All That Under One Hood?

By Frank Lopez

From the start of this build, I knew I would need a dual battery system. For this, I selected a Genesis Dual Battery kit with Dual Odyssey Group 34 PC1500's. This would provide more than enough power to handle the auxiliary lights, inverter and a fridge. Thanks to Genesis' YouTube video, installation went smoothly.

The Genesis kit features:

  • Completely pre-wired out of the box.
  • Fits 3.8L, 3.6L, Hemi 5.7L/6.4L, LS and European diesel engines.
  • Boost switch -to jumpstart vehicle with second battery.
  • Power & ground bus bars.
  • Smart Isolator -automatically handles charge functions.
  • Interface port for the G Screen monitoring system.
  • Integrated fusebox holder and evap-solenoid holder.
  • High quality wiring, tin-plated copper connectors with heat shrink tubing.
  • Powder coated for durability.
  • Made in the USA.

Tired of being the last to finish airing up in my group, I ditched the Viair handheld compressor for an ARB CKMTA12 twin compressor. After some research, I settled on the Metal Cloak mount made specifically to mount the big ARB under the hood of the Jeep JK.

ARBCKMTA12.jpg

I learned the hard way that this orange "300 PSI" hose wasn't up to the task, so I replaced it with ARB steel hose and added a remote air-coupler to the driver side of the front bumper. Helpful Tip: You can get rubber leg covers from any hardware store and use them to protect your air-coupler. 

No more popping the hood to air up.

Tip: You can get rubber leg covers from any hardware store and use them to protect your air-coupler. 

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an sPOD Bantam that was still in its beta stages, which provided control over my ARB compressor, lights, water pump and real time battery voltage and temps. Similar to the sPOD 8 Circuit SE System with touchscreen, the Bantam unit also features:

  • Compact size
  • 12/24 DC Voltage
  • Low voltage cutoff
  • 30 amps per circuit
  • Safety lockout option (circuits 1-2)
  • 8 position inputs for external controllers
  • Fully programmable Bluetooth/App with voice command
  • Sort, over-current & overheating protection
  • Made in the USA


Installing the Bantam was possibly the easiest wiring job ever!

It didn't take long to load the Bantam with goodies. I quickly wired up my compressor and Baja Design XL80. Since there were no messy wires, relays, fuses, or switches, installing accessories were quick and effortless. 

sPOD Touchscreen with CMM JK A-pillar mount (special thanks to @JK_Overland & PitcairnOverland).

With the dual battery system installed, it was time to install all of my 12V accessories. I wanted to outfit the interior of the Jeep, but didn't want a bunch of wires running through my firewall. I contacted Mitch, from Adventure Wired, for a solution. We settled on a Blue Sea ST Blade ATO/ATC fuse block inside the Jeep. We only ran one set of wires to the battery, instead of 6 +/- wires. The terminal was placed under a Goose Gear 60% plate, out of sight and cleanly mounted.

 Mitch (@AdventureWired) doing work!

Mitch (@AdventureWired) doing work!

Blue Sea fuse block:

(2) Powerwerx Dual 4.8 USB

(2) Powerwerx 12V sockets

(1) Snomaster 12L console fridge

(1) Snomaster 42L travel fridge

(2) Baja Design dome lights

My Jeep is no longer my daily driver. As such, the auxiliary battery can drain while the Jeep sits. To combat this, I added a NOCO onboard battery charger and AC port plug. The GEN1 can charge and maintain a single 12V deep cycle battery. For those with multiple batteries, NOCO also makes a GEN2 and GEN3. We decided to mount the charger under the driver seat and the AC port on the driver side of the Ursa Minor. Now when I park the Jeep, all I have to do is plug it in with an extension cord.

NOCO Genius, GEN1 charger.jpg
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 I added a splitter to allow the Snowmaster to run off of AC power when the Jeep is plugged in.

I added a splitter to allow the Snowmaster to run off of AC power when the Jeep is plugged in.

To keep all of my new gear safe, I installed a Bolt Lock. If you own a Jeep Wrangler, then you know that anyone could easily pop your hood to steal gear or vandalize your engine bay.

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Bolt Lock Features:

  • Mounts using existing holes.
  • Eliminates hood flutter.
  • Uses factory ignition key.
  • Plate tumbler sidebar to prevent picking or bumping.
  • Stainless lock shutter to keep out dirt and moisture.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
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My Jeep is always a work in progress. With every trip I learn something new about my modifications -which worked, or didn't. Future plans include solar panels and an inverter. First, I have to decide whether to go with hard mount or suitcase style. In any case, I'll be sure to share what comes nest. Safe travels!

You can learn more about Frank's Jeep and see some of his beautiful photography by visiting his website, and Instagram account