If a Christmas camping trip is on your agenda, it’s time to prepare. At Bainbridge Technologies, we’ve put our heads together to help make sure your 12V power system is up to scratch, and you’re ready to power up the good times.
Completing a few simple checks on your dual battery system, before your summer holiday, can save you from being stuck with a flat battery when you should be relaxing and enjoying the sun, surf and sand.
1. Check your state of charge!
Before you head off, make sure you batteries are charged. Check the health of:
- Your vehicle’s starter battery
- The auxiliary battery
- If you have a flooded or “wet cell” battery check its water levels are correct
Make sure your battery keeps the appropriate voltage with a volt meter or multimeter.
One of the easiest ways to see that your batteries are in good working order is to use a smart charger. There are some excellent products on the market. For consumers, we’d recommend something like the CTEK MXS 5.0.
The charger can solve a broad range of battery-related problems and is the perfect charger for those with high demands. The MXS 5.0 offers features such as battery diagnosis that shows if a battery can receive and retain a charge, a special reconditioning function that restores stratified and deeply discharged batteries, unique maintenance charging, a mode for optimised charging during cold winter days and the charging of demanding AGM batteries (i.e. Optima). The unique display allows the user to follow the entire charging process. It is suitable for 12V batteries from 1.2-110Ah and for maintenance charging up to 160Ah.
2. Connections and cabling
If you’ve invested in quality cabling, you shouldn’t have too many problems. But it always pays to check your connections. Your first port of call is to check for corrosion, dirt or wear and tear on battery terminals. Then move on to check:
- Spade connectors
- Anderson connectors/plugs
- Ring terminals on your batteries or lugs
- Make sure the connections are tight and correctly torqued, this is very important, loose connections can result in power loss and can cause electrical fires
- Check along the length of the cabling to ensure there is no wear and tear or breaks in the cable
- Make sure there’s no exposed cabling and check that cables aren’t rubbing on any external items
Can you power the good times?
Before you leave, it also pays to work out how much load will be on your 12V system and how long your battery will last before it needs charging. Make a list of devices (like fridges and lights) and work out how many hours per day you will use them for, and how much current they will consume. These calculations will give you a rough idea of how long your power will last. Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications and check the ideal usable capacity of your battery!
If you don’t have a dual battery system now is the time to consider one. If you’re heading off for some beach camping or to a more remote location, you don’t want to get stuck with a flat battery. The Baintech Dual Battery kit is a good starting point. It’s an affordable and easy DIY kit that will power up your good times. You can watch a video about dual battery kits below.