Kisae Bi-Directional BIC Inverter Charger in rPod Trailer
Coop's Monterey Bay based R177 HRE rPod might be getting close to vintage these days, but he tows this all over the west coast, from Seattle to Joshua Tree to Burning Man. This compact, but well sorted trailer has a clean and reliable AC/DC grid, with a portable folding solar panel set-up to charge an Expion 120Ah LiFePO4 battery when boondocking. Here are a few snaps to show the project.
The system is based around Kisae's bi-directional BIC1220080 Inverter Charger with a built-in transfer switch. It's compact enough to fit under the dinette seat, and it runs cool enough to be easily vented. A surge guard keeps the incoming power clean, and feeds the BIC fused AC shore power through a marine grade breaker. To charge the system's Expion360 120Ah LiFePO4 battery, the BIC has a lithium battery charging profile. For solar, a Renogy MPPT connects into the battery to keep it charged when off-grid. The BIC's transfer switch automatically switches from inverter to shore power when present, and its inverter will automatically energize the wall plugs when disconnected from shore power when there's an AC demand at any plug.
The BIC is hardwired into the rPod's existing AC distribution panel with circuit breakers for each leg. DC is wired from the battery into the rPod's DC distribution panel with fuses for each leg. The factory converter isn't required for charging, and has been removed.
The Inverter Charger Control Panel is hard wired to the BIC via the supplied RJ11 cable. It's routed behind the rPod's floor molding trim, and was fished up through the wall by the front door for easy access and quick status monitoring. The panel provides full trouble shooting codes, custom programming, and can be used to switch off the BIC if not needed.
For solar, Coop built this portable folding system using two Renogy panels. When in transit, the panels fold in half and are stored in a rooftop cargo box. The portable panels enable parking the trailer in the shade and positioning the panels for optimal sunlight.
Setting up the folding solar panels was pretty straightforward if you're mechanically inclined. Here's an article that shows the parts and process.