Fridge, Engel and Dual Battery

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 23, 2003 at 22:42
ThreadID: 3507 Views:10787 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Q1. Does anyone know if the Engel 40 ltr has a low-voltage cut-off function to prevent the battery from draining flat ? Waeco 40 ltr has that feature.

I have a Toyota factory dual-battery system on my Hilux but it is a simple parallel (just a wire connecting the 2 positive terminals of the batteries) on 2 identical starter batteries. Questions :

Q2. If I buy the Waeco (which has a low-voltage auto cut-off feature), should I still be bothered with a dual battery management unit (i.e. isolator) ?

Q3. If I do buy a dual battery isolator, should I change one of the batteries to a deep cycle one ? Because they are both starter batteries ? What's the down side of running the fridge on the 2 identical starter batteries ?

I am inclined to buy the Waeco (or the Engel if it also has the low voltage cut-off function) and just live with the simple parallel set-up, but I am a bit concerned about that "single point of failure", in other words, what if the low-voltage cut-off circuit in the fridge fails ?

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Reply By: Trevor - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 01:17

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 01:17
This info came from the Engel hotline 1300 302 653

Engels aren't fitted with a low voltage cutout because unlike other brands they are not damaged by low voltages.
They do however lose efficiency below about 10.5v. The fridge will still remain quite cold, but will run more frequently as the volts drop.
If you are camped for extended periods you may need to charge your battery every couple of days, depending on weather, fridge use, battery size etc.

We have a 39L Engel.
The dual battery setup consists of the normal Starting Battery and a deep cycle one.
A solenoid connects them in parallel when the engine is running and seperates them when it is not.

We don't have any voltage sensing circuitry or variable rate of charge equipment.
The local Auto Electrician says they are over complicated and a waste of money, but will happily install one if you really want it.

AnswerID: 13811

Follow Up By: Diamond - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:43

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:43
i spoke to a few auto electricians and was also told just simple solenoid set up no need for expensive set ups just throwing your money away but he said i have one here it will cost you $200 odd bucks and laughed
FollowupID: 8218

Follow Up By: Gob - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 18:22

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 18:22
cc the only extra i have to your set up is a switch under the dash and connected to accesories so that when you start car it shouldnt go straight to main bat and if you want to sit with radio on etc you can switch solenoid off so no drain between batteries
FollowupID: 8235

Reply By: Mick - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:28

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:28
Trevor - ring Engel or a dealer for details of an Engel fridge.
AnswerID: 13816

Reply By: Coops - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:45

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 08:45
any low voltage cut-out is designed to protect the compressor and NOT your battery. It will cut out well below when it is required to for battery preservation (personal experience here).
Not a fan of deep cycle batteries myself but thats getting into Nissan v Toyota territory. Deep Cycle plates are 100% lead I believe and as such may damage easily if you give your car a solid workout.
I would highly recommend a battery isolator and if you search this forum you will find ALL the information you require as this type of question has been posted over & over again. That's no big deal as there's always someone knew to throw a bit of light on the subject but try the search and I'm sure you'll get what you're looking for.
AnswerID: 13818

Reply By: Peter - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 18:11

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 18:11
CC I am pretty sure the new engle`s ( at least the 60lts)have a low voltage cut out.
My Engle is about 10yrs (60lt) and does not have the cut out but my sisters is only about 3yrs old and is 12/24/240v has a factory fan and I am sure low voltage cut out.
AnswerID: 13834

Follow Up By: Stuart - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:19

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:19
The new Engel fridges have had the cut out removed, i just bought one and tested it, it ran a battery down to below 6 volt i then checked with engel and they told me the same the as the supplier i bought it from

FollowupID: 8240

Reply By: bob - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:22

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:22
CC, Engel sell two separate 12 V Battery Monitor with guage, which cut out at either 10.5 V or 11.5 V. They automatically cut off the power which the specified battery level is reached.
Price from memory is approx $130
AnswerID: 13849

Reply By: Stuart - Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:24

Monday, Feb 24, 2003 at 21:24
If you are going to buy any fridge whatever brand whether it has a cut out or not, and you are going to use it going away, you need duel battery. What if you are away and the fridge cuts out as it has drained to a safe limit, then you have a fridge thats useless

AnswerID: 13850

Reply By: rodeoowner - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:04

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 09:04
My 2 cents worth......... leave your batteries as is. Buy a low voltage cut out (11.2 V) from K Mart for $20 and use that. Simple and very cheap.
AnswerID: 13877

Reply By: Phil G - Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:14

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2003 at 22:14
I agree with rodeoowner. A lot of people at the club use this KISS method. Batteries last longer because they're not being cycled as much. Only downside is that when one of them fails, you're best replacing tehm as an identical pair.
AnswerID: 13944

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