat options. Clearly my highest priority should be figure out the extra seating because the seating will drive my options for a kitchen and the kitchen will determine where I put the water tanks.

That said, I knocked off some simple fun things.

Canopy


In a previous van, we used inexpensive Coleman canopy tents, the ones that provide shelter but only mesh walls to keep out the bugs. We had mixed results on their durability and ended up replacing them yearly because the poles would fail. Also, given our tall doors, I haven’t found a screen tent that I can put around the sliding door.

For shade, many in my old van group would go with the Fiama or ARB canopies but they are a bit too much weight hanging off the side for me.

Since I used 80/20 for the roof rack, attaching d-rings for a canopy was a 2 minute task. I haven't determined if I will hear them rattling around when I drive.

I bought these aftermarket poles and this canopy to build a solid canopy off the slider that will provide some shelter while also being easy to set-up and take down. Obviously it won’t help with the bugs but it will give shelter from the sun and rain. Setting it up in the driveway took 5 minutes by myself. I used a ladder because I'm still waiting for my side ladder to come back in stock. I can achieve a more taunt look by adding more lines but need to be off the driveway.

This will work fine for casual use but will need to be upgraded for buggy areas ( you know who you are Alaska and Canada) :)

Inexpensive and seems to work in my limited use case,
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Electronics based on a Goal Zero Yeti 3000
Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station w/ WiFi Control | Goal Zero

I bought a Yeti 3000 (Pack capacity: 3075Wh (10.95V, 280.8Ah)) as the foundation for my electrical system. It’s an all-in-1 system that includes a battery, bms, inverter, charger and both input and output connectors (plugs) and it can either be recharged from your alternator(optional module), shore power or solar panels if you have them. I like that it’s nicely packaged, neat and relatively small. Overall I like it but it has some shortcomings.
The Yeti 3000 is heavy but less than the second row Ford Transit seats:)

I bought the Yeti 3000 at REI using the 20% off coupon. At the same time I bought the Link module with my wife’s coupon for faster alternator charging.
Note that you will also need to buy the car cable kit to wire it up to the alternator.

Input (charging)
My setup is charged two ways, either using the CCP via the Link module when the car is running or, when the engine is off, the ability to charge from shore power. I think this will work well for my situation because I generally move campsites each night and don't like to park and stay at a location. The third option, which I didn’t pursue, is solar which seems to get positive reviews but I didn’t think would work as well for me in the pacific northwest and my winter activities.

While the Goal Zero Link cable is quite short (2 feet?), it will reach the rear of Yeti if you use the CCP on the driver's seat and have the Yeti placed immediately behind the driver seat which isn't a bad location. The Link plugs into the rear of the unit. The CCP is a bit awkward to access but otherwise is a short and easy install.
134649


Note you will need to buy the nuts for the CCP and ground point. I used this forum to get smarter and there are plenty of threads about the CCP. I have the single 60A CCP and I think it will be fine for charging.
Later, I installed the Yeti in a cabinet, both to clean up the cabling as well as making it harder to steal. I took off the wheels and bolted some 8020 around it so a thief would need to be just slightly more determined than the opportunistic type. Hopefully, I will add a cable lock at some point before it’s stolen.


I installed a NOCO power plug inlet on the rear bumper as shown by others in the forum so I could neatly hook up shore power.
134650



It was easy to install and looks good. The extension cable routes up through the van body without any new holes. I plugged it into an octopus to get multiple shore power plugs inside the van.
When shore power is available, I can plug in two wall chargers (both included in the 3000) which will recharge the 3000 if I leave it overnight. If we are on longer trips, the captain will want a hot shower every couple days so we will hit a campground and usually get shore power there. I used velcro to mount the wall chargers to the side of the Yeti and keep it neat.
Note that shore power charging is slow(114w), even with two chargers working simultaneously.
134651



Output (using the power)
From an output perspective, you need to push a button to use the 120V ports, or another button to use the USB ports, or (finally) another button to use the 12V ports. These activate the inverter.If you leave the buttons on, they will slowly drain the battery due to the inverter load.
You can easily see the continuous drain from the 120V inverter even if you don't have anything plugged in.
Likewise you see a smaller draw if you open up the USB ports (smaller inverter) even when you don't have anything plugged in.
There is no draw on the 12V outlets if there is nothing plugged in because there is no inverter used.
In a previous van I had some trouble figuring out what was draining the battery so I like these buttons to effectively disconnect the battery from any loads.

Over the holidays, I parked it for 2+ months, turning off the wifi and lighted panel on the front, and it held its charge without any loss.
I used an Anderson to ring cable from the Yeti 12V output to go to a 12V Blue Sea distribution
and then all my 12V accessories get fed through that.
Super easy and pretty clean.

Off that 12V distribution panel I have multiple USB plugs, lights, MaxAir Fan. I still need to add the fridge and a water pump.
134652

I mounted the distribution panel onto a piece of wood and then used velcro to attach the whole thing to the wall of the cabinet near the Yeti. This keeps it off the floor but still accessible as needed. I love velcro:)
134653

I took the 120v output to two power strips. One will drive the kitchen (microwave, kettle and blender). The other is unused at this point.
I don’t expect to use the USB plugs much.


Goal Zero iphone App
When it works, the iPhone app is convenient since I have the Yeti buried in a cabinet. The Yeti has its own Wifi which you can connect and see the real-time status, turn on and off inverters but the range is fairly limited (close to the van). Alternately, you can access the Yeti through a home wifi and then monitor it remotely (from anywhere). Unfortunately, you have to choose which mode you want to do because it’s a pain (5 minutes of fiddling) to toggle back and forth. I’ve had continued problems with WiFi connections. While it’s easy to connect with my various speakers and printers it seems to be poorly implemented in this app. It hasn’t been updated on the Appstore in a year which gives me some concern about its future.
134654


GZ Support Toll-Free: 1-888-794-6250 has been great when I have called. I usually get a real person that knows what they are doing and point me in the right direction. Emailing support has been slower (within a couple business days).

Irritations and shortcomings:

The cost which was known at the start but gets reinforced every time you buy a cable.

I was disappointed that you can't install the Link module (alternator charging) at the same time as the MTTP (solar charging) module. While there are two accessory slots in the Yeti 3000, both these modules need to occupy the right accessory slot. In my perfect world, I'd have both installed so if I decided to park in a field for a week I could charge with solar. Now I just have the MPPT module sitting in a box.

At some point, if I went solar, it would take me ~30 minutes or so to access the unit and switch the modules.

When I am hooked to shore power, it charges slowly (114w observed). If I hook up a large load to the battery pack like an electric heater (1400w observed), I would have expected that the Yeti was smart enough to pass through the shore power. Instead, it seems to take the load from the battery (1400w) while filling it at a slow rate. Ultimately, the battery will run out pretty quick even when plugged into shore power. I can get around it by manually switching some plugs but it irritates me.

I can see also why Goal Zero is coming out with a more powerful inverter for the newer version of the 3000. At times, the 3000 won't power some items like an old circular saw due to the peak load on start. We need to be somewhat careful as I add items like a blender, microwave or toaster oven.

The app should probably use bluetooth or a better WiFi implementation like so many other successful networked devices. Remote management is awkward because many times the app can't find the Yeti on the network.

GZ Tips found from other member on the forum or GZ Support

The Yeti 3000 has a 1500 watt max continuous 120 volt AC inverter, and a 3000 watt surge max, so it can run any device that is 1500 watts or below or a combination of devices that is 1500 watts or below. To figure out the power consumption of your devices in watts you will want to do:
Volts x amps = watts

A device that has a 15 amp motor at 120 volts would be: 120 x 15 = 1800 watts. So it is likely it would not run on the Yeti as it exceeds the Yeti 3000 1500 watt continuous max.

To reset the Yeti simply hold down the UNITS and the INFO buttons at the same time for 5 seconds. The display will go dark and the Yeti will reboot.
 

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I'm assuming you know this already, and I'm guessing you don't care, but if you were to put as much effort into your own website (and social media) as you do this thread, you could probably gain a following which may inturn result in some side work, affiliate money, etc. It is a lot of work and most people on this forum aren't interested in the such (is my opinion) but thought I would bring it up anyway.

Also, regarding your Yeti Bluetooth features, it appears both the pros and cons are similar to my Victron setup. I'm not sure if this relates to your setup but after today I figured that I should have installed a breaker between the solar panels and the MPPT instead of an inline fuse. My thought was that it would be rare that I would need to disconnect the panels from the MPPT but I have discovered that the app won't recognize the Bluetooth solar controller sometimes and I need to reset it by disconnecting the two. Also, I just received word that it's recommended to disconnect the panels from the MPPT when not in use. So, climbing up on the roof to disconnect the fuse is a pain. Anyway, just thought I would mention that while you're in the build phase in case you haven't installed a breaker where your Bluetooth stuff is connected so you can easily reset it. Keep up the good work 👍🏻
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Anyway, just thought I would mention that while you're in the build phase in case you haven't installed a breaker where your Bluetooth stuff is connected so you can easily reset it. Keep up the good work 👍🏻
Thanks for the ideas around the breaker. I'll put that on my long todo list.

I'm not that interested in monetization but I appreciate your generous comments. Like many on this forum, when I grew up there weren't many resources available to figure things out.
There are loads of bright and creative people on youtube and forums like these that have done fantastic work. While I don't think my work is of the same caliber, I want to give back to the community. Now, is a glorious time to get help or ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Toilet
I am not planning on living in my van. Most of my trips will be a week long, more or less.
Given that, I went with a manual Thetford porta potty off Amazon. It’s simple, easy to empty and can also double as a stool (get it? Ha ha).
My family was nice enough to sew a cover for it. There are similar ones on Etsy if you don’t have sewing skills yourself.
I included a picture of the finished cover as well as the interior of it so you can see the sewing pattern that seem to work for us
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Trailer electrical wiring

The van was originally purchased with the trailer wiring provisions as an option. The original owner provided me with the final wiring harness which was the last 4 feet or so but it wasn’t installed.
Today I installed the wiring harness so I can tow a U-Haul Trailer for spring yardwork.

It was a fairly simple project with the stubbed wiring from Ford about 3 feet back on the driver side. I zip tied the wire harness back to the frame. I finally zip tied the receptacle above the receiver to be out of the way and secure.

In hindsight, the Ford OEM receiver would have provided a cleaner look because it has a cut out for the electrical wiring harness. I’m OK with my solution with the trailer receiver but a cleaner look would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
As is frequently the case, I looked for directions/advice after the fact. Here is a 17 page topic on tow/trailer electronics, cables and installation.
It looks like I can buy a mounting frame that will hold my Ford OEM trailer socket if I don't like the tie wraps. ~$13 with delivery. I should have ordered it with the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Adding a Fridge Freezer

Link to Massimo 50qt Fridge Freeze

To get fridge/freezer capabilities, I picked up a 50Q Fridge Freezer from Costco for $300 including shipping, excluding tax. It is also sold through Home Depot.
  • Capacity: 50 Liter
  • Average Power Consumption: 45 +- 5W
  • Adjustable from +20°C to -20°C
  • Comes with cords such as DC power cable to connect with 12 volt/24 volt power source, AC to DC adapter to connect with 100~240 Volt AC power source
  • Portable with wheels and extendable handle like roller luggage
  • LG compressor.
At a third of the price, it is clearly a different price/quality point than the popular Dometic but it may meet my needs nicely.
It has a 3- stage battery protection system so the voltage can be set when the cooler auto turns off so it doesn’t drain your battery.

When using your primary vehicle battery, you set it to H battery protection(highest voltage cutoff). For secondary battery packs like the Goal Zero, you set it to M or L and you don’t need a special cable to bump the voltage. It seems to work for me without a problem (or additional expensive cable).

When it arrived, I plugged it into the house 120V and it froze a small bucket of water easily overnight. Attaching it to my Goal Zero using the supplied 12V cigarette cable had it freezing water as advertised. There is a slight noise with the fan/compressor but about the same as a small personal heater. It was fine for me and my wife.

For longer trips, I’ll use it to make ice blocks that I’ll use in a larger ice chest.

Practical usage: I can stick a 6 pack in the cooler and turn it on. When I am finished flying 3 or 4 hours later, the drinks are partially frozen and only 2% of my battery has been used. If it doesn't fail, I think I’ll be happy.

Potentially issues or weak areas:
  • It’s plastic so it won’t take the same hard hits that a metal enclosure might endure. That said, I’m sitting on the cooler and it seems sturdy enough for that.
  • The space is somewhat odd to utilize, as tall as the unit but not the whole width. The compressor and control panel are on the right side of the enclosure whereas the Dometic has the compressor on the bottom giving you a wider but shallower space. It would have been nice if they had included a wire cage insert.
  • Poor insulation. When it’s not plugged in, it warms up quickly. The unit is fairly light and the lid and sides feel like they are hollow..
  • You will need to make your own cable if you want to hardwire it to the 12V supply.
 

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Electronics based on a Goal Zero Yeti 3000
Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station w/ WiFi Control | Goal Zero

I bought a Yeti 3000 (Pack capacity: 3075Wh (10.95V, 280.8Ah)) as the foundation for my electrical system. It’s an all-in-1 system that includes a battery, bms, inverter, charger and both input and output connectors (plugs) and it can either be recharged from your alternator(optional module), shore power or solar panels if you have them. I like that it’s nicely packaged, neat and relatively small. Overall I like it but it has some shortcomings.
The Yeti 3000 is heavy but less than the second row Ford Transit seats:)

I bought the Yeti 3000 at REI using the 20% off coupon. At the same time I bought the Link module with my wife’s coupon for faster alternator charging.
Note that you will also need to buy the car cable kit to wire it up to the alternator.

Input (charging)
My setup is charged two ways, either using the CCP via the Link module when the car is running or, when the engine is off, the ability to charge from shore power. I think this will work well for my situation because I generally move campsites each night and don't like to park and stay at a location. The third option, which I didn’t pursue, is solar which seems to get positive reviews but I didn’t think would work as well for me in the pacific northwest and my winter activities.

While the Goal Zero Link cable is quite short (2 feet?), it will reach the rear of Yeti if you use the CCP on the driver's seat and have the Yeti placed immediately behind the driver seat which isn't a bad location. The Link plugs into the rear of the unit. The CCP is a bit awkward to access but otherwise is a short and easy install.
View attachment 134649

Note you will need to buy the nuts for the CCP and ground point. I used this forum to get smarter and there are plenty of threads about the CCP. I have the single 60A CCP and I think it will be fine for charging.
Later, I installed the Yeti in a cabinet, both to clean up the cabling as well as making it harder to steal. I took off the wheels and bolted some 8020 around it so a thief would need to be just slightly more determined than the opportunistic type. Hopefully, I will add a cable lock at some point before it’s stolen.


I installed a NOCO power plug inlet on the rear bumper as shown by others in the forum so I could neatly hook up shore power.
View attachment 134650


It was easy to install and looks good. The extension cable routes up through the van body without any new holes. I plugged it into an octopus to get multiple shore power plugs inside the van.
When shore power is available, I can plug in two wall chargers (both included in the 3000) which will recharge the 3000 if I leave it overnight. If we are on longer trips, the captain will want a hot shower every couple days so we will hit a campground and usually get shore power there. I used velcro to mount the wall chargers to the side of the Yeti and keep it neat.
Note that shore power charging is slow(114w), even with two chargers working simultaneously.
View attachment 134651


Output (using the power)
From an output perspective, you need to push a button to use the 120V ports, or another button to use the USB ports, or (finally) another button to use the 12V ports. These activate the inverter.If you leave the buttons on, they will slowly drain the battery due to the inverter load.
You can easily see the continuous drain from the 120V inverter even if you don't have anything plugged in.
Likewise you see a smaller draw if you open up the USB ports (smaller inverter) even when you don't have anything plugged in.
There is no draw on the 12V outlets if there is nothing plugged in because there is no inverter used.
In a previous van I had some trouble figuring out what was draining the battery so I like these buttons to effectively disconnect the battery from any loads.

Over the holidays, I parked it for 2+ months, turning off the wifi and lighted panel on the front, and it held its charge without any loss.
I used an Anderson to ring cable from the Yeti 12V output to go to a 12V Blue Sea distribution
and then all my 12V accessories get fed through that.
Super easy and pretty clean.

Off that 12V distribution panel I have multiple USB plugs, lights, MaxAir Fan. I still need to add the fridge and a water pump.
View attachment 134652
I mounted the distribution panel onto a piece of wood and then used velcro to attach the whole thing to the wall of the cabinet near the Yeti. This keeps it off the floor but still accessible as needed. I love velcro:)
View attachment 134653
I took the 120v output to two power strips. One will drive the kitchen (microwave, kettle and blender). The other is unused at this point.
I don’t expect to use the USB plugs much.


Goal Zero iphone App
When it works, the iPhone app is convenient since I have the Yeti buried in a cabinet. The Yeti has its own Wifi which you can connect and see the real-time status, turn on and off inverters but the range is fairly limited (close to the van). Alternately, you can access the Yeti through a home wifi and then monitor it remotely (from anywhere). Unfortunately, you have to choose which mode you want to do because it’s a pain (5 minutes of fiddling) to toggle back and forth. I’ve had continued problems with WiFi connections. While it’s easy to connect with my various speakers and printers it seems to be poorly implemented in this app. It hasn’t been updated on the Appstore in a year which gives me some concern about its future.
View attachment 134654

GZ Support Toll-Free: 1-888-794-6250 has been great when I have called. I usually get a real person that knows what they are doing and point me in the right direction. Emailing support has been slower (within a couple business days).

Irritations and shortcomings:

The cost which was known at the start but gets reinforced every time you buy a cable.

I was disappointed that you can't install the Link module (alternator charging) at the same time as the MTTP (solar charging) module. While there are two accessory slots in the Yeti 3000, both these modules need to occupy the right accessory slot. In my perfect world, I'd have both installed so if I decided to park in a field for a week I could charge with solar. Now I just have the MPPT module sitting in a box.

At some point, if I went solar, it would take me ~30 minutes or so to access the unit and switch the modules.

When I am hooked to shore power, it charges slowly (114w observed). If I hook up a large load to the battery pack like an electric heater (1400w observed), I would have expected that the Yeti was smart enough to pass through the shore power. Instead, it seems to take the load from the battery (1400w) while filling it at a slow rate. Ultimately, the battery will run out pretty quick even when plugged into shore power. I can get around it by manually switching some plugs but it irritates me.

I can see also why Goal Zero is coming out with a more powerful inverter for the newer version of the 3000. At times, the 3000 won't power some items like an old circular saw due to the peak load on start. We need to be somewhat careful as I add items like a blender, microwave or toaster oven.

The app should probably use bluetooth or a better WiFi implementation like so many other successful networked devices. Remote management is awkward because many times the app can't find the Yeti on the network.

GZ Tips found from other member on the forum or GZ Support

The Yeti 3000 has a 1500 watt max continuous 120 volt AC inverter, and a 3000 watt surge max, so it can run any device that is 1500 watts or below or a combination of devices that is 1500 watts or below. To figure out the power consumption of your devices in watts you will want to do:
Volts x amps = watts

A device that has a 15 amp motor at 120 volts would be: 120 x 15 = 1800 watts. So it is likely it would not run on the Yeti as it exceeds the Yeti 3000 1500 watt continuous max.

To reset the Yeti simply hold down the UNITS and the INFO buttons at the same time for 5 seconds. The display will go dark and the Yeti will reboot.
Electronics based on a Goal Zero Yeti 3000
Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station w/ WiFi Control | Goal Zero

I bought a Yeti 3000 (Pack capacity: 3075Wh (10.95V, 280.8Ah)) as the foundation for my electrical system. It’s an all-in-1 system that includes a battery, bms, inverter, charger and both input and output connectors (plugs) and it can either be recharged from your alternator(optional module), shore power or solar panels if you have them. I like that it’s nicely packaged, neat and relatively small. Overall I like it but it has some shortcomings.
The Yeti 3000 is heavy but less than the second row Ford Transit seats:)

I bought the Yeti 3000 at REI using the 20% off coupon. At the same time I bought the Link module with my wife’s coupon for faster alternator charging.
Note that you will also need to buy the car cable kit to wire it up to the alternator.

Input (charging)
My setup is charged two ways, either using the CCP via the Link module when the car is running or, when the engine is off, the ability to charge from shore power. I think this will work well for my situation because I generally move campsites each night and don't like to park and stay at a location. The third option, which I didn’t pursue, is solar which seems to get positive reviews but I didn’t think would work as well for me in the pacific northwest and my winter activities.

While the Goal Zero Link cable is quite short (2 feet?), it will reach the rear of Yeti if you use the CCP on the driver's seat and have the Yeti placed immediately behind the driver seat which isn't a bad location. The Link plugs into the rear of the unit. The CCP is a bit awkward to access but otherwise is a short and easy install.
View attachment 134649

Note you will need to buy the nuts for the CCP and ground point. I used this forum to get smarter and there are plenty of threads about the CCP. I have the single 60A CCP and I think it will be fine for charging.
Later, I installed the Yeti in a cabinet, both to clean up the cabling as well as making it harder to steal. I took off the wheels and bolted some 8020 around it so a thief would need to be just slightly more determined than the opportunistic type. Hopefully, I will add a cable lock at some point before it’s stolen.


I installed a NOCO power plug inlet on the rear bumper as shown by others in the forum so I could neatly hook up shore power.
View attachment 134650


It was easy to install and looks good. The extension cable routes up through the van body without any new holes. I plugged it into an octopus to get multiple shore power plugs inside the van.
When shore power is available, I can plug in two wall chargers (both included in the 3000) which will recharge the 3000 if I leave it overnight. If we are on longer trips, the captain will want a hot shower every couple days so we will hit a campground and usually get shore power there. I used velcro to mount the wall chargers to the side of the Yeti and keep it neat.
Note that shore power charging is slow(114w), even with two chargers working simultaneously.
View attachment 134651


Output (using the power)
From an output perspective, you need to push a button to use the 120V ports, or another button to use the USB ports, or (finally) another button to use the 12V ports. These activate the inverter.If you leave the buttons on, they will slowly drain the battery due to the inverter load.
You can easily see the continuous drain from the 120V inverter even if you don't have anything plugged in.
Likewise you see a smaller draw if you open up the USB ports (smaller inverter) even when you don't have anything plugged in.
There is no draw on the 12V outlets if there is nothing plugged in because there is no inverter used.
In a previous van I had some trouble figuring out what was draining the battery so I like these buttons to effectively disconnect the battery from any loads.

Over the holidays, I parked it for 2+ months, turning off the wifi and lighted panel on the front, and it held its charge without any loss.
I used an Anderson to ring cable from the Yeti 12V output to go to a 12V Blue Sea distribution
and then all my 12V accessories get fed through that.
Super easy and pretty clean.

Off that 12V distribution panel I have multiple USB plugs, lights, MaxAir Fan. I still need to add the fridge and a water pump.
View attachment 134652
I mounted the distribution panel onto a piece of wood and then used velcro to attach the whole thing to the wall of the cabinet near the Yeti. This keeps it off the floor but still accessible as needed. I love velcro:)
View attachment 134653
I took the 120v output to two power strips. One will drive the kitchen (microwave, kettle and blender). The other is unused at this point.
I don’t expect to use the USB plugs much.


Goal Zero iphone App
When it works, the iPhone app is convenient since I have the Yeti buried in a cabinet. The Yeti has its own Wifi which you can connect and see the real-time status, turn on and off inverters but the range is fairly limited (close to the van). Alternately, you can access the Yeti through a home wifi and then monitor it remotely (from anywhere). Unfortunately, you have to choose which mode you want to do because it’s a pain (5 minutes of fiddling) to toggle back and forth. I’ve had continued problems with WiFi connections. While it’s easy to connect with my various speakers and printers it seems to be poorly implemented in this app. It hasn’t been updated on the Appstore in a year which gives me some concern about its future.
View attachment 134654

GZ Support Toll-Free: 1-888-794-6250 has been great when I have called. I usually get a real person that knows what they are doing and point me in the right direction. Emailing support has been slower (within a couple business days).

Irritations and shortcomings:

The cost which was known at the start but gets reinforced every time you buy a cable.

I was disappointed that you can't install the Link module (alternator charging) at the same time as the MTTP (solar charging) module. While there are two accessory slots in the Yeti 3000, both these modules need to occupy the right accessory slot. In my perfect world, I'd have both installed so if I decided to park in a field for a week I could charge with solar. Now I just have the MPPT module sitting in a box.

At some point, if I went solar, it would take me ~30 minutes or so to access the unit and switch the modules.

When I am hooked to shore power, it charges slowly (114w observed). If I hook up a large load to the battery pack like an electric heater (1400w observed), I would have expected that the Yeti was smart enough to pass through the shore power. Instead, it seems to take the load from the battery (1400w) while filling it at a slow rate. Ultimately, the battery will run out pretty quick even when plugged into shore power. I can get around it by manually switching some plugs but it irritates me.

I can see also why Goal Zero is coming out with a more powerful inverter for the newer version of the 3000. At times, the 3000 won't power some items like an old circular saw due to the peak load on start. We need to be somewhat careful as I add items like a blender, microwave or toaster oven.

The app should probably use bluetooth or a better WiFi implementation like so many other successful networked devices. Remote management is awkward because many times the app can't find the Yeti on the network.

GZ Tips found from other member on the forum or GZ Support

The Yeti 3000 has a 1500 watt max continuous 120 volt AC inverter, and a 3000 watt surge max, so it can run any device that is 1500 watts or below or a combination of devices that is 1500 watts or below. To figure out the power consumption of your devices in watts you will want to do:
Volts x amps = watts

A device that has a 15 amp motor at 120 volts would be: 120 x 15 = 1800 watts. So it is likely it would not run on the Yeti as it exceeds the Yeti 3000 1500 watt continuous max.

To reset the Yeti simply hold down the UNITS and the INFO buttons at the same time for 5 seconds. The display will go dark and the Yeti will reboot.
Short link cable?
Isnt' the GZ link cable for CCP 12' in length? or did you use something else than GZ's Link car charging kit?
 

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just reading thru your build thread. This is for others who may read. Mcmaster-Carr is an excellent resource for 8020, or anything you need in the hardware world. they deliver IN DAYS not weeks. I order something by 3 on monday, have it at noon tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Short link cable?
Isnt' the GZ link cable for CCP 12' in length? or did you use something else than GZ's Link car charging kit?
I bought the GZ Link at REI and it didn't come with any cables. They don't sell the complete kit.

There is a short 39 inch cable (with lugs to bolt to + and - CCP terminal) and a longer 12 foot extension cable and, depending on your situation, you may only need the shorter cable. If you only want to use the 12 foot cable you will need to add termination points for the CCP.

In hindsight, you're right, I should have just bought the whole GZ Link Car kit which includes a Yeti Link, a Male EC8 to Ring Terminal, and an EC8 12ft Extension Terminal. The picture in the the link shows the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Not yet.
I pick it up at the end of the week and I'll take the long way home to see if I can fly some spots along the way.

I'll drop an update next week or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
AutoHeatshield Sunshade for Ford Full Size Transit Van

I'm heading off on a week long camp to the hot side of the state so I bought these sun shades off Amazon for the front window and side windows for roughly $90 for the set. This seems pricey to me but I couldn't find other commercial offerings much cheaper.

The front has a cutout for the large sensor and uses the factory sun visors to keep it pressed to the windshield.
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The sides have small suction cups that seem to work remarkably well. I wish they were on the front screen.

The fit for all of them is great and they could easily work as privacy shields as well.
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Discussion Starter #39
Rear tire holder by Aluminess

I had 4wd and new tires put on at Quadvan which I'll provide an update in a bit. As part of that, the spare tire won't fit below the van so I decided to buy the Aluminess rear spare tire holder. It mounts on the driver side directly mounted to the upper and lower hinges as well as at the latch(pics below) . It doesn't open separately from the door, it is now part of the driver side rear door.
The install seems straightforward outside the obvious awkwardness of taking the rear door off.


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On the first 300 miles or so, it isn't noticeable outside the tire which can be seen from the rear window. No new noises.

The only slight downside it that the door can no longer be opened fully because the door will hit the side panel. It is a foregone conclusion that at some point soon I will have a dent in the side panel because I forgot this restriction or the wind will catch the door. I'll investigate adding a stop.
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Expensive and nicely made, like most of the products that I've seen from Aluminess.


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After it was installed and I was scheduled to pick the van up, I saw on this forum that they now integrated a ladder into the rear tire holder. I wish I had known when I ordered this one because the ladder would be handy.
 

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Tire rack looks great. I’ll be joining the club soon enough. I don’t trust the full-size spare wedged underneath the van. This looks like a much better option.

Perhaps a simple piece of nylon strapping between the Inside surface of the D-pillar
and the door, would prevent full swing out. Two rivnuts, two bolts and washers and the last 16” of a ratchet strap might be all you need to stop that dent from forming.
 
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