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  1. #1
    Moderator KK20's Avatar
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    Default USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    I would appreciate input from members with experience with auxillary battery packs that add to your existing batteries but used independently and also maybe used off the vehicle.
    I would like to learn experiences and suggestions,
    Brands of the boxes and batteries.
    also adding solar panels to charge it.

    Thank you.

    Regards
    KK
    https://www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za/p...lters|sort_a-z
    Last edited by KK20; 13-07-2020 at 21:28.
    live out your imagination , not your history.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    Had one of the National Luna battery boxes in a Pajero we used to use for touring Botswana etc. Had two 105a/h deep cycle batteries connected, and it worked well enough to power work lights and our 40L vehicle fridge / freezer. Problem is when you get home and forget to charge the batteries. Those deep cycle batteries are more sensitive than treeman and talk of 6.5CM's. The ideal solution is to add a CTEK charger that allows solar input as well, but you're looking at a lot of money for the whole setup.

  3. #3
    Moderator KK20's Avatar
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    Was it reliable, safe, useful for the intended purpose?
    live out your imagination , not your history.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by KK20 View Post
    Was it reliable, safe, useful for the intended purpose?
    Yes and no... Let me explain. A lot of camping sites we visited in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland etc had 220v plugs, so you could run the fridge / freezer like that when stationary for a long time. The more remote places like Mabuasehube you needed solar input to keep the batteries charged as you weren't driving a lot. Driving for us that was the only way to charge the setup. I sold the vehicle with the setup, and my next vehicle will have a slightly different design.

    What exactly do you want to achieve KK20?

  5. #5
    Moderator KK20's Avatar
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    May I take this over to you via pm?
    live out your imagination , not your history.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    Sure, I sent you my number and details as well.

  7. #7
    Member Andrew Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    I have had both the National Luna dual solenoid with battery under the bonnet as well as the National Luna battery box in the boot.

    I have had the dual solenoid under the bonnet of three Fortuna's and it has worked flawlessly for 7 odd years until I gave it away recently. The new Fortuner at the time did not have a battery bracket that would take a 105Ah battery so I bought the Nat Luna battery box which also works flawlessly.

    I have not found the need for a second, secondary battery, as 105Ah is sufficient for me, I am always no more than a day away from an alternate charging source. To state the obviously you turn you fridge to just as cold as it needs to be. You don't open your fridge and aimless gaze inside wondering what it was you were looking for. Lights go on only when required, these disciplines and others are the backbone of energy saving. I still cannot understand the black fridge covers which attract heat.

    I really would not suggest a separate battery box, they take up loading space, it is seldom that you need to remove them as a alternate battery source and they just get in the way. Mount the dual solenoid under the bonnet and put in the largest battery that will fit. Carefully consider where your fridge is always located and bring a Brad Harris plug to there and one to the tow bar so that you don't need you boot open to power stuff. A decent PV panel or two, I think you will need a solar controller and your are waxed. Do some research on the efficiency of solar controllers as there are definite differences, I don't use panels so am unable to advise. The same is true for PV panels, you want the most efficient ones possible but as with all things, generally the best costs the most.

    I have run a 72l fridge in my boot as well as a 180l fridge in my caravan while on the move. We stop where we want and both stay running, we are seldom stationary for more than two hours.
    One too many wasted sunsets and one too many for the road .........

  8. #8

    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    We have a DC-DC charger (brand: National Luna) that accepts Solar PV as well as alternator inputs and a removable NL battery box, like the one that Andrew refers to above.

    I personally prefer the removable battery box as I dont think that frequent cycling of a deep cycle battery (like the ones typically installed as a second battery under the bonnet) does it any good. That said, my current battery is only 2 years old....and we will still see how long I can keep it alive. I do use a CTek charger on it once a month to keep it topped up, and it stands in a prominant place in my garage, so I try to keep an eye on it by switching on the isolator and checking the voltage on the battery box mounted voltameter about once a week (which is another useful feature of the box, IMO).

    My previous battery was second hand (from a friend's DIY UPS system from 2009) and when I received it, it only measured 5.8V across the terminals...I dont know how long it had been in that state.....but it seemed to revive OK on the CTeck charger and lasted another 3 years. It was connected via a very simple isolating solenoid during trips.....this system worked fine, and was dead simple.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    You can always try build your own if you are interested. It is not that integrate. Will work you out much cheaper. And you will end up knowing your own system in and out. (It is handy if something goes wrong in the Bundu's)

    Can direct you where to do some reading but it is really is not brain surgery. But yeah I know a lot of people would just rather pay someone else to do it, that is also fine.... (I found 12v systems interesting)

  10. #10
    Moderator KK20's Avatar
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    Default Re: USER FEEDBACK : on aux battery boxes with deep cycle batteries

    Depending on the company and how we manage with our timing and each others nerves I want to drive to Kenya.
    ( Yes when this covid thing is replace by the next money spinner).
    I am planning and prepping the vehicle and equipment.
    The idea of having a system that can be hooked up or not running separately from the vehicle's system is appealing to me. In the past I had vehicles so modern that when the foetal heart monitor malfunctioned, we were stuck and end of road trip. I now have a vehicle that is a dream and I do not want to Fk it up with accessories that would mess with the vehicles reliability which is 100 as is. The aux battery boxes I looked at seem to offer what we require for our everyday equipment essential and optional. The system to charge via base camp supply or solar is also affordable and appear functional and practical.
    I will prep the vehicle to be as much self contained as possible ie sleeping in and on it. Every few day camping we will stay at a BnB as a treat. My vehicle comes with two massive batteries as standard and I have seen my friends add a third in the engine bay. The aux battery box I looked at seem more versatile, and less complicated a set up. Beyond this I have no knowledge and thank you for the input so far.

    Another idea I have is to have an ice maker and cooler boxes rather than a fridge. Less space and recycle the water.

    Thank you for all the advice so far. Please add share other related tips and tricks and cheats.
    live out your imagination , not your history.

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