Ford Everest Build – Electrical Setup – Can we have our cake and eat it too?

Our Ford Everest build is coming along nicely.  It has now got:

  • Rhino-Rack Backbone Pioneer Roof Platform
  • Rhino-Rack Batwing Awning
  • Tred HD GT Recovery boards
  • Opposite Lock Premium Bullbar
  • Bushranger REVO 10,000lb Synthetic Winch
  • Ultravision Nitro 180 Driving Lights
  • Oricom 5W Dual Receive UHF CB
  • Dometic 45L Fridge/Freezer
  • Tough Dog 2” suspension lift
The Front end – Opposite Lock Bullbar, Bushranger Revo Winch, and Ultravision Nitro 180 Driving Lights.
The Dometic CFX-3 45L Fridge that will live in the back of the Everest

We’re looking at test fitting wheels and tyres very soon, which will no doubt really improve the look of the vehicle (and capability off-road).  I look forward to having an in depth article on how we managed this process and the legalities soon.

However, what I want to talk about this week is plans for our electrical setup.  And I’d really love your thoughts and ideas on this.  We’re going for a fairly simple electrical setup in the Everest:

Proposed Setup

Redarc BCDC 1240 charger

We’ve run Redarc previously, and with a 40A charging capacity, Lithium profile, and Solar inputs, this unit is compact, but perfect for our needs.

Revolution Power Lithium Battery

While not cheap, the Revolution 12V, 100AH Lithium battery provides a useable 100Ah, weighs in at only 12.8KG, and with a 1C rating, can handle both the power drain and charge of the full 100Ah capacity in an hour.  This means that it will manage the current draw of the 1000W invertor without overheating the battery.

Redarc 1000W Pure Sinewave Invertor

We are planning to run a Redarc 12V 1000W Invertor so that we can charge laptops, camera gear, etc, and also run things like a Sandwich press for those late night meals when on the road.

We figure that this is all we’ll need, given that we will be running the Fridge and a Cel-fi mobile repeater at times, and then potentially 240V to charge Camera batteries, laptop etc.  And with 100 (useable) Ah on the Revolution Lithium battery, it is enough to run the 1000W invertor at full power.

How to Install it though?                                              

However, the question that comes up is how/where do we install this stuff?  As a work vehicle, the Everest will get plenty of time off the black stuff, but it is also a work vehicle, and at times I’ll need to load up with boxes of merchandise and stuff for Trade shows etc.

I’m tempted by the idea of installing a modular setup, perhaps with the gear mounted on a plate or in a box that I can use quarter turn screws to mount to the rear seat. I figure that if I run an Anderson Plugs either side, I can unclip and remove it if I need the space for something particular.

However, that also creates risk in that I leave the battery out and it doesn’t get maintained properly, or with connecting and disconnecting it (and how often will I actually do that?  I’m aware I want my cake and to eat it too. And that might be asking too much perhaps – in a lot of cases, the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle works.

Have you tried to install your own modular 12V system?  What has your experience been?  Should I just permanently install and accept the slight loss of cargo space at that time? How have you done it?

I’m sure many of you have dealt with this issue, and I’d love to hear how you manage it. I’ll be sure to update you on the way we manage this, and photos of the install too!



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Comments 24

  1. I went for a fully portable setup, 13mm2 cable from battery to rear of the vehicle through a 60A manual reset breaker. BCDC1225D Redarc DCDC charger mounted to a PH125 Powerhub with a Full River DC105-12 AGM battery. Power hub is fully transportable so you can have your fridge and equipment in vehicle or close at hand in the campsite, full solar charging capability unregulated through the BCDC1225D or regulated through the Anderson plug on the Powerhub.
    Whole setup can be removed in less than 1 minute by unplugging the vehicle input and undoing a couple of hold down straps.

  2. I am running a Jeep Grand Cherokee and have used a Navara DC to DC charger with a Glass Mat 120AH deep cycle Battery. I placed the charging unit on to my Luggage guard with an Anderson plug on the Charger and the battery box. the amount of time out of the car is minor and if you forget to put the battery back you will only do it once. My only concern is the LiFePo4 battery as they still are considered a Dangerous Good for the purpose of confined travel. If you are not allowed to put into a temperature-controlled Airplane why would you put it into an Aussie hot (temperature) car? I am presuming that you are using some sort of battery box to contain the battery. Some of these boxes have cooling systems or they should if you are using Lithium type batteries.

    1. Ian G
      The batteries in the aircraft are lithium ion and have ether electrolyte ( very flammable )
      LiFe Po4 are non flammable check the difference on Mr Google

  3. I installed a second battery into my new Prado. As the Prado had a pre defined second battery space under the hood I chose to utilise it. The advise I got from the battery supplier is to stick to a Lead Acid battery as the location would be too hot for other battery types. I did a lot of searching and reading beforehand and eventually went with a Projecta DC to DC changer. The most concerning part for me was dealing with the smart alternator and having to run an extra wire to trick it into charging the second battery when the first was charged. Been running well for 18 months now. My next challenge is setting up the trailer. I am trying a solar only solution that will charge an AGM battery. Apart from some lights I will run a small freezer and a water pump. So far the testing proves that it is adequate but I hope that there are not too many dark days when camping.

  4. I’m a KISS person the simpler the better if your going of the Black. The tyres you have will get you anywhere the Everest will go and much better on your Budget
    I have a Navara twin Cab I have Rear Battery Lead (atm) but will ge to Lithium when this one s…t it self . !
    I have all 12 v and with low Volts Much safer when your out Bush. This is my bush pig as my day vehicle is a Merc 320I I have several 12v points throughout front and rear everything is 12 v and works Beautiful !!
    Camp lite is a Bush lite 12 v with 5 meter lead this will light up a 30 meter area if needed
    Fridge is 40 lt Engel in travel bag
    I have 2 runs of LED inside the roof of the canopy area
    A Kings 2X2 side awning off the left hand side over the top of the side access of the canopy
    Half roof rack on sold legs off the top of the bucket so it doesn’t put pressure on fibre glass canopy
    Accomadation is a 3×3 30 second tent with 100 mm self inflating mats
    Simple and easy setting up 2 minutes and im having a cuppa !!!

    1. Great advice about the tyres in my opinion, when the. OEM tyres wear out or you find you need larger tyres for a maximum of anther 25mm ground clearance. I would not be racing out to fit aggressive noisier treaded larger tyres, unless it is known to be needed.

      To Aiden :-As for your electrics, most of the posters here are staying with AGM batteries, or advice to go with a battery box with AGM. Given the space you have and the fact that going AGM will be 4 times the weight at least, Lithium would be how I would go, if you are confident in Lithium batts.
      The good thing about Lithium is that they are ideal as far as not being used for long periods.

  5. Hi Aiden,
    I recently read about a new slimline lithium battery setup.
    Only 6cm depth. The idea is that you can piggy back 2 units end to end and place them behind the second row seats in the space that is normally compromised by the backward slope of the seats.
    Sounds like a good solution with correct install. I think the company is ‘Baintech’.
    I have a Jeep GC so totally understand the space issues you have to deal with.
    I too have a heavy AGM battery box wired in with anderson plug and strong strap and rated D shackles.
    Tip from our sparky…. add a base plate to the battery box -bolt it in and lash the battery down to that so that it is not shifting and jumping around in the box. ie separate from the tie downs.

  6. We all have our dream set ups!! Ok I have a VW transporter 4wd. I have it wired up from you know where to breakfast time – which its simple. Anderson plug outlet at the front, an extension one in the cab and one at the rear. Front is to power the cranking battery off solar panels. Cab one trickle chargers the battery box (mines a projecta) and the rear charges a second house battery which has USB & 12 V outlets. The Waeco I power off the battery box, and the house battery is in charge of the LED lights and bilge pump ( I surf alot and having the ability to hose off gear or myself is a godsend) and also the skylight fan and an extra fan for those manky hot nights.
    I wouldn’t get caught up worrying about 12v power to crank up the jaffle iron. Because you will probably want a cuppa with that. I take a 4 kg gas bottle and single burner.
    Have fun setting up your car. I can’t speak highly enough of the battery boxes, it will save you a mint in other wiring and may negate the need for a DC to DC charger. If that’s what you want however, buy your redarc stuff from Batteries Direct (online). You will save buckets. I don’t work for them. Cheers 🙂

  7. I run a Giant 140 ah deep cycle battery in a projecta powerhub battery box. This has multiple power outlets, including a 240v three point plug with inverter. I can charge my laptop off it. It’s portable, easily powered by a 200w solar blanket, and runs my 45L fridge/freezer, as well as my 18 volt battery recharge unit for usb smart phones, torches, chainsaws, etc. My last 9 day remote solitary camp in the desert was powered by this.
    I use a projecta procharge battery charger to top up the deep cycle and the 4WD starter battery before I go on a trip. When I get back, that projecta procharge gets hooked up again.
    Once back, I can empty the rear of my SUV of all that gear… so other tasks are easy. The only drawback is the weight… my 140ah deep cycle weighs 33 kgs, so you need some arm strength to move that in an out.

  8. Aiden, i got the best of both worlds in my dual cab. I ran the heavy cable from front battery (fused near battery) to behind the back seat and ended it in an anderson plug. Then ran more cable from behind the seat into the tub. Anderson plug at both ends.
    With this setup i can plug the dc to dc charger in behind the seat and have the battery inside the cab, or join the two plugs behind the seat and run the dc to dc charger and battery in the tray. A battery box can be plugged in at either location by having anderson plugs on it.
    Sometimes i mount the fridge on the back seat and sometimes in the tray and this setup suits that. So you can put all your electrics inside and load your tray with show gear or take 3 mates and keep your electrics oit the back. Cheers

  9. i have 1240d on inside lid of battery box straight into 120amp full river box consit of outputs .3 ciggy sockets 1 dbl 2.1 amp usb and 2 anderson plugs i also have 130w solar panel on roof it runs every day and never a problem

  10. We used a Goal Zero Yeti in our previous set up. the new ones include Lithium. It is a great portable unit.
    Has 240v inverter built in. I was able to charge camera batteries and laptop with no issues plus accepts solar power, both regulated and unregulated. A great all in one solution.

    At the time I lived in the Upper Blue Mountains so the Yeti was a back up power supply for home as well.

  11. For convenient, portable power we use an iTech300P from iTechworld in WA. About $600.00. When fully charged this will run your Dometic fridge for at least 24 hours. It has a built-in pure sine wave inverter with one 240V outlet and numerous 12V. It also has a built in solar regulator and so can be connected directly to your solar panels/blankets for charging. It weighs only 5Kg.

    1. Hey. Im thinking of getting the iTech300P from iTechworld. Seems too good to be true through, being so light (I was going to get a 35kg AGM with battery box until I saw this). I will be running a 60l Engle fridge, and then just phone charging. Will charge through 220w solar.

      Is this any good?

  12. Why don’t you have a look at a set of drawer systems, and build the 12v system into the wings, Frosty?

    Drifta or ORS have very customizable options, and are locally made.

  13. The Everest already comes with a 300 watt inverter so I think a 1000 watt unit is an overkill. As far as toasted sandwiches why don’t you try a small cartridge stove and cast iron jaffle iron, less weight and can be stored anywhere. Regarding storing all the “extra” bits there is a lot of room under the rear seats although not high it is surprising how much stuff you can fit there. I have an Everest and use all the available space for odds and ends needed when travelling.
    A modular 12v system, while it looks good, can be fraught with problems as the various Anderson plug connectors add additional voltage drop and if you are to use the 1000 watt inverter you would need to use 100A plugs which are large and will not allow the standard 50A units to connect to. A BCDC charger is a must however a 40A unit would be, in my opinion, an overkill as the wiring would need to be large and the alternator may be overloaded when driving at night with all the spotties on.

  14. Gday
    What happened to getting away from it all.. LOL
    Have a basic battery linked to solar panel… if you run out of power at night time ..crank up the fire and roast some marshmellows have a drink or 2..
    Cheers Leanne

  15. Hi Aiden

    Why a bcdc40 rather than a bcdc50? The battery will take up to 60A charge so why not take advantage of that slightly higher input?

  16. I’ve got an Everest and I run a Baintech Powertop which I mounted behind my Engel. I ran power to the powertop from the front and have an Anderson plug. The powertop only charges when the car is running so won’t drain my main battery. I also mounted my compressor above it and can plug my compressor to the main battery for airing up. The powertop accepts solar as well if camped up for any length of time.

  17. I am not sure about the Everest, but my ranger has a 230v inverter already built in by Ford. As for the rest I have a power hub battery box from kings and an agm deep cycle battery charged up by a dc to dc charger mounted to the battery box and all connected with Anderson plugs. In and out for the battery box in a couple of minutes.

  18. Pingback: Everest Electrical Install – did I get everything I wanted? - CLUB 4X4

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