An Early Morning Chill Run your van's engine, and the van's heater will warm the Sportsmobile. At the same time, the van's alternator will charge your batteries.
If You Have A 110V Hookup or Generator A small portable electric heater will keep you very comfortable. Ceramic models work best.
Propane Furnace (O) It's compact and installs under a seat/bed or in the bottom of a cabinet. It's very efficient and has been proven over the decades. A wall thermostat lights the furnace electronically. The furnace uses propane from the standard equipment propane tank. It's vented to the outside. If your tank has a 7.9 gallon capacity, it will run the furnace around 57 hours.
Diesel Air Heater (O) uses diesel from the van's fuel tank. Very fuel efficient. (Sprinter vans only.)
Sportsmobiles Are Extra Well Insulated Throughout. However, the van sides are steel, so they tend to heat up when it's hot. Here are some ways to help keep your Sportsmobile cool.
Sportsmobile Windows installed in the van sides and fixed tops have screens. Penthouse expandable tops have five extra large screened windows. So — if there's any breeze you will have cross ventilation. All Sportsmobile windows have either a light or dark tint.
Of Course parking in the shade or facing your windshield away from the sun when possible will help.
Attic Fan (O) We highly recommend this 12V fan if you have a fixed top. It's a powerful 12" 10-blade rotary fan that pulls fresh air through open windows. Very quiet, 3 speeds, uses 3 amps on "high' with 920 CFM. Reversible. Made of tough Lexan. Deluxe model includes a thermostat and rain sensor to close vent when it rains. N/A Penthouse expandable tops. Increases roof height 9".
Windshield & Cab Doors Screens (O) These screens are very efficient in helping to reflect the sun's rays. They are made of white Fiberglass and will block 70% of heat gain. Roll up for storage. Plus they provide day-time privacy. You can see out but they can't see in. The cab doors will still open and close. And when you open the cab door window, you have screen ventilation. This option will also help the A/C to keep your Sportsmobile cool in hotter climates.
Rear Door Screen (O) provides lots of bug-free ventilation. Zips open. It is necessary to remove the screen when you close the rear doors. A rear screen can also be made to fit a specific area. The same information below for the roof mount A/C applies to the Danhard A/C.
Artic Cab Window Panels now standard.
This is the best way to insulate your cab windows and windshield to help keep the heat out in summer and inside in winter. The bubble foil is laminated to curtain fabric. The panels “pop-in” to the side door windows and windshield. Roll up for storage.
(Photo shows panels in Sprinter van.)
Roof-Mount 110V Air Conditioner (0)
Sportsmobile uses the low-profile A/C with 13,500 BTU. It can be located front, center or rear of van. Increases roof height 11". The A/C shroud is white. It can be painted to match van color (O).
The Danhard Internal Mount A/C is popular for owners that have a Sportsmobile with the Penthouse expandable Top, because a roof mount A/C cannot be used, or the owner does not want to add height to the van with the roof mount.
With a 2000 watt inverter and a 200 amp auxiliary battery, you can normally run the A/C for one hour with van's engine OFF, provided the auxiliary battery system is fully charged. To lengthen this time, start the van's engine, then the van's alternator will add charge to the auxiliary batteries. This will add two hours or more of running time. If engine is ON, you can also run the van's dash A/C.
When running A/C with pets in the van, we highly recommend the optional temperature paging system.
Running Your Air Conditioner — When Parked or Driving
When Parked — Engine Off
"Sportsmobile's are built for year-round comfort." —The Gerslings
Requires a 110V hook-up at a campsite, a friend’s driveway, etc.
Or a generator (o).
Running A/C with engine off and no 110V hook-up or generator You can run the roof A/C about 1 hour, then you will need to turn off the A/C as your two auxiliary batteries will be depleted. To recharge the batteries, plug into a 110V hook-up for about 12 hours or drive for about 6 hours at 1,500+ RPMs (approximately 40 MPH). Note there are variables, and these figures are estimated.
You will need:
When Parked — Engine On to Run A/C
The cab or Danhard A/C can run for hours when parked with the engine at normal idle of 600 RPMs with factory high-capacity alternator — amperage will vary. The cab A/C will keep only the cab area cool. Note: it is against some state laws to run your van's engine unattended.
You can run your 110V A/C for about 3 hours when parked with your engine at normal idle – 600 RPM with and inverter. After about 3 hours you would need to turn the A/C off so that the auxiliary batteries can recharge. See above for recharging. The van starting battery is isolated with Sportsmobile's battery separator. Note: in some states it is illegal to leave your engine running in an unoccupied vehicle.
To run your 110V A/C for long periods of time you will need:
Note: Van optioins change from year to year.
To run your A/C:
You will also have enough amps to keep your batteries charged and run a microwave if you turn the A/C off. Plus other 110V appliances.
Fuel Consumption. The diesel engine will use about 1.5 gallons per hour idling at 1500 RPMs. Example: 10 gallons will run your roof A/C continually for about 7 hours. Gasoline engines will use about 20% more fuel.
If you will only need to keep the interior cool when driving you will not need the “high engine idle control.”
Your cab A/C will keep the cab area cool. It will also keep the interior comfortable for most people, unless it's quite hot. There are variables.
To use your roof or Danhard A/C, you will need the same options as above — except for the high engine idle control
To run your A/C, simply turn your inverter and roof A/C on. Most customers say they usually run both their dash A/C and A/C for the first hour or so when driving. They then turn the roof-top A/C off, as the dash A/C will then usually keep the interior cool.
When driving over 40 mph, your RPMs will be about 2500. The 220 Amp Alternator will keep your auxiliary batteries charged. Your roof A/C will be running off the 110 volts supplied by the Inverter. Plus your can run a 600 watt microwave, computer, etc. If you will need more amps for a 1200 watt microwave, etc., you will need to run your A/C off.
When driving below 40 mph and/or stop-and-go driving, your alternator will not be fully charging your auxiliary batteries.