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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to use my Transit as a toy-hauler and camper. I'll be getting it wired so I can plug into "improved" camp site outlets or use a generator to run the roof-top AC.

That said, is there any point to me getting dual batteries? It's a $252 option, it does get you a heavy duty alternator. But I'm just not sure I need it.
 

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I have an 08 Sprinter that I converted so Ford will be my second.


I am also working on the option list. Some of the options that I am considering require the dual batteries so check. You will want the 220 amp alternator. One option that might make sense is the ambulance package. There are some options on my list that you did not list.
I do not have access to the pricing so list will change.

47B that includes 62C,63E,17B,63C,53K. Ambulance prep.
98C CNG/LPG prep.
53B Trailer tow package
86F Two additional keys
67C Four additional user defined switches
61C Rear view camera
543 Long arm mirrors
41H Block heater
92E Privacy glass
68B Remote start
90B 12 volt rear powerpoint
58V Radio
85D Led rear lighting
60C Cruise control
60B Illuminated foot wells
18D Exterior upgrade package
94C Front map lights
21D Charcoal seats
90C Power inverter


If you are interested in the Sprinter conversion search "orton-DIY" on Sprinter-source
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, good point. I don't think it's a requirement for anything else I picked.

I have some questions about the rear-view camera. I'd like it, but only if I can use the 6" MyTouch screen. I'm probably not going to have a center mounted rear view mirror, because I'm going to delete the rear door windows.
 

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Good to see guys starting to discuss the various options. My wife's 2012 dodge charger has the huge 8 inch touchscreen built into the dash, which I thought was a bit overkill when we ordered the vehicle. In my experience, just one more piece of electronics that will soon fail and be useless. But as I have started to use it lately, it is pretty cool....Getting back to the dual batteries, the second battery would allow for 12 volt power when shorepower was not available. (Lights, fridge, tv, etc). Might be nice to have that option at times when the generator usage could be an issue (late at night, raining, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm in Texas, so if I don't have a generator or plug-in in summer, then I'm kinda screwed... but it might be a good quick fix... hmm... too many options.

I do think the MyFordTouch is way overpriced, but the same system is in my wifes C-MAX and we both really like it. And if the backup cam plugs into it, I'd be pretty happy.
 

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The high roof Sprinter looks like something great for upfits. I've been wanting to add a false floor which would allow for me to have heater ducts, not to mention better floor insulation. Maybe even put all the RV tanks inside the vehicle, so the only things on the underside would be the propane tank, generator, and if there is space, maybe even an auxiliary fuel tank.
 

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My 08 Sprinter conversion has a 1 1/2" thick floor on top of the original wood floor. It is a sandwich. Bottom layer is 1" thick rigid insulation, next layer up is 1/8" Masonite and the last layer is 3/8" rubber. Masonite added to spread the load on the insulation. That has worked very well. Easy to cut slots in the insulation for running electrical cords and plumbing.


The fresh water tank is inside and the gray water tank is under van floor. In cold weather just dump the gray water tank. Use a portapotti so no black water tank. No generator, just 205 watts of solar panel. No propane.
 

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My 08 Sprinter conversion has a 1 1/2" thick floor on top of the original wood floor. It is a sandwich. Bottom layer is 1" thick rigid insulation, next layer up is 1/8" Masonite and the last layer is 3/8" rubber. Masonite added to spread the load on the insulation. That has worked very well. Easy to cut slots in the insulation for running electrical cords and plumbing.


The fresh water tank is inside and the gray water tank is under van floor. In cold weather just dump the gray water tank. Use a portapotti so no black water tank. No generator, just 205 watts of solar panel. No propane.
What do you use for a heater? What would you suggest for cooling?
 

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What do you use for a heater? What would you suggest for cooling?
I have the optional diesel Espar water heater in my 08 Sprinter. I used to program it to come on in the middle of the night. Run it before going to bed,once in middle of the night and then turn it on in the morning. Now I run it before going to bed,use a 12 volt heating pad under the sleeping bag during the night and then run Espar in the morning. Letting van get cold inside at night means the refrigerator runs less. The power saved by refrigerator is about the same amount of power used by the heating pad. I am warmer and there is less noise. Next conversion may have a Propex propane heater. One reason for buying the Ford will be the ability to idle the gas engine. I will have a 1000 watt inverter that will be powered by the Ford 12 volt system. I will be able to idle the Ford and run a 750 watt electric heater before bed and in the morning.
I also use the van powered inverter to heat my shower water electrically and to provide "shore" power for charging the house battery.
No magic about cooling. Requires a generator.
 

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We plan to travel with our dogs and one priority is the ability to stop for lunch and have the rear ac run on the 1500 watt inverter and a bank of batteries (say 500 ah) for 2 hours. I've been looking closely a the efficiency of solar and going all electric and it seems that this would be possible.

If boondocking at night I would think running it intermittently every hour would keep the humidity down and cool enough to sleep. IF its over 85 at night we're probably plugged in or at a hotel.

Anyone that can shed light on this and if I'm overlooking something?
 

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We plan to travel with our dogs and one priority is the ability to stop for lunch and have the rear ac run on the 1500 watt inverter and a bank of batteries (say 500 ah) for 2 hours. I've been looking closely a the efficiency of solar and going all electric and it seems that this would be possible.

If boondocking at night I would think running it intermittently every hour would keep the humidity down and cool enough to sleep. IF its over 85 at night we're probably plugged in or at a hotel.

Anyone that can shed light on this and if I'm overlooking something?
What kind of Air Conditioner do you plan to use? Standard RV roof-mounted ACs won't run on a 1500 watt inverter as far as I know. The compressor draws too much current during start-up and will trip the inverter. Even if the inverter can produce 3000 watts for very short time it's not enough to handle what is called the Lock Rotor Amps of the compressor. Same applies for generators. They have to be sized much larger than needed to run the AC in order for them to start the AC.

With a small well insulated van you could get by with a smaller AC, but that probably won't keep your pets cool during a long lunch break. I installed a 5000 BTU window air conditioner in my E-350 van that doesn't draw much power so it could start on a heavy-duty 1500 watt inverter, but it won't cool a van during mid day. Works OK to sleep at night, but not during day if van is parked in sun.
 

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I plan to use my Transit as a toy-hauler and camper. I'll be getting it wired so I can plug into "improved" camp site outlets or use a generator to run the roof-top AC.

That said, is there any point to me getting dual batteries? It's a $252 option, it does get you a heavy duty alternator. But I'm just not sure I need it.
Almost all campers have a second battery that is typically dedicated for "house" loads. It is isolated from the vehicle's starting battery so that if you drain the house battery it won't drain the starting battery. Yet when the engine is running both batteries can charge off the same alternator. That's why a larger alternator is usually a good idea to go along with a second battery. Having stated that, I'm not sure if the Ford "second battery" option provides the isolation between batteries. I would think so, and would expect so, but would recommend verifying.

An RV house battery (second battery) can not only run inside lights when not plugged in without fear of draining your starting battery, but can also run the water pump, TV, stereo, and a small microwave for a few minutes. Most importantly, it can run the heater's fan to keep the van warm at night. Many heaters run on propane but require electricity for the controls and for the fan.

If I got a Transit for camping to replace my E-350, the second battery option would be a given. And then I'd probably add a second house battery in parallel to increase capacity.
 

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i think some people even run more than 2 batteries. Some might be running 1 starting battery and a few deepcycle batteries in series for even more power, good way to overkill it, dont need to worry about power.
 

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i think some people even run more than 2 batteries. Some might be running 1 starting battery and a few deepcycle batteries in series for even more power, good way to overkill it, dont need to worry about power.
Roadtrek offers the E-trek with an all-electric option. According to their WEB site it has up to eight batteries. It also has a second large engine-driven generator and large inverter. The system adds significant cost and weight, but offers flexibility when a generator can't be run.

If one was going to have a stand-alone generator anyway, I personally don't see the advantage to adding too many batteries. I would like two house batteries because a single one hasn't been enough to keep my propane heater going through a cold night a few times. That was with a couple of Class C motorhomes. With a smaller van and smaller propane heater perhaps a single house will suffice.
 

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My existing 08 Sprinter has an odd arrangement for charging the house battery. I read enough information from battery suppliers to be convinced that you should not charge two different size, brand, age or type batteries at the same time. Also that a 3 stage charger (bulk, absorb, float) is the proper way to charge a battery with the charger programmed to match the charging requirements of your particular battery. So after a few sleepless nights I came up with the following method that satisfied my requirements: The house system is a 1000 watt Magnum MSS1012 pure sine inverter/charger/transfer switch "house" inverter. The house battery is one 255 amp-hr 8D AGM battery. There are 3 ways to charge the house battery. The primary way is a 205 watt Kyosera solar panel with a 15 amp Morningstar MPPT 3 stage controller. That allows me to travel most of the time without any other charging. I have two backup methods of charging if weather conditions prevent the solar panel from keeping up. One is connecting to shore power and the second is to "make" "shore power" while driving. I have a second pure sine "vehicle" inverter powered by the Sprinter 12 volt system. I can generate 120 volt power from the "vehicle" inverter that supplies the "house" inverter with "shore" power. System has worked very well for several years.
 
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