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Old 02-23-2018, 01:05 PM   #481
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Just curious... is it a Sprinter-based box van? Does it have a physical connection between the cab and the rear?
No, it is based on the Ford Transit. I ordered a brand new 2017 Ford Transit cutaway and had it shipped from the Ford plant in Kansas City to a company named Unicell in Buffalo, where they installed a fiberglass box on the back. More info here: https://www.unicell.com/van-bodies/a...ansit-van-body

Then my gf and I flew out to Buffalo and made a six week trip out of the drive back to Oregon: https://www.facebook.com/campyvansters

Square sides and a little extra room side-to-side are why we went with this rig (plus having a blank slate is indeed AWESOME). We opted for swing out doors in the rear, as well as a side entrance. And yes - there is a door between the cab and the box. We decided to go with a gas engine rather than diesel. And the thing drives like a car. I have to remind myself there's a giant box behind me. Very happy with it. Right now it gets about 14 MPG on average, but I know that will go down once it's converted and loaded with water, etc.

Of course, no rv is perfect, and the downside of this one is it is LOOOONG. 24 feet bumper to bumper, so no standard parking space for us. We could have gotten a shorter box, but we plan on living in this puppy full time for the foreseeable future, so it is a trade off we were willing to make after much consideration.

I do plan on documenting the build, both on a web site and in a forum (probably the Ford Transit forum, since it's not an Airstream). I'll let you know when I've posted. Could be a little while as I am busy with work plus I have a rotator cuff injury which is slowing me down. Seeing an orthopedist next. Fun!

Hey, I'm wondering if you used any special software to create those pictographic wiring diagrams or did you just grab some images off the web and paste them into something like Google Drawing? Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:44 PM   #482
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The diagrams are just MS PowerPoint with mostly marketing product photos with the backgrounds made transparent.

I look forward to following your build. I’m not sure if you’re planning a stealth build but the flat roof gives you lots of room for solar. And at 24 ft long, there should be enough room under the chassis for a condenser so you don’t need to use a loud rooftop unit.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:54 PM   #483
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I do hope you will keep the world informed of this build of yours. I am aware of no other approach of the type you have chosen. Transit builds, yes, those are a dime a dozen. But not a made-to-order box van.

A few years ago, many software producers became all-or-nothing. Gone are the days of spending a few hundred on a graphics package release and keeping that one set of CD-ROMs and the product key going for as long as the prevailing Windows version would support it (sometimes as long as a decade). I'm a small business owner and I had to vacate my previous graphics packages for this reason - I can no longer justify today's inflated prices, some of which are subscription-based. So I now largely default to doing things the hard way, using good old fashioned PowerPoint almost all of the time.
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:16 PM   #484
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I like Viso for making wiring diagrams. You can get Ďstencilsí for many Ďstockí components, or place your own.

I bought it as some employee deal of some sort for super cheap. Pre-subscription.
(The subscription setups are a pain for a hobby user- I donít like them, but it cuts down on software theft)

Mark
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:30 AM   #485
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This is off the direct topic of the thread but I feel compelled to share it somewhere. It has just become my favorite Rube Goldberg video EVER.

We routinely get asked why, why, why we put so much time, effort, and money into our Interstate - the ol' question of "Why can't you just enjoy it?"

Because it's fun to tinker with stuff. People tinker in myriad ways. Imagine what THIS guy below could have accomplished if he had focused his considerable imagination and energy on improving an Interstate instead of limiting himself to working with his kitchen implements and foodstuffs. The time and effort he put into this design might be on par with our lithium system.


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Old 04-12-2018, 08:34 PM   #486
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Not sure where to post this, but since I have an upgraded lithium battey system and hybrid inverter, this seemed to be the place.
We attended the FMCA rally at Perry Ga last month and had shorepower from their field generator bank. We had our Progressive Industries Surge Arrestor in place at the field-breaker panel.
One evening we weren't paying attention to our power utilization (a luxury byproduct of the hybrid inverter) and had the AC running, water heater running, a portable induction hot plate running, freezer....and lighting. I suddenly noticed the amperage in the Surge Arrestor was peaking/holding at 37 amps. No breaker trips either.
I didn't think was the best situation so I turned off the water heater and dropped down to under 30 amps. Going to go get the van out of storage this weekend for some cleanup/dewinterization work. While its out I plan to take a closer look at breaker arrangement. I know the water heater is in a separate new breaker panel, but hmmmmmmmm. Gonna check the transfer switch specs while I'm at it too.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:44 PM   #487
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Most breakers are slow acting. If you’re various loads were cycling on and off it may have not been over 30A for long. We maybe your breakers are tired?
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:42 PM   #488
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I have heard of breakers getting sluggish, but not in the short life of my unit(2013). I have a 30 amp breaker on inverter/ charger input, also have parallel power feed to water heater (did not want to feed water heater from potential battery output). This is based on my quick diagram after mod was finished. Will reopen power box this weekend.
I am also wondering why the field panel 30 amp breaker did not trip.
Did confirm the transfer switch is rated for 30 amps. Sooo Iím going to look closely to see just what really was going on.
In the meantime Iíll make darned sure the water heater is NOT on while other loads are present.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:50 PM   #489
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I have heard of breakers getting sluggish, but not in the short life of my unit(2013). I have a 30 amp breaker on inverter/ charger input, also have parallel power feed to water heater (did not want to feed water heater from potential battery output). This is based on my quick diagram after mod was finished. Will reopen power box this weekend.
I am also wondering why the field panel 30 amp breaker did not trip.
Did confirm the transfer switch is rated for 30 amps. Sooo Iím going to look closely to see just what really was going on.
In the meantime Iíll make darned sure the water heater is NOT on while other loads are present.

Have you bypassed the Power Management System? If set for 30A it should automatically shed loads when load exceeds 30 A.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:35 AM   #490
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I have some of my AC loads now on Blue Seas breakers and they are far more trigger happy than the residential ones Airstream uses.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:49 AM   #491
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Booster...until I get back into the van, Iím not sure. I think the water heater has been separated from the power management system. The system is setup to feed everything, except water heater, from the lithium battery Bank ....so I think the water heater is not managed by the power management system any longer. Will confirm shortly.
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:49 AM   #492
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Darned autocorrects....meant ďBoxsterĒ.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:52 AM   #493
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Booster...until I get back into the van, Iím not sure. I think the water heater has been separated from the power management system. The system is setup to feed everything, except water heater, from the lithium battery Bank ....so I think the water heater is not managed by the power management system any longer. Will confirm shortly.

OK - if water heater is on separate sub-circuit and not protected by 30A main breaker you could pull more than 30A from a shore power source. Not necessarily good since you could overheat the wire and components in the transfer switch.

Can't explain why the field source 30A breaker didn't trip. I was on the same system at the FMCA Perry Rally, but didn't approach 30A limit.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:56 PM   #494
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Well.....now I have a couple of options. I can rely on ďadministrative controlĒ to keep power below 30a input, re-wire water heater into onboard power management (and watch out for battery taking the load), install a dedicated (onboard) 30a breaker on shore power feed......hmmmmmm
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:12 PM   #495
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My rationale for not putting a breaker on the input was that I was counting on the shore power pedestal’s breaker to work. I may want to rethink that.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:38 PM   #496
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My rationale for not putting a breaker on the input was that I was counting on the shore power pedestalís breaker to work. I may want to rethink that.
Also don't use an adapter to plug into a 50A source. They make them, but without an input breaker on your van it could be trouble.

https://www.campingworld.com/power-g...-to-30a-female
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:46 PM   #497
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Yes on the 50amp adaptor. I have one, but have always felt great caution would be needed if it were used. Especially with mods I have in place now. Been looking at small load centers to use for an onboard 30amp breaker, but hate to give up even more space in the rear.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:13 AM   #498
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Amusing anecdote as a post-script to this thread:

We received a certain amount of teasing for having sized our electrical system partially because LB_3 *had* to be able to run the microwave oven off grid.

Well, those demands pale in comparison to designing your off-grid van to run an electric pizza oven (electric, not gas). These Instagrammers are DIY-converting a 2006 Sprinter and are doing just that, and in the process, they are wondering aloud if they are sane. My money is on them eventually deciding that it was absolutely worth doing, even though those will probably end up being some of the most expensive pizzas ever served in this world.


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Old 07-08-2018, 10:36 AM   #499
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A little side note and not meant to take this off track.....

We are looking at new stoves for the house. One can now purchase stoves that read bar codes on boxes and set the time and temp... Our stove is 20 years old, but wow, I guess I need to get out more!

Since we are looking for a new stove due to electronics issues, I think we will stick with a totally manual version!. I can see reasons for the bar code reader, but can imagine some pretty interesting outcomes

Katy
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:07 AM   #500
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Yes on the 50amp adaptor. I have one, but have always felt great caution would be needed if it were used. Especially with mods I have in place now. Been looking at small load centers to use for an onboard 30amp breaker, but hate to give up even more space in the rear.
I was checking the electrical system again yesterday and there are 30A fuses on both the inverter and charger so I believe all loads are covered. The only real risk of using a 50A adapter would be a shorted wire before the main circuit breaker box. But I ran 8ga stranded wiring for the 120v ac system so it shouldnít have any trouble with 50 amps.

As for pizza ovens, thatís crazy. Theyíre more likely to get 80% inverter efficiency than the 90% in their assumptions. That puts each pizza at over 60A-hrs. Thatís clearly becomes the defining design driver. As IB alluded to, those become expensive pizzas of only marginal quality.
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