BEFORE your tyres hit red dirt on the hunt for a remote campsite, ensure your vehicle is adequately prepped to get you there – and back again –safely.
To this end, proper battery support should be high on the checklist. Two companies – Thunder Auto and NOCO – recently released lithium battery jump starters to market; while Piranha Off Road has brought out an in-cabin battery tray for the Ford Ranger. Let’s take a closer look.
Thunder lithium jump starter
This compact power pack does far more than just help jump-start your rig. The grunty 18,000mAh power pack (it can hold that charge for up to six months and has a four- to five-hour charge time) is perfect as the go-to solution for a power source on any camping or 4WD adventure.
Its compact size belies its wide-ranging applications; besides jump-starting your 4x4 (it features intelligent jump cables to avoid damage if you connect to the wrong terminal), it can be used for charging your DSLR, tablet or mobile phone. It includes a vehicle charger, home charger, torch, a three-in-one mobile phone cable and a cigarette socket cable.
The Thunder is seriously compact; measuring 225mm long, 30mm high and 89mm wide, it takes up minimal space, plus it only weighs 630g.
NOCO GB50 lithium jump starter
The GB50 is a portable, lightweight and compact 1500amp lithium-ion jump starter for 12-Volt batteries. The GB50 can jump-start a dead battery up to 30 times on a single charge. The GB50 features spark-proof technology, as well as reverse polarity protection and a 200-lumen LED light (with seven modes).
The unit can hold its charge for up to 12 months and includes a USB battery pack for recharging of devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The GB50 includes hot/cold LED indicators reflecting the internal battery’s operating temps to ensure that boost is only used when it is safe to do so for the battery being charged, as well as devices. The jump starter can be used on engines of up to 7.0-litre capacities (petrol) and 4.5-litre diesel donks.
Piranha off-road in-cabin battery tray: Ford Ranger
Piranha Off Road has shown once again why they’re highly regarded in the Aussie off-road scene, with the release of this clever in-cabin battery tray for the Ford Ranger. Piranha already produces two tray options for the popular Ford workhorse – an under-body version that fits a 75Ah Optima sealed battery, and a tub-mount version that can take a 105Ah sealed battery.
The company has now responded to Ranger owners who have either fitted a long-range fuel tank or a full drawer system (fitment of these meant the tub- or tray-mount trays would no longer fit) and who are looking for an alternative fitment location. The in-cabin design is totally secure and can hold a battery ranging in capacity from 100Ah to 190Ah, and it fits in the space behind the seats in the rear.
Fitment allows installation of BMS, fuse boxes and cables for a neat solution. The battery is a ‘Slimline’ variant and is available – fully approved and warranted for this fitment – from R&J Batteries, Australian Batteries Direct, Battery Power and Kickass.
4x4 interview: Piranha's Off-Road's Alan Johnson