Finally. I got my dual battery system installed. Thank you Hilldwellar for your input on the battery choice.
The battery plate is made by Benchmark Designs (I did not use his system, just the plate). It's well made, strong, and easy enough to install, except Kurt (Cruiser Outfitters here in Utah) had to fab up a plate to sit the intelligent solenoid on. The difficulty was in removing the factory battery tray.
The kit is made by National Luna, and comes highly recommended by everyone I spoke with. It has an *intelligent solenoid* that:
1) charges the dedicated charge battery for 5 minutes upon start up
2) opens up so the secondary battery can also be charged.
The kit comes with a control monitor. With it, you can pair both batteries (for winching or jump starting another vehicle.
You can jump start your own dedicated start battery with your auxiliary battery
You monitor the status of both batteries with the control monitor.
The intelligent solenoid is called *intelligent* because it decides what needs charging, and does it.
Hopefully now, I won't have a repeat of the incident I had last spring with my other vehicle... battery died... no back up battery, no cell phone coverage, snowing, and several miles from help. Fortunately for me, I had set up camp, driven back within cell range, and had given a friend that was meeting me there, exact directions... to join me the next day.
The installation is super clean. I highly recommend Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters for any work like this you may be contemplating. Or any equipment you may need that he sells. Super knowledgeable, great work ethics, and just an all around nice guy. Thanks Kurt
I realize this is not for most folks. But as I spend lots of time in the back country camping - and overland traveling (for work and for fun), I feel it is a necessary addition to my outfit.