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Custom Dual Battery Systems

Any Dual Battery system that requires Components to be installed seperately in the vehicle is classed as a "Custom Built Dual Battery system"

There  are three types of  Dual Battery set ups these days -we examine the options

Built in Dual battery system


These builds are totally '1 off' and custom everytime as installing the compents around the vehicle is different for every vehicle everytime. Having components distributed around hidden 'compartments' around the inside of your vehicle makes them the most expensive and difficult to install, maintain and repair. The Big positive is that you can can save space - but only if your vehicle has suitable places to hide the components. High skill installers - as well as auto electricians are needed to do a nice job on more modern vehicles especially when running smart alternators. They can get expensive - and irritating if something goes wrong. you may have to be a contortionist to sort any issue yourself or empty the car to check a fuse.

Renewable Power Stations (RPS)

Tough Touring started building its Dual Battery Systems into Tough Aluminium Cases some years ago to maximise space and minimise Labour costs. RPS have major benefits over even built in Dual battery systems,  The Big wins being FAST Charging from the vehicle alone and the MAJOR cost savings when compared to an equivilantly spec'd built in system.

Portable power stations 

These are the wonderous little power cases available at Jaycar, BCF, Anaconda and Online. There  are many brands on the market - they tend to have very high output wattage for their compact size and are usually also the Lightest and cheapest as they are manufactured in china. They Utilise high voltage batteries to minimise the 'Lift' required to get to 240v - resulting in smaller units. They are typically pretty good tec - but the high voltage makes them potentially dangerous when charging or around water. That said their biggest issue is - Slow to non existent recharging off grid. They typicall offer very small solar inputs, and under 10 Amps trickle charge from the car USELESS - if you have a smart alternator, and your not driving, and useless after Their Stored Energy is depleted. (you have to plug them into mains power again realistically to recharge) . (Don't fall for the lies that they will recharge off your car and solar at any usable speed) foreign connections are another downside if you have anything bar USB and Cig Sockets.

Tough Touring Reccommends 

Installing a Pre Assembled / Portable Dual battery system or what were calling a 'Renewable Power Station' like the ones in this link have major cost savings over a Built in Dual battery sysetm, The portability saves a lot of work when it comes time to move the system to a new vehicle, and its smaller investment means you can probably afford other upgrades on the list....Have a good lock. We  started making them  to improve the touring comfort we do ourselves. 

 The benefits of installing a Tough touring  'Renewable Power Stations' (Using Victron Simultanious DCDC and SOLAR MPPT chargers) are:

Using Victron Components allows the RPS to  recharge twice the speed off grid than any other quality built in  system on the market 

Typically half the cost of same spec Built in unit

Adaptable later, You can add more batteries and add more chargers if you need them as your set up changes.

Easy to repair and diagnose any failed component - just slide it out and inspect on the bench.

Faster installation - Work is done - Slide in and bolt off.


Portable Dual Battery Systems - Weve Called them 'Renewable Power Stations' or RPS for short

Designed to replace built in 'Dual Battery systems' - RPS  can  can be set up to back charge flat car batteries in emergencies and the 240v varients  will run most household appliances, even air con and heaters within their output spec. 


Building  in Dual battery systems can get out of hand, typically also requiring rear drawer systems to also be modified hide the componentry, and the time and Labour can lead to an expensive system that is not transferrable to your next vehicle -

Tough tourings general advice is to look toward 'plug and play systems like our RPS units instead where possible. See link below "Renewable Power systems" for a better option.


Some Examples of our 'All in one -RPS pre-fab units installed in canopies below - They look custom and built in anyway but have major benefits over doing it all again from scratch!


Running an RPS over a built in system is a no - brainer once you have tried them. They are very easy to remove, service, install and half the price of a similar spec unit with components all custom installed. The Price savings are in Labour, Bracket fab and Wiring looms in tight spaces. With the RPS units being uniform, we are able to achieve a perfect dual battery system in a repeatable enclosure - and building them on a work bench speeds up production time - reducing costs to the consumer. 

Its important to know that if your running any Dual Battery System - Your  going to be  relying purely on solar power while your parked up - 

RV - 12 Volt Solar panels are very Inefficient compared to  'Household' 36Volt Solar Panels.

The basic fail is that Australias most Popular Brands of Dual Battery system managers like Redarc, Projecta etc cannot run household SOLAR panels, they will cut out at solar inputs of over 27.9 Volts - a major dent in how much power you can generate  offgrid.


If you want big solar power - companies like Victron, Enerdrive and DCS provide a bigger voltage range for solar inputs - supporting the higher voltages ascociated with  'Household solar panels. More on this discussed here - 'Maximising Solar Power'

Solar Power on Car.jpg
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