“Sportsmobile gets it right!”
– Ed McMann
About half of our customers each year have never owned an RV. If you’re in that group, the following may answer many of your questions about the systems. Even if you have previously owned an RV, check out the information. Things do change over the years.
While Sportsmobiles have become much more sophisticated in the way of systems over the years, maintenance problems have decreased. This is due to the more advanced technologies, materials, quality controls, etc.
No manufacturer uses better appliances, components and systems than Sportsmobile. Our quality control is first rate. We learned decades ago that it’s better to make it right the first time rather than have to fix things later. That’s not to say something can’t go wrong. But the incidence is very low for Sportsmobile. However, if you ever have a problem, you can be assured that Sportsmobile will immediately do whatever it takes to make it right ASAP!
The 12 Volt System
What Items Will the 12V Auxiliary Batteries Power?
Water Pump | Lights | Fan | Refrigerator | TV | Furnace (o), 12V blower fan
Why Auxiliary Batteries?
- The batteries we use are AGM Deep Cycle Batteries. These state-of-the-art batteries use more advanced AGM technology for increased safety, efficiency and durability over most other existing battery types.
- The battery is completely sealed and has an exceptional, non-maintenance life cycle.
- When you run your van’s engine, the van’s large amp alternator will charge your Auxiliary Battery and the van’s starting battery.
- When you have a 110V outside hookup, the Inverter/Battery Charger will charge your Auxiliary Batteries in several hours depending on the battery bank size.
- The Charger will not over-charge your batteries and it’s totally filtered, regulated and spike protected. Charging of the Auxiliary Battery system is automatic — there is no switch to turn on/off.
- A Battery Level Gauge is included.
- A Battery Separator will prevent any drain from your van’s starting battery when key is in “on” position.
- A 12V Cut-Off Switch also is included so you can cut off all 12V drain from your auxiliary batteries when you will be gone for a while or storing your Sportsmobile. Note, this includes the refrigerator which also runs on 12V.
“(o)” indicates an additional cost option.
Sportsmobile “Standard Equipment Package” includes:
- Two AGM batteries (car size) 100 AMP/Hour = 200 AMP/Hour
- or one large AGM battery 200 AMP/Hour
- A 200 AMP/Hour system is adequate for many owners
What’s the most popular 12 Volt upgrades?
- Double the above for a total of 400 AMP/Hour
- Or add solar panels. Solar panels are 100 watts each.
Solar systems up to 400 watts work good when frequently parked in the sun. Portable systems are gaining popularity. The Sportsmobile can be in partial shade then place the panel in the sun. Storing the panels, however, can be a challenge.
For more info see Solar Panels.
Lithium Battery Systems “LBS”
Sportsmobile has been installing these systems since 2012 by special customer request. The main reason we do not make Lithiums standard now is due to cost. They are still four times the cost of AGM batteries. Most of our customers only keep their Sportsmobile for 10 to 15 years. If you were to need replacement of your AGM 3 times during the life of ownership, it would still be cheaper to use AGM even if lithium last ten years. When LBS prices change, LBS will become standard equipment for all Sportsmobile conversions.
Advantages of LBS over AGM batteries
- Faster Charge
- More usable amp hour capacity-estimate 40% more
- Consistent voltage – even when capacity is low
- About 50% lighter
- Will not corrode-Environmental friendly
- Longer life-about 10 years per lab test. Real-world results may vary
LBS Cost with credit for AGM batteries
- 200 Amp Hr system for about $3,300.00.
110 Volt System
What Appliances Require 110V?
- Microwave (O)
- Air Conditioner (O)
- Hot Water Heater, 110V (O)
- Portable Heater (O)
- Plus other 110V items such as electric blankets, tools, etc.
- For 110V power you must have a 110V park hookup or Generator (O) or Inverter (O) — please see below.
What Will An Inverter Do?
- It changes 12V power to 110V (A Converter changes 110V to 12V).
- If you will not have a 110V hookup or Generator (O), and must have 110V power, this is the way to go. Keep in mind, the 12V battery system size will determine how long the inverter will run 110V items
- A 100 Amp battery charger is built-in.
- With the standard 2000 W Inverter, you can power such items as a computer, microwave and other lower amp appliances. The Inverter can run an A/C for about 1 hour max with van engine off and two fully charged auxiliary batteries. Substantially more with engine running.
- For more info on running an A/C while driving or parked, see the Heating & Cooling page.
Battery Monitor is an additional cost option (o). This is a “fuel gauge” type meter for your auxiliary batteries. It monitors the battery bank and reports the percentage state of charge, real-time amps, voltage, amp-hours in/out, and the minimum/maximum DC volts.
What Is The Propane System For?
- Propane is required for the Stove, Furnace (O), Three-Way Refrigerator (O), and Propane Water Heater (O).
- The tank is located under the van’s floor in a protected area. A hinged outside access door is included for access to the gauge, master shut-off valve and fill connection.
- If the tank has a 7.9 gallon capacity, it will provide 690,900 BTUs.
- If you turn one stove burner on, it will use 5,000 BTUs per hour, for 138 hours of continuous use.
- Furnace (O) uses 12,000 BTUs per hour. The furnace will run around 57 hours.
- A two-stage regulator supplies very low gas pressure inside the Sportsmobile for the appliances.
- A Propane Detector is included.
- Propane tanks are manufactured, installed and tested per strict codes.
- Since 1961 we do not know of a single Sportsmobile propane related accident or injury. Always practice safety!
Can I Delete The Propane System And Go “All Electric”?
- Propane is required for the Stove, Furnace (O), and Propane Water Heater (O).
- When a 110V hookup is available, you can use a Microwave (O) or Electric Hot Plate (O) for cooking and hot water. Some owners use a portable camp stove.
- Small portable propane water heaters are also available.
- Also keep in mind, practically all campgrounds have a grill and picnic table at each camp site.
- Your Inverter changes 12V to 110V, so you have 110V for a Microwave (O) and other 110V items.
Explain The City Water Hookup
- When you have a park fresh water connection at your camp site, you can connect it and the connector in the side of the van with the 25 foot White Fresh Water Hose.
- You will then have fresh water to the Sink, Shower (O), Marine Toilet (O) and Water Heater (O).
- All Sportsmobile water lines are high pressure and rated to minus 20º F.
- The City Water Connection includes a built-in pressure regulator.
- The entire water line system can be easily drained through a drain valve located under the van, near the City hookup.
- The Fresh Water Tank also includes a through-the -floor drain by the tank.
How Do I Fill The Fresh Water Tank?
- If you are connected to a city water hookup, just turn on the valve by the fresh water tank. You can see the level through the side of the tank. When the tank is full, turn the valve off.
- We install the fresh water tank and water lines inside the van, not under the van, to help protect them from freezing. You can also fill the tank from the inside of your Sportsmobile, if you are not connected to a city water hookup.
- There are two types — Grey Water and Black Water (O).
- The Grey Water tank is included in the Standard Equipment Package. Grey Water is sink and shower water — and will not harm the environment if you use biodegradable detergents.
- The Black Water (O) holding tank is used for toilet waste.