All About Anderson Plugs – Colours, Sizes & Uses Explained

If you’re looking to get a dual battery system in your vehicle or you’re towing a caravan or camper trailer, chances are you have probably heard all about Anderson plugs. Put simply, an Anderson plug is a specialised plug we use to connect devices that use high-current circuits.

Sizes & Colours

Anderson plugs come in a range of sizes and colours, the most common being the grey and the red 50-amp ones. You can get up to a 350-amp. The bigger the current, the bigger the Anderson plug we need.

A red Anderson plug will only fit into a red Anderson plug. We can’t connect, basically, a red and a grey. The only real reason you’ll have the different colours is so that you always remember to connect the right accessory into the right accessory on your caravan circuit or car.

When to Use an Anderson Plug

Charging Circuits

The Anderson plug is designed to handle a high, continuous load, so this makes it ideal to use in charging circuits. The most common use that we install Anderson plugs for is charging the auxiliary battery in your caravan or camper trailer when driving.

It’s fitted to the rear of the vehicle like this one here. This is the ideal alternative to running a charge feed through your 12-pin plug. Too much current charging through a 12-pin plug can cause the pins to melt as they’re not large enough to handle the current from most modern alternators. Having an Anderson plugs means you can safely pass more charge through to your caravan’s battery charge system, keeping the caravan batteries charged up while you travel to your next destination.

Solar Panel Connection

Another common use for Anderson plugs is to connect a solar panel via a regulator to top up your batteries. We often fit these to four-wheel drives and caravans with dual battery systems in an easy to access location so they could easily top up their auxiliary batteries via the solar panel without having to run your vehicle.

Powering ESC (Electronic Stability Control)

We’ll also regularly fit another Anderson plug to your tow bar if you’ve got a caravan that requires power to ESC, which is electronic stability control. Although your ESC can be run through a 12-pin if necessary, we recommend using an Anderson plug because it’s a more secure connection when driving, and ease of disconnection if you’re going off-road. It’s common practice to use a red Anderson plug for ESC and a grey one for your charge feed on the back of your car so you can easily identify them.

12 Volt Accessory Power Alternative

Due to their secure locking design, Anderson plugs also make great alternatives for powering high-draw 12-volt accessories such as fridges and air compressors. Anderson plugs are much more robust and hold a more secure connection than the standard 12-volt cigarette socket. They’re particularly good for those of us who like to venture off the beaten track.

I hope this video has given you a bit more information about what Anderson plugs are and why we recommend installing them as part of a dual battery system in your four-wheel drive, caravan, or camper trailer.

If you have any further questions about Anderson plugs, give us a call on 1300 227 353, contact us online or comment below.

How to Get the Most Out of Your AGM Battery

Want to get the most out of your deep cycle AGM battery?

Hi guys, Andrew here from Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning on the Sunshine Coast.

Knowing how to correctly charge and look after your deep cycle AGM battery is crucial for optimising its performance and life span. In today’s video, we’re gonna run you through few of our tips on how to correctly use and maintain your deep cycle AGM battery.

Now just to clarify, these tips only apply to the AGM deep cycle and not your starting battery. Starting batteries are a completely different composition and are design to be used or maintained in a very different way.

So now that we’ve got the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff.

Discharging

Okay, so let’s get into discharging, first up. If you want this guy to live a while, the last thing you want to do is discharge it too much or run it too flat. Basically, the lower the depth of discharge you take it to, the shorter its life span is gonna be.

We recommend trying not to go below 11 volts. Anything below 11 volts and you’re really causing damage to the battery. Any sort of dual battery system we wire up, we’ll always recommend using a low volt, some sort of low voltage cut out or protection system to stop this guy getting discharged too much.

Storage

Now that we’ve covered discharging, a second thing really is storage. When you store the battery, you always want to store it at a fully charged state. If you leave the AGM battery stored for a long period of time, say anything over a month in a discharged state, sulphation will always occur.

We’ll go into sulphation a bit later, but just remember, if you want this guy to last a long time, fully charge it before you store it for any amount of time.

Charging

Okay, we covered discharging, we’ve covered storage, let’s talk about charging. An AGM battery has a different internal resistance to your old school battery and it also requires a different charging method.

Whenever you charge an AGM battery, you really need a late model multistage charger. A charger that will go through an absorption, bulk and float phase.

The old charger you got, the old Arlec one that you’ve probably got in the back, will just cook this guy and destroy it and turn it into a balloon. So, whenever you charge this guy, you want to look for a modern battery charger that has an AGM setting or will detect an AGM, and shows a multistage curve. You’ll generally see five, seven to 11 stages are normally covered by your good brand chargers.

When it’s in the vehicle, it’s a different chemistry to your normal starting battery. So, your alternator isn’t really designed to charge this style of battery. Whenever you fit an AGM deep cycle battery to a vehicle, we always recommend using a DC-DC charger that again, either detects the AGM battery or can be modified to suit the AGM battery.

It requires a different charge rate your normal start battery. A DC-DC charger generally will always protect the start battery against any discharge on the AGM battery. So, the old VSR solenoid that people used to use, not such a good idea. These guys, DCDC charger, and you’ll get a much longer life span out of them.

Sulphation – Enemy of the AGM Battery

Sulphation occurs when sulfuric acid within the lead acid battery reacts to a lead sulphate on the battery’s negative plates. This reduces the surface area of the acid on the plate and makes it difficult for the battery to hold charge. The best way to prevent sulphation, once again, is to leave this guy fully charged.

We hope these tips have helped you understand how to correctly use and maintain your deep cycle AGM battery.

If you have any further questions about battery care and maintenance, give us a call on 1300 227 353, or email us at [email protected] or you can even comment below.

Campsite Review: Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp

Campsite Review: Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp

Hey guys! Bridie here from Accelerate Auto Electrics, hope you’re ready for this rollercoaster camping trip. This campsite review will be a little different as I’m a rookie camper. But nonetheless, I’m excited to share my first camping experience with everyone!

I’ll even share with you what went wrong! Hopefully, you learn from my mistakes and get a laugh out of it.

Getting There

Getting there was a breeze! I was coming from Caloundra which is about an hour away, but keep in mind travel time will depend on traffic and roadworks. The campsite is located 20 Minutes out of Noosa at Lake Cootharaba. No need to go off the beaten track until you arrive at the campgrounds. There you drive along a dirt road, but nothing my little car (a 2wd) couldn’t tackle!

Accommodation Options

Habitat Noosa Everglades Ecocamp has all the accommodation options covered

 

Camping

What we loved

  • Location, Location, Location – We grabbed a beautiful spot right on the lake, surrounded by nature and the beach is close by.
  • Bar and Bistro – Great for families and relaxing with some friends!
  • Amenities – modern and clean
  • Accommodation options – There are plenty of accommodation options for all kinds of campers, even glamping!
  • Walking tracks – There are heaps of walking tracks to choose from. Although I didn’t personally do one because I spent all my time at the beach, I did see a lot of people putting on their hiking shoes and heading into the bush.
  • Kid Friendly – There was a lot of kids riding around on their bikes, kicking a soccer ball or running around the campsite!
  • Watercraft Hire – You can hire out watercraft for the day and jump in the lake to cool down.

Room for improvement

  • Signage – Getting there in the night was difficult as we couldn’t see any signs to say where the campsite was, we couldn’t even see the entrance. We just took a wild guess and drove down a dirt road and luckily it turned out to be the right one! There were limited signs at the campsite which made it difficult to find our way around. Note: There is a big Habitat Noosa sign on entrance, but due to its colour, you may not be able to see this at night.
  • Showers – Not so much a ‘room for improvement’ but just to note, the showers are solar powered. This means you will not get any hot water until the sun starts coming in. Best to shower at night or late in the afternoon.

Things to do

There are plenty of things you can do down at the Habitat Noosa! Check out the list below

  1. Historical Nature Walks! There’s a range of great walking tracks easily accessible from the eco-camp.  Click here for more information
  2. Free shuttle bus to Noosa – Noosa is the perfect location to sit back and relax, you may as well get a free ride in.
  3. The CootharaBAR bistro & bar – Enjoy an uninterrupted view of Lake Cootharaba with a cold beer!
  4. 65 Acres of Land – There’s plenty of room for the kids to ride their bikes, bring a soccer ball, cricket set or a frisbee.

Tours & Hire

  1. bar-b-canoe – Enjoy a canoe along the tropical rainforest waterways! Click here for more information!
  2. eco-cruise – Enjoy a historical cruiser along the river with Morning Tea and Lunch Provided! Book Here  
  3. Hire out watercraft! You can hire out Fiberglass and plastic canoes, One person and tandem sea kayaks, Waveskis, SUPs, Sailboat, Windsurfers, Motorboats (one-day advance booking required).

My Experience

Upon arrival, we struggled to find our way around the camp and find a place to pitch the tent. Thankfully, we eventually pitched up next to some amazing people who spoiled us with chocolates! WIN!

We set up our little pop-up tent (which was embarrassingly small next to campers with huge caravan setups) and then set up the gazebo. That was the hardest part because it was broken and not clicking into place. Eventually, we just stuck pegs in the holes and duct taped them up which, thankfully, actually worked.

Starting a fire was another challenge. We found that the wood we brought with us burned through very quickly and our fire didn’t last. So that made the first night pretty difficult.

Speaking generally, we didn’t have too many problems after that. We headed to Noosa the next morning and spent all day down at the beach, relaxing in the sun and window shopping. We then came back with long-burn firewood and made a great fire that burned all night!

All-in-all my first camping trip was something to remember, we made some memories, learned some lessons, and it was something we can laugh about in the future. I would have loved to stay longer because it took us a day to really get into it, so camping for only 2 nights was not enough.

My favourite part was probably the local ducks. We woke up thinking people were walking around on our tarp outside the tent but it was just some friendly ducks and they were always wandering around the campsite!

 

Camping Rookie Lessons Learned: 

  • LIGHTS – Unfortunately, we didn’t take any lights because we couldn’t find them when packing and wanted to leave because it was getting late. So this meant we spent the entire time using our phone lights to get around during the night.
  • TABLE – We didn’t have a table, which would have made eating and cooking 10x easier!
  • FOOD –  This was huge for us, we didn’t plan what we were going to eat and wasted a lot of good food. Mainly because we were nervous about using the gas cooker as we had never used it before. Now that we are confident using it though we will definitely be making use of it and cooking bacon and eggs for breakfast!
  • GOOD FIREWOOD – We grabbed a few blocks of wood and chucked them in the car and then threw in heaps of sticks and bark which we expected to burn all night, however, it only lasted about an hour. The second night however we went and bought long burn firewood and had a great fire all night!
  • CLOTHES – (THIS TIP IS ONLY FOR FIRST TIME CAMPERS LIKE MYSELF WHO DONT KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING.) Take camping appropriate clothes! You need warm clothes for the night time, which was fine, I had plenty of warm clothes, but the days were warm and I wish I had shorts and better shirt options but I only had a skirt for the two days. Also, very importantly, take thongs for the shower. I had to walk around barefoot in the showers, although they were very modern facilities, it wasn’t very nice. Would not recommend it.

If you also struggle with remembering all the items you need for camping, we recommend you download our free E-Book here!

It includes a checklist that every camper (especially the rookies) should read to avoid these silly mistakes. It also lists great camping sites on the Sunshine Coast, I definitely recommend giving this a read!

We will be going back to Habitat Noosa soon – is there anything else you would recommend we check out?

View our Top 10 Places to Camp Within 1hr of the Sunshine Coast

200 Series Under Bonnet Dual Battery System

200 Series Under Bonnet Dual Battery System

Hi guys, Briohny here from Accelerate Auto Electrics and Air Conditioning on the Sunshine Coast. Today we’re just gonna run you through a quick job spotlight of an under bonnet dual battery system that we’ve installed on this 200 series Land Cruiser.

So the Land Cruisers, depending on which model you have, will either come with two starting batteries under the bonnet or one starting battery under the bonnet. This one here had one, so it’s nice and easy to upgrade because there is already space in the engine bay for that second dual battery or auxiliary battery to go in.

So basically, what we’ve done is we’ve put in a second battery in here. We’ve put in a REDARC BCDC1225D, which has great options with solar input for you. And then we’ve also put in some power outlets in the rear of the vehicle.

So, we’ll just take on a quick tour of what’s in here. Under bonnet here, we’ve put in a supercharge allrounder 105 amp power. We’ve kept the existing starting battery that the vehicle had. If you came out with an earlier model 200 series Land Cruiser, you would have had two starting batteries under bonnet. If you have the 200 series with two starting batteries under bonnet from factory, we like to replace both of them. We put a high powered starting battery in there and then the auxiliary battery.

We mounted the REDARC BCDC under this engine cover here and they’ve cut a hole in the engine cover so that you can see all the display and lights on the BCDC and then we’ve run the Anderson plug for the solar input up next to the auxiliary battery for ease of access.

So, in the rear of the car, we’ve mounted all your accessory sockets. So the top one here is the dual USB, they’re a fast port charge and then two cigarette sockets. So this is typically where you’d put your fridge and you can charge it all out of the back with the auxiliary battery.

So if you’re interested in getting an under bonnet dual battery system for your Toyota Land Cruiser or Prado, you can comment below, drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a call on 1300 227 353.

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Ford Everest Towing Upgrade

Good afternoon everyone, Briohny here from Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

Today we’re gonna take you through a job that we’ve done on this Ford Everest. We’ve installed a Redarc TowPro Elite and an Anderson plug.

The reason we love the Redarc TowPro Elite is that rather than having a big box that sits under the steering column and you usually knock your knees on it, instead you’ve got a little dial that we’ve mounted really nicely into the dash here next to the gearstick and that way when you need to reach it in an emergency it’s right close and handy.

For all the other reasons that we love the Redarc TowPro Elite, check out one of our other videos that we’ll link in the descriptions below.

So under the bonnet, we’ve got a 50 Amp midi fuse and a 30 Amp circuit breaker. We’re also running 8 B&S cable that goes directly from the battery through to the rear of the car that hooks up to the Anderson plug.

We’ve then got 5 mm cable that goes from the battery into here where it then shoots off to the dial for the Redarc controller and then goes straight to the back again into the trailer plug.

So at the rear of the vehicle here, we’ve got the Anderson plug that we’ve installed.

If you need any help with towing your caravan or trailers, you can give us a call on 1300-227-353, email us at ‘[email protected]’, or comment below.