Xmas trip review. We covered 2600kms (1600 miles) in the 3 weeks we were away. Mixed terrain sealed roads, dirt roads and low range beach driving and sandy tracks. The Cruiser was loaded with myself, wife , two children and a dog. We were towing our camper loaded with everything needed for a trip. The car turned out a total of 13L / 100kms or 18.09 U.S. MPG. That was total bases on fuel used measured at the pump by total distance driven. I'm very happy with this considering the roof rack, awning and towing the camper.
So with our Xmas camping trip now finished I started on the next round of mods. I had kept the Drifta draw set out of my last vehicle. They have worked flawlessly in the tray of the duel cab ute for the last 3 years and I wanted to utilise them in this build. It's a two draw system with the option of using a freestanding kitchen in place of one of the draws. Also includes a freestanding table that slides in.
The problem was that to fit in the LC it have to remove about 350mm from the length of the carcass and the same on one of the draws. The pullout kitchen and replacement draw for that side are already the right size.
The draw unit. All 10mm ply with carpet and Teflon runners.
I'll remove the second battery storage box just after the white line. Add a new backing plate and re carpet.
New backing plate fitted. All glued, screwed and seam sealed just like they arrived from Drifta.
So the modification turned out really well. I measured about 20 times and took the plunge. Having 300+ mm excess to work with really helped as I could cut a little proud and just sand back. This was a godsend as I had to cut around all four sides in one go.
The centre dividing panel was the hardest. Using a hand saw I used the other cut lines as a saw guide and took my time. I felt like a magician cutting his assistant in half live onstage !!!
I trial fit the draws after getting the rear carpet fitted...
Width is perfect between the wheel arches. Final length is 1000mm with a draw depth of 950mm.
I got time to trial fit the MSA drop down fridge slide and ARB 60lt. I'm really happy with the dropdown slide though it's very heavy yet worth it for the ease of use.
Plenty of room and ready for bolt down.
Still to go I'll have to cut down the pullout table that slides in on top of the RH draw and I have a cargo barrier I want to cut down to make loading the rear a safer option for us in the vehicle.
For the Xmas trip I ran an 8mm twin core cable from the 2nd battery into the rear and fitted an Anderson plug to power the fridge. This was a temp install for our trip. Now the draws are in I'll work on a distribution board and switch panel to go on the RHS of the draws. I also need to seperate the factory twin battery setup under the bonnet via a Redarc isolator. Then I can swap the battery out for a proper deepcycle battery and have a dedicated house battery.
I packed the LC and went to head away for a few days. I hadn't driven it for a few weeks so when I went to start nothing.
I had flattened both batteries as they are still wired together as per factory. The starter battery has dropped a cell and was cannibalising power from the other.
I replaced the starter with an Australian made maintenance free Century. These have a whopping 830CCA and semi deep cycle ability equivalent to 90AH.
With the starter battery replaced I set about installing an isolator / DC to DC charger. I went the Redarc 1225 D these are a DC DC charger and have the ability to take unregulated solar input. This will isolate the house battery from the dedicated starter and control charging. I had to make a few brackets to mount it just behind the RHS headlight. They will work up to 80 deg C so should be fine in this location.
For the house battery I opted for a Century 100AH deep cycle. As its a wet acid battery it's more suited to under bonnet temps unlike an AGM that prefer a cooler location.
All wired using 8mm2 cable with all joints butt spliced, crimped and soldered. Heat shrink and split tubing to finish.
A quick test proved success. All charging and working correct. At this stage I've just blanked the solar input. I'd like to add a panel to the rack and plug in the solar then. The charger choses solar as a priority input over the alternator and even runs them simultaneously to achieve the 14.6v charge rate for the battery type.