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Dual battery options

Antony

G-Wagen Club SA
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#1
Hi all,


I am looking to buy a deep cycle battery and set it up to run my Engel freezer. There is a lot of information out there on the different options but I thought I'd ask the forum for more specific G advice.

What sort of dual battery set ups do you have and what are your thoughts if you had to do it again? I am also looking at the portable battery boxes from PBE as an option.

Regards

Antony
 

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
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#3
Antony, I think it depents on your needs- 12amp or 30amp or more setup (as seen by a layman).

Currently I have a trailer for powerbox and solar setup at PBE. Gwagen to follow later.(30amp setup)
 

Antony

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#4
I looked at the ctek dual battery charger, it looks like it takes care of a whole lot of issues in a neat package.

Chris, I wouldn't know which amperage. I suppose the higher it is the more I can run but I don't expect to run more than a fridge and maybe some led camp lights. Is it better to go with a 30amp straight away than later on find I need to upgrade?
 

Alan

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#6
Anthony, I have a batterybox from HcdP which includes the following:
150W inverter
AC three stage charger
Solar input for 90W solar panel
DC-DC charger (runs of your cigarette lighter (5A)) Not the best but if you are not standing too long or have a solar panel it does not matter.

Hella output
Cigarette lighter output
Brad harrison output

I do not intend installing a permanent dual battery system in my G again.

I am awaiting also a DC-DC 30 Charger again with solar regulator built in (360W) and it also features a Load disconnect when you are driving allowing the battery to charge on its own. This unit will give the battery a boost if I was standing for a while and the battery needs to charge quicker than with the 5A.

Prices are way better than Ctek.

You can google them

or see hcdpelectronics.co.za
 

yster

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KEMPTON PARK
#7
I have fitted a C-tec Dc Charger with an extra charging monitor to ensure maximum peace of mind travelling in remote areas.

Also fitted a Blue top Gel battery (for Engel fridge usage) in the console between the two front seats - it fits perfectly!

Apart from that I have also fitted a Benton BX2 intelligent charger which is use at an electric power point to allow charging of the vehicle battery.
When the vehicle battery reach 12.5 volt it kicks into the C-tec charger system and automatically charge the dual battery.

The system works 100% and most of all peace of mind!
 

Chris B

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#8
Anthony, I have a batterybox from HcdP which includes the following:
150W inverter
AC three stage charger
Solar input for 90W solar panel
DC-DC charger (runs of your cigarette lighter (5A)) Not the best but if you are not standing too long or have a solar panel it does not matter.

Hella output
Cigarette lighter output
Brad harrison output

I do not intend installing a permanent dual battery system in my G again.

I am awaiting also a DC-DC 30 Charger again with solar regulator built in (360W) and it also features a Load disconnect when you are driving allowing the battery to charge on its own. This unit will give the battery a boost if I was standing for a while and the battery needs to charge quicker than with the 5A.

Prices are way better than Ctek.

You can google them

or see hcdpelectronics.co.za
The latest from hcdp is the MK3c pannel, good value but 12amp setup and will be ok for caravaanpark hopping.
 

Andrew

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#9
I run a fused 2.5mm wire from the positive of the existing battery through a manual isolator to the positive of the spare battery, and into the Engel.

I stop and manually isolate the two batteries from each other.
 
Joined
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#10
I run a 4mm fused cable directly from the main battery to the load area. Here I can connect my aux battery via an intelligent selonoid to the cars system using a anderson plug. The selonoid, battery monitor and aux battery are installed in a removable box. The G is the 4th car in which I'm using this setup and it has always worked for me. (40l weaco fridge. And the occasional camp light...)

You must consider what you want to use the aux battery for and purchase accordingly. Deepcycle batteries tend to take a long time to charge....

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
 

Chris B

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#11
I run a fused 2.5mm wire from the positive of the existing battery through a manual isolator to the positive of the spare battery, and into the Engel.

I stop and manually isolate the two batteries from each other.
How do you get the wire from the enjin bay to inside the vehicle?

I am afraid if you ask somebody to do this wirering they will bore holes which I do not want.
 
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#12
I route the cable through one of the existing grommets in the firewall.

The cable then runs all along the floor (under the carpet, and sill protectors) behind the interior trim until the rear load area. There I've installed a 50A Anderson plug.

Using this setup, you can uprate your Alternator, or fit a DC-DC charger in the engine bay...

Most modern vehicles come standard with lighter plugs fitted in the load area, but the wire is too thin to deliver any real power and you get a voltage drop because of this.

In my previous Pajero (and the wife's current Pathfinder) the fridge would cut out because of this "low voltage" , the standard setup is also not sufficient to charge any battery in the back, and could even pose a fire hazard because of possible heat generated by the thin wire carrying the load.
 

Andrew

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#13
I have run one through an existing grommet as Jurgen says. I also once took one to the trailer plug under the body. what I am careful with is that I have a 15a fuse right on the pos terminal for any short circuit trouble. The alternator is quite happy to charge a battery down a thinner wire as long as you do not try to draw a big current down the same wire. The isolator on the second battery prevents this while the fuse on the first battery will also if you forget. Engel fridges cannot draw that much current anyway even if you disconnect the second battery and leave it to draw from the first.

I will give you another example. The other night I helped a man with a Small Renault whose battery was flat and we had no jumpers. I made some jumpers out of some very light wire I had in my pickup, set the pickup to a fast idle, talked with the victim for 10 minutes and then DISCONNECTED the jumpers and he started his car.

I suppose many people might say "ja but....". For me the less complex the more reliable.
 

Andrew

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#14
BTW the tiniest of alternators will charge the biggest of batteries. It is the battery that supplies the devices.So If you draw from the batteries quicker than you put in then you may consider a bigger alternator. Like running 23 spotlights and a welder.

Another example. Solar panels charge at a tiny rate a big bank of batteries.Once full You can empty said batteries in 10 minutes by boiling water with them. The solar panels are not involved with the boiling but with the charging and if you want to continuously boil water you will need a huge array to put back into the batteries at the rate that you remove.
 

Theo Vermaak

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#15
The quest and discussion around battery systems is never ending. After listening to all the experts and gurus i did this installation in my Landcruiser - my G has no system as I prefer the Cruiser for long trips.

The system was simple to install. I might not be able to explain all the decissions and actions in detail but would like experienced members in this field of expertise to comment.

Main batteries.
These are two Hi cycle 105 ah mounted in the engine bay in paralel connection. This is meant to run the standard electrical circuit and starter, air compressor, front winch - basically stuff that is used while the motor is running.

Connection
From the main batteries i've run a thick battery cable to the rear of the bakkie with a plug to connect the optional rear winch that I take with me when I venture solo into unknown territory.

Charger
In the centre of the bakkie I tapped off a live wire from the thick main cable. This is about as thick as a pencil and is connected to a 30 amp DC-DC charger built by MCdP Electronics in Silverton.The charger is mounted between the rear seat box and the backdoor in the doublecab.

Secondary batteries
Two Optima Yellow top deep cycle 75ah batteries which is installed under the rear seat in paralel.

Power use.
Power from the optimas conected to the inside of the canopy and i run 2x Engel 40 fridges - one as a freezer and one as a cooler.
Illumination in the canopy is by 3 sets of led's. Inside the cab I run another small fridge which is a 15 litre Engel for snacks and drinks on the way. Power points also for gps, chargers etc.

Overheating
The MCdP charger has a temparature monitor for the Optimas to prevent hot batteries. The charger has fans built in to cool down the unit and will cut out when to warm.

Protection
All lines are fitted with fuses.

Solar
The charger also has a feature to connect Solar panels which will substitute the alternator should you decide not to drive for more than 2 or 3 days. I have a 80 watt solar panel fitted permanently on the roof.

Verdict.
Used for more than a year now and perfect!

Cost
The Optimas do not come cheap but i was convinced that its the way to go. The DC-DC charger are very well priced compared to the imported ones with more protection features and great service and sound advice from the manufacturers.

(I have not seen a cheap sollution for cold beer and fresh meat !)
 
Joined
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#16
Now that sounds like a proper system....:thumbup:
Do you have the contact details for Mcdp?

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
 
Last edited:

Pete460332

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
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Cape Town
#17
The quest and discussion around battery systems is never ending. After listening to all the experts and gurus i did this installation in my Landcruiser - my G has no system as I prefer the Cruiser for long trips.

The system was simple to install. I might not be able to explain all the decissions and actions in detail but would like experienced members in this field of expertise to comment.

Main batteries.
These are two Hi cycle 105 ah mounted in the engine bay in paralel connection. This is meant to run the standard electrical circuit and starter, air compressor, front winch - basically stuff that is used while the motor is running.

Connection
From the main batteries i've run a thick battery cable to the rear of the bakkie with a plug to connect the optional rear winch that I take with me when I venture solo into unknown territory.

Charger
In the centre of the bakkie I tapped off a live wire from the thick main cable. This is about as thick as a pencil and is connected to a 30 amp DC-DC charger built by MCdP Electronics in Silverton.The charger is mounted between the rear seat box and the backdoor in the doublecab.

Secondary batteries
Two Optima Yellow top deep cycle 75ah batteries which is installed under the rear seat in paralel.

Power use.
Power from the optimas conected to the inside of the canopy and i run 2x Engel 40 fridges - one as a freezer and one as a cooler.
Illumination in the canopy is by 3 sets of led's. Inside the cab I run another small fridge which is a 15 litre Engel for snacks and drinks on the way. Power points also for gps, chargers etc.

Overheating
The MCdP charger has a temparature monitor for the Optimas to prevent hot batteries. The charger has fans built in to cool down the unit and will cut out when to warm.

Protection
All lines are fitted with fuses.

Solar
The charger also has a feature to connect Solar panels which will substitute the alternator should you decide not to drive for more than 2 or 3 days. I have a 80 watt solar panel fitted permanently on the roof.

Verdict.
Used for more than a year now and perfect!

Cost
The Optimas do not come cheap but i was convinced that its the way to go. The DC-DC charger are very well priced compared to the imported ones with more protection features and great service and sound advice from the manufacturers.

(I have not seen a cheap sollution for cold beer and fresh meat !)
Nice system for long trips - with a normal G the additional weight of batteries etc added probably reduces the load capacity to around 550 kg ( from 650 )
 

Riaan Harman

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#18
How do you get the wire from the enjin bay to inside the vehicle?

I am afraid if you ask somebody to do this wirering they will bore holes which I do not want.
You can do it yourself Chris just look where the wires comes in from the engine bay under the steering or below the storage compartment passenger side - There should be grommets there.
 

Riaan Harman

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#19
With Andrew and Jurgen on this one. I am no expert :mrgreen:

I did mine this week finished last night :D

I connected a fused 6 mm wire from the main battery to a auxiliary in a box with an intelligent solenoid at the back so that I can remove it when necessary.

Anderson plugs were used and I made another separate connector plug which can either plug in the main battery point at the back or the auxiliary box depending on where I am going.

I also fitted a Brad Harrison and normal lighter plug on my extra connector plug for multiple usage.

The alternator charges the auxiliary battery after a while and all seems fine at this point. Bad thing is you can't stand for too long then the alternator needs to run again.

Cost - R963 - without battery.

Will test this coming week.

My2c
 

Antony

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#20
Wow Theo!


It sounds like Eskom should give you call to help out with electricity supply. Four batteries and three fridge/freezers.

I have one 40l Engel and a 40l medical cooler box, the engel is my freezer and the days meat is used in the cooler box as ice packs to keep the cold stuff cold. Our trips so far don't involve us staying anywhere for more than two nights but I have been in the wilderness for eight nights without resupply.

Everyone has put lots of careful thought into their systems, (being G owners, we're a pretty meticulous bunch) and there seem to be as many solutions as there are people.

I like the idea of the removable system that Alan talks about, my G is used generally as well as for trips so its useful to be able to take out the bits not needed at the time, a second battery will not ft in my engine bay so it will take up space somewhere inside the vehicle. The DC to DC charger also looks like a good idea.