Charging your power banks and batteries

With rechargeable batteries and portable power banks becoming more popular to power your campsite, the question inevitably becomes one of how easily and reliably you will be able to recharge your batteries in the face of the many variables of life on the road.

Your car

USB / 12V port in your car

Smaller power banks, phones and other smaller devices can simply be charged by your car using the USB port or 12V auxiliary power socket (cigarette lighter) when the car is running.

Car alternator

Your car’s alternator can also be used to charge a large second or auxiliary deep cycle battery. Generally referred to as a dual battery system, this setup can be costly and complicated to put together and should be left up to the experts (unless of course you are one) because of the importance of protecting and isolating your car’s starting battery and maintaining the deep cycle battery in good condition.

Deep cycle batteries are very heavy and, together with the additional equipment required, will need to be accommodated within the available space and weight of your car.

The dual battery system alone will only be effective when you are doing sufficient driving to keep the auxiliary battery charged, such as when you are touring. It is not ideal when you are stationary for long periods without an additional source of power, such as with an adequate solar panel, which may also require professional help to set up.

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