In Car Fridge Power

Submitted: Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:26
ThreadID: 19980 Views:6658 Replies:7 FollowUps:15
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G'day,
I am new to the forum and would appreciate any views on use of alternatives in lieu of fitting a second battery.
Am looking at buying a Waeco CF-60 fridge, and one of the salesmen mentioned using a Waeco CoolPower 36 (model RAPS 36) which costs abut $350.
Have an 80 series L/Cruiser and intend to caravan across from Queensland to WA, staying at caravan parks (powered) so use of a second battery would be limited.
Benefits include 36 amp hours , and portability. Unit would be fitted in rear through a cigarette lighter socket.
Some other units in the Waeco stable which can be used are Raps 50 to Raps 400.

Anyone use these, or have any comments, I would appreciate your views.

Pedro14

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Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:40

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:40
If you only need to power the fridge while driving and for short stops, I'd settle for running a new set of appropriate sized wires directly from the battery to the rear of the vehicle. Include an auto reset circuit breaker and replace the cig lighter fittings with single pole(Hella style) fittings and you should be laughing. Considerably less than $350
AnswerID: 95928

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:41

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:41
Pedro

A perfectly suitable option IMO. However I reckon for the price they're a rip-off.
350 bucks for a battery moulded in a box. Buy a battery box and a deep cycle with more punch for about 1/2 the dollars.

Could be wrong though ....... usually am ........ just ask herself.

Cheers
AnswerID: 95929

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:53

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:53
Good to see you back Rosco.

Cheers,

Jim
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Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:09

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:09
Take it easy cob

Nil bastardo carborundum

Seeya
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Follow Up By: Member - Moggs - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:46

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:46
They are expensive...but good...and rebuildable I found out recently. They are not just a 'battery in a box", they have state of charge indicators, auto reset breakers, jumper cables etc (at least my Thumper does)...and are a lot more robust in build than a battery box - I know, as I have both. They are expensive for amp hours you get, but are an extremely well built good bit of kit.
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Follow Up By: rolande- Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:16

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:16
If a man makes a comment and there are no women around to hear ......... does that still mean he's wrong?

Rolande
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Follow Up By: Rosco - Bris. - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:23

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:23
Probably ........... just ask 'em.
.......... :-D
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Reply By: Outbacktourer - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:44

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 21:44
Pedro,

nothing against the starter packs but I carry one of those $80 Supercheap battery power boxes with an N70 the same as the one in the truck ($150) and a $50 Projecta on-board battery charger. I charge it either off mains or through the inverter while travelling (could probably use cig socket but never checked if it had 14.4v). For this you get 90AH, portability and a spare battery in case of strife.
AnswerID: 95931

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:30

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 22:30
can't figure why you would use an inverter to change a 12v system to 240v and then a battery charger to change it back again to 13.8v. It can charge at 13.8v while the engine is running without the worry of changing the current back and forth and all you would need are some wire and method of switching the current on an off. Toggle switch at worst, relay switched from accessory at next best, proper second battery system next. Of course you could even use the power socket you suggest.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 08:00

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 08:00
John, you are right of course I could probably use the cig socket in the car. The reasons I do this are 1. the charger is already in situ for chargeing off mains (when available) 2. Sometimes I carry the box in the trailer and charge it there where voltage drop is an issue. Using an inverter to 240V charger seems to avoid any voltage drop issues.

Regds
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Follow Up By: David T - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:18

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:18
Outbacktourer,

Can you tell me more about the projecta on board battery charger? Can it be powered from 240V AC and 14.4V DC? How many amps does it charge with?

Thanks
David T
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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:51

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:51
David,

The Projecta on-board charger is a small 240V charger that you can get from KMart etc. It is compact and designed to be attached to the battery and left in situ, you just plug it in when required. It is an "automatic" charger in that it will charge and then switch to "float" when the battery is charged. It only charges at 1.6 Amps so you can run it off a small inverter if needed.

Regds
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 23:38

Monday, Jan 31, 2005 at 23:38
If you buy the Waeco plus the 240v supply unit then all is well, you can install or run the Waeco from the cig lighter when travelling and from the 240v power when in the van park, but the reality is that a dual battery setup is by far the best option,
once it is installed correctly IE isolated from the starting battery when the ignition is off then its set n gorget.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 95954

Reply By: Pedro14 - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 10:37

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 10:37
Thanks to all who have responded.

I will take the various suggestions on board and make further enquiries, regarding each one.

Will post what I do in due course.

Pedro
AnswerID: 95999

Follow Up By: Pedro14 - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 13:17

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 13:17
Am leaning towards Rosco's suggestion of a battery box with handle ,and a heavy duty battery , to function basically the same as the Waeco products, but at a lower purchase price.

Now the question is what type of battery and what strength to use.
By the way I live at the Gold Coast.

Any suggestions once again will be welcome.
Thanks
Pedro
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Follow Up By: rolande- Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:18

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:18
Pedro.
Exide Extreme, that way if your vehicle battery dies you still have one to jump start with
Rolande
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 07:45

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 07:45
Pedro,

If you plan to keep it it the car a sealed batt is much safer; wont gas, won't spread acid all around the car in an accident. AGM batteries are the best for this.

My set up is an AGM in a box with heavy cable running under the car to an isolator. Battery is connected to the cables via an Anderson plug which also makes it a portable power source. Gives you the best of both worlds. It will however cost you around $750 installed.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Reply By: Kumanara (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:16

Tuesday, Feb 01, 2005 at 16:16
A couple of friends of mine bought Waeco fridges and had nothing but trouble. One has replaced it with an autofridge. The other is still trying to get his repaired under warranty. (That is due to problems with the local service agent rather then Waeco itself.)

Waeco has a fridge that is 240 volt only and is supposed to be a more reliable fridge. It is also considerably cheaper. I have a Waeco RAPS in 600W (really "blue apple") which has an inverter. You could run a 240 volt fridge off that and save a heap of money on the purchase price of the fridge.

I have a TRAILBLAZA and run it off the Waeco RAPS in 600W without any problems. Unfortunately Waeco no longer market this product. The cost of it was around $1,200.

Suggest that you do some research before making a final decision on which fridge to purchase.

Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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AnswerID: 96065

Reply By: Pedro14 - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 08:42

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 08:42
G'day Jim,
Thanks for the tip re an AGM battery. This is the type that is in the Waeco CoolPower 36 but it is only 36 amp hours.

I take it that your suggesteed set up is to use a larger AGM battery than 36 amps.
If so what is the brand and strength of the battery you would suggest.
Unlikely to need more than 36 amps however, would buy a bigger one just in case.

Have wiring to the back of Landcruiser, which runs a boat winch, so I think suitable wiring is there already.

Any idea of the life of an acid battery versus the AGM?

Thanks for your interest.
Pedro
AnswerID: 96185

Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:58

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 22:58
Hi pedro,
on Jim's advice I bought an AGM battery to run my fridge (110l waeco).
I got the 100Ah Remco for around the $300 mark, Jim has the Life Line. By the time I purchased and installed the wiring, anderson plugs, battery box, fittings and isolator I reckon I spent about $500 even. As with Jim's, my box is portable via the anderson plug connection.

The guy at the battery shop hinted at about 600 drain/recharge cycles until it starts to suffer too badly, this equated to about 3 years of weekend only use. I have no experience with acid deep cycle batteries so I can't offer a comparison.

Collyn Rivers seems to be the guru in these matters, if you ask about on the forum, someone will be able to give you details of his sites/literature.

It also seems to be common belief that you should only run a deep cycle battery down to 50% to avoid damage, consequently your 36Ah power pack just became an 18Ah pack.

Good luck with your research
Blue
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Follow Up By: Mainey... - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:51

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 23:51
pedro,

link to Collyn Rivers-> http://www.caravanandmotorhomebooks.com

I believe 36 a/h will be too small to realistically power a Waeco fridge for more than a weekend, unless you want to keep your eye on it instead of having a holiday, you could use an old 12v VW battery, but why would you when there are so many decent methods available.

I believe you will need about 80 a/h minium, as most on the forum will admit to having somewhere near that, the Exide Extreme is a Cranking battery and has a 700 CCA rating without any Amp/Hour rating shown on their website, because the term A/H is generally used only to describe the power ratings of Deep Cycle batteries, however it has a Reserve Capacity of 180 mins, but the power drain is not stated, so is irrelevant unless compared with other Exide batteries, unless the power drain is known, they are inexpencive and often used.

CODE BATTERY........VOLTS..CCA....RC
86EX Exide Extreme 12........700.....180
N70EX Exide Extreme 12........620.....150
N50EX Exide Extreme 12........550.....120
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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 09:00

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 09:00
FWIW our Winnebago (another story) came delivered with 2 Exide Extreme 86EX fitted as house batteries. Now we all know they are not going to fit Lifelines as standard equipment for cost reasons but someone over there at Emu Plains must reckon they are OK for cycle use. The batteries are 3 years old now and going strong, they are well serviced however by a 3 stage charger and low voltage cut-out protection.
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