2010 Tahoe Build Now with Solar

Have you had any issues running dual batteries without any sort of isolation device? I have an 07 avalanche and have been wanting to put in a second battery but haven’t wanted to drop the coin for the battery and isolation device and wiring. If it’s just wiring and a battery that’s okay in my book

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Space Monkey

Beautiful truck, very well done so far and looks like you have quite a few more plans for it. Bilsteins make a huge improvement over stock and last quite a long time even if you constantly beat them up. Also if you want to really change the look of your truck and increase your approach angle, remove the air dam that's up front below the white bumper.

Looking forward to more mods and adventures.


Expedition Leader
Have you had any issues running dual batteries without any sort of isolation device? I have an 07 avalanche and have been wanting to put in a second battery but haven’t wanted to drop the coin for the battery and isolation device and wiring. If it’s just wiring and a battery that’s okay in my book

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A simple solenoid is <$50 and using that to interrupt the positive run to the 2nd battery is an easy to implement and very affordable way of severing all your added battery capacity from the Starter battery. Our 12v subforum is chock-full of such solutions and even has a huge long-ongoing topic about exactly this idea, with lots of options.
There's a few bits on such an implementation in my built topic. I'm using a 200A solenoid as a combiner / isolator, working great. It's triggered by current from a factory aux accessory circuit, which I wired to the solenoid trigger terminal. All I have to do is turn the key / start the car to combine. And as soon as I turn it off, it's off and that's that.


I usually use a golf cart solenoid as a battery disconnect much like Rayras system. never had a problem with them. however i have seen people on the trail with fried solenoids due to long hard winching. maybe they used a smaller solenoid.

the only reason you would have an issue without running an isolator is if you use two different age/types of batteries. the weaker battery will always try and draw down the stronger battery. look under the hood of any older diesel they have two batteries and no isolators, but they always replace those batteries in pairs. i figured between the smart alternators being sensitive and the winch needing all the juice i can feed it that i would be better off without the isolator. i also have the aux battery pack for my accessories so no worry about my fridge drawing down the starting batteries.

i bought a hypertech 2.0 and turned up the power a little bit, firmed up the shifts and turned off the AFM. i really like the programmer. you can customize each shift point for every gear and you can set the speed you want the AFM to kick in at or turn it off all together. haven't had it in long enough to say if i gained or lost MPG, but it certainly sounds better and the compression braking is consistent now.

i also installed a pioneer touch screen receiver so i now have satellite radio and a back up camera.

here are some pics of the skid plate that i replaced the plastic one with. found it on ebay. bolted up easy breezy and certainly looks nicer than the busted up plastic one that it had on there.





Wiffleball Batter
Are you not concerned about heat build up with the batteries under the seat? Don't Li-Ion batteries get very hot when charging?


Are you not concerned about heat build up with the batteries under the seat? Don't Li-Ion batteries get very hot when charging?
they can but my system is really small and my load is tiny compared to what most people do with their systems. i also have individual aluminum cells that are not enclosed in a battery box. my batteries are rated at 180 amp continuous discharge and i will be using between 2.5 and 5 amps intermittently. same for the charge side. my 200 watt panel is good for about 8 amps max at 24v while the batteries are rated for a 30 amp charge. basically they will be idling along.

on to today's doings:

i got the wiring ran and all hooked up. the panel is putting out over 40v which is great. my batteries are full so no real charge current going yet. i still need to tie up the wires on the roof rack and wrap the wires coming from the battery pack.

i mounted the victron controller with some 3m velcro made for hanging pictures. i use this stuff in my house on huge heavy pictures and they work great. i did this because i wanted to keep the rack easily removable and the best place to mount the controller was to the rack so it can breathe a little.

the wiring coming from the panel to the controller is wrapped in a high heat abrasion resistant sleeve. i use this stuff a lot in restorations and offroad trucks and it is light years better than flex loom. it is a pain to install because it works like a chinese finger trap. so you have to slide it on a few inches at a time then work it down the wire. takes quite a while to do a 50' run like i did today. i was going to drill two holes and grommet them but where i went through the sheet metal ended up being two layers with a slight gap so i couldn't grommet the inside piece. i was worried about abrasion so i went ahead and removed the outside grommet and ran the sleeving all the way through the sheet metal. then i used some ultra black to seal it up. not as pretty as i would normally like but it is more robust this way and it is completely hidden anyway.

hopefully tomorrow i can get the rest of the wiring all wrapped up and install a 24v plug for the fridge. then i can stress test the system for a few days.

i can almost feel the sand under my feet!!!!!!



Hey, love to see someone building up a newer Tahoe.

If you could, would you mind dropping some pics in this thread specifically for Tahoe's and Suburbans.


finished up the wiring today. mounting the 24v plug was much harder than i thought. I had to hunt all over that panel to find somewhere with enough depth to mount the plug due to the fact that the rear AC system is inside that panel along with ducting. wasn't quite where i wanted it but its working and out of the way there. i sleeved the run to the plug and the run to the victron with the sleeving. i wasn't too happy with the tie job on the wiring near the panel to the rack, but it is tight and out of the way. I think i am going to glue the wiring down to the roof with some body shop adhesive. imagine an industrial strength hot glue gun with glue sticks strong enough to pull dents. i was going to use some eternal bond tape but i hate to buy a 20' $30 roll of tape for a couple of inches of use and i already have the glue gun and sticks.

i put the fridge in its spot and plugged it in. everything is working great and i am only getting a .2 voltage drop under power. likely due to the 10 gauge fine stranded pure copper wiring. the fridge is drawing about 70 watts since it is under full load trying to cool down from room temp and the solar panel is feeding the batteries 75 watts to keep them fully charged. none of the wires are getting warm and the packs are cool to the touch. once the sun goes down i'll stack the fridge with warm bottles of water and see how much juice i can draw over night. then i should see exactly how many watts the panel is capable of.

also installed a strut on the sleeping platform lid to hold it open. took a lot of different positioning before i got it to hold the lid open while giving me the range of travel i needed. i would like to put some struts on the solar panel but that will take bit more engineering.

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finished the sleeping platform. used 2 piano hinges to attach the folding sections. works great so far.

the solar system is having no problem keeping the batteries charged even with the cloudy/rainy weather. i did add a 10 amp fuse to the positive cable of the solar panel. just incase the wire frays. i found a renogy mc4 connector with a built in fuse so install was plug n play.

20200506_064356.jpg 20200506_064427.jpg


been on a few short road trips now that things are opening back up. nothing more than an hour or two away and nothing off the beaten path yet. So far everything is working great. no problems with the solar system.

i said it before but i thought i would put up some pics since people seem to think i am crazy when i say a tahoe is slightly smaller than a standard cab short bed pickup. so here is some pics of one i parked next to while getting some lunch:




i did order a plate for a hidden winch setup. it is for a pickup but i am sure that i can make some minor changes to get it to fit the Tahoe. i am also thinking of moving my light bar from the suzuki to the Tahoe.


Active member

I am not sure if i got stuck in 2wd if i can flip the switch and get out? i know in the previous generations you had to get the front tires moving slightly to engage the 4wd. if anyone knows for sure i would love to hear it.
You do NOT need to have the front wheels moving to engage 4hi or 4lo. In the newer IFS GM 4wd systems the front hubs are always locked. The front wheels are seperated from the front driveshaft in the differential not in the hub. The wheel, hubs, and axle shafts are always engaged. When 4wd is engaged the actuator pushes the shift fork engaging the gears between the driveshaft and axleshafts.

HOWEVER do not engage 4x when the rear wheels are turning and the front is not. If youre stuck in 2wd stop the rear wheels spinning before shifting into 4hi or 4lo.

As far as previous generations Ive had to engage the hubs lots of times when I was stuck and the front wheels werent moving. I never had a problem. The hubs would always lock up when the axles started turning.