ARTICLE FOUR: THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM OF THE TRACKS 4X4 TAGALONG 6X6 LANDCRUISER
This is Part 4 on the Tracks 4×4 Tagalong Vehicle 6×6 200 Series Landcruiser.
In this article we look at the electrical system.
When we are talking about vehicle electrical systems we need to start with what generates the power, the alternator. Vehicle manufacturers choose the size of the alternator they fit around the power demands of the vehicle they build, plus a little bit more for the odd extra.
The problem with 4×4 touring is that you add a lot more than the manufacturer expected! This then necessitates the factory alternator being replaced with a larger capacity after market unit. In our case we fitted the Rapid Power Industries 220amp heavy duty alternator, a big jump from the standard 130amp fitted by the factory.
Right, so we now have the charging side sorted and now we need somewhere to put this power. My choice was to fit Enerdrive equipment as I have a very long standing personal connection with them and I believe their products are the best on the market. So I fitted the 300a/h Lithium Battery, a battery you would normally find in a top end caravan. I charge this with 2 of Enerdrive’s 40 amp DC to DC chargers, guaranteeing clean power to the battery and also more importantly, the correct charging profile for the battery. The great thing about the Enerdrive units is that they are also capable of charging from solar panels. In the past I have had solar panels on the roof, but longer have them on the vehicle, as we found roof space is precious for carrying firewood etc. If I had a choice though, I would still have the panels, however on Tracks4x4tagalong tours we tend to keep moving and on our longer tours me may stop a couple of times for two nights and the 300a/h Lithium battery can easily cover our power usage for this time. We have a 2000 Watt Enerdrive inverter and this allows me to even run my induction hotplate! Yes, I have switched to electric cooking while camping and love it. I no longer need to worry about the wind, or cold cylinders first thing in the morning.
Food wise…well, having a 3 meter long tray has its advantages. I have an old 60l Trailblazer fridge which I always run as a freezer, as well as a 40l Engel fridge which stays at a constant 2 degrees, covering my refrigeration needs. Even on Cape York with high humidity and heat, my battery easily keeps me going for a couple of nights.
For hot water I have recently added the Duoetto Hot Water Service to the canopy and an hour or so from camp I flick the switch to start heating the water. When I arrive in camp my battery is fully charged and a cylinder of hot water is available for a refreshing shower or to do the dishes.
For Tag along touring there is always the chance of being called upon to help recover someone. I added two, 12000lb Runva winches with synthetic rope, one on the front and one on the rear, and these have proven to be very reliable bits of gear. The rear one is particularly helpful in places like the Northern Simpson as there is no need to turn around and risk environmental damage. They are wired through a contactor so when they are not being used they are turned totally off with no power even in the control boxes.
The Tracks 4×4 Tagalong Vehicle 6×6 200 series Landcruiser has had a lot of electrical work carried out in the cab. We found for tagalong tours there was nowhere near enough USB outlets, so we added six. We have added the Lightforce switch fascia so that we are able to neatly add switches. We have switches for reversing lights, the torque converter lockup kit, the driving lights, the electric hot water unit, the winches. There is the Cel-Fi Go to increase the range of our Telstra mobile phones, the Uniden 80 channel UHF for convoy communications and for a lot of luxury we added heated cooled and massaging to the front two seats. The aim with the interior was to maintain as much as possible the factory look but make it way more practical for 4×4 tagalong touring.
Under the bonnet we added the second battery and replaced the standard battery with a Delcor unit. We also chose to fit an alternator booster diode which tricks the alternator into producing higher voltages. I was finding when the vehicle was idling that the smart solenoids were disconnecting due to low coil voltages. The Diode has fixed this issue.
The Tracks 4×4 tagalong vehicle has had a lot of auto electrical work undertaken, but way too much for me to fit in one post!
If you need help setting up your own vehicle, I also install the whole Enerdrive range of equipment at my property in the Hunter Valley of NSW.
Give me a call, or message me if I can help with your project in any way.