12-Volt Dual Battery Setup

Pete’s RV-TV YouTube Channel Resident RV Expert Randy Murray displays how to properly connect two 12 volt batteries in parallel for added dry camping power. By connecting the campers positive wire to the positive terminal on one battery and connecting the campers ground wire to the negative terminal on the second battery, Randy illustrates the correct way to achieve equal battery drain and how to ensure top notch battery life.

Rather than a single battery connection where you will be required to replace it with a fresh battery, a dual connection alleviates this procedure and provide more even use of battery life. With the use of jumper wires (one for both positive and negative as Randy explains) that are equal or greater to the gauge of wire found on your camper, connect each line to the corresponding positive and negative battery to complete the connection and enjoy some extended dry camping.

Video Transcript for “12-Volt Dual Battery Setup”

Randy:  Hey guys. Randy from Pete’s RV here today, another quick tip segment for you. This segment is going to be for our dry campers out there or the people looking to get a little bit more longevity out of their battery. So hooking up a couple batteries on to your 12 volt supply camper.

    What we’re going to do here today is we’re going to hook up 2 batteries in parallel. So we’ll have 2 12 volt batteries to provide power to our camper so we can use it off the grid for a little while longer. First thing you want to do when you’re hooking something up in parallel is figure out which is positive and which is negative on your battery. This is very important for us. And the next thing you want to do is you want to make yourself some jumper wires or you could purchase these at an automotive store, or we can make them for you here at Pete’s RV as well.

    So when we’re hooking something up in parallel, we’re pretty much going positive to positive and negative to negative. Back to the jumper wires that I just talked about, is we want to make sure the jumper wires that we use are going to be equal or a greater gauge than the wires that are on the camper. If we use wires that are too small, now our wires become the fuse, rather than the fuse that we’ll have inside the camper to protect this coach. A smaller wire could actually heat up and melt, where a larger wire will not. So we want to make sure that those wires are the appropriate gauge.

    So we’re going to go ahead and put these batteries up here on the camper, show you how to hook them up in parallel, give you a little bit more longevity out of those batteries when you’re dry camping.

    All right, so here we are on the front of our Bullet Premier that we have here in the Burlington, Vermont location showroom. I’m doing this video today without battery boxes, which we would usually install on here to protect the batteries but a little bit easier to see it while shooting the video so we’re going to leave those out today.

    So what I’ve done is I’ve situated my batteries on the A-frame here. This, , unit is set up to take 2 batteries. And I’ve got my ground wire and my positive wire that normally feed the camper on a one battery set up. Now you can always tell your ground wire because it’s going to be hooked to the A-frame or to the chassis of the coach, and that’s how we achieve ground throughout the coach.

    So I know this wire’s my ground wire because it’s hooked right here to the A-frame. This black wire here is going to be my positive wire, because it goes to back to one of the resetting breakers on the front of this camper. So I’ve hooked my battery to the positive, and I’m going to take this ground wire and I’m actually going to hook it to the negative on the opposite battery. That way we’re pulling both of these batteries down together. If we hook them both to one, chances are the second battery is going to be pulled down at the same rate as the first battery.

    Another important thing when you’re doing a set up like this is to use batteries purchased at the same time. If you use one older battery and one newer battery, you’re only as good as your lower battery, and that’s going to shorten your battery life. So make sure the, batteries are equal and purchased at the same time and they start out fresh.

    So I’ve got the negative, the positive hooked to the positive over here on the battery, which is going to be kind of hard to see there, but I can see it here. I’ve got the negative hooked up here. So now what we, we’re going to want to do is hook up another positive wire from the positive of this battery to the positive of this battery. We’re going to go ahead and put our nuts on now. Lock that down there. I’ll put this guy on here. Good idea is snug these up pretty good, and make sure that the terminals are very clean and the battery connections are very clean on your wires as well. That way you’re going to get the best voltage you can have supplied to you.

    I’m going to set this one over here to the negative. Turn it around, a little bit easier to hook it up for us. Put that nut on there. Tighten that down. I’ll go back and snug things up later with one of my wrenches. I’m going to hook this negative here. So now we have just successfully hooked these 2 batteries up in parallel, so it’s going to give us 12 volt supply to the coach and going to give us a lot more longevity when we are using this camper in a dry camping situation. Now these batteries will be charged while we’re driving down the road. If you’ve got an appropriate charge line in the truck, that’s the best way to charge these batteries.

    But there’s a simple parallel hook up, positive to positive, negative to negative. Make sure you put your positive from the trailer on one battery, your negative from the trailer on the other battery. That way they will decell at the same time, and make sure your batteries are purchased at the same time. We’ve always got discounted pricing here on batteries at Pete’s RV Center so we can take care of you in that regard as well.

    So there it is in a nutshell. Parallel wiring two 12 volt batteries.  This’ll get you where you need to go on your dry camping. Thanks again for watching Pete’s RV with Randy today, and  come see us on our Facebook page. Check us out on YouTube as always. And once again, thanks for thinking of Pete’s RV and happy camping.

Pete’s RV Center is an exceptional dealership group serving the United States and Canada since 1952. With multiple locations, Pete’s RV provides sales, service, parts, accessories, and education to our community of RVers all across North America.