Building an Adventure Van

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Geek, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. MrGoldfish

    MrGoldfish Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    522
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Hey Geek!

    After stumbling upon this thread a couple days ago, I just finished skimming/reading through to catch up to where you are at now. Wow! You do awesome work! I have one question though. It looks like in this picture that the driver seat is just to the right of the fridge cabinet? If so, does your swivel chair still work or would your feet be jammed into the fridge cabinet because of where you located it?

    Keep pluggin' away man it looks great! :clap:super

  2. DirtySantana

    DirtySantana Chopper

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    513
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    Better than where your at.
    I believe that you can also pick up these heaters to run regular gas fuel.

    I had mine installed so as not to void the warrant of the heater in case it went wrong and it saved me a bit of time. I was also able to get a discount on the D2 Airtronics since the dealer was running a special since he had so many on the shelf. I also need to pic up addition part that allow the heater to run at higher altitude.

    This item is amongst the first things I had installed when I started to outfit my Sprinter and the most important thing as far as I was concerned. I have not spent a cold night in the van, the first couple of nights I slept with it on I ran the heat to high and had to get down to my underwear.

    This the best thing that I have purchased so far. :clap



  3. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Miguel: do you have the contact info of the folks who did your install?

    I need to go see them when I'm done so I can get them to flush my error codes.

    :freaky
  4. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Oddometer:
    13,906
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I love my gasoline heater in the vanagon. This is what i have:

    [​IMG]

    Eberspacher BA6.

    It heats up in seconds. I have hot air almost instantly.
  5. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    32,126
    Location:
    8000ft.
    Solar 101 questions:

    Question 1:

    Are all solar panels created equal as far as electricity production?

    For example Panel A and Panel B are both 200 watts.

    In the same sun side by side would they both produce the same amount of amps or is there other things to consider than their "rating"?

    Question 2:

    I've seen a panel that some folks on here listed (135 watt) listed for $310.

    I've seen another panel that would fit on my roof that's 315 watts (more than double the power) for $378.

    Is there any reason I should NOT spend the extra 68 bucks and get the extra power?

    Sorry for the n00b question - I appreciate input from those that have already figured this out.
    :cheers:
  6. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    8000ft.
    FWIW:

    "downtown" Moab, Utah ( :D ) to Boulder, Colorado.
    376 miles.

    Loaded heavy (water, all gear, etc) and towing trailer with 2 dirtbikes and 2 mountain bikes.

    Going the speed of traffic - speed limit usually 75mph including going over 10,000+ foot Vail Pass and Loveland Pass (passing everyone - turbo rules! :rofl ).

    Conclusion: 17.57 mpg.
  7. Trixie

    Trixie No, not that Trixie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,723
    Location:
    Central MA
    has anyone mentioned just how much you suck lately?


    :D
  8. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Jun 8, 2003
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    Did I mention after spending a week in Moab last week.. I'm thinking of buggering off to Moab for another 4 days next week? :hide

    :D

    :freaky

    [​IMG]
  9. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

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    Apr 12, 2003
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    14,666
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Better get crackin' on the heater install :D
  10. RedRocker

    RedRocker Native Texican

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    Sep 26, 2008
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    5,718
    Location:
    N.Texas
    Double sucky!:fyyff:D
  11. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3
    Wow, great build! My first post, had to comment. Glad I am not the only one around here in love with a van lol :lol3
  12. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    A few quick pics from today:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    and now my van has this very cool side exhaust

    [​IMG]

    er.. wrong pic :D

    [​IMG]
  13. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Arkansas
  14. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

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    14,666
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    How does it work?
  15. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Location:
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    Espar is installed.. works GREAT!

    This is my hand getting burned by all that hot air :rofl
    [​IMG]

    Eventually there will be a panel where the nozel is mounted. Then above the Espar will be a series of drawers - all removeable to allow access to the heater for service.

    I managed to install it with zero fault codes by pre-priming the fuel lines.
    Most installs create one or two fault codes during the initial fuel prime while pushing air from the lines; which is why I pre-primed mine with a syringe.

    Getting the initial syphon from the fuel tank to the pump going:
    [​IMG]

    I hooked up the horse syringe and gave a tug.. fuel started flowing in about a second and then I couldn't get it to stop due to the syphon principle :rofl I stuck the fuel pump on the flowing hose and that stopped it.

    I then switched to a different adapter and used the drawn fuel to prime the clear hose from the pump to the furnace:

    [​IMG]

    Pump primed, dialectric grease applied to the connectors - sitting at a 20 degree angle upwards to keep it air free
    [​IMG]

    The result: 0 fault codes :thumbs

    When finished, I turned it on and it fired up and started blowing hot air :wings

    Holy heck does it work well! I wanted to do a "burn in" and in a few minutes the van was at 90 degrees :eek1
    [​IMG]


    Turns out.. I didn't need to stress the fault codes too much.
    The D2 can store 5 fault codes. When it is full it needs resetting. If you have the dial thermostat or some other version, Espar sells a $200 diagnostics box for installers to do this reset (or you can go to an Espar dealer) .
    If you have the digital control display it actually has the ability to display all fault codes AND reset them :thumb

    Fault Code zero:
    [​IMG]
    screen toggle: code 0 (all clear)
    [​IMG]

    Looks like when it first fires up it draws about 10 amps for about 15 seconds while it heats the glow plug. Then once it is running it drops to an impressively low consumption rate:
    [​IMG]

    After a couple of minutes the van is warm and the thermostat turns off the unit. It then keeps its impeller fan funning for 3 more minutes while it cools down and the fuel/electricity consumption goes back to zero.

    I'm seriously considering mounting the controls right above my pillow :rofl
  16. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Espar muffler:

    I'm considering ordering the muffler... I need to run into someone that has one to see how big of a difference there is?

    Inside the van, you don't hear it at all.. I will sleep like a baby :D .. but when the thing fires up there is a "burbling furnace sound" that comes out of the exhaust pipe. Just loud enough that any tent nearby is going to curse me when my furnace warms me up at 2 am and wakes them in the process.

    I wonder how well the muffler works? :dunno

    [​IMG]
  17. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    On the side note, make sure you got a carbon monoxide monitor .. Just in case! Heater or no heater.
  18. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Good point.

    That's one of the reasons I have the exhaust pipe coming out the side. I want the exhaust going away from the van. I don't want it coming out under the van and trying to seep up through the floor.

    The smile on Cheryl's face when she walked in the van and felt the heat was priceless.
    I think the cold has been bugging her more than she lets on. My Canadian arse isn't bothered too much by it :rofl

    [​IMG]
  19. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    Fumes are funny like that, even on the side there can be a backdraft that would suck it back in. But regardless... sleeping in small and confined spaces warrants a nice carbon monoxide detector, if not two, (or three) from different manufacturer. Any trips planned for this winter? I am thinking about doing a Key West trip with the Van Damn this winter.
  20. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

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    Location:
    limerick pa / waterville pa
    I'd measure it up and stop at TSC and see if you can find one for a tractor that fits it will save you $$$ but then I ride a klr and I'm CHEAP!

    tom