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Recent articles in two popular 4WD magazines were confusing and provided 4WD owners with misleading and ambiguous information.

It is important to choose not only the correct charge isolator system, but also the correct battery type for applications where the second battery is used for winching, plus the normal fridge 12 volt power supply.

Two popular batteries ideal for use with 4WDs fitted with electric winches are the Century MP600 and the Exide Extreme. Both are composite paste batteries, designed for heavy duty use in 4WD or marine applications. They feature heavy internal plates and are suitable to use with popular 12 volt electric winches such as Warn, Ramsey, Superwinch, Brawn, Ox and Premier brands.

Automotive electronics specialist, Rod Street, of Rotronics in Brisbane, warns 4WD owners that normal deep cycle batteries are not suitable for winching or starting purposes. With the more expensive and stronger constructed, composite paste marine batteries, a longer battery life and satisfactory winch performance are assured.

Recharging of the auxiliary is another issue. Parallel charge isolator systems work well, but a faster recharge time for the auxiliary battery is needed and Rod recommends an independent charge isolator.

This type of charge isolator directs all of the alternator charge to the auxiliary battery. This reduces the charging time by up to 65%. Rotronics independent charge isolators are dearer than their more affordable parallel type, but worth the extra if an electric winch is fitted to the vehicle.

Visit the Rotronics website for further information:

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