Chasing the Twist is a new publication covering the world of adventuring with a practical and real point of view.

Goal Zero Yeti 400 Update

A few months ago I did a write up on the Goal Zero Yeti 400 “Solar” Generator and I am happy to say I am still very pleased with it.

One potential enhancement to improve the Yeti 400 would be multiple charging input ports. The Yeti 1250 has multiple but that is both much larger and much more expensive. That is obviously one of the features Goal Zero is choosing to reserve for their top tier Power Pack.

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We have been charging our Yeti both from the Shore Power hookup I put in the AdventureVan and from the rear power port in the 2008 Ford E350 wagon. I have needed to remember to switch the inputs when we arrived or left home or the campsite. This wasn’t a huge problem but I always maintained that I wanted an automatic switchover between Shore Power and DC power port.

You can see from the video above that I eventually got it to work, but it was more complex than I was hoping for but slightly less complex than I had initially planned for thanks to the 8mm Input 4x Combiner from Goal Zero. The combiner isn’t perfect because, as it turns out, it has not diode function so one input source can send power to another, which could potentially do some damage. Using the combiner does mean that I don’t need to risk ruining the expensive wall adapter by cutting off the 8mm barrel plug to incorporate it into my charging system.

In the end, what worked was a relay which uses Fuse #3, which is for Delay Accessory power, as the switch, and Fuse #30 (#26 would also work), which is for the power socket.

I now have a system that automatically switches the DC input on and off with the key, which is good enough for now. If we end up adding solar panels I’ll likely make the whole system a bit more sophisticated.

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Good luck and happy vanning.


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