Building my Adventure Van (2011 NCV3)

Geek

New member
Yeah.. I'm going to change a few things... but overall it was excellent. I'm sad to be home.. I'd rather be vanning :bounce:

lotsa little things but the main things are:

1) I'm bumping up the priority of my insulation and espar D2 installation. Two different mornings we got up and it was below freezing in the van :smirk:

2) I want a way to isolate (hide) the sleeping quarters while leaving the bed setup. I'm not sure exactly how this is going to work yet but perhaps I'm going to try making my own tambour doors :hmmm:

3) I think I'm going to add a second maxxfan over the bed. We *really* liked the maxxfan and in keywest when the temperature got high up it would have been nice to blow air directly onto us while relaxing in bed (in one fan and out the other).
 

Geek

New member
Fuel mileage sucked. I even tried adding Diesel Kleen a few times to improve it.
I did have that "sputter" (acceleration hesitation at low speed) problem that has been discussed in another thread on 2 occasions - I'm pretty sure it was crappy fuel both times because the next tank of fuel it went away each time.

The best I saw was 21.4 over a 400 mile tank in southern Florida when we slowed down and spent some time exploring the everglades and key west.

Today, crossing Nebraska & Eastern Colorado with a 30+mph headwind and the cruise control on at 75mph.. I averaged ~15mpg :frown:.

Due to the large number of miles traveled in a short time I had to keep the average speed up.
We were normally going 70+. That and we couldn't get a break on headwinds lead to an overall average I'm guessing in the 17-18mpg range.
Somehow we had a headwind going east :censored: and then the expected headwind coming back west.

I suspect the fuel bill is somewhere around $1400 for the trip.

 
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Frosty_1

Member
Geek,

I'm with you on the Espar/Wabasto setup. I'm going to order one ASAP, as it's very hard to do things in the van when it's cold out(been high 30's here, cold for us) What do you plan on doing about your altitude? You going to get the high altitude version?

I emailed Bunkheaters.com and got a reply saying they can program the Webasto for High Altitude. I think I may go this route.

f.
 

NBB

Well-known member
That's been my experience with the fuel mileage as well - falls off a cliff above 70. You really can't get around the fact that you're pushing a sail down the highway. I still set the cruise at 82 and don't worry about it. If fuel was the holy grail to me, I'd buy a Prius and stay in tents and hotels - hahaha...!
 

Geek

New member
Frosty: yeah.. most of our camping in this thing will be 9000+ feet. Does espar have such a thing?

NBB: ditto. when you consider how much money i'm putting into the thing... spending a little more on a tank of fuel over 400 miles is negligible. In this case making time was more important than associated costs. When I'm retired, I'll slow down. :cheers:
 
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qualityair

'09 144" Cargo
I'm glad you enjoyed yourself down here in sunny Florida. Our gas prices are high, but the weather makes up for it :bounce:

The last two years I've ridden your state in the fall on a GS, and must say you've got it dang good there too!, just wish it wasn't so far away, both trips were about 5500 miles each. On a motorcycle that = 1 sore butt and wrist !

Guess I need to buy a cabin and a DRZ in Gunnison. :thumbup:
 

Sprinter SS

Active member
That's been my experience with the fuel mileage as well - falls off a cliff above 70. You really can't get around the fact that you're pushing a sail down the highway. I still set the cruise at 82 and don't worry about it. If fuel was the holy grail to me, I'd buy a Prius and stay in tents and hotels - hahaha...!
Wow! 82mph! What rpm is that....like 3200? My new van I got last week I have not had over 60 mph yet for break in. It seems my new van turns more rpm than my old one ( new van has 3.91 axle). I think my old one had 3.73.

I don't think I will drive much past 70 as it seems to be really revving.
 

Geek

New member
Happy New Year!

We decided to start the new year off right and take the Sprinter snowboarding.
This was the first time we've used it for snowboarding and I think we've spoiled ourselves for life :smilewink:

Considering the interior is only 10% finished (and it worked great!) .. it'll only get better from here.

I pulled the plug on the air bed and flipped the frame up.
Put a bungee across the boards and the boots underneath (along with our snowshoes).
I threw all of our warm/soft gear on the left behind the flip up panel :thumbup:



The temporary 8020 frame is still in the van from our trip (along with the cooler and the mr heater)

Once we got up to the ski hill it was so nice to take off our shoes and get dressed up comfortably in the van.. no outside "freezing while standing on one foot trying to put the boots on behind the trunk of the car" (like usually).





It'll be even nicer after we put in an espar so that we can keep it as warm as we want in the back without running the engine (although it was so nice today.. no heat was needed.. nearly 40 degrees at 10,000 feet!)



...out for a few runs.. then back to the van to kick off the boots and relax a bit and eat a granola bar. You can see Cheryl taking a nap :snore:

The bottom of the flip up panel will be done eventually in maple (like the faces of those front cabinet sides) so it looks nice when open.



...before we could leave we got to answer lots of questions about our setup by passers by... "what is that thing? It looks like the ultimate snowboarding setup!" was my favorite line that some guy's wife asked :lol:



Note to self: In the future avoid the "rockstar parking" up front and park back away from people so we won't get bugged so much by people curious about the thing.

We're really diggin' the Adventure Van lifestyle.. it is going to be a great year! :thumbup:
 

cmockbike

New member
It'll be even nicer after we put in an espar so that we can keep it as warm as we want in the back without running the engine (although it was so nice today.. no heat was needed.. nearly 40 degrees at 10,000 feet!)
Are you installing the espar yourself?

Thank you!
 

COS Mille

New member
Nice, we are going to try the winter camping thing up at our favorite area this winter. The espar worked great when it was in the 20s outside of Albuquerque. Curious to see how it works in some real cold, besides spending the night and and avoiding the crappy drive up from the Springs!
 

Geek

New member
Are you installing the espar yourself?

Thank you!
I will be and I'll do a full step by step write up when I do :cheers:

I've a friend that knows the things inside out and he has given me tons of great experience based advice that I'll be following and detailing.
Things like "if running more than one duct, use the y-joints backwards because the espar hates back pressure" and "before you select your installation site.. physically do a screen/glow plug replacement so you know what is involved.. then chose your installation site so that you can do this service while it is installed".
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Just a thought. Maybe you should consider thinking outside the box. I have the Espar water heater so do not need the air heater but if I did I would explore installing it under the floor. Looks like there is space behind the sliding door step between the step and the "frame" rail. Inlet in the step vertical wall behind the passenger seat, 90 degree turn toward the back into Espar and then 90 degree up into the van. Would not use up internal space and should be quieter. If I do another van, I would probably use the D2 instead of the water heater so was thinking how I would do it.
 

d_bertko

New member
I will be and I'll do a full step by step write up when I do :cheers:

Things like "if running more than one duct, use the y-joints backwards because the espar hates back pressure" and "before you select your installation site.. physically do a screen/glow plug replacement so you know what is involved.. then chose your installation site so that you can do this service while it is installed".
I found that my d2 installation amidship required no ducting at all. Perhaps the decent foamed insulation helps. I've got a similar rear bed layout as yours.

I also decided to pull the intake air across my battery bank. Running the d2 in "fan only" mode helps cool the bank in warm weather. The Prosine inverter/charger has a temp sensor to max out the charging rate. Just a fine point and not worth changing a bank location.

Dan
 

Attachments

Mrdi

Active member
D2 Installation:
Combustion air intake, exhaust and fuel inlet must be located
outside of the vehicle.
• Heater must be mounted on flat horizontal surface
providing an air tight seal between heater and vehicle.
• Do not mount the heater outside the vehicle, unless care is
taken to protect the heater from the weather. When selecting
the location, consider the following:
• Combustion air and exhaust connections.
• Ducting.
• Fuel line connections.
• Electrical connections.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
All except the protection from the weather are not difficult. I wonder how much protection is required? It will not get rained on but could get water splashing on it. A simple cover could prevent that. My Espar water heater is mounted under the vehicle without any external covers.
 

Frosty_1

Member
All except the protection from the weather are not difficult. I wonder how much protection is required? It will not get rained on but could get water splashing on it. A simple cover could prevent that. My Espar water heater is mounted under the vehicle without any external covers.

What about mounting under passenger seat? There is a member here who ordered a special bracket from Espar for this application. I'm thinking I'm going to put the heater under the seat, then use 80/20 or aluminum angle to make a bracket. Intake will be from cold air toward front of van, blowing warm air towards rear.
 

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