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Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pete,
How's things?
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1vwdog
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, how is this for dumb? What if you took one of those batter jump boxes and used it for an auxilary battery? Could you either set it in place of the main battery/ carriage battery while camping and then just remove it when needing to start and move?
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dreadlocks
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pretty dumb; just use your regular battery then and jump start if needed with your jumper; why switch over to a battery 1/10th the size of the one you got when camping... most battery terminals dont like being constantly connected/disconnected unless there designed for it; the'll start making poor connections fast if you constantly yank em off and hook it up to another.

I am setting mine up; waiting for parts.. Wired a Low Voltage Disconnect to a relay infront of the house subpanel; this way I can hook both batteries together for more power and still keep enough reserves to start the bus.. once voltage drops so low a buzzer sounds for a min and everything disconnects.
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1vwdog
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay dumb idea, perhaps but draining the carriage battery cannot be good for the life of the battery. Yes, you could jump it but the juming unit is designed to be drained and recharged. Just a thought.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it all depends on how much you drain it; drain your car battery to 12v over and over without issue... drain your jump starter to 11.5v or less a few times and its done; there designed to jump start not replace your battery... A decent car battery will produce alot more energy and last alot longer going from 13v-12v than your jumper..

Start off with a decent car battery and simply monitor the voltage while camping; if you go under 12v you might have trouble starting it.. but a jumper should give you the extra umph you need.. A deep cycle battery is 60% discharged at 11.9v; thats as low as you want to go if you want a good life expectancy.

And since VW's NEVER have any mechanical issues; you dont need but a tiny bit of power to get em going.. always fire up on first stroke; amazing Rolling Eyes

A house battery is really the way to roll if you want to keep lights, radios on and still know you have plenty of juice to get it going in a few days.

-R
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg in GA wrote:
I've been doing some reading about how to add a 2nd battery etc and I have a question. What would be the down side to moving the entire vehicle electrics over to the 2nd battery except for the starting circuit? IE: the only thing on the main battery would be the starter.


The main disadvantage is that you're making the circuit path to the vehicle electrics more tortuous, increasing the amperage going through your fuses, relays, etc. during normal operations and potentially increasing the voltage drop which can have all kinds of unintended consequences.

The stock setup, when the engine is running, the power to your headlights, wipers, radio, etc., is going straight from the alternator to a terminal on the starter. And from that terminal, another wire runs up to the front of the bus to power everything. Straight and direct, minimal connections, maximum voltage. And the battery is seeing roughly the same voltage that the VR is regulating at... so the battery charges up fast and efficiently because the only voltage drop due to accessory current is in the short wire from the alternator to the starter.

My point is that you certainly "could" move that stuff over to the coach battery, you'd have to think it through very carefully and use heavy gauge wires and minimal added connections (fuses, relays, etc) because there's a strong potential to impair a) the charging of your coach battery, b) the brightness of your headlights, c) the reliability of your vehicle electrical system.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1vwdog wrote:
Okay dumb idea, perhaps but draining the carriage battery cannot be good for the life of the battery. Yes, you could jump it but the juming unit is designed to be drained and recharged. Just a thought.


Just don't try to recharge the jump start battery with your engines charging circuit. The little jump start batteries are intended to be recharged with a real small amount of amperage over a long period of time. Just compare the little wire size of it's charger with the big bus wires.
I use my jump start device for all kinds of things but only plugged into it's 12V port.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

anyone know of another source for the wiring kit? German Supply is out of stock ...

Thanks,
Chris


grandpa pete wrote:
After reading all the previous posts and talking to people who have done this I decided to use the German supply kit to add a second "Camping" battery to my 69 tintop. It was easier than I thought ;
What you will need, the kit and instructions,a battery hold down,a small fuse pannel , #8 wire and connectors :
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Install the hold down and add battery,attach relay to grounded metal,run wires to terminals as directed,
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Run long peice of kit harness up and across to original battery(coiled pigtail in photo)


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

Unplug green wire off alternator and plug it into clear Y connector;plug blue wire from clear Y connector onto the terminal you removed green wire from
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

At this point you have a second battery that will charge when the bus is runningand when you turn off the key you have an isolated "camping battery"
To add circuts you need to connect the positive terminal of the new battrery to thefuse block and start running your accessory circuts from there
Costs : Battery hold down kit (west marine ) $16 marine deep cycle 800cca battery $99, G.S. kit $39, Wire and connectors $8, Fuse block $12, ..=$ 174 + time = 2hours
If your rich substitute a $249 ultimate battery and a $139 blue sea three way switch;I just want to go campin several times a year,this will do for me Cool Cool Hopes this helps somebody else
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is worth waiting for......no cutting or making your own ends from a "pile"of wires Shocked ...You get what you pay for Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete,

Quick question:

on the relay ... I have one brown wire that is grounded, a second that goes to the + on the main (cranking battery), a third that goes to the + on the auxiliary and the fourth ... (here is the question) ... does the 4th wire go to the green side of the coil (the side that goes to the condenser???

Thanks for your help.

grandpa pete wrote:
it is worth waiting for......no cutting or making your own ends from a "pile"of wires Shocked ...You get what you pay for Cool
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not likely - it would inhibit the ignition. How about to the blue regulator wire (so that it activates the relay when the generator is putting out power, e.g., the engine is running)? See the pic of the alternator above.
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RocketSurgeon
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So a little clarification please. I connect my wire from terminal 86 on the relay to terminal 61 on the voltage regulator even if I have a generator not an alternator on my 69?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RocketSurgeon wrote:
So a little clarification please. I connect my wire from terminal 86 on the relay to terminal 61 on the voltage regulator even if I have a generator not an alternator on my 69?

Correct. The 61 terminal puts out 12 volts when the generator is operating, thus closing the relay which connects the batteries together. (Side note: since the GEN light has 12 volts on its other side, that puts 12 - 12 = 0 volts across the light, turning it off). When the engine is off, there's no 61 terminal voltage, thus you can start from the main battery even if the aux battery is flat.
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Greg in GA
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where is a good place to get the single "input" fuse block?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect! That's what I needed to hear. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg in GA wrote:
Where is a good place to get the single "input" fuse block?


Is this the one?

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http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servle...sNum=50554
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Greg in GA
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a nice unit for sure but I was hoping for one a little more compact
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My system. Battery isolator came from a previous Bus so I used what I got (free). Fuse box is that marine-style and I really like it. Mounted mine on the spare tire well and it's holding up just fine. Powers a 12v device plug (like the kids DVD player), stereo, and the interior lights -- I re-routed the wire from the stock fuse box...which is now open for something else. I've got room for more connections just haven't had the time & $$$ to do more work to her Sad

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys I've been reading through this thread and decided to go with a second battery and fuse box for my thing. The wiring to the original panel is pretty messy and I am installing some accessories; tach, oil temp gauge, stereo, amp etc.... I purchased the Blue Sea fuse panel with negative bus bar, as well as the SI ACR. I am clear on hooking it all up with a second battery but my question is if I run all of my new accessories to the house battery, will they be drawing power from the battery since they are not hooked to the ignition? Wil I have to turn stereo off every time? Any tips on how to wire this with the parts I purchased. I looked at the switches that blue sea has as well, but not sure if this is what I would need.
Thanks
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

locky wrote:
... I am installing some accessories; tach, oil temp gauge, stereo, amp etc.... I purchased the Blue Sea fuse panel with negative bus bar, as well as the SI ACR. I am clear on hooking it all up with a second battery but my question is if I run all of my new accessories to the house battery, will they be drawing power from the battery since they are not hooked to the ignition?

Yup.

Quote:
Will I have to turn stereo off every time?

Yup.

Quote:
Any tips on how to wire this with the parts I purchased. I looked at the switches that blue sea has as well, but not sure if this is what I would need.

First, you have to decide on how you want the stuff to work. For example, gauges are pretty useless when the engine isn't running, so they should be wired to the main battery through the ignition switch. On the other hand, the stereo and maybe the interior lights are also used when the engine is off (and maybe for long periods), so should be wired to the aux battery. That way, long use won't kill the main battery, and the engine will be able to start. That means they won't turn off by the ignition switch, but that's the cost for flexibility.

Note: creative wiring using a single pole / double throw toggle switch to switch the stereo power between normal ignition switch and aux battery will solve that problem, allowing ignition-switched sounds for normal driving but aux battery power when 'camping'.
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