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I'm working on a solar power system for camper conversion in a 2019 awd xle. Want to be able to charge the house battery by both solar and alternator. Have it pretty well figured out except for how to run wire from the starter battery to the rear space where the 3rd row seats were stowed, which is where I want to locate the house battery. Specifically, how to get wires from the engine space through the firewall and into the interior. Any info or ideas for how to do that?
 

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Somehow I got these posts out of order. Anyways, here are a few more pictures of how I ran my run:
  • 0199 shows the battery connection and an extra Anderson connection for heavy duty inverter applications
  • 9451 shows how I ran the wire under the door sills
  • 9478 shows the relay, fuse block and ground location I used in the jack compartment
  • The diagram is how I keep this sprawling system straight. Note that as a result of the sub-par 4 gauge wire, I had to fuse the main breaker at the battery down from 80amp to 50amp. In reality I never draw anywhere near that amperage anyways.
 

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I'm working on a solar power system for camper conversion in a 2019 awd xle. Want to be able to charge the house battery by both solar and alternator. Have it pretty well figured out except for how to run wire from the starter battery to the rear space where the 3rd row seats were stowed, which is where I want to locate the house battery. Specifically, how to get wires from the engine space through the firewall and into the interior. Any info or ideas for how to do that?
Cool project! I ran wire front the positive terminal to the rear jack compartment on my 2016 XLE. I needed power for a trailer wiring harness. While I was in there, I setup a relay and fuse block to supply power to extra outlets and an inverter when the vehicle is running. Ultimately, I’d like to setup an isolated/charger and a house battery for everything on those circuits. But I’ve hit my budget on electronics for now.

Running the wire really isn’t too difficult. The existing firewall wire grommet has a “nipple” you can cut off in order to feed the wire through. On the interior it comes out just above the pedals. From there you can run it in the existing protected wire tray that runs under the door sills. I was able to feed it under the 3rd row plastic interior walls to get it to the tail light/lift gate area.

I’ve got pretty good photos on an Amazon review of the wire I used.

Please read the fine print when buting and learn from my mistake. This wire is 4 gauge copper clad aluminum, not 4 American Wire Gauge copper. Which means it has no know amperage capacity! I built a whole 80a run off of it and had to fuse it down to 50a after that unfortunate discovery.

Product review with wire run pictures: Look for “Hank’s” review.
SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25' Amazon.com: SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25'

Fun fact: Amazon will not let me edit my review... which means I now have a top rated deceptive review! I would give it 2 stars due to the shady specs. Although I haven’t had any issues with it yet running 30+ amps through it.
 

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Cool project! I ran wire front the positive terminal to the rear jack compartment on my 2016 XLE. I needed power for a trailer wiring harness. While I was in there, I setup a relay and fuse block to supply power to extra outlets and an inverter when the vehicle is running. Ultimately, I’d like to setup an isolated/charger and a house battery for everything on those circuits. But I’ve hit my budget on electronics for now.

Running the wire really isn’t too difficult. The existing firewall wire grommet has a “nipple” you can cut off in order to feed the wire through. On the interior it comes out just above the pedals. From there you can run it in the existing protected wire tray that runs under the door sills. I was able to feed it under the 3rd row plastic interior walls to get it to the tail light/lift gate area.

I’ve got pretty good photos on an Amazon review of the wire I used.

Please read the fine print when buting and learn from my mistake. This wire is 4 gauge copper clad aluminum, not 4 American Wire Gauge copper. Which means it has no know amperage capacity! I built a whole 80a run off of it and had to fuse it down to 50a after that unfortunate discovery.

Product review with wire run pictures: Look for “Hank’s” review.
SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25' Amazon.com: SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25'

Fun fact: Amazon will not let me edit my review... which means I now have a top rated deceptive review! I would give it 2 stars due to the shady specs. Although I haven’t had any issues with it yet running 30+ amps through it.
Cool project! I ran wire front the positive terminal to the rear jack compartment on my 2016 XLE. I needed power for a trailer wiring harness. While I was in there, I setup a relay and fuse block to supply power to extra outlets and an inverter when the vehicle is running. Ultimately, I’d like to setup an isolated/charger and a house battery for everything on those circuits. But I’ve hit my budget on electronics for now.

Running the wire really isn’t too difficult. The existing firewall wire grommet has a “nipple” you can cut off in order to feed the wire through. On the interior it comes out just above the pedals. From there you can run it in the existing protected wire tray that runs under the door sills. I was able to feed it under the 3rd row plastic interior walls to get it to the tail light/lift gate area.

I’ve got pretty good photos on an Amazon review of the wire I used.

Please read the fine print when buting and learn from my mistake. This wire is 4 gauge copper clad aluminum, not 4 American Wire Gauge copper. Which means it has no know amperage capacity! I built a whole 80a run off of it and had to fuse it down to 50a after that unfortunate discovery.

Product review with wire run pictures: Look for “Hank’s” review.
SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25' Amazon.com: SoundBox Connected 4 Gauge Red Amplifier Amp Power/Ground Wire 25 Feet Superflex Cable 25'

Fun fact: Amazon will not let me edit my review... which means I now have a top rated deceptive review! I would give it 2 stars due to the shady specs. Although I haven’t had any issues with it yet running 30+ amps through it.
Thanks! Really helpful. Does this look like the grommet you're talking about? Pic from engine side, touching it with stick. Second from inside a few inches above gas pedal. If so, did you remove anything to make more work space (on the engine side). Pretty tight back in there.
46880
46881
 

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I randomly ran across this a few nights ago while going down a rabbit hole of Sienna videos on YouTube. Uses a unit from CTEK:

 

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Thanks! Really helpful. Does this look like the grommet you're talking about? Pic from engine side, touching it with stick. Second from inside a few inches above gas pedal. If so, did you remove anything to make more work space (on the engine side). Pretty tight back in there. View attachment 46880 View attachment 46881
OK,your pictures refreshed my memory.

I did not cut the nipple, I actually cut the zip tie on the engine bay side that keeps the loose part of the grommet tight against the wiring harness.

I removed the engine air filter cover to get a little more room.

Then, from the engine bay side, I shoved a piece of 1/2 PEX into the now loose grommet and fed the 4 gauge wire through the PEX.

I re zip tied the grommet and put heat resistant split loom on the wire in the engine bay.
 

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OK,your pictures refreshed my memory.

I did not cut the nipple, I actually cut the zip tie on the engine bay side that keeps the loose part of the grommet tight against the wiring harness.

I removed the engine air filter cover to get a little more room.

Then, from the engine bay side, I shoved a piece of 1/2 PEX into the now loose grommet and fed the 4 gauge wire through the PEX.

I re zip tied the grommet and put heat resistant split loom on the wire in the engine bay.
A few pictures of how mine turned out:
 

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On the inside, I fed the wire from the engine and made a small incision in the grommet and took it out the side of it.
So appreciated. I now have a clear idea how to proceed. Will decide whether to cut the zip tie or the nipple when I get right down to it. Many thanks!
 

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You really aren't saying much about what your doing. Lithium battery or AGM? Ahs of battery—demands on charging—alternator can overheat it driven for too long. What are you using to charge it? You need an isolation break between start battery and house battery... You need different components to charge each.

I too was going to install my house batteries in that back space where the third row seats go down. Then I considered the run. The longer the distance the larger the wire you need to carry the amperage. This is a handy little chart to help with that: Circuit Wizard - Blue Sea Systems
I realized it was a very long run that would require massive size wire. I ended up putting my batteries between the front seats and went straight off the alternator—because coming off the battery made running the wire much more complicated. I have about a 10' run of #1 wire with 150 amp fusing, 200 Ah lithium.

46950
46951


There is a rubber grommet in the floor under the front passenger seat. I did remove that seat and heated the heating duct to mold the plastic to allow space for my wire.

I have a 2004, second generation.
 

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I'm working on a solar power system for camper conversion in a 2019 awd xle. Want to be able to charge the house battery by both solar and alternator. Have it pretty well figured out except for how to run wire from the starter battery to the rear space where the 3rd row seats were stowed, which is where I want to locate the house battery. Specifically, how to get wires from the engine space through the firewall and into the interior. Any info or ideas for how to do that?
Hi Willy,

I don't know the answer to the question you raised. But I am interested in your project. If you're sharing details on this conversion, please post the links. In either case, best wishes!
 

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You really aren't saying much about what your doing. Lithium battery or AGM? Ahs of battery—demands on charging—alternator can overheat it driven for too long. What are you using to charge it? You need an isolation break between start battery and house battery... You need different components to charge each.

I too was going to install my house batteries in that back space where the third row seats go down. Then I considered the run. The longer the distance the larger the wire you need to carry the amperage. This is a handy little chart to help with that: Circuit Wizard - Blue Sea Systems
I realized it was a very long run that would require massive size wire. I ended up putting my batteries between the front seats and went straight off the alternator—because coming off the battery made running the wire much more complicated. I have about a 10' run of #1 wire with 150 amp fusing, 200 Ah lithium.

View attachment 46950 View attachment 46951

There is a rubber grommet in the floor under the front passenger seat. I did remove that seat and heated the heating duct to mold the plastic to allow space for my wire.

I have a 2004, second generation.
How do you think using my existing 50a breaker’4 gauge (not 4AWG) circuit wired to the battery would handle this isolator and battery?
WirthCo 20092 Battery Doctor 125 Amp/150 Amp Battery Isolator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058SGDFK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rmelFb4HGGB89

Mighty Max Battery 12V 100AH Battery for Solar Wind DEEP Cycle VRLA 12V 24V 48V Brand Product Amazon.com: Mighty Max Battery 12V 100AH Battery for Solar Wind DEEP Cycle VRLA 12V 24V 48V Brand Product: Electronics

It would be used to run a DC fridge overnight.

I’ve used the Curcuit Wizard a lot, great resource! I just have trouble conceptualizing how many AMPs a dead 100amp hour battery could draw. I appreciate that the 150a battery doctor would support the load from a 150a alternator, but I don’t know if it would ever see that draw.
 

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Length of run is everything. Remember that a wire run 10' to your battery is a 20' run for DC. You have to add both directions to your length/distance calculation. You don't want to put out a forest fire with a 1/4" diameter hose... Larger the wire, the easier it breaths.

A lead acid battery should not be drained below 50% discharge as it will cause damage to the battery, so you would be charging 50 amps max to restore it, if you adhered to this. Lead acid are also slow to charge so they won't put the high demand for amperage out all at once. (Lithium sucks full amperage charging, so high demand.)

Your fridge will have specs for the current drain. Mine draws .74 amps/hour times 24 hours is about 18 amps draw down. So you could safely run my fridge for 2.5 days and not have to recharge till then. Add in lights, fans, pumps, and all the other draw downs and figure how long the battery will last you, or how soon it needs to be charged.

The wire calculator will tell you if your wire is heavy enough. I don't know how much current the battery might demand in charging. (I'm not very knowledgeable about lead as I focused my research on Lithium.) The Battery Doctor thing would hopefully provide information on what wire size you might need for the maximum amount of charge it is capable of doing?
 

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Length of run is everything. Remember that a wire run 10' to your battery is a 20' run for DC. You have to add both directions to your length/distance calculation. You don't want to put out a forest fire with a 1/4" diameter hose... Larger the wire, the easier it breaths.

A lead acid battery should not be drained below 50% discharge as it will cause damage to the battery, so you would be charging 50 amps max to restore it, if you adhered to this. Lead acid are also slow to charge so they won't put the high demand for amperage out all at once. (Lithium sucks full amperage charging, so high demand.)

Your fridge will have specs for the current drain. Mine draws .74 amps/hour times 24 hours is about 18 amps draw down. So you could safely run my fridge for 2.5 days and not have to recharge till then. Add in lights, fans, pumps, and all the other draw downs and figure how long the battery will last you, or how soon it needs to be charged.

The wire calculator will tell you if your wire is heavy enough. I don't know how much current the battery might demand in charging. (I'm not very knowledgeable about lead as I focused my research on Lithium.) The Battery Doctor thing would hopefully provide information on what wire size you might need for the maximum amount of charge it is capable of doing?
Thanks for the info. Topping a battery off wouldn’t be bad, but I’d have to do some more numbers before recharging after a full drain. They had this picture in the product page, I just can’t tell for sure what it is saying that the max amp draw is? It can’t possibly be .25a?

It’s pretty amazing how efficient some of these fridges are. If you keep your other electrical loads light and drive somewhere every few days (like on a cross country trip), you could probably skate my with a 100aH battery.
 

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Thanks for the info. Topping a battery off wouldn’t be bad, but I’d have to do some more numbers before recharging after a full drain. They had this picture in the product page, I just can’t tell for sure what it is saying that the max amp draw is? It can’t possibly be .25a?

It’s pretty amazing how efficient some of these fridges are. If you keep your other electrical loads light and drive somewhere every few days (like on a cross country trip), you could probably skate my with a 100aH battery.
That's a terribly confusing graph, if you don't know what you're looking at. The 0.25 is the charging amps, so the draw would be 0.25 times your battery capacity of 100 aH. So, the draw would be 25 amps at 12 volts. The graph suggests that 0-100% would take 24 hours to charge, but even deep-cycle lead-acid batteries shouldn't drop below 20%, if you want it to last any amount of time. A Li-based battery would allow a nearly full discharge, but needs a much better built charge controller to prevent overheating the battery. They typically have a thermistor built into the battery for just this purpose. A lot of the fridges I see use as much as 3-5 amps per hour. You would run down your 100 aH battery to 20% in one day, without a recharge and then it would take most of a day to recharge the battery. If the idea is that you would prepare perishable food for dinner, then refrigerate it overnight to each for breakfast, that's probably a reasonable approach. If you want it on continuously to keep milk cold, you may still be able to do it with a combination of solar panels on the roof and running the engine periodically at night.

I might be inclined to consider one of those Propane mini-fridges, which have to be kept level, burn about .3 lbs of propane per day and need to be properly vented to keep you from dying. Or, you could get a more expensive compressor fridge which would draw somewhere in the 1 amp per hour. Or, you could just make a super-insulated ice box and just grab a bag of ice every time you fill up on gas.
 

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That's a terribly confusing graph, if you don't know what you're looking at. The 0.25 is the charging amps, so the draw would be 0.25 times your battery capacity of 100 aH. So, the draw would be 25 amps at 12 volts. The graph suggests that 0-100% would take 24 hours to charge, but even deep-cycle lead-acid batteries shouldn't drop below 20%, if you want it to last any amount of time. A Li-based battery would allow a nearly full discharge, but needs a much better built charge controller to prevent overheating the battery. They typically have a thermistor built into the battery for just this purpose. A lot of the fridges I see use as much as 3-5 amps per hour. You would run down your 100 aH battery to 20% in one day, without a recharge and then it would take most of a day to recharge the battery. If the idea is that you would prepare perishable food for dinner, then refrigerate it overnight to each for breakfast, that's probably a reasonable approach. If you want it on continuously to keep milk cold, you may still be able to do it with a combination of solar panels on the roof and running the engine periodically at night.

I might be inclined to consider one of those Propane mini-fridges, which have to be kept level, burn about .3 lbs of propane per day and need to be properly vented to keep you from dying. Or, you could get a more expensive compressor fridge which would draw somewhere in the 1 amp per hour. Or, you could just make a super-insulated ice box and just grab a bag of ice every time you fill up on gas.
Thanks for interpreting that crazy graph! By the time you get a quality DC charger, 200AH battery, fridge and even think about solar...it’s got to be north of $1000. Pretty tempting to just keep the Coleman Extreme iced up!
 
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