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At the time of this writing (January 2018), Costco’s price was $300 less expensive compared to GoalZero’s website price. If you are able to snag an open-box version from Goal Zero, you’ll save appropriately $150 over the Costco price.
All the electrical needs inside Discovery are powered by the Yeti 1000. Electric water kettle, laptops, electric LED lights, and USB-powered items such as cellular phones, external mobile battery packs.
At first, the battery was situated directly behind the drivers seat on the floor. During the warm summer months, the battery performed flawlessly. On one particularly hot day in Oregon where the inside temperature rose above 40c, the Rowenta fan was running full speed to provide a bit of relief inside Discovery. The Yeti 1000’s fans started up, trying to cool the unit. After a few minutes, the entire Yeti 1000 stopped working except for the internal fans running full speed. It had reached it’s maximum operating temperature. The thermometer display on the LCD screen lit up, meaning “temperature warning - allow the unit to cool”.
Discovery’s floors are not insulated. Just the standard rubber flooring on top of the plywood on top of the metal Sprinter floors. That leads to cold floors which transmit the cold to the bottom of the Yeti 1000. The Espar D2 heater generates enough heat inside Discovery to make it a comfortable 72F. With indoor/outdoor carpeting in the living area between the crew seats and the bed, the floor is not as cold. In sub-zero temperatures outside, the Yeti 1000 absorbs the cold from the floor. One evening when trying to boil water with the kettle for some tea, the Yeti 1000 started off at around 78%, then suddenly went to zero percent without warning. Turns out the lithium battery was too cold to operate. Goal Zero recommends that the unit be stored in an insulated cooler so that the heat generated by the Yeti 1000 when in use will keep the overall unit warm.
The Yeti 1000 was then moved to a new location, on top of the sturdy heater box covering the Espar D2. Even with the Espar D2 running at full blast, the Yeti 1000 doesn’t get hot since the heat output is not directed towards the Yeti 1000.
With the Yeti 1000 not touching the uninsulated floor, rather just six inches above the floor, the Yeti 1000 performs flawlessly when it is sub-zero outside.
Charging the Yeti 1000
Currently Discovery does not have solar panels on the roof.
A simple 300 watt inverter mounted with double-sided tape to the driver seat base, connected to the 12v cigarette lighter socket under the drivers seat connects the Yeti 1000 charger. While driving, the 300 watt inverter is turned on to charge. To charge quicker, Goal Zero recommends getting a second power adapter, and plugging that in simultaneously as the other adapter. This will essentially double the speed of charging.
One word of caution. If the Yeti 1000 is below 50% charge, and the 300 watt inverter connected to the 12v connection is left on, the main vehicle battery will drain if parked overnight. Remember to turn off the 300 watt inverter when parked.
When parked at home, a long extension cable is connected to the Yeti 1000 and the house 110v electrical outlet.
Modified: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 11:07:01 -0700