Boogielander Build - Part 2 - Electrical Switches

Now that we've got the intro of the stock Rebel out of the way, let's start with the electrical since there are a million but few correct ways to do this. 

Electrical systems can be divided into two main categories in overland builds: 

  • Vehicular system
    • mainly aux lights
    • onboard air compressors
    • anything used during operating vehicle
  • Camping system
    • camp lights
    • bed lights
    • and anything used at campsite while stationary

This post will be focused on the vehicular system

    This will be a long post, so buckle up!

    What is the foundation of electrical component?

    The foundation of a good electrical system, on the vehicular level, will always be the switch system. A good switch system is reliable and has built in features that boosts user experience, while a bad switch system is exactly the opposite.

    When choosing a switch system, pricing should be the last point of consideration. You get what you paid for: a cheap (or budget friendly, in modern day language) is not going to be reliable and is usually made in China. That is bad because the last thing you want is to have your electrical system shutdown due to a failed control system.

    Functionality and manufacture should always be the top priority when considering a system. Made in USA products should always be chosen, for ease of customer service in addition to support American people. Functionality is also important, as well. For products like Switch-Pros, built in functions such as dimmers, strobe and burst, phone compatibility, and customizability made that price tag well worth it.  

    Popular options for switch systems:

    • Switch-Pros: 
      • My top recommendation, also exactly what I have ran since 2017
      • Reliable: I had mine went through 5 seasons of desert, snow, mud, rain, dust, heat, blizzard, and everything in between, and my Switch-Pro performed reliably through all. Not a single issue and no failure.
      • Functions: other than on and off, everything else is controlled by the feature-rich phone app: backlight colors and brightness on the switch panel, output dimmer, 2 triggers, choice between ignition powered or battery powered, strobe, burst, momentary on and off, switch memory, timer, and one touch on and off for multiple switches. 
      • Slim footprint: thin control panel and thin module.
      • Reasons why someone would NOT get this:
        • Price: At $599, this carries quite a steep price tag. But based on my experience it's worth every penny.
        • A mounting solution is needed. But this is a non-issue as there are a few existing products that address this issue.
    • Auxbeam and anything else that looks like it:
      • Cheap system that turns your aux lights on and off. That's the only benefit of this
      • Made in China 
      • No additional features
      • Pre-installation testing required
      • Extremely high failure rate:
        • One of ten units I personally know failed on the trail after about a year of usage. 
        • One of ten units I personally know failed after a couple years of usage.
        • Six of ten units I personally know failed right out of box. 
    • Individual Switch
      • Often comes with harnesses from your aux light manufactures
      • Relatively affordable, only if you are running one or two lights.
      • Requires passing through the firewall every time a new light is installed. 


    If you want a good and reliable foundation for your electrical system, go with Switch-Pros. If you don't mind paying for a cheap product and then chase electrical problems later down the line yourself or pay installers to do it, go with Chinese panels. 

    Personally, I am a firm believer of "buy once, cry once" for performance related items, so I opted for the top of the line stuff. You should, too, so you have something dependable for your adventures. 

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