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Old 10-11-2017, 11:14 AM   #1
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How Low Can I go with the Airtronic B4?

Finally got that thing installed and the mountains up north are getting cold at night. I have test fired it a few times and surely it throws a good amount of heat. With my SMB top up and the kids sleeping up there, I am wondering what kind of outside low temps I can expect to stay reasonably warm in. I have insulation for my windows and the van is reasonably insulated on the body as well. I know the B4 will crank pretty good. My kids do sleep warm and I had them down into the low 40's upper 30's a little while back with no heater. They did not complain about being cold at all.

Just looking for some experience on this as I don't want to be doing evasive maneuvers in the middle of the night. Worst case we cram in the lower bed and put the top down. Lows look to be in the 20's this weekend up high in the sierra. Wouldn't mind closing down the campgrounds in Rock Creek and getting some fishing in. Snow will be there soon.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:45 AM   #2
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Flux, no info here on the Airtronic per se, but several good comments about taking the poptop into freezing temps:


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...y-19971-2.html
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Otter. Just trying to get this square in my head so I know what to expect
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:02 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Flux;213850
Just looking for some experience on this as I don't want to be doing evasive maneuvers in the middle of the night. Worst case we cram in the lower bed and put the top down. Lows look to be in the 20's this weekend up high in the sierra. Wouldn't mind closing down the campgrounds in Rock Creek and getting some fishing in. Snow will be there soon.[/QUOTE]


We have used our D4, which has the same BTU's, to below zero F with the top up, and even then it was on low to medium fan with thermostat set at 63. The side door footwell is draft prone and a rolled up towel across the bottom the back doors is a good idea to seal up that area.

You should be fine.

Couple of things to look at : Placement of the thermostat, heater duct outlet(s), and cabin air intake.

If the thermostat is placed near another heat source (fridge compressor vent, lighting, behind a blanket, etc.) , or above the heater outlet duct, then the thermostat will will cause heater to drop down before the rest of the cabin is comfortable.

Heater duct placement - this seems to be a balance between duct diameter for air speed and movement and duct placement. Ours is a single duct (right now) which comes out at floor level in the middle of the van on the driver side. This seems to provide a reasonable distribution of heat, but the front seat foot wells and the back door area is definitely cooler. For heat distribution into the penthouse bed area, we slide the bed platform forward to allow warm air that collects under the bed platform to rise up the back wall. A small fan strategically placed in the cabin can also help to more evenly distribute the warm around the cabin.

Cabin Air intake duct - make sure this intake is very clear of obstructions. There is a sensor in the heat exchange chamber which will shut the heater down if the air around the chamber becomes too hot.

Always a good idea to run the heater on high for a few minutes before shut down.

Fishing at Lake Sabrina was excellent from the dam and shore line a week and a half ago. have fun!!
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:15 PM   #5
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Thanks Ray. Sorry I missed your call, work thing. Easy for me to hit the forum but talking is tough some days.

Here's a good pic of the setup. I have a Y-Pipe inside the cabinet so that it vents in the front middle of the rear vent cabinets and then the pipe under the seat to the middle of the van. All the vents and hoses are 90mm. You can see the controller and temp sensor half way up on the cabinet by the seat. My controller only allows thermostat control. I figured this would be a reasonable spot for the thermostat and temp sensor as it won't get direct hit from either vent location. The unit pulls air from the bottom of the cabinets and in particular the back corner. I figured this was reasonable as it will draw the cold air up from the floor under the bed.

Thanks for the tips. Might have to do a solo run in the cold. Fall fishing in the high lakes is always excellent, those fish know what's coming and they are voracious.

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Old 10-22-2017, 09:45 PM   #6
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24 degrees....and no problem. I did suffer the condition 1der described as my thermometer is on the cabinet where the heater and some ducting is as well as near an outlet. So I had to keep pumping up the temp setting to keep the furnace moving. guess I need a better location. really it was only an issue at like 5 in the morning when it feels coldest and really, I just wanted to make sure the kids were toasty up top. I might make an extension tube to push a vent up through the little cutout in the back, blow warm air straight up into the pop top

I have been camping and backpacking and adventuring my whole life and this is the best backpack and tent I have ever owned. And it goes really fast on the highway too.

Pulled in late to the snow from the day before. Popped the top and hit the rack. Next morning we surveyed the scene. Warmed up nice. Absolutely beautiful week in the Sierra coming up. There were a few folks with Wal Mart tents and sleeping bags packing it up and heading out. Loving the Van, hard work on the build paying off big in the shoulder season.



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Old 10-23-2017, 01:20 AM   #7
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Oh yeah!

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Old 10-23-2017, 08:20 AM   #8
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Good stuff!


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Old 10-23-2017, 11:47 AM   #9
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Do you mean Airtronic D4? That's what I have. That thing puts out so much heat I need to leave the windows open. I'd be good down to -10. Maybe lower.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:57 AM   #10
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B4, gas version. But I think they have similar output.

Either way it's always good to know and thanks. My line of questioning here comes from inexperience and not wanting to put the kids through a cold, uncomfortable night. I just had no idea how things would go with the pop top up. It went great!

Big bonus here is now we can extend our camping season in the mountains!! The crowds diminish and you get those beautiful fall days in the sierra, but big temp swings at night.
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