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Old 06-03-2015, 08:43 AM   #21
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

Inverters are typically about 85-90% efficient, so 10-15% of your battery power goes into heating up the inverter. The other issue with a dorm style 110V fridge is that they may be power suckers. Inverters also have an idle current when on doing nothing. Over time, this also runs the batteries down.

RV fridges try to be energy sippers......even with these, you can barely run a small 12V RV fridge 24/7 on a single RV solar panel. A few cloudy days and your house batteries are discharged.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:25 PM   #22
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

k Im allowed to return the fridge to a brick and mortar HD. So I'll check out those other fridges. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:36 PM   #23
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorbait
k Im allowed to return the fridge to a brick and mortar HD. So I'll check out those other fridges. Thanks for the advice.
Don't know if this used fridge is still available: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16210
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:17 PM   #24
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

ended up getting the truckfridge one. Thanks for pointing it out. Researching insulation today. I found Hal's build thread so I'm just about finished going through all that. A few things have changed and many more ideas. I got in contact with a welder today too. We're gonna talk about the roof rack and some other odds and ends tomorrow morning.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:59 PM   #25
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

We took down the secondary comm antenna today. We start on the primary on wednesday.





In regards to the van, how many BTU's are typically needed for a diesel heater for a SB? Any recommendations would be great. One that doubles as a water heater would be optimal! Also, what cfm rating water pump do people typically put in? Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:17 PM   #26
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

One that doubles as a water heater:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=14091&hilit=combi

You can also do a flat plate water heater using the heater hoses......flat plates are cheap and work great when the engine is hot.

Someone recently posted a link here to another forum with a great thread on flat plate heaters and thermostatic valves..........
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:51 AM   #27
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

Thanks. I'm going to be parked for weeks at a time at ski resorts where the engine won't be hot all the time and the snow will cover the solar panels. I think diesel is definitely what I NEED. But there's some good information on spec numbers in that thread so thanks. I thought i saw some espar hybrid heaters not too long ago, but I can't seem to find them anymore.

Getting further into that thread I think I found exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:50 PM   #28
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

So do you plan to install a top of any kind? Claude did a wonderful job on his van that you've probably read about.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10103

I like my Espar units. It's not like I use hot water at the tap much. I mainly use my Hydronic water heater to heat the engine to aid in cold starts and the occasional outside shower is kind of nice in warmer weather. For full timing it would be nice to be able to draft and purify water cause it's the small amount I haul that limits showers. In cold weather waterless cleansers like No rinse and a sink of hot water can go a long way. But the cab heater is something I'd never be without. Just me but it sure is nice not having to bundled up in heavy clothing like being in a tent. There are several manufactures that make cab heaters but my Espar has served me well. I did have a few issues (like others) but mine were mainly installation issues and user operation mistakes on my part. Even with my PH up and not insulated, I've been comfortable with my D-4 down to 10* on the top bunk. I'd venture to say the D-2 would be OK in more mildly winter seasons. I'd say their main drawbacks are the noise (mainly the Hydronic) they put out while running on high but that has never bothered me... I tend to stay in the back country as much as possible. I really don't know anything about the D-5 which is a combination unit IIRC.

Good luck on your build, the work looks great so far.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:03 PM   #29
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

Na I don't like pop tops or high tops. Just personal preference. An added expense that I don't see necessary for me. I would love the on demand hot water just to save time and have that added comfort. The heater is going to be crucial though. I have an epic pass and I'm going to spend all winter in the mountains in CO/UT. Plus my dog is gonna be in there all day so I want him comfy. I was born and raised in caribbean weather; I can deal with a 120* van, I can't deal with a 50* van. I'm looking at the Truma Combi D6
http://www.espar.co.uk/EsparPlymouthPro ... eaters.htm

But they're crazy expensive too lol. You learn very quickly that if you want to be comfortable on the road, you're gonna pay for it. Oh, thanks for the shampoo. I have very little experience with traveling so some things like that I don't even know exist. I've accepted that there's a lot I'll learn on the road, but there's so much I learn every day roaming through forums and actually talking to people.

Thanks for all the responses.

So looking at the manuals and a D5 on ebay, are they strictly made for coolant or is that just their main selling point? I was hoping to heat my drinking water. It says that it must contain atleast 10% antifreeze or the internal parts will rust. Seems like they would have made the parts with SS or something that wouldn't rust. Is that just standard verbiage? Do people run their water through these to heat it?
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:15 AM   #30
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Re: Dawn Patrol Build

Mine works in part with a flat plate heat exchanger. I also have a pump that can be used to supply hot water for quite a while w/o the Espar provided the engine is hot. The disadvantage is you need to put the lines and flat plate where it won't freeze or you can rupture the flat plate and contaminate the potable water.



I'm not to sure about the D-5 or newer units but was told they work more like a heater core. The Airtronic uses less power than the Hydronic. But both of them pull more power when they first turn on and taper off. The Hydronic cycles more as it senses that the water circulating in the system needs to be heated. It runs full power at first because it's heating the engine coolant and that takes time. But you get hot water almost instantly (a couple of minutes) at the tap. It just takes several minutes before the block water is warm enough that the unit cycles down. If you're not worried about heating the engine you just turn it off. There is no hot water holding tank. If you want hot water again just turn it back on. The unit itself is fairly small:


The Airtronic uses more power if it's set to produce higher temps just like a gas heater in a house. Mine is very quiet and only pulls an amp or so when set to low. Open the door to go outside and cold air can cause it to ramp up, make more noise, and pull a little more power. On super cold days it might run louder and pull more amps to keep the cab warm. Without a top I doubt you'd need to run it on the high setting provided the van is insulated well.

Again I know nothing about the other units... how loud they are or how much power they pull.
Espar products are expensive and there are several lower priced ways to go to heat water or the inside of the van, especially one that is well insulated and has no top.
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