When camping in parks or campsites that have mains power, one battery is usually enough to power your outdoor activities. However, if you plan on exploring off-grid locations in your 4WD vehicle or RV, you may need two batteries to ensure you have sufficient power without the need for a recharge. Relying solely on your car battery will not be enough to sustain your entire trip, which is why dual battery systems have been developed. These systems provide the extra power you need when you're away from mains power sources.
How To Install a Dual Battery System?
Many 4WD or RV owners prefer 12V dual battery systems, and some even supplement them with solar panels for better power output. If you're a first-timer, it's best to seek professional help, but if you have prior experience in setting up batteries, you can do it yourself by following a few basic steps.
Start by installing your auxiliary battery onto your vehicle and ensuring that you have all the necessary cables. Proceed to disconnect your starter battery. Next, position your Voltage Sensitive Relay (VSR) near the primary battery, keeping it away from any moving parts or parts that generate heat. Attach the lugs to the bare ends of your cable by removing around 15mm of insulation and crimping them in place. Place the heat shrink over the lug and apply heat to make it water-resistant. Once done, use the black wire of the VSR to earth the relay, then connect the main battery to it. Earth your secondary battery and place the VSR on the mounting plate. Connect the negative lead first to the starter battery and then to the second, and use a multimeter to test your batteries.
If you want to make the installation process more straightforward, you can opt for dual battery kits that come with everything you need plus a comprehensive instruction guide. Additionally, if you have additional appliances inside your vehicle, you can choose a battery with a higher capacity, such as a 24V battery, or instead install a lithium dual battery system.