Ram Promaster Forum banner

21 - 40 of 77 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,225 Posts
We’re you standing on your head when you made that drawing?🤭
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
The OP is wise to have a healthy respect for electricity. Do lots of research and ask lots of questions. Lots of knowledgeable people here. 12V is not usually dangerous but if one is ambitious and wants to, say, run a small microwave, that'll be 100+ amps and now things can get dicey. I speak only as a noob in this regard but I've personally seen things get extremely hot messing with high currents.
Thank you for this comment. I feel encouraged. :) I bought a Cuisinart® 1500w Compact AirFryer Toaster Oven. It's returnable if it won't work, but it was a black Friday sale so I bought it. I hate microwaves. This oven cooks chicken strips in 7-10 minutes. So I figured it's really like a hair dryer.

I also bought the big components because Renogy had a sale, and it was $1000 less than the same components from Battleborn. I have printed out the manuals and I'm reading them and making notes. (my covid project) But there are so many details that an electrician instinctively knows. The wires are so fat! Just cutting them is a job. I did find a site where you can order different lengths with the copper ends on both ends. I'm very thankful for this forum because I know I will get a ton of help. Here are the pieces I bought and what I have so far from sites posting info:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
😃 😃 😃

My "concept design drawing". The end result was amazingly close.



My "construction drawing":

Wow, you have the length being under 9'! I was working with 9.5". Yikes! It's like working in the dark without having the actual van. Where is the the bed? Is that the yellow part? I do like the 2 swivel seats, especially with two of you in the van. It makes for a spacious feel. I started thinking for two, but quickly decided 95% of the time it will be just me.
 

·
Registered
2014 136” HR
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
Yes, the yellow is the bed, and yes, the van feels more spacious than many 159”s I've seen. I love sitting in the cab seat and looking across 4’ of open space, then across the 4’ expanse of the bed to the outside. Many times I have contemplated a bolder bed cover, but I like that nothing in the van distracts from what I see outside. It’s great for two people, a mansion when I travel alone.

Ignore the 106” notation. The drawing came from Sportsmobile. Actual length from touching middle of the rear door to touching the farthest point forward on the inset between the seats is the advertised 122”, but this is misleading. 9.5’ is a reasonable working number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Yes, the yellow is the bed, and yes, the van feels more spacious than many 159”s I've seen. I love sitting in the cab seat and looking across 4’ of open space, then across the 4’ expanse of the bed to the outside. Many times I have contemplated a bolder bed cover, but I like that nothing in the van distracts from what I see outside. It’s great for two people, a mansion when I travel alone.
I love it! Space is so important. I'm so glad y'all recommended the pass through to the cab. I nixed the tall cabinets I'm putting a rolling rack there, that I move to get to the back. That way I have light from front to back, with the lace curtain and shutters open.

How much solar do you have on the roof? Do you have any ceiling fans? I have a maxxfan and a skylight, so I think I can just fit [email protected] solar panels, but I'm waiting to get the van, because I might be able to fit 2 @ 175 each.
 

·
Registered
2014 136” HR
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
I have a MaxAir in the usual forward spot and two 150W panels, IIRC, each 39” x 39.5”. Adding a skylight would be questionable, though I do understand that the efficiency of panels has increased in the last 4 years. Be sure to allow space around the MaxAir to avoid shading, which can greatly reduce solar output. IIRC, the recommendation was 9”.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
I have a MaxAir in the usual forward spot and two 150W panels, IIRC, each 39” x 39.5”. Adding a skylight would be questionable, though I do understand that the efficiency of panels has increased in the last 4 years. Be sure to allow space around the MaxAir to avoid shading, which can greatly reduce solar output. IIRC, the recommendation was 9”.
Good to know on the shading. I didn't think of that. Clearly the best I can do is the 2 @160w. (160 apparently replaces the company's 150, with the same dimensions.) Here is how I laid it out, giving 9' x 6' of roof space, although I have no idea if that's accurate. Since I have no opening windows, I really need the cross ventilation.
69128
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
I have a MaxAir in the usual forward spot and two 150W panels, IIRC, each 39” x 39.5”. Adding a skylight would be questionable, though I do understand that the efficiency of panels has increased in the last 4 years. Be sure to allow space around the MaxAir to avoid shading, which can greatly reduce solar output. IIRC, the recommendation was 9”.
I just checked out your website! I love your van!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Good to know on the shading. I didn't think of that. Clearly the best I can do is the 2 @160w. (160 apparently replaces the company's 150, with the same dimensions.) Here is how I laid it out, giving 9' x 6' of roof space, although I have no idea if that's accurate. Since I have no opening windows, I really need the cross ventilation.
I have the 159EXT and not the 136 so don't have measurements for that. But the following diagram shows that for the 136, the distance between the front and rear roof attachment pins is about 8.5 feet and the distance across is about 58 inches. There are a few additional inches beyond the attachment pins so you may get close to 9 feet in length but probably not 6 feet in width. The span identified as "1" is where the front end is sloping down and not part of the flat roof. Spans 2 and 3 are for a 136. The width span is 740mm but that is only to the middle so double that would give a width of 1.48 meters



1606600564489.png
1606600625061.png
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
I have the 159EXT and not the 136 so don't have measurements for that. But the following diagram shows that for the 136, the distance between the front and rear roof attachment pins is about 8.5 feet and the distance across is about 58 inches. There are a few additional inches beyond the attachment pins so you may get close to 9 feet in length but probably not 6 feet in width. The span identified as "1" is where the front end is sloping down and not part of the flat roof. Spans 2 and 3 are for a 136. The width span is 740mm but that is only to the middle so double that would give a width of 1.48 meters



View attachment 69129 View attachment 69130 .
Thank you so much!! I'll rework and see what's possible.
 

·
Registered
2014 136” HR
Joined
·
5,563 Posts
My first reflex was No Way! Then I put the numbers to it and you may make that work and then I will be jealous. ;) I don’t understand the 740 mm width in tgblake's chart—that’s only 29 inches.

A couple photos. First one shows the extra width (each side) with 39” panel.


Second photo shows front to rear, about 79” total length of panels including space. This suggests you would have 30” for your skylight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
My first reflex was No Way! Then I put the numbers to it and you may make that work and then I will be jealous. ;) I don’t understand the 740 mm width in tgblake's chart—that’s only 29 inches.

A couple photos. First one shows the extra width (each side) with 39” panel.


Second photo shows front to rear, about 79” total length of panels including space. This suggests you would have 30” for your skylight.
I think the technology is advancing really fast, probably because of tesla and all they're doing. I might also be able to fit 3x 100w panels. Those are 43" x 19", and I could have 2 side by side perpendicular to the van and one across the short side, forming more of a square. I'm waiting until I get the van and I can place cardboard cut outs of each piece, especially after Tblake's picture and the need to work with all those roof ridges. I'm kinda un-fond of heights, so all that roof work will be challenging. :p
 

·
Premium Member
2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
A couple of comments about your electrical (remember that I'm a noob also):

1) how is the water heater connected to your electrical system and how is it controlled? If it's always plugged in and its heating element controlled via a thermostat, it may decide to come on when your 1500W air fryer is also on and the combined draw could give your 2000W inverter trouble.

2) I like the concept of a skylight, but if you could put in another solar panel in its place, you might want to consider it. You have some high-powered devices (air fryer, water heater) and you've got a big inverter and high-current LiFePO4 batteries to power them. But I feel your solar panels are slightly undersized for your loads. Nothing "electrically wrong" with that, but it could take a while to charge up a depleted battery bank. You have a DC-DC charger and could thus use engine power but that'd take a while too.

2a) related, if the skylight is purely for "light" as opposed to looking good, some extra LED lights could help dispense with the skylight

3) 4/0 cables are super thick. Are you sure you need them that big? Maybe your electrical system is spread out (longer cables need to be thicker). I built mine intentionally compact and close to the engine battery so my thickest cables are AWG 2 between my bus bars and my 3000W inverter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
My first reflex was No Way! Then I put the numbers to it and you may make that work and then I will be jealous. ;) I don’t understand the 740 mm width in tgblake's chart—that’s only 29 inches.
The chart is a bit confusing on the width. Span 6 is listed as 740mm and the back view diagram shows that span 6 is the full width. However in the top view distance "Y" goes to the middle line of the roof. So you need to double that 740mm to get the full width between the pins. That is just over 58 inches, which is the correct width and is the same on all promaster models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
A couple of comments about your electrical (remember that I'm a noob also):

1) how is the water heater connected to your electrical system and how is it controlled? If it's always plugged in and its heating element controlled via a thermostat, it may decide to come on when your 1500W air fryer is also on and the combined draw could give your 2000W inverter trouble.
Ah! Good to know. I'll hook it up with a light switch where you can turn it on when you want hot water. I saw another van did that. Then I'll just not use the hot water and oven at the same time.

2) I like the concept of a skylight, but if you could put in another solar panel in its place, you might want to consider it. You have some high-powered devices (air fryer, water heater) and you've got a big inverter and high-current LiFePO4 batteries to power them. But I feel your solar panels are slightly undersized for your loads. Nothing "electrically wrong" with that, but it could take a while to charge up a depleted battery bank. You have a DC-DC charger and could thus use engine power but that'd take a while too.
I really need the skylight because I have no opening windows and this will give me cross ventilation. I expect to spend more time in warm climates than cold. Would adding another battery help? Or nixing the oven. I don't cook that much. I hope to get an RV insurance rating here in PA, and I believe to do that, (I believe you go through a special inspection) they want to see some built in cooking devices.

2a) related, if the skylight is purely for "light" as opposed to looking good, some extra LED lights could help dispense with the skylight
The skylight is like a hatch in a boat. it opens.
69131

3) 4/0 cables are super thick. Are you sure you need them that big? Maybe your electrical system is spread out (longer cables need to be thicker). I built mine intentionally compact and close to the engine battery so my thickest cables are AWG 2 between my bus bars and my 3000W inverter.
I copied those numbers from someone's diagram and I know nothing about them at this point. I want everything to be compact too. But I don't think it will fit close to the engine battery. But if it fits under the sink (in the kitchen cabinet), under the seats/between the seats that would be great!

My plan right now is to develop the plan, do as much as I can, and if I don't feel confident once I've learned as much as I can, then pay an electrician to check my work / do what I can't. Something like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #37
The chart is a bit confusing on the width. Span 6 is listed as 740mm and the back view diagram shows that span 6 is the full width. However in the top view distance "Y" goes to the middle line of the roof. So you need to double that 740mm to get the full width between the pins. That is just over 58 inches, which is the correct width and is the same on all promaster models.
I don't know what it's referring to with "anchor points". Can you not attach the mounting brackets on any of the higher roof ridges? It looks like the roof curves a little, making it so you have to fit the panels in that 58" space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
The anchor points are the pins on the roof for mounting roof racks. The diagram with the numbers 7, 8, 9,10 shows a side view of one of the pins. At the number 7 the roof starts to slope down on the sides. On a 136, I think there are 3 pins on each side, one near the front before the roof slopes down to the windshield, one in the middle near the back of the slider door and one at the rear. At the front and back there are a few inches before the flat roof ends. On the sides it falls away almost immediately down the sides. If you are going to mount your solar panels directly to the roof and not use a rack, then yes you can attach them anywhere. The roof pin locations just were meant to give you an idea of how much space is available on the roof
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
The anchor points are the pins on the roof for mounting roof racks. The diagram with the numbers 7, 8, 9,10 shows a side view of one of the pins. At the number 7 the roof starts to slope down on the sides. On a 136, I think there are 3 pins on each side, one near the front before the roof slopes down to the windshield, one in the middle near the back of the slider door and one at the rear. At the front and back there are a few inches before the flat roof ends. On the sides it falls away almost immediately down the sides. If you are going to mount your solar panels directly to the roof and not use a rack, then yes you can attach them anywhere. The roof pin locations just were meant to give you an idea of how much space is available on the roof
I think with the fan and skylight/hatch I can't have a roof rack. 2x 180w panels mounted sideways will take up 58.5"W x 54-6" long (depending on how close I can have them to each other). I'm not gonna buy them until I have the van in dec/jan, but I think that will work.
 

·
Premium Member
2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
I really need the skylight because I have no opening windows and this will give me cross ventilation. I expect to spend more time in warm climates than cold. Would adding another battery help? Or nixing the oven. I don't cook that much. I hope to get an RV insurance rating here in PA, and I believe to do that, (I believe you go through a special inspection) they want to see some built in cooking devices.


I copied those numbers from someone's diagram and I know nothing about them at this point. I want everything to be compact too. But I don't think it will fit close to the engine battery. But if it fits under the sink (in the kitchen cabinet), under the seats/between the seats that would be great!

My plan right now is to develop the plan, do as much as I can, and if I don't feel confident once I've learned as much as I can, then pay an electrician to check my work / do what I can't. Something like that.
Re: skylight and ventilation. I have only 1 fan, a Maxxair at the back. I find that if I open the passenger window a bit, there's decent airflow. I'm sure that a window opened wide enough will easily be the same as having a boat hatch open. However, having a window widely open is a security risk.

Perhaps a floor vent? I thought hard about that. But have put it on the back burner due to possible dust issues.

Re: extra battery. Lots of battery capacity with not enough solar to charge it fast enough is why I suggested that you think of squeezing in another panel. You already have 200aH of batteries. 300W of solar panels running at 70% capacity (already optimistic, especially at this time of year) would need over 15 hours to charge your bank if it's depleted. You say you don't cook much and so maybe this isn't an issue. And if it isn't an issue, you may not need the extra battery either.

If you're new to this like me, plan for flexibility. Travel and see how it goes. In my case, I put in a big solar array at the beginning and am happy I did. In your case, I'm just suggesting that you allow for a 3rd panel and that may need you to not have a boat hatch on the roof (in the beginning).

Getting your plan double-checked by someone familiar with solar power (not necessarily any electrician) is the right thing to do.👍
 
21 - 40 of 77 Posts
Top