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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone mounted dual batteries in the engine bay yet? Have a fridge on the way and am debating on going stand-alone house battery (on solar) or going 2x under the hood. I'm leaning heavily towards house battery and solar but have yet to make a decision.

I don't recall seeing any set-ups like this but I could have missed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reminder. I remember your set up from way back when on the Diamondback but had forgotten.

So, I'll post my current plan and thoughts:
  • Although I'll have to check to see if a high clearance rear bumper would work with this, my original thought was to stash the house battery in the area previously occupied by the stock spare. I can't imagine this interfering, but my first priority is to fix the terrible departure angle on my truck. A second battery location won't get in my way!
  • The fridge will most likely occupy some of the rear seat space (otherwise I'll probably have to protect it from the weather, and thieving eyes, in the bed). I am thinking about removing the passenger side rear seat if I can pull out just one side, honestly I haven't looked that closely.
  • Solar battery maintenance is what I'm gravitating towards, and a panel would be added by one of these options: mounted on my current bed rack or mounted on a to be purchased roof rack from M-Racks. Honestly I don't think I have enough vertical space on the rack to side mount a panel. If I went this route, it would be on a hinge system to allow me to optimize the angle of the panel (or remove it for ground placement) when parked. If I add a roof rack it would just stay up there.
  • If the battery is small enough, battery mounting on the passenger side of the engine bay is viable. This would negate the need for solar as I could easily tie into the alternator. I suppose I could do that if bed-mounted but if the battery is in the back I'd just assume make it stand alone. Most of my trips are point to point so maintaining charge via the alternator isn't a huge concern. However, I do like the idea of keeping a second "camp" system completely off of the vehicle electronics.
  • A second battery added to the vehicle charge system would provide nice redundancy/capacity once a winch is added. Probably completely unnecessary, however.

Anyway, just weighing options. A stand-alone solar system seems easier but would probably end up being more expensive.

In other news, we may have some new product lines for you guys to check out. Just sayin'!
 

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You can remove either section of the seat pretty easily. I removed mine for a long trip and it was straight forward with just a torx bit and long extension (like 10") to a 1/2 drive socket wrench. Also, keep in mind that the jack is in that location behind the seat on that side.
 

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I've read you can turn the OEM battery 90* and then add another Group 48 battery right next to it. I have been doing some research on it. Being in the PNW solar is hit or miss, maybe something I can add if I have sun light.
 
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I've read you can turn the OEM battery 90* and then add another Group 48 battery right next to it. I have been doing some research on it. Being in the PNW solar is hit or miss, maybe something I can add if I have sun light.
Diesels have a group 49 battery which is about 30% larger than what you have in your gasser. No can do :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Diesels have a group 49 battery which is about 30% larger than what you have in your gasser. No can do :wink2:
I was going to say - I'll take another look but my brain is telling me that couldn't work! lol
 

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Diesels have a group 49 battery which is about 30% larger than what you have in your gasser. No can do :wink2:
Yup, you oil burners need under or in bed mounts. There sure is some highend stuff out there, lots of money. I havn't bought a new battery in a long time, boy was I shocked, $250? )^%vv$!, you got to be kidding me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, I've been thinking about this a lot and I think the best thing for me is going to be under the bed. Without the spare in the way the packaging is too easy.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to address power distribution/charge controller. I suppose I'll have to put a box somewhere in the bed for this.
 

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I did a stand alone in the bed on solar :wink2:

In the process of mixing it up now because of the new shell but basically gonna be similar
A few weeks ago I passed a newer truck with a cap that had the top of the cap lined with solar cells. It looked very professional in how it was put together and based on your note, I'm thinking the person had something running directly from solar or was charging batteries to run something in the box. Thinking about it, they very similar to the ones that I had on my motorhome that were basically a stick on model.
 

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You could put an Inverter into one of those side pockets next to the drawers and a few weather proof sockets so you can get some 120V plugs in the bed.

only if you're comfortable drilling new holes into your brand new drawer system.

Something similar to this
 

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OK, I've been thinking about this a lot and I think the best thing for me is going to be under the bed. Without the spare in the way the packaging is too easy.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to address power distribution/charge controller. I suppose I'll have to put a box somewhere in the bed for this.
This company is very highly regarded with City/County/Fleet service. You can get the controller only for about $55.
True UTV-SBI-15CM UTV Dual Battery Connect & Monitor Kit | TrueAm Dual Battery Isolator System
 

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I mounted a decent size AGM infront of the air box with a battery isolator. It's a tight fit but works good. Been running it with no alternator charging issues.

My plans this winter is to look into relocating both batteries under the rear of the box somewhere.

http://coloradofans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=329626


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a battery tray that will fit two Optima's or 1 Odyssey 34r-PC1500 and 1 Optima, right now. Puts both batteries under the hood in the factory location. Still working on fitting the larger Diesel battery.
Oooooooo, might see what you come up with.

No Optima for me though, we've had a string of bad luck with those.
 
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Oooooooo, might see what you come up with.

No Optima for me though, we've had a string of bad luck with those.
I think the optima quality has gone down hill after they started to get manufactured in Mexico I believe about 10 years ago? Sad to see.

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For the diesel-owning truck campers among us, I don't see much choice other than what [email protected] said about underneath the coolant reservoir. Looks like plenty of room, although I haven't checked out the dimensions of some deep cycle batteries. It also seems like there might be some room to run thick gauge wire behind the top of the engine cover over to the factory battery for an isolated dual setup. Might be wishful thinking.

Still got a lot to learn with all of it. Been looking at the $50 DIY option from Expedition Portal as a guide: How to make a cheap isolated dual-battery setup for $50 - Expedition Portal Looking forward to seein what y'all come up with.
 

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For the diesel-owning truck campers among us, I don't see much choice other than what [email protected] said about underneath the coolant reservoir. Looks like plenty of room, although I haven't checked out the dimensions of some deep cycle batteries. It also seems like there might be some room to run thick gauge wire behind the top of the engine cover over to the factory battery for an isolated dual setup. Might be wishful thinking.

Still got a lot to learn with all of it. Been looking at the $50 DIY option from Expedition Portal as a guide: How to make a cheap isolated dual-battery setup for $50 - Expedition Portal Looking forward to seein what y'all come up with.
There are 2 guys that did an Optima mounted sideways in front of the air box. So if anyone is stuck on keeping a 2nd battery in the engine bay thats an option too.:wink2:
 

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I scoped that out - there's two things I'd be concerned about. One is that connection running to/from the engine that would be blocked by the batteries, forcing a mechanic to remove the homegrown setup in order to disconnect if they had to. The other is that it looks like you'd have to drill in to the chassis to mount a tray - not sure if I'm seeing that right, but it's some sort of steel tubing that looks structurally important. I would prefer not to poke holes in it. Maybe I'm overestimating it's importance.

Still liking the idea of installing underneath the coolant reservoir - mount to the truck body and out of the way for any mechanics. Anyway - one thing at a time. This is probably in the top 20 of projects I'd like to do and maybe top 10 of the projects I actually have time for.
 

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I scoped that out - there's two things I'd be concerned about. One is that connection running to/from the engine that would be blocked by the batteries, forcing a mechanic to remove the homegrown setup in order to disconnect if they had to. The other is that it looks like you'd have to drill in to the chassis to mount a tray - not sure if I'm seeing that right, but it's some sort of steel tubing that looks structurally important. I would prefer not to poke holes in it. Maybe I'm overestimating it's importance.
Your talking about the large wiring harness connection? Mine is still accessible, it's located lower than the battery and on the frame. I did have to relocate my horns though. As for the tray mount, I utilized the two mounting spots for the air box for the rear of the tray. The plastic ridges had to be trimmed. The front of the tray is sitting on a rubber pad. The upper piece that clamps the battery in place (and has the isolator) hooks into a round hole in the steel under the tray and holds everything down.

No extra holes were drilled and nothing welded directly on the truck for me.

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