Rip Van Build - 2020 Sprinter 170 4x4 Crew

Shea V

New member
My D2 kit came with a fuel tap, but I just spliced into the existing line to the H12 option coolant heater. The D2 just sips on diesel, and this seems to work well. You can see the T-fitting I added for the D2.View attachment 171675
Awesome. This is what I was thinking to do also, but wondered if the factory fuel line size was big enough to support both. At times they will run simultaneously, but most often, the D2 will run alone. Do you have a parts list or schematic of all the plumbing used for the fuel tap? What is the barbed T size minimally and clamp size so I can be sure to have the parts in advance of doing the work.
 

Shea V

New member
Water Heater

I wanted to take advantage of the H12 (Fuel-fired pre-heater / booster) and H88 (Rear Heater Prep), so I purchased an Isotemp SPA (15 liters). The water is heated by the engine coolant when you drive, and can also be heated using the H12, or using a 120V heating element.

My initial intention was to mount the tank directly next to the H88 coolant lines, but I found that it fits like a glove right in front of the left rear wheel. I chose to put it in this spot because it allows me to mount a simple rectangular 25 gallon black water tank between the H88 and the Isotemp. This means I need to extend the coolant lines back to the Isotemp.

I modified (bent) the mounting brackets slightly so that the bolts lined up with the recessed ribs in the floor for a cleaner instal. This also pulled the tank up by a 1/2" or so. I'm running the water lines through the floor just in front of the rear wheel well. It will supply hot water to the sink at the front and the outdoor shower at the back.

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Hey Philip,

I'm using the Isotherm Slim which is pretty much the same as yours, just a different shape. I'm contemplating if using the coolant lines from the H88 option is worth it. I'm going to have over 800Ah of lithium batteries and a dedicated alternator charging the house system, so although the option of using the H88 to heat the water while driving using the coolant is there, I'm not sure it's worth the connection and penetration of the floor (as I'm mounting the heater inside). The extra alternator can easily charge the system (250amp output) while driving and I suspect once the HWT is hot, it will hold/retain temperature well.

In this scenario, do you think adding H88 for a cost of $450 is worth it? I'm leaning towards not.
 
Black Water Tank Installation

To mount the tank to the underside of the van, I ordered some T-bolts and tank straps, and drilled and cut the straps to length. I bent the top end of the straps, and inserted them into the existing cross braces that are welded to the underside of the floor, screwing the strap to the cross brace.

Tank Straps
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Inside of Tank
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Top of tank during installation
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Tank Installed
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Awesome. This is what I was thinking to do also, but wondered if the factory fuel line size was big enough to support both. At times they will run simultaneously, but most often, the D2 will run alone. Do you have a parts list or schematic of all the plumbing used for the fuel tap? What is the barbed T size minimally and clamp size so I can be sure to have the parts in advance of doing the work.
If you're getting the D2 S2 kit, mine came with a couple of barbed T-fittings, and I ended up using one of them to splice into the existing line. I needed a couple of extra pipe clamps, and ordered the wrong size twice - 9mm hose clamps from Heatso ended up being the correct part. I also ordered 0.5m of 3mm fuel hose from Heatso to run from the T-fitting to the line for the coolant heater.

I've run both heaters at the same time, and they seem to work perfectly, so I'm pretty confident the fuel tap has plenty capacity to also supply the D2.
 
Hey Philip,

I'm using the Isotherm Slim which is pretty much the same as yours, just a different shape. I'm contemplating if using the coolant lines from the H88 option is worth it. I'm going to have over 800Ah of lithium batteries and a dedicated alternator charging the house system, so although the option of using the H88 to heat the water while driving using the coolant is there, I'm not sure it's worth the connection and penetration of the floor (as I'm mounting the heater inside). The extra alternator can easily charge the system (250amp output) while driving and I suspect once the HWT is hot, it will hold/retain temperature well.

In this scenario, do you think adding H88 for a cost of $450 is worth it? I'm leaning towards not.
Since your water heater is inside, and you're planning on a pretty massive battery bank and dedicated alternator, I wouldn't bother with the coolant lines. I don't like the idea of coolant lines inside the cab, and you are going to have no problem powering the heater with that much capacity.
 

Shea V

New member
If you're getting the D2 S2 kit, mine came with a couple of barbed T-fittings, and I ended up using one of them to splice into the existing line. I needed a couple of extra pipe clamps, and ordered the wrong size twice - 9mm hose clamps from Heatso ended up being the correct part. I also ordered 0.5m of 3mm fuel hose from Heatso to run from the T-fitting to the line for the coolant heater.

I've run both heaters at the same time, and they seem to work perfectly, so I'm pretty confident the fuel tap has plenty capacity to also supply the D2.
Hey Philip

I just checked my "Bag of parts-AX2 fuel components" from the S2 D2L heater. I have QTY 7 of the 9mm hose clamps, QTY 1 of 11mm, 4 small lengths of rubber tubing (like 2" long). The tag of the fuel line says 8m of 2mm plastic fuel line (tube itself says 4mm ID and 1mm ID), a black metal clamp of some sort, and a larger rubber hanger. No T's that I can see.

To confirm the fuel line used for the H12 heater is 3mm ID correct? If so, I can look for a barbed T for that and adapt down once I use the included clear fuel line.
 
Shower

The shower is mounted to the rear of the left 80/20 box, which also houses the fresh water tank. I bought a Curt folding hitch cargo carrier, and modified it with some teak so it could be used as an elevated shower platform. With the doors open, I have a shower curtain that can be clipped into place for privacy, and to avoid getting water in the back of the van. The majority of the time we will just be using the shower at the beach to rinse off after surfing without the platform or curtain, but on the road, it's nice to have the privacy.

Shower faucet and connector, fresh water fill
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Shower plumbing
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Fresh water tank
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Shower head
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Shower platform
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Hey Philip

I just checked my "Bag of parts-AX2 fuel components" from the S2 D2L heater. I have QTY 7 of the 9mm hose clamps, QTY 1 of 11mm, 4 small lengths of rubber tubing (like 2" long). The tag of the fuel line says 8m of 2mm plastic fuel line (tube itself says 4mm ID and 1mm ID), a black metal clamp of some sort, and a larger rubber hanger. No T's that I can see.

To confirm the fuel line used for the H12 heater is 3mm ID correct? If so, I can look for a barbed T for that and adapt down once I use the included clear fuel line.
I believe the H12 fuel line was actually all smaller hard line. I cut it just past the factory connector, before where I put the t-fitting, and used the 3mm ID soft tube to go over this hard plastic line and the barbs of the T-fitting, and then to connect back to the other end of this hard line. The short pieces of rubber tubing you got in your kit are for either side of the Fuel pump, and connecting the fuel line to the D2 (that piece of tube is different, the IDs are different dimensions on either side of it to adapt the small fuel line to the slightly larger fuel inlet on the D2). I was in a mad dash to get this finished before winter, so I may have forgotten some of the details, but I think that is correct.
 
Roof Fan - Maxxair 7500K

I intended to install a Maxxair 6500K fan, but there seemed to be a global shortage of them when I tried to purchase one, and the only ones available in Canada cost more than the 7500K, so I bought this instead. The complaints I've read about the 7500K are the remote failing, and the lid closing when you turn the fan off (though there seems to be some magic moves you can do with the remote to trick it). It appears you can also manually open it by turning the knob by hand, but I haven't hooked the electronics up, so I have yet to play around with it. I also ended up buying the 6 button wired remote to mount in my control panel area on the van. You need a Cat5 cable to use as a wire, and the end that attaches to the fan needs to be low profile to fit. I couldn't find a good source for a wire with low profile connectors, or low profile connectors, so I ended up buying the tool to crimp the connectors, and took a hack saw to a standard connector before crimping it.

I decided to install it at the rear location on our 170, above the bed. I installed rain guards on the front windows, so the air will flow in through the front of the van, and out through the fan at the back. Long term I also plan to put in at least one floor vent when I install a fridge. I will have an induction cook top but it will be right next to the slider door, so I could always open the slider to vent (weather permitting) when cooking. I think direct ventilation is more of an issue for a propane stove as the combustion creates a lot of moisture, we shall see. I have an idea to route a range vent to the rear fan if it seems necessary.

This install involved a surprising number of parts/tools to do properly:

Parts

-Maxxair 7500K Fan
-Maxxair 6 Button wired remote
-Cat5e Cable
-Rear 170 Roof Adapter
-1/8" x 1" Aluminum bar
-3/4" Plywood (to make a frame)
-3M Window-Weld 08609
-Dicor self-leveling lap sealant (2)
-Butyl tape
-10-24 x 2" 18-8 stainless steel screws (16)
-10-24 316 stainless steel tee nut inserts for wood (16)
-Nickel anti-seize paste
-Cold Galvanizing spray paint
-Primer spray paint

Tools

-Plywood and towels for sitting on the roof
-Clamps
-Drill and bits (step drill would be nice)
-Chamfer bit to clean up drill holes
-Jigsaw and fine/ thin metal blade
-deburring tool to clean cut line
-Wide tape to protect roof
-Plastic sheet or large trash bag
-rubber gloves
-vacuum
-ladder
-Foam brushes
-Q-tips
-Cat5e crimp tool

Throughout the process of cutting / deburring the screw holes and main vent hole, I must have vacuumed the roof 10 times. It was a windy day, so it was hard to stop shaving from going everywhere. Also, between the window-weld, anti-seize, and lap sealant, it got fairly messy, so a few pairs of disposable gloves would be nice.

Before getting on the roof and cutting the hole, I made a plywood frame to mount on the inside of the van. I cut the inside of the frame to match the roof adapter, and made the outside of the frame about a 1/2" larger all the way around. I clamped the fan frame, roof adapter, and plywood frame together and drilled holes for the hardware. Instead of using the provided screws, I bought 10-24 machine screws and tee nuts that press into the wooden frame. In an effort to avoid galling, i used dissimilar stainless steel grades for the screws and nuts, and used a nickel anti-seize. From my experience, you really don't want to use a high speed drill when assembling stainless hardware, as this significantly increases the chances of galling. I then drilled the plywood frame holes out to accept the tee nuts, spray painted it, and then pressed the tee nuts into the frame. I also drilled and cut the aluminum strips to put on top of the fan frame, to act as a stress relief for the screw heads.

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I put the towels and plywood on the roof, and taped a large trash bag below to catch metal shavings. I put the adapter in place (checked about 10 times that I had it the right orientation) and marked and drilled the corner holes for the cutout. I used a handful of drill bits to enlarge the pilot hole to be large enough to insert the saw blade. This is where a step drill bit would have been very useful. The roof is so flexible, it would be easy to warp the sheet metal as you drill. The bit pulls once when you punch through the roof, and once again as you pull back on the drill. Using lots of bits to step it up worked well with light pressure and high speed.

I then taped the roof to protect it from the jigsaw, used the adapter to mark the cut lines, and cut the hole. This part was relatively straight forward, but be sure to use a new blade intended for thin metal with fine teeth. High reciprocating speed and slow progress made a very clean cut. Before cutting the last edge, I put some tape under the piece of sheet metal that would be removed so it wouldn't fall or start bending at the end of the cut.

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Phillip thanks for all the detail! Tell me about your decision in selecting a roof fan for your build.
 
Phillip thanks for all the detail! Tell me about your decision in selecting a roof fan for your build.
Stephen,

The Maxxair fans are a really nice product...they seem to be the industry standard. It was important to me that it was quite on the freeway, able to be open when it's raining. They have something like 10 speed settings, so you can really fine tune the airflow. I initially was planning on a 5500K which is very similar to the 7500K I ended up with, but without the electronic open and close. There was a market shortage when I went to purchase the 5500K, so that was that. I'm really happy I ended up with the electronic close, it's very convenient. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to have the vent partially open, but it still has the manual crank, so it is still possible. I have the remote control, and I also installed a wired remote, which is on my control panel in the galley. This is the control I use the majority of the time. It also has buttons on the fan itself, which is nice if I'm laying in bed and want to adjust it.

Very happy overall with the choice, and the product.
 

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