Overlanding is full of possibilities. The simplicity of hitting the open road, guided by wanderlust, can lead to some of your greatest discoveries—both of the land and yourself. At Expion360, we’ve spent years designing and engineering lithium batteries that keep your exploration running smoothly. Here’s everything you need to know to maximize your Overland battery setup!
Overland Battery Setup: The Basics
Overlanding requires an intricate balance of preparedness and spontaneity. And one of the most important ways to prepare for roaming off the grid and beaten path is a battery setup built not just to last, but to outlast. That’s where E360 comes into play.
Although lithium batteries are widely regarded as ‘plug and play’ installations, setting them up for optimal success in your rig involves a few more materials and processes. Like most adventurers, we love a good checklist, so let’s start with the basics of your overland battery setup:
- Lithium battery
- Battery tie-down or mounting system
- Battery monitor
- Solar panels
- Solar charge converter
- Additional accessories (like thermal jackets and battery boxes)
How to Install Your Battery for Success
One of the hallmarks of Overlanding is ingenuity. This comes across in the vehicle types (from scratch or converted), sizes, and capabilities. But we’ve also seen some pretty ingenious battery setups! Of course, just as no two vans or overland rigs are alike, battery configurations will vary from person to person. In general, though, these are the steps you should follow to install your battery for the greatest success:
Understand your power needs
How many devices/appliances will you need to power? How long will you travel off-grid each time? What are your vehicle’s limitations? All these questions are highly important to answer before adding a lithium battery to your van.
Upgrading from lead acid
If you’re starting from scratch, you likely have already planned for a lithium battery. But if you’re switching from lead acid to lithium, you’ll need to follow the wiring configuration and performance capacity for your particular system (something our tech team can walk you through). This goes beyond ensuring the lithium battery physically fits and includes checking wire sizing, fittings, and other system component sizes.
Pro tip: Expion360 batteries are not designed to replace starter batteries.
Decide on your configurations
For decades, Overlanders had to navigate tricky dual battery setups and configurations that still didn’t result in the full capacity they needed. With lithium battery technology today, achieving a complex configuration is not only easier, but it’s also cheaper (in the long run) and more efficient. Although configurations will vary based on your individual needs, there are a few things that remain true across the board:
- Mounting: Lithium batteries can be safely mounted in any direction (even upside down with our Group 24 and Group 27 batteries only).
- Battery banks: Our battery banks can handle up to four batteries in series connection, and up to 6 batteries in parallel connection.
- Inverter attachments: Where you attach your inverter leads matters. When wiring parallel or series banks, be sure to attach the positive and negative leads on opposite ends.
- Battery wiring: Wiring in a series or parallel depends on the application. Depending on your voltage and current requirements.When our batteries are wired in parallel, the voltage remains constant, but the capacity increases. When wired in series, the voltage increases, but the capacity remains constant.
Prepare for long-term use and care
Preparing for ongoing maintenance and use is an important component of your complete setup. This includes checking charge and discharge rates, planning for extreme temperatures, and properly storing your battery system while away. This also includes investing in a battery management system for optimal safety and efficiency.
Overlanding Power Gear
If you’re familiar with our products, you know the Expion360 difference is multi-fold thanks to our commitment to quality and industry-leading engineering. When overlanding, things like innovative case design, best-in-class lithium cells, smart BMS, and safety certifications can make or break an overlanding adventure.
When setting up your van power system, consider these cutting-edge products:
E360 Battery Line
Depending on your power needs and vehicle capabilities, these range from 60 to 360 Ah. For more vans, the sweet spot is 100 or 200 Ah. Our premium lithium-ion phosphate batteries are built for three times the energy density, three times faster recovery, and ten times the lifecycle at half the weight of traditional batteries.
Charge & Convert
Energy storage on your van needs to be efficient and light. E360 chargers and converters ensure your adventuring success by supporting our batteries' unique charging profile and increasing your investment's overall lifecycle.
Solar energy can be a crucial component in an overall battery setup for van life, especially if you’re a regular boondocker. However, adding solar to your battery system requires specific equipment like panels, controllers, and inverters. Our line of solar power accessories can dramatically increase your options for how and where you decide to camp.
Whether you’re building your first van or have been Overlanding before it was cool, starting with a curated power system can upgrade your system quickly and efficiently. The Expion360, Victron, and REDARC Explorer and Overland power systems can get you there faster.
Sometimes you need a little more than the basics. Our accessory collection ranges from extension cords and bus bars to wall mounts and fuse holders.
Maximize Your Overland Battery Setup with Expion360!
Van life looks different for everyone. With Expion360, you can take your Overland battery setup to the next level so you can always adventure with confidence.Shop now with the newly added Shop Pay feature—financing plans so you can power now and pay later!