Trf Dual

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How long will your battery power reserves last if you take caravanning or RVing away from mains powered camping areas? Normally, just one deep cycle battery of around 100 Ampere Hours supply enough for caravans and RVs. Increasing battery capacity and then various charging arrangements by installing a dual battery system depends on your use of 12 volt appliances. Here is some information.


Completing the installation of a dual battery system yourself is not that difficult but you do need a degree of understanding of the components and parameters involved in such a process. You will also need some practical hands-on skills (I say this because there are people who never even open the hood of their vehicle let alone start installing dual battery systems!). So what kind of knowledge and skills are required?


1. An understanding of the different battery types and their pros and cons. The awareness that batteries LOVE to be charged and NOT discharged, and never discharged below about 50% of their rated capacity if you wish to get the best life out of them.


2. You will need to perform some simple calculations to work out your power requirements by taking inventory of your appliances and how long you may use them each day when camping. In the end this will reveal your daily watt-hour requirements and from that you can determine a length of stay away from mains power (assuming no other battery charging means).


3. You will also need to perform similar calculations to determine cable sizes based on current carrying capacity and voltage drops over a set length of cable run.



Finally you need a fair degree of dexterity with the use of standard hand tools - screwdriver, power-drill, soldering iron, cable cutters/strippers, etc.


Another consideration is whether to employ battery charging mechanisms such as portable generators or solar panels; and if you do so will it be to just extend your battery provision or to maintain your battery just about fully charged for the duration.


Although all of this may sound very complicated indeed, it is not, as long as common sense prevails, instructions are interpreted correctly and safety issues are addressed. If you decide to go ahead with installing a system such as that described you will gain not only the extended time away from mains power, but also the satisfaction of doing it yourself.


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