power packs or dual batteries

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 22:30
ThreadID: 30304 Views:11123 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Gday all, Ive been looking at the range of power packs to fit to my 02 pathfinder instead of a dual battery system. The under bonnet battery would be used primarily as the cranking battery, and the power pack will be used solely for a 40 litre engel fridge, which would be recharged when ever engine is running. From what Ive seen they range from 25 amp hours to 60 amp hours (thumpers). Im interested to hear from anyone who has a set up of this kind and as to how they find it?
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Reply By: johannagoanna - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:06

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:06
Interesting that you have a pathy, same as us buy a year younger!!

We had really bad luck on the weekend with out duel batteries, under the bonnet of our 01 Pathy. The alternator died (if you can find one let me know, because can't find one in sydney, new or second hand, and auto electrician can't get the parts to fix it until March!), and then both batteries died. To cut a long story short we ended up on the back of a tow truck from the Blue Mts to home! - very expensive. I suggest you use a power pack in the back!! At least you can use that you jump yourself if you need to! - Jo
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Reply By: 4145derek - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:35

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:35
On the pathfinder I would suggest a power pack. I do a cost effective one and opposite lock also have one. They have fully automatic controlers and built in sockets and anderson plugs. There is also a 'thumper' but low amp hours available.

Regards Derek
AnswerID: 152191

Reply By: BenSpoon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:36

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 23:36
The both have their place. I would recommend the battery pack though because the benefit of it being portable is unbeatable. carry your battery pack down a track you cant drive and have a portable floodlight and fridge power. Add a small inverter and its even more use.
The problem with it being portable though is that it can be removed from your car (say for charging in the house off mains power) and then when you need it, its 100 km from where your car and dead battery are because you forgot to put it back in the car.
I spoke to a battery shop I trust and they said the thumpers were discontinued because they had a short lifespan. I had a semi-deep cycle battery and matching battery box priced up and it came in less than its equivalent thumper. I settled with a truckpower pack one in the end and Im happy with it.
Although I do have dual batts now, I reckon I should have got the pack earlier. It is virtually the same as dual batteries, but theres no car attached.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:39

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:39
"I spoke to a battery shop I trust and they said the thumpers were discontinued because they had a short lifespan"

This is where people who do not know what they are talking about create misinformation.

Waeco not longer resell the "thumper" brand but they are certainly still manufactured and sold by Blue Apple in S.A.

The D*ckhead you trust from the battery shop is misleading you in regards to the short lifespan and that they have been discontinued.

The fact goes like this:-

Waeco wanted a monopoly on the Thumper brand of power pack, but only wanted to sell the lower Amp Hour units.

Blue Apple on the other hand had committed to the manufacture of higher Amp Hour units and decided to withdraw from their arrangement with Waeco and go it alone. (maybe by mutual agreement).
Bill


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Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 11:25

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 11:25
You sound pretty happy with yours- how long have you had it? Have you noticed if it can be opened up to replace the battery if needed?
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 12:05

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 12:05
Ben,

Had it for about 16 months. Yes, very happy with it.

I also have a dual battery system but found with a 55 Ah battery I was getting just under 3 days out of it, without recharging.

Now, when I get to a campsite, the fridge usually comes out of the vehicle and into the camper's tent or annex, running off the Thumper. I also run a versalite of it as well.

With the addition of a solar panel outputting 2.5 amps, I get a reasonable input of juice back in to the Thumper. If I find I need more I can add another panel to the existing one to give 80 watts (5 amps) of charge.

The thumper has good quality sockets, both merit and cigarette type and it can be "repacked" with fresh AGM batteries when they have aged.

The units are not cheap, (about $800 or so for the 75Ah size including In Car charging kit) but are comparable to an equivilent dual battery system and much more portable.

I have the Thumper Charging controller connected to my auxilliary battery, so once the primary battery is charged, both the Auxilliary battery and the Thumper Power pack are individually and separately charged from the Alternator when driving.

Its a good setup which gives me confidence that I'm not going to end up with a warm fridge.
Bill


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Reply By: Jeepster-WA - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 01:21

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 01:21
I just recently got myself a waeco coolpower 36amph and ran the waeco 40 litre at home for 48 hours before recharge, yes it will use more juice when he ambient temp his higher but at $322 it is better than the $1000 plus to set up a charging system and battery in the camper. This decision was made due to the fact that the portable power would get used more than the camper. Horses or courses

Jeepster
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil [Sunshine Coast] - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 06:33

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 06:33
Jeepster, how long does it take to recharge? I assume u can recharge thru the cig. lighter? I have put a wet battery in the camper [$300] but I only get 4-5 days, ''Autofridge'' 2hrs. morn & night, so a little 'extra' would be handy. Where's ya trip takin you? cya
Phil.
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 18:25

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 18:25
Coolpower 36 for sale from www.fridgeshop.com.au for $220 + delivery. I bought two and they threw in a connecting kit.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:59

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:59
ingo57,

In answer to your Post, I have and use a Thumper Power Pack which gives me everything I require from a portable power pack.

My unit is a 75Ah unit and IMO is the most practical size comparing cost, weight and capacity.

The Thumper comes in 60Ah, 75Ah, or 105Ah sizes, but the 105Ah unit is very heavy for a "portable" unit. the 60Ah unit is about $150 dollars less than the 75Ah unit.

When you buy the Thumper, you also get a length of heavy duty twin core cable, 50amp Anderson connector to terminate it, a 1 metre patch lead with Anderson connectors on both ends and a pair of control units, all part of a heavy duty In Car Carging kit.

I get about 3 days minimum running of my 40 litre Engel fridge before I need to consider recharging off the vehicle, or plugging in a solar charging unit.

More information can be obtained from Blue Apple (Home of 12 Volt) on 08-8536-2144.

P.S. I have absolutely no connection with the manufacturer or their personnel.
Bill


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Reply By: ingo57 - Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 13:39

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2006 at 13:39
Thanks for the info sandman. How long roughly for you to get the thumper charged back up?
AnswerID: 152266

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 07:58

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 07:58
Have never timed it.

By the time I get to the next stop, or home, as the case may be, the Thumper test shows a full charge and is ready for next time.

The time taken would depend on how "run down" the batteries are, but I think the manufacturer advised about 3.5 hours to fully charge the unit from the In Car Charging kit. (I may be wrong here though)
Bill


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