At some point, if you run accessories or equipment outside the comfort of home, someone may have suggested the use of dual battery system. Especially now that you have a super cool (pun intended) portable refrigerator that you want to get your money’s worth from. Dual battery systems do provide additional power without completely draining your vehicle’s main battery — but there’s plenty else to consider if you want to buy a dual battery system to power your portable fridge.
Setup and Function of a Dual Battery System
Not to bog you down with installation instructions for a product we don’t recommend, but here’s the basics of a dual battery setup:
- The primary battery already in your vehicle is connected to an isolator which is also connected to a secondary battery.
- When your vehicle is off, the isolator keeps your primary battery from discharging power — while most systems do allow you to override this function. Basically, when your vehicle is off, the secondary battery will provide all of the battery to keep from draining your primary battery.
- While your vehicle is running, the isolator allows power, generated by the alternator, to flow into your primary and secondary battery.
All of the wiring and the isolator will run you a few hundred bucks, more if you want a high end system and/or something designed specifically for your vehicle. If you want to mount the second battery further away from the primary one, it’s going to get pretty expensive in cabling. Then you need to take into account that you’ll need a second battery tray, a second battery, and probably a way to secure everything if you’re an off-roader…or *into* that whole safety thing.
It’s already starting to get pretty complicated just to power a fridge/freezer on the go, but it’s worse than it already sounds.
Problems with Using Dual Battery Systems for Your Fridge
The issues presented by dual battery systems for the purpose of powering your portable refrigerator can be broken down into 4 basic gripes:
- They’re space invaders
- Lack of Versatility
If you want a dual battery system to power your fridge, you’re going to have to dig pretty deep in your pockets. Before even buying a battery or second tray for it, you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars in wiring/cabling, and the needed isolator.
Not to mention that installation a dual battery system is a nightmare for most people. Even if you’re mechanically inclined, it’s a good bit more complicated than a task like changing out the speakers in your car. If you make a mistake installing the system, you're likely to find yourself stranded with two dead batteries at the worst possible time.
Let’s also think about where this second battery and its tray are going to go. Unless there’s room under the hood (have a look around, you’re not likely to discover any!), expect to mount the secondary battery in the trunk or rear of the vehicle somewhere. If you have a truck, it’s going to have to go inside your cab somewhere, taking up valuable storage room that truck owners don’t have to spare — same goes with Jeep owners, and then where in the world are you going to carry your portable fridge?
Then there’s the issue of using your portable fridge/freezer outside of your vehicle. It’s all great if you just want to keep some sodas cool in your Jeep while you’re running the Moab, but what about more practical uses? If you’re fridge is tied down to your vehicle, it’s not really fully portable, is it? More or less just a refrigerator for your car. Without fully portability, you aren’t going to be able to use your fridge while camping, boating, tailgating, and so on.
The ArkPak Makes More Sense for Your Fridge
There are so many benefits when your use the ArkPak for your power source to run your fridge. The obvious here is that you have a portable refrigerator for a reason, so why tie down to a fixed system? With the ArkPak, you don’t have to — it’s every bit as portable as your fridge.
In addition to its portability, the ArkPak is also more welcome in most situations than your car or truck. Take it on the boat, campsite, or pair it with a solar kit and go off the grid.
With the ArkPak, you and your fridge can keep on rolling for the better part of a week!