Dometic PLB40 Reviews

shade

Well-known member
Thank you, and others, for the response. I have a Yeti as well as adapters that resolve issues 1 & 2 And there are adapters for #3 as well but I get wanting things to “just work”. That was my original reason for getting the Yeti and the adapters were unexpected cost and complexity, but I’m happy with the set up now.
A little off-topic, but I'm converting some things over to Anderson Powerpole connectors, and I bought an adapter to allow using a standard 12VDC "cigarette" outlet if I need to plug into a non-Anderson source. I thought it might be useful to someone else.


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zachgs

New member
Hey guys,

A couple of updates:

Contact with Dometic Support

Last Friday (7/26) I contacted Dometic about my issue with the battery through their online customer service form. Tuesday (7/30), I was emailed directly by one of the reps. He acknowledged the need for a firmware update to solve the issue and emailed me the software update and shipped me a cable to perform the update.

I received the cable yesterday (8/3) but there is one big hiccup. Dometic requires you to have a PC to run the update but I only have a Mac available. They are trying to find a local rep to help out so I’ll keep everyone posted.

All in all, Dometic has been fast and reasonable to work with from a support standpoint.

Further testing

I did some additional testing to see if I could “trick” the battery into staying on by leaving something in the USB port. I found that plugging an iPad into the USB port would keep the battery even though the iPad was fully charged and the Dometic battery did not indicate that it was actively being charged. It kind of just hung out and stayed idle. I lost maybe 1% charge after doing this for about 6hrs too so this could be a potential work around if you have a battery in need of an update.
 

Pk63

New member
So i bought the Dometic PLB40 a few weeks ago. Absolutely loving the battery pack. Let me give a real life review.

I installed the ARB fridge freezer wiring kit into my Tacoma with the outlet installed behind the back seat. I have the ARB 50 fridge. On my road trips i never park for multiple days without moving the vehicle. The truck might be parked overnight, let’s say from mid afternoon until the following morning. Maybe 18 hours without moving.

After installing the PLB40 i used the truck around town as i normally would. I kept the PLB40 plugged into the ARB power outlet during the day, and disconnected it in the evening. I live in Southern California, so the truck gets hot during the day.

The PLB40 performed amazingly. During the day it would always be fully charged, driving around going to the store etc. kept it fully charged. In the morning it would usually be at 75-80%, and as soon i i would plug it back into the ARB power it would start charging very fast. A little driving around town and it would be back at 100%.
A few times I disconnected the PLB40 at 5pm, and didn’t drive the car again until the follow afternoon at 5pm (24 hours). The PLB40 was at about 50% charge after 24 hours. Great performance if you ask me, considering the truck sat outdoors in the heat all day and the fridge obviously had to work much harder during the day. I feel confident that the PLB40 would keep the fridge working for 40 hours before needing the be charged. Probably a little longer.

I love how small and portable the PLB40 is. My wife can easily pick it up and put it into her truck. The electronics are very easy and all built into the unit. It charges very fast. When i first received the unit i did have to do the firmware update so that it wouldn’t shut off after 1 hour of inactivity. A quick call to Domestic and they mailed me a cable and instructions on the firmware update. I am a computer idiot, and i was able to do it. I bought the unit for just about $700 shipped to my house. Considering the cost of building the same charging system, the light weight of the PLB40, the 40 plus hours of power for a fridge, and the convenience of the battery, i think this is the way to go.
 

Pk63

New member
Ran the ARB 50 fridge for 48 hours on the PLB40. 4% left. About 40 hours of that was in the truck, the other 8hours sitting at home. Amazing performance for such a small battery package.
 

shade

Well-known member
Ran the ARB 50 fridge for 48 hours on the PLB40. 4% left. About 40 hours of that was in the truck, the other 8hours sitting at home. Amazing performance for such a small battery package.
Good to know you can get that much time out of it, but I wouldn't do that often to the battery. Discharging that deep will reduce the life of any battery, LFP included.
 

zachgs

New member
It took a lot longer than expected mostly due to a PC being required to perform the update but thanks to a local Dometic rep, my firmware is up to date and the battery ran great over the weekend with my ARB fridge. It ran it for about 36hrs before I turned it off (charge was around 44% at that time). No random shut offs and no issues!

Per the Dometic folks, this firmware issue only impacts the first 500 units sold so should only be an issue for early adopters.

I have a big trip coming up the end of this month so that will be the real test but looks like it will work great for my needs.
 

zachgs

New member
I’ve been using the PLB40 non-stop since about August 29th while on a big East Coast road trip (Acadia National Park was awesome!). I’m parked with some family for a couple of days before heading back to Utah and thought I would share my impressions.

My setup:
  • I’m using the battery to run my ARB 37qt fridge and charge electronics while at camp.
  • PLB40 is plugged into the rear cigarette lighter in my JKU. Fridge is plugged into the PLB with a 2pin connector.
  • When I’m stopped for longer and not camping (like now), I’ll leave the fridge plugged into the battery and keep the battery plugged in using the AC adapter.
  • My JKU is single battery (stock H6 sized Bosch AGM)

Overall impressions:

Very positive. Battery works great. I have not taxed it too much since I drove nearly everyday allowing it to recharge. The few times I was untethered for longer the lowest I got was 40% charge (I think this was ~40hrs) but my weather was pretty mild so not like trying to keep the fridge cold in the desert.

The only negative is more an issue with my specific setup. The rear 12V in the JKU is always on so I couldn’t just leave the PLB plugged in all the time for fear of draining my starter battery. This meant I had to interact with the battery physically plugging it back into the car more than I would have liked.

Location is an interesting question to consider. I had to access the battery daily to disconnect it from the car so this meant it had to be relatively front and center. This made things easy for using the USB ports and things like that. I would have rather had it tucked away somewhere and plugged into a keyed 12V outlet but this would have made it much harder to use the front USB ports. I need more time and use to consider this in my own set up.

Hope this helpful. I would definitely recommend this to anyone else not wanting to do a dual battery setup.
 

dman93

Adventurer
I just ordered a PLB40 along with a fridge, my first time moving away from cooler + ice. I know it’s expensive but Cyber Monday took a bit of the sting off, and I like the portability, built in solar controller and DC-DC Charger etc. I’d eventually like to add solar, and in the spirit of “bought not built” was looking for an MC4 to Anderson cable rather than making my own. Dometic doesn’t seem to offer one, which seems weird given their choice of Anderson for the solar input is unique. There’s one on Amazon, well more than one, but only one with the SB50 Gray connector. There’s a lot of commentary about polarity. I assume solar panels, being an output, use the protected female housing on the positive lead, but how do I confirm the positive input on the PLB?

Thanks - and any suggestions on a good 60-100W panel would be appreciated.At this point I want something portable, not fixed to my truck.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
I just ordered a PLB40 along with a fridge, my first time moving away from cooler + ice. I know it’s expensive but Cyber Monday took a bit of the sting off, and I like the portability, built in solar controller and DC-DC Charger etc. I’d eventually like to add solar, and in the spirit of “bought not built” was looking for an MC4 to Anderson cable rather than making my own. Dometic doesn’t seem to offer one, which seems weird given their choice of Anderson for the solar input is unique. There’s one on Amazon, well more than one, but only one with the SB50 Gray connector. There’s a lot of commentary about polarity. I assume solar panels, being an output, use the protected female housing on the positive lead, but how do I confirm the positive input on the PLB?

Thanks - and any suggestions on a good 60-100W panel would be appreciated.At this point I want something portable, not fixed to my truck.
A 60w would not be good enough, Dometic recommend using either a 100w to a 150w maximum, A 100w or a 150 portable would work out well if you don't have a place to mount a solid panel just remember to remove the charge controller from the panel first so it does not conflict with the DC to DC Controller that is Built in to the PLB 40, Or just use a standard Panel that comes fitted with MC4's

Hope that helps,
 
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67cj5

Man On a Mission
At $850 for 40Ah, I'd consider stepping up a little in price to a drop-in 100Ah battery.
In theory that sounds ok but then you have to add on the extra cost of getting a duel battery system fitted and OR a DC to DC charger plus Fitting etc,

I just bought 2 of these PLB 40's and they cost me $773.93 USD delivered to my Door

The bigger battery would be nice but the final outlay can cost anything from 1200 to 1500 bucks and then everything has to be tethered to the Truck So it has very limited use when you go off grid, The PLB 40 is much more flexible and I hope they bring out an 80 or a 100Ah version.
 

dman93

Adventurer
I have a PowerFilm solar R-60. It comes with the cigar 12V socket that you can plug in to. Just plug the 12V cord in to that and you'll be fine. Works fine for me.
It looks nice but $715 for 60W!! I know Made in US, rolls up small and other nice features, but that’s hard to swallow ... especially for something I might leave out at a campsite unattended. Are you using it with a PLB battery?
 

Swiftone

Member
I just ordered a PLB40 along with a fridge, my first time moving away from cooler + ice. I know it’s expensive but Cyber Monday took a bit of the sting off, and I like the portability, built in solar controller and DC-DC Charger etc. I’d eventually like to add solar, and in the spirit of “bought not built” was looking for an MC4 to Anderson cable rather than making my own. Dometic doesn’t seem to offer one, which seems weird given their choice of Anderson for the solar input is unique. There’s one on Amazon, well more than one, but only one with the SB50 Gray connector. There’s a lot of commentary about polarity. I assume solar panels, being an output, use the protected female housing on the positive lead, but how do I confirm the positive input on the PLB?

Thanks - and any suggestions on a good 60-100W panel would be appreciated.At this point I want something portable, not fixed to my truck.
Try Powerwerx - https://powerwerx.com/goal-zero-98014-mc4-to-powerpole

If that is not what you need, call them and they can make any cable you need.

Edit: https://powerwerx.com/dual-conductor-custom-cable

I have taken the 10 cent tour of Powerwerx and they have to be the nicest guys out there. I have seen their custom cable area and they will build you what you need at a fair price
 
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kb1ejh

Member
It looks nice but $715 for 60W!! I know Made in US, rolls up small and other nice features, but that’s hard to swallow ... especially for something I might leave out at a campsite unattended. Are you using it with a PLB battery?
I picked up the 60W on clearance sale at OK4WD. I have a 26W one too so I link them both in to the PLB 40. The Overland Solar Bugout 120 is around $600 or so, it's 120W. Nothing is cheap unfortunately. Build your collection up slowly over time, then you'll wonder why you have so much stuff... There is perfect answer to all this unfortunately.
 

dman93

Adventurer
Try Powerwerx - https://powerwerx.com/goal-zero-98014-mc4-to-powerpole

If that is not what you need, call them and they can make any cable you need.

Edit: https://powerwerx.com/dual-conductor-custom-cable

I have taken the 10 cent tour of Powerwerx and they have to be the nicest guys out there. I have seen their custom cable area and they will build you what you need at a fair price
That Powerwerx cable uses the red/black Anderson connector which isn’t compatible with the PLB40. I’ll just make my own ... no big deal, but odd that Dometic doesn’t offer one. Thanks.
 
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