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Me and My Aux Battery
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: Me and My Aux Battery Reply with quote

Got around to installing my aux. battery a few weekends ago, it was quite easy.
I used the GoWesty Relay kit, the instructions were clear, but be aware they only show you how to hook the battery up to your Vanagon not how to hook your accessories to the battery. I’m not sure how I’m going to hook everything up to it yet so I left lots of room for expansion, right now I have the battery in and have two cigarette lighter receptacles and a voltmeter hooked to it. Here’s what I did:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here’s our stuff, The 12 volt battery that came with the Westy (Yes I know it is not a deep cycle) a bunch of “crimp” connectors, and the GoWesty 2nd battery kit for early Vanagon Westfalia Campers. Now I found the GoWesty kit to be complete, but pricey
I think the $20.00 Hella relay kit would work just as well.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next we removed the driver’s seat and swiveled the seat base 180 degrees. we then unscrewed the bottom part of the seatbelt and removed the carpet from the divers side wheel well, the carpet by the door. We put in the battery and secured it with the hold down included in the kit. The relay kit has a long read wire with the batter clamp on it, I put his on the battery, gave myself a bit of slack so the battery could be changed, and ran it up to the front. I put a round crimp connector on another red wire and ran it up front to, this is to power any accessories I have in the dash like the radio. I also put another round crimp connector on another red wire and ran it behind the drivers seat, this is for the receptacle behind the driver for powering something in the “living” area. I used some wide masking tape to hold the wire in place while the carpet is glued over it.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next I disconnected the regular battery, then dropped the fuse block and started figuring out the wires for the relay. First up is the blue wire you have to find this four wire connector and hook up to the solid blue wire, this is from the alternator and charges the battery.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

After I got all the wires hooked up correctly according to the instructions I bundled the wire up and found an out of the way spot under the dash and used some industrial strength Velcro to secure it.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next came the extra wire I ran from the positive terminal of the battery, I hooked this to the extra accessory fuse on the fuse block, (the A/C I removed was hooked to this). I also left an extra crimp connector for future use. The front connector I hooked to the 12volt receptacle I have for accessories in the drivers compartment.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here it is all in, all done, the negative terminal connected to the body, carpet back in place.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Here is the 12 volt receptacle for the living area, I velcroed it to the cabinet. I don’t like drilling hole in things sometimes, so I just started using Velcro to hold some things I’ve been installing
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

Here is the voltmeter I put in to monitor the aux battery while we are camping. I made this out of a wooden box my wife got a scarf in.
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Last edited by mightyart on Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Vespagetti
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Me and My Aux Battery Reply with quote

Good stuff Art. I installed my aux Optima with Hella relay switch and it never worked properly (it didn't charge). I got fed up trying to figure out what's wrong and in the end hard wired it with a switch and a vlotmeter in between. It works great now, just have to remember to flick the switch when camping or using the inverter. Oh well.
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mellow cat
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: 2nd battery info Reply with quote

Wanted to share some info about the factory and the GiWesty 2nd battery kit.

While having a small relay connecting the two batteries when the key is in the on position, automatically, is nice. The thing they don't tell you, or explain, is the small 12-14 gauge wire used to connect the two batteries. In addition to the small power relay does not to a good job of transferring power.

You will notice on the relay "30 amps". That is a label for peak/max capacity. However if you bother to check the output side of the relay while your van is running you will notice your getting about 5 amps max. This is due to the small wires and the weak relay. The reason I mention this is while I was at GoWesty there was always issues about what the "right" kit set up should be. I was technical support on the phones. I can't tell you how many phone calls I got from people depleading thier battery while camping, then driving to the next camp spot then finding there 2nd battery was still close to dead, saying the kit was not working. Problem is this, the power transfer rate of the relay is so small that you will need to drive 8 to 10 hours from depleating your battery until its fully charged again. If you care to, go back to GoWesty, they have changed the kit, and are now using a solenoid in the kit rather than a relay.

Most westfalias have the relay already in place. For most, simply, buy a battery, install it and your done. But you need to know that your ability to charge the 2nd battery stinks. It actually recharges at about the pace of a trickle charger and only while the van is running.

Personlly I use large gauge wire and a manual battery switch that is external. This way there is never a question of whether or not the batteries are connected. In addition, while charging I know that the 2nd battery is getting the same attention from the alternator as the primary battery. Having the 2nd battery at my full disposal everytime I stop if very very nice.

Cheers
Mellow Cat
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Waldemar Sikorski
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mightyart,

Dandy, but do you have a Diagram?!
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewere probably, it came with the kit, just like this:
http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=1738
Remember the kits and the wiring diagrams are for hooking up the battery to the alternator, Then you have to hook everything you want to power with it to the battery, and your kind of on your own for that.
Hooking the fridge to run off the aux battery is a bad idea.
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tclark
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 2nd battery info Reply with quote

mellow cat wrote:
Wanted to share some info about the factory and the GoWesty 2nd battery kit.

Does any one have a pro / cons of the GW kit
vs
using sure power 1315 to handle the 2nd battery separation
I believe the 1315 is still just a HD mechanical relay
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isolater is overkill for this application,
Make your own "New Gowesty kit"
http://www.type2.com/library/electrip/batis.htm
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bucko
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wired mine up today using the schematic drawing you provided to me mightyart. As my favorite saying goes, "piece of cake"! The drawing is correct, and now the aux battery charges off of the alternator.

When installing the secondary relay, I noticed a previous owner had wired the refridgerator direct to the aux battery; he/she removed the refridgerator red/black wire off of post 87 of the relay, and connected it directly to the aux battery's "+" post. I fixed that as well.

Since I already had two spare relays (from the old air conditioning wiring I removed), it was a snap.

Thanks for the help yesterday. Make this a "sticky".
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tclark
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
Isolater is overkill for this application,

they call it a seperator NOT isolator so a different wring hookup
http://www.surepower.com/separator.html
well when I read about the 1315 it has some nice features
see the manual on the link above
-allow automatic 2nd battery start assist
would be great when you accidentally drain the primary
-its bidirectional so if you added a solar charge controller you can charge
both the 2nd & primary from a solar source
-it smart so it allows a longer off charge time since the primary will stay connected to the 2nd battery unill its voltage drop below a safe level
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use the isolator if it makes you feel better, isolator/sepeporaters are better suited when you are drawing lots of juice like a big RV with a generator ect. the Relay is fine 98% of the people putting a aux battery in the Westy.
http://www.dan-marcrvparts.com/12vwiaustbas.html

MODEL 1315 – charges primary and auxiliary battery after either battery has reached 13.2V. This model is particularly useful for motorhomes or other vehicles which are equipped with an auxiliary battery charger, generator, invertor or solar charger>

So if your just putting in a aux battery to power you radio and laptop when the engines off then it's overkill and overpriced
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mellow cat
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject: 2nd battery Reply with quote

I like to make the desicion of whether or not the batteries are connected. I don't like to rely on things that are trying to think for you. They usually are the things that fail first.

still in favor of a large termal battery switch.

Cheers
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mellow cat
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: 2nd battery Reply with quote

Tclark:

The new style GoWesty 2nd battery kit uses a solenoid rather that a relay. Its the same solenoid that is used in the Eurovan 2nd battery set up as wired in from the factory. Some of us a GoWesty argued as I posted previoulsy to the total output/charging power of the little relay set up. It simply is not satifactory. It works, Yes, but poorly.

At any rate I think the new GoWesty product is fine and works considerable better than did the relay set up, However I am still in favor of the manual battery switch.

Cheers
MC
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Gruppe B
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: 2nd battery info Reply with quote

mellow cat wrote:


Personlly I use large gauge wire and a manual battery switch that is external. This way there is never a question of whether or not the batteries are connected. In addition, while charging I know that the 2nd battery is getting the same attention from the alternator as the primary battery. Having the 2nd battery at my full disposal everytime I stop if very very nice.

Cheers
Mellow Cat


This sounds like the best solution.
All you would need is one heavy duty cable connecting the positive terminals of each battery. splice in a battery shut off switch into the heavy duty cable and your done.
Day to day operation leave switch "on" and have the power of 2 batteries.
For camping operation turn switch "off" and have a isolated battery for accessories/invertor.

No relays to fry, no light duty wiring, light cash outlay and an install time that would be relatively quick.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 x 12 = 24
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EXITSTRATEGY
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice work-up. what are you running off that aux. bat?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXITSTRATEGY wrote:
nice work-up. what are you running off that aux. bat?

Stereo, and interior lights are wire directly to it, and I've got three 12volt receptacles wired to it, one in front, on in the middle and one in the back.
The plug in the front is for the stereo:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=127433
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
2 x 12 = 24


Not if connected in parallel.

Run the cable from the positive side of the aux to the positive side of the main with a switch inbetween.

Just hook up the aux battery negative to ground.

double the amps but still 12v.
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to have two batteries that are the same to do this, even if they are the same batteries and one is stronger it not work.
Or if you have a regular battery for starting and a deep cycle for your aux you have to seperate them.
If it was that easy everyone would just use a switch.
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dan macmillan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mightyart wrote:
You have to have two batteries that are the same to do this, even if they are the same batteries and one is stronger it not work.
Or if you have a regular battery for starting and a deep cycle for your aux you have to seperate them.
If it was that easy everyone would just use a switch.


Actually any 2 12v batteries will work. The problem is they will try to equalize themselves, If one goes bad it will draw the other down. Also using a manual switch brings up the issue of discharging both if you forget to turn it off when camping. On the other hand if you park and forget your lights on and kill your battery you can boost off the aux battery.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres how I hooked up my aux battery system. I used a sub panel with a 10 AWG wire running from the battery to the sub panel then jumped everything off of that. I also ran a wire from the aux battery into the main fuse panel in order to run the radio, all interior lights and 12v power sockets off of the aux battery.

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Here's a write up on the sub panel install and how I hooked everything up:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=244500&highlight=sub+panel
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