Anderson plug to dual battery

Ethan96

New Member
So I purchased a 2014 Colorado, it has a Anderson plug in the tray that is connected. I have used this plug to run fridges on day trips or an overnight stay, I now want to set up a dual battery to be able to run a fridge for a couple days + lights etc. I have some photos of the current set up with the Anderson plug, what’s the best way to connect a second battery in the tray utilising the Anderson plug already there? Also thinking a battery box so it’s portable to take into camp. I’m a bit clueless when it comes to electrics so thanks in advance.
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Hoyks

Well-Known Member
It would work to run a fridge, but I don't think the wire gauge it up to charging a second battery.

The thickness of the wire won't conduct well enough and although you might have 13V at the plug with the motor running and a fridge will get by on it, it isn't going to handle the current draw to also charge a battery.

Hooking up a second battery is easy enough, get a battery or a battery in a box, attach a Anderson plug and a length of cable, then plug it in. The plugs should only be wired up so +ive can only connect to +ive and -ive to -ive, so you shouldn't be able to go wrong. If you don't have the tools, then Jaycar will sell the bits already assembled.

I think you'll want to run some proper cable and either a solenoid, dual battery controller or some sort of big switch to isolate the 2 batteris from each other though.
 

dabbler

Active Member
My AGM and I DCDC charger are in the tub and I connect to tub mounted Anderson run (6B&,S cable) from the engine bay. It's rare but sometimes I need to remove everything and impact of any added resistance is minimal.
 

Colly18

Well-Known Member
The 2014 Colorado doesn't have a 'smart alternator' so you don't need a DC-DC charger i.m.o. I manage fine without one.
On the basis of the photos provided (as a budget option) I'd run another line (in parallel with the existing wiring) of twin cable 50 amp wiring (fused/with circuit breaker) from the battery to the tub with an Anderson Plug fitting. You could join to the one Anderson plug in the tub or use two linked to the tub battery(?) In any case the task is to get sufficient capacity in the wiring to enable a reasonably fast charge to the second battery in the tub from the alternator. There are plenty of threads here about dual batteries, so do your research and go from there.
 

Ethan96

New Member
Thanks all appreciate the responses! So the main take away is I need to be sure the cables I run are up to the job and a fuse needs to be added. Is there a way to tell what gauge rating the current cable is? I have someone to help me with the work I just wanted to do my due diligence and try and understand it first.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks all appreciate the responses! So the main take away is I need to be sure the cables I run are up to the job and a fuse needs to be added. Is there a way to tell what gauge rating the current cable is? I have someone to help me with the work I just wanted to do my due diligence and try and understand it first.
Looks like 2.5mm2 Single Insulated Building Earth wire to me, converting that is around 14AWG, it would take roughly 20A max

If you're intending to charge a battery directly off the main, via a fuse and Solenoid of some sort, I would follow the above advice and replace it with a much higher gauge, don't forget to fuse it at both the main and the auxilliary as anywhere in between could short out and let the magical smoke out of one or both batteries and wiring.

cheers
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
There’s no short cutting good dc systems and what you have in the pic is a short cut to start with. Don’t confuse a simple power feed with dual battery cabling. My advice would be to ignore the feed you have and run another proper feed to your dual battery system. Depending on how you want to feed it, you’ll want upwards of 100 amp capacity. You can buy pre done systems ready to wire in. For someone just starting out this would be an ideal place to start looking rather than paying a few times before getting it right.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
There’s no short cutting good dc systems and what you have in the pic is a short cut to start with. Don’t confuse a simple power feed with dual battery cabling. My advice would be to ignore the feed you have and run another proper feed to your dual battery system. Depending on how you want to feed it, you’ll want upwards of 100 amp capacity. You can buy pre done systems ready to wire in. For someone just starting out this would be an ideal place to start looking rather than paying a few times before getting it right.
Totally!
My third battery (the Sierra has two cranking batteries) is located in the tub because there's no room under the bonnet. The third battery is managed by a Ctek Smartpass and DS250 combo which also helps maintain the cranking batteries by trickle charging them when the engine is off.
The Ctek will also divert power back to the cranking batteries to assist in cranking the engine if the cranking battery voltage drops too low.
I ran the wiring to the tub using 500 amp / 50mm2 welding lead cable from BOC. It was a bitch to run, but I have as close to zero voltage drop as I'm ever going to get. A 250 amp ANL fuse at each end to keep the smoke trapped completes the setup.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
I ran the wiring to the tub using 500 amp / 50mm2 welding lead cable from BOC. It was a bitch to run, but I have as close to zero voltage drop as I'm ever going to get. A 250 amp ANL fuse at each end to keep the smoke trapped completes the setup.
That's kind of like bringing a M134 mini gun to a knife fight
There is reducing voltage drop as something to think about & while I think slightly over engineering is much better than under that's on another level.

I did 4B&S 185amp cabling in my set up in the rear tray, the voltage drop is minimal & the weight is also much less than 500amp.
Each to their own I guess but when you think about everything else thats getting added to the vehicle when you approaching GMV every kg you can save counts.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
That's kind of like bringing a M134 mini gun to a knife fight
There is reducing voltage drop as something to think about & while I think slightly over engineering is much better than under that's on another level.

I did 4B&S 185amp cabling in my set up in the rear tray, the voltage drop is minimal & the weight is also much less than 500amp.
Each to their own I guess but when you think about everything else thats getting added to the vehicle when you approaching GMV every kg you can save counts.
What drove my decision to a large extent was that the Ctek system can actually back-feed up to 200 amps to the starter battery if the starter battery voltage drops during cranking. That needs chunky cable for the 5+m length it had to run.
The cable size is actually in line with what Ctek recommend for the system and length of run.

Weight wise, there would be only 6 or 7 kg extra for the cable I used compared to your choice. Given that I'm driving a 4.5 tonne GMC, the weight doesn't worry me...
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
What drove my decision to a large extent was that the Ctek system can actually back-feed up to 200 amps to the starter battery if the starter battery voltage drops during cranking. That needs chunky cable for the 5+m length it had to run.
The cable size is actually in line with what Ctek recommend for the system and length of run.

Weight wise, there would be only 6 or 7 kg extra for the cable I used compared to your choice. Given that I'm driving a 4.5 tonne GMC, the weight doesn't worry me...
When you said Sierra I though you meant Suzuki
:rolleyes::oops::p;):):D................ :cool:

Fair enough, 5mtrs, thats a long way, mine was 3.2mtrs & thats what Redarc recommended.

I would have to say people who are running 6B&S cable a similar distance are underrating, but that my opinion I guess.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Totally!
My third battery (the Sierra has two cranking batteries) is located in the tub because there's no room under the bonnet. The third battery is managed by a Ctek Smartpass and DS250 combo which also helps maintain the cranking batteries by trickle charging them when the engine is off.
The Ctek will also divert power back to the cranking batteries to assist in cranking the engine if the cranking battery voltage drops too low.
I ran the wiring to the tub using 500 amp / 50mm2 welding lead cable from BOC. It was a bitch to run, but I have as close to zero voltage drop as I'm ever going to get. A 250 amp ANL fuse at each end to keep the smoke trapped completes the setup.
I have the same ctec system. I used 175a andersens to connect my jack off canopy because they were the smallest that would accept the cable. Cold beer baby! I don’t know what size the cable is, just it is the biggest that battery world had at the time.
 

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Chatty

Well-Known Member
I have the same ctec system. I used 175a andersens to connect my jack off canopy because they were the smallest that would accept the cable. Cold beer baby! I don’t know what size the cable is, just it is the biggest that battery world had at the time.
I checked cable prices at all the usual suspects and using welding cable was about half the price of the next best I could find. It's quality low oxygen copper, with two thick layers of insulation. Hard to run as heavy and stiff, but once done it will never need doing again.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I checked cable prices at all the usual suspects and using welding cable was about half the price of the next best I could find. It's quality low oxygen copper, with two thick layers of insulation. Hard to run as heavy and stiff, but once done it will never need doing again.
When I built solar arrays for lighthouses in the 90’s we’d buy welding cable also. The thought didn’t occur to me this time round. It was about $35/m at battery world but they also crimped the terminations for me.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
@cam04 So I see you have only run a positive cable, I ran 2B&S posit and negative from my battery to my canopy. Maybe it is overkill and can only do the positive next time.
How are you providing an earth in your setup?
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
@cam04 So I see you have only run a positive cable, I ran 2B&S posit and negative from my battery to my canopy. Maybe it is overkill and can only do the positive next time.
How are you providing an earth in your setup?
Chassis return. At $150+ Per length I decided to give it a whirl. Turns out it works just fine.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
@cam04 So I see you have only run a positive cable, I ran 2B&S posit and negative from my battery to my canopy. Maybe it is overkill and can only do the positive next time.
How are you providing an earth in your setup?
I ran my earth from the aux in the tray back down to the closest point on the chassis which was appox 1.2 mtrs instead of 3.5mtr+to the front.
Half of what I read said a good earth point in the tray or back to the starter negative battery terminal.
People who try to earth to a point in the tray can roll the dice, usually it does not end well.
The thing is that everything on the starter is earthed to the chassis anyway so why go all the way back to the starter & add more cable cost & weight when you dont have to??
 
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