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Old 10-07-2012, 02:08 PM   #41
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
It looks like the high output alternator thing is readily available in the aftermarket--using, of all things, GM parts!

http://www.nationsstarteralternator....printer-dk.htm

You might need an idle speed bumper, also, but those are also out there.

Without a non-electric heat source, it would get pretty useless for many folks. It takes somewhere in the 800 watts of heat to keep our C190P warm overnight when the temps hit the mid 30's F. That is over 65 amps, and would quickly take down the batteries. Personally, I would not want to run the van engine all night to stay warm, and certainly any neighbors wouldn't like the noise or smell.

That said, for as often as we use the generator, rarely and for short periods, the system would probably be fine for us, if it still had propane for furnace (or diesel heater). We would miss the propane for our grill, however, as the tiny bottles suck. Diesel heat and a built in small bottle like they use on Simplicity would be sweet. With those options, Onan could keep their noisy piece of generator!
My van fits that description; propane furnace, water heater and stove, no generator, use engine as a generator to run the rear and dash air conditioning simultaneously on those rare (for us) occasions when we need cooling without being plugged in. link: fast idle option in my GMC van: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...&t=2295#p12232

I did a lot of internet research when first considering extended idling. Upping the idle speed seems like a good idea to me. I've read of lot's of GM and Ford trucks idling through the night on work sites up north.

Sprinters can be ordered with a single speed fast idle or a variable speed fast idle from what I've read.

I read through this thread http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11031 (Idling and the near death of an '08 Sprinter) but wasn't entirely convinced that idling alone caused the incredibly expensive repairs.

If idling often and/or for long periods then an hour meter for engine run hours would be useful so that you know when to change the engine oil. No miles are being added to the odometer when idling so if you change oil based on mileage alone and you idle a lot then you are long overdue for an oil change.

In my van, the alternator can handle the needed output for the rear and dash air combined at normal idle but I think it is prudent to up the idle to around 1,000 rpms when doing that.

I wouldn't idle my engine all night either.... well maybe in an extremely cold emergency situation.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:33 PM   #42
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

How big an alternator and AC do you have in your van? I know GM does make some whopper alternators for their diesels!

I did a little reading on idling diesels, and it is pretty contradictory. Some tests show no problem, some do. The manufacturers don't like it, but say if you do idle a lot, you have to have an idle booster. Cummins claimed a 50% increase in wear at 700 rpm compared to 1200 rpm. They also talked a lot about soot buildup and the need to "blow them out" regularly by driving. I wonder what that will do with the DPF on the Sprinters, which IIRC are about a $3500 item. Hate to plug that up early.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #43
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

124 amp alternator and 5,200 btu rear a/c in my '97 GMC van. Not enough for some climates.
When combined with dash air cooling it might be. I haven't had the chance to test it in real hot temperatures.

Edit: Link to some of my data: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...start=8#p12016
Quote:
With the van engine running at idle and the rear window air conditioner running off my inverter, my Scangauge reports .11 GPH (gallons per hour) fuel consumption and 634 RPM. 13.5 volts reported by the inverter.
Quote:
With the van engine running at idle and the rear window air conditioner running off my inverter and the van dash air on "max air" blowing cold, my Scangauge reports .45 GPH (gallons per hour) fuel consumption and 651 RPM. Voltage shown by the inverter is still 13.5 volts.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:52 PM   #44
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

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Originally Posted by markopolo
I did a lot of internet research when first considering extended idling. Upping the idle speed seems like a good idea to me. I've read of lot's of GM and Ford trucks idling through the night on work sites up north.
Spend an evening in any major truck stop's truck parking area. Can be noisy and smelly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
I wouldn't idle my engine all night either.... well maybe in an extremely cold emergency situation.
If the conditions warranted idling all night, and you were physically able to move your van, I would think driving to a safer overnight situation, be it a motel, or someplace where you could plug in, might be a better choice than idling. I would rather run a (quiet) propane furnace, if given the choice, and if the conditions required some sort of heating to keep the van and passengers safe and warm.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:41 AM   #45
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Batteries in the Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I'm 99% sure that the batteries in the Roadtrek RS E-Trek are GC2 6 volt AGM's made by East Penn Manufacturing. They could have various branding: Deka / West Marine / Duracell (at Sams Club) etc.

Specs are:



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File Type: jpg 8AGC2_.JPG (41.3 KB, 759 views)
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #46
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The specs on those batteries seem low at 187AH for the 20 hr rate. I think Trojan makes versions at 220 and 240AH, with a slightly taller one at 260AH.

Marco-how are your specs "attached" that they don't come through the quote method?
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #47
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I attached them as files. I guess files get ID'd to the original post only.......
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #48
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

What does Howard Stratton say at the 4 minute point in the video?
Right after "5,000 watts generating power".

[youtube:36mflm6p]e7ZJlxygtzk[/youtube:36mflm6p]

The news release stated the E-Trek has a 2,500 watt inverter and Howard says 5,000 watts in the video so you'd think it is a 2,500 watt unit with 5,000 watt surge capability.
You can read the brand "Outback" on the inverter in the video.
The Outback inverter that is the closest to (or exceeds) those specs is the FX2524MT or FX2524T which is a 24 volt model. 2,500 watt normal use with 4,800 watt 5 second surge capability and 6,000 watt momentary surge capability.
The 32 volt FX2532MT / FX2532T Outback inverter also comes close to the specs stated at 2,500 watt with 4,000 watt 5 second surge capability and 4,800 watt momentary surge capability.
The 12 volt VFX2812 comes close as well at 2,800 watt with 4,000 watt 5 second surge capability and 4,800 watt momentary surge capability.
The 32 volt and the 12 volt models listed above don't quite meet the "5,000 watts" mentioned in the video.

Can anyone tell me what Howard Stratton says at the 4 minute point in the video - right after "5,000 watts generating power"?
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #49
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

There is a lot of conflicting information re: Mercedes Sprinter extended engine idling.

Wag'n Tails is on the list of approved Mercedes Sprinter Upfitters: http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/owners/equip

Source: http://www.wagntails.com/html/prodinfo/sprinterfaq.htm
Quote:
Also, a recent conversation with the head of Sprinter engineering at Mercedes Benz, we were informed that they don’t recommend idling the engine unless it’s equipped with a high RPM idle control. This control runs the engine faster to keep it hot. He added that “even with a high idle system, the engine should never idle more than 30 minutes”.
then this:

Source: http://www.expeditersonline.com/truckin ... inter.html

Quote:
Two of the Sprinter owners interviewed for this article had been told by service technicians that extended idling would present problems and recommended against it. This seemed to be a serious fault if true, so DaimlerChrysler Vans of Huntersville, NC was contacted.

Wolf-Dieter Kleimeier, Vice-President of Engineering and Compliance, says that extended periods of idling by the diesel engine in the Sprinter, while not environmentally-friendly or fuel-efficient, presents no more problems of carbon buildup than any other typical diesel engine. Idling should pose no problems to either EGR valves or fuel injectors.
Wag'n Tails gets into some detail about the DPF:

Quote:
The diesel engine at idle will clog the Diesel Particulate Filter in the exhaust system over time. This can lead to replacing that part which is quite costly. The engine in the Sprinter needs to super heat that filter in a process called regeneration and burn off the particles it collects. Idling prevents that process of regeneration from occurring because the engine is not programmed to regenerate the Diesel Particulate Filter at idle speeds.

Regeneration occurs every 100-600 miles. It lasts between 10 and 40 minutes, and it will not occur under an idle. They also note that you should not park over papers, leaves, dry grass or other things that can burn. They further stated that if the engine does not get up to speed to start the regeneration process, the engine will shut itself down and require a tow to the dealer and that these are NOT warranty repairs.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:48 PM   #50
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Not that conflicting. The consensus of quotes seems to say not a good idea.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:25 PM   #51
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Conflicting in that the unamed "head of Sprinter engineering" says a fast idle control is necessary for extended idling but, even with that purchased option, you are warned to limit idling to less than 30 minutes compared to the "Vice-President of Engineering and Compliance" offering no warning of potential damage and costly repairs - just a reference to economy and the environment. No mention of the fast idle option even being needed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #52
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I haven't investigate but what do you suppose is more economical, diesel or propane? I think propane is more environmentally friendly. Any comments to that?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #53
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I can give some data but would need help with the $$$ calculations.

Generating electricity / Gallons per hour

The 2500 watt LPG Onan burns:
no load 0.3 Gal/h
half load 0.4 Gal/h
full load 0.6 Gal/h

at idle, running a 5,200 btu a/c through an inverter, my V8 diesel burns 0.11 Gal/h according to my ScanGauge.
at idle, running a 5,200 btu a/c through an inverter and the van dash air on "max air" my V8 diesel burns 0.45 Gal/h according to my ScanGauge.

Heat:
BTU - http://www.generatorjoe.net/html/energy.html

Propane 1 gallon = 91,500 BTU
Gasoline 1 gallon = 125,000 BTU
Diesel 1 gallon = 139,200 BTU

Propane is cleaner but by how much I don't know because you need to burn more propane.

http://www.propanefacts.ca/Studies/cana ... /201/1363/
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #54
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I just topped off my propane tank last week at $3/US Gal. Diesel at the same station was $4.149/US Gal. on the same day in Minnesota. Since the numbers fluctuate from day to day and region to region, I suppose you could assume the the proportion for comparison. Diesel and propane do not fluctuate as much as gasoline.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #55
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Just a guess, but it appears we could wind up with a whole bunch of pi$$ed of E-trek owners, if they get plugged up DPF's, and MB denies warranty. It could get pretty ugly between MB and Roadtrek if that happens, as the repair is not a small amount of money.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #56
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Another quote and different info....... again

Source: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpo ... stcount=75 Posted April 2012
Quote:
1) Neal S. @ M-B USA (800) 222-0100 got the answers to the idle time questions straight from Germany and left me a voice mail:

With high idle option, idle time is 1.5 to 2 hours.

With stock idle rpm, maximum idle time is one hour.
The RS E-Trek seams ideal for touring around. The batteries would charge up with each days driving and the engine reaches optimal operating temperatures.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #57
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Davydd - looks like propane and diesel end up costing the same for heat (depends on furnace efficiency). For electricity generation, the Sprinter engine as a generator costs look to be more than running the Onan (if generating 2,500 watts. I'm assuming .6 gph for both the Onan and the Sprinter. Do you know your Sprinter's GPH at normal idle and at say 1,000 rpm?
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:30 AM   #58
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

No clue. I would hope Roadtrek would be able to determine and provide that information so people can estimate use.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:38 AM   #59
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I think that at some point you would also have to add in more frequent oil and filter (fuel and oil) changes due to the large time idling, which, on a Sprinter can be a significant cost, when compared to a 1 quart oil change in an Onan.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:27 AM   #60
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

might be "5,000 watts of generating power, total, coming (pumping?) to you, so you can run pretty much anything you want". it is garbled, though.
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