Anderson plug double adapter

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:16
ThreadID: 137992 Views:8015 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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I have just bought an Avan Cruisliner. It has a grey Anderson plug for running the fridge when driving and a red one for the ESC on the a frame.
My new towbar has only one Anderson plug, a grey one.
What is the current draw on the 90ltr fridge and on the ESC? Can I connect the trailer to the car, safely, using an Anderson plug double adapter?

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Reply By: Dougrham - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:19

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:19
Sorry, should have mentioned that car has isolator to stop Anderson plug when ignition off.
AnswerID: 624515

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:34

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:34
I had an Avan Cruisliner some years ago with a Dometic 90 litre 3 way fridge. If yours is the same fridge it will draw about 12 or 15 amps in 12V mode, from memory.

I had the same setup as you, running the fridge on 12V from the car while driving.
To make the fridge work properly and keep voltage drop within reasonable limits I had to re-cable with 6B&S from car battery to isolator and from isolator through an Anderson all the way through to the fridge. Positive and negative.

It worked as well as a 3 way on 12V can work.

Mine didn't have ESC, so I can't help you with that, sorry.


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AnswerID: 624516

Reply By: Athol W1 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 14:13

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 14:13
Provided that you have the 6B&S (6AWG) cable from the start battery to the Anderson plug there should be no reason as to why you van not run both the fridge and the ESC from the same supply. Whilst the fridge does have a requirement for around 15-18 amps with minimal voltage drop the ESC only requires about 3-5 amps.

If concerned about the fridge affecting the ESC then place the ESC wiring through a 12 pin plug (using the larger pins) and its own supply from the battery.

AnswerID: 624518

Reply By: Rob A2 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:14

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:14
I recommend you talk to your van supplier. In normal parlance a red anderson plug is to a unregulated source and a grey one is for an regulated source. So you need to be very careful about what source you are inputting from.

REDARC has a decent discussion here

As well there are usually legal requirements for the wiring of items like breakaway systems and that may include ESC as well. So I do suggest you get some specific advice from AVAN on your model

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AnswerID: 624519

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 16:22

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 16:22
The Avan Cruisliner has a GTM of less then 2000kg and therefore does not require breakaway brakes. That's part of national regulations and applies to all states.
AFAIK no state has made an exception to that.

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Reply By: Glenn M8 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 19:04

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 19:04
Hi Dougrham
You will also find that a red Anderson doesn’t fit into a grey one. As previously mentioned the usual convention is that the red plugs are for unregulated power and they are designed so you can’t fit one into the other. I also haven’t seen a double adapter Anderson where one is red and the other grey.
AnswerID: 624522

Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:19

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:19
Just as electric brakes do, the ESC must be fed directly by the tow vehicles battery ( with a 30A fuse or c/b ), so you can't piggyback the 2 plugs.
Only option is to install a red anderson supplied directly from the battery.
AnswerID: 624525

Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 22:14

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 22:14
What Gronk has said is the right way to do it. The ESC must have it's own battery supply from the main battery and use a red anderson plug.

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AnswerID: 624527

Reply By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 08:13

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 08:13
Gronk & Murray R

I notice that you have both stated that the ESC MUST be supplied via a RED Anderson plug and directly from the vehicle battery, and I am curious as to where you have sourced this requirement.

I have noted that New Age and Avan do supply their ESC via a red plug, however I have also noted that Australia's largest van manufacturer supplied their ESC via the 12 pin plug.

I have also found no reference to such a requirement in the VSB1 or other Regulations. I am willing to stand corrected should such a Regulated requirement exist.

AnswerID: 624529

Follow Up By: Gronk - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 19:43

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 19:43
I read it on an Alko website.
I don't think it really matters what colour or sort of plug you use, as long as it's supplied direct from the battery, but seeing as the van has a red anderson, may as well use the same.

I've never seen the requirement for direct supply of electric brakes in the regs either ?
FollowupID: 898053

Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 08:48

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 08:48
With regards to regulated or unregulated power sources, a red anderson for unregulated, so it is easily Identified, most likely linked to a solar panel which can supply a relatively small amount of power, even at short circuit.
A regulated supply, ie a vehicle battery has the ability to supply and unregulated amount of power up to it's CCA rating, usually through a set fuse size. So the idea of regulated or unregulated seems to be useless with regard to an ESC supply.

If either colour plug falls apart during use then although the brake signal may still be operating, the power to the ESC is cut. Therefore NO ESC operating. Better to have the ESC driven by an on board battery which is backed up by a decent continuous supply plug from the vehicle.
Make sure the anderson doesn't/can't come apart while driving. I have replaced a few outback for people who dragged them for many km and only the terminal ends were there, well half of the terminal pins anyway. They didn't have spares even if an ESC or brake or Power supply issue happened.
AnswerID: 624531

Reply By: Athol W1 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 22:42

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 22:42
As far as regulated (controlled voltage, ie battery supply) requiring a grey plug, and unregulated (non controlled voltage, ie solar panel) requiring a red plug, the supply to the ESC is BATTERY, so is therefore a regulated supply.

I also notice that New Age have a BLUE Anderson plug for their unregulated (non voltage controlled) solar panel input to the van, where it inputs the on board solar regulator and then becomes a regulated (voltage controlled) supply before reaching the battery.

So is there any official source of information as to any requirement as to what colour Anderson plugs are used for what purpose, or is it as I suspect and believe that it is up to the person/organisation fitting/using these plugs to determine what plugs that they will use and for what purpose, solely so that they will not be mistakenly incorrectly connected.

AnswerID: 624544

Follow Up By: bellony - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 23:56

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 23:56
I suspect your correct Athol, who cares what colour or type the connector is.
No regulations are going to state you must use type A, B or C connector, let alone the colour.
They may state directly wired, auto reset circuit breaker etc but you will never find a product name in the regs.

Then again, I don't have anything with ESC so never read the regs but logic will usually apply.
FollowupID: 898062

Follow Up By: Genny - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 00:08

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 00:08
AFAIK there is no standard.
It just makes sense to use different colours for different purposes.
For example if you had 2x300w of solar in series without a solar controller, you wouldn't want to accidentally plug that into the Anderson plug at the rear of your car, and straight to your auxiliary battery.
Of course, we are all clever clogs, and would never do that.
Mrs Clogs, or junior Clogs may not be as experienced as us though.

A fellow posted on a Christmas light forum that I am on recently about his experiences. Being on a budget, he saved a few bucks with his cabling. 240V extension leads are cheap so he used those to cable his expensive Christmas light display, with the plan to only run the 12V required through them. While he was out, Junior plugged in his display to show a friend, and fried the lot.

An informal standard for Anderson plugs would perhaps be a good idea.
FollowupID: 898063

Follow Up By: David I1 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 07:48

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 07:48
When I got my New Age Van I made my own "adapter". The grey plug and red plugs are piggybacked from the one source, which is the 2nd battery and is fused. The grey plug on the caravan side has been modified by me to also have the 3 way Fridge trip wire, as some Thetford fridges require that to know that the fridge is connected to the car and not the Van battery. When I pull up at night and dont unhitch I just pull the plug from car out. That way Van uses its own battery and my 2nd car battery keep my incar beer fridge working!!
FollowupID: 898065

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