Layout plan.

atulin

New member
My plan is to install the Maxxair fan in the location well described by Dave, next to the second from the rear rib. A couple of month ago I talked to Maxxair and was told that their unit needs to be installed on a flat roof which is not the case with the Sprinter. I just measured roof curvature and across 16 5/8" fan's base flange there is 7/64" (0.11") gap on both ends. The roof is right next to the rib so the roof's sheet metal will stay curved at least at the rib.

I am thinking to do one of the 2 options:

1. “Shim” the gaps with additional butyl tape.
2. Make a 16 5/8" x 16 5/8" with 14" x 14" hole 1/4” - 1/2" PVC or HDPE frame with corresponding curvature on the bottom and below the roof a wood frame with curvature on the top. Orion used Styrofoam to compensate for the roof’s curvature and corrugating stiffeners. PVC has 1/2 of HDPE coefficient of thermal expansion.
Here is another option and how I installed my fan -> https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23817
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I am getting 2 AGM batteries, one will replace the underhood OEM flooded one and the second one will be mounted in rear left side of the van. My total battery capacity will be 184-190 AH. For more capacity I can add one more Group 49 but based on my loads I don’t think this will be necessary.

The only Group 49 AGMs I found are:

1. Deka with their derivatives - DieHard Advanced Gold AGM Battery is $162 with 92 AH (20 hrs.), 58.5 lbs.
2. Odyssey PC1350 at $330 with 95 AH (20 hrs.), 60.4 lbs.
3. Johnson Control sold by Interstate at $269, MT5-49/H8, 95AH, 58.2lbs.

Pretty interesting spread of prices. I am leaning toward the low cost.

George.
 

d_bertko

New member
George,

Sounds like you're cheaping out regarding the house bank? You'll may be wasting any solar without enough capacity to store it.

And a 1000w inverter really ought to have 200ah to draw from to not let the voltage drop too much on a big draw.

I'll comment that I have gotten good service from my Sears Diehard 49 AGM starting battery.

My house bank is four Lifeline Concorde size 4C 6v batteries (440 ah @ 12v). That size was the largest shippable by normal UPS---cheaper to get them online+shipping rather than picking them up from the distributors in any of the three nearest states(!)

Note that starting agms probably have more but thinner plate area than deep cycle agms. I am going on 8 years now on the spendy Concorde deep cycles so happy that it amortized. Paying for the well-regarded Concordes idealized chemistry seemed like good insurance against early replacement. I gave up trying to understand the nuances of trace elements in different deep cycles and just went with the best reputation.

I ran for a couple of years with a conventional flooded cell starting battery and the agm house bank. It did not bother the agms and I replaced the original starting battery with an agm version after a couple of years when that one wore out. Just curious if you're going to donate your perfectly good oem battery as a core for its agm replacement.

And be sure to wire the house bank to the alternator with a heavy enough gauge to let it boost or actually start the van if the starting battery eventually could use a little help for any reason.

Dan
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
George,

Sounds like you're cheaping out regarding the house bank? You'll may be wasting any solar without enough capacity to store it.

And a 1000w inverter really ought to have 200ah to draw from to not let the voltage drop too much on a big draw.

I'll comment that I have gotten good service from my Sears Diehard 49 AGM starting battery.

My house bank is four Lifeline Concorde size 4C 6v batteries (440 ah @ 12v). That size was the largest shippable by normal UPS---cheaper to get them online+shipping rather than picking them up from the distributors in any of the three nearest states(!)

Note that starting agms probably have more but thinner plate area than deep cycle agms. I am going on 8 years now on the spendy Concorde deep cycles so happy that it amortized. Paying for the well-regarded Concordes idealized chemistry seemed like good insurance against early replacement. I gave up trying to understand the nuances of trace elements in different deep cycles and just went with the best reputation.

I ran for a couple of years with a conventional flooded cell starting battery and the agm house bank. It did not bother the agms and I replaced the original starting battery with an agm version after a couple of years when that one wore out. Just curious if you're going to donate your perfectly good oem battery as a core for its agm replacement.

And be sure to wire the house bank to the alternator with a heavy enough gauge to let it boost or actually start the van if the starting battery eventually could use a little help for any reason.

Dan
Regarding wasting some of the 300W of solar oomph, this would be lovely in Oregon.

Based on our past experience we are light battery users. We are still questioning a microwave which would draw the most. I was hoping for 200ah but my limit comes from under the hood OEM auxiliary battery mount limiting the batteries size to Group 49/H8. I don’t want to mix battery types and sizes otherwise I could go with a different rear battery. None of the Lifeline batteries would fit under the hood with a reasonable ah capacity.

The new OEM flooded battery will be replacing the aging VW battery; I believe it is dual purpose one.

My original goal was to place as many components as possible outside the cabin; this included utilizing MB auxiliary battery mounting in the engine compartment. In fulfilling this goal the fresh, gray, and hot water tanks are waiting for better weather to be installed and one battery will be under the hood. In addition I would be using the auxiliary battery only with the solar system to feed the fridge within a month.

I will be wiring both batteries negatives with AWG #1 and placing the current shunt at the rear battery and ground the shunt to the ground connection on the left C-pillar. Rear battery’s positive will be connected via AWG #1 to auxiliary positive outlet under the driver seat. The inverter and the solar charge controller will also be placed in the left rear corner.

The OEM auxiliary relay stays. If I need to use the auxiliary battery to start the engine I can use a jumper cable under the hood.

George.
 

d_bertko

New member
Our microwave is certainly convenient for no-clean-up quickie meals.

But we definitely have a better diet because it steam-cooks fresh veggies so readily. And the fact that you set the timer means you don't have to watch over it. Great when you're outside grilling the salmon.

Dan
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I visited the local battery dealer; Northwest Battery Supply mentioned by Hein. A very knowledgeable fellow helped me to step out of my box. With my well imbedded image of any lead acid battery standing up-right I did not consider placing the AGM on its side under the engine hood even though I was vaguely aware of that possibility. It seems as group 31 will fit within available space with some modification required.

The batteries he recommended are deep cycle AGM (not start-up combo) by Fullriver http://www.fullriverdcbattery.com/. This option would give me 230ah of maintenance free batteries for a reasonable price. I will pull out the OEM battery today to make sure the new battery will fit and pick the batteries tomorrow.

George.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
230 sounds about right. FYI I was wondering if a 1000 watt Yamaha generator would fit under the hood on the passenger side. It will not but think a battery would in case you needed space for another one. The air intake box would need to be modified but it only needs to be wide at the top where it mates to the hood.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Making a battery bracket on the passenger side could be complex. Hopefully I don't need to go through this but thank you.

I checked if the 31 Fullriver would fit in the battery tray upright and it likely will. Small radius of the bottom edges of the battery could require a shimming the battery slightly up.

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I am getting ready to run all wires before next steps. I have a question about the cable from Espar D2 to thermostat. The D2 will be mounted under the passenger seat as others reported in this forum and MB/VW describes. If I get the timer/thermostat, I would like to mount it in the overhead console. If I get the Digi-Max, which would not fit in overhead console I would like to place it in the OH cabinet behind the driver’s seat.

My questions are about the cable connecting D2 with the thermostat:

1. What is the length of the connecting leg from the D2 harness to the thermostat?
2. Can I use any 8 conductor cable or is MB using some special wire ends?
3. I would assume that 20-22 AWG stranded would suffice?

I am going to order Espar next week, but it will take some time to get it. Any suggestions about a thermostat location are very welcome.

http://www.espar.com/tech_manuals/V...inter Vans/Airtronic mod 25 2378, 06-2007.pdf
http://www.espar.com/tech_manuals/E-Guardian School Bus kits/7 Day Timer ESPAR Manual.pdf
http://www.espar.com/www/espar.com/...emote controls/DIGI-MAX/Digi-Max 03-2013.pdf

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
1. What is the length of the connecting leg from the D2 harness to the thermostat?
13' from D2 and 2' on Digimax.

2. Can I use any 8 conductor cable or is MB using some special wire ends?
6 conductors to Digimax.

3. I would assume that 20-22 AWG stranded would suffice?
22AWG

George.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I am in the midst of wiring and plumbing before insulation. I found an interesting place to mount 1 to 2 GPM water pump inside the right B pillar. There is a large styrofoam plug below the floor and plenty of room above it. My 12 gal. fresh water tank is below the sliding doors and there would be small distance to the water pump. Based on my measurements even larger pump would fit there with both fittings aiming down or upwards.

With some Thinsulate padding between the B pillar and its shroud this pump should be very quiet.

George.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I just purchased M1-62 latches following Dave’s recommendation to be installed on 4 lower doors on my sofa bed. The doors will be cut from 3/8" HDPE. If 3/8” doors are in direct contact with 80/20 1.5” profile the latching tooth will engage directly into the profile slot. It is useful news for 80/20 users using 3/8" thick doors.

George.
 

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Good to meet you at NW Sprinterfest.

All the normally used water pumps are noisy. I thought a 1 gpm pump and low pressure would be guiet. It is not even after mounting it in rubber and using long rubber hoses between solid piping and the pump. My next conversion will use a small solar centrifugal pump. Absolutely quiet and 1/8 the size of my existing. A bypass is required to keep some water flowing through the pump. Small 1/4" hose teed off at the sink that returns some water to the tank. I have tested the setup and it works. Pump needs to be below fresh water tank.

Also meant to comment on 80/20 bolted joints. 80/20 is supposed to be vibration proof. I have had some bolts loosen so suggest that elastic stop nuts should be used.
 
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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
My project will hopefully gain some momentum overcoming, fortunately past, obstacles.
I am searching for 30A shore power waterproof connection and plan to install it on the rear hitch; I simply don’t like to make new holes in the van if I don’t have to. I found the new SmartPlug shore connection device which seems to be waterproof from the plug side but needs a box from the back. I understand that the blades pattern is different than the current RV or Marine standards but I am OK with this new style. Did anyone use this new style connector?
http://www.smartplug.com/marine_30amp.html

I called the company today and very helpful person send me the holes diagram attached.

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Fan installation

I installed the fan in the same location as Dave’s. Some differences in the process:

- ½ plywood was used as template and as a final shim. I cut 16 5/8 square and after marking the exact location for drilling corner holes in the van cut-out 14”x14” hole in the template.
- I did not use a center hole; just use a car jack and ducting tape to mark holes locations for 1/2 punch tool (7/8").

To drill mounting screws it is good idea to use self-centering tool.

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
My solar installation is almost done with the exception of electrical connections. I talked to a very nice lady in AM-Solar from Eugene and their recommendation is to use junction box, cut MC4 connector and using butt connectors connect 3 panels in parallel into 10AWG.

My plan was to use parallel MC4 connectors (2>1) to connect 3 panels. Per my measurement the resistance of one connector which is 0.0012ohms (at 2A) which in the 3 panels system would result with 0.105V voltage drop at full possible current of 22.5A. Is there some experience using these MC4 connectors.

Thank you,

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
The front and rear crossbars are rounded so they could reduce wind noise to some degree. I will be driving and see if the noise is noticeable.

Mounts are design to mount Fiamma awning to roof rails.

George.

Edit: Because all crossbars are 80/20 bars adding a wind deflector would be very easy.
 

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