daveb - Laurel Lakes
Login FAQ
Register  

Sportsmobileforum.com

An online forum community for the owners, admirers and fans of Sportsmobile vans and Sprinters, new and old. Share photos, advice, discuss modifications, camping or buy & sell. Anyone who owns, has a passion for, or just curiosity about SMBs, come in!
The time now is Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:15 am
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:31 pm
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:53 pm   Post subject: Heating/AC and generator questions

I am getting close to ordering a Sportsmobile Sprinter RB high roof. This van will serve as a daily driver as well as camper - usually for 3-5 night stays. I have never had a camper of any kind so I have done a lot of reading and pretty much know what I want but I have a few questions that I have not seen addressed and I also would like some feedback from those of you with real world experience.
Questions:
1. Heat while driving - Is the dash heat sufficient to heat the van while driving? I live in the SE and winter overnight temps will drop into 20’s and even teens. When I get up to drive van to work in AM will I have enough heat from dash vents to keep van comfortable? I imagine it may be all right for driver and passenger sitting up by dash – but is back of van heated adequately if I have passengers back there? If not – what do you do to supplement dash heat? Can the Espar be run while driving?
2. Insulation/noise suppression- I have seen a lot of elaborate insulation and noise suppression self installs (using pads applied to large panels, etc) on the internet. There seems to be lot of options and differing opinions on best insulation – I get that. From what I can tell Sportsmobile insulation job is not that robust – at least compared to some self installers. Sportsmobile appears to use batt insulation. No reflectix or insulation in the passenger doors or floor. Is the Sportsmobile insulation and sound suppression adequate ?? Should I ask for reflectix or similar product at least on roof to cut down on heat from sun?
3. Overnight heat-I have pretty much decided on delete propane system. I am on the fence about the espar heater. It is expensive and appears to require maintenance. If I do not need it while driving (see Q#1) I think I can get by using a 110V ceramic heater that hopefully can be run with a Honda 2000 generator or when plugged in to AC at campground. I do not anticipate any or very little mid winter camping that will require overnight heat anyway.. The other option will be a Coleman or Mr. Heater type ceramic heater that run off those small 1lb tanks for those crisp fall or spring nights. Can anybody that has experience confirm my plan or have other suggestions on heat?
4. AC- I plan to go with the Danhard AC. My understanding is this AC will run off the batteries/inverter while driving and batteries will pretty much maintain charge from the alternator. The van will get very hot sitting in the sun in summer. I am hoping the Danhard can be turned on and run initially to help cool down the van and then maybe turned off and van AC will be able to maintain. Also I understand that The Danhard can be run on the Honda 2000 while parked. Are my assumptions correct?
5. Generator- I plan to go with the Honda 2000 and have Sportsmobile build the internal storage cabinet for it under the dinette bench. I was thinking about having someone weld a “pull out shelf” under the rear bumper that could be pushed under van while driving but pulled out and used for a shelf to put the Honda generator on for use while camping. Those of you that use the Honda – where do you put it while running it? Is the shelf idea feasible?
I apologize for all the questions – this is my first camper and major investment – and I could really use some confirmation on my choices or suggestions from those of you with experience.
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Admin IV
Support Platinum
Offline

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 7005
Location: Turlock Ca
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:18 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

steveb wrote:
I am getting close to ordering a Sportsmobile Sprinter RB high roof. This van will serve as a daily driver as well as camper - usually for 3-5 night stays. I have never had a camper of any kind so I have done a lot of reading and pretty much know what I want but I have a few questions that I have not seen addressed and I also would like some feedback from those of you with real world experience.
Questions:
1. Heat while driving - Is the dash heat sufficient to heat the van while driving? I live in the SE and winter overnight temps will drop into 20’s and even teens. When I get up to drive van to work in AM will I have enough heat from dash vents to keep van comfortable? I imagine it may be all right for driver and passenger sitting up by dash – but is back of van heated adequately if I have passengers back there? If not – what do you do to supplement dash heat? Can the Espar be run while driving?
2. Insulation/noise suppression- I have seen a lot of elaborate insulation and noise suppression self installs (using pads applied to large panels, etc) on the internet. There seems to be lot of options and differing opinions on best insulation – I get that. From what I can tell Sportsmobile insulation job is not that robust – at least compared to some self installers. Sportsmobile appears to use batt insulation. No reflectix or insulation in the passenger doors or floor. Is the Sportsmobile insulation and sound suppression adequate ?? Should I ask for reflectix or similar product at least on roof to cut down on heat from sun?
3. Overnight heat-I have pretty much decided on delete propane system. I am on the fence about the espar heater. It is expensive and appears to require maintenance. If I do not need it while driving (see Q#1) I think I can get by using a 110V ceramic heater that hopefully can be run with a Honda 2000 generator or when plugged in to AC at campground. I do not anticipate any or very little mid winter camping that will require overnight heat anyway.. The other option will be a Coleman or Mr. Heater type ceramic heater that run off those small 1lb tanks for those crisp fall or spring nights. Can anybody that has experience confirm my plan or have other suggestions on heat?
4. AC- I plan to go with the Danhard AC. My understanding is this AC will run off the batteries/inverter while driving and batteries will pretty much maintain charge from the alternator. The van will get very hot sitting in the sun in summer. I am hoping the Danhard can be turned on and run initially to help cool down the van and then maybe turned off and van AC will be able to maintain. Also I understand that The Danhard can be run on the Honda 2000 while parked. Are my assumptions correct?
5. Generator- I plan to go with the Honda 2000 and have Sportsmobile build the internal storage cabinet for it under the dinette bench. I was thinking about having someone weld a “pull out shelf” under the rear bumper that could be pushed under van while driving but pulled out and used for a shelf to put the Honda generator on for use while camping. Those of you that use the Honda – where do you put it while running it? Is the shelf idea feasible?
I apologize for all the questions – this is my first camper and major investment – and I could really use some confirmation on my choices or suggestions from those of you with experience.


No an Espar can't be ran while on the move... At least mine can't.

I've seen SMB use various types of insulation. I'd talk with them about it and would suggest you use extra insulation.

The only thing I don't like about my Espar heater is the access to it for maintenance. I've heard more issues with the propane systems than the Espar. I surely do not want to sway you one way or the other because the Espar products are finicky at times but overall I haven't had that many problems with them. I don't own the D-5 but have the Hydronic and Airtronic. With a good house battery system a 12vDC electric blanket is a good backup. If you plan to use a high amp ceramic type heater I'd want a dedicated AC circuit with a heavy amp outlet.

I think your pushing the limits of the Danhard using a 2000W generator. I understand it has been done while driving and using an inverter but some have had problems. If I recall correctly a 3KW generator is good enough. I'm not very positive on this so hopefully someone here will post that have a similar setup to correct me if I'm wrong. I'd also research how cool the Danhard will get during hot weather while sitting. I have the Starcool which is made by Danhard and my expectations fell short by a long shot. I'm lucky to get a drop of 15 degrees of the outside temps. I have to start it in the morning to maintain a reasonable inside temperature when outside temps are over 100 while on shore power. It also drains my house system evenon shore power. I don't know about the newer Danhards. I would guess the Danhard would be help provide cooling while driving.

Good Luck.
___________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer
Contributor AutoRamblings..............AutoRamblings web site
Sportsmobile, Not Your Standard RV About Sportsmobile's (an online article)
Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
Back to top
Profile
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:52 pm
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:59 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

We are in the planning stages. Had a visit to SMB West last week, and spent a couple hours with Alan. According to him, the 2KW Honda will run the newer Danhard a/c fine. I was planning on keeping it in the large Aluminess box, and just setting it on the ground or on a picnic table when in use.

I'm not sure why you couldn't use the Espar heater while driving -- they are made for boat use, after all, so I can't imagine the motion is an issue. We knew several folks with Espars back when we were living aboard, and I can't recall that kind of problem ever being mentioned.
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Admin IV
Support Platinum
Offline

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 7005
Location: Turlock Ca
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:38 am   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

You are probably correct, it was one member had issues using a specific 2000 w inverter to run it. Why they were using an inverter to run it, I don't know. It would need a large battery bank to do so.

As far as the Espar, my hydronic will not run while driving. It might be setup that way. The D-5 might be a different story but I'd definately check with someone who has one. I'm not sure about the Airtronic. Seems I tried it and it flamed out (F-52 code)...guess I need to try it again. The D-5 seems to be what many are using these days.

[Edit] I do know my Hydronic will restart itself after the vehicle stops and the coolant temp drops. I was told the D-5 works like a heater core so yeah, it should work while on the move. I don't know much about that version.
___________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer
Contributor AutoRamblings..............AutoRamblings web site
Sportsmobile, Not Your Standard RV About Sportsmobile's (an online article)
Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Offline

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:33 pm
Posts: 140
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:00 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

steveb wrote:
I am getting close to ordering a Sportsmobile Sprinter RB high roof. This van will serve as a daily driver as well as camper - usually for 3-5 night stays. I have never had a camper of any kind so I have done a lot of reading and pretty much know what I want but I have a few questions that I have not seen addressed and I also would like some feedback from those of you with real world experience.


Congrats on your soon to be ordered van. I believe there are a couple of recent RB High roofs that have just been built and even more in the forums.
steveb wrote:
Questions:
1. Heat while driving - Is the dash heat sufficient to heat the van while driving? I live in the SE and winter overnight temps will drop into 20’s and even teens. When I get up to drive van to work in AM will I have enough heat from dash vents to keep van comfortable? I imagine it may be all right for driver and passenger sitting up by dash – but is back of van heated adequately if I have passengers back there? If not – what do you do to supplement dash heat? Can the Espar be run while driving?


I live in the SE as well. (North Georgia Mtns). While I have yet to get into a situation where it was in the 20s (just bought the van in September) the heat certainly can warm the front of the van up VERY quickly. I’d imagine it would heat the entire van comfortably.

steveb wrote:
2. Insulation/noise suppression- I have seen a lot of elaborate insulation and noise suppression self installs (using pads applied to large panels, etc) on the internet. There seems to be lot of options and differing opinions on best insulation – I get that. From what I can tell Sportsmobile insulation job is not that robust – at least compared to some self installers. Sportsmobile appears to use batt insulation. No reflectix or insulation in the passenger doors or floor. Is the Sportsmobile insulation and sound suppression adequate ?? Should I ask for reflectix or similar product at least on roof to cut down on heat from sun?


It seems like we have seen mixed results depending on where the van was built. My van was built in Huntington, IN (cold weather area) and the insulation seems to be pretty good for me. For example, I recently went to a 1200 person caving even in the N. Georgia Mountains. I am a light sleeper, and in the past the loud music, partying, yelling would keep me up. This year, I did not even notice the loud music playing until I slid my door open. I imagine you could ask SMB what they use and where they stuff it.

steveb wrote:
3. Overnight heat-I have pretty much decided on delete propane system. I am on the fence about the espar heater. It is expensive and appears to require maintenance. If I do not need it while driving (see Q#1) I think I can get by using a 110V ceramic heater that hopefully can be run with a Honda 2000 generator or when plugged in to AC at campground. I do not anticipate any or very little mid winter camping that will require overnight heat anyway.. The other option will be a Coleman or Mr. Heater type ceramic heater that run off those small 1lb tanks for those crisp fall or spring nights. Can anybody that has experience confirm my plan or have other suggestions on heat?


I thought the same thing you did about the espar. I had it on the original build, then removed it all together and went with the internal Danhard instead. A SMALL 110v heater works great when plugged in to shore power (or generator I imagine). We parked near Fontana Lake two weeks ago and it got down to the upper 20s. When we first turned on the 110v heater the the van was in the 40s. In less than an hour, we had it up to the 60s on the low setting. Our non-shore power solution was a Little Buddy (The Mr. Buddy was too big imho) It heats up really quick as well. I am going to attempt to go the solar route and avoid a generator if at all possible.

steveb wrote:
4. AC- I plan to go with the Danhard AC. My understanding is this AC will run off the batteries/inverter while driving and batteries will pretty much maintain charge from the alternator. The van will get very hot sitting in the sun in summer. I am hoping the Danhard can be turned on and run initially to help cool down the van and then maybe turned off and van AC will be able to maintain. Also I understand that The Danhard can be run on the Honda 2000 while parked. Are my assumptions correct?


There is a ton of info about the Danhard in the forums. Everything I read states they will run about an hour off the 2000 watt invertor alone and around 1.5 hours while the van is running. The alternator is not enough to sustain the charge on the batteries and keep the Danhard running. Sounds like it is best used when connected to 110v. It has not yet been hot enough for me to really give the Danhard a good test. I need to head to Florida soon! :a3:

steveb wrote:
I apologize for all the questions – this is my first camper and major investment – and I could really use some confirmation on my choices or suggestions from those of you with experience.


You are in luck Steve, there are at least 4+ great build threads here in the forums. You certainly should check out the Chumley build thread and that of the others here.

tv
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Admin
Support Silver
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:52 am
Posts: 201
Location: Anchorage, AK
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:20 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

we have a 2012 Sprinter 2500 PT with Espar hdydronic. Never have tried to operate it while the vehicle is in motion but the instructions do not say you can't. I think you will find the engine heater is adequate to preheat if you can get a good aftermarket remote start system for diesel. And if you use the curtain behind the front seats (assuming you will not have passengers in back) the heat will keep that part of the cab warm and the windows clear for daily drives. We had SMB West install the insulation under the flooring and the floor is much warmer than our Westy. The 2500 van is pretty quiet on the road with the buildout. You cannot improve the noise and thermal insulation in the large front cab doors if you get the side air bag option.
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:19 pm
Posts: 471
Location: Disguised as a fat guy, deep inside a secret bunker, drinking martinis, playing rock and country.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:12 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

We have an Espar D2 which can be used while driving although I never have. Unlike the old VW vans where I used to be burning up but could see the kids breath in the rear view mirror, the heat in the Sprinter seems to be fine. Ours is an RB and the back end stays confortable as far as I know. The Sprinter warms up quickly so if you start it and then scrape the windshield it should be getting warm. Some Sprinters had heater boosters but my 2008 came with a different set-up, http://ourexcellentadventures.com/2009/ ... ater-aehm/ The dealer as usual knows nothing about it and said they would need my Sprinter over night to see if it works. It doesn't really get cold enough here to check it.

As for a/c all we have is the dash and it works reasonably well if we are careful. Being silver metallic helps and we keep the window covers down to keep the sun out. It is ok in the back as long as you try to manage it. I also got one of these, http://swampy.net/m300.html I was pretty disappointed at first and tried swaping out the fans but just sound proofed it a little and called it good. Since it doubles as a cooler it is ok. I set it behind the passenger seat or in the very back and it helps a little but, mostly we do not use it. I also have the idle control option and on a couple of occasions after stopping for the day have left the Sprinter a/c on for an hour or so.

I love the solar. We have 2 7-amp panels and I almost never hook up to shore power. The refridge is on all the time, usually stocked with necessities. Fingers crossed, the AGM battery is still good after 4+ years.

You are starting on a great adventure!

Regards,

Keith
___________________
OurExcellentAdventures - Observations about life at home and on the road (Warning: Occasional sharp turns to the right), Sprinter documentation library, Amazon store, RV and Camping news.

2008 SMB (West) Sprinter - 144", High Top, badged Mercedes, daily drive.
Back to top
Profile
Offline

Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 6:25 am
Posts: 1661
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:38 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

My Two Satang:

Heater:

Lot posted on many forums on Espar function
I have not read anything saying they are non problematic

Are you gonna have propane for cook top?
If so, my suburban propane works all the time
this is my 4th rig with a suburban
Noisy, yes
Draw power, yes
Do I want to be warm and not tinker with an Espar, yes

AC
RV ac are designed to only take the temp down 20 degrees
below ambiant temperature from what i have been told/read

We get to cheat, as our rigs are smaller and we can refextix all windows

My rig, a high top ford EB is a similar size to a sprinter inside
IF rig is hot, my Polar Cub takes a LONG time to cool it down

I spent two days in laughlin , nv in HOT temps over 100
plugged in, full refletix, arrived mid afternoon
by dark, plugged in, we were cool, no pun intended
The next day, again all buttoned up, we coulda hung meat in there

Another trip, we left Mammoth, a 8,000 foot Sierra town to the Mojave
desert, Alabama Hills to be exact

We ran the Polar Cub with my Yamaha 2000
Never got real cold

In closing:
My next rig will have
-propane heater
-roof ac
-built in generator
- and of course Solar 300 watts plus, 400 amp hours of AMG battery and a Truckfridge

bw

ps
make sure you get well insulated
i would suggest alot of photos BEFORE the walls go up
poke around and you will see why

See ya on the Trail :)
Back to top
Profile
User avatar
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:50 pm
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:56 pm   Post subject: Re: Heating/AC and generator questions

I love my Espar heater and have used it many times while driving. The only catch is that it would turn off when I got close to 1/4 tank because that's as far as the auxiliary fuel line went in the tank and would start to draw air in the line.

­ ADR6400L ­
Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group