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Old 11-05-2009, 11:18 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

OK, here's the story, in Janurary, I will be getting(ordering) a 2010 3500 extended sprinter. It will be used almost daily to transport my 6 dogs for training. Occasionally I will be traveling to trials and shows, and be on the road for up to 2-3 weeks and parked for 4-5 days. Hotels, for me, you can guess, are out of the question !!!! LOL LOL ..........So, for me,.... I want a nice conversion that includes bed/couch, kitchen (fridge, micro and stove top(electric) , toilet, shower, gray/black tanks, generator, solar panels, fan , satellite. .....Now for the dogs,.... I want an engine driven AC for when driving, PLUS a 110 AC for when parked. I want a LARGE battery system (large enough to run the 110 AC and the fridge for 6-8hrs because I cant use the generator in some places)
What's the difference between the (optional) factory 5kv diesel heater and a aftermarket (Espar or Webasto) diesel air heater like sportsmobile installs?? .
If I order the sprinter with the factory option, 5kv diesel heater, will that be enough to run 24/7, for heat, for the times I'm parked for 2 weeks, or do I still need a aftermarket diesel heater ????
OK, now for the hot water questions. Now remember, Ill be using the sprinter almost daily, and sometimes not for 2-3 days and Occasionally, be on the road for up to 2-3 weeks and parked for 4/5 days. . Id hate to have to put on a 3-6 gallon electric water every time I drive the sprinter JUST IN CASE, I want to wash my hands. What system would you suggest ? Flat plate ? electric water heater ? tank less electric? Combination of any ?
What about for the times in the cold winter, when I dont use the sprinter for 2-3 days. ,Now, If I leave my 1/2 empty (OK,its 1/2 full) cup of coffee in my van overnight, by morning its frozen solid,!!!!What about the water system freezing, ,,, Putting that food grade anti freeze **** in the fresh water is not an option as the large fresh tank is so my dogs have plenty of water to drink.!! So what are my options...... leave diesel heater on low, get a sm 12 Volt Auxiliary Heater, Direct Battery Hookup and use batteries and solar or run 110 to the sprinter for a small electric ceramic heater?
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

The factory installed diesel heater will not heat any more of your van than the cab area. In order to heat the rear of the van without the engine running, you'll need another heater independent of the engine system. The purpose of the optional heater is only to heat the engine and cab for cold morning starts.
If you have the option of connecting to 110 everywhere, your problems are solved. My small ceramic heater is doing a wonderful job keeping the van toasty at a very low setting. Another diesel heater, or something, would be required without that power line connection.

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Old 11-06-2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-9 SPRINTER View Post
OK, here's the story, in Janurary, I will be getting(ordering) a 2010 3500 extended sprinter. It will be used almost daily to transport my 6 dogs for training. Occasionally I will be traveling to trials and shows, and be on the road for up to 2-3 weeks and parked for 4-5 days. Hotels, for me, you can guess, are out of the question !!!! LOL LOL ..........So, for me,.... I want a nice conversion that includes bed/couch, kitchen (fridge, micro and stove top(electric) , toilet, shower, gray/black tanks, generator, solar panels, fan , satellite. .....Now for the dogs,.... I want an engine driven AC for when driving, PLUS a 110 AC for when parked. I want a LARGE battery system (large enough to run the 110 AC and the fridge for 6-8hrs because I cant use the generator in some places)
What's the difference between the (optional) factory 5kv diesel heater and a aftermarket (Espar or Webasto) diesel air heater like sportsmobile installs?? .
If I order the sprinter with the factory option, 5kv diesel heater, will that be enough to run 24/7, for heat, for the times I'm parked for 2 weeks, or do I still need a aftermarket diesel heater ????
OK, now for the hot water questions. Now remember, Ill be using the sprinter almost daily, and sometimes not for 2-3 days and Occasionally, be on the road for up to 2-3 weeks and parked for 4/5 days. . Id hate to have to put on a 3-6 gallon electric water every time I drive the sprinter JUST IN CASE, I want to wash my hands. What system would you suggest ? Flat plate ? electric water heater ? tank less electric? Combination of any ?
What about for the times in the cold winter, when I dont use the sprinter for 2-3 days. ,Now, If I leave my 1/2 empty (OK,its 1/2 full) cup of coffee in my van overnight, by morning its frozen solid,!!!!What about the water system freezing, ,,, Putting that food grade anti freeze **** in the fresh water is not an option as the large fresh tank is so my dogs have plenty of water to drink.!! So what are my options...... leave diesel heater on low, get a sm 12 Volt Auxiliary Heater, Direct Battery Hookup and use batteries and solar or run 110 to the sprinter for a small electric ceramic heater?
K-9 SPRINTER

You may want a set-up similar to this one pictured below. The generator compartment, battery bank, inverter, circuit breakers, and fuse block are partitioned off from the living area. Increased ventilation is achieved by louvers cut into the rear doors and a squirrel cage blower fan installed into the upper passenger side rear door.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg X-Ray Van Photo's 009.JPG (187.6 KB, 395 views)
File Type: jpg Battery Bank Pics 002.JPG (193.8 KB, 384 views)
File Type: jpg X-Ray Van Photo's 010.JPG (117.1 KB, 378 views)
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-9 SPRINTER View Post
OK,I want an engine driven AC for when driving, PLUS a 110 AC for when parked. I want a LARGE battery system (large enough to run the 110 AC and the fridge for 6-8hrs because I cant use the generator in some places)
now for the hot water questions. Now remember, Ill be using the sprinter almost daily, and sometimes not for 2-3 days and Occasionally, be on the road for up to 2-3 weeks and parked for 4/5 days. . Id hate to have to put on a 3-6 gallon electric water every time I drive the sprinter JUST IN CASE, I want to wash my hands. What system would you suggest ? Flat plate ? electric water heater ? tank less electric? Combination of any ?
http://s1322.endeavorsuite.biz/showc...and=-979&Type=

http://www.excelamerica.com/calentadores_eng.htm

I installed this tankless water heater going on 4 years ago and love it!
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

Well you came to the right place as there is a wealth of great info here. It is somewhat overwhelming but just keep digging and you will find the solution that is right for you. I have a 2008 extended that I use for dirt bikes and such and I found moto 19's example(really nice) and am somewhat copying his conversion which is similar to the sportsmobile Brian lopes conversion.
I also used twisty roads suggestion in regards to the damplifier mat and am using the lobocrud insulation. I used this site to resarch different things and then my own cafeteria approach to what I like or not. The solar arrangement might be good for you and the pooches but I have no experiance with that but you can find the info here.
Superdave
By the way, nice looking dobie's.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

Here are a couple of Sprinter dog haulers:

http://www.creativemobileinteriors.c...rtSprinter.asp

http://www.dogshowvans.com/spr-pictures-thumb.htm

The first, CMI, has a good deal of presence on Sprinter sites and is relatively close to you. Good reputation.

The second, All Dogs Corp, was the big inspiration for me to foam the walls of my van.

My limited knowledge of dog vans is that owners must, absolutely must, have bulletproof air conditioning. Looks like ADC does a good deal of business with temperature pager devices.

I'm a New Englander and I boondock camp year round. I'm a whitewater paddler and snowmelt provides some of the best river flow conditions north of me. My winterization routine consists of putting rv antifreeze in the portapotty.

I have fitted storage for two 7-gal plastic Aquatainer cubes from WM. Two 1-gal containers provide handy water and there is generally another one or two gallons of assorted smaller bottles. I generally find one 7-gal container enough much of the time here in the wet East. (We hauled an extra two empties for a month-long desert trip but didn't need them.) If I'm sleeping in the van the diesel furnace is left on. I can throw enough water into a cooler if I need longer freeze protection with the furnace off. Otherwise I take along what a trip needs between resupply opportunities.

We have a rolling gray tank in case its required. It can be left inside the heated van. But we generally don't need it on the East Coast. We're either staying somewhere with camp plumbing or better, or we are seriously boondocking with "dispersed" disposal.

We use a PowerShower, a 5-gal bucket with a 12v spray wand for both dishwashing and showering. I prefer dishpans over installed sinks. We have an excellent homesewn "shower sock" that slips over some rear door pipe extensions. Gives us a heatable 28"x52"x96" shower stall using a $4 mortar tub to capture the gray water. Since the PowerShower is portable we use it inside and out. Cold conditions allow for an "aisle" shower option. A kettle of boiling water added to a two gallons of ambient is excellent for showering. Hotter for dishwashing. Heat the kettle inside or outside, it's not rocket science. I suppose I could keep a Thermos of hot water for "instant" hand washing but have never bothered. Lots of opportunities exist in the real world to use Other People's Hot Water---ie rest stops, restaurants, campgrounds, other destinations.

I did extensively insulate the 158" van and that allowed a smaller Espar Airtronic D2 to be used. Nothing beats minimizing your energy demands to start with. White van is pretty important and limited windows help with the greenhouse effect. I'd have used more in the ceiling or floor if I wasn't 6'4". The van trims to 6'1" clearance.

I don't have camping a/c installed but that reflects on our NE location and ability to use altitude or latitude solutions. My rough calculation is that since the d2 btu heating capacity of 7500 btu max easily heats the van then a similar a/c capacity would be sufficient. Note that this is way below the usual 11-13k btu unit typically installed.

There is no easy non-generator solution to a/c and careful consideration has to be given to the start-up draw if you want an inverter ac solution. 12v units may be better. There was an expediter who needed a/c to sleep at loading docks and he got 8 hrs capacity by installing 14 house batteries. (About the same kw-hrs as the Chevy Volt will have!)

If you must have battery-powered a/c then superinsulating more carefully then me would likely help immensely. Consider partitioning off the cab---maybe a zippered mylarized quilt, and removable foam window inserts to reduce the btu demand.

Hard to imagine a Sprinter full of Dobermans where you can't leave screened windows open and fans on during more clement conditions!
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help with 2010 Mercedes conversion

some of dog carier pics, those are from our fire brigade wich speciality is rescue people from avalache or destroyed buildings






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