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Old 07-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #1
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Battery disconnect switch

Hey SMBers:
I asked my mechanic to put a battery disconnect switch in my rig to prevent drain when not in use and also to serve as minimal theft deterrent. He said that the system would cost be in the realm of $850.00 so I declined. Seems to me it should be an easy fix and much much less expensive. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

$850??? Really? That made me choke on my morning injection of caffiene.

Here is a part that only cost $46

http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=88

This one only cost $15

http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=962

Throw in an extra $30 for battery cable and that should cover the parts. What is his hourly shop rate?
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

Holy crap! You need a new mechanic. What else did he rip you off for?
Summit racing has some nice battery switches.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

Depending on how you van batteries are wired or placed you might need two master switches.
All you need to do is interrupt the ground wire to each battery bank.
You would need something like one or two of these.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_ ... Caps%2C661

You could just disconect the batteries when you leave it for any length of time.
You could also add solar and or a charger (the batteries should still be charged after sitting disconected ) and keep the batteries charged instead of disconecting them

That said if you want to keep radio memory and clock that would have to be rewired.
If you want the battery switch to be more convenient, like inside the van then the job goes from a somewhat simple job to a much bigger one. You need large sized wire and terminals plus labor for running the wire and such.

I am not sure where you live but most places I would think charge from $75-125 an hour for something like that. Add a few hundred or more for parts and that $800 goes quick.

I would just buy a smart charger at least and go that way just plug it in and leave it when you are not using it. You could get on board mounted ones for each battery bank or just buy one portable one for all of your battery charging needs.

Hope that helps...
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

To be fair to mechanic he was going to install the convenient in-cab style like the one Ultrasport 12 mentioned. That said, the convenience would be nice but I can easily live without it. I like the idea of having an onboard charger mounted which I could plug into AC when SMB garaged. There seems to be different models and powers available. Anyone out there got one in place that is working for them? If so, please let me know which one you got and where you have it mounted, etc. And BTW thanks for all the rapid responses.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegasrandall
Holy crap! You need a new mechanic. What else did he rip you off for?
Summit racing has some nice battery switches.
Vegasrandall and Gnarvan

I dont want to offend you guys but you dont know what he asked the shop to do. Depending on the shop sometimes when sa customer comes in and just says hey I want a disconect they just pop one one the top of the battery and its done, a hunded buck plus tax. But some shops woukd think the person would want more like a master switch similar to what a boat has and installing it inside the van near the drivers seat or under the hood easy to reach. That would take lots of time and money. I have always done automotive electrical work and for an example I only use high quality battery cable priced by the foot and a hydraulic crimper that wasnt cheap to buy. If someone asked me I would never think twice about how I would do it and try to telll them thats what they want. Iin my mind I would need five or six hours of time to do it before I started.

Neither of you or myself would farm this job out so to us its just the parts. But if we paid ourselves what the shop rate is and their mark up on the parts it would be a lot more. How much do you think Sportsmobile would charge for this job?

In the end you don't know what he is getting installed for the $850 he was quoted, and neither do I.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

I would just buy a dual bank marine charger assuming you have two systems, main and house.
Just be sure it has a float charge so it never over charges.

Personally I always used quest/marinco brand in my boats, they always worked great.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_scat_ ... 0da30e58df

I havent installed on in my van for that I used this.

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-VEC1 ... ry+charger
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

A simple rule for chargers power is 10% of the batteries power.
Example if you have 2x 200A batteries =400 A you charger should put out 40A
Make sure it is a model that goes into float mode when the batteries are full.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: Battery disconnect switch

I agree the price could be high but using a smart type battery switch and a controlable battery separator could be an option. The battery switch could be mounted right at the battery and I don't know if the poster already has a separator but if so I would think it could be replace fairly easy. Yep running the remote switches to the dash might be a job as well as dealing with the radio issue. All the batteries would need a small maintenanace charger to off set the slight draws of the radio, CO detector...etc. I could see the price being slightly high but two high end batteries might cost more.
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