Ultimate boondocking tow vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2018, 07:58 AM   #1
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Ultimate boondocking tow vehicle

Here is some food for thought. Could a Toyota Highlander Hybrid or some similar vehicle be the ultimate small trailer towing vehicle for boondocking?


It has a tow rating of 3500 pounds, and a Toyota synergy drive with a 2 kilowatt battery (2014 specs).


Connect your DC to AC inverter to the high voltage battery (or maybe the 12 volt battery) and run an AC cable to your trailer. Turn off all the accessories in the vehicle and turn the vehicle on. The vehicle monitors the battery voltage and runs the engine as required to keep the battery charged. Note that engine starting is controlled by the inverters and not a traditional starter motor, so it is very quiet. The inverter runs everything in the trailer, INCLUDING your air conditioner. The engine will only run at an idle to recharge the batteries so it is very quiet and wouldn't bother your neighbors or you. The run time limiting factor is the fuel tank capacity.


There might be some warranty issues tapping into the vehicles battery system but in theory this just might work.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:21 AM   #2
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Sounds interesting. Maybe even through the 7 pin? My Prius is quieter than my 1000W Honda, not that I could tow anything with it
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:17 AM   #3
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You couldn't do it thru the 7 pin for a couple reasons. 1. The wire size is not adequate. 2 The voltage rating is not adequate. 3 You need an isolated circuit with hot and neutral wires. I have prius and if I had a motor home and towed it I might consider messing with it. It is a 2009 with 150k miles.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:46 PM   #4
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Hymer Activ Class B's while neither fiberglass nor hybrid, use the engine, inverters, solar, and substantial batteries to accomplish much of what you are attempting, including start/stop to run Air Conditioning. Highly sophisticated.

EcoTrek Power management for boondocking:


VoltStart Auto start management:


More, Fuel cells:
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300609304.html

We're The Russos [YouTube] used it to keep a dog comfortable.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:10 PM   #5
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If you are not really boondocking if you use electricity.
Mess with the Hybrid system and you void the warranty.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:38 PM   #6
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Seems to me, buying a Prius to save the environment, and then running it for hours as a generator, is contradictory. <_<
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:45 PM   #7
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Please keep me in the loop about this. I'm planning to buy a used Highlander hybrid with tow package as my tow vehicle for a 16' Scamp or Casita. Would be very interested if there is a way to run the trailer off the battery and engine of the TV when off the grid. Would need someone else to figure out how it should be done, and then have that built for me.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:56 PM   #8
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Tom,


Thanks for the info on Hymer group. Leave it to the German engineers to develop this kind of system. I worked for a UPS company based in Germany. Over the years they developed some really innovative designs. To me the Toyota synergy drive seems well suited for such a system, however, I don't think I am ready to start a R&D project on my brides prius even though I don't have to worry about the warranty anymore.



I have also heard from another source that some folks sell kits to utilize the synergy system.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #9
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Good thought Glenn. But just think how much fuel you would save by not carrying a stand alone generator!
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:19 PM   #10
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Lisle,


Perhaps I should have done a little searching before I began this thread. I searched the internet for 'prius power supply' and found some interesting utube videos where folks simply connected an inverter to the prius low voltage battery and ran an extension cord to their house for emergency power. Apparently the prius is limited to 100 amps which translates to about 1200 watts of available power. I am sure there are some prius loads that need to be supplied and inverter conversion losses, but 1000 watts might be realizable. Perhaps not enough to run an AC unit, or hot plates, etc., but certainly you could run radios, tvs computers and like.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
1000 watts might be realizable. Perhaps not enough to run an AC unit, or hot plates, etc., but certainly you could run radios, tvs computers and like.

All of which I do with a couple 40 watt solar panels. I don't bother taking the generator these days. Added consideration is that I would exercise the generator every couple months or so, but still couldn't start it the other day. Even though I use Stabil, the carb was gummed up.

It's been serviced and I'll be filling it with Aspen fuel which runs $8 a litre but is good for a couple years, sitting in the tank.


https://www.aspen.se/Canada/About_alkylate_petrol
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:56 PM   #12
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Glenn,


I am a fan of solar also. I am planning on 100-200 watts and a 100 ah LFP battery. I have seen numerous posts and videos discussing off grid power, running air conditioners etc.. Solar should be fine for most applications. The exception would be running an air conditioner because they draw power for extended periods and would quickly consume a charged battery. A hybrid TV has the potential to provide a solution, however I think you would need to tap into the high voltage battery. If one were to do so they better know what they are getting into. Its not for the layman.



For those interested here is a really good video of how the synergy drive works.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:58 PM   #13
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So I'm assuming you all mean that a Highlander hybrid would use a similar system to the Prius hybrid system? And that's why the Prius video is helpful to understand the general concepts?
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:36 PM   #14
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So I'm assuming you all mean that a Highlander hybrid would use a similar system to the Prius hybrid system? And that's why the Prius video is helpful to understand the general concepts?
Good point. The HL hybrid system is a bit different from a Prius!
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