battery packs again!.........which one?

Submitted: Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 11:16
ThreadID: 68692 Views:3888 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Hi there,
I am considering battery packs for running a fridge & lighting maybe etc. Waeco or blue apple?
I dont want to go the route of twin battery installation as i own a 4 cyl SUV with limited under bonnet space as a daily driver and think it as an overkill for the odd bit of camping here and there.
The archive threads i have searched are fairly old and people's use or views may have changed.
I'm trying to find out which packs can also be used as a jumper ones as well as supply packs as i reckon a jumper would be more versatile around home as well as camping. it seems the waeco RAPS36 cannot be used as a jumper pack. Am i right?
Can anyone vouch for the blue apple ones longevity etc.
I am thinking along the lines of the 'urban 30A/H' which appear to have aligator leads supplied with it and compares the closest to the waeco.
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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 11:24

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 11:24
My parents and I purchased two back in 2002, the Blue Apple ones in about Urban 36? size.Mine packed it in last year after being left flat for 6mths(yep, my fault) but the old mans is still going strong.We found them a great unit, great alternative to dual batteries.
AnswerID: 364140

Reply By: RV Powerstream P/L - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 11:29

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 11:29
I have a test sample from (USA)called a Rescue Booster Pack 3000 and it is a beauty as it comes without a battery and you fit a battery of choice.

You are not forced to accept what the supplier gives you and charges like a wounded buffalo for.

The problem is it only has a US voltage charger and they will not bring out a 240Version for 2 more years.

I am upset about that as it would give the existing battery packs a thumping excuse the pun.

The unit without the battery would sell for under $100.
AnswerID: 364142

Reply By: Von Helga - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 12:28

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 12:28

Google "home of 12 Volt" for comprehensive advice and for the other post about replacing the batteries in the Urban battery pack as i have done.
No affiliation just a happy customer.
AnswerID: 364148

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 12:51

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 12:51
Rather than buying one of those battery packs. Have you considered a portable battery box and a deep cycle battery that you get from marine shops?

That is what I use, it has a number of advantages

1. I also use it for my electric boat motor
2. Usually twice the capacity of the other units (80a/h)
3. You choose the style of battery that suits your needs
4. overall cost is about the same

I have a redarc battery management setup under my bonnet wired to my ute tray with an anderson plug. When we go away I just pug it in to my batterybox and away we go, it is usefull also as you can move your fridge to a shady spot under a tree when at camp. So you effectively have a full dual battery system that has portability/flexibility.

Just another option for you??
AnswerID: 364151

Follow Up By: jeepthing - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:21

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 13:21
I agree with you Alby, I've done much the same thing as you have. I reckon those battery packs you buy are not very good value for money.

I did the maths and worked out I could get a much better system by getting what I needed and do it myself

Fpr example, Waeco sell a pack for $335.00 and all you get is a 35a/hr AGM battery.

You can buy a good quality 90a/hr AGM for $325.00 or an Amptech 120 a/hr deep cycle for $245.00 from Derek Bester of He has all the gear you need to do it yourself.

There's a lot of places around where you can get the necessary parts to do it yourself.

I can't see that a 35a/hr battery is going to run a fridge for that long
FollowupID: 631834

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 14:34

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 14:34

I have a 75+ A/h Thumper made by Blue Apple (Home of 12 volt)

People have criticized the cost of these units when compared to other alternatives.

The reason I bought mine was:-
1. To use as a portable power pack with a decent amp hour capacity.
2. To use as a jump starter when necessary.
3. To be able to charge from the vehicle alternator while driving.

The Thumper comes with & without jump start capability.
If you buy one without this facility you can save a bit and some people do not desire this feature.

When you buy the Thumper (assuming you get one of the jump start capable models) you get a pair of removable jumper leads that connect via high capacity Anderson connectors.
You also get an in-car charging kit of either 20 or 40 amp capacity, including a patch lead with 50 amp Anderson connectors on each end.
You get a digital display (on the newer models) that show you exactly how much voltage is remaining in the battery pack.
You get multiple on-board 12 volt sockets to plug accessories into.
You get the ability to repack the unit with fresh battery cells, when required.

Mine has two Hella type sockets and one cigarette type socket which I use to plug the fridge and two 12 volt LED/Fluro lights into.

The battery packs are contained in a sturdy plastic case with two carry handles which make transport of the pack easy and as it is sealed, is totally waterproof.

There is other alternatives such as ABR's "Flyer" (which I am not knocking by any means).
When you look at the purchase price for the Flyer case and add the cost of a decent AGM battery to put inside it, the cost is getting close to that of the Thumper.
Derek doesn't list a pair of jump starter leads under the Flyer accessories, so I'm not sure if this option is available, although I noticed there is a pair of heavy duty terminal posts on the case.

The Thumper used to be used and distributed by Waeco, but Blue Apple wished to expand the product into different size capacities and with different features to suit a more flexible market, such as camping, or caravanning, etc. (Some of the Thumpers are available with Inverters attached). Waeco wanted the manufacturer to restrict their product range and the end result was a parting of the ways.

The Waeco RAPS36 power pack at $335 is also not much cheaper, when you consider for a practical power pack for a fridge, you would need at least two coupled together and this unit does not provide jump start capability.

I have no connection with Home of 12 Volt (Blue Apple) and am simply a user of their product, but the overall flexibility that the Thumper provided, convinced me to invest in one.

The fact that I saved a considerable amount on the RRP from a 4WD camping show some years ago made the decision even easier.

Basically, it gets down to what you particular requirement are and how much you can justify spending to fullfill those requirements.
IMHO, the Thumper is the exact product that will satisfy your stated requirements.



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AnswerID: 364155

Follow Up By: WVB - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:02

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:02
Cheers everyone. I think i'll have a chat with the 12 volt shop.

Bill, I reckon your'e right about what youve got and how you use it. i think it might fit my needs but i dont think i can or need to stretch to a 75A/H.
i reckon the 30A/H thumper will deliver what i need. I dont need to jump start a diesel and the bigger the packs get the heavier they get.

thanks again,
FollowupID: 631868

Follow Up By: guzzi - Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:38

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 17:38
These are worth a look as well,
FollowupID: 631874

Follow Up By: tim_c - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 19:37

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 19:37
I got a thumper a couple of years back because there was no room under the bonnet for a second battery (without substantial modification). I thought it (60A/Hr I think) would be plenty big enough to run the fridge for a couple of days, but I should've got a bigger one - it might run the fridge for 48hrs on paper but in the real test in the back of the car it doesn't run it anywhere near that long. I also found that even with travelling for a ~5-6 hours every day, the 20A charging kit didn't quite keep up - I ended up with the fridge plugged into the Thumper only while stopped, and plugging it into the car while driving so the Thumper could "catch up". Next time I wire it into a car, I'll wire in an automatic change-over so I don't have to plug/unplug all the time.
FollowupID: 632041

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 20:17

Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 20:17
You have to remember your not supposed to run the battery (any battery) down under 50% of it's capacity on a regular basis, that gives the small 30 ah battery a very limited capacity.

Unlike the 'normally' used much larger capacity DC AGM Aux battery, the small 30 ah battery may have to be recharged after use each night, something that is a pain if your stationary for a few days, or out fishing etc.

When you do the maths, a fridge that runs @ 2.5 ah will run a 30 ah battery to it's maximum safe lower limit in ~8 hours, then it must be recharged again to run the same fridge during the day or the battery will not last much past it warranty period.

Why not get a 12v battery that will safely and effectively run the fridge for at least 2 days, for the same price too, and then you only have to recharge it every second day, but after all is said and printed, mate it's your money, what you do with it is up to you.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 364207

Follow Up By: WVB - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 08:03

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 08:03
thanks mainey, point taken.
FollowupID: 631934

Follow Up By: PajDIDauto - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:46

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:46
I agree Mainey. A large deep cycle battery can be fixed into one of the readily available battery boxes and you can add a battery monitor to these to check remaining capacity etc. It ends up cheaper in the long run and you have a much better battery capacity. This is the way I will go next time instead of an underbonnet second battery. Check out that's where I found them last time and I was talking to these guys at the caravan and camping show.
FollowupID: 632127

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 13:38

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 13:38
Who stole Maîneÿ?

Not one mention of the word SOLAR in that submission...i reackon we have a conspiracy happening here LOL.

FollowupID: 632133

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