Greg In Austin - Day 1
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An online forum community for the owners, admirers and fans of Sportsmobile vans and Sprinters, new and old. Share photos, advice, discuss modifications, camping or buy & sell. Anyone who owns, has a passion for, or just curiosity about SMBs, come in!
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:54 am
Posts: 116
Location: casa grande, az
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:39 pm   Post subject: Battery isolator and inverter wiring ?'s

1st: I'am adding a 2nd battery, and 1000 watt inverter, will be using a battery isolator to charge and switch to power the 2nd battery. I was reading the instructions today for the isolator and it said to mount on metal in a cool dry space!? Every isolator I have seen is always mounted in the engine bay close to the vehicle battery. Where does everyone here mount their isolators?

2nd: Where the best location for a inverter? Does it need to be in the open for cooling needs or can I mount it in a closed off area?

3rd: My wiring setup will be as follows, now keep in mind not as complicated as some, but tring to keep it simple so I can repair as needed.
(2 gauge wire)
Car battery to-
Isolator to-
House Battery to-
Power inverter also to
Distribution block (which will seperate the power 2 gauge into 4 10 gauge power cables) to-
4 way fuse block to (1. lights, 2. Fan, 3. 12 volt fridge, 4. stereo)-
Then obviously I will ground everywhere needed!
Will this work? Remember tring to keep it simple!!!
Pics of your guys mounting setups would be greatly appreciated!
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:21 pm
Posts: 4101
Location: TN
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:47 pm   Post subject: Re: Battery isolator and inverter wiring ?'s

mykdee, you really only need 2 gauge wire from your house battery to your inverter (positive and negative). This is necessary to get as much juice as is needed when called upon (especially important if you run a large appliance like a microwave or something similar). I only have about 4 ft. of 2 gauge, I did the long run from my van battery/isolator to the back left corner with 6 gauge I think, and it works fine. It's just charging the house batteries when the van is running, so it doesn't need to be huge gauge, but it does need to be fused.
I think most folks mount their isolators under the hood, since there is really nowhere else for them. I did, it's pretty dry there, but not necessarily cool. Anyway, it works fine.
Your idea for a power distribution block sounds pretty nifty. What inverter are you using? You need some space around it regardless for the fan and heat sinks to keep it cool. It can be in a box as long as it has some space around it.
There are a couple of pictures, though not very good ones, in my build thread below. Not exactly as high tech as some of the SMBs on here, but it works for me.

My SMB is for sale, sort of. It needs a few things but I'd love to talk if someone is interested.
I need a bigger van for the family and I love building them, so I'm ready for the next project. PM me for details, read all about it here:
Ford E350 Colorado Camper Van (sold)
2005 Ford Expedition
2002 BMW Dinan 530i
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