ArkPac 12v/240v Battery Box

Hi out there,
Does any one have one of these portable power units ?
If so what can you tell me about it, is it as good as it sounds on the web site ?
What type of, or brand of battery do you have in the unit.
They recommend 130AH AGM battery, but they don't say which brand is best.
Can anyone Help.

Cheers
Danny J
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Reply By: Member - Lester77 - Thursday, Jan 02, 2014 at 21:49

Thursday, Jan 02, 2014 at 21:49
Just picked one up today. Put a 120AH Century AGM Battery into it which should work nicely.

Very easy to set up. Only gripe is the inverter is quite small and not pure sine wave.
AnswerID: 523781

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 11:01

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 11:01
I know what I'll say will be unpopular with some..but however.

Many of these portable power packs seem to be overpriced and underperforming....and ya still have to buy a battery.

The ARK is a nicely finished retail product, that appeals to many buyers.

BUT the problem is that bothe the battery charger and the inverter are underpowered.

If you want a battery charger........go buy yourself one bassed on you needs.....you can then use it with any battery including the one you keep in a box.

On the matter of inverters.....I have made my views plain in the past......the real need for inverters is rapidly deminishing.....most electrical items that are practical, safe and reasonable to run on the camp site come 12 volt native these days and are far more efficient than running thru a 240v stage.

Secondly...you wont run much of an inverter for very long off an unsupported battery......the general advice is that if you run an inverter..you need to be running the engine to deliver the load.
A 300VA inverter will draw in the vacinity of 25 to 30 amps at full load.

Third and most important.
There are well documented and proven safety issues with portable inverters....these are in practice from the point of view of electric shock, totally unprotected sources of 240v electrical supply. Arguable portable little boxes of death, if not treated with proper care.

AND ya still have to buy a battery.

SO the alternatives.
If you are handy and capable with 12 volt electrics.
go buy yaself a standard marine battery box for $20, screw a plastic project box to the top with all the connections YOU need in it...hell $100 and an afternoons work should pull it up.
OR
you can go and buy one of the more modest and more practical items that others sell......

There are a couple of members here that have such items.

OH.
and don't forget the safety issues of carrying a 30 odd KG lump of lead in your vehicle.....give some thaught about how you will tie it down...and don't forget ALL batteries need to be adequately vented to the outside air whne being charged.

cheers
AnswerID: 523805

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 11:06

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 11:06
OH..on the matter of inverters.

If you have decided you need an inverter AND you have decided you can manage it safely.

Go buy one bassed on your needs, house it seperately.....

I don't see the advantage of screwing an inverter to the top of a battery...particularly an undersized one.

Ya 100ish AH battery will be heavy enough, without screwing a charger and an inverter to it.

OH
and think about that handle.

That 100ish AH battery will be in the vacinity of 30KG.....that makes it a 2 handed lift.......

cheers
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FollowupID: 805360

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 12:59

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 12:59
Tie-downs....

In my camper I once had the manufacturer or agent installed a 100Ah marine battery, 30ish kg, in a plastic battery box ... wait for it... strapped down with a fabric strap screwed with wood screws to the plywood floor.

Two 8 gauge countersunk screws, no washers, fabric strap, plastic buckle.

Something more substantial is clearly in order.

Off-topic; I also think the caravan/camper/RV industry needs a ginourmous shake-up.

Cheers
FrankP

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FollowupID: 805371

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 17:19

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 17:19
Yeh those marine battery boxes mostly come with a fabric strap with plastic buckles...

that is all fine and beaut when they are straped into the transom of a tinnie...um maybe.

but boats dont stop real fast and if they roll over, it generally does not happen at 80pluss Kmh on a hard surface.....if ya in a boat and it does ..well getting ya head caved in by a flying battery spewing acid is the least of ya troubles.

Damn straight the whole caravan/camper/RV industry and the public needs A ginormous shake up.

Perhaps then we would not have batteries installed under beds without ventilation and gass & fuel carried in either impact exposed or enclosed places.


As it stands..you are lucky if ya camper was migged up by someone with a formal welding qualification and it was wired by someone who had a vague ide of the electrical safety regs.

From what I see, a great many products and installations where not done by those who understood either the safety issues nor the regfulations.

remember folks, a batteey is a plastic box full of lead and acid, they do fail, the cases do split and they do generate explosive gasses.....all of them.....AND there is no such thing as a completely sealed battery.

cheers
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FollowupID: 805386

Reply By: coonick - Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 21:13

Friday, Jan 03, 2014 at 21:13
hiya, I have one which sits in the tub of my ranger, it has a 120A/hr lead acid battery in it. $185 from the local auto sparky....Doesn't have to be one of those over priced optimas for $500.....will probably last as long and does exactly the same job, just cheaper.
Anyway, I have a regular redarc isolator under the bonnet feeding my arkpak and charges it completely......recently on a simpson trip it ran my fridge ( 60ltr engel combi ) for 3 days + lights and recharged my phone, sat phone, camera and laptop and I didn't run the battery flat, far from it.......these are my only needs when travelling and this battery box suited me fine. Have had it now for 5 months and I also use it on my boat as a secondary battery. Yes I recommend one...IF it suits your needs.
AnswerID: 523840

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 21:34

Monday, Jan 06, 2014 at 21:34
G'day Danny,

we've been using one of these units for the past year.

We're using a 120AH AGM battery.
We mainly use it to run a fridge (either 35 litre Engel or 60 litre Waeco).
Easy to use and the readout panel lets us know what going on with the battery.

I've found it a good product.

Steve
AnswerID: 524006

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 07:53

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2014 at 07:53
Danny What do you want 240V for?

And why has it got to be portable?

If neither are required do as others are proposing and get an additional battery installed (bolted securely) into the car. And if you really need 240V then buy a good full wave one that is properly isolated and wont bite you.

We have additional 12V batteries and a Redarc isolator installed under the bonnet. I purchased an inverter years ago and have never used it. We run two batteries isolated from the crank to power our two fridges on long trips. All working well.

Our son has a portable power pack and has never used it. He put a battery under the bonnet same as us.

And I carry some good thick jumper leads if someone powers out!

I would question the need for the portable style kit mate.

Phil

AnswerID: 524016

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