Electrics! Confused........... Leisure Battery set up and install!

Discussion in 'Camper Banter' started by Bolt666, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Bolt666

    Bolt666 Member

    Hi All!

    New to all of this and just purchased my VDub! I am wanting to set up as PS3, Xbox360 and LCD TV but struggling with the power!

    From my research I can see I need a Leisure battery, and Split charging module.

    But the area I am struggling with is the connections to the leisure battery..... Do I need to convert the 12v's up to 240v? Is that even possible?

    Thanks for help in advance all!
  2. linzoid2781

    linzoid2781 Well-Known Member

    Holy cow man...I think that you are over thinking this!!
    You may want to go with a secondary battery, but it really depends on whaty size alternator you have, and if you want it to be usable while you are moving...or just while you are parked.
    If you do install a second battery you will need a way to seperate them while they will still charge off of the same alternator. These are readily available here in the US...but I am guessing that you can get them just the same in the UK...If you cannot find one, I can help.

    To run the electronics, you will need a 12v-to 240 converter (DC to AC) These should also be easy to come by, but cheaper if you order them online. Watch the quality of the one that you buy..if you get a cheap one you will have lines in the screen of your TV!! I suggest getting a minimum of 400 watts when you buy this...but better to go for the 800 watt to be safe.

    Running a setup like a tv and game system will run this battery down very rapidly..you may not have much play time while the bus isn't running. (does your bus have a generator or alternator? If you are running a generator...may be time to upgrade to a high amp alternator *I am running a 90 amp...for battery charging purposes while you are moving...as well as the ability to watch tv while you drive without any loss)

    You may consider adding a AC generator that you can run outside the bus while you are sitting still....this will eliminate the need for the invertor while you are sitting still, as well as give you extended play time...you can run it as long as you have gas for the generator!! or plug in while you are stopped if you have the access.

    Here's what I have-
    I am running a single battery, a 90 amp alternator..I have a 27" lcd tv and game system with no problem while I am driving....Kids love it!!
    When stopped, I mounted a 800 watt generator in my engine compartment that will pull start through the engine door and exhaust underneith...I can run all day on 1 gallon of gas. (Even make a pot of coffee!)
    I am adding a second battery this weekend...I can send you pics if you want them.

    I do the electronics for a coach company here in Missouri...so if you need help with something...there is very little that I havn't installed in a car-lol
    People have some CRAZY ideas!

    This is all very simple but you could easily overcomplicate it if you get stressed!
    PM me if you need specific help, that way I will get back to you faster.

    Linz :)
  3. Bolt666

    Bolt666 Member

    Wow, thank you very much for that!

    I have just purchased a 125ah leisure battery, relay and a 1200 watt inverter. I like the generator idea so will have a look into that!

    Are they heavy? I am now getting a bid worried that the van is going to be so heavy speed will be dramatically effected!
  4. linzoid2781

    linzoid2781 Well-Known Member

    Have you considered the amps of your alternator to charge those batteries?
    That inverter will do great!!!!

    My generator weighs just slightly more than a battery. It is only like 15" x20" approx. I will take a pic and post it this weekend...I wouldn't be without it!

    Good luck...and POST PICS!!!! Iwant to see your ride!

  5. Bolt666

    Bolt666 Member

    I can only assume badly at the moment! Is an alternator change an easy job or is it an expensive garage job? I would be very interested in changing.

    Would love to see some pics of your set up, I will put some of mine this weekend :)
  6. linzoid2781

    linzoid2781 Well-Known Member

    Before I go on...this info is assuming that you have a T2 splitty or bay with the traditonal style air cooled motor...if not, this will not help you!

    Well, a stock alternator on a VW generally only puts out around 35 amps!!!
    I picked up a 90 amp off of e-bay for arund 100.oo US.
    If you already have an alt. (as oposed to a generator-on the early bays) It is a very easy job!! Loosten the nut on the front of the alterntor pulley...this makes it possble to remove your belt. Then there is a clamp holding the alt. to the stand/oil filer. remove the clamp and the wiring...you are done!!! Just reverse the process to put it back on!!

    If you are starting with a generator...all of the steps are the same, but....you must replace the stand/oil filler wth one for an alternator. They are only slighty different. They have a metal gasket underneith that will also need to be replaced. Be sure you use high heat gasket sealer!
    In addition to this you must replace your fuel pump which sits next to the aternator stand. It is an easy job, but the one for an alterntor sits at an angle. The push rod for the fuel pump will also need to be a short one...this may or may not come with the pump, so be specific. It will also have a gasket. DO NOT LET THIS SCARE YOU!!! IT IS SIMPLE!!!! Once this is done, you are good to put the altrnator on. The generators had external regulators..the new alt. will be internal. So it is a 2 wire hookup. The small wire off of the alternator (I think it is green) goes to the black wire underhood of the bus. Black on a VW is HOT on IGNITION. So this will tell the alt to charge. The only other wire is the cable that goes to your starter. Put the belt back..tighten the nut.

    WA-LA...you are done!!!!

    Hope this helps...if you have a different style bus/motor, I will try to help you with that as well...

    Good luck, you won't believe the difference!
  7. Bolt666

    Bolt666 Member

    Sorry for late reply internet has been down.

    Thank you for the in depth help!

    Not sure how to post the pictures (new to 'forums' but will post to photobucket and go from there lol)

    I have a 1979 bay which uses an alternator, so should be a easy job per above! Have had a quick look and only found 55Amp alternators but will look into in more detail now internet is back working!

    Have purchased the rock and roll bed frame, flooring, leisure battery and split charge relay so should be a different bus at the end of the weekend!
  8. Bolt666

    Bolt666 Member

  9. linzoid2781

    linzoid2781 Well-Known Member

    nice bus!!

    Good luck this weekend. if you are already running an alt. Hook up everything and see how it goes..change it later :)
    I can't believe the difference in mine after changing it.. Hunt for that 90 amP..u won't regret it!
    Sorry I din't get pics up of my generator..been crazy around here lately (family crap) but I will.
    We have a store here that sells discount tools and generators and such..it is called Harbor Freight, if you have a place similar to that..it is where I picked up my little camping generator for less than $100.00...don't know what that figres out to for you, but it was a hell of a deal.
    I can't wait to hear how it goes with your new interior and electronic gear!!
    Have fun!

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