Thread: Batteries and charging

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Batteries and charging

    I have a 1998 F250 X Cab which has a 130 amp alternator. I want to mount a Sears Platinum battery in the forward part of my cap and use it to run some small reading lights, a vent fan, and ARB 50 refrigerator(which will sit on jump seat of truck cab). Question is "Will the normal battery charging from truck alternator handle the second battery?". Can you recommend switches, isolators, fuses, etc. for this setup? Also, recommendations for a small solar panel to keep charged? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    On the road.Currently in Ecuador
    The simple answer is yes, It will handle it.

    What you'll need to do is connect the + of the new battery to the + of the existing one, and the - of the new one to the - of the existing one (or direct to earth provided you have a good earth). This basically means however that you have a twin battery system, so it may be as well to ensure the existing battery is in good shape, otherwise you are connecting a new battery with an old one, and thats never a great thing.

    As for wiring, make sure the fuses that you put into each circuit are a little weaker than the strength of the wire. This means if the + wire shorts out to the body (the earth), then the fuse will blow before the wire melts or goes on fire. So, figuring out the size of the fuses depends on the size of the wire. And put the fuses close to the battery, they only blow if a short occurs after them in the circuit. so, there is no point putting them near the end of the circuit.

    if the max load of any of your items is about 5 or 6 amps, then use a wire for abut 10 amps, and a 6 amp fuse. use a much heavier wire from the battery to the old battery, capable of handling 100 amps or so - if a battery goes dead, or runs down, then the alternator kicks in, you can see 100 amps on that wire (in theory, 130amps, but that's not really going to happen in practice). You might also like to put in an isolator on that circuit so during a weekends camping, the fridge does'nt flatten both your batteries, and you can still start the engine.

    Hope this helps!

    as to solar, that's a bigger question! do you mean to keep it charged when parked for a day? a month?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Port Angeles
    Check out the linkks below. While it might not answer your question directly, it'll point you in the right direction.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Wherever my Landcruiser is parked
    I would personally want the second "house" battery completely separate from the starting battery.

    Look into a National Luna dual battery setup from Forum Sponsor Equipt, or the Swiss made IBS... These are great easy to install turn key solutions for a dual battery setup. There are many others out there and many threads here in ExPo about them.

    Solar Panel, if you want to have one don't go small. Anything less than 90w panel will be useless IMHO.

    In order to extend the life of your battery get an intelligent charger and top off the batteries when you get home or have access to an outlet. Forum sponsor Adventure trailers has tons of knowledge in the area and good options for chargers, if not them look at C-Tek chargers online.

    Search the forum well, do it right the first time (I'm telling you from personal experience).

    Good luck and keep us posted and what you do.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Luis and Lacey - Lost World Expedition Facebook
    Planning the next step in our round the world trip
    1987 FJ60 with a 12HT

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