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Pickup Trucks

GM 1500 dual battery upgrade

Bruce Smith January 7, 2014


Inverters, coolers, radios, warning strobes, laptops, battery chargers, printers and other necessary accessories put a big drain on any pickup’s stock electrical system when the truck is sitting on a jobsite with the engine off.

Even with the engine running the amp load needed to power such an array of accessories can put a strain on the stock electrical system.

Add a plow, connect to a weak trailer battery or flip on auxiliary driving, fog or work lights and the battery is going to take a hard hit.

In preparation for adding an inverter, warning lights and a few other work truck “necessaries” on Project Bedrock — our 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab 4×4 – we decided it was a good idea to double-up the batteries.

Stock Chevy/GMC 1500s come with a single Group 48 battery located in the passenger’s-side rear corner of the engine bay.

There’s also an unused battery tray on the driver’s front corner; there’s no TP2 (dual-battery option) for the 1500s, so it’s a mystery why it’s there.

Wiring diagram that comes with the Cole Heresee 48530 Smart battery Isolator lines out the installation.

Whatever the reason, it does make it easy to double-up the batteries. All you need is a GM Battery Retainer (#14005061) that costs less than $5, a second battery and a battery isolator designed to work with the new electronics.

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