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I'm pretty sure I read here that someone tapped into the wiring to put their cargo lights and aux power connector on their aux battery. I can't find the thread tho.
 

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I'm pretty sure I read here that someone tapped into the wiring to put their cargo lights and aux power connector on their aux battery. I can't find the thread tho.
I don't remember the thread, but sound like a good idea.

If I were doing it (I might, now that you mention it), I would run an "aux battery wire" to the cargo light(s) and aux outlet and connect a SPDT switch nearby.

That would give me the option to select the power source, van or aux, depending on usage. It would also keep the wiring changes close to the lights/outlet instead of messing around with the van's fuses.

Ed
 

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I tried to use the aux 12v outlet in the rear of the van to charge a GoalZero battery while driving, but the actual voltage to the outlet was too low to be effective (drop due to wire size and run length? Not sure). I ended up running 4 gauge wire from the starting battery to the rear passenger corner of the van, where I've installed a second battery and inverter. I did make use of that factory 12v outlet to power a solenoid, so the auxiliary battery (no longer GoalZero) charges only when the van is running, and disconnects when the key is not in the ignition. This worked out really well as the power from that 12v socket is adequate to trigger the solenoid, and is only live when the key is in the ignition.

One item of interest - I tested a bunch of the fuses on a couple of the ProMaster's fuse boxes, and all of them were live 100% of the time, even when the key was out of the ignition. I guess there is a computer that manages power distribution to accessories that work all the time (dome lights) vs only when the van is running (12v outlet in the rear of the van). This means that (to my knowledge) you can't just tap into the fuse box to pull power for your solenoid, as the solenoid will always be closed. You need some other power source, and the wires to that rear 12v outlet worked nicely.
 

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...One item of interest - I tested a bunch of the fuses on a couple of the ProMaster's fuse boxes, and all of them were live 100% of the time, even when the key was out of the ignition. I guess there is a computer that manages power distribution to accessories that work all the time (dome lights) vs only when the van is running (12v outlet in the rear of the van). This means that (to my knowledge) you can't just tap into the fuse box to pull power for your solenoid, as the solenoid will always be closed. You need some other power source, and the wires to that rear 12v outlet worked nicely.
Interesting... very interesting! I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the "smartness" of my Promaster! ;)

Ed
 

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I'm pretty sure I read here that someone tapped into the wiring to put their cargo lights and aux power connector on their aux battery. I can't find the thread tho.
I don't know which thread you are referring to but IMHO if you were planning an RV conversion you would want your interior lights, 12v sockets/USB, and UConnect stereo all connected to your house battery bank so you could use them whenever you wanted. Just turn them off or on when needed. That's my plan, anyway.
 

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I don't know which thread you are referring to but IMHO if you were planning an RV conversion you would want your interior lights, 12v sockets/USB, and UConnect stereo all connected to your house battery bank so you could use them whenever you wanted. Just turn them off or on when needed. That's my plan, anyway.
I think it depends on the level of RV-edness you're looking for.

I plan on leaving the van and it's accessories wired "as-is". With the exception of the 12V outlet in the back corner, which would be made more useful with van/aux switch, all of my RV type electrical will be separate from the van stuff.

Mine will be a simpler conversion. No plumbing, no kitchen (except for a propane BBQ grill that is carried for outdoor cooking), and maybe a porta-potti.

The aux battery will feed cargo area lighting, TV/DVD, my ham radios, and if needed, a separate radio/mp3 player for the back. I can't see messing with the van wiring, especially on the van's computer-centric electrical system. Even if I wanted to run the Uconnect all night, I doubt it would kill the van battery... if so, the aux battery would help start the van!

Ed
 

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I'll watch this as I agree the CAN buss system is a nightmare to connect to. If we feed the Aux battery off the vehicle battery and only use the rear outlet to activate the interface and perhaps small loads like a phone charger I can't foresee any problems.
 
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