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Auxilary Battery Kits - 2 prices - what's the difference?
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Vespagetti
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Auxilary Battery Kits - 2 prices - what's the difference? Reply with quote

Hey everybody. I've been lurking here for a year now trying to learn what not to do when it comes to buying Vanagons and finally last week I became a proud owner of a very clean '88 GL Very Happy (pics to follow). I'm converting it into a weekender and want to install a second battery. I found these two aux battery kits, one for $20 and the other for $50 Exclamation Question Is the the $20 sufficient for my needs? I see a relay switch, so is everything I need there? Thanks in advance!

$20:
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$50:
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big differance in the two kits is about 30 bucks I'm afraid. I bought the GoWesty kit, on the assumtion (never assume anything) that it would tell me more about hooking other stuff up to the battery like the the frige and interior lighting. Of course all the instructions tell you is how to hook the battery to the alternator, so when your done you have a fully charged aux battery hooked to nothing.
I haven't hooked mine up yet, I even have everything I need, except the ambition to track down the wires. I think the $20.00 kit would work just fine.
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Vespagetti
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
The big differance in the two kits is about 30 bucks I'm afraid. Of course all the instructions tell you is how to hook the battery to the alternator, so when your done you have a fully charged aux battery hooked to nothing.


lol. That's what I was afraid of. I was trying to bend my brain around how this would work and I was *presuming* that instructions will hold all the answers. I'm glad you replied.

I just need to run my stereo and lighter socket off of it, do you think that would be simpler to wire?

Thanks.
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dannyaz
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject: aux battery Reply with quote

thats funny, I hooked mine up and was trying to figure it out. My plan was to hook the DC to AC converter up directly to this battery. My understanding is that the relay will keep it from discharging the main battery, but allow it to charge when the car is running.

Im going to call gowesty on Monday and ask the technical guy. I did not like the thin wire and thin battery post connectors in the kit.
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DanJReed
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
The big differance in the two kits is about 30 bucks I'm afraid. I bought the GoWesty kit, on the assumtion (never assume anything) that it would tell me more about hooking other stuff up to the battery like the the frige and interior lighting. Of course all the instructions tell you is how to hook the battery to the alternator, so when your done you have a fully charged aux battery hooked to nothing.
I haven't hooked mine up yet, I even have everything I need, except the ambition to track down the wires. I think the $20.00 kit would work just fine.


I can second that.

For the $20 at Go Westy - its not worth it. Plus its only good for OEM Westy Vanagons. Not Weekends or std. vans.

Check this link out..

http://www.vanagon.com/info/articles/upgrades/battery/index.html

[/quote]
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zeepusher
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Know I'm in the wrong section but, I'm looking at a second batery for my 72 westy. In Fact I just recived an inverter my wife found new on E-bay for $107 with shipping. I think it was a GREAT deal for a 1500 continious watt-3000watt peak inverter. now I just have to figure out how to route the second batery.

My inverter came with 4 gauge wire. I'd think the wires that came with either of the above would be a bit more substancial.
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Rocknrod
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey...

If all you want to do is get power to a secondary battery... why dont you just wire up the batteries in parralel? Positive to positive, negative to negative and just use 1 ground to the vehicle and 1 hot to the fuse panel?

Double the available amp hours, but retain the same voltage...

If you can get the two batteries side by side all you'd need is some battery cable and terminals!
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought of that to, but I think if you wire two 12 volt batteries together you get a 24 volt system. The second battery does use the body as the ground, and you add your own fuse block for the stuff you want to run off the second battery. The only thing you really hook up the second battery to is the wire coming off the alternater.
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MayorDJQ
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought if you wire them parellel, you still have 12V and if wired in series, then you get 24V?
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with that is that when you are camping and drawing off the aux battery, eventyually you will have to go and you still want the bus to start off the starting battery. THe isolator concept.

The kit allows both batteries to get charged off the alternator. You don't need huge wire to do that either just the 4 gauge or whatever the kit comes with.
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DanJReed
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I thought if you wire them parellel, you still have 12V and if wired in series, then you get 24V?


True, but as the above post states you need to still isolate them. This is a problem with large trucks and vans that run Diesel. Often a new "good" battery will kill itself off trying to help a "weaker" battery.

Most isolators are heavy duty diodes (act as an electrical check valve) so both batteries can run, say a radio, and both get charged at the same time, but when the power is off, the won't kill each other.
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Rocknrod
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot about the diodes... someone slap me upside the head...
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walrus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was trying to figure out this mess as well. I came across someone saying that if you use a true isolator(not a relay) then you get a voltage drop (.7v) which the vw alternator cannot compensate for. The only reason I considered an isolator is that my friend gave me one free. I would say your battery would charge faster with one as you would use heavier gauge wire. The way the smaller relays work(like a trickle charger) is that the amperage to recharge your drained aux batt. is intentionally limited by the small guage wire they supply as there would be too great of a conflict suddenly switching a fully charged battery to a dead one. The isolator eliminates it coming from your main battery but instead from the alternator and since you use heavier wire it recharges quicker.
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gears
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want anywhere near full power from a 3K inverter, you will need to use both batteries in parallel, with full-sized battery cables. The only practical answer is to use a marine dual battery switch, allowing either or both batteries to be used at once. Just remember to switch between "A" and "B" ocassionally (before starting vehicle) to keep both batteries charged, and only use the "A+B" position while using the inverter.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

walrus wrote:
I was trying to figure out this mess as well. I came across someone saying that if you use a true isolator(not a relay) then you get a voltage drop (.7v) which the vw alternator cannot compensate for.

Is this the article you refer to: http://www.geocities.com/harald_nancy/isolator.htm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
walrus wrote:
I was trying to figure out this mess as well. I came across someone saying that if you use a true isolator(not a relay) then you get a voltage drop (.7v) which the vw alternator cannot compensate for.

Is this the article you refer to: http://www.geocities.com/harald_nancy/isolator.htm

One of them. The one with that particulat point was by derek drew and about refrigerators. http://vw.upnorth.net/%5B76.X%5D-Dometic-Fridge139.htm
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Tomswesty
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just installed an Optima Yellow deep cell (its a little tall for the battery holder) in my 87 using the factory relay and on my recent trip everything seemed to work fine. I have the frig, pump, lights, and extra power outlet and a 800wt convertered hooked up to it. I left the frig on for a couple of hours without the van running and it drew it down to about 5 volts. I also hooked up a volt meter like Art did which really heps keep tabs on the power.

I also did not need to buy the hook up kits or buy instructions off the web. There is enough free info to make things work. The only big bite is the cost of the battery and converter but well worth it. I have some info if anyone needs it.
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levi
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Auxilary Battery Kits - 2 prices - what's the difference Reply with quote

Vespagetti wrote:
Hey everybody. I've been lurking here for a year now trying to learn what not to do when it comes to buying Vanagons and finally last week I became a proud owner of a very clean '88 GL Very Happy (pics to follow). I'm converting it into a weekender and want to install a second battery. I found these two aux battery kits, one for $20 and the other for $50 Exclamation Question Is the the $20 sufficient for my needs? I see a relay switch, so is everything I need there? Thanks in advance!

$20:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

$50:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

How about for $10?
http://community-2.webtv.net/VanStuff/VanagonWestfalia/
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walrus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That kit doesn't have a relay. It is a nice link with some good ideas.
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