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Dual battery next to fuel tank in ute?

Tom_1569

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I want to run a dual battery for accessories when camping/working, so I dont flatten my main battery. I've got the wiring side sorted out, just going to copy my mates setup on his landcruiser.

Apparnently theres plenty of room next to the fuel tank to place the battery, BUT is that such a good idea. I keep getting mixed opinions.
Worst case, fuel vapours in a sealed enviroment with a spark from electricity, potentially very bad and no more ute.
Others are telling me that there wont be any fuel fumes in there and its not sealed area. Plus the battery shouldnt actually be sparking anyway.

Anyone done something similar, or got any advice.
My plan is to run a switch in the cabin to have the battery charging, or not charging, and run 2 X 12volt sockets off the battery to the two front corners of the tub.
 

hako

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There should be no problems having the extra battery where you describe. It would be best to have it in a semi-sealed black plastic case (from auto shops) or some sort of ventilated container just so nothing can drop on the battery and short the terminals out. Also it would be a good idea to have a fuse or circuit breaker at the battery...have it rated at 50% above you anticipated maximum draw and finally use a hold down clamp so that if you do roll over the battery will not fly loose and short out.
If you can afford it use a sealed battery so no corrosive vapours are emitted.
 

Tom_1569

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There should be no problems having the extra battery where you describe. It would be best to have it in a semi-sealed black plastic case (from auto shops) or some sort of ventilated container just so nothing can drop on the battery and short the terminals out. Also it would be a good idea to have a fuse or circuit breaker at the battery...have it rated at 50% above you anticipated maximum draw and finally use a hold down clamp so that if you do roll over the battery will not fly loose and short out.
If you can afford it use a sealed battery so no corrosive vapours are emitted.
Thanks,
Yeah it will definitly be in a battery box and secured properly. I did think about using a sealed battery, but for the moment Ill use my old battery which was fine just had trouble on icey mornings.
For a fuse/circuit breaker, do I put this on the charge lead for the battery? All 12 volt sockets will be fused.
 

Tom_1569

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You should also look at upgrading the alternator as well.
What are my options wiht upgrading the Alternator, Are they 110amps standard like the VT.

In saying that, it should be right, as it wont be charging all the time, I will only have it charging on my way camping, or when I know Im going to use itm, so maybe once a month if that.
 

PanthaVS

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Defo go the sealed battery.... Battery vapours are extremely flammable.
 

hako

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The VS alternator is 90 amps - upgrading to the VT will not really gain you much and it probably won't matter as you should be starting your trip with a fully charged battery. Keep it on a trickle charger when left at home - a cheap way to keep the charge up is to use any 12volt power supply and run it thru a timer switch set to turn it on for 15 mins per day so the battery does not get overcharged. This way the battery will last for years. It's normal to fuse the positive lead with the negative being the earth - you can get circuit breakers for whatever amperage you want - place it as close to the battery as possible preferably attached to the positive battery post.
I'd make sure the 2 X 12V sockets you are installing are weatherproof - I've used old cigarette lighter sockets and they rust out in weeks plus make bad electrical contact. There are different plugs/sockets available at 4X4 shops.
For 12V lighting I've seen 12V flourescent lamps at Bunnings which use almost no power...LED's use less power but are too clinical.
 

Tom_1569

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Defo go the sealed battery.... Battery vapours are extremely flammable.
Im leaning towards a sealed battery, but wanted to do this setup on the cheap, as I know the other equipment wont cost me 50 bux, but might have to replan.

The VS alternator is 90 amps - upgrading to the VT will not really gain you much and it probably won't matter as you should be starting your trip with a fully charged battery. Keep it on a trickle charger when left at home - a cheap way to keep the charge up is to use any 12volt power supply and run it thru a timer switch set to turn it on for 15 mins per day so the battery does not get overcharged. This way the battery will last for years. It's normal to fuse the positive lead with the negative being the earth - you can get circuit breakers for whatever amperage you want - place it as close to the battery as possible preferably attached to the positive battery post.
I'd make sure the 2 X 12V sockets you are installing are weatherproof - I've used old cigarette lighter sockets and they rust out in weeks plus make bad electrical contact. There are different plugs/sockets available at 4X4 shops.
For 12V lighting I've seen 12V flourescent lamps at Bunnings which use almost no power...LED's use less power but are too clinical.
Ok, Im going to do alot more planning before I do anything. I didnt evne think of weather proof sockets.
I wont be removing the battery, might just hit it to charge once a week on my way home or something, it should see plenty of use anyway.
Ill definitly fuse the positive lead.

I've got lighting covered, Ive got a small fluoro which uses bugger all power, then I have my big bush light, which are just awesome if you've even seen one, and there not to bad on power either.
 

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Make sure that the switch you use to allow charging can only be operated with the ignition otherwise if you forget to turn it off you will be drawing power from both batteries when camping and could end up with 2 flat batteries.
Cheapest way to do this is to wire an old 20 amp relay into a ignition circuit so that the relay is "ON" when ignition is on and vice versa. Then run the charging wire to the relay, then the switch and battery. But usually the simpler you keep it the better.
I used old car batteries when camping and usually carried 2 in case one died and charged them up on the trip thru a cigarette lighter plug which was only powered with the ignition on. Just used alligator clips on old electrical flex straight to the battery
Boat places also carry waterproof plugs but they cost $$$$.
Biggest problem we found was that if you had a few beers in front of the campfire you'd forget to turn the lights off......but camping ain't no fun without a few dramas eh!
 

Tom_1569

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The wiring setup will run off the alternator, there wont be a chance of two flat batteries that I know of, my mates going to help me with this part.

Ill go to the boat and 4wd shop and get some prices, and try and work it all out, still considering a sealed battery.
 
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