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Old 07-14-2014, 08:41 PM   #15
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I couldn't find it but there was a thread discussing changing out or adding another muffler to the generator to quiet it down.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:21 PM   #16
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You can't do and if you try, unless your preset cutoff is working properly (and sometimes they can and do fail) you could ruin your batteries.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:49 PM   #17
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You can't do and if you try, unless your preset cutoff is working properly (and sometimes they can and do fail) you could ruin your batteries.
If you're talking about deeply drawing a battery bank to well below 50% depth of discharge, this alone will not generally damage batteries, as long as they are re-charged to full immediately after the deep discharge. It is leaving batteries in a discharged state for extended periods that cause sulfation and battery failure.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:12 PM   #18
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Thanks to all who pointed out the futility of this option. We don't like the heat so we park in the shade and travel when and where we don't need AC often. When we stay in one place, we have aluminet fabric we use to reflect the heat away. It works pretty good.We use fans when possible and keep flexible 'blue ice' in the freezer. Since we cannot sleep with the generator running and the AC on, we mostly run it an hour or so to cool it off so we can sleep. We live in the west and humidity isn't a problem. A swamp cooler might work but that's another project. A portable generator would work but that's another piece of equipment to store in our tiny van. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a door and storage for the portable unit where the builtin unit is?
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:47 PM   #19
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A portable generator would work but that's another piece of equipment to store in our tiny van.
A Sprinter van is only tiny by way of comparison to a larger RV, but the lack of storage space is a problem. For a portable generator, there's only one viable choice of storage location, a hitch-mounted cargo tray or cargo box. You don't want to carry any gasoline-fueled device inside your living spaces. You also want to be able to carry enough fuel to run the generator for your entire stay so you don't have to break camp just to make a fuel run. A cargo tray or (vented) cargo box allows you to not only carry a portable generator but also a gasoline can to go with it.

If you go the portable generator route, you might consider removing the propane-fueled Onan under the floor. You wouldn't gain any extra storage space under there, but you would save a couple hundred pounds off your curb weight to offset the added weight of the portable generator. Or a decent metalworker might find a safe and secure way to mount extra AGM house batteries where the Onan was…
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:46 PM   #20
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I opted for not having additional batteries or solar for my RT Sprinter van. I am not crazy about using the ONAN generator, but in a pinch, its there. I just didn't want the weight and I don't consider it a good return on investment.

Surprised no one has suggested adding the 3500 Watt MB engine mounted generator. An easy upgrade that utilizes the existing engine power and diesel fuel. I'd favor that over a separate externally carried generator. You still need a good inverter to use the AC, but certainly do-able. Any MB dealer can add it as an aftermarket item, and yes, its OK to fast idle the engine while using... its designed for contractors work vans. RT offers it as an option on certain E-Trek combos.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:11 PM   #21
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Here's a complete kit for an engine mounted generator... I'd still have MB install it and enable the fast idle option... http://www.unipower.com.au/download/...0_Brochure.pdf
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:33 PM   #22
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and yes, its OK to fast idle the engine while using... its designed for contractors work vans. RT offers it as an option on certain E-Trek combos.
Be very careful about the fast idle thing. It is by no means clear that long-term use is safe for your engine, even with the fast idle option. A web search will reveal that there is much controversy on this topic. Apparently MB recommends against idling for more than 3 hours without driving the vehicle. See, for example:

New Roadtrek RS E-Trek • Class B RV and Camper Van Discussion Forum
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:50 PM   #23
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Surprised no one has suggested adding the 3500 Watt MB engine mounted generator. An easy upgrade that utilizes the existing engine power and diesel fuel. I'd favor that over a separate externally carried generator. You still need a good inverter to use the AC, but certainly do-able. Any MB dealer can add it as an aftermarket item, and yes, its OK to fast idle the engine while using... its designed for contractors work vans. RT offers it as an option on certain E-Trek combos.

Is this the secondary alternator your speaking of?


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Old 07-15-2014, 08:55 PM   #24
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Any MB dealer can add it as an aftermarket item,
In my experience, the MB dealers I'm familiar with would refer you to an up-fitter instead, because they wouldn't want the liability of making modifications to your electrical system.

I tried to have an auxiliary chassis battery installed under the hood— not even a second alternator— and that was their response… "We don't do that. Go to an up-fitter. No we can't recommend an up-fitter; you'll have to find your own."
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:16 AM   #25
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Protag, time to find another dealer. I am a repeat buyer of MB products and on very good terms with my local dealer. They have a preferred upfitter as they are a reseller of their products. The mounting bracket and belts are all genuine MB parts... and there is an existing service guide for it. Why would they not install it?

As for the issue of running in idle, the original poster wanted something along the lines of a battery array for running AC. RT claims they can recharge an array in a few hours through a proprietary system. I don't think its that hard to do. And if you are on the road regularly, you can do this while traveling. Besides, most Sprinter RVs don't see that many miles in their lifetimes so a bit more hours on an engine is insignificant. Diesels love to rev long hours and without that much load. Ask me, I've put hundreds of thousands of miles on my MB Diesel cars.

As far as putting a genny on a hitch platform on the back along with a fuel reserve, NO THANKS! There are way too many rear end collisions these days with Truck driver fatigue related accidents on the rise. I personally knew of a couple headed West on I-80 in Nebraska who were driving separate cars with their kids and dogs... They got on the Interstate after refuelling at 6 am and had to stop as traffic was backed up from a prior accident. A trucker came along and rear-ended both cars simultaneously and they all died instantly in a huge fireball.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:30 AM   #26
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There was a suggestion that we wait for availability of a Tesla battery pack. Light and powerful. At least one Sprinter conversion company offers Lithium Ion batteries as an alternative, but if you really want Tesla, go with the new MB B-Class electric drive car with a Tesla built drivetrain. I am looking at it as a toad for my RT. Would require a dolly but no big deal... it is FWD. It has a best in class 36 kWh Battery pack. Now all we need to do is work on a solution for tapping that reserve when you want the juice to run stuff in your RV.

Others are looking at how we might supplement the grid by tapping EVs sitting in folks garages during peak hours. Not a bad idea! At 36kWH it is comparable to the output of my 7.8 kW solar array. I am averaging about that much on a daily basis this summer.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:56 PM   #27
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Do a generator

Howdy.

My wife and I looked around and have tried lots of ways to run our 11,000 AC unit (for 16' bambi) to run without a large generator.

At first, you may look at a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 with 4 panels and a tripod. This is a great setup and one that we use often. When you run the fridge off gas, you'll have sustainable power if its sunny.
But no A/C.

If you want to upgrade....I recommend the Honda 2000 watt genny with the 30 amp in. Total output is just under 13 amps. Its quiet and you can juice up the goal zero or just run it when you need power for the microwave etc in the coach....but even with a hard start capacitor in the AC....its not enough to power the A/C by itself. It'll cycle on once, but ther Herm still doesn't have enough juice (needs 20 Amps I think) to cycle on and off.

2 honda 2000's run together is the ticket if you need A/C......we've looked around and that seems to be the only real solution. Hope our story helped.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:04 PM   #28
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See post 9 above.


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