Dual Battery Systems and Electronics
What is it ? - a dual battery system if the fitting of a second deep cycle battery and an electronic system that runs all the power consuming accessories off the deep cycle battery without flattening the cranking battery that powers the vehicle itself.
Why do I need it? - dual battery systems allow the full time operation of fridges, lights and those other powered necessities we can't go bush without.
Long distance travel involves having a few powered devices from fridge to lights and everything in between. A second battery is essential if you intend to run driving lights, fridge etc. Please don't think this does not apply to you, because some people can do without the basics of refrigeration and light but I've yet to meet him or her. In my household, we have only just realised a hairdryer is not essential to prolong life.
Electrical appliances make bush travel easier, I'll repeat that for the hard of hearing, Electrical appliances make bush travel easier.
It must be remembered that everything electrical, actually not attached to the motor of your vehicle ,draws current. In a single battery situation, by the time you add on Driving lights, two or three radios and a few other odds and sods, your original battery is fast approaching its limit.
In this site you will meet the Usual Suspects and probably, know that surely, something has gone wrong. Note the speed at which the brains trust appears to take in making a decision, somewhat hasty but trying hard. This time the dual battery system had not been wired correctly and two Engel fridges had been running all night. It was however, a great system and it was $100 cheaper than Piranha's. All the current had been drawn from the main battery which was as flat as a night carter's hat. Then, current had been drawn from the auxiliary battery and now both were flat. The dill who fitted this system had not included a deep cycle second battery, but a normal cranking battery and by this time neither battery could crank anything.
Jumper leads I hear you thinking, and we did try that for a while and ended up burning a set of leads. A push start - this thing weighs close to three tonnes. You might as well try and push start the Southern Aurora for all the good that did and I'll bet the compression ratio in the Southern Aurora was less than this thing. The matter was solved by the RACQ. They charged the batteries for several hours. The wiring still wasn't right but was finally corrected at Weipa.
Incidents like this tend to cause friction between those who have taken the time, researched and fitted a Piranha system and those who don't mind sitting around for a day watching their battery charge in the middle of the Daintree. The urge to travel was upon us so, one vehicle headed off to Cooktown while the other drove like a maniac to make up ground, hoping they hadn't missed anything. I'm not criticising the Daintree, but it gets unbelievably hot and humid when you are nowhere near a beach or river. If you are going to break down, at least have the forethought to do it somewhere you can fish. It helps to pass the time and you never know what you might catch.
The new high tech Diesels are mainly automatic, with no volts, they don't go anywhere. This is particularly relevant to the new All Wheel Drive vehicles masquerading as 4x4's.
No Volts, No Go.
The second battery will supply all required power to these and other useful items. But where do I go?
In a word Piranha (piranhaoffroad.com.au). Itís their stock in trade. They do really superb work in 4x4 auto electrics, including headlight looms, dual battery systems and driving lights. One only has to see the clean, tidy and efficient use of the cabling and that little light on the battery isolator, to know itís the best. All warranty claims are met with no fuss. (I only have this tit bit second hand, as ours works perfectly)
Think about it and get it done right the first time. If you're not able to get out to Piranha in Boronia, find someone who sells their stuff and use it. Don't end up like some of the Usual Suspects who tried to do it on the cheap. They got cheap. The whole bloody thing didn't work properly. I will deal with the cheap Chinese imitation electric winch under "Recovery" but suffice to say it was cheap. "It didn't work" but at the start it sure looked good. After repairs at Weipa, it still looked good but it still didn't work and at the end of the trip it didn't even look good.
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