Best backup 12v charging source????

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:25
ThreadID: 29414 Views:2328 Replies:11 FollowUps:13
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Given how reliant most of us are on 12v now .. most of us would be stuffed if our alternator broke down on a remote trip (even with a dual bty setup). So what is the best backup option for this:
- take a chance that alternators rarely fail
- carry spare alternator (heavy/expensive)
- carry generator/charger or christie charger (both arge/heavy/expensive)
- carry solar panel . say 85W (still takes a long time to charge bty?)
- something else??

just interested in what the rest of you do
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Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:42

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:42
If the alternator failed . . . wouldn't you have a lot bigger problem then being able to charge your other batteries ?
AnswerID: 146806

Follow Up By: Member - Drew T (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:54

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:54
yes that's right .. i also want to charge my cranking battery so i can continue to drive the vehicle (just one of the many things you need the 12v for)
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Follow Up By: parthy - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:01

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:01
I rest my case go the cristy
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:18

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:18
I'm with Flappa on this one, you can't take a spare alternator (I do know someone who does) or can you? Maybe, if you were buying the Christie unit you could ask Mr Christie to fit a compatible alternator so if you were deep in the bush with a bung alternator you could swap them over. And use it for what it was designed in the mean time.

Kind regards
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Reply By: parthy - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:48

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:48
Cristie charger if the one on your car stops working you can always get going and keep going it is reliable (it has a honda motor you carn't get better than that and a good old bosch alternator ) try 4WD monthly number 88 page 201 couple that with a good invertor you have got the best of both worlds good luck
AnswerID: 146807

Reply By: HJ60-2H - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:52

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:52
Get a diesel and the need for 12 V can be negated. I know I can start my engine with no battery installed with a push start.
AnswerID: 146809

Follow Up By: Member - Drew T (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:56

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:56
thanks for that advice ... but buying a new vehicle wasn't exactly one of the alternatives i had in mind!!
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Follow Up By: parthy - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:59

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 15:59
thats all right if you have enough to push it
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Follow Up By: HJ60-2H - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:02

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:02
Did it for 2 weeks in the Kimberlies.
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Follow Up By: Tony J - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:41

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:41
... but buying a new vehicle wasn't exactly one of the alternatives i had in mind!!

I dont think a NEW diesel would work without the battery given all the electronics - you might have to buy a second hand older diesel :)
TonyJ
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Reply By: HJ60-2H - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:00

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:00
Christie charger it is then seeing as you are already carrying petrol.
AnswerID: 146811

Follow Up By: parthy - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:06

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:06
HJ 60 do you think we should put in for a comission from cristy's if drew buys one
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Follow Up By: HJ60-2H - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:15

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:15
Good point!

Personaly I dont like the idea of carrying a generator but if you need to carry one for battery charging then get a purpose designed battery charging one for Christies. Looks a bit "agricultural" but I have seen them in operation and they are great.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:14

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:14
I would have thought agricultural is ideal, simple and tough!
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 13:17

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 13:17
If you've seen one running then you'll know how loud they are. I had one and sold it, damn it was loud!! No way would I have been game to run it anywhere near other people.
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Follow Up By: HJ60-2H - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 17:39

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 17:39
Yep, like I said "agricultural" but work really well as a battery charger.
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Reply By: Original Banjo (SA) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:24

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:24
I will sooon be investing in a 1KVA gennie for this reason - Yamaha EF1000iS probably - inverter technology - can run any appliance up to its max current rating - 'puters included. I will power a good battery charger from this. For mine, this option has the least compomises involved. Solar is for good weather, daytime only. The Christie is good and has high, fast output, but is a battery charger only.
Although gennies are banned here and there, I reckon I can work it into my trip plans and practices.
AnswerID: 146817

Follow Up By: Dean (SA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 13:51

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 13:51
More toys!
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Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:27

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:27
Why use a Christies ?

Its only good for charging batteries , nothing else.

If you are paying $1000 or so dollars , why not then buy good Gennie that is dual purpose ?

Why pay a huge amount for something you may use . . . just in case ?

Might as well chuck in a spare Alternator.
AnswerID: 146818

Reply By: Ron173 - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:28

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:28
Drew,

I'd say alternators are fairly reliable, phaps get an auto sparky to give it a health check before you go, but certainly carry belts, (a full set, not just alternator)thats a more likely interuption.

I know some will say they can fail, but how far do you take the spare parts bin..

Rgds

Ron
AnswerID: 146820

Reply By: 4145derek - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:32

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:32
Where do you stop.

Alternator, drive belt, watepump, fuel pump, ecu, radiator, clutch, brake hoses.

Best to make sure of the 4WD before your trip and only take what you need.

Sat phone is lighter than a alternator.

Regards Derek. Me !
AnswerID: 146822

Reply By: kesh - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:55

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 16:55
Drew, if you cant make one up yourself (which I did) the Christie unit has better alround usefulness than a larger 240/12v. gen. The 12v. output from these is only around 8a., the Chri. unit up to 55a.
Given this you only need to hook it up to the 12v. aux. or main system in your vehicle and run a 500w. invertor which will power small elec. drill, grinder etc.
For long term camping (which we do) my home made Honda powered 12v. alternator keeps all our batteries up for around 4l. petrol/wk. (Trailblaza freezer, lights, laptop, water pump etc.)
kesh
AnswerID: 146830

Reply By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:05

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 18:05
A portable jump-start pack.
Bloody handy

Get a decent one that will crank a big diesel, and you'll find it also has enough grunt to power your fridge for a good day, plug an inverter in and have portable 240V power, hang your camping fluoro off it and you have a mobile streetlight.
You can carry your power and not need your car and it recharges by mains, so if you have an inverter you can recharge it while you drive. No need to waste time waiting for a small charger/genny/alternator to get charge to the battery- just connect it, start the car and pack it away.
I havent charged it since I got it and its jump started 4 cruiser diesels and I used it pretty well over the chrissy- new years break, and only used up 20% of its capacity.
AnswerID: 146841

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 17:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 17:07
Well this may be a tad obtuse....but IMHO if the alternator fails it is usually the bearings that cack themselves, then the thing throws itself to bits and the belts and things under the bonnet that rely on the alternator to be there don't seem to work as well.

So, if you're really worried then take another, then you should be OK with all and asunder that goes around under there.

IF I was buying an alternative source I would go for a 1000va (1KVa) generator 240/24, like the Kawasaki unit mentioned above or a Honda EU10 or the like, theyre quiet, compact and red (the kwaka is blue or green I think) but the red ones go faster.
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