Camper battery

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:46
ThreadID: 32186 Views:2202 Replies:9 FollowUps:3
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Hi there people, We just bought our first camper trailer and have just got back from a weekend trip. What an experience but i guess practice makes perfect. Already i'm wondering what can i add to the trailer!!! Its booked in to have an anderson plug wired in to fuse box and two plugs. We are thinking later when we have the money to get a waeco or similar type fridge. I currently have a dual battery setup on the patrol via a red arc isolator. I'm thinking about fitting a battery box on the trailer somewhere and running a third battery. I'm only looking at this so we dont have to have the car plugged to the trailer when camping to use the fridge. I want to be able to plug it in somewhere, go out and come back find to everything still cold and not floating in water like our icebox. Oh, we have 4 kids so it cannot be left i ther car as some people suggested. What i would like to know is do i need to fit any other devices for charging etc? Are deep cycles better to run fridges? or is the an easier way about this?
Any ideas would be great.
Thanks, Shaun.
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:56

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 18:56
Masses of info available if you do a search.
Main points:
Use very heavy cable to your CT battery. Many auto electricians don't understand this and use lighter cable. This will result in voltage drop and difficulty charging the battery. I used 25mm squared double insulated welding cable for this. Probably heavier than you need, but I would certainly not use less than 10mm squared (bigger if possible).

Fuse (or circuit break) the positive cable as close as possible to the battery.

Run 2 cables; positive and negative. Don't rely on earthing via the chassis.

The best battery (IMO) is a deep cycle AGM. If you are not familiar with them, search this site and/or check this site. As big as you can afford. I use two 120AH AGMs on my CT.
http://www.fridge-and-solar.net/

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 162998

Reply By: Member - Wilgadene (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 19:39

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 19:39
Hi Taylortribe,

There is heaps of info on the forum (search) and the site (fridge&solar) that Norm C provided is very good. We also have 2 x 120AH -AGM batteries in our trailer Very happy with them.

Have found that we get about 7 days power from them before needing to top up. We run 3 x 12v fluro's(bed &reading, kitchen and annexe lights), Waeco 50L, Laptop(for maps) & DVD, fan, heater, inverter (for 240v appliances). We were running the waeco as a freezer so would probably get more out of them on fridge only.

Cheers
Kev
AnswerID: 163012

Reply By: Harry - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:02

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:02
G'daye,
Just wondering what make is an AGM battery or is that the actual brand name ? 7 days is great, I wouldn't get that out of my current deep cycle.
AnswerID: 163018

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:27

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:27
AGM = absorbed glass matt ,, battery designed originaly for military and aviation , is used in the space station and space shuttles , just type in AGM into the search function of this forum ,you will get 6mths worth of reading.
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FollowupID: 417768

Follow Up By: Member - Wilgadene (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:47

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 20:47
Cost about $670.00 all up for the 2 x 120AH's - not cheap but so far have been good.
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FollowupID: 417772

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 23:51

Sunday, Mar 26, 2006 at 23:51
My Battery Article on the home page covers a lot of this info. Contact me if you need a more detailed application.

Battery Article

Regards Derek.
AnswerID: 163053

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 08:17

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 08:17
Deep cycle is the way most trailer makers go - I have a 70 AH (AGM I think) in my Campomatic - wiring, charging, protection methods etc are all in the domain of professional design (or that done by an amateur with due consideration). I know my setup but descriptions take awhile - best guidance can come from posts already here, or by studying new trailers that have been wired by pros, and duly certified in writing............
AnswerID: 163086

Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 10:56

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 10:56
I just bought a Remco 100AH AGM for $264.00. They are fantastic batteries, dearer brands include Lifeline and Full River, although Remco is Chinese made the reports are they have been faultless to date. You will also need a battery charger that suits Lead Acid batteries that also utilises a float mode, for keeping the battery at it's optimal level. These AGM batteries are very very heavy, 100AH is typically 30KG.
AnswerID: 163110

Reply By: taylortribe - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 17:14

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 17:14
Thanks for the info guys, I think a bit more research and conning to the missus before i make decision.
AnswerID: 163189

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 20:46

Monday, Mar 27, 2006 at 20:46
Shaun,

Another choice for you to throw into the equation.

You may like to consider a portable battery system.
Such a system is charged from the Vehicle whilst driving, but can be removed from the vehicle and put in the camper's tent area, or under the annex.

With the inclusion of a solar panel or two, you can even recharge the portable battery system "on the go".

Bill


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AnswerID: 163286

Follow Up By: taylortribe - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 16:47

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 16:47
Sand Man, I have thought about that too, but some of the prices i've been given to get something that's going to last a few days to a week between charges were nearly 1000 dollars!! Maybe i'm asking for a lot, but there is no way i could convince the missus into buying a battery that expensive. Geesh, i'd be divorced by next week. lol. I'll just have keep looking around i guess. Thanks for your input tho.
Shaun.
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FollowupID: 418188

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 22:17

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 22:17
No, No, Shaun.

You have to break it down when justifying 4WD expenses to the other half.

You are talking in the vicinity of $800 for a 75 AH portable battery system and charge controller, plus another $800 if you wish to maintain a charge via a solar panel system, or a genset.
Bill


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AnswerID: 163553

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