Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-26-2017, 08:17 AM   #41
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Loving this build, took a look after your reply to my thread on AC/Dogs. You have really done some great research to piggyback off of. We might go with this lithium set-up you are using as well as the Maxxair vent. It is pricey but I like the idea of running the A/C for 1-2 hours while in town without needing to have the van running on high idle.

Sounds like ski locations are in your future as well. Our van just arrived but isn't scheduled to build until September.
__________________

Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 12:15 AM   #42
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Have you thought about using two 8D AGM batteries instead of the two 4D batteries? In lieu of the lithium system?

A thread by K9Sprinter was pointed out to me where he had 6 batteries, but the weight and storage on those would be killer. Just wondered if 2 8D's would give 2-3 hours of A/C run time for the rooftop A/C.

On my liveaboard sailboat I had 6 6V large golf cart style batteries, but the weight on those was huge and wouldn't work.
__________________

Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 01:37 AM   #43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backcountryguy View Post
A thread by K9Sprinter was pointed out to me...
I'm not trying to be picky, but the search function on here is picky and won't recognize his name with the upper case S. Here's his profile: K9sprinter.

I am considering 3 or 4 of this battery in my build.
TomH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 06:35 AM   #44
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Holy cow! Those SmartBattery 8D's are $$$! I like them, can't argue about the AH's. I thought the Lifeline AGM batteries I put in my boat were pricey but these are up there. I would think the Lithionics

However, the 6 battery 8D solution proposed in K9sprinter's threads definitely won't work for us.
Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 11:31 AM   #45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backcountryguy View Post
Have you thought about using two 8D AGM batteries instead of the two 4D batteries? In lieu of the lithium system?

A thread by K9Sprinter was pointed out to me where he had 6 batteries, but the weight and storage on those would be killer. Just wondered if 2 8D's would give 2-3 hours of A/C run time for the rooftop A/C.

On my liveaboard sailboat I had 6 6V large golf cart style batteries, but the weight on those was huge and wouldn't work.
You can get about 3 hours of AC runtime with a 400 AH lithionics battery. That gets you 340 AH usable. To get that much usable power from AGM's, you'd need 700 AH. That's a lot of weight and space.

If we were only going to do 3-seasons, we'd have no problem doing AGM's under the van. But, a big part of our usage will be high-alpine winters for backcountry skiing. For that usage, we need 3-days of power with no solar, and preferably, no idling the van. When you factor in the reduction in output from AGM's in the cold (I estimate about 65% of total AH when zero degrees outside), we simply would not have enough power to last three days with an induction cooktop and heater running. We'd need a generator or spend hours idling the van. Or, we'd have to do LP - and we have zero desire to do that. Since we're going to carry fresh water in the winter (hot showers after a long day in the skin track are awesome), we need to keep the interior warm all day while we're out.

The lithiums solve that problem for us. We get the compact packaging, they don't flinch at big power draws from A/C or induction, and they recharge quickly off the engine so 20 minutes of idling could recharge our battery bank (from a day or two of draw down). No solar needed. They weigh less, take up less space (though more interior space when you consider AGM's would likely be mounted under the van), and they weight much less.

The biggest downside to lithiums is the cost and cold weather. The cold weather just becomes a design consideration, more than anything.
Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2017, 06:07 AM   #46
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Have you started your build @ SMB West yet? Our van is there and due to start in September. I'm planning a trip there Sep 6th when I get back from sea. If you don't mind I'd like to see how your build is going, specifically the Lithium battery set-up and Dometec rooftop A/C items you've mentioned. It sounds like we will have a lot of the same type of use. My wife and I are also long-time tent dwellers in the backcountry and winter ski bums. Just older now..

Thanks also for the great gouge on Agile Offroad equipment, etc. We'll be doing a lot of after conversion additions, but probably at a central location up north where we'll have the fuel tank, skid plates, front winch kit, etc shipped to. I do like the Agile RIP conversion as well...

At any rate I think your delivery date as scheduled is about a month ahead of ours so your critical items will be installed/decided before us.
Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2017, 01:11 PM   #47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
We were supposed to start the build on the 10th, but delays means we start hopefully this week. You're welcome to get in there and dig around!

We'll do a separate trip to Agile, and will do their winch, suspension, and full skid plates. We're undecided on the fuel tank. We may try and do a "summer" water tank under the van as that will be a bigger need than fuel.
Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #48
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
I've talked to Agile as well, we're planning the full RIP, winch, fuel tanks, and skid plates. The initial rough quote was up there but hey, it's basically our 2nd home. The quote was just rough and they'll need a lot more info before we get to this point but it's still 4 months away. We decided on the fuel tank. Our water tank is currently 23 GAL. If need be we can have the van looking like the Clampets from Beverly Hillbilly's and carry a few 5 GAL blue water containers on the Aluminess rack. We decided the extra fuel will come in handy up in Canada and Alaska.


AGILE ROUGH QUOTE
Item/Labor
#Price
Sprinter Wheel Spacer & Stud kit, PR. 6x130mm x 14MM, Made in U.S.A.
2$399.98
4WD Sprinter Front Coil Assist Kit w/coil, Made in the U.S.A.
1$599.99
FOX 985-24-125, Rear Sprinter 4wd 2500 and 2/4wd 3500, PS, 2.0, IFP, 8.1"
2$279.90
U-Bolt, Sprinter 2/4wd, 75MM x 180mm Ea., Made in U.S.A.
4$99.96
4WD 2500 Sprinter Custom Rear spring, Made in the U.S.A.
1$1199.99
GOR 26148SBC, Lug Nut, Black, 14mm x 1.5 Spline
25$87.25
1921SD-KEY Gorrila Lug Key, Small Spline Key
1$9.99
WAR 92815, ZEON 10-S Platinum, Warn Winch
1$1749.99
AOR 292017, Hidden winch plate, Sprinter 4x4
1$989.99
Factor 55 FlatLink, Grey, 00050-06
1$139.99
RIG48203, A-Series LED Light,
1$110.00
Sprinter20, Fuel Tank, Sprinter, Wheel Well Fill
1$1195.00
Skid plate, MERCEDES 4X4 SPRINTER ENGINE SKID PLAT
1$650.00
Skid plate, MERCEDES 4X4 SPRINTER FUEL TANK SKID P
1$700.00
Skid plate, MERCEDES 4X4 SPRINTER TRANSMISSION/TRA
1$450.00
Labor to Install RIP Kit on 2/4WD Sprinter
1$680.00
Labor - AO Sprinter Hidden Winch Install
1$650.00
Labor - General
Install Aux Fuel Tank
1$480.00
Labor - General
Install Skid Plates
1$150.00 Labor$1960.00 Parts$8662.03 Tax$671.31 Total$11293.34
Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2017, 03:16 PM   #49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 539
Wrinkledpants and Backcountryguy, like the two of you, we are going for a fairly high amp Lithium build in order to have AC for 4-6 hours. We will be traveling with a dog who needs to be left in AC for a few hours and the wife also wants AC for most of the night, so we are looking at Lithionics, either a single 600 amp battery or 2-3 300 amp batteries, depending upon where SMB can locate everything. I emailed Brian last night to let him know that like you two, we are looking in this direction. Here's part of his reply this morning:

Quote:
While there is a lot of talk about Lithium ion batteries on the forum the vast majority of our customers are still using standard AGM batteries in their builds. Out of the 80-90 builds I personally oversaw last year, only two of them opted for Lithium Ion batteries. The extra cost and additional interior storage space they take up is usually only outweighed by the need to run an Air conditioner for 3-4 hours off of battery power to be able to leave a dog in the van in an area where shore power or an exterior generator are not an option.
This is a little surprising, but maybe the three of us are the only customers looking at Lithium right now. Our original build date was to be 1-17-18. Since we're moving from Sac, CA to Vancouver, WA in Oct., Brian is letting me come down before the move to mostly finalize the design. I am following both of your builds carefully. Everything you post helps a lot.
TomH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
Sounds about right. Everything in the RV world is geared around the pros and cons of lead acids. The typical SMB build is focused on simplicity and cost. And, most expectations of what can be done in an RV revolves around the short comings of lead acids.

Most peoples' needs vs cost of lithium never add up. They either don't need to run AC forever, or they winterize their van and become 3-season campers. Or, they use LP, or get a generator, or line the roof with solar, or or or..... you get the point.

Lithium is extremely expensive, but for those that can A) can afford it, and B) need it - it becomes a no brainer.

Expectations of what an RV can do are changing rapidly with lithiums. No longer do people need shore power, on on-bard generator, or a massive solar array. You can heat and cool your van with diesel in your tank, and battery capacity in your lithium, and still have weight capacity left over for other things. That's typically not possible with most van builds given that many people run out of weight first.

Prior to this year, Brian had said that the Texas facility did one lithium a few years ago. All owner-supplied parts. SMB started offering lithium sometime within the last year, and only 4 people have done it so far. If you look at the typical usage of a Sportsmobile, those numbers make sense. I'd guess 95% of the SMB drivers don't need AC all night, or see lots of extended winter use.

Our van will likely tip the budget around 140-150K once it's all said and done (build, racks, wheels, tires, and taxes). The only way we could justify this type of cost was if we could get the same comforts of home, but in a van and 4-season usage. Lithiums is really what makes this possible for us.

Brian has a ton of experience, but it's his job to play devil's advocate. It's the only way he can help you figure out what you really want, vs what you think you need. In some cases, your wants will win out, and in other cases, he'll bring up good points that you'll probably run with.
__________________

Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.