Submitted: Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 15:16
ThreadID: 21293 Views:4309 Replies:11 FollowUps:7
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I'm about to purchase an auxiliary battery to run my Waeco fridge and a light in my Patrol. I've fitted an ARB battery tray, run the wiring, plugs, etc but havent yet decided on a battery type. Now I've started doing some research, I am getting confused. Do I go deep cycle or do I try, as advised by a dealer, a "hybrid?" marine battery which apparently combines deep cycle, cranking ability and will recharge much quicker than a deep cycle. Also, now that I have fitted the battery tray, I find that I have limited my battery capacity to 80 - 100 amp/hr. ie length of ARB tray is 300mm. Any advice on the marine battery?
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Reply By: hl - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 15:25

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 15:25
Exide Extreme is what I use...
Never a problem, I have one 4 years old, still going great.
AnswerID: 102789

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 17:00

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 17:00
Spot on advice......
I've been all through that shyte about deep bloody cycle batteries. There may have been one or 2 things said about this in the archives before....not real sure???? hahahaha (please excuse my sarcasm)
As I've said many times (and I've tried deep cycle batteries in my 4x4s over the years)......they are a great battery for they were designed to do.....and that WAS NOT to rund fridges or be used in a 4x4 situation. They were designed to be used in the go-fors that the oldies use to go to church etc and motorised wheel chairs etc. In those conditions they have a steady drain throughout the day (similar to running a fridge, you might say) night they sit at home, plugged into their special transformer; and in the morning they're as good as new (almost).
It has been shown that in off road conditions (or even in say a caravan in "on-road" conditions), they simply do not get the required charge they need from the vehicle's alternator.
The only time I would use a deep cycle battery in a travelling situation now would be if it was in a road-going caravan and was going to be able to be charged by a 3 stage charger overnight (say in a caravan park) and at the same time have no load on it . This would be possible if the van fridge, lights etc was all running off the 240 volts during the night and the the charger was able to feed the battery properly over night.
The Exide Extreme (I use 2 under my bonnet) is a very robust battery, quite capable of being used overnight to run accessories and then be charged during the day from the alternator. Even it will benefit from being charged over night from a battery charger, which is why i have one in the back of my GU. Every night in the carport at home, I plug the 240 cable into the socket on my bullbar. This automatically takes over the running of the Engel fridge (which sits in the back and runs 24/7/365) and also tops up the 2nd battery.
The only other possible idea you might want to consider if you've got oodles of cash, would be a Exide Orbital (I have 2 of these in my camper trailer hooked up in parralel). The downside to this is that most experts you talk to recommend you use batteries of the same type when they are gunna be hooked together. Also, the Orbital is quite small and is only a 50a/h jobbie. The Extreme is a much better bet IMHO and about 1/3rd of the price of the orbital.
Good luck
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Follow Up By: Wok - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 23:44

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 23:44
My vote is for Exide Extreme too. Tested 800CCA@30oC after 4yrs of fridge work.....its a beauty
FollowupID: 360504

Follow Up By: eejay - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 09:36

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 09:36
Hi Roachie,

Thanks for the advice. Your comment about archives? I'm fairly new to this forum and still finding my way around. Weren't having a go at me were you?

FollowupID: 360527

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 14:46

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 14:46
G'day Eejay,
Yep mate, I was having a go at you.....sorry. Thought I'd get in first and beat Truckster to the punch. He's much less subtle than me when he has a go at some poor buggar.......He would have said:

Check archives; it's only been done 1788989286732868246886735780153 times before.

Hope you enjoy the forum.....some of us spend way too much time on here when we should be working.

Cheers mate

FollowupID: 360555

Follow Up By: eejay - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 07:40

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 07:40
Thanks Roachie,

I've gotta say that the names Roachie and Truckster do appear a lot on this forum. I thought you both must be retired gentlemen.

Now all I have to do is find my way into "Archives".

Have a good one.

FollowupID: 360833

Reply By: Alan S (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 15:45

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 15:45
I have a cheap cranking battery as my second battery, it charges quickly and when it dies I'll just replace it (hopefully before warranty runs out..)
Deep Cycles can take a long time to charge and these marine hybrids are a good half way compromise on charging time, CCA etc. A couple of friends have them and think they are great but they cost heaps more than my $100 special and haven't yet out performed my cheapie
AnswerID: 102790

Reply By: Member - Kimberly Kruiser (WA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 16:37

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 16:37

I run an exide extreme cranking battery as a main and a exide deep cycle as a aux' battery to power a 80 litre waeco and lights. Although contrary to some trains of thought on the idea I have run this set up for about 18 months now with no problems at all. Because of the slower charge rate for the deep cycle I do tend to give it a boost with the battery charger when in powered sites but as I said, never had any dramas with the set up. I'm definately no battery/electronics whizz, just my two bobs worth. From memory the deep cycle was about $10 dearer than the extreme when purchased.

AnswerID: 102796

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 17:35

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 17:35
Sorry Chaps, I have to disagree.

Not about the Exide Extreme, which I regard as a very good battery and one that I will choose as the primary battery, when my current one goes caputski.

But, to have a reliable battery to run a fridge, I think one would find it hard to go past a Deep Cycle AGM battery. The AGM charges quickly and I'm buggered if I can tell if it only charges back up to 80%. My voltmeter (always connected) tells me otherwise and you can discharge an AGM down to 20% without damage.

eejay does have a point with the size that can fit in a tray though. AGM batteries generally have a larger footprint for a similar capacity than a wet cell.

AGM batteries come at a premium price, but all other things considered, they are unsurpassed for performance IMHO.

I currently run an Exide Orbital as an auxiliary and even though it only has a 58aH capacity, it suits my needs. (got it for $148) And it fits in a standard battery tray.

At the risk of being accused of individual Vendor support, here is a link to a company which provides more information on AGM batteries and offers a product that I will certainly consider next time. (hopefully, that's a few years away yet)

Fridge & Solar


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AnswerID: 102803

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:00

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:00
I've always made sure that my main and aux are swappable for obvious reasons. Not much point in having a coldie but being unable to start the vehicle :))
AnswerID: 102804

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 08:00

Monday, Mar 21, 2005 at 08:00
The Orbital will start the Jack without any problem if I need it to.
Has about 750CCA's which is good enough for all petrol donks and a lot of diesels too.

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Reply By: Ralph2 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:27

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:27
Hi Guy's, I used a AC delco marine deep cycle/cranking battery as an auxiliary to run a 40lt engel and a 300w inverter for 4.5years with no trouble, most times only stationary max 3day's,on longer trips, 5-6 wks would try to top it up with charger ever couple of weeks from powered site or laundarymatt etc.When it did die, it still would run the fridge for about 12hrs. I use an Exide Extreme as crank batt The first one was replaced under warranty after 6mth, the replacement seems ok so far after 14mths,I could'nt find an AC Delco deep cycle replacment for auxiliary, ended up with a so called hybred from Battery World,I hope it lasts as long.
AnswerID: 102808

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:52

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 18:52
The Calcium-Calcium hybrids and well just all the hybrids are normally unservicable which IMHO are not the best for under bonnet installation as heat kills batteries.

A wet cell starter type battery is ok providing you don't flattern it too often. I use a wet cell deep cycle and I say bar humbug to those who write them off. For me the deep cycle is better because I chew thew the power and run it low each time I go camping, it's not good for it, but because it's a deep cycle it handles it better than a cranking bat would.

Each to their own, you will be fine with any bat but I would recommend the older wet cell types for your use. I bought my 85amp/hr deep cycle for $120 inc GST.
AnswerID: 102813

Reply By: Member - David C (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 21:10

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 21:10
Find one with the longest warranty for the cheapest amount. The AC Delco's have an 18-24 month warranty (from memory) whereas your exides and yuasa's have only 6 months. Whatever you buy, research the best way to charge, maintain and prevent problems by going to the manufacturers website. This will ensure that things go well.

Don't frequently over discharge (less than 50% capacity) wet cell as they will not last long. Do not overcharge AGM or they will die quickly as well.

Vehicle charging systems (alternator) do not do a good job at charging a wet cell deep cycle battery above 70-80% capacity unless it is running for 8 hours plus so only count on about 20-30% usable capacity before you start shortening your batteries life.

AGM is definately better as it can be discharged to a lower capacity and charges more quickly and to a higher capacity than wet sell but it does have different charging profiles and requirements than a wet cell battery.

All I can say is research the type (wet, AGM, calcium, gel etc) that suits your needs and the system it is to be used for. The brand does not matter as much once you have decided.

AnswerID: 102832

Reply By: drivesafe - Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 21:54

Thursday, Mar 17, 2005 at 21:54
Hi eejay, before you consider what type of battery to buy, you need to workout how it is going to used and recharged.

Jeff M covered a couple of valid points.

Hybrid batteries don’t take kindly to too much heat.
I don’t know where the auxiliary battery mounts in your vehicle but if it is at the rear of the engine bay then I personally would NOT fit a hybrid as the additional heat at the rear of the engine bay will most definitely shorten the operating life of this type of battery.

Even if you fit an ordinary deep cycle or cranking battery and it is to be at the rear of the engine bay, I would suggest that you fit a thin sheet of stainless steel between the battery and the engine, to reflect the radiated heat away from the battery.

As for being able to recharge the hybrid battery quick. If you know that you are only going to be driving for short periods at a time between uses, then there may be some reason for fitting a hybrid but you are going to loose operating time because the hybrid has a lower amp hour storage capacity per given area compered to a standard wet cell.
If on the other hand, you are planning to be on the road for a few hours at a time then being able to charge your battery quickly is no longer a reasonable consideration and the larger storage capacity of a wet cell becomes more advantages as does the lower price.

Next, as for making sure you have a battery that you can use to jump start the vehicle if you need to. For everybody out there, how many times have you had to jump start your own vehicle and for that matter, when was the last time you did it if you have ever had to jump start it.
That’s right, very few times if ever. so why sacrifice operating time, which you need continuously, for something that you most likely will never need and even then, if you do need to jump start your vehicle off the auxiliary battery, the few times that you would do it would cause no long term harm to a deep cycle battery.

There is a lot more to deciding which battery to get than the simple explanation has gone into but in most cases, NOT all, a deep cycle is the way to go.

It is a myth that a vehicles alternator will not charge a wet cell battery properly. Any wet cell battery, depending on how low it is when it is to be recharged and how long it is charged for, will be charged to close to if not full 100% capacity

AnswerID: 102838

Reply By: fourplayfull - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:23

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:23
Use 2 AGM deep cycle batteries for both starting & aux. with Redarc isolator . use heavy 25mm starter cables linking ea. with an on off batt. switch in line so both can be used in the event of a fail to start situation . AGM'S accept charge quickly & an alternator can bring them up to over 90% charge with standard regulator . Suggest you contact Home of 12 volt 08 85 362 144 - no I'm not connected!
AnswerID: 102852

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:54

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:54
Agree with fourplay, Glass Matt bats are the go, they except any charge that is offered and will still crank great.
Try Solar online Australia.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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FollowupID: 360508

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:48

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 00:48
I used to run standard cranking N70ZZ size batteries for the aux in my forby's, but this time around I went for a wet cell deep cycle N70ZZ to run the fridge and lights etc; I must say firstly that I have never used a battery charger, and I have never used equipment that checks the state of charge in a battery. I just put em in, and use em.

The only difference I can notice after 12 months is that it takes longer to recharge the deep cycle after a weekend of camping. This becomes blatantly obvious when we stop to pump up the tyres. The compressor runs off the aux battery.

If we havn't driven for long to get out of wherever, then I always leave the motor running while pumping up the tyres. But aftrer longer 4WDriving, I used to be able to shut off the motor and run the compressor no worries.

Not any more !!! Now I still have to leave the motor runing, even after 3 or 4 hours driving, because the deep cycle takes so long to recover.

The upside to this is I get at least one more day out of it to run the waeco and lights, than when I used a normal starting battery.

P.S it will pay to switch your waeco to "low" for battery protection. They are very finicy fridges, and if they cense any noticeable voltage drop they can switch themselves off. Voltage drop, which is a number of things...... State of charge in the battery, length of cables used and number of connections in the aux power loop.


AnswerID: 102858

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