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Discussion Starter #1
I'm running quite a bit off a 1 battery system and I'm wondering if I need to switch to dual. Beyond factory options, I'm running a roof mounted light bar, a front winch, and bumper mounted off road lights. I'm contiplating adding a winch in my bed just below the rear window because I'm getting too old to lug gear into the back. Of course I won't be running everything at once. The bed mounted atv winch would never run at the same time as the other things I mentioned. Is it time to suck it up and run dual batteries or can I pull this off with one? TIA!
 

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Your winch is the only item you've mentioned that might draw more current than your stock alternator is capable of supplying. Everything else is small change.

One of the main reasons for installing a second battery is to momentarily provide more current than your original battery can provide. For example, when your winch is drawing 300 amps and your alternator is only supplying 70 amps at engine idle, your battery will need to supply the additional 230 amps needed to run the winch. Adding a second battery makes it possible to supply this additional current for longer before both batteries are discharged.

One possible alternative to installing a second battery is to simply replace the original battery with a much larger size - example here.
 

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There's a lot of information we don't know to really make an educated decision. We don't know anything about the vehicle other than to assume it's a Frontier (year/engine/alternator output), what battery you have, the amount draw of your winches, the amount of draw of your lights (if any of these lights are LEDs, the draw wouldn't be that much). You may be perfectly find without doing anything because, as you said, you aren't running all of these things at the same time.
 
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Your winch is the only item you've mentioned that might draw more current than your stock alternator is capable of supplying. Everything else is small change.

One of the main reasons for installing a second battery is to momentarily provide more current than your original battery can provide. For example, when your winch is drawing 300 amps and your alternator is only supplying 70 amps at engine idle, your battery will need to supply the additional 230 amps needed to run the winch. Adding a second battery makes it possible to supply this additional current for longer before both batteries are discharged.

One possible alternative to installing a second battery is to simply replace the original battery with a much larger size - example here.
I would go for this first before attempting a second battery.
 

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I always replace the factory group 35 batteries with a group 24 when they are due for replacement. They drop right in and fit perfectly without any modification. Past 5 years I've been using Walmart Everstart MAXX batteries; Consumer Reports always rates them highly, priced at $100 and 3-year free replacement plus 2-year prorated, 700CCA. They used to have a longer warranty and be rated at 875CCA, but I guess that's the way things go?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To provide more information, it's the 4.0 v6. I'm running an Optima yellow top with a stock alternator. There's been numerous times I've wished I had a bed mounted winch.
 
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