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Dual Battery system or not?

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Dual Battery system or not?

Hi Guys,

I am building up my tacoma so I can stay out in the snow and cold for longer periods of time without having to worry about the truck. I am looking to upgrade my battery because I am using the outlet more than I expected and also am going in to the cold temps way more. What should I do? The dealership has recommended I just get a better battery and that would be fine, a few other guys suggested a dual battery system? Not really sure what route to go and was hoping to get some solid answers as I always have in the past on TW.

BTW I am running an on board air compressor , pumping up air mattress, charging radio's, lighting systems, and running stereo when in camp. I have already drained my battery once and was stuck out in the snow.... sucked... but what do I do?

Dual Battery?
Better Battery?
Leave it alone?
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrahsky View Post
Hi Guys,

I am building up my tacoma so I can stay out in the snow and cold for longer periods of time without having to worry about the truck. I am looking to upgrade my battery because I am using the outlet more than I expected and also am going in to the cold temps way more. What should I do? The dealership has recommended I just get a better battery and that would be fine, a few other guys suggested a dual battery system? Not really sure what route to go and was hoping to get some solid answers as I always have in the past on TW.

BTW I am running an on board air compressor , pumping up air mattress, charging radio's, lighting systems, and running stereo when in camp. I have already drained my battery once and was stuck out in the snow.... sucked... but what do I do?

Dual Battery?
Better Battery?
Leave it alone?
An excellent question, one I've been pondering as well. In addition to the items you mentioned, I am thinking of installing a winch.

I have heard that it is not good to drain a "starting" battery too many times. It will eventually take it's toll on the battery. It would seem that having a dual bat system where the 2nd bat is a deep cycle type would be a better option for these things.

Very curious to see what others have to suggest.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:01 PM   #4
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Starting battery drained three or more times=dead. Use a deep cycle battery as a secondary battery and an isolator rated at the output of your alternator. You'll need to reroute power from the deep cycle to the accessories you want to run, or use a battery A/B select switch. The selector switch will allow you to run the truck off of one battery or both.
In summary: isolator allows charging of both batteries, but keeps each battery on it's own circuit. The switch allows you to switch between using either battery to power the truck.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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Something to consider is the Die Hard platinum battery. Supposedly they are made by Odyssey and are really good batteries.

Also have you looked into portable battery packs like this duracell one?

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_1...1023x272xTier3

I got this one off ebay for around $60 new. It will run a 13 inch tube tv for over an hour according to the status thing.

It also came with jumper cables but I have yet to test them.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skytower View Post
Starting battery drained three or more times=dead. Use a deep cycle battery as a secondary battery and an isolator rated at the output of your alternator. You'll need to reroute power from the deep cycle to the accessories you want to run, or use a battery A/B select switch. The selector switch will allow you to run the truck off of one battery or both.
In summary: isolator allows charging of both batteries, but keeps each battery on it's own circuit. The switch allows you to switch between using either battery to power the truck.

Hope this helps.
Wow, just did a google search for 'battery isolators'. There is a lot of choices/options to sort out. For instance, the output amps of a stock alternator play a factor in choosing the correct isolator. One of the things I've read about winching is, a higher amp alt may be necessary.

Any thoughts on brands and amperage capacities for a 2 bat isolator?
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:28 PM   #7
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If you plan on ever upgrading your alternator, get the isolator that can handle the amps.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:35 PM   #8
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I would do a dual battery and when you go out bring an extra battery, in the cab incase you drain both, to start the truck.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:03 AM   #9
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After getting stuck out there I started bringing a "jump me" battery system I got from costco, but I hate to even have to worry that much. The dual battery system sounds kind of overkill being that I am not running a winch, unless I am not understanding it properly. Forgive me as I am new to electrical systems and so on but how does a deep cycle battery differ from the tacoma battery? If my main concern is cold coupled with extra use, a member suggested a red top optimum? Does any one know a place that have a diy dual battery set up that is not junk? I only felt its overkill because my local shop wants an arm leg and shoulder to install !!
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrahsky View Post
Hi Guys,

I am building up my tacoma so I can stay out in the snow and cold for longer periods of time without having to worry about the truck. I am looking to upgrade my battery because I am using the outlet more than I expected and also am going in to the cold temps way more. What should I do? The dealership has recommended I just get a better battery and that would be fine, a few other guys suggested a dual battery system? Not really sure what route to go and was hoping to get some solid answers as I always have in the past on TW.

BTW I am running an on board air compressor , pumping up air mattress, charging radio's, lighting systems, and running stereo when in camp. I have already drained my battery once and was stuck out in the snow.... sucked... but what do I do?

Dual Battery?
Better Battery?
Leave it alone?
gas generator..

or get one of those setups that cuts power off to everything else when it falls below a certain voltage so ou'll have enough power to start the truck..

how cold is cold, where is this cold location?

red tops HATE to sit around without being used..
a blue or yellow top likes to dip low after sitting for a while and still be able to start..

I's look into doing the "Big 3" wiring upgrade under the hood.. it helps the charging system..
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:30 AM   #11
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The "Big 3" or whatever will not make a difference here. The issue is cold weather affecting the battery.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D. View Post
gas generator..

or get one of those setups that cuts power off to everything else when it falls below a certain voltage so ou'll have enough power to start the truck..

how cold is cold, where is this cold location?

red tops HATE to sit around without being used..
a blue or yellow top likes to dip low after sitting for a while and still be able to start..

I's look into doing the "Big 3" wiring upgrade under the hood.. it helps the charging system..
Cold is under the car, around the car and coming down from the sky, usually snowing or in snow up to 3 feet deep, starting truck at 4 am usually between 0 - 30 degrees depending.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:06 PM   #13
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It'll be expensive to do it right but if you're spending many consecutive days in the "bush" then check out the national luna DIY kit. Comes with everything you need except the second battery. I don't need anything like this but I'd love to have it in case the zombies attack.

http://www.sierraexpeditions.com/ind...t_detail&p=543
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspadaro View Post
The "Big 3" or whatever will not make a difference here. The issue is cold weather affecting the battery.
If the battery isn't seeing an effective charge, it won't hold a charge as long while sitting,
the big 3 should definitely be on the list while your in there anyways..

My truck has always turned over in -40 weather with a wind chill..
Before I did the big 3, it was a little sluggish on the start up..
With no other mods other than the big 3 upgrade, it greatly increased my charging voltage to where I see consistantly about 14.1 - 14.3v while running.. sitting for the same amount of time I noticed on my ScanguageII I had more voltage ready to go in the on but not running position.

I'm not saying it'll cure all of his issues,
but if you can make a system more effecient,
why not while your in there?
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