Proper planning and preparation can lead to an amazing experience on and off the grid. 

Whether you’re in a truck built for overlanding or living the van life, one of the critical components for any adventure is having a reliable and durable power source. 

When access to electricity is unavailable, dependable and robust power sources are necessary to keep critical equipment running, including powered coolers, electric gadgets, or even to jump-start a starter battery. Batteries and battery accessories play a significant role in keeping your devices powered up and your rig ready to start.

Most dual battery systems may include a dual battery tray, a deep-cycle battery, a battery isolator, a battery monitor, a battery charger, and the correct wiring and fuses.

These components will ensure that your dual battery system is reliable, durable, and safe. This gear guide showcases some of the latest options for batteries and battery accessories to ensure you have plenty of power once you get to your destination.


The Dual Battery Checklist: 7 common items needed for most dual battery setups.

Dual battery setups such as the one in our Land Cruiser project vehicle require specialized equipment. This list of seven items is required for most common setups.

1. Dual Battery Tray
The first step in setting up a dual battery system is to get a dual battery tray. This tray is specifically designed to fit two batteries in your vehicle’s engine bay or cargo area. It provides a secure and sturdy platform for the batteries, ensuring that they stay in place even on rough terrain. 

2. Deep Cycle Battery
The next step is to choose a deep cycle battery. These batteries are specifically designed to provide sustained power over long periods. They have a high capacity and can be discharged and recharged multiple times without damage. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are a popular choice for overlanding, as they are maintenance-free and have a long lifespan.

3. Battery Isolator
A battery isolator is an essential component of a dual battery system. It ensures that the primary battery is not drained while powering your accessories. It allows the secondary battery to be charged from the alternator while preventing the power from draining from the primary battery. 

4. Battery Monitor
A battery monitor is a device that keeps track of the status of your batteries. It provides real-time information on the charge level, voltage, and temperature of your batteries. A battery monitor is an essential tool for overlanding, as it allows you to monitor the state of your batteries and prevent over-discharging.

5. Battery Charger
A battery charger is necessary to recharge your batteries when they are depleted. You can choose between a solar-powered charger or a dual-battery system that allows you to charge your battery while driving.

6. Inverter
An inverter is an accessory that allows you to convert DC power from your battery to AC power. This accessory is useful if you need to power appliances that require AC power.

7. Wiring & Fuses
The wiring and fuses are crucial components of a dual battery system. You need to ensure that the wiring is of the correct gauge and that the fuses are rated correctly. Poor wiring and incorrect fusing can cause your battery system to fail or even cause a fire.


Battery & Gear Buyer’s Guide

Optima ORANGETOP Battery

Highlights: Optima Batteries recently unveiled its first-ever 12-volt lithium-ion battery, called ORANGETOP with Hypercore Lithium technology. These batteries are designed to provide power, performance, and reliability to various powersport vehicles, such as motorcycles, UTVs, ATVs, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles.

The battery line features Optima’s Powerlink system, providing users with control, status, and charging of the battery. This system can control Optima CPR and a battery storage mode to optimize battery health and lifespan. ORANGETOP batteries feature an IP67 dust and water intrusion rating—meaning they are waterproof and dust-intrusion-proof on top of the vibration resistance.

They are available in six sizes with cranking power ranging from 190-800 amps and capacities ranging from 3-15 ampere hours. The ORANGETOP battery line covers more than 95% of powersports applications and features quad terminals to maximize fitment and connection of aftermarket accessories.

Dimensions: Varies
Weight: Ranges from 1.7 to 7.1 lbs.
MSRP: Varies


Redarc RedVision Manager 30

Highlights: The Redarc RedVision Manager 30 is an advanced and versatile power management system that provides total control of your vehicle’s power supply. Its user-friendly interface, advanced features, and built-in safety measures make it an ideal solution for overlanding enthusiasts. 

The Manager 30 allows users to run multiple accessories from lights to fridges, can charge batteries with a dual battery setup, maximize solar power input, monitor batteries, and improve safety to protect batteries and equipment from damage caused by overload or short circuit. 

The RedVision Manager30 is packed with features, including dual battery management, compatibility with both lithium and lead-acid batteries, battery health management, solar panel management, and customizable alerts, all in a compact and rugged design. It’s no wonder the Manager 30 has become the choice for many overlanders and van life enthusiasts.

Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.1 x 17.5 in.
Weight: 12.1 lbs.
MSRP: $1,476


Battle Born 12V GC2 LiFePO4 Heated Battery Kit (100aH)

The Battle Born 12V GC2 LiFePO4 Heated Battery Kit is a high-performance power solution designed for extreme environments. This lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery kit is designed to work with GC2 battery boxes, making it easy to install and use. One of its unique features is its built-in heating system.

This system keeps the battery at an optimal temperature range even in extreme cold weather, ensuring reliable and consistent power output. The heating system is also energy-efficient, ensuring that the battery is not drained unnecessarily. The kit offers several other advantages, including a longer lifespan compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, faster charging times, and lower weight.

It also has a high discharge rate, making it suitable for high-power applications such as RVs, boats, and off-grid homes. This is a reliable and high-performance power solution for those who require a durable battery for extreme environments and in all weather conditions. Multiple amp-hour versions are available.

Dimensions: 10.31 x 7.28 x 11.02 in.
Weight: 31 lbs.
MSRP: $1,050 (100Ah)


Renogy DCC50S 12V 50A DC-DC On-Board Battery Charger with MPPT

Highlights: Renogy’s DC-DC battery charger is one of the most popular units that we’ve observed in the many rigs that we have come across. It has two charging options for your house battery, either by using a starter battery linked to the vehicle alternator or by connecting it directly to solar panels.

Both methods can be used simultaneously, and the charger has up to 99% MPPT tracking efficiency and 94% conversion efficiency, allowing it to charge a 1kWh battery within two hours using solar energy. The charger also has a partitioned all-in-one NEG-terminal design that integrates terminals for solar panels, the array starter battery, and the house battery, making installation simple and avoiding misconnection.

It also features a soft-start circuit design to prevent instantaneous over-voltage that may cause damage to the battery charger or starter battery during vehicle alternator startup.

Dimensions: 9.6 x 5.7 x3.0 in.
Weight: 3.13 lbs.
MSRP: $340


Smittybilt Dual Battery Tray for Optima Batteries

Highlights: The Smittybilt Dual Battery Tray is an aftermarket accessory designed to enable the installation of two batteries in a vehicle. It is made of heavy-duty steel and powdercoated in black for durability and corrosion resistance.

The tray is specifically designed to fit various models of Jeep Wrangler and may fit other 4x4 vehicles. It is designed to fit two standard-size Optima batteries. The tray comes with all necessary hardware for easy installation without the need for a drill and allows for quick and easy battery access.

MSRP: $107


Genesis Offroad Universal Dual Battery Kit - Gen 3

Highlights: Genesis Offroad conceived this dual battery system to be the most complete and easy-to-install kit on the market. It includes a 300-amp isolator and features a heavy-duty battery tray. The kit comes completely pre-wired out of the box and includes a boost switch, allowing you to jump-start your vehicle off your second battery.

Power and ground bus bars make it easy to connect accessories, while the smart isolator automatically handles all charging functions. The interface port is pre-wired for the G Screen monitoring system, and the kit features the high-quality wires, tin-plated copper connectors, and sealed heat shrink tubing.

The kit is powdercoated for durability and proudly made in the USA. Batteries are sold separately, and matching Group 34 batteries are required.

MSRP: $669


sPOD Battery Cable

Highlights: Upgrade your vehicle’s electrical system with the sPOD Battery Cables with 100-amp inline fuse. Choose from three different sizes to find the perfect fit for your needs, and enjoy reliable power for all your accessories and electrical components.

These high-quality cables are available in three convenient sizes—12 inches, 36 inches, and 84 inches—and come with an associated negative cable. Made from high-quality materials, these cables are built to last.

They feature durable insulation and are resistant to abrasion, oil, and chemicals. The cables also have a high-temperature rating, ensuring they can handle the heat generated by your vehicle’s electrical system.

Lengths: 12, 36, 84 in.
MSRP: from $14.50


Dakota Lithium DL+ 12V 135Ah

Highlights: The DL+ 12V 135Ah from Dakota Lithium is a highly versatile battery with a high energy density. It has a nominal voltage of 12 volts and a capacity of 135 amp-hours, making it more powerful and longer-lasting than lead-acid batteries.

The battery is designed to withstand harsh environments and extreme temperatures, with built-in even-heating technology that allows it to operate in temperatures as low as -20°F. The DL+ 12V 135Ah battery also charges five times faster than traditional batteries and can be charged using a 135-amp charger or alternator in under an hour.

It is lightweight, small, and easy to install, making it a convenient option for users, and is compatible with most automotive, deep-cycle marine, and other deep-cycle applications, allowing for easy integration with existing systems.

Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.9 x 7.75 in.
Weight: 27.2 lbs.
MSRP: $1,399


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This article originally appeared in OVR Issue 03. For more informative articles like this, consider subscribing to OVR Magazine in print or digital versions here. You can also find the print edition of OVR at your local newsstand by using our Magazine Finder.