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Old 11-25-2017, 09:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DCHitt View Post
No I don't think diesel is going to take over. Seems to be going the other way. I like gas because I idle a lot.

If I am plugged in I use an electric space heater to keep warm and my water heater can also operate on electric.

If I am not plugged in I idle my gas engine. That uses about 1/2 gal per hour. It heats the van (dash, floor and rear) and the water. It also keeps the batteries topped off.

In my old Class A I had propane heat. I found that the heater fan would run most of the night and run the batteries down. That would auto start the generator and I would be running the generator while heating with propane.

With my class B I have no additional generator and no propane. It is a lot quieter, simpler, cheaper, and more reliable than my old RV was.
Wow --- based on your experience, I can see why you've decided not to have propane....but IMHO, really this seems more like a perfect case example to illustrate the need for an electrically efficient propane or diesel furnace, not to illustrate the idea that propane is going away anytime soon.

Analyzing heating strategies:
Idling the under-the-hood gasoline engine to heat the van, apart from being noisy and generating exhaust fumes....burns 1/2 a gallon per hour by your reckoning to heat your van as it idles. And since our vans (and any vehicle...or house...) all slowly "leak" interior heat out through their walls/floors/windows/penthouse canvas....you've gotta run a furnace intermittently all night to maintain a comfortable, warm inside temperature.

So on a hypothetical cold February night, using your heating method, if you want to get 6-8 hours of sleep, and you want to be warm ALL night.....then you'd need to be running your gasoline engine for the full 6-8 hours...burning 3-4 gallons of fuel just as you snoozed. Assuming you want heat both before and after you sleep, it seems like you're looking at a usage of potentially (easily) six gallons of gas per day just to heat the van/make hot water.

Sure, this is "simpler" than having a propane or diesel furnace, but wow....for the increasing number of people interested in heading out somewhere remote/beautiful that's not in a campground to "dry camp" or a few days, the gasoline engine fuel consumption numbers alone would be a complete deal-breaker. Burning an easy minimum of six gallons of gas per day, without going anywhere? And running a noisy/exhaust-billowing engine out in the middle of nature all night long? That's a tough sell......especially for anyone planning to cold-weather-camp in one location for a week or more.....

I certainly respect the fact that you're a retired engineer, and certainly have a very specific and rational/logical set of reasons for drawing your own personal conclusions around heating methods. (And around keeping your RV's systems as simple as possible.)


But....
.....I think your data-sampling has perhaps come from too narrow a window (focusing primarily on simplicity/reliability as a metric)....and has missed out nearly entirely on giving consideration to the fairly-widely-desired abilities (for a Class B RV) such as boiling some water on a stove....or cooking an egg. (And to not use up all of your gasoline on heating the RV.....)

If anything is going away sometime soon.....I think its more likely generators.
Solar keeps getting cheaper and simpler....easily keeping batteries topped off to allow an efficient/quiet/clean propane or diesel furnace to operate each night without killing the battery bank.

btw: all of this....JMHO.
Great thread, to each his own, etc....
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:49 PM   #12
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I don't understand why you have to move the spare tire. I have basically a RB110S design with a black tank under the marine toilet, the grey tank and the standard propane tank and I still have the tire under the van. Mine was done at Sportsmobile, Indiana.

I then went with a little different design. I hate filling propane tanks very often but I like propane cooktops and propane water heaters. They work very well, are fairly cheap and don't use much propane for intermittent use so the tank should last a long time. I then have an Espar D2 for diesel heat so I can use it for prolonged times without running down my propane tank. Sportsmobile's web site says you only get 57 hours of propane heat on a propane tank fill. That isn't very much. My system requires 2 fuels but gave me the best of both worlds and it was cheaper than the D4 system.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:16 PM   #13
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I don't understand why you have to move the spare tire. I have basically a RB110S design with a black tank under the marine toilet, the grey tank and the standard propane tank and I still have the tire under the van. Mine was done at Sportsmobile, Indiana.
Interesting. So where is your propane tank located exactly? Better yet, perhaps you have a schematic of your design showing the location?
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:31 PM   #14
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There is a diagram of the tank locations on this web site (scroll down a little) which is exactly like ours except ours is the 144" model. There are 2 grey tanks on each side which communicate with each other. Then the standard propane tank (7.9 gal) is on the driver's side. We have our spare tire in the normal location instead of the generator on this diagram.

David Elmore
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Old 11-25-2017, 04:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
There is a diagram of the tank locations on this web site (scroll down a little) which is exactly like ours except ours is the 144" model. There are 2 grey tanks on each side which communicate with each other. Then the standard propane tank (7.9 gal) is on the driver's side. We have our spare tire in the normal location instead of the generator on this diagram.

David Elmore
I'm familiar with this floor plan. In your 144" version, what did you leave out? Do you have the low cabinet behind the driver's seat like Elmore's? I'm having trouble picturing your version.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:06 PM   #16
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My floorpan is very similar to a Pleasureway Ascent. I have a couch and 2 ottomans in back. I then have a combo bath on the driver's side (with marine toilet, black tank and shower) and a full length cabinet behind the driver's seat. I have my small Suburban water heater in that cabinet base. On the passenger side I have a galley with a refrigerator in the galley. I have a rear Aluminess hitch rack with 2 deluxe boxes and the spare tire under the van. The Espar D2 is under one of the ottomans. The best part of my floorpan is that is a fairly open design with good visibility on the passenger side like the Pleasureway Ascent. In fact, I would have bought an Ascent but I wanted a second alternator, a spare tire, a diesel heater and I didn't want a propane generator and heater.

What are you putting under your van that doesn't allow a grey tank, a propane tank and a spare tire? There is plenty of room for those 3 things.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:35 PM   #17
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Ours is pretty much the standard RB110S design, so there are two gray water tanks, one on the driver's side for the shower, and one on the passenger side for the galley sink. The black water tank is above the floor so nothing else should be below the floor. We do have the Sprinter auxiliary heater so perhaps that takes up some room that might otherwise be used for something else. I haven't crawled around underneath to see how much room there is where.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:03 PM   #18
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3. Is there a decent alternative to the Sportsmobile spare tire carrier for the back of the van that doesn't cost $1500? I've seen some really cheap ones on line but am afraid they are cheap in build as well as price.

I should note that it's not really a showstopper not have a built in stove if we go with the diesel system.

Sorry for the long winded post--it reflects how much space in my head this issue has been occupying as of late![/QUOTE]

The Aluminess rear tire rack is $895. What is SMB want for the install?

https://www.aluminess.com/mercedes/s...13/tire-racks/

Scott
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:48 PM   #19
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3

The Aluminess rear tire rack is $895. What is SMB want for the install?

https://www.aluminess.com/mercedes/s...13/tire-racks/

Scott
Sportsmobile's price for the rack (presumably an aluminess) and install is just short of $1600.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:07 AM   #20
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Interesting viewpoint! But I've gotta understand you a bit better.

For class B's that have diesel engines, I can see how this is a pretty logical conclusion to draw. But there's tons of Class B's on the road with gasoline engines. (And tons more that continue to be manufactured.)

And a gasoline-powered camper van still needs a stove/furnace.

(I don't happen to think that gasoline engines themselves are about to be replaced completely by diesel engines anytime soon for Class B's. (And I doubt you do either.)) Transits, ProMasters all still offering valid gas options (EcoBoost!) which aren't painting a picture of the diesel engine's triumph anytime soon over gasoline.

So I'm guessing that you are probably thinking....
.....that people will stop installing propane tanks in gasoline-powered Class B's, and in their place install auxiliary diesel fuel tanks instead (strictly for powering their stoves and furnaces)?...
A much more common approach among gasoline Promaster and Transit owners is to install the petrol fired Espar B2/B4, or Webasto ST-2000 equivalent, for single fuel heating. Then use a small butane cooktop for interior cooking when needed. i believe Sportsmobile will install the gasoline fired Espar units.

Some custom installers can also provide an Origo alcohol stove or a standard SMEG propane cooktop with an adapter for standard 1lb disposable propane canisters. I don't think SMB will install either of those cooking options because they're not RVIA standard. But they're widely used in the boating and other applications, and avoid the need for permanent propane tank installation.
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