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Old 07-15-2018, 06:22 PM   #121
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Update on Espar D5 heater/hot water system: There was apparently a period of time when poor quality fittings were used to connect the reservoir tank. I found this out because my heater stopped working and after researching on the Espar site (signing up for support account, etc.), it turns out the reservoir tank was just empty so the heater overheated right away upon startup. Took taking it back to SMB for them to figure it out. Problem was easily solved (by them) once diagnosed. The tell-tale symptom was green coolant leaking out around the exhaust. Looks like diesel, so a bit confusing at first. The reason it was leaking down to the exhaust was coincidental do to the routing of the lines to the reservoir which were leaking slow enough to drip down the hoses themselves rather than pool inside the van.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:43 PM   #122
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Update on Espar D5 heater/hot water system: There was apparently a period of time when poor quality fittings were used to connect the reservoir tank.
Snowy,

Good to see you back and posting! It looks like you have been busy using the van.

Any tips on what to look for regarding the poor quality fittings? Hose clamps, tubing fitting, or ??? Also, where is your tank located? On my 50 build it is in front of the driver’s side rear wheel well, under the closet shelf. On my routine list of to-do’s now is to remove the items on the shelf, pull the shelf out, and then check the level in the tank below. I try to do it monthly...
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:16 PM   #123
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Hose clamps was the problem, as I understand it. My tank is under the storage under the sink. The floor of the storage area comes up to access this (after taking out all my canned goods which I store there), though the piece itself is a bit tricky to twist out of the way. My hat is off to you on the monthly to-do's. I had never thought to do this ever, let alone monthly, but there ya go. It is a contained system and in theory it should never lose any fluid. Just popping in for some updates as I come up on my 2nd factory maintenance. Was going to post some lessons learned on the CB too once I get some pics.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:41 PM   #124
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My tank is under Laura’s side of the closet, so I have to be careful to put everything back “just so”, but I manage! I run the D5 full blast for 15 minutes every month, before I do so I check the level in the easy-to-forget-about-it tank. Like you say, in theory it needs no maintenance, but in my reality it needs regular checking.

How are your tires holding up? You have put some miles on them, please add your observations to your updates.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:42 AM   #125
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Nearing 40K miles and a few more use cases so thought I'd drop some quick updates. Not all are related to the van itself, but here goes:
1. Road trip with family of 5 and two college sized boys went great for the road trip (we did not camp in the van on this trip).
...
Just for clarification, it was family of 5 PLUS two more college boys for a total of 6 adults and one child on the trip. Also, I removed the bed insert from above for the few extra inches of head room on this trip since I knew we wouldn't be using it.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:20 AM   #126
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CB:

Went with Cobra 18 wx st ii because it is small enough to fit in overhead DIN where I wanted it, has weather channels, and has front-facing speaker.
See: https://www.cobra.com/collections/cb...ducts/18wxstii

Bought it from Clays Radio with the performance tune-up.
See: CB Radio Modifications

Also from Clays, I went with a Quad wrap fiberglass whip antenna. He has some good videos on his site, and this met my needs for trails.
See: High Performance CB Antenna

Actually, I say it med my needs for trails. Even sticking with something not going above roof line, I still snapped it off at the base. I liked the antenna though and got what seemed like good performance from it, so I replaced it with the exact same one and added a heavy duty spring at the base. Tuned differently this way (max low setting for the adjusting pin at top), but works great.

Not the forward slant of the antenna when parked. This allows for more vertical when under way as well, keeping it away from the hood at 80mph with the spring base.

Some pics attached.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:28 AM   #127
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Device power at dash:

Tired of phone charging cables and such routing all over the place when under way. Ran 12v power to triple cigarette lighter plugs on both sides under overhang in dash area. Use the USB 3.0 (dual port) to support fast charging of two phones on just one of these (on each side) leaving plenty of room for others stuff.

Also, I like my Garmin GPS, but the traffic support radio antenna required the original cable going to cig lighter attachment, so that was one of the three on the driver side right off the bat.

Pics attached.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:34 AM   #128
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Wedge comes loose
There is a little wedge thing to cover a gap above my head below the steel beam associated with the pop top. see pic for details. I may have already posted something on this, but this wedge is just set in place and works loose under bumpy conditions (e.g., washboard roads!). My temporary solution was just to use some duct tape, which works, but I am considering what better to do about this. There is empty space behind it, so I am thinking of making it an accessible compartment or something.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:05 PM   #129
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Lights

Front light mounted on Aluminess light bar, wired to factory Aux battery:

Rigid Industries 12731 E2-Series 28" Driving/Hyperspot Combo LED Light Bar mounted on Aluminess light bar, wired to factory battery. Pics speak a thousand words. The 28" is a really tight fit. Rubs against grill guard in back. Would recommend not quite so large, but this works for me.

Snowy
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:06 PM   #130
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Should have mentioned the Rigid lights in rear Aluminess bumper too. (The second switch is for those.)
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