I still remember the aha moment when we purchased our first fridge. Fresh food and cold beer is great, you'd think it might even alter the sentiment of the staunchest of camping opponents.
For those new to equipping their vehicles for touring, the next step after purchasing your new fridge is to install a dual battery system to power it. The second battery does two important things. It holds capacity to run your fridge (and other electrical gear) when the car is stationary and the alternator is not supplying power. Most importantly it enables your cranking battery to be left alone to focus on it's important starting duties.
Second batteries can be installed under the bonnet, in ute canopy setups and if you choose the correct battery even inside the rear of wagons. If you are planning longer trips it's really worth going for the largest capacity battery your vehicle can accomodate - it will give you more room to move and you won't need to check the battery gauge so often!
To charge the second battery there are many options and we choose the REDARC BCDC1225. It's of the breed of what I would call smart chargers. It will happily charge batteries of different types, and it even accommodates solar.
It really does everything for you, you'll just need to keep an eye on your to make sure the second battery doesn't get drained - we can't have those beers getting warm!
The BCDC1225 is also rugged. This unit has been in our Prado for a few years, we've covered more off road kilometres in that time than ever before, and it hasn't missed a beat.
The BCDC 1225 also has an inbuilt solar regulator. We've wired up an Anderson plug that's easily accessible when the bonnets up, so it's really easy to plug in our solar blanket at every opportunity and keep things topped up.