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Looking into options for the house electrical system and I like what I see for the Kodiak system. I seen a little bit of talk about this but more for the Yeti systems. I see that some like the Yeti systems but list some downfalls. The Kodiak system seems to address many of those. I like the fast charge capability up to 600 watts. Only 20 lbs and for a basic system I think it would work well. Can be taken out and used outside of the van too. I think the charge time is fairly good too so it could be taken elsewhere to charge if needed. If it does not seem to be enough storage capacity you can add a second battery to it. It can handle up to 600 watts from solar too.

Cost is fairly high but for an all in one solution I think this might be a better option than designing a dedicated system in my van.

Again still looking at options and starting from scratch now. No house electrical installed yet. Main cooking will probably be gas but might have a small microwave (Mainly to reheat food). At first I thought we might look into getting a larger system to be able to run air conditioning. I think that much drain will be hard to setup to work without a huge system so I quickly jumped ship on that and am now looking at something simple. Other loads will be a small efficient frig, vent fan, a few small DC fans, electronics charging and lighting. We don't sit in 1 location very long so I think 2 nights max. If it is too hot we will probably just find somewhere with 110V plugin so we can have air conditioning. Not sure if I will do roof top or a portable unit yet.

Thx in advance for any suggestions/comments.
 

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I found a link https://www.inergysolar.com/product/kodiak/

I have to admit it seems like a simple system but for $1900? Convience has cost obviously. My biggest concern, other than cost, is these "all in one" solutions are nice and easy until it comes time to repair, replace or upgrade something. I guess the simple answer is "If you can afford it go for it. What do you have to lose other than money." PLUS, and this is a big plus - you still need to add the cost of solar panels in not to mention an extra battery (as they suggest you might need) which just about triples the cost of a DIY system.

My opinion - FAIL!

Please keep us posted. These all in one systems are probably a sign of the future but beware of their limitations before you commit.
 

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It's a matter of perspective. I can't comment on the quality--and that's a key issue-- but if I hadn't had MrNomer to do the electrical, I'd have been all over something like that.
 

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before i decided to just send our PM off to a local upfitter the Kodiak was #1 on a short list of "House Electrical" options. The price to me was resonable for a nice compact all in one (& from what i can gather) well thought out unit.
Best wishes on the build.

Thom
 

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Numbers don't add up. It only weighs 20 lbs is the main one. A 100ah lifipo4 battery weights about 30lbs, a 1500 watt inverter charger weighs 10 lbs and it has more electrical outlets than my house is another.
 

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It’s a $1900 solution to a $500 problem.
 
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I also wondered where all the power was coming from, but then I'm not calibrated on Lithium. My assumption was that it works as advertised.

If it does work as advertised, you'd never replace it for $500, even if you built it from parts, nor could you match the functionality with other technology at $500. Look at the numbers they are advertising.

The more I look at those numbers, the more skeptical I get. Too good to be true even at the price.
 

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I also wondered where all the power was coming from, but then I'm not calibrated on Lithium. My assumption was that it works as advertised.

If it does work as advertised, you'd never replace it for $500, even if you built it from parts, nor could you match the functionality with other technology at $500. Look at the numbers they are advertising.

The more I look at those numbers, the more skeptical I get. Too good to be true even at the price.
The system you described needing is basically my system. I didn't look at the specs of the Kodiak but someone mentioned 100A. IMO 100A is not enough if you have a fridge. I have 250A and I'd say that is a good number so I'm not having to pay attention to my power consumption for a couple of days. More amp hrs than that gets really expensive. My system isn't a $500 system though. RD touts a much cheaper system but I couldn't get mine that low. I didn't go with the most expensive components but I didn't go with the cheapest either. I went with what I thought was the most bang for my buck. With good AGM batteries no way is it that cheap. My batteries were about $484. I know the electrical seems intimidating but it really isn't once it is broken into smaller systems. I have $2300 in my electrical system but that is the TRUE cost. That is everything that can be associated with the electrical system including things like the crimping tool I had to buy to crimp wires. That's solar panels, switches, lights, wire, outlets, wire conduit, all the way down to every screw I purchased to mount the batteries. The major components were $1400.

With all that being said, the cost of the system you're taking about doesn't seem so bad but in the end my system is 10x's the system you'd have in that all in one package. And you'd still need to add $600 to the cost of that all in one package for the solar components that I have.

Now sometimes convenience is worth the money and it may be for you. If you decide to go the route I did I have no problem helping. My system is pretty well documented on this forum as well.

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215 AH of FLA golf cart batteries $170
200 Watts of Renogy PV $230
20 amp MPPT controller $90
Solenoid interconnect $15
Fuzes holders and wire ?????
Total $525?
Why pay more?
 

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Aaah. They tricked me with the "1,100 WATT hour battery. Not how we are usually express battery capacity. The battery would not even fully power the inverter and would be a loser even with a 600W microwave. Been there.

My electrical system is working fine--200Ah AGM, 300W solar, 1500W MSW inverter, etc. costs probably similar to yours (Josh). But I wouldn't have been able to put it together myself. Without MrNomer, I would certainly have been a candidate for an all-in-one system of some kind, hopefully better than this one.
 

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215 AH of FLA golf cart batteries $170
200 Watts of Renogy PV $230
20 amp MPPT controller $90
Solenoid interconnect $15
Fuzes holders and wire ?????
Total $525?
Why pay more?
Plus $1375 for neat fancy Nancy enclosure box ;)
 

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215 AH of FLA golf cart batteries $170
200 Watts of Renogy PV $230
20 amp MPPT controller $90
Solenoid interconnect $15
Fuzes holders and wire ?????
Total $525?
Why pay more?
Lots of reasons to spend more.

Didn't want FLA batteries, wanted 250 AH. I have 200W Renogy Eclipse panels that are smaller and more efficient for $390. I needed the roof real estate. My mppt controller is a Victron that is a little more expensive and I also purchased the Bluetooth dongle. Just those things are around $1,065.

And you don't have an inverter or inverter/charger listed.

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Josh- I wasn’t trying to fit everyones desires.
Shopping around a bit I could do the inverter and charger added for about $550 for the system by finding good panels cheaper and spec some less than state of the art components like a good PWM controller. Your smaller panels are nice I’m sure and it is possible to spend lots more on controllers, inverters and chargers but you really don’t get $500 more power or service for that money. The OP was suggesting a $1900 device which seams to be an integrated charger controller. It seems he was not getting a battery, panels etc. To me those are serious issues not comparable to saving a little roof real estate, bluetooth connection, or another 35 A-H! I stand by this statement- Solar is a roughly $500 system and spending more is OPTIONAL. FLA batteries are superior to AGM but need venting- a simple process.
I support you and anyone else spending their money on lots of stuff they don’t really NEED but the OP didn’t seem to have the background to know what was needed to have a solar system and was searching for a solution. You've suggested one and I’ve suggested one, that should help them decide. Thanks.
 
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Josh- I wasn’t trying to fit everyones desires.
Shopping around a bit I could do the inverter and charger added for about $550 for the system by finding good panels cheaper and spec some less than state of the art components like a good PWM controller. Your smaller panels are nice I’m sure and it is possible to spend lots more on controllers, inverters and chargers but you really don’t get $500 more power or service for that money. The OP was suggesting a $1900 device which seams to be an integrated charger controller. It seems he was not getting a battery, panels etc. To me those are serious issues not comparable to saving a little roof real estate, bluetooth connection, or another 35 A-H! I stand by this statement- Solar is a roughly $500 system and spending more is OPTIONAL. FLA batteries are superior to AGM but need venting- a simple process.
I support you and anyone else spending their money on lots of stuff they don’t really NEED but the OP didn’t seem to have the background to know what was needed to have a solar system and was searching for a solution. You've suggested one and I’ve suggested one, that should help them decide. Thanks.
I was just answering your question of why pay more :)



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Why Not?

Why pay more?
RD,

Your position reminds me of an old argument we frequently encountered in our youthful ham radio days.

We, a then resident of northern Illinois, would be talking to some San Diego ham operator on a frigid January day and they would invariably say, "we're so sorry for you . . . that you must live in Illinois . . . rather than San Diego, the perfect place to live." When we'd question them what they meant, what criteria they had applied, the answer was always the same . . . "the temperature stays warm here all year around."

Ok, if we are to determine the 'perfect place to live' based on a single 'temperature' criterion, San Diego wins hands-down. But aren't there other considerations that should be evaluated?

Your contention on 'campervan electrical' sounds the same to us - - it's a one issue argument. Just substitute 'dollars' for 'temperature'. The only thing that seems important in your analysis is 'how little can we spend.' Clearly, for many, cost is primary. But some of us consider quality, capacity (indeed excess capacity), alternative charge options, simplicity (automatic switching) and - - something that seems totally ignored here - - this is, at least in part, a hobby, it's fun . . . we enjoy exploring and experimenting with technologies . . .

So, in response to your question "why spend more", we ask, "why not?"
 

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Winston- I agree, although I did spec. real quality in my earlier post and capacity is another criteria Josh and I were not differing on. Both are good discussions to have. Id say three old arguments might be fairer in my defense. Remember the $1900 device was what I was responding to.

Despite my suggesting a jumble of parts- it does surprise me there are no kit systems with parts and instructions and upgrade options marketed by someone with a modest profit. I’d envision my setup as a complete package (pick up batteries locally) and component upgrades to be optioned. A 10 page manual with some pictures and a VOM, a terminal crimper and perhaps a soldering kit option. I would think my “kit” might sell for $900-$1000 (w/batteries) and shipping. The $300-$400 of markup would pay to develop it and it still would not be onerously expensive. Options like your smaller panels could be substituted and a range of controllers etc. Besides being a modest business venture it would get the buyer up the learning curve, help them be able to service it later, and standardize these systems.

The last thing I want to do is run a business.
 
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Because more (higher price) isn't always better. The Kodiak setup might do the job but it certainly isn't the "best" option for the OP other than it's "easy". In fact, it's probably the worst option because you have what you have. If it doesn't work as you hoped it would - TS, buy more equipment to upgrade it. Any modular system will be, for the best part, contain better quality individual components vs an "all in one solution".

If you're an electrical engineer and price is of no concern and you want the "best solution" you certainly wouldn't entertain this particular product solution in a second because it offers below par usability. It offers an expensive but poor "easy way out". Underpowered, overpriced for what it offers, needs more of everything to be of any real practical value - i.e. a salesman's wet dream. Under-informed buyer looking for easy way out.

Paying more doesn't always get you more or we would all be driving Sprinters ;)
 

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There's another angle to this conundrum--the word "simple." We toss it around indiscriminately, but each of us has our own definition.

For RD, simple is a basic, inexpensive system that does a few things well. His simplicity is the build phase.

For Winston, simple is plugging in whatever he wants whenever he wants. His simplicity is in the use phase.

Most of us are somewhere in between, and it can actually be cheaper in the long run to veer toward Winston's philosophy in the early planning stage. I wish I had.

I started out even more basic than RD. After so many years of tent camping, even charging ports and LEDs seemed luxurious. 100Ah battery seemed like overkill even after adding an Engel fridge. A separator charged it from the van battery and a Trimetric meter monitored its charge. Added an AC charger for when the van sits and to give the battery the charging profile it needs. Started with a cheap Harbor Freight inverter and had to upgrade to better quality--money wasted. Then I realized that a microwave would be wonderful--that required a second 100 Ah AGM. Then RD and KOV talked me into solar, which I was fortunately able to add with minimal grief. I chose 300W instead of 200W because its shape fit on the roof better and because I was finally learning my lesson. Now I'm being drawn to induction, which really needs pure sign wave to work properly. I don't know whether that will work space-wise, and again there would be money wasted if I replace the present inverter.

So my suggestion is to look first at your dream system. If you could have everything you want, what would it be? Whatever parts of it you can afford (cost and space), go for it. If you can't, prioritize and, if cost is the issue, try to allow for adding the deleted components if you can afford them later. I would like to have more battery capacity, but am not willing to make the space sacrifices, and probably never would have been.

The problem is that it's really hard to envision what you may eventually want when even that cavernous space itself seems so luxurious.
 

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There's another angle to this conundrum--the word "simple." We toss it around indiscriminately, but each of us has our own definition.

For RD, simple is a basic, inexpensive system that does a few things well. His simplicity is the build phase.

For Winston, simple is plugging in whatever he wants whenever he wants. His simplicity is in the use phase.

Most of us are somewhere in between, and it can actually be cheaper in the long run to veer toward Winston's philosophy in the early planning stage. I wish I had.

I started out even more basic than RD. After so many years of tent camping, even charging ports and LEDs seemed luxurious. 100Ah battery seemed like overkill even after adding an Engel fridge. A separator charged it from the van battery and a Trimetric meter monitored its charge. Added an AC charger for when the van sits and to give the battery the charging profile it needs. Started with a cheap Harbor Freight inverter and had to upgrade to better quality--money wasted. Then I realized that a microwave would be wonderful--that required a second 100 Ah AGM. Then RD and KOV talked me into solar, which I was fortunately able to add with minimal grief. I chose 300W instead of 200W because its shape fit on the roof better and because I was finally learning my lesson. Now I'm being drawn to induction, which really needs pure sign wave to work properly. I don't know whether that will work space-wise, and again there would be money wasted if I replace the present inverter.

So my suggestion is to look at the full-bore system first. Whatever parts of it seem attractive and you can afford (cost and space), go for it. If you can't, prioritize and, if cost is the issue, try to allow for adding the deleted components if you can afford them later. I would like to have more battery capacity, but am not willing to make the space sacrifices, and probably never would have been.

The problem is that it's really hard to envision what you may eventually want when even that cavernous space itself seems so luxurious.
And, this is precisely why the Kodiak (or another all in one solution) is a poor choice.
 

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Really good advice. I believe the biggest mistakes in electrical is not evaluating your NEEDS and selecting your WANTS to specify a system that will do the job and keep you happy with the choices you made. Unlike MsNomer I have yet to need to upgrade because I like my gas cooktop and would take a microwave out and an induction cooktop out as I don’t WANT them. I started out with more too. I have bought a 12V electric hot pot to make coffee and am considering a 12V cooker of some sort to roast in during a driving days and my 200 watts has lots of extra power. I came to this van from a truck camper with 80 Watts of solar, incandescent light, a 3 way refrigerator and Fantastic Vent. That experience let me judge better. Most here don’t have any perspective so we can help them by asking for their NEEDS and WANTS and guiding them to avoid the relentless upgrade path, suggesting appropriate level of equipment, and saving them $ on unnecessary options and capacity. If you think that is wrong, Sorry.

If some great electrical thing comes along that needs pure sine wave and lithium I would go there in a minute despite the ration of crap Winston, KOV, MsNomer, ProEddie, Josh, Phil and a bunch of you I have pi$$ed of will give me!>:D
 
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