Portable Power Packs

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
ThreadID: 482 Views:4577 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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In have just purchased a Weaco 52 litre 12 volt fridge to do the occassional 6 night trip to Moreton Island. The Weaco has a usage of between 1.5 - 2.5 amps per hour after it has reached the selected operating temperature. I have been advised to look at purcahsing a Blue Apple - Thumper heavy industrial powerpack which is rated up to 1200 amps to power the fridge. I have been quoted $700 from the local Opposite Lock outlet in Brisbane. Does anyone have any experience with Power Packs that may guide my deliberations. As there is little drive time on Moreton Island the recharging of the battery from the Pathfinder will not cover my power needs. I expect that I would purchase a 240 volt 6 amp charger and have the serice station at Bulwer re-charge the power pack overnight. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
Be careful!! The 1200 amp is the Cold Crank amps it can deliver for jump starting. This is for a VERY short period of time. From memory the Thumper has a capacity of 40 amp hours, so would run your fridge for about a day without recharging. The idea of recharging at the Staion would be fine.
Another way would be to fit a 2nd battery and a 78 series Landcruiser Alternator (110 amps) so would charge your batteries on minimal running - nice solution but expensive.
AnswerID: 1269

Follow Up By: Patrick - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
I looked a fitting a second battery to the Pathfinder but found that the TI model does not have the space under the bonnet plus the battery would not last all that long as recharging on Moreton is restricted due to the short vehicle running time. I'm currently looking at hiring a portable generator so that I wont run out of available power. This is only a short term option as I will undertake some trips around Qld in the next 12 months and will need to look at what else I can do. Thanks for your feedback.
FollowupID: 383

Reply By: Jeremy - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
The Blue Apple Power packs are great !, in fact Weaco has just taken over the company. In your situation its perfect coz you don't have the room to fit d-batts, you can charge it with both the 240v charge kit or the 12v from the car although i would recomend upgrading the wire and fit a good hella plug or similar to cope !, this is due to the fact that cig lighters tend to handle the load but not the heat generated from it and can in extream cases burn down your vehicle. I work at Opposite Lock and fit, sell and use these power packs all the time and for your situation you are on the right track.
AnswerID: 1270

Reply By: Ray - Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Patrick,

The rating you describe would be CCA and not amp hours, as suggested by a previous responce. In your situation not needing to start a vehicle a true deep cycle battery would be much better. Some claim to be both but are very much a comprimise. It sounds like you will be running the battery down past the suggested limit and then recharging which is no good for any battery but a deep cycle will handle it a little better. A good deep cycle battery with a very simple purpose built wiring harness for your fidge will be a significantly cheaper alternative. If in fact you want to have both then even a top of the line sealed battery like the Trojan or Odessy (spelling maybe wrong) will be better and cheaper, but granted not as convienent. On the subject of charging I've just done a fair amount of research into the best methods. Using one step boost chargers (the cheap ones) are the killers of most batteries they are the ones that generally boil batteries. The other option is dearer but will help your battery last much longer, they are 3 stage switch mode chargers. If you would like a copy of the info I've tracked down on the various chargers let me know.
AnswerID: 1273

Follow Up By: Patrick - Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Ray thanks for the info. I would appreciate receiving a copy of the information on chargers. Please email me on patrick.kearney@ourbrisbane.com when you have a chance. The whole subject of battery packs versues solar panels versus generators is a very interesting question. I certainly have learnt a lot in the last few days from people on this site and others. It's great to have access to such excellent detail and knowledge. Cheers and thanks. Patrick
FollowupID: 386

Follow Up By: Andrew - Saturday, Oct 27, 2001 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 27, 2001 at 00:00
Ray, I would also like a copy of your research. Could you send it to ajstephens@austarnet.com.au

Thanks, Andrew.

FollowupID: 393

Reply By: Mike - Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 25, 2001 at 00:00
Patrick, apart from the reply I've sent you at O/lander, 2 points; 1;what if the service station refuses to recharge you for some reason, 2;please don't inflict a generator on other campers trying to enjoy the beauty and tranquility that I hear Morton Island is. I have come across generators before, in beautiful locations and I have always wondered if people want that noise, why they don't just stay in the city. Sorry to sound agressive, but I don't believe anybody should upset the tranquility of others with these noisy smelly devices. By all means hire a solar panel and let's all enjoy the bush. Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 1274

Follow Up By: Patrick - Friday, Oct 26, 2001 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 26, 2001 at 00:00
Mike, I could not agree with you more about enjoying the tranquility offered in locations such as Moreton Island. I believe most fair minded people consider others when arranging their needs. Before you put everyone who users a generator in a negative picture go along to your local Honda dealer and listen to one on the new models of the 1KVA and 1/2 KVA which offer incredible quite running. You might even change your opinion. Patrick
FollowupID: 391

Reply By: MARK - Friday, Oct 26, 2001 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 26, 2001 at 00:00
AnswerID: 1283

Follow Up By: Patrick - Monday, Oct 29, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Oct 29, 2001 at 01:00
Hi Mark. Pardon my ignorance but is an Autofridge a brand or a generic term for 12/240 fridges?
FollowupID: 395

Reply By: Russ - Friday, Nov 09, 2001 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 09, 2001 at 01:00
Patrick, I have a thumber and swear by it. It is fitted into the tray of my Hilux. Have been away twice this year for 2 weeks at a time and have not had to charge it from 240 V. I have an inbuilt charger fitted, run my Engle fridge, lights for camper trailer and shower off it. No probs. No worries about fluids spilling, can be carried out if you need to, so versitile. Have been running my own tests over time, ran the fridge for 2 days (out of the vehicle) before it went flat. Just ran a versa light for 52 hours and it was dimming, but still burning. Will continue to run different tests, but I am very happy with it. Read the info on it, ring the manufacturers in SA, they are very helpful. I reckon it will outlast (from what I hear) other batteries.
Give it a fair go.
AnswerID: 1379

Reply By: Viki - Sunday, Nov 11, 2001 at 01:00

Sunday, Nov 11, 2001 at 01:00
We've got a Pathfinder Ti '99 model and our mechanic put a dual battery system in OK! Side by side - made his own cradle.Check around a bit more maybe? (We're in Hobart, BTW....)
AnswerID: 1390

Follow Up By: Patrick - Monday, Nov 12, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 12, 2001 at 01:00
Hi Viki - The good news is that after lots of investigation I have found a supplier,(direct to Piranha) who make a battery craddle suitable for the Pathfinder. Both TJM and Opposite Lock told me that there was no way that a duel system could be attempted due to the lack of room. TJM are an agent for Piranha and would not order or consider fitting the system even after pointing out that a craddle did indeed exist. Obviously don't need the business. Motorama 4X4 in Brisbane have bent over backwards to help me which I greatly appreciate. Now that I can obtain a duel system I wont need a portable battery for a while at least. Thanks for you feedback
FollowupID: 430

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