Sunday, January 10, 2021

Our Electrical Setup

Choosing electrical options for your Hiker trailer can be confusing and anxiety-inducing. You're making a significant investment and you want to "get it right." You want to make sure you're choosing the most economical option while meeting your current and future electrical needs at the same time. You have a lot of questions and the Hiker website isn't really clear on which options are best. I hope this post can offer a bit of help.

We ordered our Hiker in the Spring of 2019 after a lot of research. We chose Hiker because of the quality, options, and proximity of the Indiana factory to our home in West Virginia. We read a lot of websites,  asked questions on the Used Hiker Facebook Group, and watched a lot of videos. Even then, we weren't quite sure we made the right choice when it came to our electrical system.

We prefer boondocking so we knew we needed an electrical setup that would meet our short-term needs as well our long-term needs. Currently, we both work full time so we're only able to camp a couple times a year. In the future, we plan to travel more frequently for extended periods. Until then our needs are simple. We need to charge phones, camera batteries, and other small devices while powering the fan, lights, and a CPAP machine. Because our needs are minimal and we wanted to start our adventures as soon as possible, we opted to purchase the Jackery 500 portable power generator with the 100w solar panel and add some additional components that we can expand upon at a later date.

To meet our current needs and expand at a later date, we ordered the 12v prep and electrical package #4. In addition to the preinstalled fan and light, we installed two power ports and two reading lights in the cabin and some LED strip lights, and a fuse panel in the galley. Modifying the system was simple. I wired a 12v port at the front of the cabin into the preinstalled wiring that was part of the 12 v prep. I ran my own wiring for a port in the rear of the cabin, as well as the reading lights and LED lighting. All of these components are wired to a Fuse panel in the galley. To complete the build, I cut the factory-installed pigtail with the 12v male plug and rewired it to the fuse panel. Now, all we have to do is plug the pigtail into the Jackery to power our trailer.  Below are some photos of the various components.

Jackery 500 and 12 slot fuse panel

LED Strip Lights

12 Slot Fuse Panel

Rear cubbies with 12v port and reading lights

12v port with female plug, USB ports, and switch

If you're looking for a good review of the Jackery 500 as well as the Jackery 1000, check out Matt Dewitt's YouTube videos. He also has an excellent video recommending the LED strip lights we installed as well. Matt is a great resource for tips, tricks, and modifications.

One of these days, we may expand the system to include a more powerful battery, a solar controller, and other components. It all depends on our needs and how badly we want to sacrifice the space in our tongue box.

Happy Camping.

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