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Old 05-08-2019, 02:28 AM   #1
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Default Midwest Designs Sprinter 4x4 In-Depth Review - Mike Mas




Hello all - For the past few months, I have been compiling my In-depth review of my Midwest Automotive Designs 4x4 “Patriot”. This type B offering provides a classy looking conversion which doubles as a RV when needed. One of the main reasons I choose the Midwest conversion is because unlike some other builders, they retain a stock "Panel Van" look on the exterior. I use my Midwest coach for play and work as well as for occasional traveling for business. Motels are now a thing of the past, no longer do I have leave my vehicle in a motel parking lot with my valuables and try to sleep in a motel room.

I’ll also be documenting a Lithium Upgrade for both this Midwest coach and my Leisure Travel “Wonder” Type C. By doing the upgrade myself, I’ll be able to retain my propane generator, as well as carry an extra 15-19 gallons of extra propane fuel for a total of around 40 gallons for off the grid use. Another major benefit is, I’ll have a "4th Power Source” consisting of 110v grid power, engine alternator, lithium or generator. I'll equip these coaches with a Xantrex E-Gen 600 ah pack, battery control module and a Xantrex 3012 inverter charger. The system should run the roof top AC for 6-8 hours on just the lithium battery, making it ideal for parking next to other campers, state parks, etc. I'll put up a link on this forum when it's completed. Enjoy

Link to Review:

http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/midwest/

Mike Mas
Rotory
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:09 PM   #2
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I doubt you will get 6 to 8 hours running your air conditioning on 600ah lithium batteries. Speaking with 4.5 years experience with 800ah lithium batteries and knowing the experience and talking to several users of same. No BS.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:36 PM   #3
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I doubt you will get 6 to 8 hours running your air conditioning on 600ah lithium batteries. Speaking with 4.5 years experience with 800ah lithium batteries and knowing the experience and talking to several users of same. No BS.
Davydd

Thanks for the reply - 6-8 hours has been well documented and is achievable off a 600 ah lithium pack. There are many variables, such as; 13,500 AC unit verses a 15,000 btu unit, the coaches insulation value, outside temperature, AC fan speed, percentage the AC cycles and most important the setting a cabin temperature which allows the unit to cycle properly. Also, important is having a propane refrigerator as I do, makes a world of difference to remove the killer 3-5 amps of draw. I've spoken to a number of owners who use the system overnight 8-10 hrs on one charge.

Thanks - Mike
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:40 PM   #4
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Davydd

6-8 hours has been well documented and is achievable off a 600 ah lithium pack.
May we see some of this documentation?
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:27 PM   #5
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Stay Tuned Guys - I'll have my full In-Depth "Lithium Upgrade" articles completed shortly on both the Midwest Sprinter and the a Leisure Travel Vans Wonder which will provide plenty of documentation to satisfy your every whim! I certainly would not have mentioned 6-8 hours if it where not factual. In fact, you could get 12+ hours if you set the temperature to 85+ degrees, so there's little to debate here!

I might also mention to Davydd that any lithium cell which is 4-5 years old, does not compare to the chemistry of modern cells, therefore just because you can't achieve 6-8hrs of efficiently certainly does not mean its not achievable.

I suggest you read through my "Lithium Battery verses an Onan Generator" article, it disproved dozens of circulated thought to be true rumors with factual information. I provided a link below - Enjoy!


http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/lithium/
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:53 PM   #6
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I don't understand this about setting to 85* and saying that determines how long it will run.

How much the AC runs, which determines how many btu are removed, is determined primarily on the added heat being put into the van from external temp conduction, solar, inside heat generation like a compressor frig, etc. Secondarily the internal and external temps will affect heat transfer efficiencies at the condenser and evaporator.

I think at 85* you could have very little run time or 100% depending on conditions other than the setpoint.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:58 PM   #7
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"both the Midwest Sprinter and the a Leisure Travel Vans Wonder"

Did you choose a 12 volt system or 48 volt Volta? and Why?

Thanks.

Bud
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:25 PM   #8
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I doubt you will get 6 to 8 hours running your air conditioning on 600ah lithium batteries. Speaking with 4.5 years experience with 800ah lithium batteries and knowing the experience and talking to several users of same. No BS.
With the new 20,000 BTU 12 volt ProAir A/C unit, you'll almost certainly get more than 6-8 hrs running on the 600Amp-hr Li battery; and it will be a LOT quieter.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:09 PM   #9
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I don't understand this about setting to 85* and saying that determines how long it will run.

How much the AC runs, which determines how many btu are removed, is determined primarily on the added heat being put into the van from external temp conduction, solar, inside heat generation like a compressor frig, etc. Secondarily the internal and external temps will affect heat transfer efficiencies at the condenser and evaporator.

I think at 85* you could have very little run time or 100% depending on conditions other than the setpoint.

Thanks for the reply - however the temperature setting of an AC unit has everything to do with the longevity of a lithium pack, everyone knows that a house (or RV) which is set at 70 degrees will consume almost twice the power of the same house set at 80-85.

Let's look at an example and say the outside temperature is 90 degrees and the owner need to cool the van for 4 hours.

RV owner #1 sets his temp to 70 degrees, so the AC compressor now has to run continuous for the 4 hour period to maintain 70 degrees.

In retrospect, RV#2 owner sets his temp at 80 degrees and his compressor cycles on and off (50% cycle) to keep the coach at 80 degrees.

This example shows that even though the AC is running on both coaches for 4 hours, RV owner #2 is using half the power of RV#1.

The above examples shows that AC run time (my 6-8 hrs) is strictly based on the users thermostat setting. In this case, the owner keeping his RV at 80 degrees, just "Doubled" his run time from a given lithium pack.

Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, there are dozens of variables which all effect how many hours on owner can achieve from one charge.

Even the color of an RV has a major effect on lithium run time. A jet black Sprinter which all have black roofs, can consume up to 20% more air conditioning to maintain the same temperature of a silver van with a silver roof.

Regards - Mike

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Old 05-08-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply - however the temperature setting of an AC unit has everything to do with the longevity of a lithium pack, everyone knows that a house (or RV) which is set at 70 degrees will consume almost twice the power of the same house set at 80-85.

Let's look at an example and say the outside temperature is 90 degrees and the owner need to cool the van for 4 hours.

RV owner #1 sets his temp to 70 degrees, so the AC compressor now has to run continuous for the 4 hour period to maintain 70 degrees.

In retrospect, RV#2 owner sets his temp at 80 degrees and his compressor cycles on and off (50% cycle) to keep the coach at 80 degrees.

This example shows that even though the AC is running on both coaches for 4 hours, RV owner #2 is using half the power of RV#1.

The above examples shows that AC run time (my 6-8 hrs) is strictly based on the users thermostat setting. In this case, the owner keeping his RV at 80 degrees, just "Doubled" his run time from a given lithium pack.

Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, there are dozens of variables which all effect how many hours on owner can achieve from one charge.

Even the color of an RV has a major effect on lithium run time. A jet black Sprinter which all have black roofs, can consume up to 20% more air conditioning to maintain the same temperature of a silver van with a silver roof.

Regards - Mike

Nope, I don't know that like everyone else, I guess.

That only applies if all the other parameters stay constant. If the outside temp, sun conditions, humidity, things running inside change that is not true anymore. The change in the amount of heat removed would also have to have been doubled from 85* to 70* which it may or may not be based on conditions.

If you were saying that the power use for your example was at two different temp differentials to outside, it could happen, and be a decent predictor of energy use.

If your outside temp was 85* in your example, and you ran at 80* setpoint and then at 70* setpoint, you changed the temperature differential of the cooling from 5* to 15*. Now assume it is 100* outside and you set at 85* so you have the same differential of 15* as you had a 70*. My bet is that you would have similar power use as you would at 70* with 85* outside. So at the same temp setting you would grossly different amounts of power.

I don't think the temp setting is in any way an accurate predictor of energy use unless you tie it to conditions and then put some conversion factor on it for the different conditions.

I think it would good if you gave us some data that would show how setpoint can predict energy use for the AC, and thus battery life, in the constantly varying conditions that RVs see. Even if you are looking at energy use increase or decrease because of setpoint changes that doesn't relate to battery life unless you know the how much the temp differentials to outside are.

Consider this. If it was night so no solar gain and 85* outside, your example at 70* would show an infinite increase in power use % because you would use essentially no energy at the 80* setting.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:51 PM   #11
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.................... In fact, you could get 12+ hours if you set the temperature to 85+ degrees, so there's little to debate here! ..............

Mike - I think you missed Booster's point almost entirely ....

The A/C compressor might very well run 100% of the time just trying to maintain 85 degrees depending on conditions as he pointed out.

The thermostat setpoint by itself won't guarantee you 4, 6, 8 or 12 hours runtime. You'll find out as you gain more experience.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:13 PM   #12
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"both the Midwest Sprinter and the a Leisure Travel Vans Wonder"

Did you choose a 12 volt system or 48 volt Volta? and Why?

Thanks.

Bud

Thanks for the reply - it would be painful and expensive to upgrade an existing coach to Volta's system just for the fact its 48 volts. The biggest problem is you would be forced to include a 2nd alternator where on a 12 volt lithium upgrade you could use your stock alternator. Not to be misinterpreted, I'm not finding anything wrong with a Volta 48 volt system, they work great and charge faster, but there are some disadvantages as you would lose your ability to install a less expensive inverter / charger some with far more capability than a Volta unit.

The beauty of installing a 12v lithium system is you can use your stock alternator since its "Free" so when driving to a new location, its topping off the battery. Or you can charge from your inverter / charger or your generator.

Mike
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:19 PM   #13
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Mike - I think you missed Booster's point almost entirely ....

The A/C compressor might very well run 100% of the time just trying to maintain 85 degrees depending on conditions as he pointed out.

The thermostat setpoint by itself won't guarantee you 4, 6, 8 or 12 hours runtime. You'll find out as you gain more experience.
Thanks, but I didn't miss a thing - the point I was getting at is the 6-8 hrs of AC time I mentioned is reasonable but totally dependent on how well the vehicle is insulated, outside temp, color, night, day, sun exposure, etc. however, more dependent on the AC thermometer setting in the vehicle. This is why there is no exact time you can put on running the AC and why I included a safe 6-8 hour range.

Thanks Mike
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:23 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reply - it would be painful and expensive to upgrade an existing coach to Volta's system just for the fact its 48 volts. The biggest problem is you would be forced to include a 2nd alternator where on a 12 volt lithium upgrade you could use your stock alternator. Not to be misinterpreted, I'm not finding anything wrong with a Volta 48 volt system, they work great and charge faster, but there are some disadvantages as you would lose your ability to install a less expensive inverter / charger some with far more capability than a Volta unit.

The beauty of installing a 12v lithium system is you can use your stock alternator since its "Free" so when driving to a new location, its topping off the battery. Or you can charge from your inverter / charger or your generator.

Mike
Do you have current limiting on the alternator charging to make sure you don't burn up the stock alternator with high acceptance rate of the lithium pack?
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:34 PM   #15
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Thanks, but I didn't miss a thing - the point I was getting at is the 6-8 hrs of AC time I mentioned is reasonable but totally dependent on how well the vehicle is insulated, outside temp, color, night, day, sun exposure, etc. however, more dependent on the AC thermometer setting in the vehicle. This is why there is no exact time you can put on running the AC and why I included a safe 6-8 hour range.

Thanks Mike
I would disagree with this as you can only do that claim if you provide the actual conditions and settings that would give you that kind of life from the batteries. A few other points of reference under worse conditions when AC is really needed the most would also be appropriate, IMO. People zone in on a claim of hours of use and expect it to be gospel, which it certainly isn't by any stretch of the imagination. AC run times is one the most over used and over abused claims made by the manufactures of the RVs and the battery systems and needs to be done so all customers understand just what to really expect in the real camping world. For those in the south those conditions could easily be 100*F, 70% humidity, high hot sun in an asphalt parking lot, and if they are leaving a pet in the van they need to know what they really should expect to see for run time and how to adjust if the batteries aren't full when they start.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:37 AM   #16
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Do you have current limiting on the alternator charging to make sure you don't burn up the stock alternator with high acceptance rate of the lithium pack?
These are available in 40 or 90 amps. It even has provision for using the chassis battery to help the house batter and even a jump start function.

This is covered in my last article: http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/lithium/

Mike

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Old 05-09-2019, 12:39 AM   #17
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Here we go again.

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Originally Posted by IdleUp View Post
I suggest you read through my "Lithium Battery verses an Onan Generator" article, it disproved dozens of circulated thought to be true rumors with factual information. I provided a link below - Enjoy!
http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/lithium/
I also suggest you read through the detailed critiques of the above-referenced article, which was almost 100% nonsense. For example, here is my contribution:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post91842

Please don't expect me to produce a similar analysis of this user's current offering. I found the last one grossly inaccurate to the point of being useless and I have no reason to think that the new one will be any better.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:25 AM   #18
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Here we go again.


I also suggest you read through the detailed critiques of the above-referenced article, which was almost 100% nonsense. For example, here is my contribution:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post91842

Please don't expect me to produce a similar analysis of this user's current offering. I found the last one grossly inaccurate to the point of being useless and I have no reason to think that the new one will be any better.
Not sure which article you're referring to however my article is 100% accurate in every detail and took over a year to compile. All the "facts" are backed up by most every lithium manufacturing company, Mercedes, vendors, installers, actual users and most important myself!

You're free to accept it or move on, regretfully I didn't see any of your writings on lithium or extended diesel idling when I was researching my article, perhaps I missed them or it's simply "chatter" and does not exist!

Thanks Mike .
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:30 AM   #19
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I would disagree with this as you can only do that claim if you provide the actual conditions and settings that would give you that kind of life from the batteries. A few other points of reference under worse conditions when AC is really needed the most would also be appropriate, IMO. People zone in on a claim of hours of use and expect it to be gospel, which it certainly isn't by any stretch of the imagination. AC run times is one the most over used and over abused claims made by the manufactures of the RVs and the battery systems and needs to be done so all customers understand just what to really expect in the real camping world. For those in the south those conditions could easily be 100*F, 70% humidity, high hot sun in an asphalt parking lot, and if they are leaving a pet in the van they need to know what they really should expect to see for run time and how to adjust if the batteries aren't full when they start.

Booster, many thanks for the reply however isn't this exactly what I just said in my recent post? I included it below for your reference.

Regards

Thanks for the reply - however the temperature setting of an AC unit has everything to do with the longevity of a lithium pack, everyone knows that a house (or RV) which is set at 70 degrees will consume almost twice the power of the same house set at 80-85.

Let's look at an example and say the outside temperature is 90 degrees and the owner need to cool the van for 4 hours.

RV owner #1 sets his temp to 70 degrees, so the AC compressor now has to run continuous for the 4 hour period to maintain 70 degrees.

In retrospect, RV#2 owner sets his temp at 80 degrees and his compressor cycles on and off (50% cycle) to keep the coach at 80 degrees.

This example shows that even though the AC is running on both coaches for 4 hours, RV owner #2 is using half the power of RV#1.

The above examples shows that AC run time (my 6-8 hrs) is strictly based on the users thermostat setting. In this case, the owner keeping his RV at 80 degrees, just "Doubled" his run time from a given lithium pack.

Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, there are dozens of variables which all effect how many hours on owner can achieve from one charge.

Even the color of an RV has a major effect on lithium run time. A jet black Sprinter which all have black roofs, can consume up to 20% more air conditioning to maintain the same temperature of a silver van with a silver roof.

Regards - Mike
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:44 AM   #20
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Mike, you are entitled to your opinion, but in my opinion using any kind of reference to thermostat setting in stating AC run time is borderline useless in the real world.

Certainly, it could be said that the energy use would be higher at cooler settings at any current conditions, but you would no way know what the actual use was unless you tested both settings right then without them changing during the testing, and the conditions won't even stay the same for long enough to do the test, much less for conditions all over the country and over all the times of year.

As I said, you can have your own opinion, but I think you will be misleading a lot of readers by using that metric.
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