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Old 06-16-2017, 10:15 PM   #11
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50%. That is when I turn it off.

OK - thanks, good to know. Probably something you don't want to do every day considering how long it takes to get AGMs back to 100%.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:13 PM   #12
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OK - thanks, good to know. Probably something you don't want to do every day considering how long it takes to get AGMs back to 100%.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Vaun by Airstream
I rarely run it for 2 hours, but 45-60 minutes at a trailhead after a long sweaty day hike on a hot day can be bliss. I have a second engine alternator, so the drive back to camp typically gets me close enough to fully-charged for mid-trip purposes.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:26 AM   #13
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I'm currently in Moab, Tried a different method out in the desert, rather than run the 2800 Onan to power the AC, I alternate by running the vans AC while charging the lithiums with the vans alternator , and running the AC on the batteries for a few hours with a little help from the 400watts of solar. I'm also saving power by turning off the AC when it cycles off rather than letting the fan run.
Sun screens on the outside of the windows, insulated panels on the inside, plus they are dual pane with ceramic tint. I'm still working on a few areas of improvement which are the remaining metal surfaces still uninsulated. The extra effort concerning the windows lowered the amount of time the AC needs to run significantly.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:56 PM   #14
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I'm currently in Moab, Tried a different method out in the desert, rather than run the 2800 Onan to power the AC, I alternate by running the vans AC while charging the lithiums with the vans alternator , and running the AC on the batteries for a few hours with a little help from the 400watts of solar. I'm also saving power by turning off the AC when it cycles off rather than letting the fan run.
Sun screens on the outside of the windows, insulated panels on the inside, plus they are dual pane with ceramic tint. I'm still working on a few areas of improvement which are the remaining metal surfaces still uninsulated. The extra effort concerning the windows lowered the amount of time the AC needs to run significantly.

If I spend a lot of time out in the desert,
I would install an awning on both sides of the RV.


I agree that running the chassis AC while charging is a good idea.

What RPM are you running the engine?
I have seen people using a "Redneck High-idle Device" to increase the RPM so that the alternator can raise the output to an optimal level, at the same time making the AC run more efficiently.


Redneck High-idle Device = a stick

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Old 06-17-2017, 03:39 PM   #15
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OK - thanks, good to know. Probably something you don't want to do every day considering how long it takes to get AGMs back to 100%.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
We don't ever do it, but my initial tests showed the same as Avanti at about 2 hours of AC and 50%, if starting full. It will take about 1.5 hours or so to recover that many ah driving, but only if it was from 20% SOC to 70%, so the AGMs willaccept that much the entire time. 50% to full is many hours. The good is if you have 300+ watts of solar and good sun, it will help get more nearly full.

If we are hot when we get back to the van from hiking, we just use the van AC too cool off. Sit in the front seats with all the output right on us.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:32 PM   #16
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We don't ever do it, but my initial tests showed the same as Avanti at about 2 hours of AC and 50%, if starting full. It will take about 1.5 hours or so to recover that many ah driving, but only if it was from 20% SOC to 70%, so the AGMs willaccept that much the entire time. 50% to full is many hours. The good is if you have 300+ watts of solar and good sun, it will help get more nearly full.

If we are hot when we get back to the van from hiking, we just use the van AC too cool off. Sit in the front seats with all the output right on us.
As I implied, I don't worry about getting to 100% every single cycle. Getting from 50 to, say, 85 doesn't take nearly as long, and will get us through the night. Plus, as you say, solar can cover as well.

As for sitting in the front, I guess I am just paranoid about unnecessary idling of our sprinter.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:49 PM   #17
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I haven't been able to get the temp gauge above normal no matter the conditions on this desert trip. I just drove past Vail Co and it still read normal with the engine high rev WO 65 MPH at over 10k ft elevation. I'm impressed with the Promaster engine.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:21 PM   #18
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I've never encountered a night where I felt I needed air conditioning with the exception of three nights in over a dozen years. One was in South Padre Island where humidity got to us and everything was wet rather than heat and we were drying out the B instead of comfort for heat, but that was in an electric hookup campground. The two other nights were unusual September nights in Kansas that exceeded 100 degrees. One night I slept with the back doors and sliding doors open (with screens) just too test if it were satisfactory. I slept but it was uneasy being open. It's funny I felt that way after 40 years of tent camping. The other night was when we discovered our air conditioning did not work and it was a thousand dollar fix and we just grinned and bared it with doors open again. They were non electric COE sites on two different trips to Kansas. Note to myself: avoid Kansas.

We generally RV in early spring and fall. In the summer we stick to the upper midwest of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and it is rarely uncomfortable especially the naturally air conditioned Lake Superior area. I'm just one to try to follow 70 degrees F. as much as possible with our trip planning. That's what a B is for. Move if it is uncomfortable. Our summer trip to Alaska was air conditioning free. October in Florida is wonderful. The southwest in the spring is comfortably warm in the day and cools off as much as 40 degrees in the night.

We have a B where we theoretically get through the night with air conditioning with about 5 hours initially and then Autogen (2nd alternator start). But I can't for the love of me figure out why anyone would want to do that.

Anyway, that is why my electric requirements comments are generally devoid of air conditioning talk.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:48 AM   #19
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We often say "if we were building our RV custom we would put in a sun roof over the AC unit". I do not see us ever using more than the fan........now, I know this isn't practical for resale value but I can't imagine using it. The heat is another story.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:05 PM   #20
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We often say "if we were building our RV custom we would put in a sun roof over the AC unit". I do not see us ever using more than the fan........now, I know this isn't practical for resale value but I can't imagine using it. The heat is another story.

No AC?

That's quite a statement by someone who lives in FL.


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