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Old 09-18-2017, 07:14 AM   #71
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It looks to me like you have a good chance of the Aero tank fitting in the space adjecent to the OEM tank with the VC skid plate installed, but it also looks to me that you better install the VC skid plate first. VC needs access to the side to do the installation, Aero does not as they use two long vertical carriage bolts (that I think install through pipe sleeves that run through the tank, need to verify) that then suck the tank up flush to the underside of the van.

Lots of details to run down when you start making changes to the standard! Thanks for keeping us informed along the way.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:52 PM   #72
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they use two long vertical carriage bolts (that I think install through pipe sleeves that run through the tank, need to verify) that then suck the tank up flush to the underside of the van.
That was my conclusion as well. Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:33 PM   #73
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I talked to the Sprinter Store today. They have done a few of the aux tanks where the spare tire usually goes. It's a fairly large tank though @ 30 gallons. They also stated the install time was between 14-20 hours, which is a quite a bit of time. They stated the ground clearance would remain the same but that they did have a customer who did not agree with that assessment.

I asked about the stock fuel gauge after reading the re-direct link Fitz posted. The statement was the transfer would not register until the key was turned off, then back on. So if you're transferring while driving the fuel gauge won't budge. However, after turning the engine back on the fuel gauge would jump to full.

I think I'm inclined to the Aerotank 20gal tank on the drivers side barring any issues accessing the carriage bolt locations once the interior cabinetry is installed. I'm OK with the skid plate addition they do, and the pics don't show it reducing ground clearance. Also, I believe I will tend to transfer the entire 20gal tank at one time once the stock tank gets to just under 1/4 full, which would be easier than throttling the 30gal tank.

Be at SMB West a week from today for final build discussions with Brian!
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:52 AM   #74
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Ground clearance vs departure angles vs crap you'll drag are all different things. Technically, anything that doesn't stick below the rear diff doesn't impact ground clearance....

Thought I'd add something in the discussion here...there are few back-country trips that I go on in my Jeep where I haven't wanted more fuel. With the few trips in the Sprinter (where it has previous build-out using lots of SS diamond plate!), I've wanted more fuel.

My last Jeep trip was a little too close for comfort - less than 2 gallons of fuel in the tank before I was in trouble - multiple road closures from storms occurred while I was wandering around the jeep trails in/around Death Valley forced me to completely retrace my steps...
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:18 AM   #75
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I agree, I think the extra tank will be a great comfort in more remote areas. My 4Runner TRD Pro has a range of just under 400 miles. In some parts of Eastern Washington and into Montana I've found myself sweating the next gas stop a bit. I think a range of closer to 600 miles with an aux tank will make us more comfortable.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:10 PM   #76
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I agree, I think the extra tank will be a great comfort in more remote areas. My 4Runner TRD Pro has a range of just under 400 miles. In some parts of Eastern Washington and into Montana I've found myself sweating the next gas stop a bit. I think a range of closer to 600 miles with an aux tank will make us more comfortable.
400miles...I wish my Jeep Rubicon had that kind of range on or off pavement!

I've changed my vehicle builds to an overlanding perspective (journey, not necessarily destination) - And that means comfortable, stress free driving - increase driver enjoyment/reduce fatigue stress with things like: bigger brakes, more engine power, larger cooling system, better seats, no range anxiety, etc. After one trip, I was totally wiped out from the pavement pounding portion alone!

Trail driving ups fuel consumption...and 4LO makes for a thirsty machine... after having driven a manual Jeep for the last 8 yrs or so, I've found myself in 4LO far more than those that drive automatics. It is amazing the difference in control and reduced stress on driver/vehicle with 4LO. My avg speed in 4Lo is sometimes higher than when I'm in 4hi. Modern automatics and traction control have done a great job decoupling even experienced drivers from the trail/vehicle and don't give the driver cues about when to engage a locker or use 4lo.

On a recent trip, one FJ driver nearly cooked his tranny .... I think many folks don't realize they should be in 4LO for the 30% grade strewn with rocks & sand...

Anyhow, I digress.

Here is what I know.
Tank is aluminum, bare - just like the big rigs.

Aero makes the tank for Agile and others. Upscale gets theirs from somewhere else.

List of open questions for Aero
-Baffles and venting?
-Ability to increase the 14gal on passenger side without dropping tank floor? I prefer 20.
-Gauge mfr/type, overflow implications of main tank (return line present?)
-Ability to add aux tap for appliances/heaters( haven't thought this all the way through yet).

Aux tank skid plate:
I didnt note the thickness (10 gauge or thicker?) of the added metal plating Aero welds on for a few extra dollars. I do recall it being thick enough for the application. I do remember thinking that if a rock measurably dents/tears a hole in that thickness of added material (when combined with the existing tank), I've likely got other issues.

Rear spare tank from sprinter store:
I dismissed it as viable for our offroad focused build. My notes indicate it dropped too low / was set too far back to make it desirable (too much weight added to rear axle/removed from front axle). I noted the insane 14/20 hours install time. It suggests they don't really know what they are doing with a labor quote like that. That's like 3 days of productive time in the shop.

Mb Fill gauge:
Does not update until the key is cycled on/off.

Timer/pump
Aero uses a crude but effective timer. I'll be using something different - likely an electronic timer w/push button switch that will pump 5gal increments or something. Pump is an external 12v unit used on all their other systems.

Tank size /location
They make 3 sizes:
-driver side, midships 20 and 30
- passenger L shape, 14 gallon.
All should fit with VC stock fuel tank.
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:35 PM   #77
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All should fit with VC stock fuel tank.
I don't quite follow. Did you mean OEM tank, or is it a reference to a Van Compass part (skid plate)?
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:48 PM   #78
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I agree with the above on the Sprinter Store spare tire tank. Seems to big and also from conversations I believe it would be too low. I'm leaning more and more towards the 20gal aux fuel tank. that seems cleanest and most viable for my application if the interior furniture doesn't interfere with the carriage bolt placement. I'll use a different gauge and sender though.

Hoping to at least get an idea from Brian this coming Monday if this tank will work.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:07 PM   #79
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Agreed on the Sprinter Store tank. I'm going with the Aero 20 gal also. They said they could fab a 14 gal. aux fresh water tank for the other side for me and could do it out of aluminum or stainless steel. Being too old to ski any more, I'm not looking to go anywhere that's freezing and SMB insists on fresh water being inside. To save on interior volume, I'll go with their lowest volume inside tank and have Aero do a 14 gal passenger side water tank for me. (Since the lithium battery has to go inside rather than underneath, it's a volume tradeoff of water space for battery space. And I've dropped the Aluminess box.)

Any thoughts on aluminum vs. stainless steel for the water tank?
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:10 PM   #80
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Lost my last reply.

I'll need to go with passenger side 14. I have H13 stock rear heat I'd like to keep if at all possible. (However, I'm already ditching the factory rooftop AC and will be installed an ESPAR in addition to the hobbled MB D5 included with the C08/Hz9 some sort...ah I dunno)

I'd prefer a 20 on passenger side usable to double effective stock range.

Many times the usable size of a tank is less than total volume for a variety of reasons. Aero claims 14/20/30 usable.

Sorry if my response was not clear...VC skid plates should clear the Aero tanks (per comment made by Aero -> Aero sources tanks to Agile -> Agile used/uses VC skid plate kits)

Bare Alum + Chlorinated Water = little white corrosion curly cues/spot/dots/thingies. Known to happen in marine circles. Amount of chlorine will determine amount corrosion and how fast. It can take a while or be relatively quick. Stainless - my experience is varied. Some stainless corrodes and some does not - those will argue about the grade etc etc etc. I've found unless it is a well controlled supply chain carefully controlling the production (read: expensive), all bets are off. Some will argue about the welded seams...

Linear poly (plastic) is the typical material for water tanks. These guys are the big boys, but there are others. Ronco Plastics - Marine Water Tanks, RV Water Tank, Auto Detail Tanks, Water Tanks Likely a custom tank house not too far from you esp if you are near marine activities.
If plastic, then skid plate?
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