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treetops

1997 Polaris Xplorer 400 4x4 Recharge spare battery

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I will be off in the woods for 2 weeks without electricity or generator and want to use the bike charging system to recharge a 12v utility battery I use for lighting in camp.

My idea is to run the utility battery down to 11.0volts (while lighting at nite), then connect it to the bike battery during the 5 - 6 hours I would be riding during the next day. I am hoping it would come close to being fully recharged during that time.

Bike is a 1997 Explorer 400 4x4 with a new battery.

Anyone any idea how well this recharging would work and/or if this would damage the bike charge system??

I would try it first with no lites or accessories on. Also thought it would be good to allow both batteries to become kind of voltage balanced (battery leaching)before starting the bike to reduce the initial charging. load.

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If it fits,a and it is a 12v lead acid battery, then I don't see why you would have any problems. Although, since you likely won't be alble to start the bike on a battery that is run to low, you need to remove the fresh battery after you start it and install the weak battery while the machine is running, and that is not a great idea, it usually does no harm, but it is possible that a spark could ignite the explosive gasses from the battery and you will be in a world of hurt. So you need to be carefull not to run the utility battery too low unless you have a backup pull or kick starter.

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You don't say wether or not the spare camp battery will replace the atv battery or just be an add on. If it is an add on, I would spend the few buck and purchase a battery isolator and hook up the wires to charge the spare that way. This would be the safest and also ensure that the atv battery will be good to start the atv when needed. They are simple to wire up and for this aplication, the unit would not be that large. With a little thought you could even hook up a plug to the camp battery and also your light system for camp so all you would need to do is unplug the battery from the atv and plug it into the camp lights.

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You don't say wether or not the spare camp battery will replace the atv battery or just be an add on. If it is an add on, I would spend the few buck and purchase a battery isolator and hook up the wires to charge the spare that way. This would be the safest and also ensure that the atv battery will be good to start the atv when needed. They are simple to wire up and for this aplication, the unit would not be that large. With a little thought you could even hook up a plug to the camp battery and also your light system for camp so all you would need to do is unplug the battery from the atv and plug it into the camp lights.

I like this idea, where are you holding that spare while riding?

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I intend to connect the spare battery in parallel with the bike battery when I ride. It will be housed in a milk crate I have strapped to the rear platform. It will have a 12 volt female lighter plug permanently connected. And I would connect it to the bike via the bike's auxillary plug pig tail male lighter socket. At nite, I will take it ino the cabin and plug it in the inverter using the same lighter connector.

I will bring it in to the cabin as temperatures outside may be down to 10F which will lower the battery output.

Not sure I will need the battery isolator as I will not let the spare battery get below 11.0volts while running the cabin lights. So I don't think I will have problems starting the bike in the morning. But I will try it and use the isolator if neccessary. Thanks for the tip.

Yesterday I hooked up 2 100 watt CFL spiral light bulbs (which use a total of 50 watts) to the inverter and then to my spare car battery. The initial battry voltage was 11.9V. Ran the lites for 6 hours and the battery had only dropped to 11.4v. This is perfect for my needs. And will end up being a great solution for lighting at nite if it works!!

Now the question is.....will the bike charging system have enough poop to charge the spare battrey over a 6 hour drive time??

Anyone have any idea??

Intend to do a dry run this weekend.

Thanks to all who replied. Please chime in with any thoughts!!

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I have no doubt that in a few hours the battery will charge. I would make sure the spare battery is fully charged before leaving the house to go on the trip.

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I didn't realize that you were going to wire both batteries to the bike while you ride, you could run into problems if the batteries have different current ratings, and even if they are the same or close, one battery being older than the other could become an issue. More than likely one of the batteries will have a lower internal impedance than the other, causing it to discharge faster than the other. It will also take a charge faster. Depending on how your charging system works, you could end up not charging one of the batteries completely, or you could over-charge one of the batteries. Unless the batteries are about the same age and have the same current output, I wouldn't do it without an isolator.

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