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  • Portable dual battery pack

    Hi guys after some advice bit out of my depth,if I’m using a portable battery pack just for camping,can I plug the battery pack into the 12v socket in the boot ,to keep it topped up,it has a voltage control for solar on it ,but was concerned,because I’m lead to believe the m4 has a smart alternator,does it matter ,or will it be ok ?

  • #2
    And are the portable units any good

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    • #3
      It's got a solar regulator but not a dc-dc charger? That sounds like an odd choice of design. If it has a dc voltage regulator that can raise or lower voltage you should have no trouble. But that's theory not experience.
      =-( Sadly bought back: 99 NL Shortie. In a-peeling blue
      =-) Happily replaced by: 98 NL LWB Diesel

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      • #4
        In my opinion, it will be an exercise in futility.

        The rear socket has a comparatively long run of ridiculously small cable - as soon as your aux battery attempts to draw any charging current, the voltage drop in the cable will effectively limit the rate at which the battery will charge. This, along with the variable output from the alternator, will result in painfully slow charging. Given enough time, the battery should receive close to a full charge - but I expect it will take days, not hours.

        If you only want something for an overnight trip i.e. drain it over one night, then head for home again, it might work OK. But if this is all you need, charge the battery at home.

        If you want to do trips that last for multiple days / nights, install a proper dual battery system. You can still use an aux battery in a box, and take it out of your vehicle when you don't need it, but install a dedicated charging circuit with decent cables.
        NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 ST Maxx, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

        Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

        Scorpro Explorer Box

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        • #5
          Can you give us some more info on your portable pack, photo/model? What's it's intended use - some camp LED lights, fridge etc?

          You can get a fancy battery box (battery not included) such as https://www.snowys.com.au/smart-battery-box however as NJ mentioned, you'd still need an appropriately sized 12v cable run to the rear of the vehicle.

          2013 NW GLX. 268,000km | ARB Deluxe Bar | Boo's bashplates | 4x4 Tough (Aldi) Winch | Underbonnet dual battery & db140i isolator | D697 265/70r17 | Rhino tracks & vortex bars | DIY rear drawers | Waeco CF40 | 60L water bladder | 2.5m awning | Vlad TC mod | UH8060.
          --SOLD--1995 NJ GLS 3.5L Manual. 348,000km 2" Toughdog/EFS suspension, 265/75r16 Toyo Open Country A/T II

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          • #6
            Used a Thumper pack for years. No issues, but did have isolator when ignition off, so Engel didn't flatten both batteries.

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            • #7
              Hi this is what I was looking at only ,want it to run a fridge for 24 hrs, and maybe some led lights , was hoping the ear 12v socket would just keep it going a day ,thanks

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              • #8
                Should add that I did run heavier cable to charging plug.

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                • #9
                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    It will have a 125 ah deep cycle battery in it

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                    • #11
                      The battery itself will run your fridge and some led lights easily for an overnight trip. Not sure if I missed it in the details above but does your battery box have an isolator built in or have you added one up near the starter battery to stop it being flattened by the deep cycle battery ? I had a thumper for many years (one of the original ones - a great setup). I now run a setup in the rear of my NX with a projecta dc-dc charger wired in to assist with the charging and stops drawing from the main battery when the volts get to low. You could add a basic solar panel setup, such as a blanket type to help top up the battery during the day - if its only an overnight trip weekend camp then the cheaper ones are okay, obviously better quality costs more - really depends on your requirements.

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                      • #12
                        Should also add the Thumper Portable Battery pack which are made at Home of 12v Mt Barker S. A. was used numerous times to jump start fellow grey nomads or family members and friends.
                        yes it's heavy, but it's cranking power I found more reliable in starting 3 litre or bigger diesels than little lithium jump start packs. Also came with jump starter cable and isolator.
                        If we stayed in a free camp for a few days a solar panel/blanket with inbuilt regulator kept charge up for Engel and lights. Or if cloudy we allowed 4wd to idle for a bit and charge it.
                        So we disposed of generator, but must admit on hot humid days one would be handy for van's AC. But rechargeable fans got us through.

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                        • #13
                          Would I need an isolated if the thing only plugged into the rear 12v socket,as only works when the engine is running,so shouldn’t drain starter battery or am I wrong ? Thanks

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                          • #14
                            The rear 12V socket is only live when the ignition is on in my NX, so no you wouldn't need an isolator. It would no charge very efficiently from the rear 12V socket though as its only a very light cable and small amps. It is really not that difficult to get a wiring kit to run from the battery to the rear of the pajero with proper cables, I got a good kit from kickass, but plenty of others sell then for not a big cost. If you are only doing an overnight trip with your 125 AH battery running a fridge and a few led lights then just using the 12V socket will help a little while the car is running. You may be better off getting a solar panel blanket which you can carry folded up easily and will charge your battery during the day whilst you are parked. If you are only doing an occasional camp then there are plenty of cheaper options for solar blankets that will do the job for you.

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                            • #15
                              A portable power box with a quality AGM battery is going to weigh 40kgs. Thats ridiculously heavy to lug around. I went lithium and my portable power box with MPPT solar reg, anderson plugs, cig plugs, digital gauge and a 100Ah Renogy lithium weighs about 14 kg. Easily moveable and I have about 85 amps of useable power...More than enough for a weekend running a fridge and a few led lights. Small solar panel can be used if you want. I use 2 x 200watt panels on the camper. The whole setup (not including panels)was under $1000Aus.... Lightweight, quick charging, easily handled and long lasting. Wouldn't consider AGM , if for nothing else than the back breaking weight of the good ones!
                              Dicko. FNQ

                              2014 NW with all the usual stuff plus more.
                              If you take life too seriously you will never get out alive....



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