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Old 01-12-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Do I Need Dual Batteries?

Noob question, i know... I have a 2011 JK. I have the RES radio and one JL Audio XD400 amp driving the tweets, dash, and sound bar speakers. Next week I'm having a second JL Audio amp (XD300) to drive my new Stealthbox.

In the future, I would like to add up to 2 sets of accessory lights up front - a set on the front bumper and a set of windshield mounts. I have had vehicles with big stereos in the past, and I know you can overtax your alternator with too many electrical add-ons.

I've read a number of dual battery posts in this forum, but I can't figure out the reason for them. Is a dual battery system just needed for redundancy - in case your main battery dies, and you want to jump your Jeep from the second battery? Or, is a dual battery setup needed to run a winch?

Again, I'm just checking to see if running two amps and two sets of add-on lights would require me to get a dual battery setup.

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Old 01-12-2012, 09:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shacklyn View Post
Noob question, i know... I have a 2011 JK. I have the RES radio and one JL Audio XD400 amp driving the tweets, dash, and sound bar speakers. Next week I'm having a second JL Audio amp (XD300) to drive my new Stealthbox.

In the future, I would like to add up to 2 sets of accessory lights up front - a set on the front bumper and a set of windshield mounts. I have had vehicles with big stereos in the past, and I know you can overtax your alternator with too many electrical add-ons.

I've read a number of dual battery posts in this forum, but I can't figure out the reason for them. Is a dual battery system just needed for redundancy - in case your main battery dies, and you want to jump your Jeep from the second battery? Or, is a dual battery setup needed to run a winch?

Again, I'm just checking to see if running two amps and two sets of add-on lights would require me to get a dual battery setup.
Not a noob question at all.

Most people who get a dual battery system use it for camping, running winches and on-board air systems, as a safety backup when they're in the stix, etc.

I don't think you'd need one for a couple amps and aux lights. However, if you decide otherwise, or think you might add even more electrical stuff in the future, here's a few threads on installation logistics, battery types, uses, etc.

Dual Batteries
2012 JK Dual Battery Setup
2012 Battery Box

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Old 01-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #3
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If you have the space for another battery, whether you really need it or not, you can do an install with a marine selector switch. Run both as a rule and then switch over to one if you're boon docking somewhere and using power for whatever, including a possible inverter.
Then if you should run the one down, you can always switch over to the fresh one to start your engine and then switch to dual again for recharging. You'll always have the option of both if needed as well.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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Heh Heh, I just carry a spare Optima-

I can use it as a spare/or use it in my inflateable fishing boat--Kewl-

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Old 01-12-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
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Thanks guys

I appreciate the feedback. That helps a lot. It never even occurred to me to use a spare battery and an inverter as a camping supplement. Great idea! I also like the idea of the selector switch. I'll keep all that in mind. Thanks again, guys.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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I used to wire up multi-battery systems with isolators and all that great stuff back in another life when I built surveillance vehicles.
I honestly never thought I'd be considering some of the same mods on my own vehicle, but it looks like it may become a possibility in the future.

The fact that you are aware is a great first step.
The fact that you came HERE for the advice was the next great step!
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shacklyn View Post
I appreciate the feedback. That helps a lot. It never even occurred to me to use a spare battery and an inverter as a camping supplement. Great idea! I also like the idea of the selector switch. I'll keep all that in mind. Thanks again, guys.
If you like the idea of the selector switch, but not the idea of having to manually switch that switch and figure out when one battery needs to charge or if it needs to be topped off, then definitely consider a smart isolator as a battery management system.
Those will monitor the health of each battery and connect them to the charging system as needed. They will sense when the charging system is on automatically (since normal battery voltage is 12-13V, and charging is 13-14V), so it will keep them both charged and healthy. You can also select to parallel them on them for winching.
Those cost more, but are also just easier to deal with. Depending on the system, you can even be alerted of a battery going bad.

I suggest National Luna, or a good and less expensive kit from Benchmark Designs.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:01 AM   #8
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Now do you need a switch for the dual battery or can you just hard wire it in without having any problems ?
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:19 AM   #9
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Now do you need a switch for the dual battery or can you just hard wire it in without having any problems ?
Best not to parallel them directly if you'd like having a dependable charged battery on standby. Using a Marine selector switch would be the simplest solution with using the dual mode when running and switching to just one for overnight camping or other uses. This way the other is always fresh for starting the engine. Once started, sw. back to dual mode for keeping them both charged.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Correct me if I'm wrong but you can use the Spod to connect all your extra equipment with the safety of it cutting off if the battery does not have enough volts to start. If your constantly in motion your safe. An extra battery is primarily used for powering stuff while the jeep in not moving. If the jeep is not moving you will drain the battery and it won't start. For example a fridge, winch, lights for camping.

I would recommend a more powerful battery cca like sears or odessey.

If your paranoid , just get a good battery jumper and keep it in the jeep.

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