Waeco RAPS 36 Battery Packs - Are they an alternative?

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:17
ThreadID: 30805 Views:25335 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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G'day all, I am going through the usual dual battery setup saga and was wondering if anyone had used a couple of the Waeco RAPS-36 battery packs as an alternative to a fixed second battery installation. What are the pro's and con's ?

Cheers,

Peter
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Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:19

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:19
Sorry, should have mentioned, only intend to run a 60l Waeco fridge and 400W invertor from them.

Cheers
AnswerID: 155141

Reply By: prado-wolf - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:30

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 13:30
Hi P.G.

i can not comment on the RAPS36 but i bought the Waeco Thumper packs and i would not do it again because it is correct what they say , use it or loose it.

They cost a fortune and one is already stuffed after 18 month and the otherone is on the way out. Repleced them with AGM's from Fullriver , 120 Amph for 300 AUD. better deal.

AnswerID: 155143

Reply By: 4145derek - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:28

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:28
12 Volt Power Pack is the way to go. Also called a Universal Dual Battery system.

Made by Opp Lock and Sidewinder.com.au you can fit a AGM or Deep cycle to it and they have built in isolators and spike protection and come complete with Anderson plugs for quick removal so the unit can be used anywhere including boats and energency power in storms.

Regards Derek
AnswerID: 155150

Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:38

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 14:38
Don't waste your money on the RAPS 36. You'd be much better off with a dual battery setup and it could end up cheaper. Not sure of the cost but I bought a Waeco Outback battery pack (makes a good door stop) for what a good dual battery ended up costing me after I got the S!@ts with the Waeco. I only use it for back up. Its good for jumping the boat.

Had my battery system now for 4 years fitted by ARB using the Smart Solanoid. Same battery. Runs the CB, the Waeco CF50, the caravan lights and water pumps when free camping and is worth every cent.

I'm considering a portable battery box with a deep cycle to run the van when not hooked to the car. This is still cheaper than a RAPS 36 which retails for around $300. My setup will cost around $200! and last a hell of a lot longer I assume

Wizard
Gold Coast
AnswerID: 155152

Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:06

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 16:06
Find your local Gofer/Scooter maintenace place and get some second hand gell cells. I got two 32 AH for $25. $120 worth of parts and some bits from the scrap box later I have a home made battery box with a solar controller, 2 anderson plugs, a cigarette lighter socket and a trailer plug ready to power up whatever I need.

Cheers

Pete
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Reply By: Member - Des - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:11

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:11
The Waeco Coolpower 36 packs are not the same as the old Blue Apple-made Thumper/Urban/Outback etc. Coolpower uses an AGM battery, so they charge faster, have more usable power, can be discharged deeper and hold their charge for longer than other so-called deep cycle batteries.

A sophisticated automatic dual battery system will cost about the same as 2 x Coolpower 36 packs (@$349 RRP) + RAPS-12 wiring upgrade kit (@$99RRP).

The main advantage of power packs over a fixed dual battery system is portability: e.g. you can leave the pack running your fridge etc at the campsite. The disadvantage is that they take up cargo space, and you have to remember to charge them. You can probably get a few more amp hours in the dual battery system too.

The fixed dual battery system can also supply auxiliary power to your starter battery.

All things being equal, most people tend to prefer a dual battery system. It depends largely on how much portability matters to you.

We went for the Coolpower packs in the end ($220 each from FridgeShop + RAPS-12 @ $70) because we wanted the portability. Haven't used them yet so I can't comment on how they go in practice.
AnswerID: 155167

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:43

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:43
Des,

Your reply is misleading the readers mate.

"The Waeco Coolpower 36 packs are not the same as the old Blue Apple-made Thumper/Urban/Outback etc."

The Blue Apple Thumper/Urban/Outback contain AGM batteries so they charge just as quick. They each have different Amp Hour capacities.

Whatever you are going to use, you need to ensure that the capacity of the battery source, be it portable, or fixed in a vehicle/van, is suitable for the current draw of the device plugged into it.

Although costing about the same as a top brand "fixed" dual battery system, the portable battery pack from Blue Apple has the advantage of being removed from the vehicle (where it is recharged whilst travelling via an optional in-car charging kit) and put into a Camper, tent, or where ever else you need a portable power source. And it comes in several different capacity sizes and features. (including an inverter optioned model)

I don't work for Blue Apple, I'm just a satisfied customer.
The best thing they ever did was pull out of the Waeco arrangement to enable unhindered manufacture and marketing of their product line.

I have yet to see anything that comes close to the "Thumper" in quality and functionality.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:46

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 17:46
And people may like to know that you can have your "Thumper" repacked if necessary. Don't know the cost as I've never needed to look at this option.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:24

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:24
Sand Man,

I looked into getting my 48a/h Thumper repacked after I saw one open at Batteryworld at Wantirna. They just contain 4 sealed 12 amp batteries. The top of the Thumper is easily removed by digging out the silicon 'plugs' on each corner. The 12 amp batteries are about $45 each (if I remember rightly). Batteryworld sell them.

I reckon it would be easy to do yourself. Prior to visiting batteryworld I was under the impression they were not serviceable - which is just the way the manufacturer wanted it I presume;-)
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Follow Up By: Moggs - Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:27

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 at 18:27
BTW, I didn't end up getting mine repacked as I wanted more capacity - ended up with a Remco 100a/h AGM in a box with an auto reset breaker, 2 hella outlets, 3 ciggi outlets, connected via an Anderson plug to a Redarc - serves me well.

The guy at Batterworld was however quite interested in buying my old Thumper - I reckon he makes a fair quid out of people getting rid of them thinking they are not serviceable.

I still carry mine as a back-up - doesn't hold a full charge for long - but is handy to have for lighting etc.

Oh yeah, in reply to the original question - I reckon they are a good product - but you can do better if you get your own box made up - cheaper too.
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:28

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 10:28
Thanks for the correction re Thumper Sandman. My (obviously faulty) recollection was that they used gel batteries - thanks for putting it straight.

How much was the DIY power pack Moggs?

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