With a 110amp starter battery, you might say that you should be able to run the radio for a few days without that inducing any battery issues. But the same battery also powers the air suspension for the rear of the van, and it will switch on the light of the bus if you’re not driving by default.
Since we did not want to run out of starter battery juice, I wanted to hook up the car stereo to the leisure battery. That all sounds nice, but that does mean removing the car stereo and adding wiring.
And once the radio is out and if you’re running wiring anyway, which means the dash comes out, you might as well add some extra speakers to the mix.
I selected a Pioneer TS-WX130EA active sub to the system and a pair of Pioneer TS-X150 speakers for the back.
I had already replaced the default speakers of the Iveco last year since one of them was broken.
I wanted to switch from leisure to starter battery via a on/on rocker switch but could not find any to I selected an on/off/on switch. I removed one of the empty switch ports from the dash, and since the rocker switch was a lot smaller decided to fit it into the placeholder. That did not fit, so I had to cut out a hole that was a tiny bit bigger to have enough flex to push the switch in, which will require some black kit for a perfect finish.
Simple radio leisure and starter battery system.
With the switch in place, it was time to add the wiring. I cut the red 12v wire from the Iveco in half after measuring if it was the 12v line from the ignition. After installing the switch, I found out that the 12v was actually the 12v line wire which has 12v by default. Iveco had switched out the colors, which I should have expected. I soldered the wire back together and cut the right + line and hook up the switch. I then soldered the - from the leisure to the - of the car stereo, flipped the switch, and… it works like a charm!
With the radio hooked up to the leisure battery, it was time to move on to the subwoofer. The subwoofer is usually connected to the yellow wire of the car radio, which is the constant 12v wire. The black is wired to the ground, and then there is the blue wire. The blue wire is the “on” signal for the subwoofer. Once it gets 12v via blue, the active subwoofer switches on.
The problem with our Iveco is that the car stereo connection does not have a blue wire. We now have two options.
1- We hook up blue and yellow to the leisure battery, which means they always draw power from the leisure battery, and they do that all the time. To counter this, we can put a switch in between the blue wire so we can switch the subwoofer on and off.
This sounds like a nice solution. The problem is that it will never draw power from the starter battery, and you have to remember to switch it on and off all the time.
2- The alternative is to hook up the blue and yellow wire to the ignition/starter battery switch we installed before. The sub switches on and gets power depending on which battery the switch is flicked to.
Subwoofer on leisure and starter battery system without blue wire.
The problem in both situations is that we could not find how many amps the blue wire can handle in the first place.
But when Google does not help, you just have to try, so we installed the woofer via option 2, and … it really adds to the sound.