fitting a 12V battery

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:14
ThreadID: 55810 Views:4776 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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Hi All,

I have a Jayco Dove (on road). As far as I can see it doesn't have a 12V battery.

Can anyone give me some information as to the how to fit one and where to located it.
Any information as to the type of battery I need would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance - GC
(only 7 weeks until we hit the road)
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Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:27

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:27
Best to read my 2 articles so you can get your head around things first.
Battery Article
Battery Charging



AnswerID: 294116

Reply By: furph - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:32

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:32
That is not an easy one.
We had a Dove many moons ago, there was absolutely no room to fit an aux. battery. If you can make room you will need heavy duty wiring to connect it to the vehicle charging system (not the aux. connection through the 5/7 pin trailer plug).
You need much more reseach than I can give.
However,we took ours from Mataranka/Borolloola/Hells Gate on to Karumba with no problems, but did fit normal Holden 13" wheels.
AnswerID: 294118

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:50

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:50
You say:-> ""As far as I can see it doesn't have a 12V battery""
So if your 'not sure' I would suggest you go see a specialist Auto electrical store, get them to supply and install the 12v system, with some advise you can obtain here on the forum you will know what you can expect to pay and what you will be paying for and how long the battery will last between recharge periods too.
(as I believe we all have 12v Aux battery systems)

I'm making the assumption you will be running a fridge and lights at least from this 12v battery system.

You will find the best *dis-charge & re-charging results* come from Quality built, low internal resistance, AGM Deep Cycle batteries with thick 12v cabling and Electronic battery Isolators.

Consider Solar power if you are going to be camped in one place for any reasonable period of time, or even a generator if not going into any National Parks and staying away from other campers.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 294120

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:51

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:51

When we bought a rather old windup van - something similar to the Dove, we purchased a new Engel compressor upright caravan fridge, an 80 w solar panel, a deep cycle battery and a digital read-out gizmo for monitoring battery input and output.

We had the auto-sparkie wire a trickle charge from the tow vehicle, but even stopping late in the afternoon, the solar was the most effective, so i consider this unnecessary.

We put the battery under one of the bench seats just inside the door, and mounted the read-out just above the seat. The solar panel plugged into the read-out gizmo. We made a frame and stand for the panel so we could put it out to face the setting sun when we stopped in the afternoon, then faced it east ready for the sunrise. This kept up the power for the fridge and a couple of 12 v fluro lights; these appliances were wired or plugged into the read-out gizmo. If the battery level was getting bit low and the night was cold, we'd turn the fridge off. We could have put the panel on the roof if we stopped in the middle of the day if we needed extra power. If you have room, you could secure a panel to the roof permanently.

Trusting the system, we left the genny behind, and having fine weather most of the way, never missed it.

We have now transferred the system to the F250, with the panel mounted on the canopy roof. This kept the battery fully charged even on dull days, running a car Engel and the fluro lights.


Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 294121

Reply By: wollyw - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:59

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 17:59
We have recently purchased a "dove" also and we fitted the battery under the seat behind the setec power unit. I had to move a wooden partition a little to fit the battery in which took about 5 mins with a battery drill.
AnswerID: 294122

Reply By: Ray - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 18:40

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 18:40
Have thought of mounting a tool box of sufficiant size on the draw bar. That's what I did. I have two 75ampahr sealed batteries in the box and this is charged via 4awg cable from the car via a solenoid and an Anderson plug.When the engine of the car is TURNED OFF COMPLETELY, no power can travel in either direction, hence saving your car battery for starting only.
I also power up my three way fridge on 12volt from these batteries when the engine is running but the fridge is isolated from the batteries via a solenoid when the engine of the car is turned off. For the power supply to the fridge I used 8awg cable.
I also use a small solar panel for when the caravan is not in use and there is a smart battery charger wired to the batteries when I am running of a generator or off the mains.
AnswerID: 294124

Follow Up By: DIO - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 19:02

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 19:02
Tool box or battery box mounted outside the van is the safest unless you have a battery compartment built inside van or c/t with sufficient venting to avoid gas build up.
FollowupID: 559938

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 19:14

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 19:14
With an AGM battery there is no gas given off, it can safely be placed anywhere, even on side or end without hassles.

Mainey . . .
FollowupID: 559940

Reply By: perthburts - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 02:03

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 02:03

We have a TI GU, & can't fit bugger all under bonnet without moving lots of stuff, so have decided to build a 'dual' battery system that works in the rear of the cab and on the draw-bar of our Jayco Hawk. Similar to the way Ray describes.

Our proposed Set-Up;

2002 Patrol (TI) 4.8 petrol

‘Dual’ auxiliary battery set-up with this second battery in a towed Jayco Hawk with ability to charge the battery in rear of vehicle.

After weeks of research, we decided to scrap the hot-wire system through the 7-pin system of the vehicle and use H/D cabling, Anderson plugs etc.

The Application;
Charge the ‘Dual’ auxiliary battery whilst towing the Hawk and run the Hawk electrics from this auxiliary battery through the Centurion 240/12V fuse block.

If we leave the Hawk for a while whilst camped and low on power, unplug auxiliary battery from checker-plate box on draw-bar and place in rear cabin of patrol, plug and charge whilst sight-seeing.

The Patrol Set-Up;

Earth cable (6B&S) from cranking battery to rear of Patrol

+’ve cable 2B&S – double insulated 35mm2 from cranking battery to 100amp fuse, then onto voltage sensing relay

+’ve continues through to rear of Patrol

+’ve terminates at a second 100amp fuse

+’ve cables (times 2) come from other side of this second 100amp fuse to two 175amp Anderson plugs (one located on the draw bar, the other located in rear cabin of Patrol)

The Hawk Set-Up;

A short (1mtr long) 2B&S +’ve and 6B&S earth extension cable with 175amp Anderson plugs on each end fused with a 3rd 100amp fuse.

A greater than 100Ahr AGM battery inside a fixed toolbox on the front draw bar of the CT with a short (500mm long) 2B&S +’ve and 6B&S earth cable bolted to it with a 175amp Anderson plug on the ‘free’ end and a second short (500mm long) 6mm2 +’ve / earth dual cable bolted to it with a 50amp Anderson plug on the ‘free’ end.

I can highly recommend Derek from ABR (we have no association with him), as I got my stuff from him delivered to Perth at excellent prices.

Good travels!
AnswerID: 294171

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 09:17

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 09:17
Can I ask why you have used two DIFFERENT sized Battery cables on the same 12v battery system ?
You say the (+) Pos cable is 2B&S (32mm² - not 35mm²) and the much smaller Neg (-) cable is only 6B&S (~14mm²) cable, other than just the cheaper price?

Ask only because the 100AH AGM Battery system is now RESTRICTED to the internal resistance of the very much smaller 6B&S cable used on the Neg (-) feed, ask any QUALIFIED auto leccy for confirmation !!
Is a waste of money buying 32mm² battery cable when used in conjunction with very much thinner 14mm² Neg (-) in the same 12v battery circuit.
I use 32mm² battery cable (as in pic below) and I would have used cheaper Neg (-) if I thought for one second it would give the exact same performance, it won't !!

Why do you use a 100 Amp fuse at the back of the Patrol ?
Reason behind this question is, the current is coming from the Cranking battery, (when Hawk's 100AH AGM is NOT connected) and the Cranking battery already has a 100 Amp fuse in-line to eliminate any short circuit problems in this 2B&S battery cable, using two fuses in the same cable is just not required.

When your Hawks 100AH AGM is connected it has 3 fuses to eliminate any short circuit problems that may arise from that battery also.

Mainey . . .
FollowupID: 560002

Follow Up By: perthburts - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 23:42

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 23:42
G'Day Mainey,
Thanks for your comments. Reason for the different cable sizes - got the 35mm2 for free, had to buy the earth..... I did ask others re-size difference, response along lines of earth to chassis often. As I haven't wired it up yet, I might run a short length of 35mm2 from final chassis earth to draw-bar 175amp Anderson.
FollowupID: 560667

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 at 00:06

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 at 00:06
If you have any cable size other than the 32mm² battery cable throughout the entire Dual battery system, both (+) & (-) cables you will only have the benefit of the highest, not lowest resistance cable.

Mainey . . .
FollowupID: 560671

Follow Up By: perthburts - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 at 02:29

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2008 at 02:29
Doh! Bugga!!
FollowupID: 560680

Reply By: Ozboc - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 08:24

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 08:24
Ok , everyone else has thrown in there 2 cents worth , some making it more complicated than it has to be.

If you want a real simple install that is only used for your lighting and for maybe 2 - 3 days at a time ( you run your fridge on gas)

Just simply locate your battery close as possible to where the transformer is for the 240 to 12 v ( providing you have one - not sure on the specs of the dove - i have one in my Flamingo standard) Stick it in a battery box you can buy from any decent auto parts place. buy two battery terminals also with clearly colour coded/ marked + - ( RED BLACK) not just the symbols inprinted - makes it easier to id when its dark

simply find the output from the transformer that shows 12 V and connect your wires in there from the battery( this will create a loop into the 12v system) , making sure you have the polarity correct , not to hard to work out with a multimeter by holding black probe to an earth point then the other probe ( red ) on either 12 volt wire - if you get the neg wire - you wont get a reading - if you get the positive wire you will get 12.6V+ on your multimeter - then simply hook up wires and away you go - and to having to rewire everything and adding Anderson plugs and so forth - you just disconnect the battery when traveling - If you still need to run your fridge when on the run you can as it has been wired up already through your trailer plug and this load will be as normal - and when you get home simply take your battery out and charge it up on your smart charger at home. i had a deep cycle battery run lighting and small DVD player for over a week without a problem

You just cant leave it permanently hooked up as it will trickle feed back into the system and your battery will go dead in about 2 - 3 weeks and just keep the terminals firm but not permanently fastened to the battery..... very simple - cheap and fast solution - should be able to do it in about 30 min.....

AnswerID: 294189

Reply By: GC04 - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 10:07

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 10:07
Thanks everyone.

Hmmm, some have made it an operation in itself.....
but appreciate the efforts and information from all.

Now to do some more homework.

AnswerID: 294196

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 11:32

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 11:32
get further information from any *qualified* Auto Electrician.....

Maybe look at what technology and components the large reputable companies are using in their dual battery systems, after all they have to give a warranty and state their DB system will work as advertised by them.

Mainey . . .
FollowupID: 560006

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