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1982 Fridge Heater Relay location?
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sphet
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 9:39 am    Post subject: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

A quick one maybe:

Where is the 12v fridge heater relay on early 82 diesel westy? My battery box doesn’t have it, nor do I have a fuse box on the b pillar.

My intention is to separate the fridge and the aux panel and pump for a second battery setup.

S
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Not under the drivers seat?
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

In 80, 81, and early 82 the fridge 12v relay is part of the fridge, mounted on top of the fridge where you can't easily access it. These vans also don't have the 2 fuses behind the driver seat.

Mark
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Mark,

Thanks for the reply. Is my best option to pull the fridge? Alternatively, I could address it at the control panel I guess?

S
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

It still is wired externally to the van. You just need to find that wire. Our 82 had the fuses so that made it easy. Yours is either getting power from the fuse panel or the battery. But, the van has also been through a lot of hands so no telling.

Otherwise yes, pulling it will give you a better view and you can check the area for rust.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

If you have the early fridge with the relay on top you need to slide the fridge out to get to it.
If you have the 2 fuses in the small brown box behind the driver seat then you have the later wiring that came with the fridge relay under the driver seat. The early kitchen wiring has a single inline fuse under the driver seat.
It is possible to run the early fridge on the later wiring but not the other way around unless mods are made.

What problem are you trying to solve?

Mark


sphet wrote:
Mark,

Thanks for the reply. Is my best option to pull the fridge? Alternatively, I could address it at the control panel I guess?

S
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sphet
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

crazyvwvanman wrote:

What problem are you trying to solve?

Mark


Hey Mark, thanks for the information.

I am getting notes together for adding a second battery and solar to my van. Our needs are limited, but every summer we spend 7 to 10 days on a small island camping where we don't get enough driving time in to keep the starter filled up. By the end of the week we're trying to conserve the battery power.

So I would like to get the water pump and LED panel to use new battery, and keep the fridge using the starter battery path. I thought to split the fridge from the LED panel and pump. I know I could just rewrite the pump and faucet to run off the second battery circuit but I felt that doing it via the LED panel was tidier and more stock.

If I move the whole circuit to the new battery, then the dc-to-dc charger must have enough amperage to power both the fridge AND recharge the battery. My thought had been to leave the fridge on the starter battery circuit since it isn't using 12V unless we are driving.

S
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 12:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

sphere wrote:

I am getting notes together for adding a second battery and solar to my van. Our needs are limited, ......

So I would like to get the water pump and LED panel to use new battery, and keep the fridge using the starter battery path. I thought to split the fridge from the LED panel and pump. I know I could just rewrite the pump and faucet to run off the second battery circuit but I felt that doing it via the LED panel was tidier and more stock.


Run a new fused wire from new battery etc to 4 of T6 connector for LED panel, leave OE red wire from fuse panel at dash to Dometic as is?

A wire plus connector from a relay block might fit and lock into the T6 connector housing. The diagram shows a #12 wire to sink pump etc. Some relay sockets use larger gauge wires.

IMO though, this is not an ideal solution as the decommissioned OE red #12 wire would remain "live"; it would need to be insulated and secured out of harms way. And even then, what about the next owner? But..... IF there's an empty spot on the T6 connector, move that "live" red wire to that position?

Neil.
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https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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sphet
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:


IMO though, this is not an ideal solution as the decommissioned OE red #12 wire would remain "live"; it would need to be insulated and secured out of harms way. And even then, what about the next owner? But..... IF there's an empty spot on the T6 connector, move that "live" red wire to that position?

Neil.


Neil,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. What kind of tool is needed to put new connections into the T6?

S
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

sphet wrote:
Vanagon Nut wrote:
IMO though, this is not an ideal solution .... But..... IF there's an empty spot on the T6 connector, move that "live" red wire to that position?


Neil,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. What kind of tool is needed to put new connections into the T6?

S


You're welcome.

To install wire with connector: gently lift connector locking tab a bit, push connector in until it clicks in place. Gently pull wire to ensure it's secure.

Wire removal: where wire enters connector housing, use a small tool, e.g. small jewellers screwdriver to laterally lever the locking tab on connector, pull wire. Pushing the wire into housing while levering on the tab can help allow tab to move.

You'd need a special crimp tool to install a new open barrel connector.

Caveat: I used the Bentley wiring diagram while conjuring up a suggestion so assumed T6 has open barrel locking connectors.

Neil.

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

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50º ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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sphet
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Thanks again Neil,

I'm going to try to get to the connector this weekend.

I had another question/thought about simply keeping the kitchen power together.

If I am using a dc-to-dc charger (be it Redarc or Renogy) is it true that I should not be drawing current on the aux-battery side during charging while driving? I use the DC setting of my stock fridge when travelling all the time. I understand with an isolator-style charging setup it doesn't really matter where the sock fridge circuit is connected since the aux battery is combined with the starter while driving an the fridge is then powered from the alternator. However, with a DC-to-DC converter is the converter not trying to match the power profile of the battery, which would be impacted by a 7amp draw of the fridge in DC mode?

S
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

sphere wrote:
..... I understand with an isolator-style charging setup it doesn't really matter where the sock fridge circuit is connected since the aux battery is combined with the starter while driving an the fridge is then powered from the alternator. However, with a DC-to-DC converter is the converter not trying to match the power profile of the battery, which would be impacted by a 7amp draw of the fridge in DC mode?


You got me curious of DC-DC chargers. Owners manual for the Renogy DC-DC charger(s):

https://ca.renogy.com/content/manual/RNG-DCC1212-204060-Manual.pdf

It's nice that the DC-DC charger provides battery isolation when engine is off.

DC-DC charger not installed, as a kind of WAG, it's possible details re: wire length-condition, battery state, total Amp load on B+ circuit, might factor in to Dometic performance while on DC but that's likely "hair splitting". It should run fine when connected to starter or house battery, engine running.

With the charger installed, it appears you have a choice. Engine running:

- Dometic connects to, runs off, starter battery-alternator circuit.

- Dometic connects to, runs off, aux battery-DC-DC charger.

edit: since the Renogy uses the D+ wire to turn it on, with fridge connected to that charger/battery, you won't need the fridge relay anymore. Sorry. I'm wrong. You'd still need the fridge relay unless you could remember to turn fridge off shortly after shutting off engine.

That charger was designed for RV, marine type applications. So, I bet it was designed to work properly even when loads are drawing power off house system while the vehicle is being driven. Though those loads might slow the charge time, I'd say "no"; they shouldn't negatively affect the charging process.

I'd suggest that over the long term, stopping for gas, food etc thus interrupting the charge process, (especially during first 1/4 of bulk charge?), might potentially be a larger factor during the charge process. But, I'd consider that normal wear and tear.

All that said, there are specific notes for the Lithium battery but even then, I'd think my theory still applies.

As an aside, if it was me, I'd be thinking of where solar controller is installed and possibly consider installing the house battery under the rear bench seat. Both the solar controller and DC-DC charger require proper ventilation. Having a short charge wire run(s) can be beneficial. That said, some of that can come down to more "hair splitting". Lots of factors involved in designing a good system. (says the amateur Wink )

Neil.
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1981 Westy air cooled to 15º ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50º ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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Last edited by Vanagon Nut on Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sphet
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Neil,

Once again thanks for your insight. I am planning on using the DCC30S DC-DC charger with MPPT solar controller all in one. It provides both battery isolation as well as trickle charge back into the starter from the solar panel which is appealing to me given that we street park our van and keeping the starter battery topped up is helpful.

I agree that the DC-DC charger should handle heavy use while charging the battery given that people don't turn their electric fridges off while charging.

As for placement. Our power consumption needs are minimal - with the Dometic running on propane we just need night time lighting, water pump and cell phone charging for two and I might finally get a radio (!). My calculations suggest a 50ah lithium battery under the driver's seat with a 100 watt panel will do the job. We use the under-bench storage too much to give it up to the battery - it has been made clear to me that is non-negotionable by the other campers!.

My thought would be to mount the controller and fuse box under the sink and include a Victron smart shunt for blue tooth monitoring, or use the Renogy blue tooth adapter which has terrible reviews. However, I am concerned about the heat generated so perhaps the classic spot behind the driver's seat on the kitchen outside wall makes sense. I do not think in the rear bench would have much ventilation either.

Hope all is well on the Sunshine Coast.

S
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

You're welcome. Please see the edit in my previous post.

Sounds like you've put a lot of thought into all this. I surely like the idea of simple.

Lithium seems to be the best way to go save for battery cost.

Thanks for pointer to that Renogy controller/charger. Looks promising and quite functional.

Neil.
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50º ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

You still need a fridge DC relay or you risk forgetting that the fridge is still sucking down battery power. The stock fridge would completely empty a 50ah battery in under 8 hours.

It makes little sense to have the DC-DC charger also power the fridge on DC even if it can.

With your stated DC power needs a LI battery and DC-DC charger are overkill by a mile but perhaps you have expansion plans that justify it. Many people have traveled in vans using what you describe without any aux battery at all. I would always have one anyway just to be sure that I don't run down the starting battery on longer stays. But the solar setup would more than recover the used power most of the time even if you only had the starting battery and solar. A simple USB socket with voltmeter display would let you keep an eye on the battery level.

Mark

sphet wrote:
Neil,

Once again thanks for your insight. I am planning on using the DCC30S DC-DC charger with MPPT solar controller all in one. It provides both battery isolation as well as trickle charge back into the starter from the solar panel which is appealing to me given that we street park our van and keeping the starter battery topped up is helpful.

I agree that the DC-DC charger should handle heavy use while charging the battery given that people don't turn their electric fridges off while charging.

As for placement. Our power consumption needs are minimal - with the Dometic running on propane we just need night time lighting, water pump and cell phone charging for two and I might finally get a radio (!). My calculations suggest a 50ah lithium battery under the driver's seat with a 100 watt panel will do the job. We use the under-bench storage too much to give it up to the battery - it has been made clear to me that is non-negotionable by the other campers!. My thought would be to mount the controller and fuse box under the sink and include a Victron smart shunt for blue tooth monitoring, or use the Renogy blue tooth adapter which has terrible reviews.

Hope all is well on the Sunshine Coast.

S
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Curious why you don’t run the fridge on propane during the day?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:50 pm    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Okay two helpful Marks to reply to.

Mark aka Crazyvwvanman:

I think my big fear is what you stated - that I would run down the starter on long stays. We do one or two 7 day stays a year, and often camp in the shoulder seasons where solar is less helpful and I really do worry about running the van down and not being able to start it. I want a LI battery to reduce the weight since my van is pokey to say the least, which then means I need a DC-DC charger instead of just an isolator/combiner. I guess I could try solar with only my starter but it won't solve my anxiety issues.

As for DC-DC charging the fridge, my original question of the thread was how to separate the fridge power from the panel & pump to keep the fridge on the starter battery and the panel & pump on the aux.

MarkWard:

We run the fridge on propane when we are stopped, and only use the DC while travelling. I'm sorry if I wrote something to suggest opposite.

Thanks everyone for your insights. I know every install is different and opinions differ but it is good to get all of your thoughts.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Since you have the early fridge/kitchen wiring it is a little more complicated to separate the fridge power. I think Neil gave you the simple path forward on that, to tie into the wiring connector for the kitchen LED panel.

Remove the 2 screws for the led panel and carefully pull it out. It has wires soldered to it that go to a 6 pin connector. There should be a red one that is battery power to the led panel and sink/pump. Work that small wire bundle out and see how much wire slack you have to work with. Cut the power wire and put an insulated male spade on the end that goes to the led panel and an insulated female spade on the end that feeds battery power to the panel.

Now use a new fused power wire coming from the aux battery or new aux fuse panel. Put a female spade on the wire end and plug it into the male spade you installed on the cut led panel power-in wire.

The above leaves the fridge 12v element wired stock, to the dash wiring power source but moves the led panel plus faucet/pump to the aux battery.

(One thing to note is that there is a small fan on the back of the fridge that should cycle on/off sometimes mostly in propane mode. This fan will still be drawing from the starting battery.)

Mark



sphet wrote:
Okay two helpful Marks to reply to.

Mark aka Crazyvwvanman:

I think my big fear is what you stated - that I would run down the starter on long stays. ..........

As for DC-DC charging the fridge, my original question of the thread was how to separate the fridge power from the panel & pump to keep the fridge on the starter battery and the panel & pump on the aux.
......
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

Mark,

Thanks for the followup. I had not thought about fan but looking in the Bentley I see it is after T3a and in the refrigerator housing. That makes me think again putting the whole circuit on the aux could be best, but then the DC-DC charger needing to supply power for the fridge issue comes up again. If I use lead-based battery instead of lithium i can use a combiner instead of the DC-DC charger and the current would flow right from the alternator to the fridge while driving. Nothing seems perfect.

Argh! I am appreciative of all the input but a bit paralyzed by decision making here. I would like to molest the wiring as little as possible. So much is stock in this van I hate to think of messing it up permanently.

I think Neil's suggestion is probably the way forward and I will hope the fridge fan's draw (which comes on for long periods when we camp in warm weather) doesn't draw too many amps.

S
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: 1982 Fridge Heater Relay location? Reply with quote

I'm likely overlooking a detail(s) in this thread or misunderstanding something but re: smaller gauge OE red positive supply wire with new female connector. What will it power?

I'd assumed Sphet didn't want to cut into the OE wiring but that's likely impossible *not* to do when doing this kind of work.

Neil.

crazyvwvanman wrote:
.... It has wires soldered to it that go to a 6 pin connector. There should be a red one that is battery power to the led panel and sink/pump. ..... Cut the power wire and put an insulated male spade on the end that goes to the led panel and an insulated female spade on the end that feeds battery power to the panel.

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50º ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
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