running fridge off prado power socket

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:23
ThreadID: 20505 Views:18466 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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hi folks,
im the proud new owner of a waeco 50, and now have joined the mind scrambling exercise of powering it.
Not keen (cost) of installing dual battery system just yet.
In the mean time will just use a second battery in the cargo area. Plan to run the fridge/ recharge battery using the toyota factory 12v socket that is already there. It says max 120 watts on it.
My question is: is this socket/wiring robust enough? I've been told the wire is too thin.
Any advice gratefully received.
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Reply By: flappa - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:41

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:41
Couple of questions ?

You want to use a seperate battery in the cargo area ?

How do you plan to recharge it.

Use existing 12v socket ? How ? If its a seperate battery , are you going to wire the battery into the system somehow.

If so ? Why. Why not just wire a socket onto the battery , so it then becomes fully remote (take out to the camp site).
AnswerID: 98665

Follow Up By: jondg - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:53

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:53
i was thinking it would be possible (whilst driving) to run the fridge off the battery, whilst at the same time recharging the battery off the socket i question. So i guess connect the battery and fridge in parallel.
Or wont this work?
FollowupID: 357067

Follow Up By: flappa - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:01

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:01
Ok, charging the battery via 12v socket is highly unlikely to work.

Whilst the socket may indicate 120w , the wiring I would suggest wont go close.

Running the Fridge directly off the extra battery is the easy bit.

The recharging is the problem.

Firstly , you should use a Sealed Battery , in the passenger compartment ($$$$) ,and not a wet cell battery. They produce gas when charging.

2ndly , you will need some decent size cables to get decent voltage to charge the battery. To do this would mean running probably twin cable of 6mm size , from the main battery , via isolator , and into the cabin.

Sort of a defacto Dual battery system.

I do know quite a few people who run these , because not all of us can fit dual batteries under the bonnet.
FollowupID: 357069

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:49

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 13:49
You can try it, if the fridge won't run or shows an error message then take it as probably not being a problem with the fridge. More scientifically you could read the volts at the point. The 50 has a 10.5 volts cut out and will not run below this.

I had a similar system and it failed periodically at the most inconvenient times. Now happy with a duel battery setup and chunky cables. No longer sweating on the fridge working.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 98667

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:08

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:08
You can afford a brand new Waeco 50 but are not keen on the cost of installing a dual battery setup??

85amp/hr Deepcycle Wetcell Battery $120
Arrid or Redarc Smart Realy $139
Leads - $50 (max!)
Battery Tray to suite vehicle $?
Installation: 2 beers and a saturday morning.

AnswerID: 98670

Reply By: MrBitchi - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:12

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:12
You bought the Prado ($$$$$$$$$$)
You bought the Weaco ($$$$)
You want to skimp on the dual battery setup? (######)

Do yourself a favour and set it up right the first time. Much less hassle in the long run.

Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 98671

Reply By: floyd - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:12

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:12
With Waeco it is absolutely unnessessary to run a duel battery system as the fridge will cut out when the voltage gets low enough to risk starting not the car. I have a CF 50 and run it in 2 vehicles. One is the Hilux that has 2 batteries fitted. I run it off the second battery and get 5 days of fridge running before it cuts out.

The second vehicle is the Laser with its little battery (a quarter the size of the hilux). This will run it for 2 days before it cuts out and still allows the starting of the engine.

I advise you if you are planning on running the fridge for more than 4 days without starting the engine then go the extra battery and you may get more time than 4 days. If you are not planning to run the fridge for more than 3 days without starting then save your money (up to $500.00). The fridge will run perfectly on a single battery and still allow starting. Remember that the fridge has a safety cutout that will not allow your battery to go flat.

Having said that then the next question is:

Will the factory power outlet on the Prado supply the correct amps and volts needed to power the fridge for 3 or more days? From experience with Toyota power outlets in several vehicles I would say no. For the cost of 5 metres of 6 mm cable and a solid plug and socket (about $50.00) I would just hard wire it from the starting battery and have a quality power supply without interuption.

Also if your battery is old then it may not provide the correct power anyway. It may pay to get an Auto Elec to test the battery, then the power outlet and they can check it against the requirements of the fridge. This will tell you what you need.
AnswerID: 98672

Follow Up By: jondg - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:38

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:38
interesting advice.
as you've guessed i'm no electrician, so fitting a dual system myself might be asking for trouble.
arb and the like charge over $800.
I'm not planning any trips to the simpson just yet.
3 days running probably my tops, with driving.
might just re wire the existing socket.
cheers all.
FollowupID: 357072

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:58

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:58
Who needs to be an electrician to fit DB's!?? You know the difference between black and red don't you? You can put a battery in a clock radio can't you?
Then you can do it.
Just bite the bullet and give it a go. I started off with no confidence also, now look at my Rig details, I've done it all myself. Just get stuck into it. Get a mate over to help if our not sure (two heads are better than one).
FollowupID: 357079

Reply By: Member - big bo (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:47

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 14:47
I have a Prado TD and have a thumper, which I carry as a spare battery in the car and had it connected to the rear outlet (150w) and ran my CF 45l Waeco off the thumper.This proved a complete failure since the plug setup could not deliver enough amps to charge the thumper and run the fridge and luckily we stayed at caravan parks where I could charge my thumper up from 240v with the inverter.
I now have my thumper hooked up to the main battery with the correct regulators etc, and have recently fitted a set of relays so as to charge the thumper and the batteries in my camper when we are on the move.This works great since I can also run my fridge of the car plug if I think the thumper needs charging, although the car charge is adequate.
Don't waste you time get it hooked up correctly you wont regret the move, next move is to get a solar system.
AnswerID: 98676

Reply By: tessa_51 - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:37

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:37
I'm just a retired pen pusher with no electrical training, but I have been running my Engel 30l off the 120 amp plug at the rear of my Prado for 4 years with only the original single battery setup. It consistently works for overnight stays, but I have never asked it to do anymore. The Tojo wiring has certainly stood up to the test and I can't agree with the suggestion that you should replace it just to run the fridge! Can't comment on the battery setup, but I have recharged spotlights and other items off the 120 amp plug which is on the dash without problem.
AnswerID: 98687

Reply By: porl - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:50

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:50
I've got a 90 series and after reading on the 90Scool yahoo site about people running their fridges of the 120W socket and then after 3 days out west finding the connection burnt out i spent my $40 or so and put connection direct from my sole starting battery to the back with clipsal 24v low voltage plugs. I wondered how i'd gotten away with it for so long, lucky i spose. But i've never had it on the wagon for more than a few hours. When installing the new plugs i got to check out the prado wire and bugger me its about as thin as a, well, am struggling for a comparison, I was horrified. So was very happy with the money spent and learnt a bit more about what's under my wagon when doing it. Whole job took about 45min and cost about $40.

If your 50L waeco has a turbo function then my understanding is they pull a fair bit of current when that button is hi so if you use your existing socket have a fire extinguisher handy and up to date insurance (though if the turbo function uses more than 120W then your insurance will be voided, not that you'd tell them).
AnswerID: 98690

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:53

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 15:53
Runing a 52 litre Waeco off a single battery is fine. I assume yours is a V6 90series. Upgrade the battery to an N70 is a good move. Waecos have a low voltage cutout incorporated.

The rear socket is OK with a current model Engel is fine (amp draw when cycling is 2.8 amps). But your Waeco draws 5 amps when cycling and 7 amps on turbo. The Prado sockets contain a solder fuse and this often melts with this amp draw. You may also have noted that 120 watts is for both front and rear sockets combined.

Bottom line is replace the socket with a Hella socket; and upgrade your battery to a bigger fatter one if you see the need.

Second battery systems for the V6 Prados is expensive as it involves extras like moving charcoal canister and lengthening the starter leads.

AnswerID: 98691

Reply By: Member - Bear - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 20:53

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 20:53
Hi jondg

Lets not also forget that the Prado rear plug only works with the keys in the ignit.

Not a good look if you have to leave the vehicle with the keys in and come back to fine the fridge (and prado) gone to a new home!!
AnswerID: 98734

Reply By: B0XER - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:14

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:14
As others have already stated - I can vouch for the fact the standard wiring will not allow the battery to fully charge at the back of the vehicle using the stock socket.
I have a CF50 also and am in the process of gathering the bits to do a self install of a dual battery system (Redarc isolator - custom wiring and battery tray and a 700cca battery)
I did run around for the first week of owning the CF50 in my Prado and ran it on a 38ah gel cell (flooded cells are a no-no in the cabin). The fridge runs fine from the gel cell for around 24-30 hrs, but since I only drive 30mins each way to work and back - it cannot recover the gel cell enough after 2 days - the current supply capacity of the stock wiring is limited.
Whereas proper wiring and a 100amp isolater will allow much better charging of the aux battery
AnswerID: 98764

Reply By: jondg - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:40

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:40
so if i do install a dual batt. system.....any advice for dummies
eg what to read, what to buy

or if i choose for someone else to do it.....any recommendations in adelaide
thanks again all
AnswerID: 98768

Follow Up By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:52

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:52
Well I just stumped up the cash for the u-beaut system from TJM on Main North Road at Prospect here in Adelaide a couple of months back.

Trojan 120ah deep cycle battery with TJM tray (very solid), Ox DBS controller, heavy wire to rear cargo area and two hella style plugs there. Just over $800 fully installed. Is a whack to the wallet but I have used it a couple of times now and have confidence that my CF40 fridge will run for a couple of days in any conditions with NO worries on my part.

Fully automatic with nothing to switch or flick over and no issues with flat starting battery (low voltage cutout on fridge or not). I am not that keen on getting intimate with the electrical system on my vehicle, although I should do this over time, so I went for the easy off the shelf solution.

Many people seem real happy with cheaper systems and DIY solutions but I feel that I have the best I can afford.

The rest is up to you!

FollowupID: 357157

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