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Old 12-02-2018, 02:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 91
van battery draining with radio on rv battery

My 2005 e-350 van battery went dead while camping listening to radio using the radio selector switch on aux, a month ago. I thought separator, Sure Power 1315-200, was bad. I unhooked van battery from separator. A month later, I'm working inside van listening to radio on Aux. I even pull the fuse on house circuit and radio quits. I notice the house battery voltage isn't dropping even parked under cover. I go to start van and battery is too low to start. The van battery was still unhooked from separator. I remodeled entire interior this summer. I now have a very simple electrical system. No inverter. I have solar panels hooked to house battery. I marked wires on radio selector switch when I remodeled and have them installed from top: blue, black, red. I used van last winter before remodel and listened to radio for a week at a time without issues. Had good solar then though. Any idea what the heck is going on?

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Old 12-02-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 31
It sounds like the stereo is hooked up to the starter batteries. I just installed a stereo with amp, subwoofer et all in my new to me 2004 E350 diesel. I talked to several people including a guy at crutchfield and i decided to hook the stereo up directly to the house battery. Yes i have to manually turn the stereo on and off everytime but i'm fine with that. your separator works by not allowing the house battery to draw from the starter battery. but if your stereo is hooked up to the starter battery, the separator isn't helping you at all. personally i wouldn't rely on a switch, especially out in the boonies where starting is not an option. that's why i hooked it up directly to the house battery.

from the stereo, i tied the yellow and red wires together and ran a red wire all the way to the back for the house battery. the amps (main and sub) are already in the rear and they are wired directly to the house battery too.

from the back of the stereo, where does the red wire lead to? starter or house battery?

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Old 12-02-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 91
I don't know wiring on radio, it was in when I bought van last year. There is a red wire that goes to selector switch, might be from radio. Weird, I don't have van battery hooked on separater. Also when I remove house battery circuit fuse for radio it shuts off. Seems like I must have selector switch wired wrong. I see your point about removing any doubt and wiring only to house system. Thanks for your input. Lance
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:58 PM   #4
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Location: Southern New Mexico
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Just know that it is not atypical for common car stereo head units to about 8 amps, even without an amplifier. It can run down your battery fairly quickly without the engine running.

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Old 12-02-2018, 05:35 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 91
It's got a touch screen radio, which seem to use more juice. I've noticed that it will drain fast with radio and starting systems shut down pretty quick when voltage drops very much. After looking it all over carefully, I'm surmising that starting battery was depleted by dome lights and not radio. I checked wiring and everything looks right, no way for house and starting batteries to be connected. I had doors open for several hours while listening to radio. I'll have it checked out this week, check for drain on starting battery. Thanks for advise, Lance
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