View Full Version : BATTERY MUSTER - What kind of battery set-up do you run?

22-06-2007, 03:37 AM
Just thought it's be interesting to do a poll of everyone's battery set-ups and to find out who runs an orignal off-the-showroom-floor setup and what ideas are out there to upgrade (in the Pradopoint spirit of upgrading/improving our cars) :D

It'd also be interesting to know how long the existing batteries have been running for and whether the set-up has been problem-free or not.

For my part, I still have the stock standard set-up that has (thus far) lasted over 32,000KM's without a hitch -- having said that, it's probably going to leave me stranded tomorrow!! :shock:

I am keen to upgrade the stock standard battery with a beefier model - any recommendations in this regard??.

When I upgrade the suspension, I plan to go to a dual starter battery set-up.

22-06-2007, 05:20 AM
I have the TJM IBS dual battery system and tray. Original battery plus deep cycle sealed lead acid 730 CCA auxiliary battery.

IBS has a nice display & control box inside that shows each battery voltage (LED bar type display), charging voltage (LED bar type display) and controls to manually link batteries. Batteries are automatically linked shortly after starting engine and separated shortly after stopping engine (based on charging voltage).

No problems whatsoever so far - nearly 30 000 km and regular bush / dirt road work.

TJM - http://www.tjm.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=75
Piranha - http://www.piranhaoffroad.com.au/products/dualbattery/dualbatteryinfo_main.htm

I deal in the above systems if anybody is interested in a price :)

22-06-2007, 08:31 AM
In our prado we run two exide extreme n70 batteries via a redarc smartstart. I have replaced the starter battery tray with on that is more appropriate for the N70 sized battery. As an aux battery the n70 exide extremes are not as good as a quality deep cycle, so you can't run them down to flat; the main reason why we selected this type of battery is because they can accept a charge quickly, which a deep cycle can't. The other advantage is that I can start the prado from the aux battery if the primary fails. Living in the NT we run a 40l weaco fridge which does run very hard due to the high temperatures and the odd light, we get around 48 hours from the aux. If we are in a location longer than 24 hours we use a 100w solar panel this provides than enough the keep the aux batteries at 100% or use a ctek charger if power is available.

22-06-2007, 09:28 AM
I'm running three batteries. The original cranking battery, one deep cycle 120AH under the bonnet and a 130AH deep cycle in the back. The third battery is mounted in a battery box, and connects in parallel with the under bonnet aux battery via and anderson plug. I normally remove the third battery for day to day use. At the moment I'm using a Redarc isolator which I transplanted form thy previous vehicle. It is simple and robust but I think I'll probably change it for a Rotoronics System in order increase the recharge rate.

22-06-2007, 11:54 AM
I use 2 x Excide Extreme Batteries... Used to use 1 x Standard and 1 x Excide Extreme, but Redarc recommends both batteries to be the same...

11-10-2007, 02:50 PM
3 Exide Extreme N70's - 2 in the Prado and 1 in the camper trailer - running through a Redarc Smartstart Isolator.


11-10-2007, 03:26 PM
One original battery and one AGM with a Pirahana tray and fully automatic charging system.

So far so good :D

11-10-2007, 05:32 PM
One normal starter battery, another starter battery isolated by a redarc is my second battery and the anderson plug runs off it. I run 2 Deep River 90ah AGM's in the camper and they are hooked up to my solar panel as well as a Ctek 7000 charger which can charge the CT batteries from the anderson plug hooked to the second battery of the car. Works well.

04-11-2007, 06:20 AM
Since the standard place for the 2nd battery is used by the Webasto stand heater I ordered a Victron AGM Deep Cycle battery 100Ah and a National Luna Portable Powerpack. This set is being installed next month in the cargo bay. Being portable you can take it out and use it in the tent for example, very heavy though.... :shock:

01-12-2007, 10:51 PM
Using standard battery for starting, and deep cycle as the second battery. Since vehicle is manual, I am not worried about a flat main, as I might be able to push start if desperate.

16-04-2008, 06:09 PM
Hi Guys, Iam wondering if anyone has come across National Luna Dual battery isolator Kit. Opposite Lock sell them for around $400. I think they are made in South Africa, How do you think they compare to the Redarc Isolators. Thanks Russ.http://www.nationalluna.com/battery_systems.htm

16-04-2008, 11:14 PM
I'm in the process of install my second battery tray atm. I will keep the std cranking battery and at this stage I am looking at a Deep River AGM deep cycle for the Aux Battery.

We have used the AGM at workwith differing sucesses, in the Troopie and the workshop 100series it was excellent, but we had 1 in each of our 100 ser link trucks but had 1 fail early. We have put it down to excessive heat as the guys in these vehicles are known to sit most of the day idling with the ac on, so you can imagine the heat buildup under the bonet.

The research I have done on them, I found that the recovery time is very quick, so they recharge quicker than normal deep cycle batteries, meaning they will be fully charge when others are only at 80% effectively giving you more capacity. They also have the ablity to deliver high currents, allowing you to start from them, something you shouldn't do with a normal deep cycle battery.

At this stage I'm leaning towards the Piranhna, as it will charge dissimilar batteries, has a solar input, and also supports a 3rd battery. The rotonics is in my opinion the best, but at this stage is too expensive. Their service is also exceptional, we have had one fail at work, it was repaired quickly, and at a good price, when we received it back, it had been fully reconditioned, looking brand new, and upgraded it to current spec.


jeff s
16-04-2008, 11:20 PM
Dont know about that rusty.

But i have the standard battery + another starting battery. using a Coles Hersee isolator/ combiner.
Either or both can be selected via the centre console mounted switch whilst on the move.
I went 2 starting batteries after hearing that starting off a deep cycle battery, or winching, does shorten the life of them.
They love a small load for a long time. If its a big load, like starting or a long winch, it can dislodge a heap of sulphur that builds up on the plates which can short out a cell. (i dont know how often this happens)
So with 2 starting batteries I drive and run fridge off one battery, switch it the next day when its had a good charge, then do the same with the other battery.
If one sounds slow in the morning, I switch, start, switch back to charge it.

If winching I combine the batteries.
All from the drivers seat.

When one battery is in use, the other one is completely isolated. no drain or charging, at all.

Works for me, is cheap, and cant malfunction. Only the nut behind the wheel can stuff it up.
2 1/2 years and going strong.

When the camper is on, there is a gelcell "thumper" pack that is charged whilst on the go as well. thats for lights, DVD, small electrical appliances, and the fridge if removed from the car for what ever reason. Has jumper leads that plug in via an Anderson plug if needed as well.

17-04-2008, 07:26 AM
Had my vehicle (and standard battery only) since new and have just done 55,000km.

Never skipped a beat. I've run my Waeco off it for a few hours here or there, or played the stereo for a while (Abba, Bee Gee's, nothing too draining) with no dramas....

My 60L Waeco is normally run off the Waeco Coolpower 36 portable battery unit but it worked so hard at last weeks Tuff Truck that I ended up having to rely on the standard starting battery for a few hours (with no dramas!).

Having said that a dual battery set up is on my wish list. But I cannot afford it right now. Have been considering a portable jumpstarter/powertank in the meantime.

17-04-2008, 11:48 AM
Hi Gang, Simmo, Abba, Beegees Oooooooo Ahhhhhhhh,
I am waiting on some bits, Redarc, wire etc.etc. am currently installing my battery tray (Offroad Downunder) but am making some small modifications to the mounting arrangements and wiring loom protection so will be a slow process.

Steve & Sandra
17-04-2008, 09:21 PM
still doing my homework on a dual battery system although i am surprised more people dont take use of the sun and fit a solar panel on the roof. I am still looking for a dual battery system that will allow for solar input and keep both batteries charged, although i am aware piranha have a controller with a solar input. I havent had the chance to go shopping yet. i am also looking at the dualmate system. Does anyone have any history of this setup?
I also like the arb dual battery tray which mounts the second battery up close to the firewall.

17-04-2008, 09:33 PM
Hi Steve & Sandra, regarding the solar input of the dual batt system, Our troopie at work is an on call vehicle and as such it can sit for a week or 2 without being started, and with all the communication gear in it, it was running the battery flat, So I bought a small 2.5 amp float charger (Battery fighter I think its called).

Anyway I connected it to the Starting battery, as starting the vehicle in a hurry was the priority. What I have noticed is that as the start batt charges the voltage obviously gets high enough that the battery controller connects the 2 batts together, therefore charging both.

With the higher charging currents of the solar cells, it should have no trouble doing the same, if you were to connect them to the start battery.

Just a thought that may give you a lot more options.


jeff s
19-04-2008, 12:27 AM
I'm not 100% sure how the solar panels charge. Obviously they put out a charge, but do they go through some sort of charging regulator first?

Batteries can get over charged.
Your vehicles alternator does not give out a constant charge until the battery is full. It gives the battery a zap, then checks to see if the battery is ready for another one or not. if it is it does it again. (all within micro seconds) through a regulator. Its not a smooth flow. When your battery is "full" the alternator does nothing more than top up the battery when ever load is drawing on the system etc. The battery will only draw what it needs. If its flat it will have a high draw and visa versa.

I imagine that solar panels give out a steady smooth flow regardless of draw. Is that correct????

24-04-2008, 12:37 PM
I run the standard cranking battery and for AUX a 95ah pulse AGM battery with Rotronics battery management system. I like the AGM as i have an old fridge with no low voltage cut out and a lot of my camping the car does not move so i usually find out the battery is flat when the fridge stops and it seems to recharge a lot quicker

I did run a standard wet cell as my aux battery for a while but found after i ran it flat a few times and then did my annual week in the snow it was stuffed

24-04-2008, 02:45 PM
Jeff to answer your question, yes you do need a solar regulator to charge batteries from a solar panel. The output voltage from the panel is dependant upon the sunlight falling on it, more sun more volts. The regulator, limits the voltage applied to the battery, so as it is not over charged.

Cheap regulators just limit the volts whereas an expensive regulator usually does a power conversion, so less wasted power > more charge in your battery!!!


jeff s
24-04-2008, 10:01 PM
http://planetsmilies.net/happy-smiley-541.gif (http://planetsmilies.net)
Thanks Waltec