Ram Promaster Forum banner

41 - 60 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #41
@MountedForAdventure
What is the blue material on the exhaust pipe?
View attachment 59834
Good eye!
That comes with the Propex.
It's a type of hose that I would assume is designed to hold up to heat, and is what they use to attach the exhaust pipe to the Propex.
Not sure why they went that route and not something like they have on the intake side, just hose clamps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,592 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
I was thinking it was a shrink wrap to seal the joint.
Yeah it's certainly not a shrink wrap of any kind, full tubing.

For anyone building propane lines (I'm using 3/8" copper tubing), don't be like me and think you can get away with a hacksaw.
A proper tubing cutter makes the cut super professional, and they're like $20 for a little pocket one.
Also copper tubing is very pliable, you can oval it with your hands.


If you look at the two tubings side by side, you can see the one that doesn't have the nut on it was cut by a hacksaw.
While the dimensions are roughly the same, it had lots of small burrs (this is deburred) and after flaring it had thick and thin spots.
One spot looked like it would develop a crack.
The one with the nut is my first crack at flaring after using the cutter, and **** does it look professional.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,631 Posts
Nylog red, Gas Line PTFE Thread Seal Tape, Rectorseal, too. Perhaps a Portable Gas Sniffer. All cheap compared to an explosion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #45
Nylog red, Gas Line PTFE Thread Seal Tape, Rectorseal, too. Perhaps a Portable Gas Sniffer. All cheap compared to an explosion.
Yeah I'm going with the Gas Seal Tape. Neat to read up on the Nylog stuff, seems like the gas fitting guys absolutely swear by it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
Huge milestone today!
Every year we have a big family trip out to Revelstoke for a week of skiing, eating and drinking.
We originally had planned on having the van ready for that trip, as a good "shakedown" of everything and what we need to focus on for the final stages of the build.
I'm writing this post from the passenger seat of the van (still to be named) on the Highway 1 heading west!

Our van needed three main things when it came to getting the van ready to head out to the mountains:
  • Furnace in and able to work 24/7
  • Bed in, anchored, bedding on, pillows
  • Winter tires
As the build thread left off on the 20th we had the weekend of the 21st and 22nd that we spent working hard on the van to get it ready.

Passenger side cupboard
The high level plan of that cupboard included the three full-size drawers (20.25" x 22"), a tall three shelf cupboard, and the stove.
Still not sure how we're going to plumb the stove in, as the drawers go all the way to the wall.
Buuuuut it got all painted up with a really nice white and it looks amazing!
Mounted it the same way the passenger cupboard is: 4x 3/8" bolts 6" long through the floor.
We're driving down the highway and it seems pretty sturdy.

Propex HS2000 Install
So after much deliberation on how to flare copper tubing and how to bend etc, it worked out great first try.
The one thing I did learn was to "pre-flare" the tubing, as I had a couple that folded in on themselves (see pictures).
But anyways, I started at the farthest end on my propane lines system (a dead-end for the water heater).
Made a flare nut with a plug connection to dead-end that.
Then worked back through behind the drawers with a single straight run.
Behind the cupboard, in front of the water tank, is where my plumbing challenge lies.
The propane has a T, a 90 and an S.
The electrical goes to the propex and the water pump.
The water tank goes the the pump, then into the cupborad
The propex has intake and exhaust hoses that S down through the floor.
All in all though it worked out great! I still have to do the last sealing of the exhaust hose (red high temp RTV) and tidy the wires, but so far so good.
Also that's the spot for our CO/propane detector.
Anyone know a 12V or battery operated detector? Couldn't find a good one on Amazon or at Can Tire.

Bed in
This one was a two part adventure.
Earlier in this thread I had mentioned that we'd built a bed frame out of 2x6s mounted vertically.
Now I've changed it to a bunch of 2x4s and 2x2s mounted horizontally with a 3/8" plywood mounted on top.
So far it holds Leah and I, though we haven't had any athletics on it yet haha.
I can say that the bed frame does flex when we're on it, but we've both laid down on it without any cracking or issues.
It is very nice to save ~4" of height, as our mattress is a fully height queen RV mattress, so we can just barely sit up fully.
The color scheme is thanks to Leah, a dark blue sheet and a light blue/grey/white duvet cover from Ikea.
I haven't really taken a lot of photos, but I will and update it.

Tires
Read a lot of threads on 225/75 R16 vs 245/75 R16 and will it fit.
Said **** it and went with the 245s.
They look great on the front!! The rears are like 1/4" of gap, but looks like they haven't rubbed yet. We'll see how it looks after this road trip.
I'll probably have to trim the plastics regardless.
I'd recommend a 30" or 29.5" OD and a 245 or 255 width. So like a 245/70 or whatever.
We went with the Toyo Open Country WLT1.
Leah's driving, so I'll report when I get a chance to highway drive them.
I'll be doing the kicking horse pass and Roger's pass in December, so full on winter mountain conditions.

That's all for now!
Thanks everyone active in the thread, I really appreciate the insight and ideas coming form multiple sources.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Huge milestone today!
Every year we have a big family trip out to Revelstoke for a week of skiing, eating and drinking.
We originally had planned on having the van ready for that trip, as a good "shakedown" of everything and what we need to focus on for the final stages of the build.
I'm writing this post from the passenger seat of the van (still to be named) on the Highway 1 heading west!

Our van needed three main things when it came to getting the van ready to head out to the mountains:
  • Furnace in and able to work 24/7
  • Bed in, anchored, bedding on, pillows
  • Winter tires
As the build thread left off on the 20th we had the weekend of the 21st and 22nd that we spent working hard on the van to get it ready.

Passenger side cupboard
The high level plan of that cupboard included the three full-size drawers (20.25" x 22"), a tall three shelf cupboard, and the stove.
Still not sure how we're going to plumb the stove in, as the drawers go all the way to the wall.
Buuuuut it got all painted up with a really nice white and it looks amazing!
Mounted it the same way the passenger cupboard is: 4x 3/8" bolts 6" long through the floor.
We're driving down the highway and it seems pretty sturdy.

Propex HS2000 Install
So after much deliberation on how to flare copper tubing and how to bend etc, it worked out great first try.
The one thing I did learn was to "pre-flare" the tubing, as I had a couple that folded in on themselves (see pictures).
But anyways, I started at the farthest end on my propane lines system (a dead-end for the water heater).
Made a flare nut with a plug connection to dead-end that.
Then worked back through behind the drawers with a single straight run.
Behind the cupboard, in front of the water tank, is where my plumbing challenge lies.
The propane has a T, a 90 and an S.
The electrical goes to the propex and the water pump.
The water tank goes the the pump, then into the cupborad
The propex has intake and exhaust hoses that S down through the floor.
All in all though it worked out great! I still have to do the last sealing of the exhaust hose (red high temp RTV) and tidy the wires, but so far so good.
Also that's the spot for our CO/propane detector.
Anyone know a 12V or battery operated detector? Couldn't find a good one on Amazon or at Can Tire.

Bed in
This one was a two part adventure.
Earlier in this thread I had mentioned that we'd built a bed frame out of 2x6s mounted vertically.
Now I've changed it to a bunch of 2x4s and 2x2s mounted horizontally with a 3/8" plywood mounted on top.
So far it holds Leah and I, though we haven't had any athletics on it yet haha.
I can say that the bed frame does flex when we're on it, but we've both laid down on it without any cracking or issues.
It is very nice to save ~4" of height, as our mattress is a fully height queen RV mattress, so we can just barely sit up fully.
The color scheme is thanks to Leah, a dark blue sheet and a light blue/grey/white duvet cover from Ikea.
I haven't really taken a lot of photos, but I will and update it.

Tires
Read a lot of threads on 225/75 R16 vs 245/75 R16 and will it fit.
Said **** it and went with the 245s.
They look great on the front!! The rears are like 1/4" of gap, but looks like they haven't rubbed yet. We'll see how it looks after this road trip.
I'll probably have to trim the plastics regardless.
I'd recommend a 30" or 29.5" OD and a 245 or 255 width. So like a 245/70 or whatever.
We went with the Toyo Open Country WLT1.
Leah's driving, so I'll report when I get a chance to highway drive them.
I'll be doing the kicking horse pass and Roger's pass in December, so full on winter mountain conditions.

That's all for now!
Thanks everyone active in the thread, I really appreciate the insight and ideas coming form multiple sources.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Great stuff. The best part about vanlife in Revelstoke is the excellent aquatic center! Canada was great for the aquatic centers in a lot of towns and for allowing van parking in the ski area parking lots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #50
I figure I should write a little follow up on our maiden voyage.

The van
Surprisingly quiet when on flat highway compared to when we first bought it!
However, there was a lot of choppy snow and ice on the highway, and it RATTLES when doing so.
The roof rack needs to be either improved, or I need to put felt pads under the angle aluminum holding the panels. It was hitting the roof.
The drawers were rattling, not sure how to fix that.
The sink rattled, but we didn't have it secured so makes sense.

The bed.
OMG the bed is nice.
It works perfect for Leah, I'm 6'2" so I can't fit flat, but I angle a bit and it works well.

The Propex
Worked really well. Attached are the two charts of propane usage during the trip.
We ran the first 20lb tank at 100% with no real heat loss mitigation.
The second tank was ran at 50% and there was a blanket to isolate the cab (windows are big heat loss).
When it was on the 50% setting, it cycled on and off perfectly through the day and night.
We did have a ton of ice buildup on the exhaust and intake pipes (I need to place them better) and the propex faulted out perfectly when it detected there was a blocked exhaust piep.
Overall it is a great design, super smart device to safely heat these vans.
Certainly not cheap, but you need to have your living area, especially while sleeping, at a comfortable temp.

Photos:
Sorry I don't have interior photos wuth the bedding on and the van full of ski gear.
But here's a few photos of the trip, some of the van, some not :)

The trip:
Wooo! Had three awesome downhill days, and spaced them out with two great nordic ski days.
Had the three families together for our fifth annual ski trip to revy.
Snow was great, we had a couple 15 cm days and a 30 cm day, which was super fun.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,355 Posts
I'm looking for a review of my electrical schematic.
The WF-8945 is supposed to be able to charge my batteries off of the 120V, and also be the fuse panel for my loads.
So hopefully the attachment works and can also be used as a reference for future builds.

Notes:
I need to include manual disconnects for all three sources.
I'm nervous about grounding things to different places than my main ground, but I rigged up the light bar and it worked.
The light bar is the only one with rated W more than recommended AWG and the fuse. (26a vs 25 fuse with 14 AWG) Maybe the LEDs aren't that much wattage?
No harm in fusing the 1a appliances to 5a if the wire is good for 10a eh?
Renogy said that 8 AWG is good for 40a if it's less than 8' but the internet says go 6 minimum.
Hi,
Some thoughts of your wiring diagram....

I'd not use a gauge as low as 18 for anything -- its just mechanically pretty small and fragile. I'd suggest using #14 as your minimum gauge. You want to check the voltage drop on all of these circuits and make sure it is not getting out of hand -- particularly for the #18 runs. The BlueSea Circuit Wizard is good for this. -- it was done for marine applications, which are similar to RV.

You don't show fuses. For instance, the wire from the van battery to the house battery should be fused on BOTH ends (close to the van battery and close to the house battery). Think about an accidental short circuit to ground along the wire to see why.

It would be good to have a breaker in the line from the solar charge controller to the house battery -- this protects the wires and also gives you a place to shut the solar off if you want to.

On the line from the house battery to the 12 volt fuse panel, you want to have a fuse or breaker placed close to the house battery to protect the wire from house battery to fuse panel. It should be sized to the max 12 volt load you expect to see plus some margin.

No 120 VAC loads at all?

Your battery size and solar size seem on the generous side for the loads you show.

You want to think about fuses -- from a safety point of view its important to get these right. One guideline is that any wire coming out of the house battery should have a fuse or breaker and it should be as close to the house battery as possible.

Then, each wire run should be checked for two things: 1) does it have the current carrying capacity to handle the load (ampacity), and 2) even if it has an adequate ampacity rating, is the voltage drop OK. The BlueSea Circuit Wizard is your friend for these checks.

Not sure what you meant by grounding, but I prefer to run a full size return wire for each circuit rather than using a ground to the chassis for the return path. It turns out to be easier to do this, and it avoids the long term pains that poor chassis grounds can result in.


Gary

edit: took out the comment on #10 wire for the solar panels -- voltage is in the solar panel lines is probably up toward 60 volts, so #10 is probably fine. Just want to make sure your charge controller can handle the the voltage of two 275 watt panels in series.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Huge milestone today!
Every year we have a big family trip out to Revelstoke for a week of skiing, eating and drinking.
We originally had planned on having the van ready for that trip, as a good "shakedown" of everything and what we need to focus on for the final stages of the build.
I'm writing this post from the passenger seat of the van (still to be named) on the Highway 1 heading west!

Our van needed three main things when it came to getting the van ready to head out to the mountains:
  • Furnace in and able to work 24/7
  • Bed in, anchored, bedding on, pillows
  • Winter tires
As the build thread left off on the 20th we had the weekend of the 21st and 22nd that we spent working hard on the van to get it ready.

Passenger side cupboard
The high level plan of that cupboard included the three full-size drawers (20.25" x 22"), a tall three shelf cupboard, and the stove.
Still not sure how we're going to plumb the stove in, as the drawers go all the way to the wall.
Buuuuut it got all painted up with a really nice white and it looks amazing!
Mounted it the same way the passenger cupboard is: 4x 3/8" bolts 6" long through the floor.
We're driving down the highway and it seems pretty sturdy.

Propex HS2000 Install
So after much deliberation on how to flare copper tubing and how to bend etc, it worked out great first try.
The one thing I did learn was to "pre-flare" the tubing, as I had a couple that folded in on themselves (see pictures).
But anyways, I started at the farthest end on my propane lines system (a dead-end for the water heater).
Made a flare nut with a plug connection to dead-end that.
Then worked back through behind the drawers with a single straight run.
Behind the cupboard, in front of the water tank, is where my plumbing challenge lies.
The propane has a T, a 90 and an S.
The electrical goes to the propex and the water pump.
The water tank goes the the pump, then into the cupborad
The propex has intake and exhaust hoses that S down through the floor.
All in all though it worked out great! I still have to do the last sealing of the exhaust hose (red high temp RTV) and tidy the wires, but so far so good.
Also that's the spot for our CO/propane detector.
Anyone know a 12V or battery operated detector? Couldn't find a good one on Amazon or at Can Tire.

Bed in
This one was a two part adventure.
Earlier in this thread I had mentioned that we'd built a bed frame out of 2x6s mounted vertically.
Now I've changed it to a bunch of 2x4s and 2x2s mounted horizontally with a 3/8" plywood mounted on top.
So far it holds Leah and I, though we haven't had any athletics on it yet haha.
I can say that the bed frame does flex when we're on it, but we've both laid down on it without any cracking or issues.
It is very nice to save ~4" of height, as our mattress is a fully height queen RV mattress, so we can just barely sit up fully.
The color scheme is thanks to Leah, a dark blue sheet and a light blue/grey/white duvet cover from Ikea.
I haven't really taken a lot of photos, but I will and update it.

Tires
Read a lot of threads on 225/75 R16 vs 245/75 R16 and will it fit.
Said **** it and went with the 245s.
They look great on the front!! The rears are like 1/4" of gap, but looks like they haven't rubbed yet. We'll see how it looks after this road trip.
I'll probably have to trim the plastics regardless.
I'd recommend a 30" or 29.5" OD and a 245 or 255 width. So like a 245/70 or whatever.
We went with the Toyo Open Country WLT1.
Leah's driving, so I'll report when I get a chance to highway drive them.
I'll be doing the kicking horse pass and Roger's pass in December, so full on winter mountain conditions.

That's all for now!
Thanks everyone active in the thread, I really appreciate the insight and ideas coming form multiple sources.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
What did you use for the bed support? Angle aluminum or steel? Dimensions? And what wood did you use for the cabinets? Thanks for all your info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #53
Hey Gary,
Much appreciated on the thorough review!
Please see my comments below in bold.

Hi,
Some thoughts of your wiring diagram....
I've added my updated wiring diagram, please see that. I will also add my comments

I'd not use a gauge as low as 18 for anything -- its just mechanically pretty small and fragile. I'd suggest using #14 as your minimum gauge. You want to check the voltage drop on all of these circuits and make sure it is not getting out of hand -- particularly for the #18 runs. The BlueSea Circuit Wizard is good for this. -- it was done for marine applications, which are similar to RV.
18 gauge was ran for the lights, everything else (I believe) is 14 or higher.
Yeah the circuit wizard in an awesome tool, used that and fusing table to determine my minimum wire gauge.


You don't show fuses. For instance, the wire from the van battery to the house battery should be fused on BOTH ends (close to the van battery and close to the house battery). Think about an accidental short circuit to ground along the wire to see why.
True, I do have to fuse the 4AWG wire. What would you use for fuses considering I don't have a 4 AWG crimper tool?

It would be good to have a breaker in the line from the solar charge controller to the house battery -- this protects the wires and also gives you a place to shut the solar off if you want to.
I now have a 1-2-1+2-Off switch there, able to isolate the batteries on the input side and the output side.

On the line from the house battery to the 12 volt fuse panel, you want to have a fuse or breaker placed close to the house battery to protect the wire from house battery to fuse panel. It should be sized to the max 12 volt load you expect to see plus some margin.
Yes, I have a 50a resettable fuse. Bought a $20 amazon special, it burnt out in a week, now have a $70 Blue Sea breaker.

No 120 VAC loads at all?
Not yet, I'll add in an inverter and my wall plugs in the next week or two

Your battery size and solar size seem on the generous side for the loads you show.
That was my hope, never to be worried about power.

You want to think about fuses -- from a safety point of view its important to get these right. One guideline is that any wire coming out of the house battery should have a fuse or breaker and it should be as close to the house battery as possible.

Then, each wire run should be checked for two things: 1) does it have the current carrying capacity to handle the load (ampacity), and 2) even if it has an adequate ampacity rating, is the voltage drop OK. The BlueSea Circuit Wizard is your friend for these checks.

Not sure what you meant by grounding, but I prefer to run a full size return wire for each circuit rather than using a ground to the chassis for the return path. It turns out to be easier to do this, and it avoids the long term pains that poor chassis grounds can result in.


Gary

edit: took out the comment on #10 wire for the solar panels -- voltage is in the solar panel lines is probably up toward 60 volts, so #10 is probably fine. Just want to make sure your charge controller can handle the the voltage of two 275 watt panels in series.
Yeah, those were the stock wires on the panels.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #54
What did you use for the bed support? Angle aluminum or steel? Dimensions? And what wood did you use for the cabinets? Thanks for all your info!
I originally used 2x6s stood up in the tall orientation, don't do that.
Now I have 2x4s (5) and 2x2s (8) all laid out flat, with plywood screwed into them from the top.
Muuuuch skinnier and it slept us for a week, so feeling somewhat confident.
I'll probably add some angle iron or something to give it a bit more stiffness, but not much!
See pics below.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Now I have 2x4s (5) and 2x2s (8) all laid out flat, with plywood screwed into them from the top.
Muuuuch skinnier and it slept us for a week, so feeling somewhat confident.
I'll probably add some angle iron or something to give it a bit more stiffness, but not much!
I have a similar bed construction and it cracked last month after 2 years of use, so I had to add angle iron on it and now it is fine, also my gap was only 4 feet not nearly as wide as yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #56
I have a similar bed construction and it cracked last month after 2 years of use, so I had to add angle iron on it and now it is fine, also my gap was only 4 feet not nearly as wide as yours.
Good to know! I'll be adding the extra support before we leave!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
I don’t know how many AC circuits you want, but I started building my own distribution panel up before say “Fu*k it” and buying this panel from Blue Sea. It was worth the peace of mind and far quicker installation.

Because I really didn’t know how to run things in series I just ran three wires for three outlets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Passenger side cupboard
The high level plan of that cupboard included the three full-size drawers (20.25" x 22"), a tall three shelf cupboard, and the stove.
Still not sure how we're going to plumb the stove in, as the drawers go all the way to the wall.
Buuuuut it got all painted up with a really nice white and it looks amazing!
Mounted it the same way the passenger cupboard is: 4x 3/8" bolts 6" long through the floor.
We're driving down the highway and it seems pretty sturdy.
Can you tell me a bit more indepth on how you did your cabinet fronts? They look really clean, looks like you nailed the holes for the drawers, super square and all that. What tools did you use to cut out the holes in the cabinet fronts? Drop a skill saw in? I am such a woodworking novice and I would like to do this, but not sure how to be super precise when cutting out holes in a solid sheet of plywood.
 
41 - 60 of 85 Posts
Top