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I am on the verge of making a deal on a 2016 Metris Passenger van. It does not have fog lights (which I kinda' wanted), but more importantly does not have the Additional Battery option. I want to use this van as a kind of camper van, tho' not with all the camper stuff installed as of yet. I like the additional battery option to run things when parked, and not drain the car battery.

Does anyone know whether the additional battery option can be installed after market, if so whether that's as good as the factory option, and what the coast might be? Appreciate any comments.
 

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Sure can be installed aftermarket and depending how you go about it...could be better than factory. I don't know how much power you're going to ultimately require down the road. Cost wise? It will be all over the board, but I suggest going with a high quality AGM battery within the cabin. I have a Cargo van and I'm in the initial process of designing and sourcing parts for my aux AC/DC connections for the rear. Still haven't settled on if I'll go with 1,000 or 2,000 watts but I'm leaning to the latter.
 

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Sure can be installed aftermarket and depending how you go about it...could be better than factory. I don't know how much power you're going to ultimately require down the road. Cost wise? It will be all over the board, but I suggest going with a high quality AGM battery within the cabin. I have a Cargo van and I'm in the initial process of designing and sourcing parts for my aux AC/DC connections for the rear. Still haven't settled on if I'll go with 1,000 or 2,000 watts but I'm leaning to the latter.
Did you make your decision on the auxiliary battery, if so how did it work out? I will have the same cargo van and dumb enough did not order it with the extra battery, how did you run the wires to the back? I will have the protection panels, so I might have to remove, or run it such a way to make it safe and nicely tucked inconspicuous.
If you have some pics. that would be great. Thanks.
 

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Did you make your decision on the auxiliary battery, if so how did it work out? I will have the same cargo van and dumb enough did not order it with the extra battery, how did you run the wires to the back? I will have the protection panels, so I might have to remove, or run it such a way to make it safe and nicely tucked inconspicuous.
If you have some pics. that would be great. Thanks.
Just getting started on this project in the coming week. Check out some of the other threads about aux batteries. The limited space at the factory positon (under drivers seat) will not be suffiicent for my needs. Only up to 92Ah battery can fit there, so I'm going with three Group 31 size marine deep cycle AGM batteries just behind the seat. I have the factory bulkhead partition and two batteries tuck under the bottom of this partition. In a way, you can rejoice in NOT getting the factory aux battery, depending on your needs. IMO it's quite inferior for what you're paying for. I'll post a review thread soon here.
 

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Just getting started on this project in the coming week. Check out some of the other threads about aux batteries. The limited space at the factory positon (under drivers seat) will not be suffiicent for my needs. Only up to 92Ah battery can fit there, so I'm going with three Group 31 size marine deep cycle AGM batteries just behind the seat. I have the factory bulkhead partition and two batteries tuck under the bottom of this partition. In a way, you can rejoice in NOT getting the factory aux battery, depending on your needs. IMO it's quite inferior for what you're paying for. I'll post a review thread soon here.
Curious to know why you didn't go with the Lithium batteries? I think they are smaller and they also weigh less.
 

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I agree with MOWO, if your power needs exceed what the factory installed battery offers, you're far better off with doing your own install. The two most important reasons are that you install a larger battery and you can get a far better charging system for the battery.

I have installed a Sterling Power BBW1220 under the passenger seat next to the small aux battery and behind the start battery. Connecting it to the vehicle's electrical system was not overly difficult using the start battery ground for the negative and the "A2 Catch" for the positive lead, both are under the passenger seat. Its not the most elegant install, but it works. (You need to cut a hole into the seat base to route the BBW1220 cables to the connection points.)

I'm in the process of finishing other aspects of my camper project before I put in the "house battery." My plan for that is a Trojan J185 AGM.

The most important thing is to calculate how much power you'll need and how you'll keep the chosen battery within its discharging parameters so that you'll get a decent life out of it. Figuring how where to put the house battery and holding it secure are other equally important things to consider.
 

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Curious to know why you didn't go with the Lithium batteries? I think they are smaller and they also weigh less.
Main reason is budget I set for this project and 'proper' 12v LiFePo4 batteries with BMS are limited and expensive. Like many people in the market for service batteries, lithium just isn't at the right price-to-performance ratio yet...but getting closer. I wanted a couple good AGMs now and next year I'll get some LiFePo4 batteries and compare. I'm actually contemplating an offer to become a LiFePo4 distributor.
 

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I agree with MOWO, if your power needs exceed what the factory installed battery offers, you're far better off with doing your own install. The two most important reasons are that you install a larger battery and you can get a far better charging system for the battery.

I have installed a Sterling Power BBW1220 under the passenger seat next to the small aux battery and behind the start battery. Connecting it to the vehicle's electrical system was not overly difficult using the start battery ground for the negative and the "A2 Catch" for the positive lead, both are under the passenger seat. Its not the most elegant install, but it works. (You need to cut a hole into the seat base to route the BBW1220 cables to the connection points.)

I'm in the process of finishing other aspects of my camper project before I put in the "house battery." My plan for that is a Trojan J185 AGM.

The most important thing is to calculate how much power you'll need and how you'll keep the chosen battery within its discharging parameters so that you'll get a decent life out of it. Figuring how where to put the house battery and holding it secure are other equally important things to consider.
Yea, I can't say it enough now that I've just started my Service Battery & AC/DC Power Project. Wanting to do it at a high level of safety and professional install and not something I want to revisit and upgrade for many years to come. I'm going to do a full write-up starting this week.

Do you have the factory partition option? I just learned yesterday that, so it seems, the partition option gives whole different seat structure and framing around the seats! It's a blessing (forms a good half-enclosure for the batts) and a curse (had to cut the factory ply floor to get it out).
 
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Do you have the factory partition option? I just learned yesterday that, so it seems, the partition option gives whole different seat structure and framing around the seats! It's a blessing (forms a good half-enclosure for the batts) and a curse (had to cut the factory ply floor to get it out).
I have the cargo partition. You're right that it brings along framing that forms a bit of enclosure for things. I have a 120V inverter, DC-DC charger, fuses, a 120V AC charger, and a relay to switch between external 120V and the inverter's 120 tucked under there. The 120V charger is hooked to the Metris battery, and the DC-DC inverter keeps the pair of Duracell 6V golf cart batteries charged when the van sits in the garage idle.

Like Ransom, I picked up 12V DC from the fuse enclosure mounted vertically just in front of the battery under the passenger seat to feed the DC-DC charger. I grabbed ground from one of the bolts along the bottom of the cargo partition. I used a CTEK D250S DUAL charger as it's a DC-DC charger, battery isolator, and Solar charger in one unit.

And, you're right about that plywood floor. There's no getting it out without disassembling more structure around the seats and from side to side than I was was willing to do. I'm embarrassed at the interior paint scratches I caused wrestling with that thing attempting to get it out to insulate the floor.
 

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I have the cargo partition. You're right that it brings along framing that forms a bit of enclosure for things. I have a 120V inverter, DC-DC charger, fuses, a 120V AC charger, and a relay to switch between external 120V and the inverter's 120 tucked under there. The 120V charger is hooked to the Metris battery, and the DC-DC inverter keeps the pair of Duracell 6V golf cart batteries charged when the van sits in the garage idle.

Like Ransom, I picked up 12V DC from the fuse enclosure mounted vertically just in front of the battery under the passenger seat to feed the DC-DC charger. I grabbed ground from one of the bolts along the bottom of the cargo partition. I used a CTEK D250S DUAL charger as it's a DC-DC charger, battery isolator, and Solar charger in one unit.

And, you're right about that plywood floor. There's no getting it out without disassembling more structure around the seats and from side to side than I was was willing to do. I'm embarrassed at the interior paint scratches I caused wrestling with that thing attempting to get it out to insulate the floor.
I had never really looked at the cargo van without the partition before yesterday. Really a stark difference in added sheet metal and different seat bases that come with the option. You can tell that partition option wasn't just some after-thought, simple 'drop-in'.

I thought taking the bottom bracket of the jack would make it easier to get out...nope! Same here, made many scratches trying to get it out to no avail. And we TRIED HARD! :frown: I'm telling my wife, "Can you believe the MB factory put the plywood floor in BEFORE the seats and base?!! :surprise: I'll be insulating and paneling the walls, so the scratches won't matter much. I made a very smooth and straight cut 66" from the front of the piece straight across just behind the set of D-rings, so if for some reason we wanted to revert back, we can use a good joint sealant. I even bought a brand new Bosch "Extra Clean" plywood jigsaw blade for the cut and it came out super smooth. I'd like to just chuck it, but wife wants me to keep it 'just in case we sell'. At least it will be easier to store now. :grin:

Just a note for others, with the factory partition, a Group 31 AGM battery (on it's side) fits super snug with a 1/2" plywood floor. I went Russian Baltic Birch 5' x 5'. No up-down bracing needed, just a 1/8" x 1" x __" piece of closed cell foam sheet. Don't cover the whole battery.
 

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Yea, I can't say it enough now that I've just started my Service Battery & AC/DC Power Project. Wanting to do it at a high level of safety and professional install and not something I want to revisit and upgrade for many years to come. I'm going to do a full write-up starting this week.

Do you have the factory partition option? I just learned yesterday that, so it seems, the partition option gives whole different seat structure and framing around the seats! It's a blessing (forms a good half-enclosure for the batts) and a curse (had to cut the factory ply floor to get it out).
No, I do not have a factory cargo partition. I bought my van used and it came with an after market partition but I've removed that since I will be installing seat swivels. I had a steel bracket welded for the battery, which will be near the left rear wheel.
 

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> I thought taking the bottom bracket of the jack would make it easier to get out...nope!

That made me laugh as I remembered I had tried the same thing.
 

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No, I do not have a factory cargo partition. I bought my van used and it came with an after market partition but I've removed that since I will be installing seat swivels. I had a steel bracket welded for the battery, which will be near the left rear wheel.
Ok, I'm wondering if the swivel seats adapter works with the factory partion seat sheetmetal also. hmmm. Looking forward to hear what you'll be running off your service battery.
 

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If it were any other manufacturer, I’d say if course- nobody is going to set up different seat rail tooling in this circumstance. I have a hard time even imagining MB doing it, but... it is MB.
 
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