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Old 11-16-2020, 12:14 PM   #31
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I am an all electric Sprinter SMB, what a great question.!

First let me say Lithium is the best solution but 200 ahrs is on the light side, minimum 300 Lithium or more. Water heater is a killer on power, go Espar.

Solar 200 watts is good for summer but need more for the short and cloudy days. I would suggest 300 watts or more.

I love induction but unless your a big cook go single. I also would go with a portable unit because I like cooking outside, so have an exterior outlet to use. I prefer having the counter space over a built-in unit because you can always use the portable one inside on top of the counter. More options, this also available in a dual induction unit.

My comments and suggestions are based on my actual use and changes I've done to make it more user friendly. When my 200ahr AGM started failing I upgraded to 315ahr Lithium and love it. More cost but the benefits out way the cost. These will probably be the only and last time I purchase.

Currently running 200 watts solar and works great but considering adding another 100 watts for that comfort feeling.

Can't say anything about my Espar D5 except how much heat and hot water do you want.!

The longest trip for my wife and I has been 7 weeks. Most of our outings are 4 days to 3 weeks boondocking anywhere and everywhere. We are currently at Jalama Beach for 4 nights.

Note: I've added a propane fire pit for those days with the grandkids, marshmallows!!!
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:19 PM   #32
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I had to make this call on our 2018 build. The all electric seemed to be the rage, but we ended up going with a dual burner propane stove and the Espar for heat/hot water running off the van's fuel tank. SMB didn't have a Lithium solution yet, although I'm not sure if I would have selected it seeing what it appears to cost.

The deciding factor was that we use our van for skiing. The AGM batteries are mounted outside and the cold really takes a toll on the batteries. We never wanted to get to the point where we had to decide heat vs cooking. We will park for a couple days skiing and if it's snowing and cold, the batteries don't get a great recharge. With the heat and stove on their own energy sources, we never have to worry about the battery even in the worst conditions. The stove sips propane (100+ nights on original fill). The Espar is also very efficient.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:11 PM   #33
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We are awaiting delivery (late Nov) of our Austin Sportsmobile on similar chassis, mid length high top. Our 3 prior used ones were mixed. We opted for all electric with vehicle gas powered cabin and instant on hot water. We have a single burner induction cooktop and electric microwave, convection unit. Because we are cramming so much into the cabin, the convection cooktop doubles as extra counter space and we gave found that the Gas One dual fuel single burner buffet style burner we already use works great on a small table just outside or on countertop. We have two 300Ah lithium ion (cheaper than propane) batteries with two 150 watt solar panels and separate portable panel. Have found a foldable Coleman oven that works great on stove outside. BUT also have 7 cf frig/freezer so we can defrost overnight and heat in oven next day. Have shower/cassette toilet, regular bed running lengthwise in rear crammed in with only room for two seats by turning front seats around, Wr travel to hike, canoe, and bike (tandem) and tow an ‘84 Jeep CJ-7 as our trailer, scoot around vehicle. Plan is to NOT usually have hookups, but about every 10 days or so. I use a CPAP machine which IS a big draw, but calculations done indicate we can stay without external power up to 4 days.with battery capacity and solar.

We “cook” very little other than oven and water heating. GET lithium ion batteries no matter what as they can operate at capacity much longer than AGM.

Keep in mind that we ordered ours over two years ago.

We are in our 70’s and this will be IT for us.

Good luck.
Keep in mind that Lithium batteries are less effective in cold weather. To what extent im not sure but that was one of the primary reasons i opted not to get lithium. My agm's are in an external cabinet and though sheltered well from the elements they are not over a heat mat. I do have a kodiak lithium inside the cabin however for backup. If you intend to use your rig in snow and cold weather make sure the lithiums are inside the cabin somewhere where they'll have access to a moderate amount of heat from the cabin heater. I believe lithium irons may have been able to correct this sort of issue but not 100% certain on that.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:23 PM   #34
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I've done some reading on diesel cooktops and another issue I've seen is they are almost all designed for boat use - at sea level - and they can run into AFR problems at higher elevations.
Marine diesel stoves did have issues operating in RVs, but luckily both Wallas and Webasto now sell diesel stoves certified for the RV market that include elevation compensation and exhaust and combustion air intakes optimized for vehicles.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:27 PM   #35
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Now that I think about it, I've seen the Wallas stove/heater before. A friend was planning to use it in their bus conversion, but opted for electric instead. Not entirely sure why, although they have a massive lithium battery bank in the bus. Around 1000Ah or something.
One thing I see in the instructions is the 8" of clearance required below the stove. In a van conversion, that is a lot of empty space in an important area. That may have been why - since they were already going to have plenty of electrical power, losing the cabinet space was unacceptable. I have a similar design concept in mind for my build.
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:13 PM   #36
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Hi Ian,

The RV version is called the XC Duo which is what I have. Nothing in the manual about 8” of clearance required. Here is the manual: https://scanmarineusa.com/wp-content...l-Eng-2017.pdf
David
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:38 AM   #37
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Interesting. Maybe it referred to the depth of the unit, which is about 8" (208mm) which would still eliminate a fair amount of cabinet space.
The more I think about it, the more I lean towards a portable induction unit. Then I could mount an exterior receptacle under the awning and have the option to cook outside. One DIY build I've seen has the cooktop mounted in a dedicated drawer, so it basically adds some counter space when in use.
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