Ever wanted to stay that extra day or two at that crackin’ campsite because you’re having such a good time? We’ve all been there. Desperate to avoid the return to reality. For many, it’s not just available time that determines how much longer we can extend our trip, it’s critical considerations like battery power and whether you’ll be left stranded with a flat battery.
Knowing how much fuel you have left in your batteries and how to optimise this, is the difference between heading home or getting that extra day of adventure in.
This is where battery monitors and meters become essential kit to help you manage the use of fuel in your battery and know whether it’ll keep your fridge, camp lights and other creature comforts going that extra day.
BATTERIES NEED FUEL LIKE YOUR 4WD
Like vehicles, batteries need a type of fuel to create energy. We can’t always generate energy while away so batteries that store electrical energy in a chemical form come in handy. The chemical reactions in the battery cause it to create energy. But over time, the chemicals are gradually converted into different chemicals and their ability to generate power dwindles without a charge up. Most people use a deep cycle battery for their auxiliary battery to power up appliances. Deep cycle batteries don’t perform well if they fall below a 60% depth of discharge. It can reduce their performance and reliability, and reduce their lifespan resulting in increased costs with premature replacement
and cut short your next adventure.
CHECK THE FUEL LEVELS IN YOUR AUXILIARY BATTERY
Checking your batteries before you go and particularly, while you are away on your next adventure gives you the ability to keep your batteries fuelled up and ready to go when you are. A quality battery meter or monitor will show you, at the touch of a button, how much power you have remaining and the energy you’ve consumed. Importantly, it will tell you how much time you can continue to support the current load on your battery system. So you can decide whether to stay that extra day without risking flat batteries. Having this information at your fingertips means you can take care of your batteries, extend their lifetime and save money.
THE BEST BATTERY MONITORS AND METERS TO CONSIDER
For me personally, I can’t go past the Victron BMV 700 or 702 for monitoring and controlling your power. They use a powerful microprocessor and super accurate shunt technology to deliver precision monitoring. They show your battery’s state of charge, the percentage of energy consumed by the battery and the amount of time you can continue to support the current load. A fuel gauge status shows the remaining power. The Victron BMV 700 is quick and easy to install. It comes complete with a battery monitor, optional bezel, 500A shunt and there’s only two cables to wire the unit. You can program a visual and audible alarm for its battery voltage and battery charge/discharge display. It even automatically detects if you’re running a 12V, 24V or 48V battery. Great value for around $300. Everything, including mounting screws, is included. Another great option is the Baintech Volt & Amp Meter, a compact, affordable and easy to install meter that gives you real-time status of your power system and is easy to see from a distance at night. Just $169. Want to know more? Head over to the Baintech Shop to watch a great video on powering up and monitoring your batteries for your next adventure, ensuring more good times.