BATTERY & POWER SUPPLY IN CAMPERS | Land Rover Defender | Equipment series 4/15

BATTERY & POWER SUPPLY IN CAMPERS | Land Rover Defender | Equipment series 4/15

Hi this is Emeline from the Off-Track
Family, hope you’re doing fine today. In this video we want to talk to you about
battery and power supply. This episode is part of our Land Rover Defender
equipment series so I hope you’ll enjoy. As said before this video is all about
batteries and power supply for your accessories that you might install in
your camper. But first of all, the first question that you have to ask yourself
is: what is your way of overlanding? Do you plan to travel in complete autonomy
or do you plan to stop overnight on campsite that will provide you with the
correct power supply? From the beginning we wanted to be quite autonomous so we
asked ourselves what kind of electrical installation should we
need to have a good power supply? The solution that we found the best was to
install a second battery. And in fact what ever is your way of overlanding, one
of the first thing that you might have to consider is
installing a second battery. So why install a second battery? The second
battery will allow you to use all of your accessories when your engine is
switched off and it will allow you to power all of your electrical
accessories without fearing to discharge totally your main battery and not being
able to restart your engine the next morning. Just a quick info in between, the
winch may be an accessory but as it needs a lot of power it’s preferable to
connect it to the main battery and also use it while the alternator is running. A
very important point when installing two batteries is that it’s an absolute
necessity to have a good management system that allows you to pair and split
both batteries. Relatively simple installation
can allow you a management of those two batteries quite effectively.
We have now for many years the IBS dual battery system. It was the most
successful product on the market when we needed it and it’s also a Swiss
product so deemed to be reliable. So how does it work? The IBS dual battery
system is a big 200 amps relay that allows you to pair both batteries when
the alternator is running to charge them and they will recharge
simultaneously. When the vehicle’s ignition is switched off, the relay
separates the batteries and each of them can be used on its own. In
addition to the relay an electronic controller allows an easy management of
the two batteries with interesting functions. For example you can pair
manually both batteries for a difficult cold start. This is called the jump start
function. This controller is also able to maintain the capacity of the batteries
to a sufficient level to ensure a start. It also protects the battery from total
discharge, because as you may know it’s not that good to totally discharge the
battery and as said before this IBS system does protect them from total
discharge when using your batteries for charging your accessories. This is only a
few examples of the functions that this IBS dual battery system has. So I will
let you go and have a look on internet what are all the other functions of this
IBS dual battery system. This controller also includes a display that shows the
voltage of your batteries, the charging voltage of the alternator, and also the
status of the batteries to know if they are paired or spitted. The only
disadvantage of this system is that they recommend using two batteries of same
type and same capacity, so that the charge levels are identical and that you
don’t end up damaging the battery’s prematurely. In fact this is exactly what
happened with our stock main battery paired with
an Optima yellow top of 55 Ah. The main stock battery was 110 Ah lead
acid type battery and the second battery that we bought was an Optima yellow top
AGM type of 55 Ah. Our stock lead acid battery quickly lost its capacity
and no longer held the charge. After that bad experience we bought another Optima
yellow top or 55 Ah to have two identical batteries. We do think that AGM
batteries are very interesting because they don’t fear deep discharge and
they can be stored in several positions because they are waterproof and don’t
emit acidic liquid. We have this combination for many years now and are
quite satisfied. We have many accessories connected to the second battery such as
the fridge, 12 volt portable ARB lamp, a 12 volt 230 volts 550 watts
inverter, radio, a CB, … And with this setup we can easily power our accessories for
one night stop, charge our electronic device with our 220 volts, and also have
light. However we are a little bit disappointed with the capacity of the
optima yellow top of 55 Ah. Sure they are excellent batteries but we think
that the small model has a really insufficient capacity, especially when
planning to install more energy hungry accessories on that second battery. After
our trip to Australia, we were inspired by various and very interesting
accessory setups . So then we decided to install a compressor and also a water
tank with pump. Of course this was in addition to all the accessories that
were already connected to the second battery such as, as said before, the
fridge, the inverter, the radio, the CB, some light, USB socket, etc… This was a lot of accessories for our
small electric installation. So my husband decided to review everything
from A to Z. First thing, the battery choice. The main reason why we chose the
Optima yellow top of 55 Ah is the lack of space in the battery
compartment. In some 4wd like Toyotas you have enough space under
the hood to place two optima yellow top of 75 Ah, which is much more
interesting at capacity level but also bigger in size. In a Land Rover Defender,
the battery compartment is under the driver’s seat and it’s not very spacious.
That means that you don’t have many choices, you can either place stock
battery and an Optima of 55 Ah or two Optima of 55 Ah. This
doesn’t leave much space for the IBS dual battery system and also for any
electrical cutouts. Because now, as we plan to have 2x 75 Ah
optima yellow top batteries, we had to review the batteries’ placements. So we
decided to free up some space and left the main battery under the driver’s seat
in the battery compartment and place the second battery in the back. We have a
dead space in our wooden layout made by Aménagement 4×4 and it’s perfect
for a much wider battery such as 75 Ah optima yellow top one. Some room
was left for the compressor and the 1 gallon air tank also. After many
measurements, my husband connected several meters of 35 m2 cable from the battery compartment under the
driver’s seat to the back of the trunk behind the backseat.
This is where we centralized most of our accessories and also the fuse boxes for
those accessories. He carefully installed the cables in protection sheaths under
the chassis. Of course the problem with the battery placement is the distance
between both batteries. When you pair two batteries with a coupler isolator
it’s not only good to have the two batteries of the same type and same capacity but
it’s also better that the wiring distance between both of them isn’t too
far. The main reason is to not have too much loss from the alternator. This is
why the alternator should be close enough to the batteries. And comparing to
our first installation where both batteries were next to each other, they
are now separated by almost 2.5 meters of cables. So, which solution
did we find for our battery placement? The solution is to have a charger for
your second battery. We found it by an excellent Australian manufacturer on our
last trip, named Redarc. Unfortunately, this brand is isn’t easily
available in Europe and it’s a shame because they have excellent products the
Redarc BCDC1240D is the one we have and it’s perfect for this use. When
properly wired, it allows you to keep your IBS dual battery system and also to
charge directly from the alternator batteries of all types such as lead acid,
lithium, or AGM types. This charger unit is an additional electronic device that
doesn’t inspire you at first but yet it is intended to be placed in the engine
bay because it doesn’t feel the elements, nor the temperature variations because
it is totally sealed, waterproof, and dustproof.
We placed it in the cockpit close to the auxiliary battery at the back to have
an optimal charge of it. And here’s what’s next for our power supply
installation! For the moment we keep our two optimal yellow top batteries of 55Ah because it’s useless to change something that works. But the
installation is ready to install bigger batteries and as soon as the 55 Ah
will show signs of weakness we will change both of them at the same time we
now have enough space in the battery compartment under the driver’s seat and
also at the back to place two optima yellow top of 75 Ah. What is great
with the Redarc BCDC charger is that you can also connect it to solar panels to
recharge your batteries. We haven’t needed this option yet because we rarely
do more than one night stops in the same place. But we strongly plan to buy a
solar blanket from the same brand Redarc because we want to become more
autonomous on a longer period of time. We have to insist that this Redarc BCDC
charger is complementary to the IBS dual battery management system and can’t
replace it because it doesn’t have exactly the same function. the Redarc BCDC charger links both batteries and helps to charge 100% of the second
battery by the alternator or solar panels, but it doesn’t pair and split the
batteries, nor does it have the jumpstart function, neither can it prevent a total
discharge of the battery during an extended use of your accessories.
As you noticed it’s quite messy behind those back seats but as we haven’t finished
yet the power supply and accessory installations we prefer to leave it like
this, but be sure that as soon as possible it will be nice and
tidy. So, there we are with the battery and power supply installations. Hope this
episode will be helpful and will help you make the best choices for your power
supply in your camper. Would be really happy to read you so don’t hesitate to
comment below and let us know your choices for your camper and if you have any
questions. Don’t forget to put a thumbs up, push that subscribe button, turn on
the notification bell, and please share this video. Okay, talk to you soon, bye!

One thought on “BATTERY & POWER SUPPLY IN CAMPERS | Land Rover Defender | Equipment series 4/15

  1. Super ! Avez-vous étudiez la solution d'installer une batterie au gel ? J'ai aussi regardé pour le système de Blanket Redarc qui me semble être le meilleur pour un 4×4, mais plus aucun panneaux solaire n'est visible sur leur site (peut-être en maintenance)

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