Hello from Jackson, WY. New 2021 [email protected] on it's way.

JT4JT4 Member Posts: 16
edited May 8 in Introductions

Hello Everyone!  Yvette and I just put down a deposit on a 2021 320S Boondock.  It is currently in production and we expect to have it in a couple of weeks.   It will have solid Navy Blue sides and a silver roof.  I especially like the cassette toilet and several of the other new 2021 features.  I have some thoughts and questions and I would welcome any comments.  BTW we used to own a [email protected] and were very close to buying a 2018 400 but at the time my TV was a Jeep Wrangler and I learned it was not adequate for that.

I have decided on a Proven Industries coupler lock.  Anyone know which particular model will be good for our 320?  I am unsure which coupler the new one uses.  We will use a wheellock like the Trimax as well

I intend to buy a BAL leveler.  Good choice, right?

Is it safe to assume that a good visor that slides into the older Keder rail will work for our new unit as well?   

It will have factory solar but I want to have the ability to add additional portable panel.  Will the controller that is installed accept that or do I need a different controller?  We plan on Boondocking often.

I am thinking of installing a Tekonsha P3 Brake controller in the 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD.

I like the idea of installing a Victron battery monitor.  Thoughts?  Any DYI guides out there?  I am very handy electrically.

Like I said we used to own a [email protected] and we kept several useful things like the power protection anticipating a new RV.

I lived a large portion on my life in South Florida but recently moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This is going to be a great place for outdoor adventures.  Please add any questions or comments.  Thanks!!

Juan



 


Comments

  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,750
    Congrats @JT4

    I used to use the BAL but switched to the Anderson leveler. I have found it not only smaller to store but quicker and easier to use. It boils down to preference.

    I should be out your way this fall. Let me know if you want to meet up!

    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • JT4JT4 Member Posts: 16
    Thanks Jenn!  I will have to study the videos and see how the Anderson works.  I appreciate the recommendation.  We would enjoy meeting you when you make your way out here.  We are currently living close to the town center.
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,622
    edited May 8
    Congrats! 
    We also have the Bal Leveler, but have left it in the garage the last few trips, because it's bulky to pack... (Thanks for the tip on the Anderson @jkjenn!)
    I'm not sure if the controller that Nucamp uses would allow for a second set of inputs for a second solar array, but I doubt it. I'd think you'd need a second controller. From what I understand, the suitcase-type panel kit has a controller included. It would probably be better that way anyway, in case your portable was set up in the sun while the Tab is in the shade.
    The Battery Monitor (Bluetooth version) is a great addition to me, as it pairs with the Victron Controller that we use. I'm pretty sure Nucamp uses Victron as well, so I'd consider it a no-brainer to add the Victron Bluetooth Battery Monitor. Yes, it's very simple (ie not complicated) to install, with good instructions. Finding a mounting point for the shunt and display, and running the wires is the crux of it.
    I used a water resistant box in the front tub for the shunt, and a separate waterproof box for the display, also in the tub. Saved on drilling holes in the Tab and running the wires, and the display is fairly redundant when you have the Bluetooth app on your smartphone.
    You might ask Nucamp to install the Battery Monitor during construction. Then all you'll need to do is confirm they wired it correctly! (Not completely in jest  ;) )
    Jackson's a beautiful place! One of my favorite towns. Enjoy!

    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,197
    @JT4, find out which controller and panel outputs nuCamp is putting in the 320s.  Then you can determine if you can add another panel.  If the controller is limited to 10 amps, then you will either need to exchange it for a larger controller that will accept the additional panel, or just use a separate controller for the suitcase. I would email [email protected] and ask about having your controller upgraded and exchanged postproduction.  You can then talk to Austin about adding wiring that would allow you to easily plug in your solar.  

    The keder rail size is the same for visors, awnings and tents
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,750
    I had a conversation with someone about this last weekend and they were advised by a solar manufacturer not to use 2 controllers but to upgrade to one that can handle both sets of panels. 2 controllers will fight each other and you won't get the best efficiency. The key is to match the voltage of the 2 sets of arrays.

    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,197
    @jkjenn, if both systems “feed” the battery, I can’t understand how one controller knows what the other is doing.  Maybe just not as efficient?  IDK.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,750
    @jkjenn, if both systems “feed” the battery, I can’t understand how one controller knows what the other is doing.  Maybe just not as efficient?  IDK.
    Controllers are sensing the battery voltage to determine what voltage to send to the battery (float, bulk, etc...)

    Victron might behave differently because of its networking capability. I would probably reach out to them to see what they think. The manufacturer in the discussion does not seem to put out "smart" controllers.

    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Member Posts: 2,179
    Congratulations @JT4! I’m an Anderson fan and user, too. It stores very compactly under the passenger side bench, arched over the wheel well, a perfect fit! You’ve gotten some great advice here. Your Tab sounds really pretty and we look forward to pictures.  :)
    2017 [email protected] 320 Max S silver and cherry red, [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), TV 2015 Toyota Highlander aka Big Red
  • SweetlyHomeSweetlyHome Member Posts: 256
    Another happy Anderson user here.  Having read a lot of opinions and stories here there are pros and cons to both the Anderson and Bal.  Often these are about your camping style and location.

    For us the Anderson requires pushing or pulling the trailer on to the leveler with the the TV.  At least we were never strong enough to do this manually with a 320.  Maybe others have?  We can't imagine doing it with our current 400.  This can limit rotating the camper for the best view and privacy.  It is probably easiest on the driver with 2 people, our standard crew, or a bluetooth level system.  You are limited to about 4-5? inches of correction before having to put the Anderson on blocks.  The Anderson fit in the "garage" (external access to the under bench area) of our 320 and now the 400.  It didn't fit well in the standard front LP/Battery box of the 320 as we recall. Haven't tried it in the 400.

    Never owning one it seems the Bal would facilitate leveling when the TV's muscle isn't available.  There seems to be a theme here on the forum that storage can be an issue.  Perhaps a Bal owner will offer some comparisons.

    Dave and Katie~Jupiter, [email protected] 400, with 2018 Toyota 4Runner

       
  • SweetlyHomeSweetlyHome Member Posts: 256
    A quick afterthought.  One weakness of the Anderson is the small chock used to to stabilize the actual leveler.  It is hollow on the underside allowing it to settle too easily in softer ground letting the trailer to roll down the leveler slightly.  We sometimes have compensate for this.
    Dave and Katie~Jupiter, [email protected] 400, with 2018 Toyota 4Runner

       
  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,750
    edited May 13
    Another happy Anderson user here.  Having read a lot of opinions and stories here there are pros and cons to both the Anderson and Bal.  Often these are about your camping style and location.

    For us the Anderson requires pushing or pulling the trailer on to the leveler with the the TV.  At least we were never strong enough to do this manually with a 320.  Maybe others have?  We can't imagine doing it with our current 400.  This can limit rotating the camper for the best view and privacy.  It is probably easiest on the driver with 2 people, our standard crew, or a bluetooth level system.  You are limited to about 4-5? inches of correction before having to put the Anderson on blocks.  The Anderson fit in the "garage" (external access to the under bench area) of our 320 and now the 400.  It didn't fit well in the standard front LP/Battery box of the 320 as we recall. Haven't tried it in the 400.

    Never owning one it seems the Bal would facilitate leveling when the TV's muscle isn't available.  There seems to be a theme here on the forum that storage can be an issue.  Perhaps a Bal owner will offer some comparisons.

    I used the BAL for the first 3 years. 

    The pros: you could dial in pinpoint leveling with one person without getting in and out of the TV.

    The cons:
    1.You have to work to keep the threads of the long bolt clean but lubricated. It is easy to get grime in the threads which can to lead to stripping.

    2. It is heavy and takes more space.

    3. It is a pain to rachet it up in hot, humid weather.

    4. You need to add a some type of storage container for the BAL. A izza carrier seems to be the most popular option.

    Combining the Anderson with the Levelmate Pro Bluetooth leveling has made gettibg level extremely easy. 

    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • JT4JT4 Member Posts: 16
    Just to add.  I purchased the Anderson Leveler this weekend.  Based upon Jkjenn's and the other recommendations I went that route.  Interesting thing is that Andersen Hitches, the manufacturer, is in Idaho Falls where I was at the time.  I got that, some wheel chocks and pads for the stabilizing jacks.  I plan to buy  Tekonsha brake controller tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone. 
Sign In or Register to comment.