I am thinking of installing a wheelchair lift in the back of my 2006 Odyssey
for occasional use. That would enable me to easily put my father's power
chair in the back of the minivan once in a while. These things take about
20 amps. There are 3 12 volt (10 amp) power supplies in the minivan, and
rather than permanently installing a wire to the battery as is recommended,
since the lift will only be used once in a while, I was thinking of making a
connector so I could connect all 3 power adapters already installed by the
factory to the lift when I use it. I presume that 3 times 10 amps will give
me 30 amps which is 10 more than it needs. Not being an electronics genius,
anyone knows if there is a problem with my idea? Thanks.
Bad idea. You will need a separate 30 amp circuit. The existing power
outlets are most likely all on one circuit, but as multiple plugs in
your home can all connect to one circuit.
You need someone well versed in automotive electronics to do it right.
Not if it's done properly. This is common practice for high-powered stereo
systems, often with much larger wires carrying far higher current. Your purpose
shouldn't require anything bigger than 6ga. or at most 4ga. (see
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/amps-wire-gauge-d_730.html ) - imagine double-0
gauge wire over 3/8-inch thick!
Grommets anywhere it passes through metal, an appropriately-rated fuse at the
battery end, and all should be fine (be sure whoever does it upgrades the
battery's ground wire if necessary too - a too-thin ground lead defeats the
whole purpose). If nothing else, any decent car-audio shop should have the wire
in stock in their install bay and should have the job done in less than an hour.
Go to a Professional 2- way radio dealer...I was a installer in one for
years. Do not try to do it without info! I saw where a fire chief thought,
he knew it all, and installed a 50 amp light bar on his brand new fire red
He was answering a fire call one day, when his truck caught on fire and
before his own fire dept was able to put it out! He took # 12 solid wire,
from the battery, no fuse,
thru a ragged hole in the firewall, just a bad job! Don't take changes!
Oooooo that smarts!
As I stated before, any "good" car-audio shop should be able to do the job as
well, as they'll be experienced with, and have the wire and accessories for,
One other thought, though, Art: you may want to consider using a separate
battery with a battery isolator to run your lift. The isolator will allow both
batteries to be charged normally, while preventing the lift from draining your
main battery and potentially leaving you stranded. Again, any high-end
car-stereo shop should be able to do it for you, OR a place that does camper
installs/conversions, which is probably the most common use of isolated
I am considering another choice. Other manufacturers make rechargable
batteries for the same type of application. The batteries can turn out 25
amp but the charger only requires 7.5 amp. I could keep this charge plugged
into the ac outlet in the back of the Odyssey and avoid the extra wiring job
and issues. I wouldn't consider this if the lift got frequent use but it
will probably be used once per week at most.
That might be alright, but a few things to consider:
What is the cost of the "custom" battery/charger system? Once again, there is
nothing wrong with having heavy wiring to the back of the vehicle; this is
common in car-audio applications and any competent installer can do a good job
of it, potentially cheaper than the setup you're talking about once all the
other considerations are taken into account.
Make sure the battery in this setup is able to provide not only the necessary
current, but has the necessary capacity as well (rated in Ah, or Ampere-hours).
It's not much use if it has the juice to get the lift down, but then needs to
recharge for a long time before it can get the lift back up. You also want to
be sure the system isn't charging the auxiliary battery if the engine isn't
running, or you risk running down your van's own battery and not being able to
Finally, if the battery you're talking about here is a standard lead-acid
automotive type, you don't want it exposed within the passenger area, as all
batteries of this type generate hydrogen gas when they're charging. It should
be in its own enclosure, ventilated to the outside... unless of course, your van
is named The Hindenburg. (If it's a gel-cel battery, you're okay, although most
of those are not very high capacity).
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.