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The Gearzette


- November 18, 2023

How often have you been at a campsite and seen someone unable to start their vehicle because they have drained the battery throughout the weekend? Or during a cold snap when a neighbor comes knocking on your door to ask if you have Jumper Cables or a Battery Starter Pack because their car refuses to start, and they suspect a flat battery. I bet more than once or twice. ​

The primary function of a standard car battery is to start it by providing an electrical current to the starter motor, which then fires up the fuel-powered internal combustion engine. This starter battery recharges via the alternator while your vehicle is on the move. The problem is that extra lights, fridges, phones and many other devices or gadgets also need battery power. ​

Here are eight vehicle battery-related products you should consider purchasing to ensure your vehicle fires up the first time, every time. ​


© Justin Kauffman

Battery charger ​

Save yourself loads of heartache and hassles with a battery charger; if you have not used your vehicle for a while, you can charge it to top up the battery. Showing your battery some love and ensuring that it can perform at its optimum will increase its longevity. ​

© Craig Kolesky

Leisure battery ​

Double your battery power by installing a second battery. Some vehicles have enough space next to their main battery for a second battery, while others have extra room in the engine bay under the hood. The main reason for getting a permanent second battery is that you now have a leisure battery exclusively used to power all your extras such as a fridge, camping lights or laptop.​

Split charge systems ​

If you fit a second battery, then a split charge system is an excellent way to monitor and control it all. This means the alternator will split the charge from the engine movement between the starter and the second or leisure batteries so that the latter gets charged up. Other ways to charge the leisure battery would be mains power if available or a solar panel if staying in one place for several days.  ​

Battery bracket​

In some countries, your vehicle is only deemed roadworthy if the battery is properly secured. Failure to do so could result in electrical issues and a fire. The best way to ensure a battery is properly secured is by using a battery bracket. Front Runner makes bespoke battery brackets for vehicles such as the Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux.​

© Craig Kolesky

Battery box ​

You need a Front Runner Battery Box if one battery isn’t enough to power your devices and gadgets. This stainless steel box mounts onto any area flat surface, and you can put a second battery into it for extra power. This can then be used to power a fridge or charge your mobile phone. ​

© Dometic GO

Portable power station or battery ​

Suppose you don’t want to go with a permanent second or leisure battery, then a portable power station or battery is another option worth considering, mainly if you constantly use different vehicles for your adventures. ​

Jump starting pack or cables

Flat battery, now what? The winter months most certainly see a rise in the sale of battery Jump Starter Packs and Jumps Start Cables. Don’t get caught without them. It might not be for your vehicle, but it’s good travel karma if you help someone.  ​

© Front Runner

Power points ​

The newest vehicles have several power points, including USB charging points for your phone or tablet; some even have three-point plug power sockets like the new Defender. What about if you drive something a little older that needs more power points? Well, you install some that will suit your gadgets and gear. It’s as simple as that. ​

© Dometic GO

Battery monitor system​

You don’t want to install some of the above suggestions and have no way of knowing if your starter battery or secondary/leisure battery is charging correctly or has a decent charge. A Battery Monitoring System is a must. ​