Battery Pack

Submitted: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 15:13
ThreadID: 102192 Views:2408 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi there, I know nothing about batteries, so please bear with me...

We are embarking on a 4 week trip which will see a mixture of power sites and bush camping. We will be running a Waeco CF-60 Fridge from within the vehilce (12V outlet), and then will switch to mains at those spots with power. There will be times that when we will be bush camping for 3 night stints. The plan would therefore be to power up the Battery Pack whilst driving and/or when power is available. So maximum time period with any charging would be 3-4 days. We would be running for those 3 days the fridge, and then charging from time to time, phones, ipods (kids) and light.

Therefore, what battery packs could you recommend that would give me this funcationalilty.

The ArkPak loks the best that I have seen so far?

Thanking you...

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Reply By: Member - evaredy - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 15:41

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 15:41
I'm not into the technical side in relation to how long a battery will last running a fridge etc. Although I would wonder if you would get 3 days out of it running a 60l, lights etc, you may need a solar panel for when you are in the bush. Depending on when you need it by, there are some cheap ones on Ebay.

But I would not waste my money on one of those Arc Packs, just by a battery box approx $70, one that comes with a 12volt socket, and then just buy a double 12v with USB approx $25 and plug into it. For the battery grab something like a 105 amp hour, I have heard some people use marine batteries and I think they are cheaper.

Others with more experience will hopefully chime is to get you sorted.
AnswerID: 510977

Follow Up By: BOXHD - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:59

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:59
I have got the latest ark batt box and it is a very handy bit of gear esp if u don't want to mount a 2nd battery sys in your car ..very portable friend borrowed it and he ran a 80 ltr and a 31 ltr engel and camping lights of it as well as charging his ipad and phone for 3 days and i checked the remaining power left when he gave it back to me and it was at 57% full so it done a very good job i though and it has a 110 amp deep cycle inside it ..i swear buy them ...Cheers boxhd
FollowupID: 789083

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:28

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:28
Probably a marine battery around 105 ah will be ok and will run a fridge, not freezing , for a couple of days.Maybe more if not hot area.
When travelling, the fridge will need to be powered, make sure the ciggy lighter connection is check VERY frequently as they become loose and get hot or fall out, and the Marine battery will also have to be recharged.

Some loose lighter plugs in this situation get hot and burn the plug and it is then destroyed. If this happens you need to fit a new plug or have a fresh lead.
If the ciggy plug has been used by a smoker, the it's internals will be like their lungs and won't contact well or perform to what is expected. Clean, fresh and healthy is desirable.

Not a good idea to try and charge the marine through a ciggy plug and something more substantial will be needed to cater for the flow demand of the discharged marine battery.
A dedicated wiring from a manual, don't forget it, switch or and automated relay. Now the cost becomes more and also the fitting of the additional wiring becomes a bit more involved as you now have a dual battery system.

If you can use the pack and recharge it by using a battery charger when near power then it is also an option and a different way of catering for your needs without the dedicated wiring to the vehicle.

Ross M
AnswerID: 510980

Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:40

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 16:40
Hi Marts09,
Should have bought a 3 way fridge for casual camping.
Engels and Waecos need serious $$$ spent on battery support.

A 3 way gets run in the car (still need beefed up wiring) but then you run it on gas in a free camp or 240v in a CP. And it will freeze or part freeze/part fridge.

Bill B

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AnswerID: 510983

Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 17:16

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 17:16
Sorry Bill incorrect! 3 ways use twice the amperage of a 2 way Engel/Waeco hence less battery power to run, they also travel better in moving vehicles and chill down and are controlled a lot easier!

But what i am saying is my opinion and from experience.
FollowupID: 789167

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:25

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 17:25

Lots of variables here, like are we talking winter down south or summer up north, is the fridge also used for freezing etc. (The fridge is by far your main electricity user.)

Assuming winter temperatures, not in the tropics and not freezing, you should be ok for at least 2 and possibly 3 days on a 100 Ah battery without charging. For the sake of the battery's health it would need to be recharged asap afterwards. Suggest don't rely on the vehicle's own battery to run the fridge for long periods. ok for an hour or so, but you will probably have trouble starting in the morning if you run the fridge overnight on the vehicle battery. As others have said, cigarette lighter plugs and sockets aren't good for this sort of service.

As already suggested, rather than buy a fancy expensive box (eg arcpak at about $400 plus battery!), suggest looking at a box such as this one from ABR Sidewinder, a business memeber of ExplorOz and put into it a battery of your choosing, preferably bigger than 100 Ah if you can find one that will fit in the box. It should be an AGM type if it is to travel inside the vehicle, certainly not a wet cell type. Charging options and decent connectors for the fridge could also be sourced from ABR Sidewinder.

You might find Electricity for Camping a useful read.



J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 510991

Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:24

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 08:24
Hi Marts

Here is a link that will help you, it is important to be able to charge the battery while you drive.



Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 511028

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