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I've got a small amp fuse panel in the back driver's side of my Van, connecting into the lights, water pump, fan, a USB outlet, etc.

Is it possible to create an adjacent "ground" (negative) point near there, without running a thick cable all the way to the front of the van near the main battery's grounding point? If so, how should I create a ground point?


Bonus Question: Is it ok to "Stack" the aux/house battery's ground cable atop the normal starter battery's cable at the grounding point in the front?
 

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I am not sure what that use would be. Here is a suggestion. I went to Home Depot and bought a bus bar and ground away some paint and applied dielectric grease to its back and put two large self drilling screws into the chassis to make a good point to attach several ground (neutral) connections for my 12 volt circuits.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-10-Terminal-Ground-Bar-Kit-GBK10CS/100173659
 
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Bonus Question: Is it ok to "Stack" the aux/house battery's ground cable atop the normal starter battery's cable at the grounding point in the front?
RD' s got a good description on how to add a ground bar at any point in the van. It would work well in your back area, set up as he describes.

Yes you can stack the two battery's ground wires.. I'm guessing that the aux battery is nearby, like under the seat or right behind it.

Otherwise, ground the aux battery to a chassis point near where it is located.

ed
 

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Yes, you can ground to any part of the steel structure. Be sure to sand or grind all the paint off so the connection is good using a bolt, nut and lock washer so it will stay tight.
 

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always ground to chassis

Hi,

The others in this thread have answered your question but I just want to expand the answer a bit. Always ground to chassis. By chassis I mean any metal spot anywhere on the main body portion of the van. You need to scrape away the paint from the metal for a good connection. The ribs on the inside of the back of the van are a good option. Do not ground directly back to any battery because if there is a short circuit it could cause the wires to overheat and start a fire. I also recommend a grounding bus bar. I have two. one on each side of the van. I prefer to run my ground wires to the bus bar locations on each side of the van rather than attaching them all over my chassis. this makes it easier to troubleshoot bad grounds and keeps you from having to scrape off paint and drill holes all over. just ground the bus bar to the chassis and then ground all your accessories to the bus bar. However if you only have on or two accessories just attach a short piece ground wire from your accessory to the nearest chassis spot.
Yes its ok to stack your ground wires at the ground point of the starter battery where it is attached to the chassis.
 

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Hi,
For all of my 12 volt circuits, I ran a hot wire and a ground wire from the fuse panel to the load. Each ground wire is terminated at the ground bus of the fuse panel, and the ground bus of the fuse panel is connected to the house battery negative terminal. Also ran a wire from the ground bus on the fuse panel to a chasiss ground.

Each of the positive wires to each 12 volt load has a correctly sized fuse in the line and this protects both the positive and negative wire from the load to the fuse panel. There is no danger of any kind of short I can imagine overheating either the hot or the ground wire. If the load draws too much power, the fuse will blow. If the hot wire shorts to the chassis or ground somehow, the fuse will blow. If the ground wire contacts the chassis somewhere, nothing happens as it just reduces the resistance of the ground path, which you would like to be zero.

I took this approach because it avoids all of the problems you can have with poorly connected chassis grounds or chassis grounds that corrode over time.
It seems to me that a large fraction of the car/RV electrical problems I've encountered over the years have be due to bad grounds.

Gary
 

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"the ground bus of the fuse panel is connected to the house battery negative terminal. Also ran a wire from the ground bus on the fuse panel to a chasiss ground."

Hi Gary, do mean that you double-grounded the 12V fuse panel, one to the battery and one to the chassis?
 
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