Caravan 12V Battery Monitor

Submitted: Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 22:13
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Just wondering if anyone knows of any mountable battery monitors you can buy for caravan. I would ideally like one simillar to pihrana battery monitor.
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Reply By: Member - SNAKE (RAOUL) QLD - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 22:37

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 22:37
Hi Julio,
If you want a good cheap battery/alternator monitor go to Dick Smith and get one of their 12volt battery testers for 10 bucks.I have 4 of them hard wired in my 4x and Camper.Part n/o Q1457-page 65 in the catalouge.Cheers Snake and Josie
AnswerID: 285024

Reply By: Member - Brian A (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 08:19

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 08:19

the term "battery monitor" has a different meaning for every person you ask about them.

If you want a fair dinkum "battery monitor", Derek from ABR - - sells what appears to be a good unit - approx $300, or if you "google" Xantrex Battery Monitor, you'll fine a slightly dearer option - approx $400

AnswerID: 285066

Reply By: Member - Tony W (VIC) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 08:53

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 08:53
I reckon there are about 4 types on the market. Before deciding look up battery voltage and battery capacity. the differece between a full battery ( of charge) is 12.7 full verses 11.9 for 40% which is as low as you should usually go.

1)Bar Graph LED ones like at Jaycar and Dick Smith for $10 - 30
These look good and make you feel good but don't really tell you much other than emptyish, or fulish. I had one of these and basically decided I am wasting my time

2)Voltmeter - Panel meter digital ( or good analogue). From Ebay , Jaycar, Pirhana, Dick Smith Derek etc $20 up
Good and accurate, however you must remember the relationship between voltage and charge which can vary under different conditions. Anything over $30 and you are wasting money.

Minimum you should get in my view.

3)Digital or claibrated LED Bar graph meters with some kind of capacity indication and alarms. Eg Opposite lock chargemaster, ABR Battery monitor. $120 - $200

Easier to monitor without remembering voltage relationships. If you need to rely on charged batteries these are great.

4)Proper full on battery monitoring with charge in / out measurements. You will know everything that is going on in your batteries. $300 - 800 Eg NASA battery Monitor from ABR. These are brilliant.

After having researched this I have found that the most important thing is to understand how batteries work and what the voltages mean. I used to think a 100AH Deep cycle battery would reliably give me 1 A for 100 hours or say 2 A for 50hours but in reality if I get half that I am doing well. ( 90% charged and discharge to 40%).

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 285068

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 10:08

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 10:08
Hi Julio

There is one more option.

Use a solar regulator as a monitor. They have many features and can be used when you connect solar too. They are not as neat as the NASA BM-1 but will so a similar job.

I do like the back light of the BM-1


AnswerID: 285078

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