: Battery & Roadtrip Advice
07-10-2012, 10:04 AM
Hey hey, first let me give you the back story. I got married about 2weeks ago, and me and the guys did a bachelor camping trip a few days before the wedding. While we were boozing I turned the key so we could listen to some music while we sat on the tailgate. All other accessories were off, and we didn't even make it through one CD before draining the battery. It wasn't a big issue since a buddy just jumped me in the morning. However, it seems to me that battery drained pretty damn quick. I believe it is the original battery and I'm about to roll 80k. Truck runs great otherwise, never has an issue starting. FYI: 2006 DBL Cab
So the reason for this thread. My wife and I plan to do a road trip in the Tundra out to California and back. I was thinking about picking up an electric cooler/ice chest to mount in the back seat. I'm a little concerned about the existing battery and additional draw. I have some money to spend on road trip supplies. So I'm ok making some upgrades, but I don't want to go insane. Is there a better quality battery out there that I could drop in to solve the issue?
Also, I've read some of the other road trip threads, but any other road trip advice is welcome. Thanks!
Edit: Again, like I said, I have some wedding money to burn. Don't be shy about recommending any other gear advice you've found important to a 9 day road trip. Don't hold back, I love geeking out on this stuff!
07-10-2012, 10:59 AM
Yeah. Your battery is dead. It needs to be replaced. I run and suggest the Duralast Gold DLG-24F battery from AutoZone. It is an excellent, high-quality battery.
Those fridge/freezers can pull a lot of current, so be careful if you're going to be running it off your starting battery. The overland/expedition guys who run those (like the awesome ARB fridge) generally use a dual battery setup with an isolator/combiner to protect the starting battery by running the high-draw equipment from a deep-cycle.
07-10-2012, 12:09 PM
The ARB fridges (and many of the other expedition fridges) are amazing. If I planned to do more of that I'd certainly pick one of those up. However, it's a pretty penny for a weekend warrior like myself. This trip will more then likely be the only trip over 3 days that we do in the next 5yrs. I hate to admit that, but realistically my job keeps me from doing anything longer than 2-3 days. SO I was looking at this coleman:
Coleman - 40 Quart PowerChill™ Hot/Cold Thermoelectric Cooler (http://www.coleman.com/product/40-quart-powerchilltrade-hotcold-thermoelectric-cooler/5645-710?contextCategory=8570)
I know it's not as powerful, and not nearly as rugged. Seems as though it should do the trick to keep things cold enough to keep for a few days. I'm used to using a cooler, and avoiding foods that are more temperature sensitive. I figured that coleman should be treated the same as a cooler. With the added bonus of not having to deal with the soggy mess. I also wasn't planning on running it unless the engine is running and tossing a few ice packs in the bottom to help it make it through the night.
07-10-2012, 12:21 PM
I recommend a new battery before you hit the road. Here is a little more info about batteries for Tundras.
As for roadtrip recommendations, pass on buying a cooler/fridge. You will be stopping for gas much more frequently than most cars on the road so you'll have plenty of opportunities to pick up cold refreshments during your stops. If you absolutely have to have a cold one every 7 minutes until someone passes out, just put a bag of ice in your ice chest and take that with you. The cost savings will be spent on the higher cost of gas in CA.
07-10-2012, 12:43 PM
I forgot to mention, the cooler/fridge is less for drinks and more for food as we'll be camping all but 1-2 nights on the trip.
07-10-2012, 12:48 PM
What I do to keep foods cold on weekend camping trips is to fill empty 3 liter juice jugs (the ones with the handles) with water and freeze them. I put a couple of those in the bottom of the ice chest and they act like large 'cold sinks' and will keep your perishables at fridge temps. Plus, they don't melt into puddles, and the water inside becomes drinkable as it melts. It also helps to layer a paper bag over the top of your food.
07-10-2012, 12:55 PM
Does anyone know how to remove one or both of the split back seats in the Dbl Cab? Is it a major process? I was hoping to pop out the bigger one and mount the cooler to the floor somehow so it sits nicer, and has a better chance staying cool in the cab where I'm sure we'll have the AC cranked.
07-10-2012, 01:43 PM
you are way over-analyzing this thing. we use block ice for multi day trips deep into the underbelly of Baja. Remmy has a good idea as to the drinking water aspect (i'm going to steal that one!) when it melts. blocks will last 2-3 days each as long as you arent in and out of the box every hour. otherwise, bring a second cooler full of block ice and replentish as needed. keep the lid seam duct taped to REALLY keep the cold air inside and only open it when you need to re-up your food cooler. they will last 4 days minimum like this. plenty of time to find a place to re-up for the trip home.
07-10-2012, 02:17 PM
ha, certainly not the first time i've been accused of over analyzing. i also just like gadgets, but i think i'm sold on rocking just the cooler with the frozen jugs. still want to remove the seat though so it sits nicely, and because i have the itch to wrench on something. doing some searching it seems like i just need to fold the seat forward, pop two plastic covers up and remove the bolts. seems pretty easy.
07-24-2012, 09:01 AM
Well I've tested the battery a few times now and it seems fine. I must have had something running in addition to the stereo the night the battery tanked on me. Maybe someone snuck in and plugged something into the cigarette adapter, or the stereo was on longer than I recall. Let's be honest, it WAS my bachelor party. So details are a bit fuzy.
Anyway, did some prep on the Tundra to get her ready for the road trip which begins Friday:
Found a roof basket on Craigslist from a Honda Pilot for $60. A $10 trip to Lowe's for some longer bolts and I was able to get it installed, and my gas cans strapped down. I know I probably won't need them, but we'll be on some long stretches that aren't very populated. So it seemed like some good peace of mind:
I'm happy with how it turned out. Especially, since it was only $70. Yakima/Thule baskets this size run close to $400 new. The gas cans by themselves look weird, but they'll be bikes mounted on the trays for the trip as well as some other gear in the basket. It's really nice to be able to keep things like gas separate from clothes/tents/food.
Speaking of food, I pulled out the smaller back seat and was able to strap/bungee our cooler in place facing out. So it'll be real easy to open the door and grab what we need at camp. I just used the brackets from the seat, and the provided tie down point. Pretty stoked I didn't have to do any drilling. Now that I see the amount of space it opens up just removing that smaller seat, I may leave it out most of the time:
Getting really pumped for the trip. I'll add some photos of her all loaded up later in the week.