Marine Battery Box & Dry Cell

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 12:35
ThreadID: 9887 Views:3967 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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Hi everyone

I'm looking at setting up a dual battery system in my prado for the purpose of running a 60L engel combi fridge/freezer. I've had a chat with several of the larger dealers (ARB, TJM, Opposite lock) and all seem to be of the opinion that you either use the standard batt with a smaller deep cycle or a larger deep cycle with a smaller (new $$$) crancking batt because of the lack of space in the engine bay. This would also require the movement of the charcoal filter.

I'm not really happy with either of those options and have been considering using a marine battery box and an odyssey dry cell deep cycle batt mounted in the cargo area. I'd be using a Piranha MkII long lead controller. From what I have been told, this battery has an exceptionally fast charge rate (2 hours from 100% discharge)which suits my style of camping and is a real benefit (albeit they are relatively expensive). I'd just like to know if anyone has had any experience with this setup and type of battery/isolator. I know its not ideal for everyone, but for me, it seems worth checking out.

Many thanks for you help

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Reply By: Mal58 - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 17:31

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 17:31
If you have a 96 to 02 Prado, please see PostID: 9732 and also PostID: 8601.

I have a 98 Prado with an under bonnet battery holder, that is able to take a 95ah Marine Battery. The Battery Holder (under bonnet) is made by a company called Outback Accessories (Model BT12). I bought mine from Opposite Lock, close to 4 years ago, so maybe the product line has changed if it is not available from them now.

With regard to using Odyssey Dry Cells, I am not sure whether you have to make changes to the charging system, as standard vehicle charging systems are optimised to charge at approx the 8 hour rate. This is done to avoid bending the plates in conventional lead acid car batteries.

Perhaps some other forumites may know the answer to that one.


AnswerID: 43702

Follow Up By: Pradoman - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 17:51

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 17:51
Thanks for the quick reply mal58.

I actually had a look at the photo of that a few days ago. Looks good, nice job. Just to clarify, you've placed the fridge battery in the unmodified standard cradle and placed the standard cranking battery in the BT12 craddle, only moving the carbon cannister? How much did the entire setup cost you? How long does the 95a/h battery last for with your fridge and how long to recharge. I tend to camp for 1-2 weeks doing around 2-3 hours driving a day so I'd like to be able to fit a battery that will have the A/H to go the distance.


FollowupID: 305928

Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 19:42

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 19:42

If you're driving a couple of hours a day, and running a modern economical fridge like the current 40 litre Engels and Waeco, then you'd be fine just replacing the standard battery with a decent N70 sized battery, and maybe have a jumper pack as backup. A good single starting battery recharges quicker than the auxillary in a dual battery system. A V6 Prado will start easily off a half charged N70. A low voltage cutout set at about 11.9 volts is always a good idea on the fridge circuit.

Also, if you move the starting battery into a BT12 tray, you'll need to lengthen the cables.

Prado TD
FollowupID: 306091

Follow Up By: Pradoman - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 21:54

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 21:54
Thanks for the responses everyone. The BT12 tray seems to be the best under bonnet way to go. What is the largest A/H deep cycle battery you can fit in that craddle so I wouldn't have to lengthen the cables to the standard (bit of a pain in the ass).
FollowupID: 306108

Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 22:17

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 22:17
The original V6 starting battery is a neat fit in a BT12 tray. Can't remember the size of it.
FollowupID: 306120

Reply By: William - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 18:01

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 18:01
why talk to turkeys when you can talk with experts at the Overlander forum
mate the guys there are technical experts not turkeys like here
AnswerID: 43708

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 21:01

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 21:01
You got a lot to say for yourself .. maybe you should go & talk to them & leave us alone!
FollowupID: 305953

Follow Up By: Mad Dog Morgan (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 21:45

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 21:45
LOL, I'd say he got driven out of the other forum. People with a personality disorder don't last long.I may be mad but I'm not crazy

FollowupID: 305967

Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 11:33

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 11:33
That's a bit rough William...I've gotten lots of good advice from this forum and so have many others of whom all would agree. The guys on the other forum are similar to the people here. Like anything you just get another view or opinion because you have reached another audience.

FollowupID: 306030

Follow Up By: Rick Blaine - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 16:17

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 16:17
Maybe William has a turkey fetish... or more likely he hasn't been gobbled lately......
FollowupID: 306061

Reply By: ROLANDE - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 22:22

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 22:22
It must be the wrong time of month for William and his mate Truckster, my mother always said if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all!
About time these two said nothing, only interested in rubbishing others posts. Strange from William though, have seen some helpful stuff previously, what's going on???????????????
AnswerID: 43736

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 22:42

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 22:42
It is unlikely that the statement that ''the battery can be charged in 2 hours" is true. To charge a battery that fast is bad practice but more importantly you would have to raise the alternator output to about 16volts and that would be dangerous to your vehicles accecories. I suggest you deal with a more informed dealer. Eric.
AnswerID: 43743

Follow Up By: Mick - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 08:07

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 08:07
On the optima specs, the battery can be recharged in 1 hour from 11.8 volts- flat! The only problem is that the specs say you need a 120 amp battery charger stepped up to 15 volts, we build one for $1243inc gst!
Weve checked the optima out, and its an excellent battery, but shame about the price!!
FollowupID: 306010

Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 11:28

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 11:28
You'll start boiling the battery if you step up the voltage to 15v then it will be buggered in no time. Not wise to do.

FollowupID: 306028

Follow Up By: Mick - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 12:59

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 12:59
Not so Leroy.
This is what you call a rapid charge, which is only charging the battery for about 1 hour, not enough to let it boil.
For a car which may be driving 8 hours per day, the voltage is regulated lower at 14.2 volts so it wont boil, but on taxi's is not so good, as they drive 24/7, bosch have brought out a lower voltage regulator for taxis.
Even 14.2 is too high for a stand by float charge on stationary battery banks where the voltage should be set at 13.2 volts.
Optima have written it in black and white in their american brochures, and the optima importer from vic has sold a few of our chargers with their batteries.
FollowupID: 306040

Reply By: Member - John- Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 00:29

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2004 at 00:29
Pradoman, your problem is increasingly common with modern high tech fourbies with buggerall room left under the bonnet (the diesel Prado is a snap to to this though).

I have been using a Sonnenschien SL40 (an immobilised gel battery & safe to use inside your vehicle) controlled by a Piranha 150S isolator. I installed the battery in a purpose built box in the cargo bay complete with switches, fuses & sockets for appliances. It has workd fine for 3 years now. The Sonneschien's are available in various sizes and will work just fine as an emergency main battery if you have a failure out bush.

For base camping I also charge the second battery from solar panels via a solar charge controller carefully adjusted to match the Sonnenschien characteristics (car alternators NEVER charge deep cycle batteries much above 70% of nominal capacity because that is the way mfrs set them up for cranking batteries).

I can recommend some books to all forum members on this perennial topic written by an expert engineer, Collyn Rivers. Checkout

Have fun!

AnswerID: 43763

Reply By: Member - Nigel (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 24, 2004 at 01:06

Saturday, Jan 24, 2004 at 01:06
check out the powerdive batteries too - you can get a 90Ah AGM in a N70 size - they are in SE Qld but will ship anywhere.
AnswerID: 44177

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