One of the main reasons that I wanted to install a leisure battery, was to help provide additional electrical power when parked up or camping. With this in mind, I chatted with the very helpful James at Rayne Automotive about various options open to me. My electrical demands are not going to be that huge. There is a 12v cooler that I might upgrade in the future to a mini fridge, I have a relatively small sound system I would like to install/run, and then it is just having useful options for running or charging various portable iDevices, camera charging and maybe even a laptop? I have various gas/petrol fuelled stoves, so this means that a power-hungry kettle would not be required!
As part of a package of items to suit my requirements, James recommended a small 200w inverter as this helps maintain a longer leisure battery life. Any power consumption over 200w for prolonged periods will be harmful to a battery, and 200W is plenty for charging the usual suspects such as iPhones, iPads, laptops, cameras etc.
As well as the usual standard 3 way plug connectivity, I opted to get one with a 5v USB port as well as this is fast becoming an essential means of charging various items when out and about!
In terms of keeping the actual leisure battery topped up and charged, I opted to install a split charge relay system to keep the leisure battery topped up when diving around in the camper. This way both the main starter battery, and the leisure battery get topped up via the alternator when the engine is running, and then when stationary, items can be run off the leisure battery without draining or compromising the performance of the starter battery.
Rather than trying to run various cable from the rear of the camper to the front to connect to the small original fusebox under the dash-board shelf, it made sense to wire in an additional modern fusebox extension direct to the leisure battery. This way I would not need to ‘piggyback’ existing fused connections, and I could also connect non-essential or power-hungry items (additional amps for subwoofers or speakers etc.) directly to the leisure battery.
Dedicated heavy-duty earthing strap for the Numax Leisure battery
As cigarette lighter sockets seem to be rapidly becoming the de facto standard for electrical connection in cars these days, in addition to the socket built into the Numax Accubox leisure battery box, I’ve opted to install a further two sockets.
One will be a direct connection to the Numax leisure battery in the rear of the camper, and the second will be connected to the original fuse board in the front cab area to power/charge items as you go.
Looks like I’m going to have my work cut out getting my head around how to install all of this lot before I head off to Ninove, Belgium!