ARC Power pack issue, Battery Flat

I have a ARC Power pack and inside that I have a Century 70amp Deep Cycle Battery in my Camper Trailer.

Recently I went from Cranbourne to Lake Hume with the Camper Trailer, By the evening the Coleman Fridge-model 5640 was just running. By the next morning it had stopped as the battery seemed to be flat.

( there is currently no form of charging the batt while driving as yet)

Given the 4hr trip and that it was only the fridge @ 4amps taking the power, the battery shouldnt have gone flat.
Im going away again this weekend to Geelong, but this time Im going to charge the battery with the batt charger 1st then put it into the powerpack.

How long do others have their Batteries charging for in the ARC pack. ?

Can I run a Anderson lead straight from the Altenator,? as there is all ready a lead that goes directly to the ARC pack on my Camper.

Any info that anyone can provide would be great,


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Reply By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 16:57

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 16:57
Hi Darren,

A few questions to help find the answer.

1) How old is the battery? My first thought is that the battery has had it.
2) What sort of service life has it had? ie Has it been discharged deeply too many times in which case it probably needs replacing.
Note: For a 70Amp battery with a 4Amp load, I would not like to run it for more than about 8 hours otherwise your state of charge will be below 50% which is not good for a long battery life.
3) If the battery is good, then is there any other load on the battery (lights, TV, Inverter) which you are not aware of?
4) How long it takes to charge depends on the charger you have. If it is a 7amp charger, then in theory it will take 10~15 hours to fully recharge the battery from flat. If the charger is only 3.5 amp then it will take twice as long. A good multi-stage charger is needed to look after your battery.
5) As far as charging from the car, I run an anderson lead to the trailer and then through a DC/DC charger. This isolates the battery from the tug and also charges the battery properly without voltage drop. There are other ways to charge a trailer battery and the wise people on this forum will help here.


AnswerID: 475901

Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 18:03

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 18:03

welcome to the ethereal world of DC electrics. Can I recommend you start your quest for knowledge here;

Electricity for camping

Also the EO articles on DC Battery Power are informative as well.


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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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AnswerID: 475909

Reply By: Darren O - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 19:10

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 19:10
Hey Guys thanx for the Info,

The Battery is Brand new, was only used once, 1st time then.

There isnt anything else connected to it, except the elect Tap but didnt use that.

Ive seen on sum forum that guys connect a lead from the Alternator straight to the ARK Powerpack as it has the charger, I was looking at this.
AnswerID: 475921

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 19:46

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 19:46
Just starting from basics:
#1 Don't assume your battery is charged - to be fully charged it needs to be on a decent charger the night before. Batteries like your Century lose charge while sitting at home with nothing hooked up.
#2 Your fridge is a thermoelectric one that pulls 4 amps continuously - that is a heavy load. It's probably pulling about 3 times more power than an Engel or Waeco compressor fridge under the same conditions.
#3 Don't flatten your battery - you'll shorten its life. Keep it above 12.0 volts, so buy a $10 multimeter from Jaycar so you know what's going on.

So what's the solution? Well it all costs money.
#1 If you buy a compressor fridge (say a 40L Engel) it should last you the rest of your camping days, and you'll be camped 3 times longer on that battery.
#2 You really should be wired up to recharge from your cars alternator when you're driving - alternator can put a heap more charge back into your battery.
#3 Solar Panels have recently become incredibly cheap, if they suit your style of camping. Get a 120W folding set - about $300 on Ebay.
#4 Keep your century deep cycle battery well charged. These wet cell deep cycles take longer to charge than other batteries.
AnswerID: 475923

Follow Up By: Darren O - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 22:22

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 22:22
Hey Phil,

Thanx for the advice,

Im getting Gauges put in the camper to monitor the battery better.

Solar Panels will be coming later in the yr...

* Am i able to run a lead straight from the Alternator to the battery pack via Anderson lead or should i have a isolator.

Most of the trips we do are long, 3-5 hrs, and most stops we have 240v to charge so its just between stops.

FollowupID: 750948

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 22:34

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012 at 22:34
Should you have an isolator?
Nprmally I'd say no and keep it simple. But because your fridge is drawing 4 amps continuous, then the safest option is to fit one, so you won't flatten your starting battery if you were to forget to unplug the Anderson plug. A Redarc will cost you about $90 and you install it under the bonnet. it is a simple installation.
FollowupID: 750951

Follow Up By: Darren O - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 06:58

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 06:58
Thanx phil,

Normally once were at the site were on mains/240 power so to have the
Lead is only between trips, so i think for saving the start batt and possible
Headaches with the missus i'll get a regulator.

Thanx for the advice and info to all, much appreciated
FollowupID: 750962

Reply By: Evakool - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:12

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:12

If you have the Ark Powerpack from this link Ark Powerpack do note that the 240 Volt battery charger that is built in is a 1500 mA charger, or 1.5 A charger, as per the above link, right at the bottom.

If it was a perfect world and the charger put into the battery 1.5 Amps every hour and the battery was at half capacity and there was no losses, it would take around 23 hours to charge it to full.

In the real world it could take twice that amount of time.

So if you wanted to leave it on the built in charger, plan to leave it on for at least 48 hours before use.

AnswerID: 475968

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