Living With My New Advanced RV

Diamondsea

New member
I have 4700 miles on the rig. A couple of days ago I drove down a very steep private drive and upon startup to leave a check DEF message came on. From my readings on this forum I thought that was premature mileage wise. I decided that the sensor in the DEF tank might have been left "exposed" above the fluid level due to the extreme grade. Anyway at my next fuel stop at a typical 7-eleven type gas station that sold diesel fuel I asked if they sold DEF. Sure enough I was surprised that they did near the motor oil and it was just over $6/gallon. It was branded "PEAK" which is a name I am familiar with for products like washer fluid. It was labeled "Blue DEF" although it was clear, not dyed. The gallon jug had no special spout or opening but I was able to pour it in carefully without spilling a drop. Upon startup I continued to get the check message, but the message did not appear after the next startup and it has not returned.

I guess I will never know if the level was really down or if the very steep grade had fooled the tank sensor. My driving is mostly highways with little stop and go city type driving. I was thus surprised to add the fluid at 4700 miles so I tend to believe that the steep grade fooled the system. Does very cold weather use more DEF?
 

aljimenez

'13 LTV Serenity on '12 3
Same mileage as mine showed up so I don't think the steep grade is to blame.
 

bobojay

New member
Normal mileage. It probably wasn't quite full when you picked it up from Advanced. You have a 3.2 gallon tank under the right front fender area.
What uses more DEF is idling and larger throttle opening, such as hard acceleration, or lugging the engine, as in too low an rpm with a wide throttle opening.
Our first full DEF tank lasted right at 5500 miles, although I filled it before the light came on with the 2.5 gallon blue def from WalMart. So far that fill has gone just over 5k miles with no light
 

Davydd

Well-known member
The first Bluetec Sprinters had larger DEF tanks. I can drive 8,000 to 10,000 miles. When my warning light goes on it takes a full 2.5 gallons to refill to get the light to go out. Just adding a gallon doesn't do it. I suspect that is why they sell in that size container. It can sometimes take a couple stops and restarts for the the warning light to clear. Also those 2.5 gallon containers come with handy fill spouts which makes it easy to do. I fill until I can just see it visually in the fill line but not to the top. DEF is sold just about everywhere now. Definitely at almost all truckstop type service areas, Walmart and almost all auto stores like NAPA, O'Reilly, Advanced, etc. I have only seen it clear, never dyed, so the "blue" must not be referring to color.
 

chromisdesigns

New member
The first Bluetec Sprinters had larger DEF tanks. I can drive 8,000 to 10,000 miles. When my warning light goes on it takes a full 2.5 gallons to refill to get the light to go out. Just adding a gallon doesn't do it. I suspect that is why they sell in that size container. It can sometimes take a couple stops and restarts for the the warning light to clear. Also those 2.5 gallon containers come with handy fill spouts which makes it easy to do. I fill until I can just see it visually in the fill line but not to the top. DEF is sold just about everywhere now. Definitely at almost all truckstop type service areas, Walmart and almost all auto stores like NAPA, O'Reilly, Advanced, etc. I have only seen it clear, never dyed, so the "blue" must not be referring to color.
Also the cab and chassis models can be ordered with a larger side-mount DEF tank. Just did the first "A" service on ours, at 9,600 miles and it took 5 gallons, so probably would have had the light right at or near 10,000 miles.
 

Diamondsea

New member
I just had my fully loaded with gear Advanced RV weighed. Included was full fuel, 75% water, 20% gray and black, and my 200 pounds. Front 3820, rear 6060, total 9880 pounds. Max. GVWR is 11000+ pounds.
 

Diamondsea

New member
My Nova Cool is so quiet I need to perk up my ears to determine if it is running. It is fully enclosed with a small muffin fan to remove hot air from the space behind and above the fridge/freezer. By the way I am starting an experiment today. I am in Tampa, Fl where the weather is clear and hot. In the mid afternoon I pulled into a hotel parking lot to attend a reunion and I am staying in the hotel and the van will be parked until mid day Sunday. There is practically no shade, I am under a small palm tree. I will check it twice a day and I am interested as to how long the 4 Group 31 AGM batteries hold up before I need to run the engine at fast idle to recharge them. Anyone care to guess? The batteries are about 110 amp hours each I think. I will report back.
 

bobojay

New member
Those batteries might make it all the way.
 

israndy

2007 LTV Serenity
Do you have a battery meter? Are you relying on just the light? The light is what killed my first battery pack (fortunately under warranty). I thought I was OK as long as the light didn't say the batteries were dead, but the CO detector would start making all sorts of noise before the light said I was out of battery. Turns out going below 12V with no load is when you are killing your batteries, even though the appliances will work down to 10V. So turn off your fridge before it starts eating your batteries. When I got new batteries I also got a battery tracking meter. First RV had the TriMetric, current has the LinkLite. I love them both but the LinkLite has a fuel gauge style that is easier to read from afar. The gauge drops to zero when you have used half your battery's amp hours to preserve your battery life.

I recently added solar to the RV and a feature of the controller was a low voltage disconnect. It allows me to have the fridge dropped when the solar has not been able to keep the batteries up. The fridge might get a little warm overnight but it will be operating again when the sun returns. Better a little food than my battery bank!

-Randy
 
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Alex

New member
Randy

What kind fridge do you have? I am going to replace my 3 way Norcold N300 to Nova Kool R4500
Do you have any experience to use Nova Kool fridge .?
I have only one aux battery 31 AGR ( 100 a/h), so I think I can use my fridge at list 20 hours without the charging. ( 2.2A x 20h = 45a/h )
Still think about replacing ...Any thoughts ?
 

Diamondsea

New member
I am in the hotel at the moment and am not sure of the Nova Cool model number. It is 2 door with the freezer on the bottom. If you send an email to Advanced RV they probably could tell you what model they are using. Both my house and chassis batteries are monitored by the Advanced RV SilverLeaf computer which reads to 0.1 volt and I believe it is accurate to 0.1 volt each way. My test previously mentioned started mid afternoon yesterday when the temperature was in the mid 80s and I parked in the sun with a tiny bit of shade from a small palm tree. The temperature was almost 90 today. This evening I checked in the mid evening and the house batteries were down to 12.3 vdc. I will probably need to run the engine tomorrow at the automatic fast idle to get the 220 amp alternator to pump amps into the batteries.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
I am pretty sure that Advanced uses the Nova Cool RFU6800. That is also the model that I specified for our soon-to-be-built GW Legend SE, so I am very interested in your experiment.

It is interesting to note that the RFU6800 is both significantly larger inside and significantly smaller outside than the similar Dometic DM2663, and uses about 1/3 the power as compared to the Dometic running on DC.
 

Diamondsea

New member
My above mentioned experiment started Thursday mid afternoon when the temperature was high (mid 80s) and the batteries fully charged from the engine. Yesterday it was in the 90s. This morning Saturday at 7 AM the house batteries were down to 12.1 so I started the engine at the automatic fast idle. After 40 minutes the voltage had climbed to 13.7. Immediately after the automatic engine shutdown at 45 minutes the voltage was at 12.9 and 15 minutes later it was stabilized at 12.7. The temperature is supposed to be a bit cooler today with the high at 78 to 80. I am leaving the hotel during this day with the tour group and will check in the late mid afternoon. Remember that my Advanced RV has the simple electrical arrangement with just the engine alternator and 4 AGM house batteries charged in parallel with the engine battery. I believe that most Advanced RVs have a more robust and complex system with a second alternator dedicated to charging house batteries via a smart charge regulator that gets juice in the batteries faster as it goes in at over 14 volts which is higher than the Sprinter regulated voltage.
 

israndy

2007 LTV Serenity
Even if you have a regulated 14+ volts coming OUT of the charger, a meter on the line will not show all that voltage until the battery starts to get near the top. The draw from the battery pulls it down. Also if you have a fridge or something running, that too will pull the voltage down. My Sprinter puts out over 14 volts when I drive so likely yours does too. It's a good voltage to charge an automotive battery with. It would be better if you had an isolator that keeps your house pack from charging with the car battery, someone is gonna get too much voltage after it's fully charged. There are automatic isolators you can get that keep the voltage levels isolated to the individual battery pack. They will give you much of the benefit of the upgraded alternator setup you described using only one alternator.

-Randy
 

Diamondsea

New member
More on fridge test; see my posts 89, 94, and 96 above.

REFRIGERATOR POWER USE / BATTERY RECHARGE EXPERIMENT

I have just completed an interesting test. I arrived at a hotel in Tampa (second trip to Florida) this past Thursday for a reunion where I am staying in the hotel and parked outside in mostly all sun, about 10% shade from a skinny palm tree nearby. The house batteries were fully charged from driving, not from the shore power inverter charger which could put a slightly greater charge in at a higher voltage.

Arrived mid afternoon Thursday temperatures in the high 80s. Everything shut off except the fridge. I opened the side windows forward and aft to keep the interior temperatures from getting extreme and locked up. On Friday during the day the temperature was in the lower 90s, fridge was running continuously and temperature in the fridge had crept up about 4 degrees.

At 7AM on Saturday I checked the van and the fridge had pulled the batteries down to 12.1 volts so I started the engine at the fast idle of 1150 RPM. Just after start the chassis battery went to 13.9 and the house went to 13.3. During the 45 minutes of engine run time the voltages crept up to 14 chassis and 13.9 house. Fifteen minutes after shutdown the house had fallen to 12.7.

Saturday mid afternoon the inside van temperature was 96 degrees and the fridge was running continuously and about 4 degrees above normal. I ran the engine for 45 minutes again to recharge. Sunday morning when I left the house batteries were down to 12.0. Summary: Thursday mid afternoon to Sunday mid morning in very hot weather required two 45 minute engine run times at fast idle.

Here is an interesting question: If I had left the 10 speed roof vent exhaust fan on at low speed (20% or 30% ?) to keep inside temperatures lower would its use of electricity be offset by savings of the fridge not running continuously?
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Measure the temperature inside the van vs. outside temperature.

Another choice is to put a hole in the floor behind refrigerator to bring cooler air from under van up past the refrigerator coil and out a non-running open ceiling vent. No power used. Take advantage of the natural draft caused by hot air raising. The hole in the floor works better in winter when there is a larger temperature differential between air temperature in the van and air temperature under the van.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Measure the temperature inside the van vs. outside temperature.

Another choice is to put a hole in the floor behind refrigerator to bring cooler air from under van up past the refrigerator coil and out a non-running open ceiling vent. No power used. Take advantage of the natural draft caused by hot air raising. The hole in the floor works better in winter when there is a larger temperature differential between air temperature in the van and air temperature under the van.
Interesting idea. What kind of hole? How would one keep road spray out? Is there risk of it working TOO well in the winter--making it harder to keep the van warm? Some kind of damper, perhaps?
 

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