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Old 12-02-2020, 12:36 PM   #71
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Location: Bend, Oregon
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Heating System Experiences

The recent rebuilding of Starr's Rixens/Espar D5 system has caused me to reflect on what I've generally learned in this area in the past 18+ months.

First, the D5 is quite loud so I try to not have it run when I'm sleeping. I find it better to layer on the covers rather than heat the cabin during the night. I do this by simply turning the system off when I go to bed and switching it on before getting up. I try to turn it on an appropriate amount of time before getting up so that the cabin has time to warm up. I normally keep the cabin heated to 58F in the winter and the cabin temp will fall to around 40F by morning if outside temp is around 20F (with windows insulated, front cabin curtain installed/closed, & PH top down/lowered). It will take about 30 minutes to warm back up to the mid 50's.

The Rixens thermostat's touch buttons are very finicky -- either they don't register a touch or one touch results in multiple effective touches. It's so bad that I try not to adjust the thermostat -- I just turn the heat on/off via the Rixens switch panel's "System" master switch.

I always turn off the D5 system when driving so that the system doesn't breath in road dust. Even doing so, I found some dust deposits caked onto the D5 fan's impeller. I can only imagine how heavy those deposits could be if the D5 was active on dusty roads!

Right after Starr's delivery, I had Rixens tie the D5 heater coolant loop to the engine's coolant loop through a flat plate heat exchangerfor on-the-road rear heating. This required the MB H88 Rear Heater Prep option, which surprisingly required the MB H12 Prefired Heater Booster option under the hood. However, I have found that the Sprinter's front cabin heating system is sufficient to heat the rear area while driving and I haven't used Starr's heat-the-rear-via-engine capability. But I have used it to heat hot water -- I'll turn the Rixens hot water loop on before arriving at camp to have hot water for showering or whatever upon arrival. But IMO this capability is not worth the H88+RixensWork cost.

I've used the MB H12 Prefired Heater Booster to melt snow/ice on the windshield. I decided to go this route instead of ordering the heated windshield option because I can also use this option to prewarm the van's engine so that it has sufficient power from the get-go. And I also use it to preheat the van's front cabin. Therefore I’ve been OK with this choice.

BTW, Starr's windshield developed a large crack this fall -- it just appeared while parked on a cool, sunny day. No evidence of a chip so I don't know what caused it. I anticipated having to periodically replace the windshield and so that also contributed to my decision to not order the heated windshield option.
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2018 Sprinter 4x4 RB150S w/PH Lithium Build ("Starr Van")
Pictures of some Starr adventures (starting in 2019): https://rick.samcos.com/galleries/
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:23 AM   #72
JWA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsamco View Post

BTW, Starr's windshield developed a large crack this fall -- it just appeared while parked on a cool, sunny day. No evidence of a chip so I don't know what caused it. I anticipated having to periodically replace the windshield and so that also contributed to my decision to not order the heated windshield option.
I'm in the auto/truck glass business so might be able to help determine what caused your crack. Following the crack from end to end look carefull for a small nice or chip, from both sides of the glass. Occasionally those can be so tiny they're easily missied. If a nick or chip does exist its a weak spot in the glass and when heated by the sun can crack and run as you describe.

Feeling along the crack you might further determine if its on the inside or outside. That's not necessarily indicitative of anything important, to a glass man its just good info to have.

Not sure any of that is helpful but I'm glad to answer any windshield related questions you may have.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:29 AM   #73
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Thanks for the tip... can’t feel or see any nick but haven’t tried with magnifying glass. I’m sure there was a cause like that but surprised that it was so tiny!
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