Fitting inverter/lesiure battery to van


I've just bought a new van, 64 plate Citroen Dispatch :)

Got it yesterday!

So, i'm getting a rear camera fitted weds and next up is signage and a way of charging my batteries for my cordless gear.

It'd be good if I could also plug in a few other electric items from time to time, maybe my tablet/kettle as I'll camp in the van sometimes.

Could anyone suggest what might be the best, cost effective way of doing this?
I may be able to rope my dad or brother into helping me out fingers crossed

If it's a lot cheaper to just charge batteries whilst driving and skipping the tablet/kettle thing then I'd prob just do that

Thank you all

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  • As a former Motor home geek, the simplest route if you just want to charge power tools is to get a 300w inverter with a cigarette plug, you can't run anything bigger without linking straight to the engine battery, if you want to fit a 2nd leisure battery it will need to be a sealed gel battery as these don't vent gasses, next you will need a split charge relay to divert excess power to charge the leisure battery. This also separates the two batteries electrically, thus making sure you don't drain the engine battery. I would skip the kettle idea and bring a flask or compact gas burner otherwise you will need serious battery capacity and a large inverter, big costs for a quick cuppa. The place to ask this question or to search is Motorhome fun forum. Jeff.
    • PRO

      thank you for your reply, with this inverter i presume I can only charge whilst driving otherwise I'll drain the battery? Also i think my van stops charging after the engines been off a few mins automatically

      i think i will skip to gas for kettle when i'm wild camping, it would be nice to be able to charge my phone/tablet though and perhaps a fridge, so i'll serch for the motorhome forum you mentioned


      quite excited about having my first 'proper' van :)

      • PRO

        I've just checked and my battery charger is 550W. You mention I can't run anything above 300w off a cigarette plug?

        • PRO

          another update, my cigarette lighter says max 120W.

          I guess I need to get an inverter hard wired if thats possible

          • If you limit yourself to charging mobiles, tablets and laptops then a simple 100w plug in inverter with USB outlets would suit you fine, though not all cigarette outlets are live with ignition switched off. If you are running a fridge be that 12v cooler, or compressor fridge ( like the fridge in your kitchen) you will need a leisure battery and a split charge relay.
  • If you fit split charger I believe it will charge via the leasure battery all the time and the purpose of the split charger is to charge both batteries but avoid the van battery being drained and so leave you stranded
    • PRO

      Turns out I would need a 1,000w inverter, so total cost with the battery, split charger, cables and just £90 labour would've been around £500. Decided to buy another battery for £190

      Have done out my van this weekend tho - way more practical :)

  • get a good inverter. and have  slave battery. so when charging cordless stuff you do not drain your main battery for starting van. or have to have van on tick over when charging. no need with second battery.

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