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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am installing in the Transit a Dual Alternator for $1,700 by Nationsstarteralternator (dot) com
and then will install 4,000 amp Lithium Ion batteries (Cost $4000) and a 4000 watt Pure Sine (cost $1600 approx.) inverter by upinverters (dot) com with a Coleman Mach-8 Cub 9,200 btu and some thin 100 Watt solar panels (about 4 of them).

I am trying to figure out a better (lower watt draw) A/C but am stuck as all I have dealt with is the roof tops a/c's.

1) Do you know of the best lowest watt A/C around the 7,000 to 9,200 btu?
2) EarthRoamer says they use two 7,000 watt BTU a/c's, but I am not sure what they are using. Do you know?
3) Have you found a higher watt output "Thin" Solar Panel that produces more than 100 watts.
4) Had a great conversation with a rep from upinverters (dot) com today and they said their system will run the A/c all night and with 2 hours of running the van, the batteries will be full again. Or solar with no running the van. If this (#4) is accurate, this would be the way to go as no generator would be needed for warm temps, off grid, etc.

Would you please share your thoughts on the above?

Thank you,
Erik.
 

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... I am installing in the Transit a Dual Alternator for $1,700 by Nationsstarteralternator (dot) com ...
I am keen to see a photo of the installed dual alternator (to see how it fits it in). The space looked a little cramped when I was looking at this.

And please keep us updated on your progress. Best wishes.

P.S. The lithium batteries look very attractive (though expensive, UPL-12300F 300 AH list price US$3800).
 

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Never mind about the photo, I see that Nations now has a photo of the installed dual alternator online and if you compare with your Transit you can begin to see what needs to be reworked (rad hose connector, rad hose, heater hoses, some wiring and maybe a turbo air hose).
 

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At 600w/hr to run the A/C, your 400w of solar will never be able to recharge your bank to account for A/C usage.
 

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I bought one of nations kits a while back and didn't think it through. California needs a CARB exemption number if you live in an area that requires smog. I asked them for it when I didn't find it listed. They never got back to me so I sent it back and stopped payment. They never complained.
 

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Great, I'm planning dual alternators as well but possibly more lithium storage. For A/C I think 400Ah is more like 3-4 hours instead of 8 hours. It depends on the outside temperature though and running at night will take less energy. I'm looking at DC-based A/C units with variable motors so they aren't cycling all the time wasting energy. As far as EarthRoamer goes, I believe I read that they are using typical window units as most campers do in a box with a vent to the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great, I'm planning dual alternators as well but possibly more lithium storage. For A/C I think 400Ah is more like 3-4 hours instead of 8 hours. It depends on the outside temperature though and running at night will take less energy. I'm looking at DC-based A/C units with variable motors so they aren't cycling all the time wasting energy. As far as EarthRoamer goes, I believe I read that they are using typical window units as most campers do in a box with a vent to the outside.
Hi Moose,
that is what I have decided... I Portable 9,000btu AC inside the van. It needs 1/2 the power of a 9,000BTU roof top A/c/
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I just ordered the dual alternator today. I will keep you all up to speed on this. The system will cost $9,500. A lot.
About $6,000 more than an Onan with roof top A/C and instal, but no loud generator and a lot less weight, much cleaner and simple. When your Onan has a problem, it is harder to find someone to fix it too. And the roof top A/C is ugly and when off road has that much more of a chance to get hit by branches. We will be doing two vans as one is for a film crew.

The vans will also have the new Yamaha 2000 portable generators as back up.
 

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this is a minisplit AC system for semi trucks, they are claiming 16 hours of AC with about 900 AHs of AGM batteries, the reddit trucker forums say this system is good for about 10 hours of AC not the advertised 16 hours. this is just another idea to think about, and also one i have been thinking about since i already own about half of the number of the recommended batteries. the same trucker forum said the system is 5,000 dollars without the batteries, so far i have not contacted the manufacturer to verify this.

http://www.arcticbreeze-truckac.com/
 

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I’m getting a couple of quotes from upfitters on installing the Nations Starter alternator kit. For those who’ve had it done, what did you pay?
 

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"California needs a CARB exemption number if you live in an area that requires smog."

As I'm looking at this kit as well, I contacted CARB about this requirement. The first person I spoke to at CARB said "Any aftermarket equipment that affects the smog a vehicle produces needs a CARB EO number." Sound pretty final doesn't it? But me being me said "Are you saying that adding an alternator definitely requires an EO?" She replied "that that's not what she was saying, that I would have to talk to a referee to make that determination". So I called a referee.

He told me that absolutely not, I could have two or 10 alternators and there would be no CARB impact whatsoever, and that no EO number was required for any number of them. As I hadn't answered the phone right away, he left me not one but two messages that said exactly that. And I called him back and confirmed it a third time. We had a nice chat, and he was quite clear that if the part wasn't involved in the combustion process (air intake through exhaust) no CARB EO is required. I of course kept his name and number, and am going to hang onto the recordings as well, should my yet-to-be-ordered van ever move to California.

Oh and yes, the call was to a referee in the Oxnard area, which does in fact have the smog inspection requirement.
 

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I’m getting a couple of quotes from upfitters on installing the Nations Starter alternator kit. For those who’ve had it done, what did you pay?

How'd it go with installing the Nations Starter dual alternator? What did it cost and how difficult a job? I'd like to order one soon and wonder if I can handle the install. I'll contact Nations, but I'd appreciate feedback from anyone running a dual alternator on their Transit. Any other kits available?
 

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It will be interesting to see if the new Ford dual 250-Amp alternator option can be retrofitted on existing V6 engines. I expect someone will take a close look at it once they are available. If it’s possible at all, an advantage is OEM engineering and testing.
 

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I'm seeing some truck 12v/24v AC minisplit systems. They run about 600-1200 a piece. They may be adaptable if you have a huge bank, and be able to mount it behind. Looks like the smaller outdoor units are about 16.5" tall. If they can make them shorter it may even fit under the van.
 

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It will be interesting to see if the new Ford dual 250-Amp alternator option can be retrofitted on existing V6 engines. I expect someone will take a close look at it once they are available. If it’s possible at all, an advantage is OEM engineering and testing.
Wait, do I take this to mean that the 2020 year models have an option for a dual isolated output alternator with two 250A feeds? Or is it a single split 250A output? This could be huge. I may need to volunteer to be a test case.,
 

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As far as I know, Ford hasn’t shared details of how the dual alternators will be configured/wired.

If it were a retrofit, I’d be mostly interested in the brackets and belt drives to put it all together. I’d keep existing alternator for chassis, and dedicate the added second alternator for the house.

I have no idea whatsoever if the brackets and belt drives can be retrofitted. On the other hand, Ford would likely incur higher costs to make a new engine casting so they can add a second alternator.

I would”GUESS” that it may be possible, but the cost to retrofit could be too high depending on how many items may have to be replaced. Time will tell if it’s possible at all, and what’s involved.
 

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I’m getting a couple of quotes from upfitters on installing the Nations Starter alternator kit. For those who’ve had it done, what did you pay?
I'm interested in the total cost for a dual alternator set up too. I have a Coleman Mach-8 Cub 9,200 btu AC unit with 400Ahrs lithium batteries and would like to have enough alternator power to keep up with the current draw of the AC unit.

OR...I could just get a portable 2000 watt inverter/gen for $500-$700. I don't think I'll need it that often but I'll wait until after my Mississippi trip in the summer.
 

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I'm interested in the total cost for a dual alternator set up too. I have a Coleman Mach-8 Cub 9,200 btu AC unit with 400Ahrs lithium batteries and would like to have enough alternator power to keep up with the current draw of the AC unit.

OR...I could just get a portable 2000 watt inverter/gen for $500-$700. I don't think I'll need it that often but I'll wait until after my Mississippi trip in the summer.
Keep up how, like instantaneously while driving?

I’m curious why you went with 9,200 BTU/hr A/C when the 11,000 Power Saver requires less current. Coleman really needs to manufacture a Power Saver versión of 9,200 BTU/hr air conditioner. At 2/3 the size of a 13,500 Power Saver, they could get power requirement for a 9,000 BTU/hr A/C down to 700 ~750 Watts. I’d jump on that if it were available.
 

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Keep up how, like instantaneously while driving?

I’m curious why you went with 9,200 BTU/hr A/C when the 11,000 Power Saver requires less current. Coleman really needs to manufacture a Power Saver versión of 9,200 BTU/hr air conditioner. At 2/3 the size of a 13,500 Power Saver, they could get power requirement for a 9,000 BTU/hr A/C down to 700 ~750 Watts. I’d jump on that if it were available.
Yes. While driving. I haven't tested yet but (I don't trust my battery meter) according to my meter the AC unit draws around 80-90 amps from the batteries but alternator charge shows as 30 amps.

Mach 8 Plus - Cub

Cool/Heat Capacity: 9,200
Electrical Rating: 115 VAC, 60HZ
Cooling Amps-High: 11.7
Running Watts Standard: 1270
EXTERIOR SHROUD
Height: 8.25” Width: 28.40” Length: 41.10”


Mach 3 P.S. (PowerSaver)
Cool/Heat Capacity: 13,500
Electric Heat Element Capacity: 5,600
Electrical Rating: 115 VAC, 60HZ
Cooling Amps-High: 10
Running Watts Standard: 1075
Exterior Shroud
Height 13.8 Width 26.1 Length 38.0


Low profile was more important than power requirements (call me vain).
 
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