The decision to install a dual-battery system is generally based on the following…
- Do you camp in remote areas?
- Do you own a 12V camping fridge?
- Do you camp in one location, or do you like to “camp on the move”?
CAMPING IN REMOTE AREAS
Your camping habits will play a big role in your decision to install dual-battery system. If you typically camp in locations where mains power is available, then a dual-battery system hardly seems worth it.
If, however, you prefer camping ‘off the grid’, then a dual-battery system will certainly prove worthwhile.
12V CAMPING FRIDGE
If you wish to upgrade your cooler box for a camping fridge, you’ll most likely need a dual-battery system, too.
Given that most lead-acid batteries shouldn’t be discharged more than 30% to 50%, you can expect your auxiliary battery to power your fridge for one to three days.
Of course, this all depends on ambient weather conditions, what temperature you set the fridge at, the capacity of your battery, the technology of the battery, the location of your battery (heat), and how long you want the battery to last in terms of service life.
Nonetheless, the point is: If you camp in remote locations, and you own a camping fridge, you will definitely find a dual-battery system worth it.
CAMPING ON THE MOVE
If your camping habits are nomadic, as opposed to staying in just one location, then a dual-battery system is a worthwhile investment. If you tend to set up camp for a week or two (and almost never drive to another spot), then a dual-battery system (which charges off your vehicle’s alternator) isn’t particularly necessary.
However, in saying that, a number of premium DC-DC dual-battery systems are now equipped with a built-in solar regulator. So aside from charging via your vehicle’s alternator, you also have the option of keeping the battery topped up (while you’re not driving) with a suitably-sized solar panel.
On that note, there’s nothing stopping you from installing a solar panel and solar regulator in conjunction with a solenoid-based dual-battery system. In fact, this is still one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market.
But before you commit to a particular system, you’ll definitely want to read this detailed blog piece on: “Which dual-battery system is best: Solenoid or DC-DC?”