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Old 08-20-2016, 01:09 PM
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Stupid battery question?

I would like to add a optama blue top in the back of my Jeep to run a 12 volt fridge. I would put it in a plastic battery box and add a 12 volt cigarette lighter socket to the box with a fuse to run the fridge or other accessories.

Silly question time.

Can I add a 12 volt plug wired into the optama battery and plug it into the cigarette lighter in the back of my Jeep to charge the battery while I'm on the trail?

The idea is to plug the fridge into the battery box and have the battery box plugged into the Jeep while I'm driving. I'd pull the plug when we get to camp and let the fridge run off the battery box.

What about leaving it plugged in all the time?

Bad idea?

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Old 08-20-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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The very last battery brand I would buy any more since being purchased by Johnson Controls is Optima. I had three (3!!) Optima batteries fail prematurely in a row... two Yellow Tops and one Blue Top. Johnson Controls moved Optima's entire manufacturing operation out of the US and into Mexico which is when the problems started. Several Optima distributors tasked with collecting bad Optima batteries replaced under warranty said the problem is caused by having gone with lower grade components like a substantially less pure lead.

But to your question, how long a 12v battery will last powering a refrigerator depends on the refrigerator. High-end refrigerators like made by ARB can run several days on a battery. Cheap refrigerators like I tried in my trailer can drain the battery in less than a day.

Plugging the battery into the cigarette lighter is not going to keep the battery charged, it can draw way too much power which will pop the fuse. Plugging most refrigerators into the cigarette lighter will work but be wary which one you buy. As said, some draw a lot of current, better more expensive models don't draw much at all.

About the only type of refrigerator I'd even consider for keeping plugged in for several days is an ARB or one of its close cousins but they're really expensive. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...32.vinbk1hyyRA

If that ARB class refrigerator is too much $$$, which it is for me, consider a good cooler like the Coleman Igloo. My Coleman Igloo keeps everything REALLY cold for my 3 day desert trips with a big block of ice as its central component. It even managed to keep that block of ice in good enough shape that I would put it back into my freezer for the next trip. My last block of ice lasted 3-4 years before I retired it.

P.S. 12v refrigerators like the ARB are so good they can keep ice cream rock hard.

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Old 08-20-2016, 04:21 PM
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Thanks, I ordered a Dometic CFX which is a re-branded Waeco. I believe ARB is also made by Waeco. The Waeco has a solid reputation in Australia and South Africa. It uses the same compressor as the ARB.
The 40 liter was $530 after discount code, no tax with free shipping from Hayneedle.
CFX Portable Refrigerators-Freezers - Dometic Corp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6144YHVFWM
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:58 PM   #4
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OOhhhh that's one of the good ones with a lower battery draw. Great decision, that's a very nice fridge!
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comanche View Post
Can I add a 12 volt plug wired into the optama battery and plug it into the cigarette lighter in the back of my Jeep to charge the battery while I'm on the trail?
If you draw the battery down then plug it in you will probably blow the fuse for the cig lighter because your Jeep will be at 13.8volts and the low battery will be something lower. There will be high current draw until the low battery is brought up to 13.8.

Look in to a "battery isolator". That would let you draw the back battery down to dead and not kill the starter battery. And it can deal with the current (if you size it right) of recharging a dead battery.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:25 PM   #6
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If you draw the battery down then plug it in you will probably blow the fuse for the cig lighter because your Jeep will be at 13.8volts and the low battery will be something lower. There will be high current draw until the low battery is brought up to 13.8.
A fully charged automotive battery puts out 2.1 volts per cell or 12.6 volts total. You'll only see that higher 13+ volt voltage when the engine is running which is the voltage the alternator puts out while charging the battery.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:20 PM   #7
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I have 2 Hawker's and a Painless 40103 250 Amp Waterproof Dual Battery Current Control System. 3-4 days keep the beer at 27* isn't any issue.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:37 PM
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It looks like the Arkpak is what I'm looking for. Has anyone tried one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5l-MX5Ztb4

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