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2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
I like this step stool I’ve been using for a while. I purchased a thick door mat, cut off a section and screwed it to the top. Now I have a good place to wipe my feet on top of the step stool outside of the van and another smaller door mat for inside.
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2021 ePro w/Tesla motor-1.2kw solar
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Dennis,
I really like the Samlex products. UL approved, quiet power, good components and quality built. I bought the 2kW sinewave inverter only for my build and really love the product. Samlex have been building inverters for over 25 years now. Biggest load is a 1800W dual burner induction stove, and it runs with no hickups. Also really like the Victron PV controllers, really good MPPT controller and high accuracy metering and data logging. The DC-DC products though...are just "OK" in my opinion (decades of power electronics design).
Tim


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Discussion Starter · #303 ·
The DC-DC products though...are just "OK" in my opinion (decades of power electronics design).
Tim
I agree that the DC-DC are just ok. It would b nice if they increased the amps to about 50 and used the same app software they have with the MPPT, where you can see history of your energy production.
 

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2021 ePro w/Tesla motor-1.2kw solar
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I agree that the DC-DC are just ok. It would b nice if they increased the amps to about 50 and used the same app software they have with the MPPT, where you can see history of your energy production.
Yep, my complaints are app software inadequate compared to their MPPT, and no current control. I only need 10 amps of 12V battery to 12V house battery, for wire sizing purposes, so I want a limit of 10 amps. There is no way to do this with Victron because they don't actually measure current!

In fact a question. Is there a quality DC/DC folks are using that gives current control? And ON/OFF remote control so the unit can be turned on/off with switch or 12V input?
t
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Yep, my complaints are app software inadequate compared to their MPPT, and no current control. I only need 10 amps of 12V battery to 12V house battery, for wire sizing purposes, so I want a limit of 10 amps. There is no way to do this with Victron because they don't actually measure current!

In fact a question. Is there a quality DC/DC folks are using that gives current control? And ON/OFF remote control so the unit can be turned on/off with switch or 12V input?
t
The Kisae DMT 1250 or 1230 allow you to set the charging current and do MPPT charging.


Gary
 

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The Kisae DMT 1250 or 1230 allow you to set the charging current and do MPPT charging.
Gary
Thanks Gary,
Thats a lot of functions in one unit, I really prefer the KISS principal for electric systems. That way if/when it breaks, it's easy to diagnose and repair/replace. For my application, I'm looking for charge for the house battery when the (EV) van is charging. It might be charging at a DC fast charger, or it might be charging overnight at a campground. Most of the house battery charging is done now by PV solar, but it's nice to have a little backup in the way of the DC/DC when there is a lot of bad weather. But I only need 10 amps for a 400 amp-hour (12V) battery for a complete recharge in a few days. It would be nice to have the usual protections, overtemp, overload, short circuit, reverse battery and so forth. Is anyone using a small DC-DC like this?

Just realized I should start a new thread rather than hijack Dennis'!!! Sorry Dennis.
t
 

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Thanks Gary,
Thats a lot of functions in one unit, I really prefer the KISS principal for electric systems. That way if/when it breaks, it's easy to diagnose and repair/replace. For my application, I'm looking for charge for the house battery when the (EV) van is charging. It might be charging at a DC fast charger, or it might be charging overnight at a campground. Most of the house battery charging is done now by PV solar, but it's nice to have a little backup in the way of the DC/DC when there is a lot of bad weather. But I only need 10 amps for a 400 amp-hour (12V) battery for a complete recharge in a few days. It would be nice to have the usual protections, overtemp, overload, short circuit, reverse battery and so forth. Is anyone using a small DC-DC like this?

Just realized I should start a new thread rather than hijack Dennis'!!! Sorry Dennis.
t
Hi OffGrid,
You have an EV camper van?
Not to further get off topic, but I'd love to hear the details. Maybe there is a link?

I've got a strong personal interest in going over to a EV camper van at some point (also have a EV car on order).

edit: sorry, forgot link to charger: Camper Van Electrical – Adding A Shore Power Charger – Build A Green RV

As far as a simple charger for your house battery, I've used this Victron unit that charges from shore power, and it seems quite solid - no fans and it feels like its potted with a heavy finned aluminium case. It charges at a naximum of 17 amps, but I think it also has a lower charge rate available. I'm not using it now, but I did work with it a fair bit when I was rebuilding my PM electrical system and it seems solid. It uses a bluetooth app to do the settings and monitor charging.

Gary
 

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Hi OffGrid,
You have an EV camper van?
Not to further get off topic, but I'd love to hear the details. Maybe there is a link?

I've got a strong personal interest in going over to a EV camper van...
I should do a build page, now that I'm done. It's a 2021 159 PM high top cargo. Converted to EV by Maxwell Vehicles, and then converted to camper by me. We've done two long road trips now and planning a lot more! Here's the travel blog offgrid offline

Thanks for the link on the Victron, I will look at that right now! EDIT now I see that is AC input only. I don't bring AC into the van, except through the charge port for the van traction battery. Shoot!

Here is the Maxwell link: Maxwell Vehicles
Maxwell have teamed up with a van builder to do campers, but we did not use them...
t
 

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Hi,
That's very impressive - you guys are true pioneers.

I'd encourage you to start a new thread here on the forum - maybe in the Trip Report section or the Engine and Tech section. I think a lot of people would be interested.

Your writeup is great. I wish the Maxwell site provided more detail - are you aware of any links that give more detail on the Maxwell conversion?

A couple questions...

- Sounds like the Tesla battery goes under the floor? Does this impact ground clearance much?

- Has the EV conversion been trouble free?

- I guess they are claiming a 175 mile range on the high roof PM - is that in the ball park?

Thanks for sharing your experience!

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
Since the van builds are not that heavy (7,300 Its.) I've removed the "helper springs" on all my van builds. They create a smoother ride, lower the back of the van down to almost level and improve the handling on curvy roads.
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Discussion Starter · #313 ·
Since the van builds are not that heavy (7,300 Its.) I've removed the "helper springs" on all my van builds. They create a smoother ride, lower the back of the van down to almost level and improve the handling on curvy roads.
Thank you to Nurse Ben for his earlier draft of the instructions. Here is my updated version:

Removing Secondary Leaf Springs on a ProMaster Van

I've been pondering removing the "helper" leaf springs for a few years. The ProMaster Forum has had a number of posts about it. If your gross vehicle weight is a lot less than the max, this is an option. It lowers the back of the van to be basically level with the front, so it looks better from the side view. It makes the ride a lot less bumpy. It lowers the van height at least 2.5 inches. It corners a little better.

To do this project, I’d recommend two people and it takes about two hours.

You will need shorter bolts to replace the leaf spring centering bolts. I used 3/8" x 1 1/4" grade 8 bolts/nuts with fine threads.

Don't even attempt this without a ½" drive - 2' long breaker bar to loosen and tighten the U bolt nuts and a 22mm deep ½" socket plus a 1/2" drive ratchet to remove and reinstall the nuts. A 7/8 deep socket can work also, but either of these are not a very common size in your tool sets.

Using the factory jack, working on one side at a time, raise it up until the tires are about 3 inches off the ground. Then add a strong jack stand. We also used 2 - 4 x 12s for the jack base. One the second side we added the jack stand and base and then left the factory jack in place as a backup support.

Loosen and remove u-bolts and hardware, unclip emergency brake cable from axle, pop off wires holding cable to the top of the leaf springs.

Clean the treads on the u-bolts because you will be using more of the threads after removing the extra spring.

It is not necessary to remove the shock bolts.

Remove the nut from leaf spring centering bolt.

Jack up the axle until the springs begin to lift from the spring perch

Then the secondary spring and centering bolt can be removed.

Reinstall shorter centering bolt.

Jack up the axle until bolt head is resting on spring perch.

Reinstall the u-bolts on both sides.

The tricky part is getting the bolt head back in the spring perch hole. On one side my helper pushed with his feet from the back of the van the tire forward. On the passenger side we used a floor jack to hold up the axle and a small sledge to tap it into alignment. This is where it helps to have two people.

Reverse everything, then repeat on the other side.

I can definitely tell the difference in ride. I got about a 2 ½" drop in the rear. Now the rear is only ¾ inch higher than the front. The bumpers are only about an 1" from the top of the spring, whereas before they were about 3'. The ride is not as bouncy and softer now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #314 · (Edited)
Just finished an electrical upgrade for a van client. This system took about 20 hours of work and cost $5,000. My philosophy is to use high grade components and build medium sized systems. I encourage people to rethink large electrical systems. With a little effort, a 200 AH system can work for the majority of van builds.
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Discussion Starter · #316 ·
Looks very clean! Do you need to be a certified electrician to work on camper vans? I did my own modest installation but I wouldn’t do it for someone else
I don't believe you need to be certified in Oregon where I'm located. It's a unique industry and the RIVA standards don't really apply. Some organizations are creating their own certification. This one looks promising: Camper Electrical Install Services
 
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