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What AUX Battery do you use

What AUX Battery do you use

  • Lead Crystal

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Lead Acid

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • AGM

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • GEL

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • other

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Lead Carbon

    Votes: 1 7.1%

  • Total voters
    14

Arnold Ross

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
689
Likes
60
Location
South Africa, East London
#3
Hi Guys

This is quite the coincidence! I have literally just finished my battery box project yesterday!

I was looking for something to keep me out of mischief, and as I bought a Paj Sport recently, I decided to build a battery box for it. I wanted it to be portable (no space in the Paj's engine bay) and I've looked around quite a lot to see what is the general thinking on what it should look like and what it should contain.

I did some studying on the battery front and decided to go for the AGM route. It seems that the AGM batteries can take some abuse with regards to heat and cycles, charges faster than a normal lead acid batteries, but might be finicky with regards to charging properly. So it was important for me to get a charger system that will maximise the use of a battery. Thanks Chris for your input in this process!

As I use a solar panel when touring (260w), I wanted something that could do DC to DC and be a MPPT regulator for a solar panel. After some trawling around the 4x4 websites, I decided to use a South African build (and MUCH cheaper) model from WRND (20 amp DC to DC Charger with solar MPPT). I've seen good reviews from the version 2 and ordered it for my project. I also wanted a volt/amp meter and 2Hella plugs as well as normal as 2 normal cigarette lighter sockets in the box. So with this in mind, I started shopping around. I got most of the equipment from 4x4direct and some of it from my local Outdoor warehouse and Midas (battery box - R132.00 after some discount negotiation).

After I had all the spares for the project, I started looking at option on where what should go. I think I ended up at version 5, and even then I had to make one more modification after I picked up that my electrical knowledge is VERY limited! More about that later.

So, after getting all the spares together, I started my build on Wednesday evening (17/10/2018) and it basically took me all evening to do the actual work. I had to cut holes, mount various things and try and make sure that it does not look too shabby. Going to sleep at just before 01:00 the next morning, I had to get a negative terminal for the battery which I quickly got yesterday morning. Everything seemed to work fine, except I could not get my intelligent charger (Benton) to charge the battery through the BH plug (also known as Anderson Plug) that is supposed to feed from the car's battery and alternator when inside the car. So I had to add one more BH plug to the box that directly feeds to the battery and not go through all the other stuff (ja ja - I'm not an electrician!) in order for the charger to work. But it works now.

In trying to keep this whole setup as simple as possible, I've decided to use a buzz bar (I got the idea from someone posting on the 4x4direct website) to keep the wiring to a minimum.

The good news is that everything seems to be working fine. The amp meter shows that my little National Luna weekender is using about 1.5 amp and my big compressor is using about 10 amps. This seems good to me, as I have NO clue what it should be. But, I would really like to get some feedback from this group on what I've done wrong in the whole process. I want to make sure that everything is working fine before going on my next trip. It would be semi disastrous if this box fails when touring!

So what do you guys think?
 

Attachments

Riaan Harman

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
1,874
Likes
131
Location
Zeerust; Noord Wes
#4
This is what I use - it's well priced (1350) and will last long enough if looked after.

Can be replaced more often than the more expensive options,
Can be used as a starting battery if the need arises. - My2c
 

Attachments

Gerhard van Rooyen

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
636
Likes
82
Age
34
Location
Empangeni/Durban
#5
Hi Guys

This is quite the coincidence! I have literally just finished my battery box project yesterday!

I was looking for something to keep me out of mischief, and as I bought a Paj Sport recently, I decided to build a battery box for it. I wanted it to be portable (no space in the Paj's engine bay) and I've looked around quite a lot to see what is the general thinking on what it should look like and what it should contain.

I did some studying on the battery front and decided to go for the AGM route. It seems that the AGM batteries can take some abuse with regards to heat and cycles, charges faster than a normal lead acid batteries, but might be finicky with regards to charging properly. So it was important for me to get a charger system that will maximise the use of a battery. Thanks Chris for your input in this process!

As I use a solar panel when touring (260w), I wanted something that could do DC to DC and be a MPPT regulator for a solar panel. After some trawling around the 4x4 websites, I decided to use a South African build (and MUCH cheaper) model from WRND (20 amp DC to DC Charger with solar MPPT). I've seen good reviews from the version 2 and ordered it for my project. I also wanted a volt/amp meter and 2Hella plugs as well as normal as 2 normal cigarette lighter sockets in the box. So with this in mind, I started shopping around. I got most of the equipment from 4x4direct and some of it from my local Outdoor warehouse and Midas (battery box - R132.00 after some discount negotiation).

After I had all the spares for the project, I started looking at option on where what should go. I think I ended up at version 5, and even then I had to make one more modification after I picked up that my electrical knowledge is VERY limited! More about that later.

So, after getting all the spares together, I started my build on Wednesday evening (17/10/2018) and it basically took me all evening to do the actual work. I had to cut holes, mount various things and try and make sure that it does not look too shabby. Going to sleep at just before 01:00 the next morning, I had to get a negative terminal for the battery which I quickly got yesterday morning. Everything seemed to work fine, except I could not get my intelligent charger (Benton) to charge the battery through the BH plug (also known as Anderson Plug) that is supposed to feed from the car's battery and alternator when inside the car. So I had to add one more BH plug to the box that directly feeds to the battery and not go through all the other stuff (ja ja - I'm not an electrician!) in order for the charger to work. But it works now.

In trying to keep this whole setup as simple as possible, I've decided to use a buzz bar (I got the idea from someone posting on the 4x4direct website) to keep the wiring to a minimum.

The good news is that everything seems to be working fine. The amp meter shows that my little National Luna weekender is using about 1.5 amp and my big compressor is using about 10 amps. This seems good to me, as I have NO clue what it should be. But, I would really like to get some feedback from this group on what I've done wrong in the whole process. I want to make sure that everything is working fine before going on my next trip. It would be semi disastrous if this box fails when touring!

So what do you guys think?
Arnold, from a novice - I think you have done well, all looks very neat and there are a lot of connection options. I especially like the ammeter, helps to see instantly what the use situation is.
What is the cost for the whole box if you don't mind?
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
3,545
Likes
159
Age
56
Location
Pretoria
#6
Nice job Arnold.

@ Chris, I do like the Discoverer but at comes at a premium and I'm not sure if the outlay is worth it yet. That's why I started this thread. How long have you had yours and do you feel it is a good as new?
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
52
Likes
14
Location
Melbourne Australia
#7
I have recently added a 130AH AGM battery to my 2017 G300 Professional and found that an Australian produced Projecta Power Hub was a great fit between the rear seats. This has a variety of inlets and outlets including a 300W pure sine wave inverter and dedicated fridge socket. I added a Projecta DC to DC converter to complete the package. Works well and has been very efficient with my 65L Dometic fridge.

John
IMAG0905.jpg Power Hub Front.jpg Power Hub Rear.jpg Projecta Charger.jpg
 

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
1,392
Likes
88
Location
Centurion
#9
Nice job Arnold.

@ Chris, I do like the Discoverer but at comes at a premium and I'm not sure if the outlay is worth it yet. That's why I started this thread. How long have you had yours and do you feel it is a good as new?
I have the Discover EV27 now for 5 years and does not show clinically any signs of detoriation. On the other hand I have 2 Silver Calcium batteries ( as Riaan showed) in my caravan for this same period and they also still going strong.

I discussed batteries with a few electonic “spesialist”. It seems to me for offroad purposes a AGM deep cycle battery is the way to go. What about the Omnipower AGM deep cycle battery? I think price is not to bad? No experience with them.

http://www.sinetech.co.za/battery.html#omnipower
 

NJVermaak

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Nov 13, 2014
Messages
475
Likes
95
Location
Witbank
#10
I have to go with Chris (thanks for the recommendation) on the Discoverer. I have three of these and I'm very happy with them.

105a/h in my white car - 3 years old - still going strong.
105a/h in my Bush Lapa - 4 years old - still going strong.
75a/h in my G - I bought it 2nd hand, not sure of the age, still going strong.

I previously had a 75a/h Yellow Top battery ( http://www.bushpower.co.za/product/optima-yellowtop-75ah-deep-cycle-battery/ ), it gave me good service but didn't last as long as the Discoverers.

I've read somewhere on the 4x4 Community Forum that the Lead Crystals don't like the bumping and shaking around when used off road, they end up not lasting long.
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
3,545
Likes
159
Age
56
Location
Pretoria
#11
OK, I bit the bullet today and have decided to try out a new technology.
Lead Carbon Battery from Ritar. It is 100Ah and had a very impressive spec sheet, which I am attaching.
If discharged to 80%DOD it still has on average 2000 charge cycles which is a long time.

Another battery to possibly try out is the Deepcycle AGM from Ritar, I also attach the spec sheet.


Comments and opinions are welcome. Personal experiences are even more welcome.
 

Attachments

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
1,392
Likes
88
Location
Centurion
#12
I do not have the knowledge to say anything about those spec sheets. The problem with spec sheets are that it say nothing about the application of a battery. For example, if you look at spec sheets for a new Range Rover and a ‘84 230GE - we know the 230GE will be the champ on a Kaokoland trip. We must look with the same eyes to the rest of our overlanding equipment. My 2 cents......
 

Pete460332

Staff member
G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
2,783
Likes
99
Location
Cape Town
#14
The RA-12 -100D based on 80% discharge cycles it can do 450 -500 cycles. They are basing the "usable lifetime" of the battery when it can only discharge 60% of rated capacity , which is a bit misleading as the industry norm is 80%. Figures are pretty std for a "professional" UPS type battery. The DC-12 100C has a very impressive 1600 - 2500 cycle life at the terminal 60 % capacity limit - quite impressive. How much more expensive is the carbon battery compared to the other
 

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Last edited:

Antony

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
830
Likes
71
Location
Johannesburg
#16
So. Not too different fro the lead crystal batteries in price. Would be interesting to see how well it lasts.

This week I replaced the battery in my wife’s A Class. R2700 from the MB, her original battery has lasted 11 years of short trips with multiple starts every day. I was happy to buy from Merc again.
 

Antony

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
830
Likes
71
Location
Johannesburg
#18
Ah, thanks Peter, I have one. I thought it was a form of AGM technology. So far so good though, it’s about five years old, gets hammered when we camp and is still going strong. 105ah is good for a long weekend without driving using my Engel40, a water pump for showers and tap use and a few LEDs.
 

Antony

G-Wagen Club SA
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
830
Likes
71
Location
Johannesburg
#20
Hi Sed,

It works well. Keeps an Engel running on 5 (max cold) for more than a day. I think it’s designed to work perfectly with their solar panels and be continuously recharged.

Where it shines is that it has a built in pure sine wave inverter so running a laptop is very doable and of course it’s a fraction of the weight of my 120a/h AGM battery.

Is it worth the R7 to 8k? Well, you don’t need a separate MPPT charger (built in) you don’t need a separate battery and you score an inverter so I’d say yes.

It only has 44a/h capacity but I have been assured that all of that is useable down to zero so capacity wise it could be compared to a 95a/h deep cycle battery. For me, I want to hook it up to solar when we go camping in December and see that I can have ice for a week.


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