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Date:         Sat, 11 Mar 2006 10:34:53 -0600
Reply-To:     Paul Guzyk <paullist@GUZYK.COM>
Sender:       Vanagon Mailing List <>
From:         Paul Guzyk <paullist@GUZYK.COM>
Subject:      Re: Where to get a Sure Power 1315
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

the 1315 is an intelligent battery separator. NOT an isolator.

Below are my notes from earlier posts on adding a 2nd battery. I tossed the VW relay and used an Optima battery flat on it's back. The Surepower 1315 is the best solution IMHO.

Here's what I did on one install:

1) Remove the upper turntable if the van has Westy seats then chop about 1 1/2 inches away from the rear section of the lower turntable base. (see photo) I used a Dremel cutting wheel to remove the section.

2) Use the Optima WITHOUT side terminals, the way nothing can short to the battery cover tin.

3) Shim the battery compartment with wood blocks to keep the battery from moving about.

4) Cover the positive terminals with an old rubber inner tube just to be extra safe.

5) Use a Surepower model 1315 battery separator instead of the wimpy VW relay. While the Surepower is a tad expensive at $70, it's the best possible way to hook up two batteries in a Vanagon. Intelligent charging, automatic separation when engine is off (but based on voltages, not ignition key settings) and automatic 2nd battery starter assist for those times when you left the park lights's also compatible with Subaru alternators and the VW alternator idiot light without having to do any extra wiring.


The Surepower 1315 is quite easy to install. Basically you can do it using 3 terminals. Their instructions are fairly simple.

Connect a positive line from the engine battery to the Main battery terminal of the separator. (You can use the existing wire if you have a Westy)

Connect a positive line from the house (camping) battery to the Aux Battery terminal of the separator.

Connect a small ground wire from the separator ground terminal to vehicle ground.

Connect your kitchen and camping equipment (Positive lines) to the Aux terminal of the separator. Put an inline fuse close to the separator to protect all your "downstream" equipment.

That's it. You're done. You can do it with a less expensive relay, but this is the most elegant and intelligent product to do the job...


If you don't have a Westy and never had a 2nd battery relay, the Surepower makes it REAL EASY to add a 2nd battery to your Vanagon.

Optional 1) If you use heavy gauge wire from each battery to the separator you can use the "starter assist" mode to "jump" both batteries whenever you start the engine. Handy on cold mornings or if you leave your lights on etc. Note: requires a wire from the ign start switch.

Optional 2) Remap your radio and interior lights circuit (fuse 3?) to the house battery so they will never deplete your engine battery.

Option 3) Add a 110v to 12v trickle charger to the receptacle under the sink and connect to the aux battery. This way, you will keep BOTH batteries "topped off" whenever you are connected to shore power.

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