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Old 12-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

They started on our van! Windows are in, solar, A/C, and antennas are on the roof. Working on rest of wiring now before the ceiling goes in. I will visit in a couple of days to get photos.

They called me today to say that they can't put the PowerTech diesel generator in my van. It is a dually WB=170" regular Sprinter. It would fit if it were the extended version or not a dually. We checked with PowerTech and they agreed. SMB Indiana has never had anyone who wanted the diesel generator in this model Sprinter so they thought it would work until today. Now we know why Roadtrek does not offer the diesel (they only use duallys with Sprinters). So we will have to go with the propane Onan generator. On the plus side it will be quieter, smaller so less chance in damaging it on curbs and driveways, and costs less. The big down sides are that it will run the air conditioner only about 24 hours on a 40 lb tank of propane and the propane is harder to get filled compared to diesel. So we will have to rely more on the fan when not plugged in.

The other minor change is that they can't put a 110V outlet in the bathroom (even with GFI). Understandable since it would be inside the shower. No problem, we don't really have a need for it.

Good news that they are checking with me on big and small problems. And all the delays in getting started probably means they are going slow to get it right the first time.

David
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave
They started on our van! Windows are in, solar, A/C, and antennas are on the roof. Working on rest of wiring now before the ceiling goes in. I will visit in a couple of days to get photos.

They called me today to say that they can't put the PowerTech diesel generator in my van. It is a dually WB=170" regular Sprinter. It would fit if it were the extended version or not a dually. We checked with PowerTech and they agreed. SMB Indiana has never had anyone who wanted the diesel generator in this model Sprinter so they thought it would work until today. Now we know why Roadtrek does not offer the diesel (they only use duallys with Sprinters). So we will have to go with the propane Onan generator. On the plus side it will be quieter, smaller so less chance in damaging it on curbs and driveways, and costs less. The big down sides are that it will run the air conditioner only about 24 hours on a 40 lb tank of propane and the propane is harder to get filled compared to diesel. So we will have to rely more on the fan when not plugged in.

The other minor change is that they can't put a 110V outlet in the bathroom (even with GFI). Understandable since it would be inside the shower. No problem, we don't really have a need for it.

Good news that they are checking with me on big and small problems. And all the delays in getting started probably means they are going slow to get it right the first time.

David
Texas installs the Powertec on 170 duallys
ALL THE TIME, even on 140 and 158 dually wheel bases. Are you having something else installed that's in the way?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

PS..... I looked at your factory options, the only thing that I see that might blocking the install of the powertec in the 170, is QA2, which is part of the factory HD hitch(7500lbs) maybe the cross member is taking up the space. I have a oem hitch, that was installed by sportsmobile. 170 ext cannot get the HD hitch, only the 5000lb.... I know Powertec don't know their equipment as well as they should......I called them for help on my 1st oil change. The manual said to use one type of oil, the online manual had a different oil, and when I called for Tec help, the Tec told me over the phone that they don't use either !!! But the generator is fantastic!!! We lost power at the house during Sandy, I ran it for close to 2 weeks non stop, to power the house. It would run for almost 4 days before I fueled up(not letting it go below 1/4 tank
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Yes, I have the factory 7500 lb hitch. Chad at SMB told me that to install the PowerTech generator they would have to cut one of the framing members (I assume for the van, not the hitch) and this would void the MBz warranty.

I will drive to Huntington tomorrow and will report back with photos.

David
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:57 AM   #15
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Dave,
Congrats on getting your build started. Reading your earlier posts shows that you have thought everything through.
I think you will be happier with a more quiet generator. Most camp sites that my wife and I go to don't usually have lots of space around them and running a loud generator can be annoying to others. Not to mention the diesel fumes which will also drift into neighboring campsites. Not too particularly appetizing as you and others around you are cooking dinner.
Maybe others can comment on the RV diesel generators but the ones that I have been around have a lower pitch, but I could hear them from far away.
The stock Onan makes less noise than the diesel and there are mods on the web that you can do to make it even more quiet. (addition of exhaust resonator, and spark arrestor)
I'm sure you will be happy when it's done. I'm interested in the screen door and plumbing mods that you talked about doing yourself in an earlier post, as I can see that they are worthwhile projects that others (including myself) will want to copy.

-don
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #16
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonSt
I think you will be happier with a more quiet generator. Most camp sites that my wife and I go to don't usually have lots of space around them and running a loud generator can be annoying to others. Not to mention the diesel fumes which will also drift into neighboring campsites. Not too particularly appetizing as you and others around you are cooking dinner.
-don
Thanks Don, I agree quieter is better. In our previous big rig we had a 7.5 kw Onan Diesel and it was wonderful, just hummed along and we would even forget it was going. When in campgrounds we will usually be plugged in so the noise is not an issue. When on the road, in truck stops, and in rest areas I think the diesel will be about the same annoyance as the semi's with their engines going. When in remote locations away from other campers we will run it while we are hiking to charge the batteries and at night only if the heat is unbearable and the fan doesn't help. The trouble with the propane generator when in the wilderness it is no help when it runs out of fuel after 24 hours use. The diesel will run 100 hours at 75% load on a full tank (20 out of 26 gal from full to 1/4 full) and diesel is easier to find.

David
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #17
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

I see your point. Out here in California, the majority of state campgrounds do not have power or dumps at the campsites.

-don
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #18
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonSt
I think you will be happier with a more quiet generator. Most camp sites that my wife and I go to don't usually have lots of space around them and running a loud generator can be annoying to others. Not to mention the diesel fumes which will also drift into neighboring campsites. Not too particularly appetizing as you and others around you are cooking dinner.
-don
The trouble with the propane generator when in the wilderness it is no help when it runs out of fuel after 24 hours use. The diesel will run 100 hours at 75% load on a full tank (20 out of 26 gal from full to 1/4 full) and diesel is easier to find.

David
And for the few times your gonna need a extended stay,,,,,, its pretty easy to carry a few 5gal containers of diesel, and your set for at least a week
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:28 PM   #19
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonSt
I see your point. Out here in California, the majority of state campgrounds do not have power or dumps at the campsites.

-don
Don, do these campgrounds without electric allow generators during the day (to charge batteries)?

David
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:31 PM   #20
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Re: My SMB Indiana Sprinter building experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonSt
I see your point. Out here in California, the majority of state campgrounds do not have power or dumps at the campsites.

-don
Don, do these campgrounds without electric allow generators during the day (to charge batteries)?

David
Yes, they do.
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