2020 Power Wagon JUXI Build and Trip Thread

jupp0r

Active member
You might have noticed that I’m normally not the person for interior mods, however I was annoyed enough wedging the phone between two cupholders on the last trip that I decided to buy a bulletpoint phone holder. Looks great installed!
 

bikelanta

Adventurer
You might have noticed that I’m normally not the person for interior mods, however I was annoyed enough wedging the phone between two cupholders on the last trip that I decided to buy a bulletpoint phone holder. Looks great installed!
Looks sweet. I’ve been debating that setup.
 

jupp0r

Active member
One thing that was quite annoying on the Colorado trip was dealing with the cooler. We bought a good roto molded cooler which worked great in the sense that it kept ice for a surprisingly long time (I think some ice at the bottom lasted for 10 days, although we did put more fresh ice on top.

However dealing with the cooler was annoying and expensive. The thing fully loaded weighed about 100lbs I would guess and lifting it up to the bed multiple times per day was no fun. We also spent $150 on ice in 4 weeks ( some of it dry ice, which worked phenomenally but was impossible to get in most places.

Anyway I’m installing a 12V fridge. I looked at all the different options and being an electrical engineer by training, I chose to do it the right way. I’ll be using a 100Ah LiFePo battery that will be mounted in the bed. It will be charged by a RedArc BCDC1250D powered through the alternator, with the option to add solar in the future.

The fridge I chose is a 50qt ARB. It fits perfectly on the drop slide I want to mount it on (ClearView EasySlide 100 Plus) and is a great size (coming from the 75qt cooler that was half-filled with ice) without taking up half the bed. I’m also planning to power a bed mounted air compressor with the battery to eliminate 40 minute engine idle periods we encountered when airing up.

I’m still waiting for parts to come in but I started already by running 2ga cable from the starter battery to the bed. The RedArc charger also need ls an ignition signal which I conveniently put in the same wire loom as the power cable.



I had to find a switched ignition power cable to splice into. I was originally super happy to find this document outlining the wires to splice into, but the connections at specific connector pins didn’t match up with my truck’s wiring at all. I ended up choosing a random wire that was hot when the ignition was on and off when the ignition was off. I cut it and connected a small wire to it via a butt slice crimp connection with adhesive heat shrink that should prevent corrosion.




I ran the power cables on the side of the driver side frame. The only tricky portion was hiding the loom behind the wheel well as there isn’t much room there because of OEM wiring also being run there. To get into the bed, I removed one of the plastic plugs. I had to cut the bedliner in order to get to it, which was pretty easy (if you don’t account for squeezing all the way under the Decked with one drawer taken out). I cut a hole in the plug, ran the loom through it and reinserted the plug and fixed it in place with gorilla glue afterwards.



I put a PowerWerx SB175 connector on the end of the cable. It will connect to a plywood board I’ll mount the charger and a bunch of other electronics to once everything is there. The board will be covered in automotive headliner that’s similar to the SnugTop liner and will be mounted in the cab-driver side corner of the camper shell.



Mocked up positioning of some parts on the board. There are a bunch of parts not yet delivered.



Schematic from the BCDC1250 manual I’m roughly following.

I’ll write some more updates on the install once it gets further along.
 

SlickRope

New member
Since you have had some travels with a Gladiator. Do you think with a family of four you could make the Gladiator work? Do you ever notice a capability difference between the two? Any review or insight between the two would be apricated.
 

rellekmando

New member
Yup, physics are a **********. You want load capacity or do you want articulation. Pick one.

I cheat a bit with airbags in cradles in the rear and Thuren front springs, but I'm under the GVWR of an equivalent 6.4, 2500HD, 4x, crew cab, level1 trim... (which I think is 12-13k)

And no way in hell would I roll on C's.
Might want to look again if you think a 2500 ram has a gvwr of 12-13k. It’s going to be 9,999 or 10k.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jupp0r

Active member
Since you have had some travels with a Gladiator. Do you think with a family of four you could make the Gladiator work? Do you ever notice a capability difference between the two? Any review or insight between the two would be apricated.
Ok here are my thoughts. Keep in mind that I haven’t done a lot of research on Gladiators so take this with a grain of salt.

The interior is much smaller. Rear facing child seats might be a problem. Bed space is more limited. Payload is actually pretty much the same on paper. The Gladiator has much better approach and departure angles and fits into narrow spots much better. The major problem with a fully loaded (to max payload) Gladiator that I would see is that it’s lacking power to move all that weight. The diesel might be better there.

In summary: I think it can work if you are mindful in how much gear you bring, both in terms of space and weight. As kids get older that’ll be even more of a constraint. It’s definitely a beast offroad. If that’s what you care about just geometry wise it’s going to be better than the Power Wagon. Also aftermarket support is muuuuuuuuch better for the Jeep.
 

jupp0r

Active member
The 12V build is coming together nicely. Unfortunately I’m still missing parts so I won’t be able to wrap the build up this weekend.



This is the circuit panel right now. I glued some carpet on both sides to make it blend in with the liner in the SnugTop. Red connector goes to the starter battery/alternator, gray connector goes to the aux battery. A yellow connector will go to the air compressor.



This is the panel test fitted under the shell.



I mounted the battery (100Ah Battle Born) inside a Milwaukee tool box, will bolt the box to the decked.

Other than the 12V install, I had two more items to follow up on from the Colorado trip.

The first was a harmonic dampener ring on the rear drive shaft near the diff. It got hit by a rock and separated. I fixed it on the trail by zip tying the outer ring back. I asked the dealer what it would cost to install a new dampener ring and they quoted me $1600 for a new drive shaft, saying that they would only work on it if I replaced the whole thing because it had a scratch on it (go figure). As I drove the truck back from Colorado without any driveline vibration, I decided to just get rid of the dampener ring.






The second item was that the tube I used to extend the front diff breather had started cracking and I replaced it with a “high abrasion resistance” tube from McMaster-Carr (sorry no pictures).
 

jupp0r

Active member
The 12V build is almost finished. We went to Sequoia National Park over Labor Day weekend and tested out the fridge and it worked great. After 3 days, the battery was still at 75%.


The circuit board. These big connectors are - starter battery (red), aux battery (gray), air compressor (yellow). Actual loads connect to the fused power pole outlet. The compressor will draw 100A and is controlled using a starter relay at the bottom right.


I drilled out a couple of holes to mount outlets into the decked platform.


I got one high power usb-c and usb-A outlet, two (red) power pole outlets for random things like lights or a shower water pump. Green is for hooking up a portable solar panel (or several) should I ever need them. The switch controls the yet to be installed air compressor via the relay.


This is the battery box. I used a standard hold-down and bolted that through the Decked platform.


Circuit board installed in the corner.


I can power my computer off the usb-c plug.


I installed a battery monitor by Renogy which makes it really easy to see the status of the battery and how much it’s being discharged/charged. The fridge is drawing around 5A if the compressor is on.


I ran the wire loom for the outlets under the rail.





This is the EasySlide ES-100Plus. This thing is built like a tank and makes it really easy to drop the fridge down to where it can be opened and where I (and my wife) can actually see its contents. Pricey but absolutely worth it in my opinion. I also installed cable guides from https://fridgecablecaddy.com.au, which make the cable move cleanly with the fridge so you don’t have to worry about pinching the cable.



The slide drops 12”, which is exactly the height of the decked platform.



All in all I’m super happy so far with the install. The only thing missing is the air compressor which will be mounted next to the battery. It will allow me to air up the truck in under 10 minutes and can be run off the house battery so I don’t have to idle the old Hemi as much in trips.
 

jupp0r

Active member
I installed a Dodge Offroad steering brace today. The idea was to prolong the life of my steering box and tighten up the steering a little.

The whole endeavor started with a trip to Home Depot because all my wrenches were too small for the 46mm pitman arm nut.



Shaft extension replaces the old nut.


This is the brace installed.


Close up of the bearing that holds the shaft extension.


I wouldn’t have expected it, but steering is much tighter and I also notices less bump steer on the road.

Next upcoming offroad trip is to the Death Valley area the week of Thanksgiving, I hope my King shocks arrive by then.
 

jupp0r

Active member
Just a short picture of how the bed looks like. This is after I bolted everything down in preparation for the Death Valley trip next week.



The spare tire is sitting behind the fridge slide, I have squeezed a 5lbs propane tank in the corner next to it. I bolted down the air compressor in the other side, next to the battery. At some point in the future, the spare tire will be mounted to a rear swing out bumper, I’m just waiting for Coastal Offroad to release their model for my truck (and I also have to gather the courage to cut the bed sides ;).
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
Does the DOR steering brace give you a bracket/spacer for the passenger side to match the gap in the sway bar bracket it creates by mounting underneath on the drivers side?
 

jupp0r

Active member
Does the DOR steering brace give you a bracket/spacer for the passenger side to match the gap in the sway bar bracket it creates by mounting underneath on the drivers side?
No it doesn’t but I don’t think it’s necessary for such a small change of the angle.
 
The spare tire is sitting behind the fridge slide, I have squeezed a 5lbs propane tank in the corner next to it. I bolted down the air compressor in the other side, next to the battery. At some point in the future, the spare tire will be mounted to a rear swing out bumper, I’m just waiting for Coastal Offroad to release their model for my truck (and I also have to gather the courage to cut the bed sides ;).
Oh wow I really like that bumper. Sub $800 is a great deal for a weld-together kit with current steel prices.
 
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