Electrical and Battery Questions

Hi,
I have a 2019 Sprinter cargo 170 with the auxiliary battery under the hood. It’s still a pretty bare van at this point. I just ordered two MaxxAir fans and the electrical cable harness from Adventure Wagon.
A few questions I have before I start putting up walls.
- The Adwag kit installs under the drivers seat. Is this the best place to put the fuse blocks? I get that MB does it but I can access the MB fuses from the side. The Adwag appears it would require me to remove the seat
- Has anyone used the Blue Sea weatherdeck fuse panel and attached it to the back of the drivers seat or the nearby wall? It seems this would be easier to access the fuses, as well as turn off items I don’t want on.
- Battery questions - Adwag sells a kit to convert from a 12v battery to dual 6v pre-2019 vans. they don’t sell one for 2019. However RB Components does. I’ve been thinking of purchasing a Goal Zero to increase my battery capacity. It appears I can purchase two 6v batteries plus the RB tray for $500. This would give roughly 220AH vs the current Aux battery. It also seems to be considerably cheaper than a Goal Zero. Am I missing something here? Is this the best route to go for now or is the GZ still a great option? Regarding electrical usage - my use of the van is RUV - hauling lumber / house supplies on weekends. Soccer games. Ski lessons on the weekends. One night camping trips with the kids. Most of my usage will be the fans, Espar heater, Dometic cooler, and charging devices.
Thanks!
Ryan
 

JUSTAGUY

Gig Harbor, WA
All of the 6V in series systems that I have seen are AGM/Gell/lead. Think heavy. And they should not be discharge below 50% SOC (some say 70%)
Lithium is much lighter and can be safely discharged down to 20% SOC.
You get more useable power and less weight for same amp hour rated systems
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
It wasn't quite clear from your 1st post: do you have the MB "house" battery under the hood, or just the *tray*?
If there's an MB-installed house battery under the hood, then you have some of its fuses under the driver's seat.

--dick
 
HI,
Sorry that was not clear. Yes, I have the MB house battery underneath my hood. I do have the fuses under the seat. When I hooked up my Espar, I set my fuse underneath there as well.
I guess I was just more worried that by adding more fuses underneath there, it just increases the likelihood that I will need to remove the seat in the chance that a fuse does pop.
Perhaps I am overthinking it and should just follow the AdWag instructions :)
Thanks!
 

elemental

Dis member
A few questions I have before I start putting up walls.
- The Adwag kit installs under the drivers seat. Is this the best place to put the fuse blocks? I get that MB does it but I can access the MB fuses from the side. The Adwag appears it would require me to remove the seat
- Has anyone used the Blue Sea weatherdeck fuse panel and attached it to the back of the drivers seat or the nearby wall? It seems this would be easier to access the fuses, as well as turn off items I don’t want on.
I installed an Adventure Wagon RUV kit on my 2017 Sprinter during June 2018, and added their auxiliary battery kit in December 2018. I followed their instructions and put the fuse block under the driver seat. I located the fuse block where I think I could get at it (in an emergency) by scooting the seat forward and pulling up the thin foam panel the covers the base. So far it hasn't been an issue because I haven't blown any fuses.

I haven't finalized my electrical system yet, however, and I've been looking at the Blue Sea Systems Weatherdeck panels as a way to gain better control over the individual load circuits and bring fuses or circuit breakers out of the seat base where they would be easier to access IF I had a problem (which I emphasize I haven't had yet). There are three panels that I've considered: Switch only (using fuses in the already installed fuse block), fuse-based panel, and circuit-breaker panel. The switch-only panel has no additional electrical draw, I think the other two have backlighting that will have some drain (if that matters to your usage scenario).

If you use the Weatherdeck panels you will either need to cut a big hole in the seat base or build a box to mount the panel (to accommodate the wiring on the back of the panel), and you will need to extend the Adventure Wagon wiring harness terminations to the Weatherdeck panel location. All of these things can be done after installing the Adventure Wagon kit. In my mind, the tradeoff is whether you want to have one final solution that you install all at once, or you want to separate the design/build concerns and get the basic RUV kit installed and operational before you start enhancing it. I obviously went with the latter, and have been happily using my van for a while before I'm getting around to the enhancements.

My enhancements have come to include a) a separate DC-DC charger to use instead of the Blue Sea Systems ML-ACR that I got with the Adventure Wagon auxiliary battery kit, b) two additional Blue Sea Systems rotary switches (select charging path or isolate aux battery altogether; the other to select where I draw power for house loads or cut house loads off altogether), and c) a Weatherdeck panel to give me finer-grained control over the load distribution circuits (and possibly move the fuses out of the seat base).

Sometimes the ability to get version "A" up and running, then use it for a while, makes for better planning for version "B". I find this to be especially true in areas where I have little previous experience, and I expect the marginal cost of building in two or more stages to not be excessive.
 

cacaw

Active member
Using two 6V batteries is certainly more economical, but you have to keep in mind that flooded batteries must be continually maintained or they will degrade quickly. If you have them hooked up to solar charging, or if you drive several hours each day, no problem.

In our 2007 Sprinter motorhome we have two six volt batteries plus a 300Ah lithium battery.

But in our 2019 Sprinter van, I'm using a Bluetti battery bank (includes a 1500Wh lithium battery, inverter, solar controller, and AC charging in one compact box). Granted, the 1000 inverter is too small for a live-aboard Sprinter, but for a weekender it's perfectly adequate. The best thing about it was being able to take it out of the box and put it to use immediately. (I may someday get around to a full-featured electrical system in this van, but I'm a believer in Elemental's "Version A" approach to this sort of thing.)


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Our Passenger van came with the additional battery under the hood. I decided it would be much more convenient to attach the Espar heater to that battery instead of the Bluetti power bank.
 
I also have a house battery and I'm interested in adding the Goal Zero Kit too with the AW Harness. Yes they are expensive, but they have a lot of other uses outside the van. There is a new GZ Yeti 1500X I'm looking at. It will run about $2K.

I'd like the GZ kit to be removable so I can take it inside my house during power outages. I don't anticipate much in the way of solar. Ideally I'd have a switch to that I can run the:
  • Espar
  • Overhead LEDs
  • Radio
  • Clean water pump
From either the house or the GZ. I'm not sure if this is feasible.
 

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