Portable Power packs

Submitted: Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 11:13
ThreadID: 22996 Views:3078 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Bought a 900A power pack recently as a stop gap while i sort out a duel battery system for my Jerry Can, (not to mention save up the money to do it).

My question is, can i have my Weico fridge plugged into the Power Pack while the PP is being plugged into one of my car's cigarette lighter sockets for recharging. I'll use a double adaptor plug to enable the charging of the PP and the running of the fridge.

Basically i want to run the PP as a duel battery that is being recharged while i'm driving and thus enabling the running of the fridge whilst driving and also when I'm stopped.



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Reply By: Patrick - Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 11:29

Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 11:29
I'm no electrician but I would have thought that the amp draw from the Waeco (around 2.6-3 amps per hour) would be greater than what the cigarette lighter would be charging the battery at the same time.

Also the cigarette wiring would not be strong enough to take that type of load. From memeory you need 6 or 8 square cable to run for a duel bayyery system due to the voltage drop incurred.

Just mu 6 cents worth.

Cheers, Patrick
AnswerID: 111322

Follow Up By: Member - Smocky (NSW) - Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 12:34

Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 12:34
The battery packs are very useful, but not to run a fridge. Also, the cigarette lighter charging is trickle charge and takes ages to charge the battery.

I use one to run a 12 volt flouro and an air blower for mattresses and things like that, but they are very small capacity. What they ARE good for is jump starting. Not much dearer than a good set of jumper leads and no risk of shorting the car that would have supplied the jump.

So a good purchase, but not something you can run your fridge on, for any length of time anyway.


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Reply By: F4Phantom - Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 16:49

Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 16:49
I do this all the time. I have a 12V 50A/H rechargeable battery, I run a 300w inverter, and all the other stuff off that, lights etc.. The fridge is 12V so it will plug right onto a 12v battery. Right now my alternator is stuffed, so the car will start all day but lights at night run the batt down a bit. I plug the charger into the cigarette lighter and charge the battery up of my rechargeable battery. Works fine. (untill i get my alt fixed)

Anyway what is a 900A power pack, do you mean a 900 amp/hour pack, in that case it is massive and will run your fridge for nearly a week. Or do you mean 900a max current draw, anyway, the A/H rating is the only important part. I would plug the PP into the cigerette lighter and let the car charge it. Then use the PP as a buffer by plugging the fridge into it. So you have clean DC power off the batt which is charged when running the car, and discharged while stopped.

Hold the wires while you give it a charge and if they warm up, stop right away. I dont have any trouble.
AnswerID: 111343

Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 19:27

Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 19:27
F4, what it is is a 900A (peak) 400A starting power Jump Start Power Pack from Super Cheap. The battery is 17.5 amp-hrs. I did a test run, with a not fully charged unit to see how long it would run the fridge. [It ran flat while i was looking for my watch (joking)] Not sure how long I'd get out of a fully charged battery but would suspect only about an hour or so.


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Follow Up By: F4Phantom - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 10:54

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 10:54
I have been working with all types of batteries for a long time, everyone has their own way of doing things. I dont like taking risks and i like using the correct tools for the job. With that in mind let me tell you how i do things and my recommendations.

1. Use a deep cycle rechargeable battery for small current but long running equipment. Fridge, lights etc..

2. 17 a/h will not be enough, i usually take around 150a/h when i go camping. (this means i actually dont charge them untill i get home for a short trip)

3. To recharge these batteries you should buy an inverter and run it off your lighter while the car is running. A days 4x4ing will usually charge them up keeping in mind you will use overnight less than can be charged off the car in a day. Get a high amp 12V charger and hook it to the inverter.

4. A car batt is a starting batt, good for high amp but crap for recharging and deep cycle. Dont use one for a fridge etc..

5. Super cheap will sell you deep cycles packed up to look nice, but the batts will be super cheap, i would get your money back. Use a good brand and they will last a long time. Email me and i can tell you where to get top quality batts for a cheap price like the ones i use. I currently have 800A/h of batts at home and can run the whole house off em when the power goes out. Really fun stuff.

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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 22:50

Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 22:50
Hi Duncan

You would be better off running the fridge off the car when it is running, if needs be buy a bigger battery. I have a 720CCA battery in my Jack and it runs the fridge full time, the 4wd can be not driven for up to 3 days and will still start. I alway carry a jump pack just in case.
My suggestion would be to wire up a decent plug using 6-8mm wire and run the fridge from that whilst driving. If you are stopped run the fridge off the jump pack, my waeco 40L ran for about 30 hours off my jump pack. Then charge the jump pack as you drive, but not drawing from it.

hope thast makes a little bit of sense

AnswerID: 111391

Reply By: ianmc - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 00:19

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 00:19
Agree with crazy here. Run frig off a separate plug U shall need to install somewhere with heavier wiring & fuse it near the battery so a short anywhere shall not result in a fire. Overnight running off starter battery wont be a problem & U have the jump pack as a back up.
All gets down to how long U are stationary.
AnswerID: 111399

Reply By: Member - Matt Mu (Perth-WA) - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 14:51

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 14:51
Dunc, I dont think you have the capacity for running your fridge with your batt pack, but the idea works.

I use my Waeco/BlueApple Thumper pack in the car, charges off the ciggy socket and in doing so, disconnects when the ignition is off. I then run my 39L Engel of the battery pack and it works a treat, will get about 48ish hrs continuous out of the battery pack (depending on about 1,000,000,000 variables) and I dont stay put longer than that without removing from the car and onto mains/alternate power.
The pack charges fine during the days drive and still powers the engel fine!
Its an improvised dual battery system and I have the luxury of being able to move it to different vehicles or to the tent/camper trailer!

AnswerID: 111455

Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, May 16, 2005 at 19:53

Monday, May 16, 2005 at 19:53
Matt, my intension is to run the fridge off the car's battery via the car fag plug and use the Jump pack when I'm parked. As i've said purely a stop gap at this stage. But was hoping that it would work in series with the car battery using a double addaptor plug. I've got a 300amp inverter & it seems from the above replies that charging via the inverter will be quicker and give a better recharge than recharging via the cars battery whilst mobile. I suppose i'll have to play with it and see the results.

Have considered using a similar set up as Jimbo's done in his Jerry can as under bonnet space for a duel system is limited.


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