Do I need a 2nd Battery??

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 08:50
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Just after some advice from those more experienced.

I'm going away on my first trip with my new fridge. It draws somewhere between 1.5 - 2.5 amps / hour which I plan on keeping powered up 24hrs a day. I will also be using a fluoro light at night which draws around 1 amp / hour.

We stop each night for about 14 - 16 hours and drive each day for at least 6 - 8.

Do / Will I need a second battery?

My ute is old doesn't have any computers/electronics and I will be travelling with about 6 other vehicles.

Thanks,
Matt.
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Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 09:03

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 09:03
Hello Matt,

Your worst case Ah consumption will be 3.5A times 16h equals 56Ah before you try to restart the motor.

An ordinary starter battery will have a very very hard time to deliver this amount of Ah, plus start the motor.

Your starter battery could be cactus after 10 or 20 times of doing this (if it was even capable of doing it the first time).

So the answer is yes, a second battery will certainly allow you to do this - look into a deep cycle 100Ah VRLA AGM type battery.

Best regards, Peter
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Follow Up By: Siringo - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:25

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:25
Thanks for your advice Peter, greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 09:54

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 09:54
Why not look at a portable battery pack that you can charge during the day when you are driving?

I am sure the others in the group will get annoyed if someone has to jump start you everyday and it's not good to drain your battery like that.
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Follow Up By: Siringo - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:26

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:26
> I am sure the others in the group will get annoyed if someone has to jump start you everyday

That's some very good advice. One thing I take pride in when going away is being self reliant. I hadn't thought of that, thanks again.
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Reply By: Member - Porl - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:13

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:13
I bought the Sidewinder Flyer 2 after many months of deliberations and calculating shortcuts. The best thing is its portability and the ease with which you take it to you next ute, and you can stick in any battery you want. I have mine tied down with fridge straps with the holders drilled striaght into my hard ute line ridges.

No affiliation and referees of Derek's business are glowing.

I think it's money well spent.

http://www.sidewinder.com.au/page133.html
AnswerID: 407035

Follow Up By: Siringo - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:24

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:24
> after many months of deliberations and calculating shortcuts

This is exactly what I'm in the middle of now hence the post, it's doing my head in I reckon, too many options, too many brands. I think I'll get in touch with Derek very soon.

Thanks for the reply.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 18:10

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 18:10
Porl,

I too have a Sidewinder battery system, but with a 100 A/h Remco AGM in it, I'd hardly call it "portable".

Maybe it is because it sits in the back of the tray behind the cargo draw system and requires lifting to get it onto a flat surface.
Regardless, it was my choice for a "dual battery system" and I'm most happy with it.

I also have a 75 A/h Thumper which IS portable and used to run the fridge (and lights) when it's placed in the camper annex. This is supported by an 80 watt solar panel system and between the two battery systems I can camp "indefinitely".


Bill.

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Follow Up By: Member - Porl - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 19:17

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 19:17
Sand Man has a good point, but you can take the battery out, or disconnect the entire unit from the external connection. Though real portability as Sand Man points out depends on how big the battery is you got in there. Mine's a yellow top Optima at 8yrs old and sits at 12.55v at rest, but the Evekool pulls less than an amp an hour.
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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:14

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:14
So will you be using the "Fridge" as a Fridge or as a freezer?

It makes a big difference to your power consumption.

For instance if you run it at 0 to 4 degrees as a fridge it will be running a lot less often that if you run it at -12 or so as a freezer.

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Follow Up By: Siringo - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:27

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:27
I'll be using it as a fridge/freezer. I think 1.5 - 2.5 amps /hour is pretty much on the money.
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Reply By: chisel - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:41

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 10:41
I don't really think you'll have a problem as overnight the fridge should not use more than about 1 amp on average, and the light will be on for a max of about 5 hrs. So I think you should be only using 20AH or so. Depends on the fridge. Also depends on the size of your existing battery.
AnswerID: 407041

Follow Up By: keviny6 - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:12

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:12
yes second batterty for sure -----what kind of fridge is it ?
the next thing you will be looking into is a solar panel to keep battery charged -----oh the joys of camping --gotta have deep pockets
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Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:17

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:17
Yes definately as second battery,,, expecially id you have diesel vehicle to start,,,

agree as above --- others will be sick of jump starting you
- you shorten your engine battery life
- chances are your fridge will cycle OFF and no restart due
to low battery voltage
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Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:21
Hi Matt I don't really disagree with the general view that a second battery is the 'real' answer. But we're all aware that a second battery with installation (including the smarts) ends up being quite expensive.
So, if you are willing to make the effort, you can probably get by as follows:
(a) ensure that your fridge has a good power supply (not ciggy lighters and thin wires). This will reduce voltage drop and help to conserve battery power;
(b) vacuum pack your meat to reduce the need for very low temperatures, and set the freezer temp at around zero or just below (obviously this will depend on the brand of fridge and its thermostat options);
(c) use a thermometer with a remote probe to give you accurate freezer and fridge readings, and:
(d) turn off the fridge or turn it to minimum cooling every night, and rely on the insulation to get you through the night (remember the song: "Help me make it through the night"). This should be fine as long as the ambient overnight is in the teens, but won't be very nice at air temp of 30 degrees plus!
You always have the emergency arrangement of running the vehicle's engine for an hour or two if you get caught with a heat wave.
Finally, claret rather than beer has a major impact on cooling requirements!
Have fun!!
AnswerID: 407053

Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:26

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:26
PS forget about the fluoro, and use a torch/lantern/gas lamp
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Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:35

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:35
It doesn't have to be too expensive if you buy a simple wet cell deep cycle battery and isolator only and have it wired into car

say less than $300 in most places (battery $130 ish, isolator $90 and fitting say $80)

from what you wrote in original post you don;t need a fancy set up costing $800 - $1000
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:47

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:47
Barry. I agree, IF a very basic set up is OK, and Matt doesn't get sucked into the fancy gear, special cradle etc. I don't know if $130 get you a N70 these days. But, I was simply trying to say Matt may be able to survive without a 2nd battery
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Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:51

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 11:51
I wasn't having a go at you Tenpounder

I agree with your options above generally

just trying to steer toward a simple option and the things you pointed out apply
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 13:31

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 13:31
Matt,
Just get a good quality 100ah AGM Deep Cycle battery, put it into a $20 battery box and that will last you for many years and cost only ~$350

No good getting another Starting battery to run a fridge as Starting batteries are not made for the deep cycling required by the fridge, they are made for Cranking, huge output in an instant, not constant low output over a prolonged time period.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 407079

Reply By: Siringo - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 13:44

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 13:44
Thank you all for your replies, greatly appreciated. I've taken the plunge and bought myselft one of the Sidewinder Flyers. I like the idea of portability as well as a few other functions it will give me, not the least being able to use a large or small capacity battery.

Think I'll chase up a good 100Ah AGM to put in it.

Thanks again, your replies helped me settle it in my mind for me.
AnswerID: 407082

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 20:31

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 20:31
Siringo

As mentioned above the fluoro is a very inefficient way to provide lighting. Not to mention how it destroys the ambience of camp site.

LED headlights are all you need.

But second battery is a must.

Bob
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Reply By: Wilko - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 14:01

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2010 at 14:01
Hi Siringo,

I say yes it better to get a dual battery set up, and It doesnt need to cost a fortune.

My set up cost $659 including battery and install but if you get an Arc battery box and a cheaper lead acid deep cycle battery it would be cheaper.

I've also got an engel battpack 56amp which I run in my work car.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 407088

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