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Old 18 May 2007
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 48

Hello everyone,

I shall be driving my land rover 110 to Ghana this summer and would like to have two batteries, an extra one for all the extra's such as our fridge. What sort of batteries are people generally using, and are people using alternators?

Many thanks Lotty
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Old 18 May 2007
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Ghana
Posts: 289
Simple system...

I had a simple two lead acid battery and split charging diode. I know this topic is a bit like compressors/tyres/fridge question, so you can do a lot of research on this and other sources (try www.exploroz.com) for various answers. I am no sparky, but it worked okay and was cheap compared to spiral wound gel batteries etc...
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Old 18 May 2007
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Location: christchurch uk
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Hi Lotty,
The twin battery set I used was simple, I had a battery switch from a boat, these are four position switches. battery one, battery two, all, and off. I used to start on the vehicle battery (battery one) and then switch to battery two, which was a leisure battery. all secondary power came off this battery, all the power from the alternator charges one or the other. With this simple manual charging system I never had problems, it also had the added benefit, of the off position for security. I just had to make sure the vehicle battery was full enough to start. this system was suggested to me by a diesel fitter who was a yacht owner. split charge relays are another way and are automatic. I have heard of problems with them though. lets see what others have to say on what is a big subject with a lot of opinions. next time I do it I will use marine batteries.

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Old 19 May 2007
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kent, Uk
Posts: 389

Hi Lotty

split charge systems are a good start. loads out there so look around. As for batteries themselves, IMHO try Gel batteries i.e. Maxxima or Optima and make sure the second battery is a leisure type - deep cycle?

Try a search here on the Hubb as there has been plenty of previous threads on this subject.

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Old 19 May 2007
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ledbury, Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 326
I've been using an IBS split charging system from TBRUK LTD - Run by Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts - it was about £135 (special offer on at the moment) and did a great job and gives nice pretty display of the state of the batteries and the charging.

As a 3rd battery (already have 2 in the LC) I have an Oddessy deep cycle battery which has also done a great job, although I heard after buying it that the the supplier has had to return a few - mainly issues with the terminals..

At one point the children had left the headlights on and we hadn't noticed, the IBS system automatically joined the extra battery up and we started fine.

I have also fitted an split charging system from Antalis before (around £90) - this looks very solid (read indistructable) and does the same sort of things although I don't think it will join the batteries for emergency starting and it doesn't have a display - this had to be bought seperately and ISTR we used a Pirannah system.

Split charging systems are great, but at the same time, make sure that your alternator is in good condition (strip it down and check comutator rings and brushes) and also check everything electrical that you will be taking to make sure it uses the least amount of power as possible.

The one things we forgot to take with us was a 12volt charger for my wifes phone, but we did manage to pick up a cheap 1000w invertor (£50) on ebay that resolved the problem, but not the most economical solution.

If you look on ebay you can find some great 12volt supplies for laptops, etc as well as some good 12volt battery chargers - we got one for recharging batteries in torches (LED) cameras, etc.

Look to get LED replacement bulbs for the interior of your car. At TaskLED Home George does replacement bulbs for the dome lights in an LC, not sure if they will fit in a LR - you will find that you have the doors and boot open a hell of a lot and of course these will be draining your main battery.

Take a small charger for your car battery, a 20-50m extension lead and international travel adaptors - if you end up staying on a campsite for a few days you may want to plug your aux battery in to the mains to keep it topped up - obviously check that you can have the charger on the battery whilst the battery is in use.

Finally thoroughly test your split charging system before you go - run the aux battery flat and make sure that it gets recharged properly and can hold the charge.

Julian Voelcker
Overland Cruisers - Specialising in Land Cruiser preparation and servicing.
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Old 19 May 2007
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Brilliant, thanks for all the info guys!!!
Cheers Lotty
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Old 19 May 2007
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
Hi. I've fitted/made a few split charge systems. And to be honest I'm not much of a fan of the fancy ones.
The last split charge system I fitted was on Chris Scott's Hilux This system was so simple and did the job very well. Basically I fitted a second battery, the neg lead went to the chassis and I ran a 100 amp wire from the number one battery to a big on/off switch on the dash, from there the lead went to the second battery (normal leisure battery). When you're driving along you turn it on to send the charge through to the second battery, and when you stop simply turn it off, easy! The big draw back is that YOU have to remember to turn it OFF when you stop the car!!!
Also, a VERY good idea is to have a simple (40w?) solar panel, then if you do flatten all your batteries, you do have the option of waiting for a day to charge one up.

As for types of batteries, the gel ones are a bit better, and much safer. But I personally think the normal acid batteries are fine, and much cheaper too!!
If you can afford it go for the gel batteries (Optima or Odyssey etc), but if you're on a budget stick with acid (battery, not house music!).

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