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Old 03-25-2018, 02:49 PM   #11
ChadBuilds
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

I did the U-POL for aesthetics, but mainly to provide a chip/ding/scratch resistant coating around the lower area of the vehicle. Anyone doing this mod should be aware that MB does not recommend painting or coating the areas over the radar sensors for blind spot assist if you have it. I noticed this in the BEG after I did it but had considered this aspect before doing so. I decided to take the risk. I had a hard time believing a very thin coating of urethane would respond much different than the plastic already over the sensor. The blind spot assist seems to be working fine.

Two fans may be overkill! I have a buddy with a 144 and in hindsight he would have liked two fans. We plan to use a propane cook top so my thought was also added ventilation would be good if cooking inside. I will have a carbon monoxide sensor also. That said I have been wondering if two is a bit much. I am curious if anybody has two fans in a 144 that could offer some guidance either way. I haven't cut the holes yet so its not too late to change course.

Last edited by ChadBuilds; 03-25-2018 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Added information.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Window Question: We would like to put some small sliders in the rear. It looks like the best option for our needs is the CR Laurence VW1033L/R. If you have found something similar that you like better please let me know. It would be appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

If you do go with two fans, maybe consider to put them side x side so they don't completely occupy the roof. Even where you are, panels can make a difference.
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

I had one fan at rear in a 144" WB and never felt a need for two. In fact I think a 14" fan is overkill for a small conversion. Did have a 4" square floor hole just in front of the driver side rear wheel. Usually floor hole open and that had natural draft from under van and out the open, not powered Maxxair vent. Seldom powered the Maxxair in our environment.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

We had two fans in our last 144 (and an opening side window) and plan to do the same on our current build. The reason we liked it is that you can set both fans on super low (especially with the Deluxe MaxxAir - the low speeds are soooo quiet!), one in, one out, and sleep with a really nice breeze across the top of the van where the hot air can accumulate. In our last van we had an elevated bed platform so this was particularly appreciated.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

We decided to go down to 1 fan. It seems like it will be sufficient. We shall see how it works out. I also ordered the VW1033 windows, Thinsulate insulation, and CLD.

I have been doing a lot of research on the electrical side. It is definitely the thing I know the least about. I have lots of questions, but I have been making good progress figuring things out. Attached is a very high level schematic of what I am thinking. We plan to charge off of alternator, shore and solar. We only plan to run 120VAC appliances when shore power is available (primarily a small toaster oven). We will have a fridge (running off DC or AC when available), lights, water pump, usual stuff. I would also like a compressor at some point. I need to do the energy budget, but at this point I am just figuring out how all of the pieces fit together. My thought was to use a selector switch to tie into the power we plan to use at any given time. So here are my initial questions:

1. Sprinter BEG says that charging current from the alternator needs to be limited to 40A. I need to dig up internal resistance of the battery (~200Ah of AGM's) at 50% charge to see what the power draw will be. I suspect it will be less than this. It seems a 40A DC circuit breaker might be a good idea. I am curious how others have addressed this. The van has an OEM charging relay but it seems prudent to put one in on the house side as well. I really don't want to damage the vehicle electrical system.
2. Most schematics I see use an MPPT charger for solar only and provide the inverter and alternator current directly to the battery bank. Can it all be run through the MPPT? I read on another forum that this should be fine.
3. Any recommendations on an MPPT charger and battery monitoring system? The range of options is overwhelming. I am looking for something relatively simple but with some capacity for intelligence in the system.

Thanks for any help or recommendations. I truly appreciate it.
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File Type: pdf Sprinter Electrical.pdf (177.5 KB, 407 views)
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Very clean schematic. What did you use to draw it?
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie777 View Post
Very clean schematic. What did you use to draw it?
I used Microsoft Visio. It is a great 2D layout program. The version I have has some great symbol libraries, but it is pretty easy to make your own as well.
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

"3. Any recommendations on an MPPT charger and battery monitoring system? The range of options is overwhelming. I am looking for something relatively simple but with some capacity for intelligence in the system."

A Dutch company called Victron, main distributor in the US is PKYS; http://shop.pkys.com/ . Very modern, built in blue tooth to your phone or pad, can be integrated into computer systems, best of all relatively cheap. They have a good website with lots of support documentation. https://www.victronenergy.com/
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Old 04-02-2018, 02:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

I found a great thread that answers most of questions 1 and 2 for the sake of anyone else working through the complexities of a van electrical system:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...arging+current

It sounds like some type of charge controller between the alternator and batteries is a good idea to get proper control of the three charging phases. Doing so is also required to limit the current supply from the alternator. A 200Ah AGM system ideally would be drawing around 30A at the most, which is within the 40A limit. I now need to see if there is a good MPPT charger that can handle solar and alternator/shore power supply. I started looking at Victron products and they do offer a nice range of reasonably priced hardware. I haven't pinpointed a specific model that explicitly does this so if folks are aware of one please let me know.

My next post should have a far better defined electrical schematic including hardware selection.

This weekend I prepped for MaxxFan installation. I am following Graphite Dave's approach using aluminum flat bar to reinforce the top of the fan. I also chose to paint the mounting fan flange (part of it) and aluminum bars grey to better match the van. Waiting on some fastener hardware to commit to making the actual cut! It will be a bit before I get around to that.
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