Battery power in Jayco Outback

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 15:34
ThreadID: 11483 Views:12087 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Hi Guys,

We have just got a Jayco Outback Hawk and want to hook up a secondary battery to run the lights and fridge (only when travelling). We intend to run the fridge on gas when camped.

At this stage we just want to charge the secondary battery from the car when travelling or from 240v when plugged in (is that possible?) Down the track we are considering solar or a small generator.

I believe its got a converter (240/12v) already as standard and would like to get some ideas on the most suitable batteries, wiring approaches etc.


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Reply By: Member -ace ( SA ) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 15:52

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 15:52
Kate, I look forward to the responses you receive, I am having the same thoughts as I pick my new outback hawk up this thursday, they do have a converter, jayco can install an auxillary batt set up for you, other than that it looks like a trip to the auto sparkie for me, hope you enjoy the hawk;regards, Adrian.
AnswerID: 51583

Follow Up By: Dacurls - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 20:03

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 20:03
I hope you enjoy it!
FollowupID: 313572

Reply By: Member - Penguin (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 15:56

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 15:56
Hi Kate

The secondary battery won't run the fridge for long. You will need a separate 6mm cable running from the car via a relay which is only on while the engine is running. This will both run your fridge and charge the second battery. Don't forget to make sure that the trailer is properly earthed to the car. Don't just rely on the towbar connection.

Probably the best type of battery to use is a deep cycle one. They are built to withstand constant charge/discharge cycles but not necessarily large current drain like starter motor or winch.

The onboard charger will trickle charge your battery OK. As far as wiring it up is concerned, my second battery was already installed by Jayco but there's not really a lot to it. If you're not electrically inclined it's probably best to leave it to an auto electrician or to a Jayco dealer.

AnswerID: 51585

Follow Up By: Dacurls - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 20:06

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 20:06
FollowupID: 313353

Reply By: Andy - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 16:39

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 16:39
Hi kate,

There is a lot on dual battery set ups in the archives. Do a search and be prepared for a long read. Don't confuse 6 mm wire with 6 mm2. I ran what is called 6 bns and probably could have run larger. It seems overkill but it is not. You will also need some sought of a solenoid of which there is many opinions on this forum.
Good luck, and if you want to talk about it email me on


AnswerID: 51591

Follow Up By: Dacurls - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 20:06

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 20:06
Great, I'll start reading!
FollowupID: 313354

Follow Up By: Member - Brett H (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 21:21

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 21:21


6 bns

whats the difference?
FollowupID: 313596

Follow Up By: Andy - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 22:17

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004 at 22:17
I dont fully understand the naming of these cables myself, but I do know that 6 mm2 is the cross sectional area of the copper. Some cables are labelled 6 mm but smaller than 6 mm2.
6 bns is about 8 mm in diameter across the sheath and is just a name i believe.
FollowupID: 313605

Reply By: Member - Andrew K (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 16:51

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 16:51
I have an Outback Finch and faced a similar decision. I decided to run with the 2nd battery in the car (gives me other options to use the 2nd battery) with the tow connection feeding power from the 2nd battery so when parked mid journey with fridge running on 12v It didn't flatten starter battery (been there). I then had a 5metre 12v connection cable made up so I could plug the camper to the car when camped and I have detached the camper from 4wd.

This way when camped in one spot for 5-7 days the battery also gets a recharge as we'll generally go for a drive.

Now I don't have to concern myself about always keeping the 2nd battery charged, particulary when parked at home, just need to deal with normal battery maintenace. So I'm ready to go anytime.

AnswerID: 51597

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 18:17

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 18:17
goodday kate
i dont know where you got your van but if you ask your dealer or get in touch with jayco they can supply you with a wiring diagram for the transformer set (is it a centurion) yes you can use the same wiring from the battery to charge it off 240v
AnswerID: 51602

Follow Up By: Dacurls - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 16:15

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 16:15
Yes it has, so we have decided to get a 115Amp battery put in ther Jayco, with a Twin Charge Dual Battery System.

Hopefully this means we will be able to charge the second battery from the Car or by 240V in the van.


FollowupID: 313885

Reply By: The Banjo - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 19:47

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 19:47
The upmarket hardfloor camper trailers all have the sort of setup you describe as standard. So, I'd be surprised if Jayco don't know the whole story - they could advise you on what to do, with fine detail I'd expect. Far as I can see, seems an Anderson plug set up is the way to go when feeding power to the trailer from your car - this plug commonly handles 50Amps and the plugs mate near the tow hitch - a reliable connection that handles both + and -. If you have a battery in the trailer,that can charge from your car battery while mobile (AFTER the car battery is topped up - via a manual relay or auto battery controller system). You need fuse/breaker protection of course on the feed wire. The battery in the trailer can charge from a budget battery charger (K Mart) when the trailer is plugged into 240 volts. To be done safely (using earth leakage) might be best to get the auto elec to do a pro job)....don't Jayco offer this as an extra ?
AnswerID: 51627

Reply By: Member - MightyQ - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 22:11

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2004 at 22:11
'day Kate, My wife and I picked up our Jayco Dove Outback in July last year, there were some additions that were needed with the travel we intended. Like you we found the need for a second battery(gel,deep cycle), running lights and ignition for the jaco gas stove. We only use the battery for the fridge on a short term basis,setting all this up, I left to an auto electrician(recommended), the second battery is charged on the run. We usually stop in areas were there is no power but I top up the battery through a trickle feed using a solar panel.
Hope this is helpful
AnswerID: 51675

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