Upgraded single battery vs portable power station

reddog90

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,385
Location
Houston, TX
I currently have a 1987 FJ60 and a 2013 200 series. These are mildly built daily drivers and weekend trucks, not expedition vehicles. My primary need out of a battery system right now is to run a 12v fridge. For the foreseeable future, trips will be limited to weekends here and there, and a 7-10 day trip once a year. Those long trips once a year will include driving the vehicle each day, not getting somewhere and parking for a week. I might put a winch on the 60 at some point, more likely to add driving lights to the front bumper first though. No other real electrical additions planned for either vehicle.

At this point, I don't really want to mess with a dual battery system in either truck, and I like the flexibility a portable power station offers for a two-truck situation and the fact that each can be returned to "stock form" easily. I am eyeing a goal zero yeti 1000 core, on sale for $900 right now. It should run a 45L fridge for 2-3 days on a full charge, but can be plugged into either vehicle's 12v socket to charge while the vehicle is running as well. I could invest in a solar panel to charge it later on if I really need to. And I could also just recharge it from shore power if I am in a campground on a long trip like I will be at SAS this summer.

The other option I have considered is upgrading the single battery in each truck, and upgrading the alternator in the FJ60 to an 80 amp 3fe alternator. I thought I could get by with a good quality AGM battery in both trucks that would serve as a starter battery and run the fridge when camping. I have done some research on this topic but I am still a little confused. Would I need a dcdc charger in each vehicle to property charge a single AGM battery to get it's full life? And upgrading each truck's battery means I would still need to properly and safely run power to the back for the fridge. And if I am already running power back there, I might as well have a meter, some other charging ports, room to expand the system later without running more wires, etc. It seems like a slippery slope and a portable power station will really take care of my needs just fine.

Is this analysis paralysis? Should I just get a yeti?
 

LandLocked93

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
1,579
Location
Colorado
I currently have a 1987 FJ60 and a 2013 200 series. These are mildly built daily drivers and weekend trucks, not expedition vehicles. My primary need out of a battery system right now is to run a 12v fridge. For the foreseeable future, trips will be limited to weekends here and there, and a 7-10 day trip once a year. Those long trips once a year will include driving the vehicle each day, not getting somewhere and parking for a week. I might put a winch on the 60 at some point, more likely to add driving lights to the front bumper first though. No other real electrical additions planned for either vehicle.

At this point, I don't really want to mess with a dual battery system in either truck, and I like the flexibility a portable power station offers for a two-truck situation and the fact that each can be returned to "stock form" easily. I am eyeing a goal zero yeti 1000 core, on sale for $900 right now. It should run a 45L fridge for 2-3 days on a full charge, but can be plugged into either vehicle's 12v socket to charge while the vehicle is running as well. I could invest in a solar panel to charge it later on if I really need to. And I could also just recharge it from shore power if I am in a campground on a long trip like I will be at SAS this summer.

The other option I have considered is upgrading the single battery in each truck, and upgrading the alternator in the FJ60 to an 80 amp 3fe alternator. I thought I could get by with a good quality AGM battery in both trucks that would serve as a starter battery and run the fridge when camping.
Given your intended use, this is all good. If the alt upgrade to the 60 is nearly plug n play, this too should be fine.
I have done some research on this topic but I am still a little confused. Would I need a dcdc charger in each vehicle to property charge a single AGM battery to get it's full life?
No not at all.
And upgrading each truck's battery means I would still need to properly and safely run power to the back for the fridge. And if I am already running power back there, I might as well have a meter, some other charging ports, room to expand the system later without running more wires, etc. It seems like a slippery slope and a portable power station will really take care of my needs just fine.

Is this analysis paralysis? Should I just get a yeti?
Umm, now here...
...If you're going to bother to wire to the rear, just wire it to plug into the GZ.
Then plug everything else into the GZ.
At most, this is where a DCDC would come in, but still think you can get by w/o it if you use 1/0 cable or larger. Again, according to your intended (expected) use.
 
Last edited:

FrazzledHunter

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
411
Location
Ellicott City, MD USA
I currently have a 1987 FJ60 and a 2013 200 series. These are mildly built daily drivers and weekend trucks, not expedition vehicles. My primary need out of a battery system right now is to run a 12v fridge. For the foreseeable future, trips will be limited to weekends here and there, and a 7-10 day trip once a year. Those long trips once a year will include driving the vehicle each day, not getting somewhere and parking for a week. I might put a winch on the 60 at some point, more likely to add driving lights to the front bumper first though. No other real electrical additions planned for either vehicle.

At this point, I don't really want to mess with a dual battery system in either truck, and I like the flexibility a portable power station offers for a two-truck situation and the fact that each can be returned to "stock form" easily. I am eyeing a goal zero yeti 1000 core, on sale for $900 right now. It should run a 45L fridge for 2-3 days on a full charge, but can be plugged into either vehicle's 12v socket to charge while the vehicle is running as well. I could invest in a solar panel to charge it later on if I really need to. And I could also just recharge it from shore power if I am in a campground on a long trip like I will be at SAS this summer.

The other option I have considered is upgrading the single battery in each truck, and upgrading the alternator in the FJ60 to an 80 amp 3fe alternator. I thought I could get by with a good quality AGM battery in both trucks that would serve as a starter battery and run the fridge when camping. I have done some research on this topic but I am still a little confused. Would I need a dcdc charger in each vehicle to property charge a single AGM battery to get it's full life? And upgrading each truck's battery means I would still need to properly and safely run power to the back for the fridge. And if I am already running power back there, I might as well have a meter, some other charging ports, room to expand the system later without running more wires, etc. It seems like a slippery slope and a portable power station will really take care of my needs just fine.

Is this analysis paralysis? Should I just get a yeti?
I can't really speak to how well your alternator would charge a 2nd AGM battery. My understanding is that to charge a 2nd AGM battery properly on my 200 series you need a DCDC charger. So I have an Odyssey Extreme AGM as my 2nd battery charged with a Redarc BCDC 1225D. It works superbly. If I were you I'd forego a 2nd battery, get a Goal Zero and charge it either with either the cigarette lighter charger or their car integration kit. I wouldn't bother with the cigarette lighter charger as it will simply take too long to charge the Goal Zero. Their car integration kit charges it much faster but stops charging before depleting your starter battery if you stop the engine. Bear in mind that it will charge at the rate of 600W so carefully consider your alternator output; it won't be an issue for the 200 series.

If I were you, I'd run a 6GA wire* from the POS starter battery terminal through the firewall to an anderson SB-50. Run the ground to the frame. Then connect the Goal Zero car integration kit to the SB-50 with a DC extension cable.

Yeti 12V Car Charging Cable | Goal Zero - https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-accessories/yeti-12v-car-charging-cable/

Yeti Link Vehicle Integration Kit | Goal Zero - https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-accessories/yeti-link-vehicle-integration-kit/

*EDIT: properly fused of course. :bounce:
 
Last edited:

e9999

Gotta get outta here...
Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2003
Messages
18,263
Location
US
my understanding is that the issue with the AGM is that it takes slightly more voltage for optimal charging. But it's not much. Like charge at 14.6V instead of 14.4 for bulk. So I don't think that not having a DC to DC and the extra 0.2V will kill it for a long time.
But anyways, I'm all for modularity and portability so I would go with a portable unit that I can use it in more than one vehicle.
 

reddog90

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,385
Location
Houston, TX
Given your intended use, this is all good. If the alt upgrade to the 60 is nearly plug n play, this too should be fine.

No not at all.

Umm, now here...
...If you're going to bother to wire to the rear, just wire it to plug into the GZ.
Then plug everything else into the GZ.
At most, this is where a DCDC would come in, but still think you can get by w/o it if you use 1/0 cable or similar. Again, according to your intended (expected) use.

Upgrading the alt on the 60 requires soldering in the harness side connector for the 3fe alt, which I already have on hand from coolerman. Also swapping over the single pulley and smaller fan from the 60 alt to the 3fe alt. Not a complicated process but it's not plug and play.

So a good quality AGM batter in the 60 being charged by an 80 amp alternator will have a good life? Will I need to top it off with AC power every month or so to get good life out of it? I thought.

What I was trying to say was an either or scenario. If I upgrade the single batter in each vehicle, I would still have to run power to the back of each truck. I would do this instead of buying a yeti. Although I guess just running power to the back to charge the yeti instead of designing a whole electrical system back there isn't a bad idea.
 

reddog90

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,385
Location
Houston, TX
I can't really speak to how well your alternator would charge a 2nd AGM battery. My understanding is that to charge a 2nd AGM battery properly on my 200 series you need a DCDC charger. So I have an Odyssey Extreme AGM as my 2nd battery charged with a Redarc BCDC 1225D. It works superbly. If I were you I'd forego a 2nd battery, get a Goal Zero and charge it either with either the cigarette lighter charger or their car integration kit. I wouldn't bother with the cigarette lighter charger as it will simply take too long to charge the Goal Zero. Their car integration kit charges it much faster but stops charging before depleting your starter battery if you stop the engine. Bear in mind that it will charge at the rate of 600W so carefully consider your alternator output; it won't be an issue for the 200 series.

If I were you, I'd run a 6GA wire* from the POS starter battery terminal through the firewall to an anderson SB-50. Run the ground to the frame. Then connect the Goal Zero car integration kit to the SB-50 with a DC extension cable.

Yeti 12V Car Charging Cable | Goal Zero - https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-accessories/yeti-12v-car-charging-cable/

Yeti Link Vehicle Integration Kit | Goal Zero - https://www.goalzero.com/shop/yeti-accessories/yeti-link-vehicle-integration-kit/

*EDIT: properly fused of course. :bounce:
Yes, I'd like to forgo a second battery in general. The vehicle integration kit looks pretty neat. As for the car charging cable, I view this as just trickle charging the yeti while I am wheeling each day to try to offset or slightly overcome the power lost to the fridge. Not necessarily keep it at 100% or charge it from 0-100%. Thoughts?
 

FrazzledHunter

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
411
Location
Ellicott City, MD USA
Yes, I'd like to forgo a second battery in general. The vehicle integration kit looks pretty neat. As for the car charging cable, I view this as just trickle charging the yeti while I am wheeling each day to try to offset or slightly overcome the power lost to the fridge. Not necessarily keep it at 100% or charge it from 0-100%. Thoughts?
If that's all you want to do then all you need is their cigarette lighter charging kit.
You can use that in both vehicles and be done with it.

However I think you will hate life if you deplete the Yeti and want to charge it from say, 10% to 100%, as it simply takes too long.

What I would do in your situation with your stated goals:
  • On each car*:
    • Run a 50A 6GA line from the + battery terminal to a fuse/breaker then through the firewall to an Anderson SB-50 Gray connector anchored at/near/under the driver's side dash.
      • Use their supplied fuse (not sure if it's 50A) or use a Blue Sea circuit breaker.
    • Ground the SB-50 to the frame somewhere in the passenger compartment.
  • Cut the loops off Goal Zero's cable and crimp an Anderson SB-50 Gray connector to it.
  • Use Goal Zero's extension cable that comes with the kit to charge your Yeti sitting that's sitting wherever.
*Note I am assuming that your 60's alternator can handle a 600W load.
 

LandLocked93

SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
1,579
Location
Colorado
Upgrading the alt on the 60 requires soldering in the harness side connector for the 3fe alt, which I already have on hand from coolerman. Also swapping over the single pulley and smaller fan from the 60 alt to the 3fe alt. Not a complicated process but it's not plug and play.
Agreed, this is not nearly plug and play.
So a good quality AGM batter in the 60 being charged by an 80 amp alternator will have a good life?
Yes.
Will I need to top it off with AC power every month or so to get good life out of it?
No. Not if there is no parasitic draw, i.e. alarm system, solar controller bluetooth module, dodgy ground, etc.
What I was trying to say was an either or scenario. If I upgrade the single batter in each vehicle, I would still have to run power to the back of each truck. I would do this instead of buying a yeti. Although I guess just running power to the back to charge the yeti instead of designing a whole electrical system back there isn't a bad idea.
Given your use case, no. Not a bad idea. 👍
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom