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Thank you! I'm definitely learning on the fly with this one. My wife and I like to camp about every other weekend, but our longest trips don't span much longer than a week at most. So thinking of adding something like a Dometic 45 - 55 that can hold enough for 3-5 days, and dry food can be packed elsewhere. Definitely will be adding a dual battery setup with solar charging, but all that requires $$$ and time.

In terms of blind spots, I did think about adding some side cameras (something like this), but I'm trying my best not to have too many screens coming out of the dash. I am putting in a rear view mirror that display's the image coming from the backup camera that I got off Amazon (again stealing some of the ideas from @MW469 on one of his older builds).
I’ve owned a few fridges and I recommend going bigger, even for two people. I’m currently running Dometic CFX45. Really wish opted for the CFX3 75DZ. Loads of reasons why, but big reason for me is craving for ice cream and ice Without freezing everything. Definitely dual zone. Slight increase in price, size is biggest draw back, but route is what I’d do. And deep fridges mean more digging. Just my perspective from a camping weekend warrior…. Nice truck—what year/engine?
 

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Ended up pulling the trigger on the solar panel - only took 3 days to ship from Vancouver B.C. Fitment photos below:

View attachment 475721
I run solar for batteries to run my breathing machines. The bonnet panel is great for when driving—love the idea and may end up doing that. However, you’ll find you’ll set up camp in the shade most the time, so having a portable panel is also valuable— I run mine off 30’ of 10 gauge SOW cable. Works great for me. I have accessory ports in both my truck and off-road camper so I can hook up panel or run Aux accessories (like my air compressor), when needed. Having an external battery port is really convenient…
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I’ve owned a few fridges and I recommend going bigger, even for two people. I’m currently running Dometic CFX45. Really wish opted for the CFX3 75DZ. Loads of reasons why, but big reason for me is craving for ice cream and ice Without freezing everything. Definitely dual zone. Slight increase in price, size is biggest draw back, but route is what I’d do. And deep fridges mean more digging. Just my perspective from a camping weekend warrior…. Nice truck—what year/engine?
I run solar for batteries to run my breathing machines. The bonnet panel is great for when driving—love the idea and may end up doing that. However, you’ll find you’ll set up camp in the shade most the time, so having a portable panel is also valuable— I run mine off 30’ of 10 gauge SOW cable. Works great for me. I have accessory ports in both my truck and off-road camper so I can hook up panel or run Aux accessories (like my air compressor), when needed. Having an external battery port is really convenient…
I am a big ice cream eater, so appreciate that call out on fridge size. My only comment is I will need a fridge that has the clam shell opening from the side, instead of a regular flip up top. Reason being is my vision is to put the fridge up against the back left corner of the Defender, so I can reach in and grab something from the outside through the gullwing window, or while sitting in the back. Unfortunately, many of the bigger fridges don't have that. I'm still probably a year+ out for the fridge so have plenty of time to keep looking. Also it's a 1995 300TDI!

Agree that portable solar is also a good call. I won't be running a ton of electronics early on, but would be good to go that route down the road. I live in the Los Angeles areas so plenty of sun to go around!
 

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I thought similarly in regards to gullwing/fridge, but my wife can’t see into it in that location…so there is that. Maybe make a step if you’re 5’8 or below? I really like the slide/tilt holders in the back but that takes up valuable space. I’m considering getting a smaller fridge for road-trips right behind drivers seat. Putting in a 60/40 disco seat so It could foreseeable go in the 40 slot if removed or on top potentially…. But you’re planning more of a permanent camping interior I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I thought similarly in regards to gullwing/fridge, but my wife can’t see into it in that location…so there is that. Maybe make a step if you’re 5’8 or below? I really like the slide/tilt holders in the back but that takes up valuable space. I’m considering getting a smaller fridge for road-trips right behind drivers seat. Putting in a 60/40 disco seat so It could foreseeable go in the 40 slot if removed or on top potentially…. But you’re planning more of a permanent camping interior I think.
Yeah I think I am going the more permanent route for interior. I could possibly change things round once I get the windows in and can see how easy / difficult it will be to reach in. I still have some time before I start wiring up a fridge so plenty can change between now and then!
 

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Have been watching the hood mounted solar panels which look to be a good option.
75W is not a bad choice so just ordered the panel and vehicle vinyl today.
Have the TravelLodge camper top and a large auxiliary battery bank of 6 already hooked to a 3,000 watt inverter.
The best choice I have found is the RedArc DC to DC charge controllers that take solar as a priority over alternator current.
The other solar controllers I researched several years ago all shut down solar input when the engine was running and alternator charging the auxiliary battery bank which is not a good situation for overlanding.

If you are going to hook up 12V powered items, you will want an auxiliary battery.
The constant draining and recharging of the vehicle battery will ruin it.
You will want to use the Hella 12V plugs because the 12V cig lighter plugs will jiggle loose and break contact, see picture below.

Drivelodge Camper top (click to enlarge):


Hella Plug - socket not shown (click to enlarge).
 

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Yep, understand I'll be going over that all-important 7' mark with the AluCab. Although I am currently sitting at ~6'11", so I will go over that just by adding a roof rack. I'm not overly concerned given I have always loved working on cars (currently also have a 1971 Pontiac Lemans to accompany my Defender) - I've got a garage with a larger bay door separate from the garage in this photo:
The DriveLodge Camper Top only adds 2" which may clear the garage door in post 12.

Click to enlarge:
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Have been watching the hood mounted solar panels which look to be a good option.
75W is not a bad choice so just ordered the panel and vehicle vinyl today.
Have the TravelLodge camper top and a large auxiliary battery bank of 6 already hooked to a 3,000 watt inverter.
The best choice I have found is the RedArc DC to DC charge controllers that take solar as a priority over alternator current.
The other solar controllers I researched several years ago all shut down solar input when the engine was running and alternator charging the auxiliary battery bank which is not a good situation for overlanding.

If you are going to hook up 12V powered items, you will want an auxiliary battery.
The constant draining and recharging of the vehicle battery will ruin it.
You will want to use the Hella 12V plugs because the 12V cig lighter plugs will jiggle loose and break contact, see picture below.

Drivelodge Camper top (click to enlarge):
View attachment 475751

Hella Plug - socket not shown (click to enlarge).
View attachment 475752
Definitely will do the dual battery setup down the road once I start adding items that may drain my battery. I don't plan on adding the fridge or other lights in the next 6ish months so have a little time. I'll look into the RedArc good call out!

The DriveLodge Camper Top only adds 2" which may clear the garage door in post 12.

Click to enlarge:
View attachment 475753
I've looked into the camper top but think I want to go all the way with the AluCab so I can also add a roof rack as well. Unfortunately at 6'11" anything I add to the roof will put me above the 7' max height.
 

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Being just shy of 7 feet tall, the Dormobile top would be the way to go as it is much much taller than the top of your head. There was one for a 110 available in Iowa for short money that was in good condition. I have a new Brownchurch Dormobile galvanized roof rack as well.
 
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