Reviews

HOW BIG IS YOUR THUMPER?

This thumping good portable power solution takes the cake.

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When looking for a portable power solution for our lap of the map eight years ago, we decided a Thumper was the best way to go for our needs. Fast forward to today, and we’ve only recently needed to give it a birthday repack which means we’re ready to do it all again. Not bad for power on the go, and it won’t take much to talk us into doing another lap of the map either! While today there are many options on the market for portable power, the Thumper is still a very popular device among mobile living travellers.

 

WHAT’S A THUMPER?

In simple terms, a Thumper is a battery box with a twist. The twist being how it comes together and what’s inside. Our Thumper has 75Ah capacity, and comes with a 600W modified sinewave inverter. Size wise, it measures 330mm L x 260mm D x 180mm H, weighing in at 21kg without the inverter. You might think that weight sounds heavy, but we consider it still light enough to be portable as it’s perfect for our application compared to a large AGM battery equivalent for its size and capacity.

Today’s range of Thumper portable battery systems have been designed to take the place of, or work alongside, a second battery in your vehicle or RV. These are multiple cell AGM batteries with a unique installation make up inside the case resulting in a portable solution with crank starting capacity.

It also includes a range of 12V-style outlets which vary between models, but you’ll find Anderson plugs, USBs, marine-style cig plugs, hella, and merit outlets, plus Engel plugs, along with a 12V waterproof gauge. There is also a 175Ah Anderson plug for the jumper leads giving you from 700-1200 cranking amps depending on the variant. There’s two model ranges – the entry-level Redback and the premium Elite range which comes with in-built VSR disconnect and an amp gauge as well. Both ranges are available in 30Ah/48Ah/60Ah/80Ah/110Ah capacities.

 

HOW IT WORKS

A Thumper can be set up as a dual battery in your vehicle thus saving the expense of a second battery under the bonnet where space is limited in modern vehicle engine bays. They can also be set up in the back of your vehicle, rear tray or in a camper/caravan. You can easily charge it by your vehicle’s alternator, solar and/or an appropriate 240V battery charger through the 50-amp Anderson plug. The 12V outlets can be used to run fridges and to recharge portable devices such as camera batteries, laptops, phones and tablets. As it’s portable, you can simply remove it from your vehicle and store it when it’s not required, or use it in, say, a boat or another application. If you take it to a location where a jump start is required, simply plug in the supplied jump starter pack and you’re away. Recharge times will vary, but you can expect to have it recharged in around two to three hours. It’s one battery, but it has so many solutions.

 

WHY IT’S SO GOOD

We purchased ours when we were starting out and needed an auxiliary battery for a portable fridge in the back of our daily drive vehicle. Ours back then came with the Anderson lead second battery system so we could recharge it via our alternator, while at camp we used a portable solar panel. Its portability allowed us to place it in the back of the vehicle along with the 12V fridge on a Friday night, go away over the weekend and remove and pack it away Sunday evening to return the vehicle back to a daily drive.

Fast forward a few years, and today we use it for extra battery capacity in our caravan for those longer free camping stays. And we could also move it to our camper-trailer if needed as well. It’s been set up to run separately from our house batteries which gives us that back up reserve, and the inverter allows us to recharge a range of 240V battery powered tools. We’ve even used it in our tinnie and around home to jump start other equipment when required. Now that we’ve had ours repacked, we’ll continue to use it as extra capacity for that extra portable 12V power supply, and when we need the odd jump start.

Today’s Redback and Elite Thumper packs are manufactured by the guys at SA-based Home of 12 Volt, and the Redback entry level 30Ah starts at $399 which includes jumper leads and the in-vehicle charging system. For more information, visit their website via the link below.