Dual battery options?

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:29
ThreadID: 77114 Views:4230 Replies:14 FollowUps:4
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Hi All,

Just recently bought a Waeco fridge/freezer from Anaconda when they were 20% off. It has been on the wish list for a while but after a long trip to Cape Trib with ice & esky & the huge saving I decided to finally buy one.

The problem I now have is sorting out a dual battery system for it. I have an '08 X-trail. When considering the fridge previously, I took the car down to ARB & they couldn't really offer me any options? Under the bonnet is cram packed full of all the stuff that makes the car run (technical term!) and I couldn't even get a pencil battery in there - let alone a back up battery!

Any suggestions on alternate options? There is a cigarette outlet in the rear of the vehicle, but I am relucatant to run the fridge off the car battery? Thoughts, ideas & opionions appreciated!

Thanks in advance......

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Reply By: PaulBron - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:54

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:54
Had you had a look at the Thumper Battery options??

They aren't cheap but are fully sealed and can be located in the back with the fridge and removed when not required.

AnswerID: 410056

Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:19

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:19
It is possible to successfully run your fridge directly off the main battery without the need to install a second one. If you install adequate cable to the luggage compartment you can install an appropriate fuse plug and away you go. However, unless you also have either a seperate switch (manual or auto) then it is likely that you may flatten your battery when the engine is not running. It is also possible to install a battery in the luggage coompartment. Make sure it is sealed type and in ideally a sealed container with adequate ventilation.
AnswerID: 410063

Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:29

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:29
Mount the 2 battery and fridge in your camper trailer ?

AnswerID: 410064

Follow Up By: Member - ken b (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:38

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:38
how about using a anderson plug from the car to the battery,mounted in the trailer
FollowupID: 679981

Reply By: nqdave - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:39

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 13:39
Hi Jo,

Have a look at the Flyer battery box by ABR. It should have the features that you need. Note that you need to purchase a battery as well.

I don't have any experience with them but I'm intending to get one myself shortly.

AnswerID: 410065

Follow Up By: Member - Peter R (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 22:36

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 22:36
I have the Flyer Box and have an AGM 120amp battery inside.

It sits in back of vehicle and is connected by Anderson Plug to Alternator with 6mm cable.

The normal wiring via cigarette lighter type plug is usually not heavy enough to run your fridge .

I run a CF50 and also a CF18 Waeco while travelling and it works fine.
Looks like this

FollowupID: 680033

Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:05

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:05
Is there room to put a decent battery in the factory holder?

Petrols dont take much to start so I would prob try and chuck a whacking big battery in something like the batteries I just bought century 700cca nz 4wd batteries and back it up with some kind of jump starter

unless your the stop and prop type of camper youd have no issues and if you did you have the jump starter (make sure its kept maintained)
AnswerID: 410068

Reply By: feathery - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:27

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:27
Just found this on the net it may save you from getting another battery

AnswerID: 410070

Reply By: Member - Porl - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:29

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 14:29
Sidewinder Flyer

Derek advertises on this site. I got one a few weeks ago cause it was as a package cheaper than an under bonnet one anyhow. Dead easy to install. Love it, has changed my refrigerated life.


AnswerID: 410071

Reply By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 15:05

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 15:05
Not sure of your actual set up but here are a few options:

Put second battery in your trailer and run Anderson plug from it to your fridge. (Doesn't really make sense running cable past the fridge to the trailer to charge the battery then run more cable back to the fridge) This system will avoid a battery in your car.


Put a redarc (or ABR version http://www.sidewinder.com.au/page79.html ) under the bonnet and run the wires to the fridge. This will eliminate the need for a second battery but only provide power to the fridge whilst the car is running. Will save you from remembering to turn off the fridge every time you stop though.

Is it essential that you have the fridge running for extended periods whilst the car is not running? If so then do a combination of both methods (battery in trailer and isolator) and/or combination of other suggestions above using the portable power pack thing (thumper?) when you don't take the trailer.

I don't think the lighter connection in the rear is supposed to be for running a fridge for long periods of time.


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AnswerID: 410074

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 18:27

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 18:27

I have a Flyer battery pack (my "fixed" auxiliary battery) which has a 100 A/h AGM battery in it.
Excellent piece of gear but the combined system is a little heavy and you really need an AGM battery if mounting inside a vehicle.

I also have a 75 A/h Thumper (also an AGM) and this is both more portable and more compact if room is an issue.
The Thumper comes with an in-car charging kit to maintain the battery system when travelling.

I use the Flyer to run the fridge while on the move and the Thumper at the camp site where I like to remove the fridge from the vehicle.

The Flyer is a little cheaper in the purchase price of the system itself and the added cost of a suitable battery and the option of different sizes of AGM batteries to put in it is also attractive.
You can also purchase and install a battery pack insert from Derek and build it up to whatever capacity you wish, within limits.

Both systems are excellent and I can recommend either of them for your needs.
They both have Isolators included which protect the primary battery by keeping it separate from the auxiliary circuit so you won't drain your starting battery.



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AnswerID: 410095

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 18:51

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 18:51

I run a Pirahna isolator from the main battery under the bonnet to a 100AH AGM battery in the rear of the vehicle. The cable for the isolator passes through the firewall gromet and the isolator sits under the passenger seat with the active cable travelling to the rear of the vehicle. The isolator ignition wire is spliced to one of the 12v wires in the cabin and the earth to chassis.
The AGM battery is also earthed to the chassis.
I have installed a bank of 4 fused sockets in the rear for the fridge and other accesories.
I'm not an elecrician but haven't had any problems with this setup.
AnswerID: 410101

Reply By: Chris11726 - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 20:05

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 20:05
I also have a flyer from Derek, I installed it on Sunday. I have a 100 amp hour agm. I plan to leave it in the car but if your not going to use it for a while the only thing keeping it in the car is one plug.

AnswerID: 410114

Reply By: Siringo - Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 21:26

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010 at 21:26
I also have a Flyer from ABR, nice piece of gear, very good build quility and well thought out. You can put any size battery in it, but as others have mentioned, it does become quite weighty.

I also just recently jumped in the 'new fridge' thing. I thought working out which fridge to get was tricky, but working out which way to go with batteries was even more time consuming.

It all depends on how long you are going to stop for, how big your fridge is, how cold you are going to run your fridge blah blah blah.

I looked at the Thumpers, they are pretty good units but the thing that steered me towards the Flyer was that I am able to put a larger capaciity battery in it for less cost than the equivalent capacity Thumper.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 410124

Reply By: PradOz - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 13:05

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 13:05

If you try running the waeco from rear socket it will probably run for a while before the X Trails cable size causes voltage drop problems. I run a 40Lt Waeco in rear of my Prado and had issues with voltage drop like most people do until they correct the cable issue. People with Engels love to bag Waeco owners because of this as the Waecos are inbuilt to cut out before you have problems, so they look like being a Waeco problem when really it is a cable size problem. The error lights on the Waeco will show this anyway.

Its very easy to fix this problem if all you want to do is buy a pre-wired correctly sized cable and lay it out from battery to rear of vehicle (or wherever you want the fridge to be) and screw the fitting to car and plug it in.

Waeco make a pre-wired unit purpose built for this. Engel also make one for their fridges. Many after market suppliers like those highlighted in replies here also make them because the vehicle original cable is going to be a problem.

Have a look at this WAECO power kit link and you will see what you get. It comes with 2 outlets already prewired with the correct size cable ready for mounting in the vehicle. One is standard cig outlet other is the heavy duty hella outlet which will be the one to plug your fridge into. Just pull off the red cover on the cig plug at end of fridge lead and away you go. It has 2 settings to run your fridge. 1 is always on until the Waeco's own inbuilt settings will cut out the fridge dependant on the vehicle voltage. The 2nd is only on when the engine is on, so fridge will only run while engine is running which means the battery is charging at same time. If you dont leave the fridge open for ages when stopped and manage how you keep the coldness in the fridge, this 2nd setting will allow you to run your fridge off your existing standard X Trail setup in any place you want the fridge to be located in the vehicle.

All for waeco retail price of $119 (or less) and no changes to batteries etc until you can afford it and then some of the other suggestions like Thumpers or ABRs Flyer will allow fulltime running of the fridge.

There is an EO Member right here on exploroz that is a Waeco agent if you wanted to talk to him about buying one (just let me know and i will pass on his details. No affiliation yada yada blah blah etc - just a happy customer of his) or you can just go to anywhere that sells Waeco products and get one. Other than that buy another generic brand setup or make your own.

The Waeco is very simple to install and comes with everything you need. You wont need anything else. Hope that helps you out, cheers....

AnswerID: 410185

Follow Up By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 20:27

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 20:27
Would appreciate the passing on of details if possible? It sounds like a cheaper option to begin with. My email address is j.quinn@uws.edu.au

Thanks for your help - much appreciated! :)

FollowupID: 680135

Reply By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 20:24

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 20:24
Thank you all for some great suggestions! Has certainly answered my question & didn't realise there was so many options. I'm a bit reluctant to wire it into the trailer in case I want to take the fridge without the trailer. Like the look of the flyers or the waeco power kit.

Thanks again for all your input :)


AnswerID: 410253

Follow Up By: PradOz - Sunday, Mar 28, 2010 at 22:21

Sunday, Mar 28, 2010 at 22:21

I emailed your details to Stephen so you can talk to each other about solving your query. Stephen has emailed me to say he hasnt heard from you since he emailed you so I was wondering if I have the correct email address. (I used the one in your reply to me) I also emailed you just now to see if you get it ok. Feel free to contact me if you want - cheers....

PS - i let you know in the email that if you are local (looking at your email address you maybe?) you can look at my RAPS installed if you want to.

cheers Mick
FollowupID: 680841

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