Well Desert Captain, it's pretty hard to debate a moving target. You first asserted that none of the Sprinter owners are satisfied with towing. When a few Sprinter owners contradicted that, the subject changed to the consequences of tying up traffic. After I responded to that the subject changed to running at the 4,200 rpm redline. The "car not slowing it down" physics are simple, in the gear I run up the steep grades, the engine will pull to the redline, car or no car. Next higher gear, it won't go as fast, car or no car. The Sprinter is peppy in the lower gears, and gutless in the higher gears.
Here I am defending the Sprinter and I didn't even want to buy one in the first place! I first assumed Ford was the answer, then found I couldn't live with the horrible in/out access around the doghouse. The passenger side footwell IMO is a joke. But the killer was that I could not find a single Ford class C where I could put the driver seat back far enough with the slide pulled in. A slide was on our list of must-haves. Then I set my sights on a Chevy chassis. The doghouse isn't quite as obnoxious, the passenger legroom is a bit better, still a joke IMO. I could have lived with it, but all the ones I tried out had the same problem with the driver seat not going back far enough. All that was left was the Sprinter. The no-doghouse roomy cockpit is a joy, and the seat will go back way farther than I need it to.
I hated to spend the extra money, really like the comfort, handling, and fuel economy, and fear horribly expensive maintenance items that have hit a small percentage of Sprinter owners. There's no common ground here, we'll just have to live with me being satisfied with the towing performance, and you thinking I've made all your points about what a bad choice it is. I'm heading out over the mountain pass again tomorrow, with car hanging on the back.
If you are doing 35-45 I doubt you are "flying" past the semis. If you were not overloaded with your Toad you likely could/would get up those 6% grades at 50-55 which would be far safer not only for you but for everyone else on the road. By your "so what" response I gather you just don't care and that is troubling.
Less Toad and/or more motor would eliminate this problem. As you point out your current rig puts you (and others), in jeopardy going down as well as up and yet you are "satisfied and happy?" :h
Just to be clear,
- I did not say 35-45, I said 45.
- You must know something I don't about the Sprinter, because on mine the car on the back does not make it slower going up. With or without, I'm redlined in 3rd.
- I know this is repeating myself, most of the time I'm going up a long grade I come up on a semi going less that 45, which I either pass, or slow down to stay behind. I can't say I've never been the bottleneck, but it's not all that common.
- More motor would mean I'd lose the 16 mpg (pulling the car) fuel consumption. I'm willing to lose a few minutes of time for that. Sorry it creates such a hazard for you, but like I said, I usually deal with exactly the same problem with the semis.
I have yet to speak with an MB owner who was satisfied, much less happy with towing. A 10,000#+ coach with a 3,000 to 5,000# Toad is asking a lot of 188 HP. Wish I had a dollar for every MB with a Toad I have seen lugging up a 6% grade at 35 to 45 with their flashers on.
I am an MB owner who is satisfied and happy with towing, a bit over 19,000 miles. So what if I'm going up the 6% grades at 45? More often than not, I'm flying past the semis if there's a passing lane.
The big problem for me is going down those steep grades. Engine braking on the Sprinter is pathetic. On a long downgrade I have to choose between 3rd gear at 55 to 60 with frequent braking, or 45 in 2nd gear with little or no braking. I go down the long steep grades at 45, and that's when the semis want to crush the little Sprinter insect in front of them.
Mex - I vaguely remember you mentioning unreliable AC power. My experience with PD converters is that they need a good 120 volt or higher sine wave to achieve their rated output. So if you don't have that and want, say 60 amps, I'd recommend going to the 80 amp converter. Just the opposite, the wfco converters I've had will supply their rated current at 14.4 volts with marginal power. I can't be more specific other than it can be below 120 volts and/or have a crappy waveform. The wfco power section with the pd's push button would be a nice combination, somewhat analogous to the thinking that an ideal pickup would be a Ford body, Dodge engine, and GM Allison transmission.
For a kWh meter, I'm assuming you mean on the DC end. A battery monitor would of course be nice. How about this for a lower cost alternative? DC 5-40V 0-100A Volt Amp Ah Power Combo Meter Charge Discharge Battery Monitor
Another alternative would be a pd converter with fully variable voltage output. There was a post a few years ago on how to accomplish that with a 91xx series converter, substituting a homebrew circuit for the charge wizard.
Mex - Here's a post with info to force the wfco converter into boost mode: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/24492263/gotomsg/24501414.cfm#24501414
A few of details of course:
1. Another forum member tried the modification on his and it didn't work. I've done it to 3 wfcos, a 9845 and two 9855s, and it works on all of them.
2. I've run across 2 similar but different control boards. The pin assignments for the micro are the same. The reset on the control board in the linked post is level triggered. On the other board I ran into it's edge triggered and the reset circuit is different. More than these 2 types of boards? I don't know.
3. I suggest using a smaller resistor than the specified 47k. On the 2nd type of control board 47k didn't pull the sense voltage down far enough, and a lower resistance doesn't seem to hurt anything.
For more info, see the first post in the thread. In the first 2 photos you'll see 2 white power resistors standing up. These are the resistors that get too hot and lead to the majority of the wfco failures. If you want to enhance reliability, get those resistors off the board up into free air space. Heat sinked would be even better.
I've found that the wattage ratings on lights is just as unreliable as on heaters. You have to measure the load or you're shootin' in the dark in terms of evaluating performance. With the eu2000i in particular you know it's close to maxed out when the output voltage dips under 120. At 500 feet and 70 degrees mine stays above 120 volts up to about 1,800 VA. At higher elevations or temperatures, the 120 volt crossover happens at a lower load.
Will that 1.5 megawatt gen fit in the same space as my Onan Microquiet???
The eu2000i's idle speed is 3,000 rpm with eco on and 4,300 rpm with eco off. Maximum engine speed is 5,000 rpm. On mine, with eco on, it hits 4,300 rpm at about 1,600 VA load. From fuzzy memory (i.e., don't count on it!), I think it begins lifting off of the eco on idle at about 400 VA. The rpm is controlled by a microprocessor, based I believe, on the DC input voltage to the inverter. If the alternator output were weak, that could explain the engine revving too high. On the other hand, if the output supports 1,600 VA for more than a few minutes, I'd conclude that the alternator is working just fine.
I'm using a couple of DC combo volt/amp meters from ebay seller elite.element . They work well, ship with a shunt, and are accurate enough for me. He has a few different varieties you can browse through. Some of his meters require a dc-dc converter, some don't. The ones I'm using need the dc-dc converters.
An honest question to those who think the op's air conditioner might harm the generator. Considering that the eu2000i has a continuous rated load of 1,600 VA, at what load do you consider that the generator will be harmed, ruined, or have its life reduced? My opinion is that running it continuously up to 1,600 VA will cause no harm.
Any engine under a strain won't last very long. Why ruin a good generator by overloading it constantly, get one large enough to do the job.Agreed, but the question is about an 11,00 btuh air conditioner. Every one is different and you don't know what the power consumption is without measuring it. I can offer as an example that my former Dometic Brisk Air 13,500 unit pulled 1,400 VA from the eu2000i, or 88% of its rated continuous load. The engine did not run at its maximum 5,000 rpm. After a few seconds of startup, it didn't even rise off of its eco off floor of 4,300 rpm. A simple interpolation, which may or may not be valid, would have the OP's air conditioner pulling 74% of the eu2000i's rated continuous load.
Plug an ordinary light bulb into the inverter output, and compare it with the bulb plugged into shore power. If it's the same brightness, your MSW inverter's output voltage is pretty close on an RMS basis.
To equal the performance of the 120 volt element in a typical 6 cu ft fridge, a 12 volt element would need to pull about 27 amps. Nobody would run that very long off the battery. The DC wiring from a tow vehicle to a trailer can't carry that much current, so the only practical application would be in a motorhome while the engine is running. Probably too limited a market segment to make it worth it for the fridge builder, and the beefy wiring to support it would run up the cost of the motorhome.
Gas vs. diesel had almost no bearing on our decision. There were 2 main factors:
1) Cab comfort. I can't stand the cramped footwells of the Ford chassis and the Chevy isn't a whole lot better. And, the Sprinter chassis is the only one where I can put the driver seat as far back as I want when the slideout is in.
2) The Sprinter rigs a a bit narrower, which I prefer for driving narrow roads.
I sat in the new Dodge (Fiat) chassis. Can't put the driver seat back far enough.
As for mileage, I consistently average 16 when towing the car, 17 when not towing. This includes 6 trips over the rockies towing, 2 trips over not towing. Over the short term it varies wildly based on up/downhill and wind. I never drive over 60. Going faster has a big impact on the mileage. The biggest Sprinter fear I have is the risk of very expensive repairs.
More info for comparison. My 9160A with zero load on the output draws 10 watts from the power line. With a 1 amp load, the AC power draw goes up to 25 watts, 13.6 into the battery and 11.4 going up as heat from the converter. After pushing that 1 amp for a few hours, the converter case and heat sink are at about 90 degrees, with the compartment temp at 70 degrees (measured with an infrared "point and shoot" thermometer).
I can only offer a broad generality: My 9160A runs hotter than I would have expected it to when it doesn't have any load. Not hot enough to run the fan, but the heatsink is certainly "pretty warm". The converter has internal resistors that always carry a load. This is in a closed compartment that's about 7 cubic feet.
Sometimes, it's not about the gas but how the fuel system is designed.I almost agree with that. I think it's a combination of both. The only engines (that I own) that have big fouling problems are the 1-cylinder Honda engines. For instance, I have 2 tillers. I can let gas sit in the Briggs engine tiller for 2 years and it runs fine. Same gas in the Honda engine tiller and it's fouled in a couple of months. Same story for the eu2000i generator. When the Honda engine on the tiller is running right, it's one sweet-running engine.
I routinely hit 210 on steep grades. Right around then the clutched engine fan kicks in and starts bringing it down a little (ATF cooler is integrated into the radiator). The tranny temp usually tracks the engine coolant temp pretty closely.