Eldo has a nice strong starting battery and a couple 12 volt outlets up front. Unfortunately there were no additional rear outlets and relying on the starting battery for auxiliary 12 volt use is just asking for dead battery trouble. So, an additional isolated 12v system was added.
These are Eldo’s “House Batteries”. They have just enough capacity to run a few 12 volt fans, a 12 volt thermoelectric cooler, a small inverter, a few miscellaneous chargers, and if needed, a couple small heating blankets. Of course, not all at once… but with proper management and a little luck, there has always been enough juice to keep us comfortable between charges. An additional four 12 volt outlets were added to the Eldo’s living area.
Charging is accomplished on driving days by Eldo’s alternator. The house batteries are isolated from the starting battery and yet charged via a common alternator using an automatic charging relay “ACR”.
To supplement this, there is also a 120 volt plug in smart battery charger for parked days with an outlet nearby and a single 100 watt solar panel and charge controller for parked sunny days when parked off grid.
Admittedly, this is a bare bones and small system that is frequently pushed to it’s limits. Future upgrades to batteries, solar, and shore power chargers would be nice. For now, this sub $500 system meets needs and keeps in the true minimalist spirit of life in Eldo.