This photo was taken by my wife on a recent fishing expedition to Two Rocks/Wilbinga, just north of Perth. I was teaching my son how to fish and this photo was just a quick snap capturing the moment. The photo is now also featured here!
After installing my RedArc Dual Battery System, I got to wondering Battery life and my ARB 78L Fridge. How long would it last for, and how long it’d take to recharge the battery on my RedArc Dual Battery System. So I did a quick test. Well, not so quick as it turned out.
So I must admit that I wasn’t very scientific about this. My tests involved basically running my fridge at home for a few days. The fridge, inside and was empty and set to 4 degrees C. When the battery reached approximately one third of capacity, I attached it to my dual battery system and went for a drive to see how long it’d take to charge.
And when I say I wasn’t very scientific, I really mean it, OK.
- The battery is a Century 100 Ah AGM deep cycle battery.
- The fridge is an ARB 78L fridge with the canvas cover
- The Dual Battery System is a RedArc SBI12
So my very unscientific results are:
From full charge to one third battery capacity, running my fridge in my home at 4 degrees C took 72 hours.
From that point to full charge took approximately 34 minutes. I drove for 17 minutes initially, and tested the battery capacity. it wasn’t fully charged. I then drove home again (another 17 minutes) and by then the battery was fully charged. During this time, the battery was only connected to the charger. I.e. it was not providing power to the fridge any longer.
So in summary, the battery will run the fridge for a long time. And the battery doesn’t take much time to charge up on my Dual Battery System.
We all know that 4wd recovery points are pretty important when you’re out adventuring. And what I have discovered, after buying my Mitsubishi PB Challenger, is that most vehicle manufacturers don’t put anything like a proper 4wd recovery point on the vehicle. The factory Mitsubishi PB Challenger 4wd recovery points are ok at a push, but I really have never felt comfortable about using them. On the passenger side, there is a solid looking hook, and on the driver’s side is a downward facing ring.
In the owners manual, it states that the hook on the passenger side is ONLY EVER to be used for towing the vehicle. Never for vehicle recovery. And the one on the driver’s side is ONLY for tying the vehicle down during transport. This doesn’t leave me very confident that they’ll be anywhere near good enough in a serious recovery situation. The hook may be OK for a while, but when you recover your vehicle from only one side all the time, you stand a very good chance of putting your chassis out of alignment. That’s bad.
So after a whole lot of looking around, and writing to ARB (and winning an ARB Air Compressor for my trouble) I found Adventure Offroad Training (http://www.adventureoffroadtraining.com/) who custom builds recovery points for the new model Mitsubishi Triton. Knowing that the PB Challenger is almost exactly the same as the the Triton, I contacted the person who supplies them and asked if he’d be happy to take a look at the Challenger to see if they’d fit.
Long story short, he said they would.
I now have my Mitsubishi PB Challenger 4wd recovery points installed, and I’m very happy with them.
They are made of 10mm steel, and each recovery point is attached with 3 high tensile, thin threaded bolts. If I manage to pull them off then we’ll head back and pick up the shredded pieces of the rest of my car later on…
And as you can see by the photo below, I don’t lose any approach angle either.
Advice from the expert
The man who installed them has been 4w driving for 30 years and runs a company providing 4wd training. He knows a heck of a lot about 4w driving and his philosophy is that safety is paramount, and prevention is better than cure. So after he’d installed them he spent some time giving me advice on how best to use them.
- Don’t get bogged. Try reducing tyre pressure, or being smart. But if you do get bogged…
- Use another method of recovering your vehicle. Something like Max Trax are great! If that doesn’t work then…
- In a vehicle recovery situation, it’s very important to use both points. Never recover off just one. Attach the two recovery points to the snatch strap using a tree protector or a bridle.
- Make the bridle as long as possible. The idea is to halve the load on each point. If you have your bridle too short then you’ll actually increase the load placed on each recovery point.
- Attach the bridle to the snatch strap by simply feeding the bridle through the loop on the end of the snatch strap. Never use a shackle to attach the two. You want to minimise the amount of heavy metal you have flying around the place.
- Feed the shackles through the recovery points and attach the bridle to the pin end. This achieves 2 things:
- Allows the shackle to move freely in any direction. So if you’re not snatching exactly straight on then the shackle can adjust.
- Distributes the load across the entire shackle pin. This reduces the chance of bending or breaking the pin
- Place a dampener at each end of the snatch strap. The dampener needs to be heavy enough to drag a broken strap to the ground. So a light cotton shirt won’t cut it. It also needs to be close enough to the end of the snatch strap to stop it flying wildly around if it breaks, but also far enough away so that the broken snatch strap doesn’t just whip right though it before it has a chance to ‘catch’ it.
- Reduce tyre pressure down to about 8psi to achieve maximum traction and flotation.
I thought that all of this was pretty good advice, so I intend to follow it.