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  1. #1

    Default Installing two batteries, need advice

    Im looking into the possibility of installing a battery in the cabin of my van to charge during the day and use at night with an inverter. I have done some research and know I need a marine battery with an isolator. I was just wondering if anyone has done this before or has any pictures of this setup.

    Also, has anyone had problems with the fumes created from charging. I never drive with the AC on and the windows are always open, so I really dont see this being a problem. Just seeing if any unforeseen problems came from this.

    Thanks for your time.


  2. #2

    Default Marine applications: correct you are

    Hi Chris,

    You're on target with the isolator switch. I would think you'd want the battery in question to be a 12 volt (assuming your Econoline is a 12v system, which it pretty much must be, absent some large scale mods). You also want it to be a heavy-duty deep-cycle battery, such as are used to power fishing boat trolling motors and non-engine electronics. The heavy plates in a deep cycle battery give it some durability over automotive starting batteries and the deep cycle itself is designed for multiple deep discharges and recharges, unlike an automotive battery. Lastly, you probably want a 27 series case, that being substantially larger than a normal automotive 24 series case.

    Marine suppliers such as Perko make isolator switches, and innumerable websites can provide wiring/rigging instructions.

    I imagine much discussion of "house batteries" can be found on truck camper or other RV websites.

    I see no problem with fumes on recharge so long as the battery is well-ventilated.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would look at an Optima Blue Top. Those are marine/RV deep cycle gel cell batteries.

  4. #4


    Thanks for the help guys. When I get this setup wired up I will be sure to post pics for future members

  5. #5

    Default Optima batteries


    glc is, as usual, dead right about the Optima. It's the Cadillac of deep-cycle batteries.

    I use a conventional Series 27 deep-cycle for "rough use" in my fishing skiff. They're cheaper and you're not "out" as much $ if it gets damaged from banging around or lost overboard.


  6. #6

    Default One other thought............

    ..........concerning gel-type vs conventional deep cycle batteries:

    When I was shopping for a pair of replacement batteries for my Ford diesel pickup, I looked closely at Optimas. The starting batteries for my truck were priced at around $175 each at the local discount auto parts house. House brand batteries were about $70 each, with a long-enough full replacement guarantee that my 4-year replacement timeframe would get me either free batteries or a sharply discounted replacement. My NC home does not experience extreme cold, so superior batteries are not needed.

    I just looked around a bit and see the Optima Blue Tops priced in the $200 range. For that amount, you can readily buy two conventional Series 27s and probably a marine-style plastic case, with top and tie-down straps, for each. The battery cases are good policy since they strap down readily and you're free from worry about cargo/gear falling across the terminals and the resulting fireworks. The marine plastic cases are well vented and accomodate battery cable routing with the entire unit properly strapped down. I would not mount a battery in a vehicle's cargo space without one.

    I'd source the cases from a discount marine supplier and the battery(ies) from a local auto parts discount retailer.

    Last edited by Foy; 01-23-2010 at 07:49 AM. Reason: battery case info

  7. #7


    Check out The 12volt side of life for House battery info.I plan on mounting 2 6 volt golf car batteries under my van for 220 amp hrs of service. Most marine batteries are about 125 amp hrs at best. NEVER mount a Lead Acid battery in you living space. Its been Done before and some have gotten away with it, BUT the Potential for an Explosion (Hydrogen Gas escaping during charging) is a Recipe for Disaster.

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