How to Setup 12V Electrical System in 4WD

March 2nd, 2022 in General by

While camping, you cannot survive without lighting, a fridge, electrical appliances, and devices like a phone charger. Everything will require power to run at the campsite. For this, your primary vehicle battery will not do the job. You will need a whole different setup.

To power them all while you are on the road, set up a 12V electrical system in your 4WD! Anyone who is a lot into camping and exploring knows that it is a must. It is used to power all your appliances and devices at the campsite.

4WD Driving Light

It might sound complicated. But it is not. Here is the complete guide to set up the 12V electrical system in your 4WD.

Keep the 12V Battery Setup For 4WD Simple

To set up the 12V electrical system in your 4WD, you will require many gears. To keep the 12V electrical setup in your 4WD simple, do not complicate things by adding unnecessary gears and wiring. The more the complications, the more the problems.

If you are getting the setup done by a professional, make sure you know how the wiring is done, where it is going, and how everything is connected.

Types Of Batteries

Two batteries commonly found in the 12V dual battery setup are:

AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat)

If you have budget constraints, choose AGM batteries for your 12V setup, as these are slightly on the cheaper side. However, these are quite heavy and sensitive to the depth of discharge. These need to be discharged to 50% of their capacity to maximize their lifespan.

Lithium Batteries

On the other hand, lithium batteries are more expensive than AGM batteries. Get these if you head out frequently. Lithium batteries are lightweight, maintenance-free, do not require much space, and have a longer lifespan.

How To Charge Your Battery?

Now that you have got the battery for your 4WD, the next step is to determine how to recharge them once they are depleted at the campsite. Some of the common ways are:

From Your vehicle’s Alternator

Your vehicle’s alternator is the easiest way to charge your battery while you are on the go. In the case of a fixed voltage alternator in your vehicle, you can use either a DC-DC charger or a VSR(Voltage Sensitive Relay). If the vehicle has a variable voltage alternator, use a DC-DC charger.

From A Solar Panel

You can only charge your battery from the vehicle’s alternator when you are on the move. Of course, you will not keep running your vehicle once at the campsite. So the alternative solution to this is to use a solar panel to charge your battery.

You will find solar panels of two types:

– Fixed: These solar panels are permanently mounted on the roof of your vehicle.

– Portable: By the name, you must have understood, these can be packed away when not in use.

From Mains Power

If you are camping at a powered campsite, you can also charge your battery using a 240V mains battery charger.

Distributing Power To Your Accessories

Here are the different ways to distribute power to your 12V accessories.

Battery Box

A battery box is the easiest way to distribute power. Simply place the battery inside the box, connect the terminals, and power your accessories through the ports outside the box.

12V Control Box

If your battery is too big to fit inside the battery box, a 12V control box is an alternative option you can choose. Like the electrical boxes in your house, the 12V control box contains multiple ports outside, which are used to power your battery and other accessories.

Connect Directly To The Battery Terminals

You can also connect your accessories directly to the battery, but it is a cumbersome process as compared to the others mentioned above.


Now that your 12V electrical setup is completed in your 4WD, you are all set to hit the road and have the memorable time of your life without any hassle.

Contact Xtend Outdoors.


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