Battery Systems

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:22
ThreadID: 9843 Views:2401 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi everyone,

My first time on the site. So glad I found it - finally, a good resource on these issues!!!

My parent's, my partner and I share a lot of camping equipment. They've just purchased a fantastic trailer, fridge and "portable" power pack though. Linking them all up has been a bit of a mystery. We've always camped on bush sites without power, but we've never really needed it. Parti and Techni Ice, lots of gas, a pouring water tank that can be hung and solar showers have kept us comfy.

However, now that they've bought all of these power related things, we need to set them up the best way we can for our kinds of trips. My parents are likely to do three day trips most of the time. We tend to go for the five to seven. Ideally, we'd all like to be able to run it for a week withought too much of a drama.

I had leaned toward dual battery systems in both cars (we drive a Jackeroo and they a Futura station wagon). But, as stated, they've purchased a Waeco "Urban" Battery Pack. It came with a "Fast Charger" also. "Fast" translates into 3 - 4 hours of driving required to re-charge after only 24 hours of fridge powering time (3 days in 25 degree temperatures) though??? The charger also needs to actually be installed into a vehicle, which defeats the "gimmick" of its "portability". Unfortunately this was what attracted them to it most, as we thought it would enable us to share the one product.

From the minimal reading/discussing that I did do about dual battery systems, this product doesn't appear to be as sustainable???

Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaase help us out. They may still be able to return it.

Otherwise we'll just have to set the Jackaroo up differently and swap cars for long trips I guess. The trailer's not set up for 4WDing either so it's no major disruption - except for the embarressing part about driving a Ford!!! Hahahahahahaha

Appreciate any advice,

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:25

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:25
Go dual battery in the Jackaroo, then they can have the power pack thing, whats the hassle?
AnswerID: 43460

Follow Up By: Antares - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:28

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:28
Thanks for replying so quickly. The hassle is convincing them to return the other thing and set dual batteries up for themselves too. Can you help me with a sales pitch?
FollowupID: 305752

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:40

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:40
Why take it back, if it works, its not worth the hassles of arguing with the store, and then the extra cost of dual batteries for a ford...
FollowupID: 305753

Reply By: Antares - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:46

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:46
Just need to weigh up the benefits of each. E.g: If we in fact camp in 40 degree heat, we'd need a lot more power time off the one charge. How would this compare to a dual battery system? Doesn't one charge the other in a shorter period of time with dual batteries?
AnswerID: 43464

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 23:51

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 23:51
As mentioned, the dual battery system for the Jackeroo has got to be the go, for the Falcon you may consider the option of putting a top knotch battery in the Falcon and not bother with the power pack, I imagine that you / they will be driving the Falcon around in the seven days when they holidaying, the dual battery system in a Falcon would have a few problems I imagine plus the extra weight, I've found the power packs to be very heavy one reason I only looked at one very briefly ages ago, don't get me wrong they have their place. Hard wire the fridge in using good quality wire, should be OK. My opinions as usual. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 43470

Reply By: StevenL - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 10:51

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 10:51

I bought a Waeco CF40 with the "Outback" power pack.

In my Honda Civic I had TJM wire in a Hella point in the boot using the proper 6mm wire. It is wired to the ignition and only operates when the engine is running soas to protect the car battery from discharging.

I then plug the power pack into this and the fridge into the power pack. This means the fridge is always running from the pack and the pack is recharging whenver I am driving. There is nothing to switch over and there is no risk of the Honda having a flat starting battery. The pack will run the fridge overnight (and for 2 days if not too hot) while camping. I can also use the pack in the tent for a flouro light (brilliant) and to pump up the air bed.

This is a great system and can be swapped between cars at a pinch using the standard cig plug in the dash. (Provided the wiring is up to the job.)

I have now ordered a new Prado Turbo Diesel GXL and will probaby use this same system in the new bus, particulary as my battery dealer, who also sold me the Waeco indicated that second battery systems in Turbo Diesels can be a problem. He is going to take a look at that when the new bus is delivered in April. Anayone else have comments on this issue?

I'd say use the power pack with a proper charging point in either vehicle. The power packs are not cheap. See if you can get the value from it before spending more on a second battery setup. Remember that the power pack is a great portable power source around camp.

AnswerID: 43491

Reply By: Rob H - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 11:18

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 11:18
Hi Antares

Not sure what you mean by battery pack?

We use a projecta jump starter which holds 17 amp hours of charge, and recharges well from the vehicle. However, we don't run the fridge as we have the option, and therefore use, gas as we find this to be more efficient.

I'd certainly go the dual battery system though. If your committed outdoor lovers, it seems the best option.


AnswerID: 43495

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