Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2017, 12:54 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
Glad you enjoyed the posts, hopefully you found some of the information helpful.

We are in the Bay Area (Walnut Creek), consider this an invitation to drop by on your way (and show off your new rig) after you leave Fresno and head north.
Thanks much, my wife was just there this past week visiting my cousin in Noe Valley. She lived in the Bay Area for years and that is where we met. We both swam with the Walnut Creek Masters Swim Club once in a while years ago.

I'm going to post more detail about our upcoming build in next few days to illicit more helpful comments and suggestions
__________________

Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2017, 02:28 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backcountryguy View Post
Thanks much, my wife was just there this past week visiting my cousin in Noe Valley. She lived in the Bay Area for years and that is where we met. We both swam with the Walnut Creek Masters Swim Club once in a while years ago.

I'm going to post more detail about our upcoming build in next few days to illicit more helpful comments and suggestions
Need info on your van specs. Color, length, high vs penthouse roof, windows?

If you're getting a white van, no windows, good insulation - you won't need A/C as the maxxair fan will do a good job keeping the interior at ambient temps.

If you're going with a dark colored van, windows, you may consider it.

There is an up fitter module that comes with the high idle option. It has pinouts for starting the van, and turning on high idle. However, you need a controller to do it. Advanced RV, Road Trek, and maybe others, have this capability, but they don't sell it. I haven't seen a plug and play option to do this, either. But, I feel that it's only a matter of time before someone does it.

If you get A/C, roof or in coach, you'll need the 2nd alternator. The engine alternator doesn't have the excess power to run an A/C without drawing down the battery at the same time. If you have two alternators, you can run either A/C option with excess charge.

I would not do the in-coach A/C option. it's pretty loud and not overly efficient. You won't have an issue with the Dometic Penguin rooftop A/C option. It's just under 10 inches tall, and you can make sure your rack builder builds the side rails tall enough that the side rails + cross bar mounts clear the A/C unit. There is still plenty of space up there for skis, even if you're not using a box or ski mounts, but just laying them on the rack.

The Maxxair fan option has a built in thermostat to open the cover and turn the fan on when the interior temp reaches whatever you've set it at. Comes spec'd at 78 degrees. I think if you do two of those (one set to push, other set to vent), you keep the windows covered with SMB's shades, and you're well insulated (which I'm guessing you will be if you're doing winter use), I don't think you'll have an issue keeping the dogs comfy. They may not be cool, per se, but they'd be comfortable enough.

No matter what, you won't be able to run the A/C with the engine off unless you're on shore power. If you had a lithium battery system, you could run the A/C for a varying amount of time (depends on your battery size).

A friend has a Promaster camper. It's white, dual Maxxair vents, insulated, no windows. It has no problem keeping the interior at ambient temps, even in the Colorado sun. It can feel hot outside in the sun, and we'll get into the van for lunch during a ride, and it feels genuinely cool. We have really dry air out here, though.
__________________

Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 05:26 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Wrinklepants,

Thanks for the great information. The van isn't completely dark, but is silver-grey so has dark pigment in the paint. 144, high top, 4X4
We do have a lot of windows, all screened, as that is the way we'll live during the summer. I'd prefer that to closing the van off completely. We do have the extra insulation for winter use but no getting around the extra windows. I could see using the arctic insulation fit though which will help.

At this point I think we're either going to go with the rooftop A/C and one max vent or two maxxair vents, not sure which yet. I'd love to just try two MAXXair vents and see how it works then retrofit a rooftop A/C if needed but don't think that is an option with Aluminess rack, etc.

We do have the high idle option and 2nd alternator, this won't come with the mod you list above?

Van was delivered early to SMB West yesterday! The work won't start until September though.
Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 07:00 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
You could hold off on the roof rack and whatever else is up there. I believe the roof cutout is the same size for the A/C unit, so trying it with two fans might be an option. Once you've determined you're dogs are OK, or not, you can make the necessary changes and then have the rack built and installed.

To do A/C, you'd need that second alternator, a bigger inverter, and then of course the A/C install. In total, that's about $5k. And, that's half-way to a lithium battery setup, short of the batteries. If you go with a lithium battery, you can run the A/C with the engine off for about 3 hours. The other big benefit for you is that you could recharge the batteries in about 2 hours off the 2nd alternator, and not even require a solar panel. No idea if this would work or tie in with your other systems, but IMO it's worth exploring.

My guess is you'd be OK without A/C. Your location is one of the few in the country that could probably get away without having A/C. We frequently see temps in the 90's here in the summer, and I'd say most of the van builds I see don't have A/C.

But, if you are going to make the leap, I think you'd benefit immensely from doing the full enchilada and going with a lithium battery.
Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 07:42 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 513
Wrinkledpants just gave some great advice. We went with a low top with the penthouse and no second AC (with absolutely no regrets for where we live and how we use the van), but were I in a high top the advice above would be reflected on my build sheet, plus an Aluminess box on the back to carry the Honda 2000i in so I could use the AC all night long when I felt the need.
__________________
2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2017, 07:46 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 539
I would recommend you contact member K9sprinter. I believe he had/has a 170" WB Sprinter, carried multiple dogs, and had AC powered by something like six D4 batteries. I think he built this before lithium became widely available and IIRC, the batteries were lead/acid. If he is no longer active or unreachable, you may want to read through his posts.
TomH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 05:02 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Just took a look at K9sprinters posts/threads. His idea was to load up on batteries. I don't know that I need to go that extreme, he was looking for 6-8 hours of A/C run time. Trying to shove 6 8D batteries into the vehicle would be excessive on weight/storage for us.

I'm going to go one of two ways, both with a rooftop A/C:
1. The lithium set-up that wrinklepants uses. My only concern there is winter use when we are heading to ski areas or up snow covered logging roads for backcountry skiing. I know the batteries are stored inside, but still have concerns after reading the profile on sub freezing temps. It is pricy but that isn't my primary concern. Reliability and functionality are key.
2. Upsize to two 8D AGM batteries and explore more efficient rooftop A/C units, or at least controllers for the unit. The end game is 2-3 hours of run time w/o having the van fired up and on high idle.

Brian just sent me the window sticker for our van. Looking forward to getting back down there first part of September and getting the project off the ground!
Backcountryguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 11:42 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backcountryguy View Post
Just took a look at K9sprinters posts/threads. His idea was to load up on batteries. I don't know that I need to go that extreme, he was looking for 6-8 hours of A/C run time. Trying to shove 6 8D batteries into the vehicle would be excessive on weight/storage for us.

I'm going to go one of two ways, both with a rooftop A/C:
1. The lithium set-up that wrinklepants uses. My only concern there is winter use when we are heading to ski areas or up snow covered logging roads for backcountry skiing. I know the batteries are stored inside, but still have concerns after reading the profile on sub freezing temps. It is pricy but that isn't my primary concern. Reliability and functionality are key.
2. Upsize to two 8D AGM batteries and explore more efficient rooftop A/C units, or at least controllers for the unit. The end game is 2-3 hours of run time w/o having the van fired up and on high idle.

Brian just sent me the window sticker for our van. Looking forward to getting back down there first part of September and getting the project off the ground!
You can discharge a lithium battery below freezing, you just can't recharge it. The lithionics batteries (and victron) have built in battery temp cutoffs that don't allow the battery to be charged below 32 degrees. If you're storing the battery inside, then as long as the interior stays warm, the battery will be warm.

The bigger problem is storage or when the van is parked and not being used. Since denver does see winter temps below freezing, we decided to find an RV parking spot that has a plugin. With a plugin, we'll have two sources of electric heat.

1. The A/C SMB uses has a heat strip. It's only 1500 watts, and likely not that efficient, but if we're plugged in and have a thermostat, it should supply enough heat to keep the interior above freezing.

2. The Rixen heat and hot water setup we're going with has a 1500 watt electric option, as well. This heats the glycol loop running around the van, and we could potentially route some portion of this behind the water and battery box to help keep them warm.

Anytime our van is at the RV park (we live downtown in a condo - no van parking here), it'll be plugged in with the thermostat controlling the electric heat. It's indoors, but not heated.

If you don't have the ability to keep the van plugged in when parked, and you see temps well below freezing all winter - that would be serious consideration for you. I'm not sure if storing below freezing would impact the life of the battery. Or, you simply design the battery case with quick disconnects and bring the battery into the house with you.

You're goal of 3 hours runtime on AC is absolutely do-able. It just comes down to sorting out all the other little details.

The Fit RV did a lithionics battery with the same goal of A/C runtime for their dogs. They have a really long writeup about it with a ton of information.

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/our...-and-inverter/
Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 11:44 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH View Post
I would recommend you contact member K9sprinter. I believe he had/has a 170" WB Sprinter, carried multiple dogs, and had AC powered by something like six D4 batteries. I think he built this before lithium became widely available and IIRC, the batteries were lead/acid. If he is no longer active or unreachable, you may want to read through his posts.
Whoa. That's over 700 lbs of batteries.
Wrinkledpants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 02:03 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Backcountryguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 155
Wrinklepants,

We are going to keep the van at our house but won't fit in the garage, it'll be to the side of the garage but out in open. I use goldenrod dehumidifiers on my sailboat while at the dock for the hanging locker, v-berth, and engine compartment. Permanently wired back to the Blue Seas 110 shore panel. I'm thinking one of those would be fine to keep the lithium battery temp above freezing while the van is stored, in the compartment the battery is in. 110V, but probably could not get SMB to install as even though they are UL listed are not RVIA approved. For really cold nights I use a small oil filled radiator heater with thermostat set at absolute low setting. I'm reluctant to leave a heater with fan and heated coil unattended on the boat. Both the goldenrod and heater have minimal amp draw and no moving parts.

I'm thinking the same set-up will work in the van for storage. Keep the temp at 40 and mildew away.

Thanks for all the great gouge on lithium and battery set-up/AC use in general. I've learned much from your posts and it's steered me in the direction I want to go.
__________________

Backcountryguy 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

» Sportsmobile Registry

The SMB

Economan

VivaLaVida

Pschitt
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:37 PM.


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