Why Lithium Is The Best Battery Choice For Your Overland Rig

Posted May 30, 2023

Overlanding can be a thrilling experience, allowing adventure seekers to embark on self-reliant journeys to remote locations. From its origins dating back to the late 1800s when there were no paved roads and established routes for long distance travel, to the pandemic, which piqued interest in travel to locations that could be reached via land, overlanding’s adventurous appeal continues to grow. While there is no accurate data on how many overlanders there are in North America, the information available today points to rampant growth in recent years. For example, there was an over 1,000 percent increase in the number of Overland Expo attendees between 2015 and 2022. As much fun as overlanding can be, the stress of making sure the power supply is in order can be daunting. Below we cover what overlanding is and why lithium batteries are increasingly being selected for better performance and power.

What Is Overlanding?

Overlanding is self-sustained travel that is dependent on a vehicle that can handle off-road terrain with the aim of enjoying nature and the journey. A rig is a popular term used for a car that is outfitted for overlanding, which includes camping supplies and off-road improvements, and serves as an instant base camp for outdoor activities such as bicycling, skiing, and hiking. The terrain for overlanding varies widely - from desert to snow. Overlanders often explore the many public open spaces that are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management as well as by individual state agencies.

Most of the time you will be separated from traditional power supplies for days or weeks at a time. This is because those beautiful, remote destinations that you want to camp at and explore within are deep inside areas of the natural landscape that most do not visit often. While there is beauty in the remote nature of where overlanding can take you, there is also the fear and anxiety that can come with being left without access to power. There is no reason that you should have these concerns, or that you should go without access to creature comforts such as heating and cooling systems, internet access, phones, laptops and tablets.

The Benefits of Overlanding Using Lithium Batteries

For an overland battery setup, Lithium batteries can easily provide this reliable power supply with their ability to power various devices for long periods of time with less time spent on recharging the battery. This convenience, efficiency, and longevity are especially pronounced when lithium batteries are used in a dual battery setup.

Installing Lithium Batteries In An Overland Rig

What Is A Dual Battery Setup?

A dual battery setup involves using separate power sources in your overland battery box, one battery that is dedicated as a starter battery for the engine and one battery that powers all of your supplies and tools so that you can have an at-home experience while you are out in the wild overlanding. The dual battery setup allows you to have full security and confidence in knowing your engine will start without problems, all while having unrestrained access to all your devices - day or night.

7 Reasons To Choose Lithium Over Lead-Acid For Your Rig

Lithium-ion batteries offer a myriad of pros to its users compared to lead-acid batteries. These benefits include the following:

  • Lightweight and compact: makes the battery easier to carry around and ensures no excess weight is being dragged around on your rig.
  • Easy to charge and charge faster than lead acid batteries: ensures you are not wasting your time sitting around waiting for the batteries to fully charge
  • Long-lasting charge so you do not need to limit the use of your devices due to a fear of running out of charge too soon
  • Ability to use solar power: giving you more diversity in your battery charging
  • Lithium batteries being more temperature resistant
  • They have zero voltage sag
  • They last up to 10x longer than lead-acid making them a superior long-term investment

Lithium batteries can be used to power your devices, gadgets and tech needs like GPS systems, food preservation systems and personal electronic devices. Batteries such as the RELiON RB52 and the RB100 offer abundant power in a small size that last ten times longer than their lead-acid battery counterparts. For those with larger power and energy needs they can take on the go, the Outlaw 1072S Portable Power Station allows for multiple appliances and electronics to all be charged and powered from a single battery - all without the noise and fumes that alternatives like a fossil-fuel powered generator come with.

Overland Dad Camping With The Family

What Battery Setup Is Right For Your Needs

A long-time overlander, Corey Whitaker’s main concern when overlanding is to make sure that his family is safe as they navigate deep into the mountains and deserts of the West Coast United States. Corey initially tried using lead-acid batteries, but problems with charging and feeling anxious about his battery’s reliability motivated him to search for better alternatives. He had heard countless positive attributes about lithium batteries from the overlanders he met on his trips, and ever since he made the switch, he has never looked back. With his two RELiON InSight 12V-LT 120Ah batteries Corey makes frequent long-term trips into conditions and locations that are isolated and extreme. With small children along for the trips, Corey takes comfort knowing that essentials like heated blankets, toys, communications systems and gadgets are all powered without disruption. The fast charging times, the ability to hold a charge for hours longer than lead-acid batteries, and the ability to work in cold temperatures all account for why Corey lives by RELiON lithium batteries, and recommends them to everyone in his overlanding community.

Have more questions about lithium batteries for overlanding?

If you are planning your overlanding trip and have additional questions about the best battery choice for your excursion, contact a RELiON expert today for guidance on what battery options are available for you.