Install Leisure Battery help

Mar 26, 2019
Hi all, I'm new to this forum so please accept my apologies If this question has been asked before

I want to install a leisure battery so that I can go off grid.
My van only has an EHU and no existing battery system installed.(German van)
My question is this:-
How do I actually connect the battery power into the existing wiring in the van?
I have a dometic system with an RCD and two trip switches and two 15A fuses and it looks like a built in step down transformer that does 240V down to 12V.

Splicing into the 13pin cable that connects to the car (via the terminal box) is probably not an option as I only have a 12N(only the external lights :brakes, indicators, running lights) therefore I figure that there are no links to the main dometic board. Besides, I'm not too bothered about charging the battery while the car is running.(I might do that as an upgrade at a later date)
My plan is to use solar to charge the battery(ies) with a charge controller, therefore I shall have enough power to also use the sockets for my laptop, kettle etc

I also will need something that will allow me to switch between battery power and EHU, whether manual or automatic, so suggested options for this also would be appreciated
Many thanks all :)


Mar 14, 2005
Your van is not wired for additional 12v leisure battery so it is pointless even thinking about wiring in to the 13 pin socket.
There is a special pack , called an "Autark Pack" which is specifically built to allow the addition of a leisure battery, but it is best to have this pack fitted by an engineer who is very familiar with the Dometic unit as if it wrongly connected a new Dometic unit is eye wateringly expensive.
Mar 26, 2019
Thanks Damian, I have heard of these Autark packs, but was hoping to find an alternative. As it's a German van, parts from the manufacturer are horrifically expensive and due to the brexit chaos, most companies now are not fulfilling UK orders :(
Mar 14, 2005
Hi, I have owned two Burstner caravans, 1 hobby and for the last 7 years a Fendt (all single axel) All were purchased in either in France except for the Fendt which was purchased in Dortmund. Each came without a fitted battery. I always asked for a battery to be added to run the 12 volt system, toilet, lights etc. This was never a problem for them and did not appear too expensive. I cannot say what they did. They always connected first time to my 13 pin plug and the tow car.
The only problem we had was the Germans left the fridge to run on battery when towing. this was easily corrected.
It may be worth speaking to a workshop that can carry out the work and knows about continental caravans or If you are brave, arrange for the work to be done in europe. I have used Calais caravanes for accessories, caravans x 2 and servicing. The owner Marc speaks very good english.
Jun 17, 2011
I looked at a hymer some years ago at Lowdhams and they had put a battery in one of the bed lockers and connected it up so it must be possible. I do recall that the battery was somewhat special, expensive, because it was unvented.


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