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Old 05-03-2015, 01:16 PM   #41
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHitt

...cut....

I'll report more as I get experience. The 2000 watt inverter system did run the roof AC for an hour while we were in a restaurant and the floor heat works great although I will probably add a thermostat.
Glad to hear you are pleased with Sportsmobile and with ProMaster. On paper, based on specs, the PM is a solid choice.

Can you share what size battery bank you ended up with, size/model of AC, and type/model of inverter? Is it pure sine or modified? After an hour of AC, did it pretty much drain your batteries?
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:38 PM   #42
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Chance: All good questions and I will eventually learn the answers. Here is what I know.

One large battery is mounted underneath. I believe it is an AGM but I don't know the size or manufacture. The Inverter is the 2000 watt, pure sine wave, Inverter as shown on the SMB web site.

We had our cat with us and we didn't want to cook the cat in the Texas sun while we were in the restaurant and I could not figure out how to lock the van with the motor running. I guess it is some kind of feature to keep people from locking the keys in. So we ran the roof AC off of the Inverter.

The roof AC is a Dometic with a heat strip. The fan runs all the time so the Inverter did not have to start the fan and the compressor at the same time. The van was cool from the dash and rear engine AC when we parked so it did not have to cool down a hot van.

Hard to know how long the battery would have lasted because the compressor was cycling. All I know is that it was running when we got back about an hour later. The cat was happy and not cooked. I don't know how far the battery had run down but the Inverter had not shut down

When I figure out how to lock the doors with the motor running, and the key in the ignition, I will do that in the future rather than trusting it to the Inverter and batteries.

Lots to learn.
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:53 PM   #43
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Can you do some type of remote start so you don't have to leave keys in ignition?
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Old 05-03-2015, 03:03 PM   #44
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

I believe "remote start" is offered as an option that I didn't get. The problem with the standard "remote starts" is that they time out after a short time and shut down..

I'm looking for a way to "auto start on low battery" but the after market hasn't figured it out yet.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:23 PM   #45
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

From another forum I learned how to leave the Dodge Promaster with the doors locked and the motor running.

The trick is to lock youself in with the key in the ignition and the motor running. Then exit by the rear door and lock it with your second key.

Seems dumb but it works.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:53 PM   #46
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHitt
From another forum I learned how to leave the Dodge Promaster with the doors locked and the motor running.

The trick is to lock youself in with the key in the ignition and the motor running. Then exit by the rear door and lock it with your second key.

Seems dumb but it works.
That's interesting, but I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving my van with keys in ignition for fear that it may be too tempting for some to break a window and drive off. I'm not familiar with details of remote start systems, but assumed they would make it a little more secure by leaving the steering column locked. Even then I would install some kind of lock on brake pedal, or something similar. I guess I'm a little paranoid.


Anyway, now that you've had the van for a while, can you report on how it's performing? Does the AC keep it cool enough in summer heat? Also, have you figured out what size AC, battery capacity, how long it will run AC, etc...?

I'm also interested in other aspects of both the ProMaster chassis and SMB build. The more you can share the better. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:37 PM   #47
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Chance. I agree that the "escape with the motor running trick", isn't the best but it will have to do until I can figure out a better way.

So far the Dash and Rear AC have had no problem keeping things cool so I don't intend to run the roof AC going down the road or when stopped with the engine running, so battery life running the roof AC from the inverter is not high on my list any more.

I will say that the idling van engine is really nice and quiet inside the van. In the rear I can't tell it is running. The refrigerator makes more noise. The electric radiator fan does make some noise on the outside.

I'm planning a trip to California from NY soon so I'll get some more experience with it. One of my radios has APRS so you should be able to see where I am with
http://Map.FindU.Com/KB2ZE-1
as I travel. Should hit some hot/cold weather along the way.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:18 PM   #48
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Chance,
Here is a little Roof AC data for you.
The roof AC fan running thru the inverter draws 20 amps from the batteries.
When the compressor starts it goes to 200 amps and drops back to 150 amps.
The compressor cycles with the thermostat, the fan runs all the time.
With a little math and some assumptions maybe it is possable to figure the rest out.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:48 PM   #49
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Thanks for info.

Is the AC a standard 13,500 BTU/hr size, or a smaller 9,200 BTY/hr unit?
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:48 PM   #50
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Re: My new Promaster 3500, High Roof, Long body, Sportsmobil

Chance,

I think it is the standard 13.500 with the heat strip. The manual they gave me covers Dometic units ranging from 11,000 to 15,000 so I went looking for the model number. After removing the intake grill I found a sticker with a lot of numbers but couldn't match any numbers in the manual. So we can't be sure but:

According the manual..... a 13,500 unit should have a compressor load of 12.4 amps and a fan load of 2.5 amps and should be protected at 20 amps. That seems to line up with what I was seeing.

I am a little disappointed in the heat strip because it does not use the thermostat. When turned to heat the fan runs at low speed and the heat strip is always on.
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