Engel Smart Box

Submitted: Monday, Nov 17, 2014 at 20:33
ThreadID: 110172 Views:2997 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
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We bought the Engel Smart Box thinking that it would be a good alternative to a dual battery system in our new 4WD vehicle, only to be disappointed to find that it only inputs 5 amps and would therefore take 10 hours to recharge our 55 amp Optima Battery. This smart box is obviously too small an ampage charge to be efficient in off road or self sufficient situations. It would have been a much cheaper option to buy a battery box with Redarc charger which would have done the job efficiently. This has been an expensive learning curve.
Has anyone else tried this?
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Monday, Nov 17, 2014 at 21:35

Monday, Nov 17, 2014 at 21:35
Yeah 55 amps is a little on the light side for many people, but if only running a fridge and leds at camp, AND both running the fridge from the car and recharging the Engel battery while driving, you could be ok.

You shouldn't be draining your Optima BTW, only running it down maybe 30% overnight ?

My Arkpak only has a 6 amp 12v charger, and as my 100 amp hr battery only goes down to 83% or so overnight, it charges up by mid arvo when touring.
I run the fridge and charge the ark from the car 12v while driving.

At camp I unplug the ark charger, but leave the fridge on the car system for up to an hour, then plug the fridge into the Ark.

Can you hook up an 80w solar panel to the Engel whilst at camp / base camping ?
This should run a medium size fridge and put 2 - 3 amps into your battery each hour when there is decent daylight.
AnswerID: 541813

Reply By: Krooznalong - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:28

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:28
Surely you did some research and checked out the specs before buying it????

Never had anything to do with Optima batteries but I doubt it will appreciate being flattened completely.
AnswerID: 541845

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 13:00

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 13:00
Yeh almost without exception these commercially contrived, packaged battery boxes are very poor value for money.

The chargers are too smal, the inverters if fitted are pissy and the whole thing is over priced.

If ya need a charger .....make your own choice and buy one.
If ya need an inverter......make your own choice and buy one

Appart from that its a box with a small amount of wiring and a few switches and sockets.

Mostly not worth the price being asked.

Most you don't even get a battery.

AnswerID: 541881

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