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Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


 
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:42 PM   #1
MerlinTheTraderRVer
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Default No more RV hookups ever again

For those who don't know me, I'm a bit of a control freak and hate to depend on anybody or anything and that goes with RVs too and in todays RVs, we have 2 major dependency problems.

1- ENERGY (recharging the house batteries)

2- WATER (empty gray and black tanks and refill the fresh water tank)

Knowing that I HAVE to pack my things and drive away from the boondocking spot I was just because my batteries are empty or that my fresh water tank is empty or that my gray and black tanks need to be emptied at the dumping station that could be 50 miles away is something I can't stand.

Many would bitch about it and accept the fact but well...hehe.. not me. Some people will tell me to suck it up and "that's how it is boy" and that I will have to live with it and maybe that's true but at least I'm gonna give it a shot at trying to fix those problems.

Thanks to threads and research by guys like Davydd here, it looks like the ENERGY part is about to be solved with a mix of solar panels, 8 lithium-ion batteries and 2 alternators. This way, you will never need any 110 V hookup ever again. You can read Davydd's research here.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32973


My Merlin 1 RV Project is about "TOTAL INDEPENDENCE" so this lithium and solar option seems to cover the "ENERGY" part where you don't need to find a campground 110 V booth to recharge your batteries anymore.

However, there is still another and even more important dependency problem to fix and that is the "WATER" part.

Now you may have all the best solar kit and battery bank to make you run your appliances 24/7 at your desert boondocking spot but you will still have to pack your things, waste time and diesel to find a dumping station to refill the fresh water tank and also empty your gray and black tanks and that for me was a big NO-NO. I may go to the campground but to see people and friends when I want to but NOT because I have to, so I was looking for solutions here.

These Wynns kids seem that have done most of this research for me so I kinda like them for that, starting with this new type of toilet called a COMPOSTING TOILET. In short, it separates the liquids from the solids and this way, you don't need to hook that toilet to any sewage tank therefore, there is no need for a black tank anymore.



So with this type of toilet, the BLACK TANK problem is solved. What about the gray water tank and fresh water here?

As you know, I am discussing in another thread the possibility of gray water recycling.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36617

Can this be done? I don't know but I will test these Aqua2use and UV MAX filtration systems shown here on a typical RV gray water (maybe even on black tank water hahaha) and will let you know when I get the answers and lab tests on filtered water samples I will send them.

Here's a few videos for you for those who missed it.







If it works, it will solve the GRAY TANK problem but the main problem persist which is to have to pack our things to refill the fresh water tank. Well, maybe this is about to change too.

Look at what my friend Sebas found tonight. I almost fell off my chair.

I knew about humidifiers and dehumidifiers but this... this could be a MAJOR turning point in my Merlin 1 project because it could be that last piece of the puzzle that could make my RV TOTALLY independent of RV Campgrounds FOREVER.



Can you imagine having an RV that is TOTALLY energy independent where...

- Powerful batteries and solar panels supply ALL your electrical needs 24/7
- A composting toilet removes the need for a black tank
- A gray water filtration recycling perfectly our gray water
- An air water generator can give us out of thin air all the clear fresh water we need each day

So that we never have to go to the dumping station ever again.

Sounds like science fiction right? Yeah well, we'll see.

Wish me luck, if this works it would shake the RV world to its core that's for sure. Never having to visit a dumping station ever again and be able to plug any appliances you want in your 110 V outlets 24/7 (including AC) and never run out of power or need to be hooked to 110 V campground shore power, wouldn't that be nice?

That's the Merlin 1 project.

The Merlin II project will be about being totally independent of diesel and never have to go to the gas station anymore but for that to happen, Mercedez Benz will have to bring us an ALL Electric Sprinter that runs on batteries so that we can use our solar panels to recharge these too.

It's already done but may take a few years to arrive but when it does, I will be ready.



Cheers,

Merlin
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:46 PM   #2
renotse
 
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

Merlin, Since you seem to be a conscientious conservationist I was just thinking that a good start on this quest might be to stop using water and sewage in your apartment and install the dehumidifier water machine and composting toilet and use it for a while if you are serious about these technologies.

If after this experiment you decide to abandon the idea of making water and composting, you can stick with standard holding tanks on your RV. Also if you get the macerator pump option for dumping you won't have to deal with the " nasty hose" because it is all contained and capped and it even works uphill. Since I actually have a Unity and have dumped my black water and grey water tanks many times I can give you sound advise on this from actual experience, not viewing you tube.

Also as an organic gardener and heirloom vegetable hobbyist (see picture) I have been involved in composting for decades. The generally accepted position in this community is that composted human waste is not good for organic gardening because they worry that heavy metals, pathogens or pharmaceuticals might survive the composting process and contaminate soils.

Just doing my best to contribute to the idea of composting and self containment. Members, if my post has been helpful please thank me so I'll be aloud to continue to add my considerable experience to the conversation.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

These so-called "composting toilets" are not really capable of creating usable compost. The result is just a different form of waste.

Real compost takes special ingredients and proper ratios to actually support the biological aerobic process. If your microbes die then you go from aerobic activity to anaerobic and that is a stinky septic mess.

One of the most critical balances is the C/N ratio (carbon/nitrogen). In the case of the toilet the carbon would be supplied by the shredded coconut husk or wood chips and the toilet paper. The nitrogen would be supplied by the fecal matter. The proper ratio is about 30:1. That is 30 parts carbon, 1 part nitrogen. You need to do some research to determine how much of each the prime ingredients contribute. Here is a link to a handy calculator for that

http://www.klickitatcounty.org/solid...ompostcalc.htm

Here is a little compost 101 for the non-initiated

Composting requires a delicate balance of ingredients and conditions.

Air. Like most living things, the bacteria that decompose organic matter, and the other creatures that make up the compost ecosystem, need air. Compost scientists say compost piles need porosity—the ability for air to move into the pile. I like to think of porosity in terms of fluffiness. A fluffy pile has plenty of spaces—or pores—for air to move about. A flat, matted pile of, say, grass clippings does not. Even fluffy piles compress during the composting process. Occasionally turning your pile refluffs the material, moves new material into the center, and helps improve air flow into the pile, says Craig Cogger, Ph.D., extension soil scientist at Washington State University.

Water. Compost microbes also need the right amount of water. Too much moisture reduces airflow, causes temperatures to fall, and can make the pile smell; too little water slows decomposition and prevents the pile from heating. Conventional wisdom says that compost should feel like a wrung-out sponge, says Abigail Maynard, Ph.D., agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station.

Carbon ingredients. The microbes that break down organic matter use carbon as an energy source. Ingredients with a high percentage of carbon are usually dry and brown or yellow in color. The most common high-carbon ingredients are leaves, straw, and corn stalks. Sometimes people call these ingredients browns.

Nitrogen ingredients. Microbes need nitrogen for the proteins that build their tiny bodies. Ingredients high in nitrogen are generally green, moist plant matter, such as leaves, or an animal by-product, such as manure. These ingredients are called greens, but in reality they can be green, brown, and all colors in between.

C/N ratio. In order for a compost pile to decompose efficiently, you need to create the right ratio of carbon (C) to nitrogen (N) (C/N). Piles with too much nitrogen tend to smell, because the excess nitrogen converts into an ammonia gas. Carbon-rich piles break down slowly because there's not enough nitrogen for the microbe population to expand. An ideal compost pile should have a 30:1 C/N ratio. Grass clippings alone have about a 20:1 C/N ratio. Adding one part grass clippings, or other green, to two parts dead leaves, or other brown, will give you the right mix.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
MerlinTheTraderRVer
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

Quote:
Originally Posted by renotse View Post
Merlin, Since you seem to be a conscientious conservationist I was just thinking that a good start on this quest might be to stop using water and sewage in your apartment and install the dehumidifier water machine and composting toilet and use it for a while if you are serious about these technologies.

If after this experiment you decide to abandon the idea of making water and composting, you can stick with standard holding tanks on your RV. Also if you get the macerator pump option for dumping you won't have to deal with the " nasty hose" because it is all contained and capped and it even works uphill. Since I actually have a Unity and have dumped my black water and grey water tanks many times I can give you sound advise on this from actual experience, not viewing you tube.

Also as an organic gardener and heirloom vegetable hobbyist (see picture) I have been involved in composting for decades. The generally accepted position in this community is that composted human waste is not good for organic gardening because they worry that heavy metals, pathogens or pharmaceuticals might survive the composting process and contaminate soils.

Just doing my best to contribute to the idea of composting and self containment. Members, if my post has been helpful please thank me so I'll be aloud to continue to add my considerable experience to the conversation.
First of all a big thanks (I can't believe I'm saying that to you ) for keeping the topic insult free as I will ignore those comments here.

I agree that those are just ideas, many tests will need to be done but thought it would be nice to have a pov form other RVers.

Of course the 1st idea is to laugh at those and maybe I will crash and burn with these but like I said above, I HAVE TO TRY IT. Also, Davydd's solar project will probably work as solar works fine for other RVers today but regarding WATER, that's another plan in itself. All 3 tank (gray, black and fresh) alternatives must work AT ONCE for it to work so that leaves no room for error here.

Thanks for the teaching part but the goal is NOT to learn how to empty the tanks but to ELIMINATE THAT TASK once and for all.

Yeah, may be a pipe dream but the composting toilet already seem to work by removing the black tank and the AWG (Atmospheric Water Generators) also seem to do fine and don't seem to take a lot of energy.

So the whole project hangs on the Gray Water Filtration and yes when spring arrives, I should be able to bring my Aqua2use and UV MAX filtration kits to my RV dealer and then try to filter one of their RV's gray tank.

Should be interesting to watch.

Merlin
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
MerlinTheTraderRVer
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

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Originally Posted by renotse View Post
These so-called "composting toilets" are not really capable of creating usable compost.
Yeah I know. The goal of the composting toilet is not to do compost and then grow a garden on the roof of my RV. It's just to avoid having a black tank to empty every now and then at the dumping station.

Dean told me that he heard about those composting toilets and an expert told him that the heat of the compost is not maintained by stirring up the compost everytime you go #2 which dissipates the heat at the center of the pile so I knew that they call it "composting" but in fact it's not about composting, but mostly to separate the solids form the liquids, removing the need for a sewage tank and THAT'S ALL I needed to hear.

Again, maybe I went a bit too far with this "save the planet" talks but it's mostly about being independent of RV hookups by having solar and lithium-ion batteries instead of 110V shore power, an AWG instead of camp water hose, a composting toilet instead of a black tank and a gray water filtration system to avoid the campground sewage connections.

Basically go to the campground IF I WANT TO and NOT because I have to hook up my RV to their lines.

Merlin

Last edited by MerlinTheTraderRVer; 12-12-2014 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #6
renotse
 
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

Have you considered noise? All those composting and water dehumidifiers require fans and fans make noise. As you know a Sprinter RV is a pretty small space and noise a critical factor of life quality and well being. Oh maybe you don't know! Have you ever slept overnight in a Sprinter?

If not I suggest that as a first step on this quest. Because if you build this unique motor-home and find out afterwards you can't tolerate camping and living in such a small space constantly abuzz with fans you will most likely NOT find a friendly market to resale such a unique motor-home.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

Looking at these:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/32650...217131361.html

$600ea 100amp lipo batteries. Free shipping.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
renotse
 
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerlinTheTraderRVer View Post
Dean told me that he heard about those composting toilets and an expert told him that the heat of the compost is not maintained by stirring up the compost everytime you go #2 which dissipates the heat at the center of the pile so I knew that they call it "composting" but in fact it's not about composting, but mostly to separate the solids form the liquids, removing the need for a sewage tank and THAT'S ALL I needed to hear.

Merlin
Yeah well Dean and your unnamed expert are not really that informed on composting.

The volume in the toilet I have seen in your posts is no more than 1 cu ft. And that small mass would never heat up in the first place. So even inferring that anything close to composting is going on in that bowl is at best disingenuous but closer to fraudulent.

Here is an excerpt and a link to an authoritative source on composting . University of Illinois Please properly cite your reference with link so I can do my diligence and be completely informed.


The recommended size for a compost pile is no smaller than 3 feet X 3 feet X 3 feet, and no larger than 5 feet X 5 feet X 5 feet. A smaller pile may not heat up high enough for efficient breakdown, or it may loose heat and quickly slow down the process. A larger pile may hold too much water not allowing air into the center. This would create an anaerobic environment. Air naturally penetrates 18 to 24 inches into a pile from all directions. The biggest problem with a large pile is physically turning the pile. It can be too much for some people to manage.

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ho...t/building.cfm

Last edited by renotse; 12-12-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #9
MerlinTheTraderRVer
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

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Originally Posted by renotse View Post
Have you considered noise? All those composting and water dehumidifiers require fans and fans make noise.
Yeah I know but have you noticed that those AWG are NOT in one piece? You have the dehumidifier and then the water dispenser which is like a water cooler.

Watch this clip...

He shows the dispensers in white and the dehumidifier box that looks like a big desktop PC tower.



I was wondering if this dehumidifier couldn't be place at the spot where the fresh water tank is!

This way it won't totally dehydrate the inside of the RV and may cause nose bleeding because the air is too dry. It will be like the Onan generator staying outside in the basement of the RV while the dispensers stay up in the RV near the galley.

Also, don't forget that if this dehumidifier box creates 20 gallons per day, how often will I need to run it? Maybe 1 or 2 times per month?

Merlin
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: No more RV hookups ever again

I look at the composting and other toilets, ended up ordering a Laveo dry flush:
http://www.envirotoilets.com/product...neIaArIA8P8HAQ

17 flushes, replace the cartridge, throw away anywhere or an open car window.
I didn't want to have to deal with dumping a pee container, cleaning etc….
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