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Old 06-07-2016, 11:43 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
I now have vast experience with Sprinters. In fact I am looking at 41,500 miles in 16 months with dual alternator but it seems anything I say gets rebutted by the armchair experts here. For now I will just read with amusement with this one little bit of advice. Don't buy a Sprinter with a Nations dual alternator without high idle and forced air cooling when idling.
Advice from an "armchair expert" who has with his bare hands installed exactly the above-described setup and observed its behavior for almost a year of very active camping:

Ignore this advice. If the Nation's Dual Alternator kit is purchased with the recommended Balmar MC-614 Multi-stage Voltage Regulator and its accompanying alternator temperature sensor, the system is perfectly capable of self-regulating its temperature under all practical conditions. Yes, you can theoretically get slightly more output with active cooling, but my setup has a warning light on the dash that will indicate an over-temp condition. It does not happen often enough to make any practical difference (and indeed may not happen at all since the light also shows several other conditions. Doesn't really matter, since it rarely comes on at all. I have never seen it on at idle). Maybe my batteries would charge a bit faster with such a setup, but it is already much faster than I need.

ARV does some great work, as I have been the first to say. But anyone who has evaluated their work up close with an objective eye will realize that they also sometimes are guilty of generating solutions in search of a problem. Their erstwhile generator cooling system (in addition to, arguably, their new super-giant generator at allegedly 3 times the price) was one of them.

Edit: It is worth noting that my direct experience is limited to the Sprinter I4 engine, so it is within the realm of possibility that there may be different behavior with the V6 engine. I don't see how, though.

Edit 2: I also have a constant battery current display on my nav screen, so I have excellent situational awareness on how my system is behaving at all times.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:33 AM   #82
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A guy I worked with was a VW fan and when he got his last one a couple of years ago, he went to gas. He said that the VW forums were full of folks complaining about VW not honoring the DPF and EGR warranty claims based on maintenance and conditions. Again, second or third hand information, but interesting.
Volkswagen, IMHO, has a problem with recognizing what's actually in their exhaust and is in trouble with the Feds because of it. They had software that fooled government emissions tests and because of that, there's probably no way that they could honor warranties and officially recognize exhaust problems (Again, IMHO).
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:20 AM   #83
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He still owned 47 vans over 7 years and was running a trucking business with them every day... would love to see the MB specs that say its perfectly great to run a van at idle or fast idle...
I have already told booster that he is not comparing apples to apples.

That guy was running a commercial op. We don't know his routine. Long runs? short runs? long idles? short idles? multiple idles? we don't know. All we know is he had problem. If you want to use his problem as a reference for your negative decision, all the power to you. I am not here to convince anybody one way or the other. I have no dog in the fight, I am merely trying to point out some of the people's inconsistency here.

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don't they already mention short trips are bad? Wouldn't sitting still qualify as a very short trip?
Sounds like you are having fun with words.

No MB did not say short trips are bad.
They merely say if you do certain types of short trips, you have to drive at xx speed in certain manner for certain distance/speed/time. This is no different than a gas engine, if you idle it or short run it often, you will have the engine gummed up. But in the MB's case (same as any other diesel), you have to do a clean out. It goes with the territory. If you don't like it, don't buy a diesel. It has nothing to do with MB. You have to do the same whether you buy a GM diesel or Cumming diesel or Ram diesel.


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I would like to hear real world experience from RV owners but it may be too soon to tell. The flip side... maybe I don't really care and should buy an RV that works in the moment and sell it after a couple of years (3-5). My planned use would be weekends over maybe 6 months of the year, so I doubt I would get 10 years and 100K+ miles out of it anyway. Also, I live in New England so I am not going to be in very remote places so if there is an issue a tow is possible. I might think differently if I were retiring and traveling full time through the US and Europe but right now no.
Check the youtube. There are quite a few vblogs going on right now.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:31 AM   #84
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Won't be long, at it's current rate of eco-regulating, before your EPA ends this discussion permanently, under penalty of heavy fines and/or imprisonment. The "anti-idling" movement is gathering speed almost everywhere, from what I've seen in my travels. There won't be anywhere you can legally idle your engine for more than the duration of a traffic light, gas or diesel, without facing some form of prosecution. I was in Ohio last week, and saw some specific anti-idling signage at a rest area on I-80/90, in the CARS/RV section, not just the TRUCKS area. Many municipalities are adding anti-idling bylaws, as well. Hard, but not impossible, to enforce.
Just an observation, and possibly a prediction that the under hood power generation option may become a "came and went" thing of the past sometime soon. Not sure if non-engine mounted generators/alternators will be as stringently legislated, but they're already going after things like lawn mowers and cooking grills (sorry, BBQ) as sources of pollution. No telling where it will all end, but it will certainly be interesting to watch. Probably undecided in my lifetime, but I've been wrong before.
EIT: Found this hit posted by the venerable EPA. It echoes some of the concerns about engine idling, both mechanical and eco-health related.
http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe/9...kPage=x&ZyPURL
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:38 AM   #85
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BBQ sure seems to like to jumble the discussion away from the important stuff. Give him information and it is not good enough. Show him literature and it is word games, etc, etc.

Now he says all are mistaken because all diesels have the plugging issue. That is exactly what we have been saying, it is diesels in general. Note the quote from Ford, another from Ram, etc.

All of this just goes back to what BBQ is avoiding, and that is to show us where MB said idling is OK and not a problem, and was originally stated and repeated without the, now added, disclaimer of "of course it will need cleaning out". We have asked for his reference repeatedly, and all we get back is that we aren't giving him FBI level proof of what we already had stated as our opinions, and referenced a source that has had plugging issues in Sprinter, but it is not as good a source as his non referenced ones.

But it doesn't matter what information we post, it won't be good enough, and we will be accused of stupidity and bias, as it is a good way to avoid having to back up his own statements.

The OP will be able to dig though all this and make a good decision that works for him. but it is sad that he has to put up with this stuff.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:45 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Won't be long, at it's current rate of eco-regulating, before your EPA ends this discussion permanently, under penalty of heavy fines and/or imprisonment. The "anti-idling" movement is gathering speed almost everywhere, from what I've seen in my travels. There won't be anywhere you can legally idle your engine for more than the duration of a traffic light, gas or diesel, without facing some form of prosecution. I was in Ohio last week, and saw some specific anti-idling signage at a rest area on I-80/90, in the CARS/RV section, not just the TRUCKS area. Many municipalities are adding anti-idling bylaws, as well. Hard, but not impossible, to enforce.
Just an observation, and possibly a prediction that the under hood power generation option may become a "came and went" thing of the past sometime soon. Not sure if non-engine mounted generators/alternators will be as stringently legislated, but they're already going after things like lawn mowers and cooking grills (sorry, BBQ) as sources of pollution. No telling where it will all end, but it will certainly be interesting to watch. Probably undecided in my lifetime, but I've been wrong before.
I totally agree. The guess would have to be that new mobile power sources will emerge in the not distant future. Maybe fuel cells? Quiet, clean, etc. An engine generator is a good feature for recharging batteries while driving, but certainly not much better than a generator when stopped, except for capacity. If they can come up with a fuel cell that will generate enough power to run a coach at full loads, batteries will only need to be tiny, and all the other stuff goes away, including the engine generator, solar, wind, etc.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:13 AM   #87
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See. I told you the armchair expert would chime in. ��

Advanced RV uses Balmar. Balmar temp sensors can and do fail but when they fail they save the alternator by cutting output to zero. Nevertheless when they work they do their job and drop the amperage down down to less than your air conditioner puts out. Thus you have diminishing batteries. Ducted forced air helps under idling stationary conditions but not enough in the high heat of the southwest as ARV has learned. That Nations alternator was not designed for continuous high output use.

Idling. Normal idle is around 800 rpms. The fixed high idle runs just under 1200 rpms which is equivalent to cruising about 25-30 mph. Stands to assume high idle would be closely equivalent to city driving. Is that bad? When you are talking prolonged use such as running your air conditioner it has to be better.

A long time ago I reported the MB man in charge of coordinating RV sales for the whole country said and was comfortable with idling a max of two hours and then driving at least 40 minutes on the highway. To him that was just common sense prudence but considered regardless of idling abuse you might not see any problem for 90,000 miles. About that abuse. What makes commercial vehicles immune to the chicken little sky is falling internet litany? There are no warnings. It is common sense maintenance folks. Nothing lasts forever. Ask yourself if it is worth it. That's all. I'd love to see the condition of an Onan generator with that use.

Both ARV and Roadtrek have built in 5 auto starts. Then you have to start your engine with your key. They both limit how long an engine can run on auto start. I believe that is two hours for both. I can program any amount of time I want less than two hours and I can program any % SOC to auto start and once the batteries top off the engine shuts off. I can also program in the campground quiet hours so it won't auto start. I don't know if Roadtrek is that sophisticated. They don't have high idle or forced ducted air either.

I had 38,000 miles on a closely monitored Nations alternator. The Delco Remy alternator I now have is a serious alternator designed to run at high output continuously. I also have 800ah of lithium ion batteries thus put on 14 hours on the auto start feature and most all those were testing and demoing. With nearly 4,000 miles on the Delco I now have 10 minutes of playing with it on auto start. In effect with a huge battery bank it would rarely get used.

See my amusement? I use my B. This is my 90th night on the road this year and 242nd in 16 months camping in 0F to 96F temperatures. I'm reporting from the driver's seat, not the armchair.

While driving I now recharge an overnight campground's use of electricity in less than a half hour with a non diminishing delivery of about 280 amps. I'm very liberal with my use. I have the inverter on all the time to have full use of all outlets and appliances all the time. We cook witness an electric induction cooktop and a microwave convection oven. I would say we make no less than 6 cups of Keurig coffee every day. No problem. Thus the thought of shore power hooking up is just a nuisance.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:47 AM   #88
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I totally agree. The guess would have to be that new mobile power sources will emerge in the not distant future. Maybe fuel cells? Quiet, clean, etc. An engine generator is a good feature for recharging batteries while driving, but certainly not much better than a generator when stopped, except for capacity. If they can come up with a fuel cell that will generate enough power to run a coach at full loads, batteries will only need to be tiny, and all the other stuff goes away, including the engine generator, solar, wind, etc.
I like the link you posted.

That's a commercial operator. They run their vans. They had problem.

So Davydd chimed in. He ran his van. He had no problem.

Then you say of course he has no problem, he drove it everyday but never use the AC blab blab blab.

Oh yea you just like to tailor whatever to suit your argument. You just like to stay in your circular function.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:56 AM   #89
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BBQ, are you ever going to post anything to support your constantly shifting positions and personal attacks, or should we just call this what it is, a personal attack on some of us here for some "unknown" reason. Some of us know what opinions are, others seem to think their opinions are facts and that demeaning others makes themselves look smart.

Ain't true.

How about posting that MB literature you say exists (probably the fifth request). Or maybe anything else that actually says something other than attacking what others have posted.

And yes, I am ready for the next attack, but I certainly won't take it seriously, as we all know it is coming, and what it is worth.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:08 AM   #90
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BBQ, are you ever going to post anything to support your constantly shifting positions and personal attacks, or should we just call this what it is, a personal attack on some of us here for some "unknown" reason. Some of us know what opinions are, others seem to think their opinions are facts and that demeaning others makes themselves look smart.

Ain't true.

How about posting that MB literature you say exists (probably the fifth request). Or maybe anything else that actually says something other than attacking what others have posted.

And yes, I am ready for the next attack, but I certainly won't take it seriously, as we all know it is coming, and what it is worth.
What you have posted is laughable. You know it.

Why are you shifting again? your shadow scared you?

Are you complaining about DPF? or idling?
They are 2 different things, in case you haven't figured that out yet.

Are you complaining about Mercedes Benz? or diesel in general?
You seem to be shifting between the 2 and don't know your exact position.
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