Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Transportation

BOT (Bug Out Trailer) Power - Harris Battery Bank?

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Starting this thread to see what people are doing (lessons learned) for power systems in a non-RV trailer.  So who has one and what did you do?

My brother and used a small genset on an enclosed work trailer for power. About 2000W. We mounted it on the front near the hitch and used the trailer for elk and deer hunting camp outs. For casual lighting I've used solar powered lights I bought at the dollar store. The genst was fairly quiet and was used only for short periods.

I think if I were going to do this I would incorporate a mid size generator(3k-4k), solar, a marine/rv style shore power charger/maintainer, and also set it up to charge through the trailer plug and via the solar controller. I would want the generator to also have a DC output for direct battery charging. These are usually only ten amps or so, but it's another charging option. In addition, I would make sure the lug pattern on the trailer matched the tow vehicle and that the wheels/tires would interchange. Typically you can change the hubs on the trailer if the pattern is different.

Honestly though, for the expense I would build this as a camping trailer that has the secondary function of BOT. Even at that, if you never go camping, it's going to be a recurring cost every year for registration(inspection as well?) and another recurring cost every few years to replace tires and batteries. I can't count the number of trailers I've seen with essentially zero mileage tires(still had the little nubs) that were dry rotted. More or less, it's likely to be a money pit.

Matching lug pattern between car and trailer.... good one!  Solar lights... also a good one for "free" powered lights!

Step one...  switching between generator/grid power and inverter/battery power.  I didn't want anything automatic or complicated.  Looked at industrial transfer switches but they were expensive and oversized.  My target size is 15-20a of 120vac.  You would think a 3 pole double throw switch would be easy to find but no.  I found this on ebay for $20.  It is actually pretty well made (although LEGO looking) and seems foolproof.


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