Dual battery system v portable battery

Submitted: Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 12:53
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I have just recently purchased a Nissan Pathfinder Ti and am trying to sort out a dual battery system for it and the trusty old Engel. But, there is very little room under the bonnet and will need to use 2 smaller batteries...smaller cranking battery and a smaller deep cycle...AND I don't want to loose space in the back...AND then there is the cost - around $850...

SO...a mate suggested I look at portable batteries...Has anyone looked at them? Are they effective - AMP hours and charging? Cost? What sort of life do they get? Is there a good brand out there? He was suggesting the Waeco portable battery...

Looking forward to some feedback.

Cheers,
Sparky
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Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 12:57

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 12:57
Sparky,

Have a look at thread 15195. I put in a note about my system. Best of both worlds. Moggs has done the same in his Pathy and is also veryy happy.

Cheers,

Jim.
AnswerID: 102357

Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:43

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:43
jim
thanks for the relpy...I had a look at the thread...very informative. From what i can gather, though, is you made up your own battery box which you can lugg around wherever you go using an AGM battery. What sort of AMP hours do you get with the AGM? How big is the box? How easy is it to swap batteries over?...And do you have dual under the bonnet?
ta
Sparky
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:57

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:57
Sparky,

The battery box is one of those $20 black plastic jobs with the batt glued to the bottom of it. The box has a couple of female hella plugs fitted to the end which run to the batt through a 20 amp circuit breaker for safety (this is a must). When I put it in the car I put the lid on and strap it to the floor via tie down points. To take it out, lift the lid and carry the whole lot by the battery handle. The box is L: 420, W: 230, H: 270.

The batt is 100 amp, any less is not enough to run a fridge and lights IMO.

I don't have a dual under the bonnet. This works the same but lives in the back of the car and can be used as a portable pack as well.

Anything else, please ask.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:04

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:04
Thanks jim
Food for thought...one of the issues I will have with the pathy is lack of space in the back once everything is in. Does it need a vent of some sort?
Sparky
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:13

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:13
Sparky,

No need for a vent, the AGM is totally sealed.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:29

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:29
Thanks for all your advice, jim...happy driving!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:43

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:43
Anytime Sparky,

I see below you're going to talk to Moggs. His system is almost identical to mine, fitted by the same bloke. He'll no doubt be able to tell you how to do it best in a Pathy.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Reply By: BenSpoon - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:08

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:08
Spoke to the folk at Battery world, and they were pretty critical of the waeco series. Apparently they are being discontinued, and are a just a cheapie battery inside the case. They priced up an example for me of using a marine semi-deep cycle battery with a generic battery box (admittedly, it didnt have half the features of the waeco, but came in significantly cheaper, and with a guarantee of local replacement and simple failover- If the main battery dies, its dead easy to open this box, whip out the battery and replace with your cactus one.

Downsides to the generic box is the lack of features (cig lighter plug, charge level, carry handle, flash stickers), and it didnt look quite as strong, but thats only going by visuals. Benefit of the generic box is you can go for whatever battery you want inside it- suit it to your needs. If you do go for the waeco battery, recomendations on www.fridgeshop.com.au - fantastic service, prices and range as any number of people here will agree with.
AnswerID: 102358

Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:44

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:44
I wasn't convinced with the Waeco myself...what did you end up doing?
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Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:05

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:05
I ended up popping some tyres and having to divert the funds. Spent last weekend running some monster cable to the back of the car though- Im going in for the battery box and will be looking for one of the AGM batts mentioned in previous posts by other members.
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Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:17

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:17
I've been looking at the Engel BattPak - 58A/H unit. According to (I think it was) 4x4 Monthly an issue or two ago - it was the most usable as a fridge power source.
AnswerID: 102359

Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:47

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:47
Chrispy
thanks for the info...do you know how much it was etc?
Sparky
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Follow Up By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:55

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 13:55
Sparky - from memory it was around the $360-$380 mark for the 56 A/H (sorry - I accidently said 58 before) unit. The test results determined that the Engel was the only one out of the Waeco's and PowerTanks that accepted a full charge the next day from a 12v souce in the car. Although it doesn't come equipped to jump-start your car (whereas the others did), it was the best dedicated fridge power source. All the plugs were at the front too - making it more useful when stuck in the back of the fourby with stuff piled around it. You didn't need to get to any of the sides just in order to plug in.

Cheers
Chrispy
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Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:02

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:02
chrispy
Cheers. Do you know if the battery was interchangable...ie, when dead you can put a new one in?
Ta.
Sparky
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FollowupID: 360109

Reply By: Moggs - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:02

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:02
Sparky, I have used a Waeco Thumper for a number of years and now have a 100AH AGM in the rear of the Pathy on a shelf run through a Redarc that I can parallel with the cranking battery for starting if I flatten the main battery winching.

If you want to know the ins and outs of both styles of power sources from my experience in a Pathy give me a call on: 0 three nine five six one seven double six three or 0 four one zero triple four two five three. - might be easier to discuss it than go through a long back and forward in this thread :)
AnswerID: 102363

Follow Up By: Member - Sparky - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:06

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:06
thanks moggs...might try to call you tonight...is that OK? I may have some other Pathy questions to throw at you!]
Sparky
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:33

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:33
Yep, now worries - anytime. If you want to call me during the day I can call you back from my work number: 0 three double eight four seven 0 one five two.
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FollowupID: 360116

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:52

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 14:52
Moggs,

What's the deal with spelling numbers?

I note that some peolpe do similar with their email addresses.

Cheers,

Jim.
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FollowupID: 360119

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:51

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 15:51
Jimbo,

It stops Internet "scannerware" from automatically picking up email addresses and in Moggs case, phone numbers.
Bill


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Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 19:33

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 19:33
I can't really understand why someone would use 58 A/h DC battery system when you can get a 100 plus A/H system as Jimbo has for less money??

When you compare 58 Amp Hours to even only 100 Amp Hours there is a big difference in running performance and reliability, and the recharging is not an issue with his system.

Do the sums and see how long your fridge and accessories will actually run from a 58 a/h battery and compare it to a 100+ a/h battery system at even less money, I don't see the choice as being hard at all, 100 a/h wins hands down, make the room available or continue to run out of power!
AnswerID: 102408

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 20:30

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 20:30
G'day Sparky,

can't remember which State (eg NSW) you are in. We had some blokes from Birkenhead Batteries at our club last meet. They were selling deep cycle 110 A/hr batteries that fit in an N70 case. Battery alone was $145 and was branded 'Ample.'
Full kit (self installed) was $599, installed $699.

The two major marketing points were the fact that you have a 110 A/hr battery that is not only able to be charge directly from a normal 4wd alternator but it is also portably packaged in the case. The view that heating the battery (being under bonnet) shortens its life consderably.)

Anyway, if other avenues fail or if you are after more info then they might be worth a call.

cheers.
AnswerID: 102412

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 21:36

Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at 21:36
Sparky, for what it's worth 4x4 Australia March 2005 edition did a comparison between the Engel Battpak 56, Opposite Lock Power Master 48, and Bushranger Power Tanks. According to the article the Battpak won. Also the Feb edition of the same mag discussed all sorts of auxilary power sources, from small gen sets to duel batteries to solar.

If nothing else it's worth a read.

Dunc
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AnswerID: 102427

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 15:49

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 15:49
Was in Whitworth's Marine store in SA today and noticed a Battery Box for $65.00.
It included a meter, test button, carry handle, etc.
I think all you need to do is add a battery of your own choice. (brand, type, capacity, etc.) Didn't notice the type of socket on it but I'd guess the standard ciggy one.

Might be worth a look if your interested in a portable unit.

Just found it on their Website:-
Whitworth Marine
Bill


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AnswerID: 102521

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 18:08

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 18:08
Great suggestion, but they are not very good.

Much better off with your own fitted with hella sockets.

Cheers,

Jim.
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