Battery Setup for Trailer.

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Battery Setup for Trailer.

Postby paps » Sun May 13, 2007 11:41 am

Hi,

We just bought a camper trailer and i am keen to set it up with a Dual Battery system. Just wondering if anyone has some advice, recommendations, what to watch out for etc. Any ideas would be appreciated.

We want to be able to run basic lighting and it the long run a fridge.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Ben
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Postby Troyk » Sun May 13, 2007 2:42 pm

This might be worth looking at, a recent article on Exploroz.

http://www.exploroz.com/Vehicle/Electrics/BatteryCharging.aspx
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Postby Komodo@home » Sun May 13, 2007 7:15 pm

Ben how soon you looking to do the setup?

second of all are you a diy type?
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Battery Pack

Postby paps » Sun May 20, 2007 1:49 pm

Hi,

Sooner than later if possible. I am a DIY type but when it comes to electrical stuff I am technically impaired. :-)

The dual battery systems look good and I have been quoted $900 to fit a dual battery system to the trailer with 4 12v outlets built into the trailer at different location. This also includes charging off the car when driving.

I was wondering if I am better off buying one of the portable packs like the "Blue Apple Thumper" packs that people talk about.

BLUE APPLE Thumper 60AH Inverter Pack
This model will allow the user to operate 240V appliances up to and including 600Watt via 1 x 240Volt outlet
Appliances include laptop computers, TV’s, VCR’s electric drills, angle grinders etc
1500 Cranking Amps
Bolt on jumper leads
2 cigarette lighter outlets on the top of the unit.
These sell for about $800

Any thoughts? What did you have in mind Komodo?

Cheers
Ben
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Postby Hissy » Mon May 21, 2007 12:46 pm

Ben,

What do you want to run on 240 volts?

What is the total amp, battery capacity that you have been quoted for $900.

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Battery

Postby paps » Mon May 21, 2007 12:54 pm

the 240v would be more for convenience. Things like charging a PDA and GPS (dont have car kits) and possible recharging a laptop battery.

The Blue Apple thumper is 1200 amps
if that helps.

Cheers
Ben
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Postby Hissy » Mon May 21, 2007 2:14 pm

I found this info on there web site.

Heres the rub. The battery capacity is ONLY 48 amps.

I run a 40 litre fridge and LED lighting for our camp. On average we might draw 40 amps per day.
I have 240 amps capacity thru several batteries.

This means running the batteries down to no less then 50% capacity i should get three days before they need to be recharged.

Batterys i use are Trojan 130amp and cost around $280 - 300 each.
Bits and pieces for wiring etc, etc for $900 you would get a LOT more for your bucks if you do it yourself.

Anyways have a look around.


Product name
Thumper
Dimensions
L320 x H175 x W245mm

Weight
18.5 kg

Capacity
48 Ahr

Power
1200 cranking amps

Voltage
Heavy duty industrial grade 12 volt remote power

Warranty
1 year

Other
2 cigarette lighter plus 2 'Hella' style outlets

Battery monitor LED's and test buttons

2 pin screw connection charging socket

Corner reinforcement
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Thanks

Postby paps » Mon May 21, 2007 2:26 pm

Thanks for that. Derek from Sidewinder has been really helpful with this stuff and provided good diagrams etc. I am just catious about DIY. The trailer seems easier enough but wiring from the car seems a little harder.

Is it pretty straight fwd? Do you need any special tools or anything?

Thanks again
Ben
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Postby Komodo » Mon May 21, 2007 2:48 pm

Blue apple is 1200 CCA (cold cranking amps) or the amount of power it can produce for a very limited period of time (seconds)

What you want is a C20 or C10 RC (reserve charge) rating. Which on the blue apple is 60AH

What hissy was asking for is the total RC in AH (amp hours) that the person who quoted you $900 to have fitted. Im going to take a punt and guess it will be between 90 and 110Ah

$900 is a reasonable price but it can be done cheaper if you want to DIY
That said sometimes a fat tonne is easier to come by than the time to do these things yourself.

To DIY you will be looking at atleast 10 hours by the time you get under the car terminate power cables scratch your a$$ and stroke your chin secure and cable tie everything and get power finally into the trailer.
Thats before you start adding cig plugs etc. and securing all the cables and heat shrinking them etc.

So lets see the auto elecs bill would probably look like this

100Ah battery - $270
Battery isolator system - $120
Anderson Plugs x 2- $25
Cig or Hella plugs at $7ea - $28
12 meters of 8 B/S cable @ $7p/m - $84
5 hours labour @ $75 p/h - $375

Suddenly that $900 isnt looking so bad

Dont get me wrong im all for DIY - I've gone DIY myself. BUT I do have a fairly strong background in electronics and electricals - particularly automotive electricals (10 years of playing with high end car audio - 2 years of judging install and installers competence and DC electrical knowledge allong with Tafe certificates and mobile electronics and entertainment system industry recognition).

My advice is shop around make a decision as to what type of isolator you want.
Smart mechanical, dumb mechanical, or pure electronic.

Then start talking to auto elecs about EXACTLY what you want. Not meaning to sh!t can auto elecs but theres a lot of auto elecs out there who will just do what they think you need without actually asking you what you want and giving suggestions. (That said there are some flipping brilliant auto elecs out there!).

Make sure the Auto Elec uses 8 B/S minimum size cable (remember the lower the B&S number the thicker it is my prefferance is for 6ga or 6B/S cable). Make sure the auto elec is going to heat shrink the terminals at all connection ends (heat shrink is a tube that goes over the connection then you heat it up and it shrinks around it to make it insulated) including any connections to relays and circuit breakers and make sure he keeps a cover over the positive terminal of the battery.



As for 240V power - try to avoid it. As soon as you convert to 240V you loose efficiency.

For example a 100watt 240V globe powered off a 12-240 volt inverter requires rougly 16 amps.
a 100watt globe from 12V requires roughly 8.5 amps
This is because when you convert to 240V you get an efficiency of roughly 50-80% depending on the quality and type of inverter used (pure or modified sine wave)

most GPS, Laptops, cameras etc have a 12V charging option available even if yoiu have to buy them it will generally work out cheaper and more reliable than using a 12-240V inverter

Oh and I'd like to see the size of the drills and angle grinders they are using off a 600watt modified sine wave invertor - most electric tools like that use inexcess of 1200watts whilst running not to mention they are induction motors and require upto 3000watts on start up
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Postby Hissy » Mon May 21, 2007 2:53 pm

Wiring is dead set easy.

I have used 4 guage red and black from the starter motor.
This cable is about the diameter of a pen.
Make sure you fit a fuse or cct breaker.

Then mounted 50 amp anderson plug to towbar. This then connects thru anderson plug to battery on trailer via another fuse.

Most of my parts i sourced thru Jaycar or similar.

If you cannot solder or crimp the connections then maybe do all the wiring and then drop into a auto electrician and have them finish it off.

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Postby Komodo » Mon May 21, 2007 2:59 pm

Screw driver, pair of plier, shifter, and wire crimper and some cable ties is all thats required for the car - if you require more than that your doing it wrong.

For the trailer it will depend on what your putting where but the tools above plus a drill should be all you should need.

(you may need a gas soldering iron / blow torch for doing the anderson plugs unless you have access to a ver good pair of cable crimpers)
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Battery

Postby paps » Mon May 21, 2007 3:01 pm

Cheers...thanks to all for all the info. I have ruled out the DIY option for two reasons that you pointed out. 1. TIME! and 2. @ss scratching. There would be a lot of it and I dont have worms.

I am going to go with the following:
1 x 100 a/h AGM Battery
1 x Smart Charger
1 x Smart Solenoid
6 B/S cable
1 x Battery Monitor

I think thats about it....plus connectors etc etc.

Thanks again.
Ben
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Postby Komodo » Mon May 21, 2007 3:02 pm

Hissy its better to earth to your car chassis and upgrade the block to chassis and battery negitive to chassis for your earth/negitive. Theres less resistance this way and it also helps your charging system. (especially if you have driving lights or anything like that ;))
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Postby Komodo » Mon May 21, 2007 3:08 pm

Paps where you located?
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Battery Pack

Postby paps » Mon May 21, 2007 3:13 pm

Northlakes/Mango Hill. approx 25km north of Brisbane
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