1996 FZJ80 Pan-American Build

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Progress on the sleeping platform, fridge and kitchen. The outer frame is done. Fridge/drawer divider, compressor mount and rear battery tray going in this weekend. Water tank mount in the spare tire space will be fab'd as well.
Material costs have gone up from my initial estimates but that's true almost across the board. Got a great Black Friday deal on the Dometic fridge close to $500. They go for $800 these days.

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Sleeping platform is finished with Dometic fridge and 48” lock-in/lock-out drawer slides mounted up. Two 100ah batteries secured behind the fridge and Viair 485c compressor mounted on the driver’s side rear.

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@ofer bruhis I’m going with a 22” Partner Steel stove running off an 11lb propane tank. Induction would be nice but I wonder about the current draw and wattage required.
 
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@ofer bruhis I’m going with a 22” Partner Steel stove running off an 11lb propane tank. Induction would be nice but I wonder about the current draw and wattage required.
Cool. Why do you need so much battery power? Is it 2.5KW? 2x12V 100A? In our 80 series we used just an extra AGM from Costco and spent a month in the car every trip and it’s plenty of power. All we really need power is the fridge and I calculated that without charge battery will last almost a week. By then the food will be bad or will be driving sooner. We also have a 100W Renogy flex on the roof. I just thought that real estate is so precious that we prefer having the battery in the engine bay instead of inside the cab. Just my thought… 😀
 
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Cool. Why do you need so much battery power? Is it 2.5KW? 2x12V 100A? In our 80 series we used just an extra AGM from Costco and spent a month in the car every trip and it’s plenty of power. All we really need power is the fridge and I calculated that without charge battery will last almost a week. By then the food will be bad or will be driving sooner. We also have a 100W Renogy flex on the roof. I just thought that real estate is so precious that we prefer having the battery in the engine bay instead of inside the cab. Just my thought… 😀
Yes, 2x 100ah lithium batteries. Their primary use is powering the fridge, USB fans and charging electronics when the vehicle is not running. I know it’s overkill but it gives me redundancy if one of the batteries fails during our 6+ months on the road in South America. Main reason for lithium was the greatly reduced time to recharge. My initial plan was to go with dual AGMs up in the engine bay but ended up biting the bullet and went with lithiums. I really don’t know what my actual usage scenario will be on the trip so I erred on the side of caution.
 
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Yes, 2x 100ah lithium batteries. Their primary use is powering the fridge, USB fans and charging electronics when the vehicle is not running. I know it’s overkill but it gives me redundancy if one of the batteries fails during our 6+ months on the road in South America. Main reason for lithium was the greatly reduced time to recharge. My initial plan was to go with dual AGMs up in the engine bay but ended up biting the bullet and went with lithiums. I really don’t know what my actual usage scenario will be on the trip so I erred on the side of caution.
The reason I choose AGM is because they are less ‘spoiled’ then lithium. Do you have a bigger alternator in the rig?
 
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The reason I choose AGM is because they are less ‘spoiled’ then lithium. Do you have a bigger alternator in the rig?

The reason I choose AGM is because they are less ‘spoiled’ then lithium and don’t require special electronics to charge from alternator. Do you have a bigger alternator in the rig?
I’ve got a 150 amp Sequoia alternator in my rig. The lithiums are charged by a Redarc BCDC40. I‘m also putting in a NOCO battery charger/conditioner that is connected to a shore power plug for when AC power is available in camps.
 
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I’ve got a 150 amp Sequoia alternator in my rig. The lithiums are charged by a Redarc BCDC40. I‘m also putting in a NOCO battery charger/conditioner that is connected to a shore power plug for when AC power is available in camps.
Yes. That will do it!!! Top of the line components.
 
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Finally got the rig home from the fabricator. I’m really pleased with the quality of the work. The bed platform frame turned out great. Can’t wait to get the drawer built and the plywood top on it.

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Progress on the hot shower system too. The 15 gallon tank is tucked up under the back nicely. There was a trade off between capacity and impact on the departure angle but I feel good about the compromise.

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Nicely done. Are you planning to go solo or you are two people traveling?

Our water system is very similar. Have you seen it? We are running 2 12.5 gallon stainless tanks. One heats up with a heat exchange with the engine. We blow low pressure into the tanks so no pump is required.
 
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Nicely done. Are you planning to go solo or you are two people traveling?

Our water system is very similar. Have you seen it? We are running 2 12.5 gallon stainless tanks. One heats up with a heat exchange with the engine. We blow low pressure into the tanks so no pump is required.
It will be me and my 19 year old son. I got the idea for my system from your build in the 80 series. I simplified mine to have one tank with no hot/cold mixing. I almost went with a dual tank + bullfinch shower mixer but decided on a single tank heated to 120F. I’m using a second water pump to fill the tank (when pressurized faucet not available) and, when reversed it will pull water from the tank to the shower head. I have OBA but decided against using air pressure to push water to the shower. Here is the system I’m using.
 
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It will be me and my 19 year old son. I got the idea for my system from your build in the 80 series. I simplified mine to have one tank with no hot/cold mixing. I almost went with a dual tank + bullfinch shower mixer but decided on a single tank heated to 120F. I’m using a second water pump to fill the tank (when pressurized faucet not available) and, when reversed it will pull water from the tank to the shower head. I have OBA but decided against using air pressure to push water to the shower. Here is the system I’m using.
You guys will have an amazing time. You sure have the right rig for it and seems your setup will be perfect for the two of you. Do you speak Spanish?

My dream is to ship our 80 to Chile and spend a couple of months in Patagonia. My parents were born in Argentina and Uruguay so I speak Spanish as well.
 
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You guys will have an amazing time. You sure have the right rig for it and seems your setup will be perfect for the two of you. Do you speak Spanish?

My dream is to ship our 80 to Chile and spend a couple of months in Patagonia. My parents were born in Argentina and Uruguay so I speak Spanish as well.
Thanks. I studied Spanish in high school and college so, though not fluent, I have a pretty good vocabulary and am proficient in day to day conversations. Basically, I can be polite, ask directions, find food, lodging and gas - the basics. When I spent 3-4 weeks in Spain right after college I did OK and the translation tools available for more complex conversations are so much more advanced now.

Patagonia has been a dream of mine for a very long time so I understand your desire to spend some time there. My son's great passion is fishing so it was easy to convince him to be trapped in a vehicle with his dad for 6 months.
 
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Thanks. I studied Spanish in high school and college so, though not fluent, I have a pretty good vocabulary and am proficient in day to day conversations. Basically, I can be polite, ask directions, find food, lodging and gas - the basics. When I spent 3-4 weeks in Spain right after college I did OK and the translation tools available for more complex conversations are so much more advanced now.

Patagonia has been a dream of mine for a very long time so I understand your desire to spend some time there. My son's great passion is fishing so it was easy to convince him to be trapped in a vehicle with his dad for 6 months.
Patrick, would you be posting? Instagram? YouTube?
 
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Patrick, would you be posting? Instagram? YouTube?
I’ll post pics on Instagram and the occasional YouTube video but I won’t be as dedicated as some of the folks that use social media to help support their travels. That level of content just takes too much shot staging and editing for me.
 
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I’ll post pics on Instagram and the occasional YouTube video but I won’t be as dedicated as some of the folks that use social media to help support their travels. That level of content just takes too much shot staging and editing for me.
What is you IG?
 
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Installed the Overland Pros Wraptor 6K today. I was surprised by how sturdy it was without the poles lowered. It even came with additional poles and more tie down ropes than I can ever imagine using. Seriously, it has around a dozen places to attach guy lines. Any concerns I had about coverage at the rear in the kitchen area were put to rest. Very pleased.

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