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-   -   2010 3500 RV build (https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27822)

hein 08-19-2013 02:32 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
Got the rear AC frame installed. I filled it with expanding foam first. VHB tape is between the frame and the cross members. ABS blocks & shims fill the space between the frame and the inside of the roof where the A/C supports will be on the outside. I used 3M fast set polyurethane adhesive (window weld) to glue the ABS to the roof. I had to run conduit through this frame. I used a section of smaller diameter conduit and slid the smurf tube over the ends held with some PVC glue.

image note: We also injected foam into the van roof cross members and used strips of Dynamat to seal the holes. (-Which was a bad idea because the expanding foam did not cure and kept running out on sunny days. We now recommend pulling Thinsulate strips into the ribs.)


I used the remaining tube of Window Weld to re-attach the exterior body panels to the space frame. There were a number of places that were completely loose. Not sure what causes them to come loose. Maybe the sliding door since most of the failed adhesive was on that side. I think some of the panels were even rattling.


Also painted the A/C inside assembly to match the interior. Rustoleum Aged Iron texture paint again.


The picture below shows the headliner that came in the van. I painted the fan to match it too. I've started insulating from front to back with 3M Thinsulate held in place with 3M 90 spray adhesive. Then a vapor barrier of taped on Reflectix. Not sure I'll follow the same exact scheme on the walls. I will use more Thinsulate but may add some sort of rigid foam first.

I've installed Thinsulate over the cab headliner, behind the door panels, and behind the trim on the A & B pillars. All the doors and every unsupported panel has been damped using a 9 pack of 18x22 sheets of Dynamat Extreme which I got online from Best Buy. We are quite happy with how quiet the front is even though its basically a wall-less cargo van in the back right now.


hein 08-20-2013 08:17 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
I needed a way to work on the roof and I didn't want to risk denting the sheetmetal with my knees. So I built a platform that rests in the roof rail channels. (my van doesn't have rails yet). I used it to remove the rear vent which will be replaced with the roof AC.

Removing the vent was quite the chore due to it being well sealed. I had already loosened the screws by grabbing them on the inside with needle nose vice grips and then turning them out. Most of the heads popped through the sealant on the outside so they were easy remove the rest of the way with a screwdriver. I used a wire wheel on a drill to scour away sealant around the perimeter of the vent's flange. Then I was able to get under it with a putty knife. I used silicon spray so my putty knife wouldn't stick as I ran it around and under the flange. Once it started coming up, it lifted up and out easily. Some 3M adhesive remover spray removed the remaining adhesive quite easily. I love that stuff.

Work platform and ladder looks a little sketch but actually quite safe when you take a closer look. I have a helper hold down the platform through the roof opening when I go up the ladder. There are tabs to keep the ladder from sliding off to the sides. The end rails are cedar decking and plywood is from a bed that was in the van when we got it. There are a couple of 2x4 cross members underneath the plywood.



hein 08-25-2013 10:48 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
Some text & pictures copied/moved from another thread on proposed electrical systems:

I built the electrical system on it's own chassis. This has allowed me to get it all set up on the bench leaving only the battery, shore power and individual circuit connections once installed. One of the reasons I choose the Magnum Inverter is that they provided a 3D CAD file that allowed me to design around their unit.


Earlier picture of a test fit I did after I got the parts from the place that profiled and formed them:


Here are a few notes on the system I have in the works for this van

1. All AC loads go through the Inverter. Switching between shore power and inverter power will use the internal x-fer relays.

2. There is a dedicated 30A Blue Sea breaker between the shore power plug and the inverter.

3. A large Blue sea DC switch is used in reverse to distribute 12V power to the inverter (position 1) and the DC panel (position 2).
This allows isolation of each or all off.

4. There will be a 400 A fuse under the vehicle where the battery cables converge.
I considered terminal fuses on each battery but not going to take it that far. I'm double insulating all my 4/0 cables.

5. There are 2 shunts for current monitoring. A large Magnum shunt monitors the whole system via the Magnum remote.
A smaller shunt is used by the ammeter on the DC panel.

6. Many of the connections are made using solid copper bus bars to save space and reduce voltage drop.
I replaced some of the wiring on the Blue Sea panel with custom bus bars.

More test fitting below. Positive connections are fully insulated in the final assembly.

GeorgeRa 08-26-2013 07:04 AM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

1. I like the concept of building the electrical system into a unit.
2. Great space saving with copper bars instead of cables, looks good too.

1. What is you plan for AC/DC grounds?
2. Are you planning to use alternator as the charging source?
3. How did you connect 2 DC shunts?

Thank you for reporting your progress.


mugget 08-26-2013 10:44 AM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

Originally Posted by hein (Post 256718)


That has to be the largest control panel I've ever seen! :bounce:

All aboard Starship Sprinter 3500, travelling to the farthest reaches of the Sprinterverse! :smirk:

Very impressive work - you just set a new standard for me to aspire to!

hein 08-26-2013 04:29 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

Originally Posted by GeorgeRa (Post 256760)
1. What is you plan for AC/DC grounds?

AC ground and DC ground will be connected to the chassis. AC neutral is automatically bonded to ground in the inverter when it is running. Otherwise neutral bonding occurs in the system I connect to when plugged in. This is per the MS manual. excerpt below:



Originally Posted by GeorgeRa (Post 256760)
2. Are you planning to use alternator as the charging source?

Yes, my van has a 220A alternator and I have the Magnum battery combiner. I may have an auxiliary alternator installed by Upscale Automotive. Mercedes Info here. The additional alternator will be needed if I want to run the rooftop air conditioner off the inverter. I will probably add a solar panel at some point. I'll just hop over to your build thread to spec that, thank you.


Originally Posted by GeorgeRa (Post 256760)
3. How did you connect 2 DC shunts?

diagram created using Digikey Schemeit

hein 08-27-2013 12:26 AM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
Finally got the forward support frame for the roof AC done and installed. While test fitting it I decided there was not enough structure carrying the load out to the side walls. So I extended the mounting flanges so they would reinforce the middle roof cross member. The roof is much less flimsy now. Pictures:

The weldment with extended mounting flanges.

Paint removed from cross member for optimum adhesive performance. 3M Window Weld 08609


mugget 08-27-2013 08:53 AM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
I had to look up the data sheet on that Window Weld, I was surprised that any auto product would recommended to be used on bare metal (aside from etch primer!)

Where did you get the info that it's best to apply on bare metal? Because the 3M data sheet says to prime any bare metal (it actually says to be careful removing any old glass so you don't scratch the metal)...

hein 08-27-2013 02:11 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
I guess I should have read the data sheet so thanks for the heads up. I think it will be fine since it is on the inside of the van. -and there are 12 screws too. I just checked the bond and I can't peel the adhesive off the metal but I can peel it off the paint pretty easily.

I know a common problem with windshields comes from scratches that are created when the windshield is removed that are not later covered with some primer or the adhesive when the new windshield is installed. - leading to rust.

I'll paint over any remaining bare metal with some white spray paint. I'm glad to have the roof reinforced for the AC unit. The roof is pretty flimsy to begin with.

mean_in_green 08-27-2013 02:21 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
Well done - that's not the first solution ever posted to overcome rooftop access without damage but it definitely gets my vote. Love it! I walked on my T1N roof once - never again...

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