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TheHops

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One of the cleanest installs that I have seen. I've been trying to figure out how to run a USB charger to that center portion of the dash and you, my good sir, just showed me the way. I know someone else here on the forum actually tapped into the media hub behind the dash so they would still have car play which is my preferred method but I have not seen them explain how they did it and I have not monkeyed around with it yet. Good work.
Appreciate the kind words!

As far as the android auto/car play, I did think about that. I'm pretty sure my phone is actually wireless compliant for android auto. That's not a huge deal for me though because, as far as charging it, I actually personally preferred to keep using the outlet inside of the arm rest/console. I just run the cord out of the left side of it, and up between the seat and console to the phone holder (the leftmost 67d arm). That does mean that the phone cord is exposed/visible when in use, but it also means that I can pull the phone down from the holder so that I can use it without having to worry about unplugging it and plugging it back in each time I undock it, so I guess there are pros and cons.



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TheHops

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Follow-up:

Here's the finished product with the DC hub in place. It is a 6 port, making it slightly wider than the 4 port that I previously had, so instead of laying it flat inside of the cubby I simply used double sided 3M tape to secure it to the back wall.

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It works flawlessly, and powers my 3 attached accessories off of the ignition without issue. Very easy, and very worthwhile mod for me.
 
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It's a little long winded, but I finally put together a walkaround video of the current state of the Gladiator build to kick off a new channel that I plan on sharing gear and travel content to in the future. Feel free to check it out if interested.

 

Etoimos

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Nice build and thread man. I like how clean it is and your AI Aikenuo charger setup is sweet. Do you have a link for the model that you used? Also for clarification, the harness you liked to in the previous post is what you plugged the charger into correct?
 
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Nice build and thread man. I like how clean it is and your AI Aikenuo charger setup is sweet. Do you have a link for the model that you used? Also for clarification, the harness you liked to in the previous post is what you plugged the charger into correct?
Appreciate it!

I purchased the USB hub from here - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0779D7DFG?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

As for the harness, that's correct. The aftermarket harness bridges the gap between the factory harness and the factory 12v port. It has a splitter, which I then wired the USB hub to. I just clipped the wires on the USB hub to length, and ran the positive/negative to the corresponding terminal on the aftermarket harness. Super easy!
 
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I haven't updated in a while, as the mods have slowed down pending a major upgrade ($$$) next month. My camper shell and new rooftop tent should be coming in in October. With that, I'll have a platform with which to incorporate a few more planned modifications, one of which is solar. A couple of parts came in today and I figured I'd share my plans.

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I picked up a semi-flexible, 55W, 42"x14" monocrystalline solar panel, and a Bluetooth enabled MPPT charge controller from Victron Energy. My plan is to have a quick release solar panel attached to the top of my iKamper Skycamp Mini with industrial strength double sided adhesive, and the tent will be mounted on my camper shell, so that any time the tent is mounted and I'm in "expedition mode," I'll have solar capability to regenerate power while running the fridge/lights and charging devices at camp. I plan on routing the wire from the roof with the 5 ft of included wire, which will place the quick disconnect accessible at the black X. After that, a 15 ft MC4 extension cord will route between the bed and the cab, through an inlet on the bulkhead, along the bottom of the (not installed yet) bed rail, and will terminate at the end of the yellow line at the stock bed outlet location. There, I'll have an MC4 housing to accept the extension cord.

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From there, I'll route from the outlet, between the body panels and up through the rear right cab vent, behind the rear passenger seat and up to where I'll have the charge controller mounted.

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From there, the battery wires will route back out through the same inlet as the panel wires, along the right side frame rails and up to the batteries.

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I'll be using 10 gauge wire throughout in order to minimize voltage drop. I don't foresee any big complications with this routing. Within the next week, I plan on bolting in the charge controller, running wires, and installing the MC4 socket in the bed. I may make minor changes, but this is the overall idea. We'll see how it goes!
 
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I made some progress today towards implementing solar. I plan to have the groundwork finished tomorrow. After that, I'll have to wait for my camper shell and RTT to finish the installation properly, but I will be testing the setup once I finish up tomorrow.

I started off by drilling a 11/16" hole in the plastic access panel where my bed outlet would be. I will have my MC4 receptacle mounted to this with self tapping screws. It looks a bit crooked in the picture because it's not screwed in yet.

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Once that was situated and wire was loomed up, I began routing down, and along the top of the right side frame rail, following the harness for my rear bumper lights that I wired previously, up to the right rear shock, near the break between the body and the bed.

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Once there, I moved to the inside to try and figure out how best to access the right rear cab vent to run wiring through. I was prepared to pull out the entire rear seat, but fortunately it turned out to be very simple. Fold down the rear seat, and there are two small plastic covers in the bin behind the seat. Pop them off and undo the two T20 torx bolts. After that, simply pull and the whole assembly pops out to reveal the cab vent.

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From here I used my trusty wire hanger, and pushed it down through the vent until it was accessible beneath the vehicle.

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From there, I taped my harness cords and pulled back through the vent. It took a bit of convincing, and stuffing wire back in to displaced loom, but otherwise it was painless. I secured the loom on a hole in the body panel just below the vent, so it would not slide down.

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Now that the wires were in place, I worked on mounting the charge controller to the bin I pulled out. I could not get a good angle to drill in to the front, because there looks to be some type of plastic welds that keep the storage bin from separating in to manageable pieces, so I made a quick cardboard template and drilled in from the back. I also cut a small access panel in the bottom with a sharp knife and a dremel thin cutting wheel to route the solar panel wires in, and the battery wires out.

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The charge controller mounts perfectly. It is out if sight, and will allow me to monitor charge and discharge rates via bluetooth. I didn't leave it mounted because I am running the battery wires tomorrow. I would have done it today, but unfortunately I ran out of wire loom. After a quick trip to Lowe's for some self tapping screws for the MC4 receptacle, and a stop from the Amazon van with my 50ft of wire loom, I should have a fully functioning, clean solar setup.

I'll update with more progress.
 
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The solar install is complete and is functioning exactly as intended. Better than, even.

As stated before, I'm still waiting on my camper shell and new tent for the actual solar panel mounting, but after completing this it is now ready to plug and play. There were a few minor headaches, but nothing major.

So, today I finished running the wiring from the battery, to the charge controller by way of the top of the passenger side frame rail, and up through the rear passenger cab vent, the same spot I utilized to run the solar panel input wires to the charge controller. The trusty wire hanger came in handy again, and made routing wires through cramped spots (down through the engine bay and up through the cab vent) relatively painless.

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Once the last set of wires were in the cab, I attached everything to the charge controller, bolted it to the bin, and popped it back in to place...only to find that the top two bolts were too long and wouldn't allow the bin to snap back in to place. Fortunately, it was nothing a quick hit with the dremel couldn't fix. I cut the bolts shorter, and the bin snapped in to place. I think it turned out to be a very clean, hidden install, and there is no interference with the charge controller's bluetooth capability.

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Once that was done, I did a quick continuity check on the wires in the engine bay to make sure everything was good, then I crimped terminals on and hit them with heat shrink to protect the connections. Genesis recommends attaching solar directly to the pos/neg bus bars, so that is what I did.

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After getting the go ahead light on the charge controller, I downloaded the app, and plugged in my 55W panel to test: Success!

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On my quick test in indirect sunlight, output was nearly 2 amps, which should be more than enough to offset the drain from my camp fridge (roughly 1.25 amps) and small electronics during the day. I'm not worried at all about battery drain overnight since I run dual deep cycle 68 amp hour batteries.

Another priority project checked off. Now, if only October would come so I could get some camping done...
 
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mshamel

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I've been following your posts in this thread with quite a lot of interest over the months.
You've done a lot of great work and I love the look and functionality of your rig.
I'm curious, have you weighed your vehicle with all the mods you've made? I'm wondering how much you've added over stock.
 
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I've been following your posts in this thread with quite a lot of interest over the months.
You've done a lot of great work and I love the look and functionality of your rig.
I'm curious, have you weighed your vehicle with all the mods you've made? I'm wondering how much you've added over stock.
Appreciate the kind words! It's been kind of quiet in here, so I wasn't sure if anyone has been following along. Function before form tends to be the theme of my builds...luckily, I personally think that both function and form are coming along nicely with this one.

I did weigh it stock (I think I had some recovery gear in the cab but that's it), and put the weight slip in my glove box to reference down the road. I want to say it weighed just over 5,000 pounds with a full tank of gas. I knew I'd be adding quite a bit to it, so I did that with the plan of re-weighing it once the build was more or less finished. As far as additional weight, the only other big players that I have planned are the camper shell, roof racks, and rear winch. Once those are all in place, I'll absolutely post up the before and after weights, both in normal trim and "expedition mode" (tent, awning, fuel, water, fridge, etc). If I had to estimate though, between the wheels/tires, front and rear bumpers, winch, sliders, and other small pieces, I'd estimate that I've added an additional 500 or so pounds. Once it's finished, if I can keep it under 5,800 pounds, I'll be a happy camper (pun intended).

I do value the benefits of a light vehicle, but I also value a capable and versatile one that is tailored to my needs, so I did deliberate on parts a fair bit. I did push for the lightest wheels I could find with my desired specs, and some of the lighter 35s on the market. I went with synthetic rope as opposed to steel cable for the winch as well (and will do the same for the eventual rear winch), primarily out of a desire for weight reduction. For the bumpers, I knew I wanted full width steel to maximize protection, so I did have to compromise on weight there, but the Road Armor ones were about middle of the road on weight from what I saw, and they are rock solid, while providing plenty of lighting recesses and the capability for both front and rear winches.

All in all, I'll no doubt be coming in a little heavy, but I am still on target to be comfortably under the gross vehicle weight rating of 6,250 pounds while in expedition mode.
 
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It's been kind of quiet in here, so I wasn't sure if anyone has been following along.
Oh, we're following! Just filing away information in the back of our minds while we dream/think about our own set ups. :like:
 
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Oh, we're following! Just filing away information in the back of our minds while we dream/think about our own set ups. :like:
Haha, fair enough! In that case, I suppose I can happily continue sharing.
 

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