Overlanding in 4xe

johnnyj

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Not a 4xE, but I run an ARB fridge. It's powered by a Yeti 500x which recharges off the factory inverter. No issues whatsoever.
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Zacreth

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Not a 4xE, but I run an ARB fridge. It's powered by a Yeti 500x which recharges off the factory inverter. No issues whatsoever.
Can you explain how you have it hooked up to the inverter? Does that mean you have to have your vehicle running?
 

DiscoJL

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I used to run Deezee roof rack that goes on the raingutters on hardtop with tuff stuff 4x4’s ranger rooftop tent on my Willys.
Had it mounted on my old Willys for over 6 months and slept in the tent a few times and have not had any issues.
My Willys did not have any suspension mods and handled the tent like a champ.
But for my 4xe, I want to try and get a body frame mounted roof rack for more sturdiness and not worry about the roof rack potentially damaging the rain gutters on the hard top.
 

johnnyj

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Can you explain how you have it hooked up to the inverter? Does that mean you have to have your vehicle running?
Sure. The fridge is strapped down, and I plug it into the front of my Yeti500X using the supplied cigarette style plug. My Yeti500x is then plugged into the inverter using the factory wall plug it came with. The Yeti 500x is essentially a 500 watt lithium ion battery with various inputs/outputs and about 48AH lifespan.

With the engine off and fully charged, the Yeti 500x Can power my ARB fridge for About 60 hours before needing to be recharged and this is way overkill for my purposes. When I travel in the backcountry, I typically stay at one location for no more than a day.

Put it this way - I leave my home with a full fridge and a charged yeti. Fridge is plugged into yeti which is plugged into inverter. When I drive, the inverter keeps the yeti charged at far faster a rate than the fridge could ever drain it. I arrive at camp at 100% power and shut engine off. The Yeti now powers the ARB for evening/night. We wake up, the yeti is usually at about 80%. I eat breakfast, pack up, and head out on the day's driving. The Inverter charges the yeti back to full again in about 1.5 hours. I arrive at camp again at 100%


Even if I stayed at a location overnight twice and really ran down the yeti500x, the inverter would charge it from very low to full in about 4 hours of the engine running.

I have a 100 watt panel if the zombies attack and I need my beer cold while saving gas.
 
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Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Just curious but is your fridge always on? I'm assuming it is but wondering how it's being powered without draining your batteries...
I tried powering the fridge with a Goal Zero Yeti 400, but couldn’t make it through the night. Fridge would shut off between 2am and 4am each night. I tried powering the Goal Zero with the OEM 12v plug in cargo area, then upgraded to 10 AWG wire with ARB/Engel-type threaded plug wired direct to battery, then upgraded to 4 AWG wired direct to battery. Goal Zero could never get the fridge through the night - regardless of wire gauge used.

I then ditched the Goal Zero Yeti 400, and installed the Genesis Dual Battery system and now it has zero issues. I just unplugged it last night after running it continuously full of food for 22-days, before and during our latest trip. Most days on our 16-day trip, the Jeep was running as we drove to a new location. But we stayed in one spot for 3-days, and another for 2-days. In both of those cases, I would just turn the Jeep to the “Accessory” position (not running the engine, or placing the transmission in drive) for about 5-seconds every 24-hours. Watching the voltage on the dash, you can see the voltage move up above 14 Volts. This appeared to be enough to ‘top off’ the deep cycle cranking battery, which, in turn, tops off the deep cycle house battery for accessories like the fridge.

I documented my installation experience in this thread: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ual-battery-system-in-4xe.76402/#post-1595951

TLDR; You might be able to run a fridge off a single deep cycle battery - given the way the 4xe ‘tops off’ the low-voltage cranking battery under the hood by means of the high-voltage PHEV battery under the rear seats. Alternatively, you could use a better lithium battery like @johnnyj did above.

In my case, I happened to have the Genesis system and two deep cycle batteries on my shelf from my last 3.6L JL build, and wanted the redundancy, switching, jump start capabilities, etc. So I just put the whole system in.
 
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Senrusho

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In my case, I happened to have the Genesis system and two deep cycle batteries on my shelf from my last 3.6L JL build, and wanted the redundancy, switching, jump start capabilities, etc. So I just put the whole system in.
You just put the genesis kit in the 4xe and no problems? That would solve everything I'm worried about with this Jeep.
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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You just put the genesis kit in the 4xe and no problems? That would solve everything I'm worried about with this Jeep.
If you’re thinking about the Genesis kit for the 4xe, definitely read the thread I created here: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ual-battery-system-in-4xe.76402/#post-1595951

It outlines in detail the modifications that are needed for the 4xe, and even gives a suggestion for trying a single deep cycle battery first to see if that gives you the run time you need.

I’ve had zero problems with the Genesis kit (other than the installation modifications needed as mentioned in that link above). It has worked flawlessly from the date of install, and on a real-life test of the fridge on for 22-days - along with periodic use of other accessories and inverter.
 

Senrusho

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If you’re thinking about the Genesis kit for the 4xe, definitely read the thread I created here: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...ual-battery-system-in-4xe.76402/#post-1595951

It outlines in detail the modifications that are needed for the 4xe, and even gives a suggestion for trying a single deep cycle battery first to see if that gives you the run time you need.

I’ve had zero problems with the Genesis kit (other than the installation modifications needed as mentioned in that link above). It has worked flawlessly from the date of install, and on a real-life test of the fridge on for 22-days - along with periodic use of other accessories and inverter.
I need to be able to love a post on here. Thank you so much!!
 

houseofdiesel

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Thanks. Surprisingly, all the electrical stuff didn’t fail during our latest 6,000+ mile trip. And no electrical fires - which is always a bonus.

The drawer is kinda makeshift. It’s actually a lateral fridge slide from American Adventure Lab https://americanadventurelab.com/product/mass-wide-slide/
Sounds like AAL is working on an actual drawer - which would have been a better approach - if it existed.

The fridge slide is definitely overkill for the job, as we just used it for camp stove, pots, pans, utensils, etc. But I had a real tough time finding a drawer that was the right size to fit underneath our Vector GGB shelf, and this was the perfect size. It’s meant to mount to a floor or base. So I had to buy some cheap “L” brackets and additional bolts on Amazon to mount it underneath the shelf. I also picked up a cheap piece of aluminum at Lowes for the front to make it more like a drawer. Lastly, I bought some pick-n-pluck foam, and my wife spent the time to custom fit everything we wanted to carry. The drawer slides are way too heavy-duty for this application, but it worked flawlessly. This winter, I’ll probably do something different with the front - and powder coat it black instead of the weathered aluminum look we’re rocking now.

Let me put in a plug for the folks at American Adventure Lab. They were so very helpful, and rushed it out to me so I could have it the night before our trip to have time to install it. Great folks to do business with.

Here are a few pics of it being mounted with the ”L” brackets to the shelf:

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Out of curiosity what is the range of the 4XE with that much weight added?
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Out of curiosity what is the range of the 4XE with that much weight added?
Great question. Not sure if you mean total range, or electric range. I’ll answer both:

Gas:
We averaged 16.2 MPG over 6,000 miles with 1,300 pounds of cargo including roof top tent. Our best tank was 22 mpg, and our worst was 12 mpg (Mountain passes, overheating, see below). These are not the figures on the dash, but calculated using actual mileage and fill-ups using the Fuelly app.

I was never able to get more than 16 gallons in the tank (even after running completely out of fuel once). I’ve since read that there’s a trick of pressing the fuel door button part-way through a fill-up to release pressure, and that can get you some more fuel. Haven’t tried that yet though. So, 16 gallons x 16.2 MPG = 259 miles on gas on average. Plus another 15 maybe(?) on electric, would get it up north of 270 total range on average.

Electric:
I remember seeing 20 or 21 miles of electric range when fully charged, but I never really tested that to see if it was accurate. I didn’t have 120V electricity for most of our trip. So I probably only charged it 2 or 3 nights out of our 16-day trip. Even when I did charge it, I never ran the PHEV battery down, because I was conserving the battery using e-save for a couple reasons:

1. I wanted plenty of battery whenever we arrived at camp because I didn’t know how long we’d be in one spot without electricity, and I hadn’t fully tested long-term fridge usage, charging devices, running inverter, etc.

2. I discovered that she ran a little hot in 90 degree weather going over mountain passes (around 230 degrees - not enough to cause an overheat light on the dash, but enough to make me nervous). The first time it happened, I learned I could let the electric takeover when the coolant temps got too high, and I could give the gas engine a break, then cycle back to ICE, and she would drop about 10 degrees. This would burn through the PHEV battery quickly trying to lug the Jeep and 1,300 pounds of cargo over a mountain pass, but it helped me realize the PHEV battery being fully charged was instrumental in me keeping the vehicle from overheating.

I like an adventure as much as the next guy, so I would have no problem having to jump start a dead battery, or pulling over to let the ole girl cool off on a mountain pass. My wife, on the other hand, let’s just say she does not share my same love of adventure. I think my wife was running hotter than the Jeep on that big mountain pass!

Therefore, to not stress out my best friend, I would typically keep the PHEV battery well-charged - especially if we had to climb any serious elevation!

As a side note, the biggest advantage the 4xe had over a regular Wrangler when overloaded was the max regen feature. I was concerned about overworking the breaks coming down these steep mountain passes with 1,300 pounds of cargo. Reality was, It was never an issue. I would come down 8% grades for miles, and never need to touch the break pedal.
 
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houseofdiesel

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Great question. Not sure if you mean total range, or electric range. I’ll answer both:

Gas:
We averaged 16.2 MPG over 6,000 miles with 1,300 pounds of cargo including roof top tent. Our best tank was 22 mpg, and our worst was 12 mpg (Mountain passes, overheating, see below). These are not the figures on the dash, but calculated using actual mileage and fill-ups using the Fuelly app.

I was never able to get more than 16 gallons in the tank (even after running completely out of fuel once). I’ve since read that there’s a trick of pressing the fuel door button part-way through a fill-up to release pressure, and that can get you some more fuel. Haven’t tried that yet though. So, 16 gallons x 16.2 MPG = 259 miles on gas on average. Plus another 15 maybe(?) on electric, would get it up north of 270 total range on average.

Electric:
I remember seeing 20 or 21 miles of electric range when fully charged, but I never really tested that to see if it was accurate. I didn’t have 120V electricity for most of our trip. So I probably only charged it 2 or 3 nights out of our 16-day trip. Even when I did charge it, I never ran the PHEV battery down, because I was conserving the battery using e-save for a couple reasons:

1. I wanted plenty of battery whenever we arrived at camp because I didn’t know how long we’d be in one spot without electricity, and I hadn’t fully tested long-term fridge usage, charging devices, running inverter, etc.

2. I discovered that she ran a little hot in 90 degree weather going over mountain passes (around 230 degrees - not enough to cause an overheat light on the dash, but enough to make me nervous). The first time it happened, I learned I could let the electric takeover when the coolant temps got too high, and I could give the gas engine a break, then cycle back to ICE, and she would drop about 10 degrees. This would burn through the PHEV battery quickly trying to lug the Jeep and 1,300 pounds of cargo over a mountain pass, but it helped me realize the PHEV battery being fully charged was instrumental in me keeping the vehicle from overheating.

I like an adventure as much as the next guy, so I would have no problem having to jump start a dead battery, or pulling over to let the ole girl cool off on a mountain pass. My wife, on the other hand, let’s just say she does not share my same love of adventure. I think my wife was running hotter than the Jeep on that big mountain pass!

Therefore, to not stress out my best friend, I would typically keep the PHEV battery well-charged - especially if we had to climb any serious elevation!

As a side note, the biggest advantage the 4xe had over a regular Wrangler when overloaded was the max regen feature. I was concerned about overworking the breaks coming down these steep mountain passes with 1,300 pounds of cargo. Reality was, It was never an issue. I would come down 8% grades for miles, and never need to touch the break pedal.
Dang, I get pissed my F450 doesn't have the second tank option and only has a range of 350 miles. I couldn't imagine cross country/road trip driving with only 270 miles of max range and only averaging 250 for the most part. To each their own though, since our 392 barely bests that.
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Dang, I get pissed my F450 doesn't have the second tank option and only has a range of 350 miles. I couldn't imagine cross country/road trip driving with only 270 miles of max range and only averaging 250 for the most part. To each their own though, since our 392 barely bests that.
I hear ya. But I got a range of 500+ miles out of my first tank due to in-town driving and regular charging. Also, don’t forget the following facts about this particular trip with average 16.2 MPG:

1. At 1,300 pounds of cargo, the Jeep was more than 50% above the cargo limit of 850 pounds on this trip.
2. I had a roof rack, roof top tent, and wind deflector on top - all of which create wind drag, and reduce fuel economy.
3. We were out west, with posted speed limits of 70, 75 and 80. These are not optimum fuel efficiency speeds for the shape of the Wrangler.
4. A practical range of 250 miles sounds prohibitive, but at 70 MPH, that represents 3.5 hours of straight driving. At 3.5 hours, someone in the vehicle is looking for food/restroom, so these gas stops did not represent extra stops for us.
5. We were crossing some 8,000 and 10,000 foot mountain passes - most folks won’t face that on a typical trip.
6. This vehicle‘s primary job is to get me back and forth to work every day - a round trip of about 30 miles on back roads. For that assignment, it gets more than 20 MPG, and I can charge every night for higher MPG figures. There’s a chance my employer will be installing charging stations soon, which further improves my use case.
7. I purchased the 4xe before BOTH of the price increases, and can use the full $7,500 tax credit - thus making my net purchase price roughly $4K less than an identically equipped gas Rubicon (and I wanted all the options on the 4xe).

I can buy a LOT of gas with that $4,000 ⛽

For me, coming from a 2018 JLU Sahara 3.6L with manual transmission, the mileage on my commute with the 4xe is better than it was with the 3.6L. And the HP and torque are hugely improved on the 4xe.

But, you’re right, if the only thing I was doing with this Jeep was cross country trips, I wouldn’t have picked the 4xe. Diesel might be the best Wrangler for that task. But for my use case, this 4xe has been fantastic. Not a single regret!
 
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Echo4papa

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Without being loaded down with gear, and without artificially inflating my range with multiple charges and driving around town, I managed an average range of about 375 miles per tank on a road trip from FL to MD and back in my 4xe Sahara.
 
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