Adding 2nd Battery Under Front Seat - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 82 Old 02-21-2015, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
slamit06
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Adding 2nd Battery Under Front Seat

On my progress to my camper van conversion I needed to add a 2nd battery for accessories so that my primary battery would avoid a drain. After many measurements and checking I confirmed a 34/78 battery would likely fit and then found a battery box that would fit under the front seat and avoid any interference. I decided on the optima yellow top because it sealed ($220), Taylor box which was the only one I could find that was small enough $100, and Battery Doctor $70 that I used before that provided simple "smart" isolation as well as the ability to combine or isolate the secondary battery. Wasn't the cheapest set up but it's reliable. Because the battery is so close to the primary you can use aftermarket battery cables from any auto store to make connections and simply just have to add a fuse to the + cable from primary to secondary.


Triple checking the mount location, I decided to use simple straps which will secure the battery at the end. Makes install easy, and removal of battery easy if I need to remove it.

You will have to remove the seat (6 bolts) and disconnect the airbag and seat sensors so you can remove the entire seat off. This is the picture of the two electronic connections you have to disconnect to completely remove the seat.

Make sure you fuse the + line from primary to secondary. Safety is key. I purchase a 150 amp fuse on ebay and some ends I spliced to connect to the fuse box.

Here you can see all the connections. The Battery Doctor is super easy wiring. + line from primary to Battery Doctor, + fused line from Battery Doctor to secondary, - ground line from secondary to chassis, and a - ground wire from battery doctor. Super simple diagram available on their website. I used 4 gauge battery cables from pep boys-colored tape was used to identify positive and ground, ran out of red tape so I used white, just wrapped for identification.

The secondary battery vent hose can be plumbed to the stock location with the other battery vent.

Picture of the battery doctor, I mounted this just front of the battery under the seat so I can easily control it and push a button to jump or see the monitoring.


You can see battery doctor and wiring here to battery

Picture before seats and straps go on

I used simple straps that I ran through the "seat frame" similar to how you would mount a boat battery. No way this is going anywhere and it allows easy removal of battery. Nothing interferes with the position of battery and it isn't gong anywhere. You cannot remove battery w/o removing top of seat, so its super secure. You can drill and mount into floor or frame...gas tank is directly below the seat so really this is the best option. The box is vented and the use of a sealed battery makes this a safest set up w/o putting battery on outside of van which there is no place to do anyways.
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post #2 of 82 Old 02-21-2015, 06:52 PM
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Garage
That is a beautiful installation and idea! Thanks

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post #3 of 82 Old 02-21-2015, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
slamit06
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Parts List as this may help give an idea what is needed:
Part Cost: around $450
About 3-6 hour project, difficulty moderate, some special tools for seat bolts (STAR BOLT), otherwise basic hand tools,drill (one hole for Isolator), and saw to cut long bolts.

Taylor 48200 Taylor Aluminum Battery Box - JEGS $100 (seems expensive but a nice kit and you can't find a cheap plastic box that will fit- I tried. This is a very nice box, worth the $)
WirthCo 20092 Battery Doctor 125 Amp/150 Amp Battery Isolator,- Amazon $70

DB Link 0/2/4 Gauge Ga ANL Fuse Holder + 150 Amp ANL Fuses (2 Pack)-Amazon $15
Scosche ERTC4-4 4 Gauge Ring Terminals - 4 Pack-Amazon $6

Optima YellowTop 8014-045 D34/78 - Autozone $200 w/ online discount

Cargo Straps Home Depot $8

Zip Ties $5 pack
3 Battery Cables, 4 gauge- Pep Boys $30 (19", 32", 32") -

few small screws to secure battery doctor and some colored tape as I used ground cables
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post #4 of 82 Old 02-22-2015, 12:29 PM
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Nice write up with included links.
great job and thank for posting
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post #5 of 82 Old 02-22-2015, 01:53 PM
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Amazing job! What are the benefits of having 2 batteries?
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post #6 of 82 Old 02-22-2015, 05:23 PM
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Any idea if this would work with a swivel seat mount?
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post #7 of 82 Old 02-22-2015, 11:24 PM
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Still able to get the seat ALL the way in the lowest position? Thanks for the write-up!!
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post #8 of 82 Old 02-23-2015, 09:19 AM
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Nice job, GREAT write up!

A few questions,

Why yellow top over light grey blue top?

Did you think about mounting on its side? I was thinking about doing that and not using a case. As long as it is strapped in well, it seems like the box is not needed.

just wondering...

Ed
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post #9 of 82 Old 02-23-2015, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments, I am glad others find this helpful. My contribution as payback from all the great information I received from others whom post helpful info!

The seat is in it's lowest position - no clearance issues at all. I am surprised no one did this before me to be honest, took a long time for me to make sure it fit, wasn't totally sure at first.

I went with the yellow top rather than the blue because it suited my purpose and I thought I may want to use the side connections. This battery was recommended for aux purposes and RV use and sealed so it was perfect even though Optima quality I think went down somewhat. I purchased it from an authorized dealer so the warranty would be very good just in case. I did not want to mount sideways...just to be extra safe, even though it would be ok, but in a box this cannot be done.

I would not put a battery in your van w/o a box-for me it's a safety issue, do it right or don't do it at all, but you certainly can just put a battery under there, but for $100 more why not do it the right way to keep it as safe as possible? My family is in this van so safety is first and foremost and I don't like doing anything half way. It's in a box, it's vented, and mounted so there is no way its going anywhere even in a roll over. This is not a cheap modification, so why take shortcuts for safety sake. There is a reason NHRA required batteries to be in a box.
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post #10 of 82 Old 02-23-2015, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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One more safety thing I could think of since the battery could not be mounted into the frame there is a small chance in a very bad accident the terminals could contact the outside of the box. Ideally you could cover the battery connections inside the box so if the battery for some reason contacts the box there would be no chance of a short/spark. The battery is fused, so if this did happen it would blow fuse and disconnect from primary though. I am likely to cover the terminals once I hook up the accessories when the camper top conversion is done next month. Ideally this box would be mounted to a frame, this was just not possible given it's sitting right above the gas tank. In the perfect world you would weld a mounting plate to the seat frame...this would be perfect and meet all safety standards.
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