* I see a lot of Victron parts - is there any particular reason why you went for their products?
* You mention the 400ah LifePO4 battery bank - would you mind telling more about this, maybe a link to the actual product?
* Are you planning any solar system on your camper?
You also mentioned a heated underslung waste tank. How does it work? How would you go about insulating the tank?
I'm also very interested in your solar / electrical set up - I was thinking about putting together the pieces myself but find it overwhelming... Not to say I don't have an idea of what I need, I just can determine what's BEST for my needs.
My set up looks to be similar though - lithium batteries, solar, ability to plug in to 50A service and also charge from the alternator (in my case dual alternators).
I've been meaning to reply to your PM but totally forgot. I've decided to use Victron parts primarily due to the good reviews and ability to customise many of the features ad program to suit Lithium Ion batteries. It seems that much of it is easy to integrate too, and i'd like a centralised display (CCGX), so I can see whats going on with it all the time. I also plan to link it to a 4G connection so I can monitor the system when i'm away from the van to make the sure the batteries stay tip top.
I've been keeping an eye on CoyoteThistles pro rig v2 thread as he seems to be doing pretty much exactly what I was planning minus the victron parts and central monitoring. Lithiums require more fail safes than conventional batteries to maintain their condition, which is where much of the complexity lies. For the batteries, i'll be using Winston cells from ev-power when they come back into stock.
Regarding solar, yes i'll be having this for sure, I want an off grid system (we had this on our last van), which could also run the aircon for short bursts when the engine isn't running. When the engine is running, the LifePO4s can theoretically charge at the maximum alternator output which more than compensates for aircon draw through an inverter. In theory, I should be able to run the aircon while we drive to keep the habitation space cool.
For the waste tank heating, this will be a loop of of the under floor heating system. It works like this: http://www.u-u-h.com/uploads/DOC4D4BD1439D388.pdf
Fed from the diesel water heater. One loop for living area, one for water tank and garage, probably one for batter space, and one for waste tank and piping. The loop will 'trace' along the waste pipes and wrap around the waste tank before heading back into the manifold. Does that make sense? Insulation just by space blanket, or something similar and waterproof.
looking forward to seeing you van take shape sounds like you have most of it all worked out ... I have a 319 sprinter 4x4 camper and the best mpg I can get is 23mpg and that's off a cliff ... I just did 3000 miles in Europe and the average for the whole trip was 19 mpg.. I think when you start bolting solar panels roof lights awning bike racks it really drags the mpg down ... well it did with mine ...
Fixed the photos. No work on the van, as its currently in the bodyshop. I went to collect it the other day, but to be honest the work was pretty terrible. They've assured me the whole job will be done again, and I can collect on Thursday. Hopefully they stick to their work and do a decent job.
Meantime, parts have been arriving. I've got in my possession the windows, along with the replacement glass units from Vanglas. Have to say, the quality and look is superb. I went with the light reflective film on them too. Anyway, some photos:
The seat also turned up today, Fasp Diviano 506
Will hopefully get the window installation started on Thursday, all being well with the van paint and collection.
A small update - the windows, apart from the sliding door are fitted. We fabricated 24mm frames (2 x layers marine plywood), and bonded those to the van with sikaflex 252 structural adhesive. This maintained the shape of the van. The windows were then fitted a day later with sikaflex 512 UV to make the seal.
We have also been mocking up inside, using batons to get the layout right before we start to fabricate properly. This is the seat in approximate place, made up as it would be for the spare bet. The front seats will both be lowered to the same height using lowered seat boxes. When made into the seat, the whole thing slides back in and sits against the drivers side of the van.
Dad and wife musing over layouts:
Seat in bed position:
Floor started today too. Filled in with 6mm marmox between the structure, followed by 20mm marmox. The plan is to lay the under floor heating pipes in to the 20mm, followed by 12mm of marine ply, and finally 8mm waterproof laminate floor. A vapour barrier will be installed between the 6mm and 20mm marmox.
A little bit of progress to share. We have been working on the floor which is pretty well complete, although it will need to come up again to route in the under floor heating piping and to paint the boards.
Insulation (20mm marmox board, the aft part made up of 3 6mm sheets temporarily as we ran out of 20mm):
Followed be 12mm marine plywood:
Machined to fit original floor fittings:
Its turned out well, and should give a nice sound base for the rest of the interior build.
I finally got around to purchasing and collecting a new sliding door. Our old one had a crease in it which was rather unsightly. Fitting of the new door meant that the last window could go in:
You may also notice the Mercedes roof bars on that last pic. I decided fitting these would enable easy fitment of things like solar panels, awning, work lights and driving lights as the build goes on.
On the inside, we're currently working at lining out the whole van with silent coat sound deadening:
We've finished the load space roof so far...its quite a time consuming process.
Couple other bits and pieces been going on behind the scenes. I got all of the plastics back on, however before I fitted them I pulled all the rubber bungs out behind them and sprayed dinitrol into the sill space. Before the plastics were fitted, a slop of wax oil applied for good measure:
From what i've read, these things rust...from the inside and the outside. Hence the OTT rust prevention measure going on.
And here is a pile of things that have turned up:
Just need the time to crack on with the interior now! In that pile somewhere is the hot water system (hydronic II, helios fans, 40l surecal calorifier etc.). I've no affiliation, but so impressed with the service I want to acknowledge the company I got it all from...melloronline. Above and beyond help, some very challenging technical questions, and if he (Stuart, the owner), couldn't help, he got in touch with Eberspacher directly to make sure I got the info I needed. So thanks to Stuart!
Thats all for now...more in a couple of weeks I hope