Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
565 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
My Dad went the Goal Zero route, it works, but there ends up being a spaghetti tangle of wires always coming out of the front to run everything. I think that he will pull it this next year and go with a conventional self built system.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I’ve been considering gettin one because I get a bit of a discount on goal zero and am already a bit fed up with my flooded golf cart batteries. I’m just a bit confused on how many 12v loads you can plug in and how much hassle it will be as well as if it will be able to accept charging from my renogy panels.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I found this article useful in comparing DIY vs GoalZero vs Kodiak - except that Kodiak just introduced a new unit that addresses some of the issues (like lack of MPPT).

https://www.explorist.life/goal-zero-vs-kodiak-vs-diy-camper-van-solar/

Here's a comparison of the new K2 Kodiak with the GZ 1400:

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/full-size-systems.html

Overall at the 100-200 Amp Hr battery range, if you're looking at lithium, Kodiak/GoalZero units are cheaper or the same price as DIY, which surprised me. I went with a GZ 1400 lithium and so far so good. The spaghetti cable issue is legit but one possible middle ground is to still do house wiring to a fuse box/distribution panel and then plug that into the Anderson Power Pole port on the GZ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I’ve been considering gettin one because I get a bit of a discount on goal zero and am already a bit fed up with my flooded golf cart batteries. I’m just a bit confused on how many 12v loads you can plug in and how much hassle it will be as well as if it will be able to accept charging from my renogy panels.
On the GZ 1400, input limit is 360 watts of solar at 22 volts max. Because of the voltage restriction you need to wire your panels in parallel. I have 2 100 W Renogy panels and a 100W foldable Renogy panel. For the 2 100 W panels, I used a parallel adapter, MC4 extension cables, and a MC4 to Anderson Power Pole connector from Renogy. (https://www.renogy.com/mc4-to-anderson-powerpole-connector/) The GZ has the Anderson connectors oriented vertically, and the Renogy cable had them horizontal, so I had to peel back the rubber boot over the Anderson connectors and re-orient them. That was easy. For the portable Renogy panel, I bought a MC4 to 8mm adapter from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HQXQV8G/) and then an 8mm GoalZero extension cable. So I can run the 100W foldable and 2 100 W panels at the same time using different connectors.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,775 Posts
I have a Li car starter kit that is amazing! It is rated to start my 3.0L diesel 5 times! It is small enough to hold in one hand and cost less than one jump start from the garage. I have used it a handful of times for friends vehicles with failing batteries. A G.Z. or Kodiak that you can cary with one hand, transport from vehicle to vehicle, take out in the desert in the 4Runner and to the beach to run a nice fan would be a cool appliance. This sort of a device is large enough to support a simple van conversion like mine, have a plug and play interface and via mass production be so adaptable it’s cost is a no brainer. Unfortunately all the car starter lithium sets come from China and so will a new generation of portable power I expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
I found this article useful in comparing DIY vs GoalZero vs Kodiak - except that Kodiak just introduced a new unit that addresses some of the issues (like lack of MPPT).

https://www.explorist.life/goal-zero-vs-kodiak-vs-diy-camper-van-solar/

Here's a comparison of the new K2 Kodiak with the GZ 1400:

https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/full-size-systems.html

Overall at the 100-200 Amp Hr battery range, if you're looking at lithium, Kodiak/GoalZero units are cheaper or the same price as DIY, which surprised me. I went with a GZ 1400 lithium and so far so good. The spaghetti cable issue is legit but one possible middle ground is to still do house wiring to a fuse box/distribution panel and then plug that into the Anderson Power Pole port on the GZ.
great links but was surprised to read that these things charge at max 10A from 12v. that is un-necessarily low charge rate and results in some really long charge times via alternator and not really practical for a campervan IMO. id suggest charging via alternator->inverter->110 if you use one of these.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
great links but was surprised to read that these things charge at max 10A from 12v. that is un-necessarily low charge rate and results in some really long charge times via alternator and not really practical for a campervan IMO. id suggest charging via alternator->inverter->110 if you use one of these.
Unfortunately, for AC charging, the best you can do with GoalZero and 2 AC adapters (the supplied one and an additional, purchased, one) is also 10 amps DC (120 watts). That's a plus for the Kodiak, which can handle 19 amps DC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,599 Posts
....This sort of a device is large enough to support a simple van conversion like mine,

This is one of those "sounds too good to be true"... and it is!


It MAY work to jump start a car but, if you look at the specs, most are rated at 12V at about 10Ah. That's not going to work for any long term need. It might recharge your phone a few times, but it will not power a Fantastic fan or Maxxair for much time...(< a few hours, maybe.)


Sorry, no such thing as a free ride! Or cheap plentiful battery power!


IMHO :D


.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,775 Posts
Sorry to not have been clear, I meant the Goal Zero to run the van not my little car starter! My thought is the Goal Zero sort of device could be used for lots of applications and if sold in sufficient quantity would become a viable option. I thought about the car starter because they have gone from $100+ down to $30+- in about 4 years. A $3000 Goal Zero or Kodiak might become $1,000+- with 100 A-H
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
My Dad went the Goal Zero route, it works, but there ends up being a spaghetti tangle of wires always coming out of the front to run everything. I think that he will pull it this next year and go with a conventional self built system.
What all is your Dad running off of his GZ? Which model? Does he have solar for recharging?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
He has an older Yeti, and yes, it is hooked up to solar as well as 2 agm batteries. Right now he has rewired the van, so the goal zero is just there as a backup power source and used as a 110v inverter for things like a hair blow dryer and the instapot.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
137 Posts
I have a goal zero 1000 and I love it, I think if I was to build the van again I would probably do the actual route of wiring up a custom solution but the thing is plug and play and works really well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Overall at the 100-200 Amp Hr battery range, if you're looking at lithium, Kodiak/GoalZero units are cheaper or the same price as DIY, which surprised me. I went with a GZ 1400 lithium and so far so good. The spaghetti cable issue is legit but one possible middle ground is to still do house wiring to a fuse box/distribution panel and then plug that into the Anderson Power Pole port on the GZ.
I'll be wiring a small 6-plug fuse block behind my Goal Zero Yeti 1000 and connect it to the unit with the Anderson Power Pole port as wnybiker suggests. That's definitely one way to reduce the "spaghetti wiring" problem. For me, in my very limited 12V system, plugging in the fuse block and then my Dometic CF18 cooler into the 12V socket on the unit will be the only two wires that need to be connected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I'll be wiring a small 6-plug fuse block behind my Goal Zero Yeti 1000 and connect it to the unit with the Anderson Power Pole port as wnybiker suggests. That's definitely one way to reduce the "spaghetti wiring" problem. For me, in my very limited 12V system, plugging in the fuse block and then my Dometic CF18 cooler into the 12V socket on the unit will be the only two wires that need to be connected.
One thing you need to be careful about with the GZ lithium units is that their 12v DC output is not regulated and produce much less that 12 volts as they discharge. Dometic coolers, and other 12 volt refrigerators, have automatic shut offs that kick in around 10 ish volts so they don't kill your car battery if they are plugged into your cigarette lighter. You will definitely hit this issue at 50% or more of charge with a GZ lithium device. GoalZero sells a cable that produces regulated output:

Trust me, you'll need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I'm planning on getting the bigger 1400 with the vehicle charge kit and single output cable. I this way I can distribute to my van circuit(s), have an inverter if I need it, and if something happens and I neeed power at home in an emergency it is there. Lot of my friends are doing this same set up (no solar) and loving it.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top