2 smaller batteries powering a Waeco ?

Mornin' all,

Being self-employed I never get away for more than a week at a time. The trusty old ice box usualy suffices on these trips.

Planning a 2 week trip later this year and a mate is lending us his 80 ltr Waeco. As I dont have anything that requires a deep cycle battery, I was hoping to wire up 2 small car cranking batteries in the rear of the Patrol, in parallel with a manual isolator switch to the main battery.

A search of the forum suggest the 80 is probably the most power hungry of all the fridges however, we will be on the move every day, so the batteries will be charged on a regular basis.

I have a very basic understanding of volts, amps and watts.

Can some one please advise me if this setup would do the job.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:06

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:06
In my unqualified opinion I reckon that it should be OK.

Seeing as you will be travelling every day to recharge the batteries.

Cheers Kev
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AnswerID: 342669

Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:16

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:16
Lionel, Should do it easily as long as the batteries are average size. Ian
AnswerID: 342671

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:25

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:25
G'day Lionel

Shouldnt be an issue seeing as you will be driving each day........

however an important point is to ensure the wiring you run to the back of the vehicle is of sufficient size to ensure that you maximise the charging efficiencies...no volt drop

put a circuit breaker in line at the cranking battery to prevent any starting current draw from your fridge batteries .......and run as a rule of thumb at least 6mm twin core to the rear....circuit breakers / fuse here also

cheers

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Reply By: Member - beachbum - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:28

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:28
Morning Lionel and mate it wont be a problem. We have the 110 Waeco and it has done some big trips in the six years we have had it and never had a problem with batteries other than when we have been stationary for more than a couple of days and it has rained as well. We were at Calvert Range for four days a few years ago and it rained for three of them and we had to run the vehicle on the third day to top up the batteries. I run the fridge on a high setting while on the move and then back it off at night when it is cooler. Make sure that you use a suitably heavy pair of wires back to your rear batteries to minimise voltage drop (=V Loss)and all will be good. You will no doubt get the Nay sayers advising that you NEED to buy all sorts of things to do what you want and no doubt that some points will be valid if the setup was permanent but in the case you are putting just go for it. Enjoy your travels.
AnswerID: 342673

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:59

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:59
Buy a $20 Digital Multimeter so you can keep a check on normal operation.

If the battery voltage is less than 13.8 volts after you have been driving for a while to put some charge in the batteries and the engine is running at a fast idle (fridge disconnected), then the batteries are not getting sufficient charge.

With the engine off, keep in mind you'll see a much lower voltage when the fridge compressor is running, then when it's not. Monitor what's normal for your installation, so you get some advance warning if things go wrong.
AnswerID: 342690

Reply By: stephen looking - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 11:44

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 11:44
Mornin' mate

With your electrics make shaw you use a fuse at the pos of each battery and then also for the fridge.
Also if you have a battery charger give the batteries a kick in the guts before you leave i would also take it with you.

Cool the fridge at home before you leave and if you can freeze a lot of your good this of course will help the fridge not work as hard.

Cheers & Beers.........Steve.
AnswerID: 342695

Reply By: Mark Taylor - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 12:59

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 12:59
I don't have a Waco 80, but rather a 40.

Although I am an auto electrician, I hate working on my own car. So when I have taken our other car away for a couple of days on the road (Not the "all wired" Disco) I use a GMC Jump Start pack to run the fridge,. I have tried it at home and can get about 24 hours from it.

So.. I have a "double adaptor" that plugs into the GMC pack and then the Waeco plugs into that, and the other lead plugs into an ign controlled socket on the car.

When you're under way, the fridge runs basically off alternator supplied power.. and when stopped it runs from the bat pack.

The next day once you start off the car recharges the bat pack while you drive and the fridge runs at the same time.
Great for a temp set up.

The caveat is... don't try to run the fridge as a deep freezer or you'll suck the battery dry in a few hours. But if you're only stopping overnight, it works a treat!

Cheers

Mark T
AnswerID: 342710

Reply By: Member - Ed. C. (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 13:14

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 13:14
(quote) "I was hoping to wire up 2 small car cranking batteries in the rear of the Patrol"..............

We are talking sealed batteries here, right??



Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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AnswerID: 342714

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 13:30

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 13:30
Nup....2 lead acids with the inspection caps, right next to the petrol jerry cans and 9kg gas bottle.
We're both heavy smokers and never throw our butts out the vehicle, we toss them down the back. They usualy go out in a minute or two.

We carry a fire extinguisher but can never remember where its packed......lol.

Joking aside Ed, I know where your going on this one but Ive always carried a spare charged cranking battery in the Patrol ever since crank handles stopped being a part of the car-kit.

Never had any problems with fumes of vapour.

Cheers.....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed. C. (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 14:11

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 14:11
G'day Lionel,
Your choice of course, and as you are obviously aware of the issues involved, I will say no more:)

Your comment about crank handles brought back some memories, I used one of those many, many times in days gone by.............

Regards, Ed C

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 16:09

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 16:09
Storing batteries inside is different to having them connected - when batteries are over-charged they can give off very toxic fumes.
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FollowupID: 610423

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 18:46

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 18:46
Good point Mike, that hadnt occurred to me.
I was going to build a ply box for the batteries, so I'll make a flexible vent tube and run it through the floor.

Cheers.....Lionel.
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FollowupID: 610445

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 19:23

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 19:23
I was looking at Euro-style Exide batteries that are designed to be mounted in the boot.

They have a cap over all the vents and a tube to take fumes outside the car.
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FollowupID: 610450

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 19:28

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 19:28
The gas is lighter than air so I suggest the vent should be higher than the top of the batteries.
Only LPG drops down as it is heavier than air hence the grill in the lowest part of a Caravan door. which is there for that very reason.

I had Marine batteries in the front boot of the van and had to wall them off and put a vent right at the highest part of the boot.

Leagally i believe that is what you have to do with them. Seal them off and vent them to the outside.
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FollowupID: 610451

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 15:43

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 15:43
Dangerous gases are like cigarettes. They are both Ok for a while then boom.
If u could ask my late wife she would tell you.
Favourite quote was Ïve smoked for 37 years and its done me no harm".
1 year later and lung reduction surgery that was unsuccessful and that was it. Boom lights out forever.

Same with gas, why tempt fate.
AnswerID: 342734

Follow Up By: Ozboc - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:59

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:59
sorry to hear that , but what you say is to true , its always the mentality of " it will never happen to me"

sad reality is it happens to people good and bad ....

My x father in law is the same , been smoking since he was 14 has the same attitude - and i just really hope that the guy proves me wrong...... this will be one of those times when i DONT want to say ... I TOLD YOU SO ..........


Boc
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FollowupID: 610461

Reply By: ob - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 16:34

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 16:34
Guys, I understand that lead acid batteries can give off hydrogen and maybe other gasses when charging. What about sealed type AGM?

cHEERS OB
AnswerID: 342744

Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 18:58

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 18:58
Thanks everyone so far,

Things like heavier wiring, fuses, voltage testing, how and when to run the fridge etc are all tips I needed to make this tempory installation work.

I dont know which Im looking forward to the most:

The actual trip or the diy battery and fridge installation.



Cheers........Lionel.
AnswerID: 342763

Reply By: Ozboc - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:53

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 20:53
HI , i have the CF80 ( same fridge as your mate is lending you) - It is a very power hungry fridge ESPECIALLY when its hot outside ... what i have found is to pack your fridge FULL 2 days before you leave and have it sitting at home ON the charger that comes with it ( 240 v - 12 v) it will run virtually 24 hours straight getting all the food temp down - i also set it a little cooler before i set off say at -17(on turbo) . that way when it goes into your car, the power consumption will be to maintain the cool temp , not to get it down to this temperature.

i have dual battery set up in my 4x4(redarc) with deep cycle as my second battery ( 100 amp hr) and i have found that if i do not cool the fridge ( full ) at least a day or 2 before - my battery will not last anywhere near as long. In summer i also have a second 100 amp deep cycle battery that i connect up to the second battery in the car via jumper leads and then a 80w solar panel in the loop also.(whilst the car is parked)

I have just returned from 4 days away where i did not drive at all - and this worked for me without needing to run the car to top up batteries...

If you use a few large battery's such as truck batteries - in parallel and maybe being charged every other day by a little drive around gathering firewood or exploring , then you should be ok . But the as i said above -- fill the fridge DAYS before not on the day or the night before...

Boc
AnswerID: 342776

Reply By: Krakka - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 21:12

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 21:12
A handy tip that we have gained off of a fellow EO member is to remove one of the dividers between the fridge freezer part. The fridge runs colder on a lower setting while still being able to keep food frozen in the bottom of the freezer. We are both running 110lt waeco's and it works a treat.
Regards
Krakka
AnswerID: 342778

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