2014 Great West Vans Legend SE

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Did you calculate or check with Rixen if adding 40' of 3/4" ID hose with many bends would not exceed maximum pressure drop at D5 flow of 4GPM? A 25W centrifugal pump with magnetically coupled rotor would max at about 3-4 PSI, so adding a 1-2 PSI back pressure can stall the flow below minimum required for D5 to operate properly.

You can calculate the pressure drop here - http://www.gates.com/catalogs-and-r...gineering-business-applications/pressure-drop

This is an example of a pump with double power motor. http://www.coleparmer.com/Product/M...nclosed_Motor_3_1_GPM_6_8_ft_115V/EW-72010-10

George.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
I was told the waste heat from the glycol after exchanging for heat and hotwater is still about 160F. So Advanced RV grooved the fresh water tank the full length and ran the glycol that way. They also bundle insulated the water lines with the glycol lines. It all seemed to have worked our first six days last January and February were below freezing night and day and we started out with about 20 gallons of fresh water before we finally got south and out of the freeze. Your solution should work.

We did go back and have our outside shower redone to quarter turn ball valve controls and freeze proof lines. Now that is ARV's standard. I think I would have had an inside shutoff put in like you do in homes but that would have been nearly impossible with our finished B.

We never had a problem camping in the Rocky Mountains with days above freezing and nights down to as low as 18F in our former Great West Van Legend.

Our next test will be Mike Wendland's Michigan UP second Tahquamenon Falls January 22 get together.
 

israndy

2007 LTV Serenity
It looks like there is a sheet of insulation on the underside of the RV in this photo:



I know we loose a lot of heat thru the undercarriage and the lack of a smooth belly causes us aerodynamic issues as well. I have always dreamed of using sheet aluminum to enclose the entire bottom of the Sprinter, exhaust and drive shaft and all. Just figure if it was doable someone would have done it by now.

I just bought an Airstream monster RV that actually is 4 seasons, with dual pane windows and furnace heat running to an enclosed basement. The only thing that isn't heated is the water line to the ice maker, and really, I'll just turn that off in the winter. So I too am looking forward to cold weather to test the setup.

For the 2 Sprinter RVs that I have had they were so simple to winterize I simply waited until needed to do it. So one trip driving across country, I watched as a blanket of snow was blowing across Highway 80 in Colorado. I pulled off the highway and dumped the three lines and water heater at a drain near a McDonalds, and then poured a gallon of anti-freeze into the p-traps and on into the waste tanks and continued into the freezing weather. I keep 2 gallons of fresh in the fridge so we have drinking/flushing water still. When we hit Arizona as the melting snow was pouring down the sides, I filled up the fresh tank again before entering LA.

With global warming I didn't need to freeze protect the RV or our mountain cabin this last winter at all. Crazy!

-Randy
 
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avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Did you calculate or check with Rixen if adding 40' of 3/4" ID hose with many bends would not exceed maximum pressure drop at D5 flow of 4GPM? A 25W centrifugal pump with magnetically coupled rotor would max at about 3-4 PSI, so adding a 1-2 PSI back pressure can stall the flow below minimum required for D5 to operate properly.

You can calculate the pressure drop here - http://www.gates.com/catalogs-and-r...gineering-business-applications/pressure-drop

This is an example of a pump with double power motor. http://www.coleparmer.com/Product/M...nclosed_Motor_3_1_GPM_6_8_ft_115V/EW-72010-10

George.
Yeah, I am aware of the potential issue. Fluid engineering is not my strong point, so I decided to take an empirical approach. The flow seems to be ok as best I can tell (the hoses quickly get and stay hot through the entire loop). I plan to do some thorough tests when it gets cold enough before I rely on any of this. If the Espar starts throwing codes, I will just turn the valve bake to "summer" mode until I can get a better pump. I've seen examples of boat installations with pretty long loops (although probably with fewer bends).

Question: If there is an issue, can I simply add a second small pump in series rather than moving to a larger one? That way, it could be placed in the "winter" loop and save power in the summer time.

Thanks for the pointers.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
We did go back and have our outside shower redone to quarter turn ball valve controls and freeze proof lines. Now that is ARV's standard. I think I would have had an inside shutoff put in like you do in homes but that would have been nearly impossible with our finished B.
How exactly do you use the new valves? Do you have to blow out the lines before you close the valve for the winter? Or, is it self-draining somehow?

I considered replacing our shower fixture with one of those self-draining freeze-proof fixtures like the ones used for hose bibs. They are available in a hot/cold configuration.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
It looks like there is a sheet of insulation on the underside of the RV
That big sheet is mostly covering the gray tank, which was flat on the bottom anyway. However, I did extend the sheets in some places to smooth out the bottom a bit. I at first considered an elaborate scheme with wood or fiberglas panels to protect the fragile insulation sheets. But I decided to think of them as expendable. Cheap and easy to replace as needed. We'll see how they hold up.
 

Davydd

Well-known member
How exactly do you use the new valves? Do you have to blow out the lines before you close the valve for the winter? Or, is it self-draining somehow?

I considered replacing our shower fixture with one of those self-draining freeze-proof fixtures like the ones used for hose bibs. They are available in a hot/cold configuration.
Good questions. I've never winterized our B yet. We took possession in January with water in it. It appears the valves are at a pretty low point and probably would gravity drain when winterizing and if I chose to use the antifreeze it would settle in. The theory after testing the valves and lines freezing water would not damage them, but you don't take unnecessary chances.
 

irontent

New member
Re: Four season upgrade

I made a diverter valve to connect the new hose to the existing Espar heat loop. The idea is that in the summer the valve is left open. This "short circuits" the added loop so that no significant coolant flows through it. In this way, the production of on-demand domestic hot water will operate efficiently. In the winter, the valve is closed, forcing the return water from the heat exchangers through the new loop, thus using the left-over heat to warm the plumbing and tanks.
Nice job.

My only question about your approach is the diverter valve assembly you fabricated. It looks like (but I could not tell for sure) that you used Schedule 20 one inch PVC. (NOTE: I'm not an expert on plastics, so take this question with a grain of salt ;) Maybe one of the plastics experts on the forum can respond and set me straight).

I did a quick lookup on the web as to the specifications of schedule 20. I found this link ...

http://www.professionalplastics.com/professionalplastics/PVCPipeSpecifications.pdf

If I'm reading the proper table, it looks like the suggested maximum working temperature is 140 Deg F with the tubing beginning to soften at about 250 Deg F. Elsewhere on the professional plastics site, it mentions that CPVC can be used up to 200 Deg F.

On my rig, the D5 heated Espar glycol is about 140 F. Since I have the engine heat exchanger, the working temps of the Espar glycol loop can be as high as 200 Deg F when the van engine is running with the Rixen heating system operational. As a result, I used copper and brass fittings on the entire Espar coolant loop (along with Onix radiant heat tubing).

Are you concerned about the the diverter assembly you fabricated failing due to high tempratures?
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Re: Four season upgrade

Are you concerned about the the diverter assembly you fabricated failing due to high tempratures?
Boy, a guy can't get away with anything around here! :laughing:

Yes, you are correct and yes I am a little worried. I could not find everything I needed locally in CPVC (I tried), and in my enthusiasm I went ahead and built it in PVC. I am definitely going to keep an eye on it, and most likely will redo it in CPVC eventually. But in the mean time I am not losing much sleep over it. My understanding (which is also by no means expert) is that the temperature specs of plastic pipe interact with the pressure specs. I.e., the rated temperatures protect the design at the full rated pressure. The Rixen's system is pretty gentile pressure wise, and given that I am not grossly over the temperature specs, I am guessing that it will most likely be fine. And, if it does fail, I am pretty confident that it will start with leaks (probably in the valve), and not a catastrophic burst, so I should have some warning.

Also, I do NOT have the engine heat exchanger.

As you say, CPVC should be fine (code permits its use for DHW). The piece is pretty accessible, so if there are issues, it will be a quick swap.

Thanks for pointing this out. I should have noted the compromise for the sake of posterity.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
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Question: If there is an issue, can I simply add a second small pump in series rather than moving to a larger one? That way, it could be placed in the "winter" loop and save power in the summer time.

Thanks for the pointers.
I would add a second pump for the power saving reason as you pointed out.

George.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
I've tested the "winter" loop some more, and so far it seems to work without issue. I have no easy way to actually measure the flow rate, but the far reaches of the loop seem to heat up promptly, and watching the return flow through the neck of the Rixen's expansion tank, I can't see any obvious difference with the valve open vs closed. I will continue to keep an eye on it, though.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Cabinet lighting

Now that my big project is done, I am getting back to some smaller ones...

I have been adding door-operated lights to cabinets and closets. Here's how i do it:

I start with (a) little magnetic switches of the kind used to protect windows in home security systems; and (b) small 12VDC reed relays:

IMG_6262.jpg

Then I got a reel of those nice LED strips that are almost free from eBay. I stick it onto a strip of plastic molding from Home Depot, wire up the switch and relay, and hot-glue the relay onto the strip:

IMG_6260.jpg

IMG_6261.jpg

IMG_6264.jpg

(you need the relay--the magnetic switch can't handle the current. Ask me how I know.)

Mount the strip inside the cabinet above the door, and position the switch and magnet with double-sided tape:



And here we go:

IMG_6276.jpg

Quite handy at night, actually.
 

rb3232

Member
"The 5706V supports remote starting of many vehicles, but this feature is not available on the Sprinter."

Do you happen to know the issue why remote starting is not available? eg immobilizer or ?

If it's the skreem immobilizer, I wonder if the skreem immobilizer "delete" would solve the problem.

Thanks, Ross
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Do you happen to know the issue why remote starting is not available? eg immobilizer or ?

If it's the skreem immobilizer, I wonder if the skreem immobilizer "delete" would solve the problem.
Not certain, but I am pretty sure that it is more than just the screem. The DBALL2 Sprinter firmware is pretty basic, and starting a Sprinter is now a pretty elaborate proposition. Traditional remote starters use relays to fake the ignition and start signals from the key. In the Sprinter, all there are are CANBUS messages (you can tell when you turn the key). So, elaborate firmware is required. As far as I know, the only remote start module that works in 2014+ is the Midcity SKS906 which costs something like $600.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Re: added some amps

The Legend came with two group 31 AGM batteries--each in an under-floor compartment all the way in the back. Between those compartments is a third, larger compartment meant for storage. After a year of use, we have convinced ourselves that we actually have more storage than we need. We can't say the same for power, so we decided to dedicate part of the center storage box to two more batteries.

Came out like this:

Just in case any other Legend owners decide to replicate the above setup, I want to document an issue that arose with my installation:

It turns out that the center compartment isn't quite strong enough to support the weight of the two extra batteries. Although the big box looks like it is built the same way as the smaller battery boxes, it is not. The small boxes have rims that rest on the top of the deck of the van and so are well-supported. The large storage box has the rim UNDER the deck, and is held in place with lots of sheet-metal screws. These screws eventually pulled partially loose under the weight of the batteries. So, extra support is called for. Here's how I did it:

I removed the box and fabricated two custom brackets out of heavy steel stock:

IMG_6374.jpg

They were designed to bolt into existing holes in the chassis:
IMG_6375.jpg

I used them to suspend four lengths of all-thread used to secure two support bars under the box.

IMG_6587.jpg

IMG_6588.jpg

Replaced the box using the next-larger size screws and a bead of sealant, and then cinched up the new brackets.

Problem solved.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
lighted grab handle

GWV vans came with this nice grab handle:

IMG_7174.jpg

This item was designed to be illuminated and has a built-in LED, but for some reason they didn't hook it up. I didn't really care until I discovered how hard it is to open the sliding door at night if all the lights are out, which is a safety concern. I was trying to figure out how I could somehow illuminate the sliding door release when I realized that the grab handle would do the job:

IMG_7173.jpg

I wired it so that it can be left on as a night light. It also comes on automatically when the sliding door is open:

IMG_7169.jpg


BTW: the DBALL2 CanBus interface that I used when installing my alarm system has a "door open" output signal that can be used for things like this without having to tap into the fussy Sprinter lighting circuits.
 

bcislander

'07 Mercedes-badged Dodge
Interesting..... the Grab Handle on my 2008 GWV Legend is on the outside of the van, between the sliding & passenger doors.

The grab handle and a light high up on the RH side of the van illuminate when the outside light switch is ON.
 

Daystar

Member
Having discovered that piggybacking on the Sprinter OEM alternator is a pretty poor way to charge my awesome new battery bank, I took the plunge and purchased a 270 amp dual alternator kit from Nations Starter and Alternator:

View attachment 69606

This is a very high quality product, purpose designed for the OM-651 engine. Everything fit like a glove.

View attachment 69607

View attachment 69608

I ran a new 3/0 AWG wire from the new alternator to the batteries in the back, and mounted the Balmar MC-614 regulator on the firewall.

View attachment 69610

Installed without issues. I am seeing about 207 amps at idle, which is just what Nation's said I would see. At speed, it looks like my four AGMs are willing to accept just shy of 250 amps. Glad I got that fat wire!

I used to be a skeptic about second alternators, but no more. On a good day, I was getting maybe 80 amps from the Sprinter's highly-optimized power system. This is better. :thumbup:
Avanti,
What was involved in getting access to run the new serpentine belt? Do you have to remove the radiator and air conditioner coils? Is it something that a moderately skilled DIYer could do?
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Avanti,
What was involved in getting access to run the new serpentine belt? Do you have to remove the radiator and air conditioner coils? Is it something that a moderately skilled DIYer could do?
First, NB that my experience is limited to the I4. The details no doubt vary by engine type.

It is definitely doable. "Moderately skilled" is about right. As you suggest, access i the only real issue. You do NOT have to remove anything (except the OEM belt, so you can bolt on the new pulley). You do have to loosen up the the shroud to get access. Cutting a little slot in the shroud facilitates installing the pulley bolts.

I would say that the hardest steps are:

1) R&R the OEM serpentine belt.
2) Clearances when installing and torquing the pulley bolts.
3) Tapping an existing hole in in the front mounting boss at the bottom of the engine. They provide the proper tap.

Beyond that, it is all bolt on, and everything fits perfectly.

Bottom line is that this is a pretty easy procedure for a pro who does this kind of stuff every day. For the amateur, I would consider it moderately challenging. I did most of it myself, with a little help from the garage guy down the street.

Here are the installation instructions for the I4 that come with the kit:

View attachment Nations Alternator Install.pdf
 

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