Will a car battery do the job?

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

Postby Ira » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:00 am

Here's the thing:

You're camping, and it gets dark. say 7PM for example. So maybe you're running porch lights (got 'em?) for a few hours. Give the car a start after an hour to be RIDICULOUSLY safe. You could probably go 3 hours, 4 hours to be safe, depending on the lamps.

Into bed you go, cabin light is on for a brief time, porch lamps are off, and TV is on. That pulls NOTHING from the battery.

Think about how much you're actually going to use that battery. Also, if you're really afraid of draining it, you can get one of those rechargeable battery jump units.

But you're just not going to use it that much.
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Postby Nic » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:12 pm

Thanks Ira! Thats a good point. And YES tv ON! 'o) The jump start thing is a good idea too. If the sky falls i can always puch start my car. :vroom: Sounds like im going camping this weekend!
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Postby Ira » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:39 am

While we're on the subject, I got a question for the REAL electrical experts here. Look at this cutie from HF:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... ion=Search

It says $69, but they've had it on sale off and on for $49.

Is this a "reasonable" substitute to shlepping another battery with you, and running just off of this? It says 50 hours of run time for DC appliances, which means nothing unless you know what's pulling from it, but it also says something about AC.

So if you wanted to run a DC to AC inverter off of your car battery but were afraid...but had this to calm your nerves because you knew you could jump-start the car in a pinch...

Or if you JUST wanted to use this for minimal electrical needs...

Will this fit the bill for 50 bucks, the cost of a battery?

Also, this is more than enough to run a microwave, right? For a few minutes at a time?

It interests me not only because of the TD possibilities, but it's a great thing to have charged and with you ANYWAY in case of a car battery failure.

And because of its usage for your car, your wife can't yell at you for buying it. (Yeah guys--I'm ALWAYS thinking!)
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:44 am

sorry it says the item number isn't valid. :cry:
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Postby Ira » Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:51 am

Image

That's weird:

All I did was paste the URL from HF into the post, but I guess that site works differently.

If you go to www.harborfreight.com and typer 39954/8884 in the item number search bar, you'll see the full description.
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Postby madjack » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:39 am

Ira, it sez that it is a 17.5AH battery...I don't know what appliances it is supposed to run for 50 hors but a Mattel EZ Bake oven doesn't count..........
madjack 8)

p.s my bidnezz partner Jim uses one at times when he motorcycle camps...it will run a light and a small fan for the weekend
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Postby EZ » Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:31 pm

I am still a believer that you can do better with a Wally World $40 72 amp/hr battery than a $50 17.5 amp/hr battery. Get the $6 battery case and one of these Harbor Freight battery chargers (URL below) when it is on sale for $8.99 and that is a pretty good setup for cheap. Add the inverter and you are all set for very little, have a permanent installation and a lot more juice (4X) to play with. 12 volt lights and fans are nice and they are inexpensive. Since I was replacing a tent, other than not having to set one up the lights and fan are the best improvement. And you can run AC stuff too.

Built-in charger
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93258

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Postby madjack » Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:44 pm

Ed...I couldn't agree more.................................... 8)
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Postby reiltear » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:06 pm

Yet another way of looking at batteries is watt-hours. 17.5Ah*12V=210Wh. In theory it should run the EZ-Bake oven for about 2 hours, depending on the lightbulb it uses. In real life it will be another story... Between the inverter and the battery's efficiencies one would be lucky to get an hour.

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Postby doug hodder » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:22 pm

while we are on the topic of batteries...what has been everyones experience with the "gel" types vs. the regular lead acids...in deep cycle? I only use one battery between 2 boats and 2 tears just keep swapping it out...can only use 1 at a time...and I have more down time with it as opposed to really using one a lot...opinions please pros and cons, as I need to be thinking about a new one...Doug
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Postby madjack » Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:01 pm

Doug, I can't give ya first hand info but from my research, one of the best features of the Optima type batteries is the fact that they don't lose charge in storage to anywhere even close to the degree that a lead acid does...you should also get twice the overall life...of course they cost 2.5 times as much as a reg lead acid does...then there is the whole venting/outgassing thing...gel cells will only outgas under extreme heat/charging conditions....
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Postby len19070 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:13 pm

madjack wrote:Doug, I can't give ya first hand info but from my research, one of the best features of the Optima type batteries is the fact that they don't lose charge in storage to anywhere even close to the degree that a lead acid does...you should also get twice the overall life...of course they cost 2.5 times as much as a reg lead acid does...then there is the whole venting/outgassing thing...gel cells will only outgas under extreme heat/charging conditions....
madjack 8)


The Optima batteries are very good batteries. But as Jack says, and I know from first hand experience. Twice the storage time, twice the life at twice to three times the cost.

I don't go out of my way to recommend them and will only install them if a customer specifically asks for them.

Of course a lot of my customers are not "Maintenance oriented", and should not have things that last a long time without attention. There view on maintenance is "When something stops...have it looked at". And usually by then something else is broken as well.

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Postby Ira » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:35 pm

madjack wrote:Ira, it sez that it is a 17.5AH battery...I don't know what appliances it is supposed to run for 50 hors but a Mattel EZ Bake oven doesn't count..........


Well, YOU might not be in touch with your feminine side, but I am!!!

I can cook WONDERS with 50 hours with my EZ-Bake oven, using the 25 watt bulb.

HAH!!!

Seriously, I was simply throwing this out there because for ease of use and storage (you can just throw it in your trunk), that this thing was, on some level, a dependable power supply, although limited.

And that you can easily charge it in your living room, as opposed to having to take it outside and use a separate charger.
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Postby brian_bp » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:39 pm

doug hodder wrote:while we are on the topic of batteries...what has been everyones experience with the "gel" types vs. the regular lead acids...


madjack wrote:Doug, I can't give ya first hand info but from my research, one of the best features of the Optima type batteries...


I think it's important to not confuse "gel cells" (batteries with gelled electrolyte) with Absorbed Glass Mat designs (AGM, the electrolyte is absorbed in a mat of fibers, with no free liquid). Both are spill-proof (and both are lead-acid), but they have different performance characteristics. Optima is the AGM type, not gel. My impression is that gels are on their way to becoming obsolete, replaced by AGM.

I have one of those portable booster/inverter packs; it has a motorcycle-sized AGM battery in it which cranks my van with no problem... but my electric cooler runs it flat out in a few hours.
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Postby len19070 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:42 pm

len19070 wrote:A starting battery and a deep cycle battery are made to do 2 different things. A start battery is made to discharge a lot of amps for short periods of time while a deep cycle is made to discharge low amps over a long period of time.

Its like comparing a Long distance runner, with one that's in the 100 yard dash.

When buying a deep cycle be certain you don't get a "Marine Deep cycle starting battery". This is a hybrid battery made to do both, but in reality it doesn't do either very well. Sears likes to push these on to people.

Stay away from if you see the words "Start" or "Dual purpose"

In so much as these Hybrids are the same price as the Proper Deep Cycle. It makes sense not to get one. The hybrids will work..but not as long.


I took my camera into work today and took a few photos, These are more of batteries Themselves that are Misleading. Once again as I have said "anything will work" Its just how long it will work for.

The first is a "Marine" battery

Image

Though it is on the one side labeled as a Starting battery From the top it only says Marine. A lot of people associate Marine with Deep Cycle. This is NOT what you want.

Next is an "Ever START Deep Cycle"

Image

What is this Battery? I duno?? It says Deep Cycle but it also says START. Is it a hybrid, Starting Battery or a Deep Cycle??? It can't be to good..only has a 12 month warranty.

Then there's this Gem

Image

Its a Dual Purpose RV/Marine...Hey I can use it in my RV or my Boat. This has got to be the right one. Wrong, its a Hybrid.

One of the big problems I see from buying from a Box stores is That the guy advising you on what Battery to buy was in Lawn and Garden yesterday. He's reading the labels too.

Don't get me wrong, the Box stores do have the correct product.

KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.

You should get a Straight Deep Cycle Battery.

If your going to buy new, with all 3 styles of batteries being about the same price, Deep Cycle, Dual Purpose and starting Get the right one.

Happy Trails

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