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Old 10-24-2013, 12:39 AM   #1
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Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

So I'm doing my research now to join the club and hopefully have a van built in 2014. I'm seriously considering using only diesel for a fuel source. Stove top, heater, genset, and water heater, and I love to dry camp for 3-5 days at a time. I'm thinking that I will definitely need additional fuel to run the appliances and still be able to make it out of where ever I'm at. Now my dilemma. I have searched the forum and haven't found much discussion of adding fuel tanks to the Sprinter. It doesn't seem as if you can order one from the factory. I know that the Sprinter Store offers one. But I would love folk's input on rate of usage, etc. and what is the largest extra tank offered that doesn't compromise storage or interfere with all the other stuff that needs to be tucked under the van. I didn't see any mention of added tanks in Chumley's Design and build checklist. Is there no extra room for added tanks with everything else that is needed down below, or is there room?

Any advise on my potential build is appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:29 AM   #2
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

I believe fresh water is most people's limiting factor. I barely move the propane gauge, and that's with everything on. I'm not a fan of cooktops either, but then I have run out of butane for my little stove and it can be hard to source. I've run out of cooking spray as well, both are equally devastating to my meal preparation.

Anyway, I guess the question would be, can you add the Sprinter Store aux diesel tank after you build- meaning build all-diesel, go boondock for 3 days and evaluate your usage, then decide if you need it.

Regardless I think that mileage is more of a factor than using the stove, etc. so range is probably your limiting factor. I'll be curious to see what others chime in with.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

Jage - Thanks for the response. I forgot to mention that I am considering either the EB or LB body, so I'ld hope there would be plenty of room for an additional fuel tank underneath. I have not begun a conversation with SMB, so potentially they too can answer my question. My wife and I are downsizing from a diesel pusher, kids are grown and we don't need to be pushing around a 40 footer any longer. Of course with the big RV, I had the luxury of having more consumables on board than I would ever need for any of my trips. But with the Sprinter certain compromises are in order to have the benefits of a smaller vehicle. We are excited to begin this new stage in our RVing lifestyle!
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

I agree with jage that driving range is more important than camping fuel use and also that fresh water and black tank size are more important. Having said that, we were surprised to find that the fuel tap (from MB not SMB) stops at 3/8 full not the advertised 1/4 full. So if you will camp for a week you better be at least half full maybe 5/8 to start. The Espar heater will be your largest fuel user. If run continuously in cold weather the Espar D2 will use about 1 gal/day so 7/26 or about a quarter tank in a week. It is very unlikely you will ever run it that much unless you winter camp a lot. I don't recommend the D4.

Our EB 10,000 lb, 3500 dually Sprinter gets about 18 mi/gal. So half a tank will last 234 miles. We are going to Alaska next summer and I have been told that you can get Diesel fuel every 200 miles so I think we are safe with only the stock 26 gal tank. If we want to be extra safe we may carry some extra cans in a rear hitch carrier.

For water tank size we find that 40 gal works well for 2 of us for a week of dry camping. Our 16 gal black tank also lasts about a week if we are careful not to flush too long. These tanks are much larger than most layouts can handle (see my web site for details).

As explained on my website, we prefer propane for cooktop and hot water. We camp over a month on a tank of propane. Overall I don't think you will save on cost by eliminating the propane system since the diesel cooktop and water heater are much more expensive.

David
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

David:

Thanks for the response. I appreciate your response. I had initially just figured I would go with a propane system, but am trying to simplify my build using only one fuel type. I reside in the southwest, so super cold mornings is not a concern, although we do like camping in Montana and Idaho, where its been known to get damn cold. But that would be only a few times a year and I expect we would make those trips in the summer. So basically its a desert camp environment. I'm usually within 50 miles of a fuel stop so I expect getting diesel won't be a problem. I very much appreciate the concern about costs however, as I see these vans typically end up well over $100K.

Chuck
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

My built is actually about what you're thinking about. VivaLaVida is an EB 6.0 with a custom EB50 floor plan I drawn and built myself. All my appliances are running with diesel: glass stove, water and air heater, engine pre-heater. I installed two tanks. The U-Joint aluminum 39 gallons tank in place of OE one and a custom made aluminum 25 gallons behind the rear axle and in front if the rear underfloor storage, protected by a skid plate. Both together, it's 64 gallons. There is a fuel pomp between them, so I can fill one with the other. I also modified the appliances hose to be able to run them till low level.
I'm really happy with this setup which provides me plenty of autonomy and security: if I get a hole in one, I still have the other one...
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:54 AM   #7
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschitt
My built is actually about what you're thinking about. VivaLaVida is an EB 6.0 with a custom EB50 floor plan I drawn and built myself. All my appliances are running with diesel: glass stove, water and air heater, engine pre-heater. I installed two tanks. The U-Joint aluminum 39 gallons tank in place of OE one and a custom made aluminum 25 gallons behind the rear axle and in front if the rear underfloor storage, protected by a skid plate. Both together, it's 64 gallons. There is a fuel pomp between them, so I can fill one with the other. I also modified the appliances hose to be able to run them till low level.
I'm really happy with this setup which provides me plenty of autonomy and security: if I get a hole in one, I still have the other one...
Thx, this is the type of info I've been looking for. Sorry for the delay in responding, work has been all consuming lately, & I've had a pretty serious bug also from work as well. I was thinking 50-60 gallon capacity would be optimal, so it's nice to know that you got 64 from your setup. Thank again.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

If you decide to go with a comparable setup, just contact U-Joint Offrad. Chris is really helpful and will be able to make one for your van.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

Thanks, will do...
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Old 12-17-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: Extra diesel fuel tank possible?

It isn't a tank, but I wonder how useful a pack mount and Rotopax fuel containers would be. They are expensive relatively, but with a locking T-handle, will stay in place.

For me, a hitch mounted cargo carrier is a must have, and having containers mounted on that will help extend time out boondocking, especially on an all diesel model.
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