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Old 09-15-2022, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Building the ultimate boondocking toy hauler

Just purchased a 2011 XTRA XT200 toy hauler for myself and Mrs Roxtar's mountain biking trips. The goal is to build the perfect (for us) rig to do 1-2 week dispersed camping trips. The toy hauler aspect is essential because leaving $20K worth of bikes outside at night is not an option.
XT200 positives: Nice, lightweight package, small enough for most dispersed sites, pretty roomy, Happy Jack bed lift, full kitchen, decent sized bathroom with stand up shower.
XT200 negatives: Low ground clearance, small (36 gal) fresh water tank.

The plan:
-Enough 12V capacity for whatever is needed and enough solar power to fully recharge each day.
-Mount additional fresh water tank, tied into system.
-Axle flip to gain roughly 4" of ground clearance.
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Old 09-15-2022, 04:44 PM   #2
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Solar System
I chose Windy Nation's 300 Watt MPPT system.
Why?
I have previous experience with Renogy. While they make a good product, their customer service is horrible. And that's by 2022 standards. I had a small problem and it was a nightmare getting any response out of them at all.
I left a message with Windy Nation and got a return call within 15 minutes. I told him that phone call alone got him the order. There have been a couple more calls for info since, all with the same level of service.
Unfortunately, Windy Nation doesn't offer a 200Ah battery so I went with two Renogys as well as a Renogy 2000 watt inverter (all bought through Amazon so if there are any issues I'm dealing with Amazon's customer service, which is also excellent).
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:40 PM   #3
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If you are going to do much dirt-road towing, you might want to consider beefy shocks and beefy leaf springs when you do your axle flip.

You are so lucky to live in Los Alamos -- wonderful camping and mountain biking everywhere you look. And Colorado is within easy driving distance, as is Utah.
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139 View Post
If you are going to do much dirt-road towing, you might want to consider beefy shocks and beefy leaf springs when you do your axle flip.

You are so lucky to live in Los Alamos -- wonderful camping and mountain biking everywhere you look. And Colorado is within easy driving distance, as is Utah.
Thanks, Los Alamos has pretty amazing terrain and climate for mountain biking.
I kind of have to disagree with the HD spring thing. I have a pretty extensive background in offroading. I owned Rockstar Fabrication, building offroad parts and vehicles. Stiffer springs are only needed if you're either carrying more weight or going much faster. A nice soft spring is far more desirable for basic slow speed offroading. The last thing you want when driving over washboard are stiffer springs rattling your rig apart.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:07 AM   #5
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OK, back to the solar system. Here are a few pics of the basic setup
Three WN 100W Panels:


The WN 40 Watt MPPT Controller, AiLi Battery Monitor, Inverter switch, and shutoff switch for the solar power coming in. This shutoff switch is very important because having the solar coming in without the battery hooked up will damage the controller. The switch allows an easy disconnect if I need to do anything to the batteries. (FF Webmaster doesn't know why this picture keeps autorotating)


The (2) Renogy 200Ah AGMs and the Renogy 2000W Inverter:




All tucked away:


A couple of issues to deal with regarding hard-wiring the inverter into the main system. Googling this will bring up the converter issue. Whenever you have 120V power present, the converter kicks on and tries to charge the battery. This creates a loop of - battery powering inverter - inverter powering converter - converter charging battery. This quickly results in a dead battery. Another issue is that, while I don't plan on any shore power hookups, you never know. I don't want any chance of the shore power and inverter both on together, I don't even know if that would be bad, it just doesn't seem like a good thing .
To remover those two possibilities, I added a 120V, 2 pole, normally closed, 80 amp relay to the system. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FCJFGL9...t_details&th=1
One of the poles interrupts the converter power and the other interrupts the 50 amp shore power in (That's why I went to an 80 amp relay). The relay is powered by a plug/cord coming off the inverter.
This way, both the shore power and converter are normally closed (on). Turning on the inverter trips the relay which shuts off both the converter and shore power. This $26 relay eliminates the need for a $300 Transfer Switch.
There are youtube videos that explain this far better than I have.

Post-Note:
One super-fun snafu created this thread:
https://www.funfinderclub.com/forums...odoo-4770.html
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:36 AM   #6
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Axle Flip
The XT200 sits pretty low...

...so I wanted to gain a little clearance, ala, axle flip.
I purchased these: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091J3GMQ2...roduct_details

And went to work:







Voila!


Standing tall and proud:

Gained roughly 4".
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Old 09-27-2022, 09:29 AM   #7
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And the big job:
Additional Fresh Water Tank
36 Gallons of fresh water will not cut it. I know, you can take extra water in the truck and refill but that's far too inelegant for the Ultimate Boondocking Toy Hauler
My goal was to get as close to 100 gallons as possible.

Best place (really, the only option) was directly between the axles. There was 22" x 68" of space between the supports and frame rails. Plus, centrally locating it should calm the fears of the "extra weight on the frame" group that are bound to chime in.

A ton of searching turned up this option from Icon Direct; https://www.icondirect.com/jayco-fre...wt3832-51-gal/
The dimensions were perfect at 21"x60"x10" yielding 51 gallons. This, with the OEM tank got me up to 87 gallons.
Acceptable.
Best of all, it was in stock and shipped immediately.
Now the fun part; fabbing up the mount.
1" angle for the tank "cradle" and 1" sq tubing for the support bars.




Getting it in place and doing the final welding was tough but finally came along. Doing it at the same time as the axle flip helped immensely. It's bolted to the frame with eight 3/8" Grade 8 bolts.
I decided to add straps around the tank itself to keep things from bouncing when empty.
I didn't want to deal with changing the main inlet line into the smaller tank. Plus, the new tank is taller so it sits lower at the bottom and higher on top. This took some creative plumbing to get both tanks to fill to capacity. The two tanks are plumbed together with 3/4 hose running from the bottom of each. This line tees off to supply the pump since it's the lowest point (And includes a second drain).
The vent line from the small tank runs to the top of the large one with the new vent line coming off the large tank. (Does your head hurt yet?)
Anyway, here are some poorly done pics:




Both tanks filled to capacity
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:06 AM   #8
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The Verdict!
The test-bed? nine days of dispersed camping in paradise, aka, Fruita, Colorado, home of, arguably, the best mountain biking in the US.

The final mods; replacing all lighting with LEDs, adding two USB charging stations, updating the kitchen and bathroom hardware, and adding various hooks and brackets were all finished the day before leaving.

The verdict?
A total win! Mrs Roxtar and I love our new (and improved) Fun Finder.
Water capacity was plenty for showers each night.
Even with three days of completely overcast skies (and one of solid rain) the batteries never dropped below 91%. That includes inverter use for coffee making, microwaving, and even hair straightening.

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