House Battery Articles
Many Vanagon campers carry a second battery to power the lights, radio, and other appliances when camping. This second battery is called the "house battery" or the "auxiliary battery."
The battery used to start the engine is isolated from the house battery when camping, or, really, whenever the engine isn't running. This ensures the ability to start the engine even after extended camping that depletes the house battery.
When the engine is started, the alternator recharges both the starting battery and the house battery. Some owners install a charger like the ProMariner ProSport 8 to recharge and condition the house battery or both batteries when connected to shore power. Solar Panels are popular, like the kit offered by GoWesty.
There are many different ways to isolate the batteries, connect them to the alternator to be recharged, and direct power to the appliances. For example, GoWesty offers a kit to add an auxiliary battery in Vanagons that didn't come equipped with one.