recommendation on a good portable battery pack for starting, fridge etc?

e9999

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been intrigued by the idea of taking along one of these portable self-contained little battery packs. The ones they advertise as useful to start engine in a pinch, supposedly. With a light too, often.
Am also wondering if one like that would be able to run a fridge overnight.

Anybody knows what would be a good one to use?
What specs should I look for to be able to start the engine?

they carry these things regularly at Costco but they have a crappy compressor that I don't want.
 
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I think my fridge is 5.5 amps when on continuous, so figure out how many amp hours the batt pack is, and that will give you an idea how long it will last. I have my doubts about one of those running anything for very long.
 
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We actually use those things to light up our lights when we are flounder gigging. They work great, are lighter than a big ass battery. THe one's we use are in a yellow case, can't remember the brand. They will run a bright light all night long.
 

e9999

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what's the minimum rating we'd need to start an FZJ I6?
 
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I like the one that Costco sells. It goes on special once a year for $49.

It also houses a compressor, which is great for a back-up unit should you have a failure with the main unit.

Greatest advantage of that unit is the price. Buy a new one every 2-3 years and you are set :)
 

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Is one like this sufficient? You can charge it while you're traveling, and use it to run the fridge when stopped. There was another thread or two related to this that discussed it. The Engel/Norcold/ARB fridges are very efficient, so a battery pack could probably go a couple days, no worries. I have a small solar panel I'm working on rigging up for supplemental charging, too.

And I also have that nifty engine crank stashed under the back seat ;) .

Triple redundancy is a good thing...
 

e9999

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expeditionswest said:
I like the one that Costco sells. It goes on special once a year for $49.

It also houses a compressor, which is great for a back-up unit should you have a failure with the main unit.

Greatest advantage of that unit is the price. Buy a new one every 2-3 years and you are set :)

did you try it to start the engine?
 
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surfpig said:
Is one like this sufficient? You can charge it while you're traveling, and use it to run the fridge when stopped. There was another thread or two related to this that discussed it. The Engel/Norcold/ARB fridges are very efficient, so a battery pack could probably go a couple days, no worries. I have a small solar panel I'm working on rigging up for supplemental charging, too.

And I also have that nifty engine crank stashed under the back seat ;) .

Triple redundancy is a good thing...
That one is 20 amp hours, so if it is simple math, the ARB/Norcold (~5.5 amps) will run full throttle for approx 4 hrs, it should use considerably less (amp hours) than that unless it is set to freeze and it is very hot out, so it should last longer in normal conditions.
 
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Actually the math is not so simple. Automotive batteries are usually speced at a 20 hour rate - how many total "amp hours" it can source over a period of 20 hours.

So a battery that has a 20 amp hour rating can source 1 amp hour for 20 hours. At higher rates of load, the battery will provide dispportionately less amp hours. So a 5 amp hour load would discharge a 20 amp hour battery battery sooner than 4 hours.

A typical group 24 lead acid deep cycle battery, probably costing less than the costco product referenced above, would typically be speced as an 80 amp hour battery - 4x times the capacity of the costco offering. Group 27 lead acid deep cycle batteris typically are rated a bit more than 100 amp hours.
 

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one would assume that these portable affairs are nowhere as potent as the battery in our rig, or most people couldn't carry them around very readily...
 
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expeditionswest said:
I like the one that Costco sells. It goes on special once a year for $49.

It also houses a compressor, which is great for a back-up unit should you have a failure with the main unit.

Greatest advantage of that unit is the price. Buy a new one every 2-3 years and you are set :)

I was at Costco today and they had one for $49, so I guess this years sale is on.
 
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I have a couple of those jumpers. Those portable packs are rated anywhere from 10-20 amp hours, with 300/600peak to 600/1200 peak cranking amps, any larger and they start getting as heavy as a car battery. For a larger engine, you probably want one with at least 450/900 cranking amps, any smaller and it's really straining to start the engine. If the main battery is completely dead, you may have to disconnect it because it will draw some of the starting current.

I personally wouldn't use it to run a fridge, I don't think it would last very long with that kind of current draw. You've already got a pretty good power source in the car, the main battery. I'd probably just run everything off the main battery, and use the portable pack to jumpstart your car when/if the main battery dies. Of course you'd probably want a deep cycle battery if you do that often. This way, you can get by with a much smaller jumpstarter, since all you need is the capacity to jumpstart your car one or two times, and when it's running, you can have it recharge the jumpstarter.
 
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e9999

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OK, so what do I buy for the 80?
 
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e9999 said:
did you try it to start the engine?

Yes, and it works great. Just connect the cables and wait a few minutes, then VROOOM

On one of my first trips to the Altar Desert in Sonora, that little unit saved my bacon. I did not have a dual battery system in the Trooper, and had left the fridge on by accident all night. The deep cycle Optima was dead in the morning. Hooked up the back-up battery and it fired right up.
 
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Rich said:
Actually the math is not so simple. Automotive batteries are usually speced at a 20 hour rate - how many total "amp hours" it can source over a period of 20 hours.

So a battery that has a 20 amp hour rating can source 1 amp hour for 20 hours. At higher rates of load, the battery will provide dispportionately less amp hours. So a 5 amp hour load would discharge a 20 amp hour battery battery sooner than 4 hours.

A typical group 24 lead acid deep cycle battery, probably costing less than the costco product referenced above, would typically be speced as an 80 amp hour battery - 4x times the capacity of the costco offering. Group 27 lead acid deep cycle batteris typically are rated a bit more than 100 amp hours.

Great detail Rich,

In addition, deep cycle batteries, like the ones mentioned above have a rated depth of draw (DOD). DOD is a percentage of the batteries amp hours that can be used on a recurring basis, ensuring the longest life of the battery. For longest life, most deep cycle plate batteries should not be cycled greater than 50-60% DOD, which means a 20ah battery should not be used for more than 10ah on a regular basis.

Deep cycle batteries can recover from several draws in excess of 60%, but for prolonged use and reliability, stick to the 50% DOD rule.

My 55ah Optima Blue Top does not provide enough reserve for an entire day of running the fridge, downloading images and tracks to the laptop, etc. so I needed to augment the battery with two solar panels.

These are not your typical hard panels, but a roll-up 72" long military application solar sheets. They lay over the top of the roof tent and provide 40 watts of power. Iowa Thin Film
 

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expeditionswest said:
Yes, and it works great. Just connect the cables and wait a few minutes, then VROOOM

On one of my first trips to the Altar Desert in Sonora, that little unit saved my bacon. I did not have a dual battery system in the Trooper, and had left the fridge on by accident all night. The deep cycle Optima was dead in the morning. Hooked up the back-up battery and it fired right up.

do you remember the specs or model?

(I just saw that was the Trooper. Think it'll start an 80?)
 
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I went to the garage to look for the specs, and there were none on the unit. It is blue, and says Professional Power Pack. It has a light duty compressor built in, a light and a 12v outlet.

Regarding unit size:

If the battery in the 80 is totally fried, then I doubt the unit will start the truck. However, It has started my Jeep (4.0L) when the battery was low and I would expect the starter requirements are similar (both using reductive starters and similar displacement).

The challenge is for a deep cycle to have a good amp hour reserve and DOD, it will suffer CCA (plates are spaced further apart) as it is not designed to operate as an SLI.

Try to get a starter pack with a minimum of 20 amp hours, and be patient when connecting it to your low starting battery. It may take ten minutes or more for enough charging to occur to allow the truck to start.

Hope this helps :)
 

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One of the guys with us at Coyote Flats had a Suburban with a 454 and a weak battery. The battery gave it's life running a fridge all night. The next morning, one of those little battery packs cranked The big motor slowly but it fired right up. Very impressive actually given that it was 10000 feet and 30F.
 

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expeditionswest said:
I went to the garage to look for the specs, and there were none on the unit. It is blue, and says Professional Power Pack. It has a light duty compressor built in, a light and a 12v outlet.

Regarding unit size:

If the battery in the 80 is totally fried, then I doubt the unit will start the truck. However, It has started my Jeep (4.0L) when the battery was low and I would expect the starter requirements are similar (both using reductive starters and similar displacement).

The challenge is for a deep cycle to have a good amp hour reserve and DOD, it will suffer CCA (plates are spaced further apart) as it is not designed to operate as an SLI.

Try to get a starter pack with a minimum of 20 amp hours, and be patient when connecting it to your low starting battery. It may take ten minutes or more for enough charging to occur to allow the truck to start.

Hope this helps :)


thanks
so basically you're saying you're not using the pack to start the engine, but rather to charge the main battery... I had assumed the opposite. Maybe not a good idea to try and charge it if the old one is busted, though?
 

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