Waeco Urban Power Battery Pack

Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 10:05

peterjday

Hi, does anybody no if a Waeco Urban Power Battery Pack has enough cranking capacity to start a gu patrol 2.8 litre diesel???

Thanks
Peter
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AnswerID: 45959   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 10:23

Member -ace ( SA ) replied:

Peter, I have a 3 ltr diesel of which i have had to use it once and it started easily, i'm not even sure if it was fully charged, a very handy unit.i like terra firma, the more firma the less terra, regards, Adrian.
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AnswerID: 45960   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 10:30

peterjday replied:

Thanks,

Do you use if for a fridge? How does it perform? Do you run a fridge off it while you drive?

Peter
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FollowupID: 307971   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 19:06

Member - Nick (TAS) posted:

peterjday,we ran our 40lt Arb fridge off an Urban for three months in duel setup in our 4WD.when stopped in one spot we could run the fridge for three to four days on the bat. pack only(temp in the mid 30's).
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AnswerID: 45980   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 14:06

Member -ace ( SA ) replied:

Peter, I don't run a fridge off it at all, I mainly use it for lighting, I can run 2 fluro lights off it for a week when camping and as power for the compressor after sand driving, regards, Adrian. i like terra firma, the more firma the less terra, regards, Adrian.
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AnswerID: 45982   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 14:29

Member - Rohan K replied:

Peter, a member by the name of Moggs has been using one for the past 2 years to run his fridge. I'm sure he'll comment eventually but is a bit busy at the moment.

Moggs has done quite a few trips in that time and reckons the unit works well but has said he would not buy another. It is on its last legs and $600+ is a bit much for what is, essentially a $120 battery with an isolator and some connections, that lasts just 2 years.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 307933   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 14:33

Member - Rohan K posted:

BTW, the unit recharges as you drive and the fridge runs from the primary battery. Then, when you switch off, the waeco pack takes over running the fridge.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 307936   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 14:47

peterjday posted:

Waeco told me that they have 2 x gell battery that can be replaced???

Peter
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FollowupID: 307944   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 15:59

Leroy posted:

Waeco or Blue Apple actually are the ones who make them said it costs around $100 to have the batteries replaced down the track if needed.

Leroy
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FollowupID: 307967   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 18:32

Member - Ross posted:

Rohan

Exactly my point in an earlier post. At the end of the day it's a battery in a flash box.

I've no doubt you could achieve a better result with a better battery in a Supa-Cheep type power pack box (about 70 bucks) which can be easily wired to recharge off the system for say about $200 all up.

Only 1 problem .... the circuit breaker on my unit bleep itself after about 2 months. Problem solved with a no questions asked replacement. In any event it's easy enough to replace the breaker or indeed bypass it in the bush if the circuits are otherwise protected.

Had a look at a small Waeco unit at the local camping store for about $300 and said to himself .... they've got to be joking.

Fidei defensor

Rosco
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AnswerID: 45991   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 14:58

Member - StevenL replied:

G'day Peter,

I have the Urban pack and use it to run a Weaco 40l fridge. No probs so far after 6 months. I run it in the boot of my Civic connected to 12v outlet and run the fridge from the pack all the time. Runs OK overnight and the "fully Charged" light comes on when I test it in the morning if it has been a cool night. Also use it for lights/airbed pump etc.

Agree with life-span comments above. My father has one that is just over 2 yrs old. He uses it regularly and it is about knackered. The retailer did tell me that you can just replace the cells for about $120-$150. I'll see how long mine lasts.

StevenLPlaydoe GXL TD Manual
It's on order, Delivery in April '04.
This pic will have to do till then. Can't wait!!!
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FollowupID: 307943   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 15:53

Member - Rohan K posted:

$150 for both cells, or each cell?

If its for both that means you pay about $450 for the box that they sit in

..
~Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 307978   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 19:41

peterjday posted:

Thanks for the discussion.

Shopping around you can get a fridge power $269 or urban $329. They come with two gell batteries $70 each replacement cost each - I rang waeco this afternoon! Both units are 24 amp hour - the difference being cranking power.

So I guess are are paying a bit over $100 for the box, the gadgetry and they both come with the wiring kit direct to the battery which is connected into the ignition switch and an outlet. You are paying for the convenience etc. I just wanted to know if it was strong enough to start a diesel.

Thanks everyone.
I'm giving it a go and will give any feedback if I have a problem.

Peter

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FollowupID: 307979   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 19:54

Member - Rohan K posted:

Peter, I've been refering to the 48 amp one because the 24 amp one won't do you much good for the fridge in summer - you'll get about 5 or 6 hours running time. But they'll all kick start a diesel with no trouble (if sufficiently charged).Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 308012   Submitted: Monday, Feb 09, 2004 at 22:28

Member - StevenL posted:

Hi Rohan,

You must have one of those "Thumper" size ones. Retails for $659 in the Weaco cattledog.

I checked the catalogue again and also had a look at the unit and mine is the "Outback", 24amp hr 700 crank amps with the Heavy duty cells. It was 479 retail but I got it for 400 when I bought it with thhe fridge.

The "Urban" is $100 less retail but supplies only 600 cranking amps. The "Fridgepower" is the basic one my father has, it does not do cranking (no points or leads) and is shagged after two years - won't hold a charge for long.

I am happy with the performance of mine so far. It does not seem to discharge too much running the 40l fridge even on warmer nights. As I mentioned above there are some mornings when the test light it is still showing full charge after running the fridge 12 hrs.

StevenLPlaydoe GXL TD Manual
It's on order, Delivery in April '04.
This pic will have to do till then. Can't wait!!!
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AnswerID: 46127   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 10:35

Phil G replied:

THese packs contain gel gells (SLA) batteries. Like all lead acid batteries, they like to remain fully charged and not be cycled. The recharger from the cig socket recharges at a very low amp rate, so it takes a long time to recharge, if using it to run a fridge overnight. You'l kill the batteries prematurely if using them in this way.

So, I would not use it to run the fridge. Better to run the fridge from the vehicle's starting battery, and use the pack as a backup, if unable to start the vehicle. A low voltage cutout on the fridge is pretty useful as well, if going this way.
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FollowupID: 308060   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 12:20

peterjday posted:

Thanks Phil,

but I wouldn't compromise the main battery that is also not designed to run down. The power pack is a deep cycle and is designed to run appliances such as fridges. The cranking is only for emergencies.

Also by wiring the battery pack directly into the main battery it will charge faster.

I intend only to use the battery pack for a few hours at a time, (such as keeping cool over night when travelling or during the day when the car is stopped) so it should never be run down completely and should extend the life.

Peter

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FollowupID: 308066   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 14:40

Phil G posted:

Hi Peter,

Gel Cells do tolerate deep cycling, but deep cycling and partial discharge will still shorten their life. Most people will say that the batteries were crappy, but gels cells last for ages when properly treated. Some of mine are 10 years old.

Most 2nd battery installations have a 75Ah battery under the bonnet. But a 24 Ah gel cell has only 1/3rd of their capacity, so will be pretty much discharged by the use of a fridge when camping overnight, so its life will be shortened. Most modern fridges will consume about 2-3 Amps per hour, depending on conditions.

Hard wiring the starter pack is another can of worms. I recharge gel cells by using a relay that sends power to them only when Ign is on. Gel Cells run at a slightly higher voltage (~13.2) than your starting battery (~12.8), so will discharge back into the starting battery if permanently wired.

You will also need an in-line self-resetting circuit breaker to prevent current flow while starting the car.
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FollowupID: 308075   Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 15:32

peterjday posted:

Hi Phil,

The waeco urban comes with a wiring kit that switches off when the ignition is off but goes directly to the battery so it performs better than a cigerette outlet. You also have the option of accessing the battery when the ignition is off with this kit.

Thanks,

Peter

PS I was of the understanding that you should not really go under 50% of a gel battery.
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