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Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ
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Daverham
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

Has anyone used the Bus Depot "Leisure Battery Kit"?

http://www.busdepot.com/j15328

I know they have just the relay, but the kit has the battery terminals and all that. Great. Specifically I'm mostly wondering how long that positive battery cable is. Is it long enough to go from the starter battery all the way over to the left side of the engine bay? Or from the alternator to the left side of the bay? Or does anyone just have a measurement? I couldn't find that info on Bus Depot. I would assume that they made it "long enough" but I don't assume that they intend to put the house battery in the same place I do. For all I know, it's "supposed" to go inside, under the back seat or something. But I'd like to put mine on the left side, opposite the starter battery.

Thoughts?

If that cable isn't long enough, I'll just get the relay (below) and source cables and fuses from my FLAPS.

http://www.busdepot.com/1738
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russwiththebus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

Very clean, I like that!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

ok, for whatever it's worth this is how mine came out. everything is under the jump seat because i have a refrigeration unit in the spare battery tray.
running: fridge, interior lights, fan, stereo, and water pump. battery gauge is kinda cheesy but it was free and i needed it to cover a hole made by po


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

looks good. i am in the middle of doing this myself. hope mine comes out as well
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russwiththebus
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

Thank you, after a lot of reading I understand it all a bit better now. Installed my aux battery on the driver's side of the engine compartment and from there I ran two 10 gauge wires up to the front - one under the dash and one in the cabinet. From there I installed two new fuse blocks I picked up from Auto Zone and tapped into those to power all my accesories: radio, LED lights, some USB ports, and a couple of 12V power sockets.

I also moved over the power to my Westy overhead light and dome light so that they don't run on the starter battery anymore.

For the radio, I used the GoWesty toggle switch so that it can be powered off the key (like normal) or switched to run from the aux battery with no key in.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

I'm not sure about the bus depot relay, but reading a few posts in here, I think you may want to be using something better?
Might as well future proof it in case you want to run something high amperage in the future
Contact Gary (Aeromech) he set an aux battery up before and could help you out... He used something else though.

I did find this in Google:

http://www.fridge-and-solar.net/dual_bat.htm


Found this for your relay
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=297050
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russwiththebus
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ Reply with quote

Just curious if the photos in this thread could be restored? Or perhaps link to a newer thread with photos?

I just purchased a deep cycle battery and the Bus Depot relay kit, some visuals would really help. I don't have anything high-amperage to run, no fridge or anything like that. I just want to run some LEDs, radio, and charge some devices over a weekend of camping without worrying about my starter battery draining.
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WhirledTraveller
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
WhirledTraveller wrote:
Abscate wrote:
You arent going to cool a big box with 12 Watts of electrical draw. Its thermo.


I have owned this fridge for 6 years or so and use it regularly. I have a pretty good grasp of how much power it uses. It uses about 60 watts to "get cool" and about 12 watts to "stay cool".

Other people use "Engel" compressor fridges and measured the power draw and it is similar.

http://www.campertrailers.org/fridge_power_consumption.htm


That link is reporting 34-43 Amp hours per day for maintaining cool - or about 500 Watts hours - one half of a group 24 battery capacity. I suspect this is a fairly large fridge compared to yours though.


He is reporting 34-43 Amp hours per day for extreme conditions... 98 degree days and using the fridge to cool down previously warm food items. 25 amp-hours per day for normal use.

He's using a 35 liter fridge and I'm using a 26 liter. The "swing compressor" in the Engel is probably marginally more efficient than the reverse sterling cycle compressor I have so it's probably a wash.

Anyway point being that I have a two battery setup with a fairly complex and expensive automatic charge relay. If I was to do it again, I'd just wire the two 80 amp hour batteries together without the relay and take the money I save to buy one of those lithium jumper packs. For the camping I *actually* do, two batteries would run everything fine tied together and probably still start the bus. If they didn't, I'd use the jumper pack.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

WhirledTraveller wrote:
Abscate wrote:
You arent going to cool a big box with 12 Watts of electrical draw. Its thermo.


I have owned this fridge for 6 years or so and use it regularly. I have a pretty good grasp of how much power it uses. It uses about 60 watts to "get cool" and about 12 watts to "stay cool".

Other people use "Engel" compressor fridges and measured the power draw and it is similar.

http://www.campertrailers.org/fridge_power_consumption.htm


That link is reporting 34-43 Amp hours per day for maintaining cool - or about 500 Watts hours - one half of a group 24 battery capacity. I suspect this is a fairly large fridge compared to yours though.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

I trust you know that a 5w solar panel is good really only for maintaining a battery that is sitting for a long time, and will not significantly charge a battery. It is safe however to leave it connected all the time.

I ground my left-side battery directly to one of the bolts that connects the engine to the transmission with a large ring terminal under the bolt.

You can ground the inverter to any good solid ground. Directly to the battery is a good choice, but anywhere on the chassis also works provided you make good electrical contact.

Your inverter does not need an additional fuse for the AC outlets. It should have a 12 volt DC fuse located very close to the battery itself.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

So I got the NOCO solar charger 5W and battery regulator off of amazon. Great solar panel! My problem is I got the bestek inverter 400w. So where is a good place to ground my battery on the left side and should I ground the inverter with the battery or separately? I will have my inverter sit in the spare tire slot above the battery. Also the inverter has a built in fuse for all outlets. Do I need to install another fuse panel? And can the Solar panel be connected to the battery while using the inverter????? Need some guidance.... Thank you!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Sven F wrote:

In the scenario of using up a lot of power throughout a couple of days on your deep cycle battery, once you start the engine, the two batteries are connected and the aux bat. drains power from your starter battery until the alternator can sufficiently charge the voltage gap between them.


The drain from the start battery to the aux battery is mythical.

The 12.7 volts resting voltage of a fully charged battery is just not enough voltage to push any significant charge into another battery unless you have drained it utterly to zero volts (basically destroying the battery in the process). A "drained" battery rests at 11.5 volts or so and the 1.2 voltage differential from a fully charged battery isn't enough to push a charge of any magnitude. You need to apply greater than 13 volts to charge a battery even with a trickle charge.

When the alternator is running, you really really don't have to worry about it. Your start battery will not discharge, not even a little bit. It'll just charge slower until the aux battery catches up.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
You arent going to cool a big box with 12 Watts of electrical draw. Its thermo.


I have owned this fridge for 6 years or so and use it regularly. I have a pretty good grasp of how much power it uses. It uses about 60 watts to "get cool" and about 12 watts to "stay cool".

Other people use "Engel" compressor fridges and measured the power draw and it is similar.

http://www.campertrailers.org/fridge_power_consumption.htm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

You arent going to cool a big box with 12 Watts of electrical draw. Its thermo.

But this is the most profound statement on this topic indeed!

Quote:
Seems like it's best to design around the camping you actually do vs. the camping you imagine doing.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:


A compressor fridge is a big draw - but you have to go to propane or shore power for a week use anyway. You just can't carry enough batteries to keep a fridge running for a week and then realistically charge them.

We go off shore in our boat for a week and use ice for cooling and we have a lot more surface area for solar recharging.


I use a Coleman "reverse sterling cycle" compressor fridge, have for many years, and the average current draw is only about 1 amp. I have taken it camping in the woods (glamping) with a car battery and it ran for 4 days straight off that one battery (night-time temps in the low 50's, daytime about 80). Two batteries tied together should net me 8 days but I wouldn't trust the van to start after that, hence the jump pack.

Also, in the 8 years I've owned my bus I've never camped in the same spot for a week without starting the bus and driving it around at some point. Seems like it's best to design around the camping you actually do vs. the camping you imagine doing. For me (and I imagine most people) it's long weekends, or road trips, and the occasional 4 day festival.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

WhirledTraveller wrote:
Abscate wrote:
Quite a bit has changed since this thread started

People who camp for a week or less are probably well served with...

One socket fused, off car battery
Lights via LEDs...almost no draw compared to bulbs
iPod or equivalent stereo

Jumper pack to ensure start to get home

And pitching the whole aux battery concept completely


My ageing father forgets and leaves the lights on in his car all the time, and carries one of those little lithium jumper packs the size of a paperback book. Works great and has never failed to start his Honda CRV. I like the way you think, but a compressor fridge does change the equation beyond a day or two. I might go with two batteries tied together with no relay plus the jumper pack.


A compressor fridge is a big draw - but you have to go to propane or shore power for a week use anyway. You just can't carry enough batteries to keep a fridge running for a week and then realistically charge them.

We go off shore in our boat for a week and use ice for cooling and we have a lot more surface area for solar recharging.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Quite a bit has changed since this thread started

People who camp for a week or less are probably well served with...

One socket fused, off car battery
Lights via LEDs...almost no draw compared to bulbs
iPod or equivalent stereo

Jumper pack to ensure start to get home

And pitching the whole aux battery concept completely


My ageing father forgets and leaves the lights on in his car all the time, and carries one of those little lithium jumper packs the size of a paperback book. Works great and has never failed to start his Honda CRV. I like the way you think, but a compressor fridge does change the equation beyond a day or two. I might go with two batteries tied together with no relay plus the jumper pack.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Sven F wrote:
Having a compressor fridge is basically key for having a need for an aux battery. That or a webasto type heater. Other things can usually do on your standard power supply if you don't exaggerate.

I use the relay to divide the batteries, but it's not exactly the best solution.

In the scenario of using up a lot of power throughout a couple of days on your deep cycle battery, once you start the engine, the two batteries are connected and the aux bat. drains power from your starter battery until the alternator can sufficiently charge the voltage gap between them.

I would like to have two separate alternators on the engine, but I haven't gotten to it yet.


This is one of the reasons I use the Cyrix-CT 120A.

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-Cyrix-ct-120A-230A-EN.pdf

"Prioritising the starter battery
In a typical setup the alternator is directly connected to the starter battery. The accessory battery, and possibly also a
bow thruster and other batteries are each connected to the starter battery with Cyrix battery combiners. When a Cyrix
senses that the starter battery has reached the connect voltage it will engage, to allow for parallel charging of the other
batteries."

As I posted before I have it setup with a 120A breaker and a momentary switch hooked up for "start assist" which connects the batteries for 30 seconds to allow you to start off the aux battery if the starter battery is depleted or damaged.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Having a compressor fridge is basically key for having a need for an aux battery. That or a webasto type heater. Other things can usually do on your standard power supply if you don't exaggerate.

I use the relay to divide the batteries, but it's not exactly the best solution.

In the scenario of using up a lot of power throughout a couple of days on your deep cycle battery, once you start the engine, the two batteries are connected and the aux bat. drains power from your starter battery until the alternator can sufficiently charge the voltage gap between them.

I would like to have two separate alternators on the engine, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Adding a second battery..how to...with photos Reply with quote

Abscate wrote:
Quite a bit has changed since this thread started
People who camp for a week or less are probably well served with...
One socket fused, off car battery
Lights via LEDs...almost no draw compared to bulbs
iPod or equivalent stereo
Jumper pack to ensure start to get home
And pitching the whole aux battery concept completely


You have started me thinking about carrying a jump box to get home and using the one battery I already have in the Type6.....Thanks for the different perspective !
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