So next year will be the year we finish our van (that’s the plan). In the meantime I’ve been loitering on Facebook Sprinter build groups and came across a builder who’s adding videos to his channel as he goes. This week’s video is the installation of the Truma water heater.
Have a look and like and subscribe if you like his work:
In this video, I fit a Truma Ultrastore 10l water heater in a campervan conversion (See links below for items used). The Truma Ultrastore is a 10l water heater which is designed for campervans and caravans. The Truma ultrastore is fitted next to an external wall of the campervan so the flue can be fitted through the wall to ensure all combustion fumes are pushed out of the van for safety. The Truma ultrastore is connected to the campervan water system via John Guest semi-rigid pipe and using John Guest speed fittings. The water is fed from a Shurflo water pump via a Fiamma water accumulator to ensure a smooth flow of water. Once the Truma Ultrastore is fitted, the water is given a test fire and lovely warm water is now available in the van.
Anker are my favourite brand for portable batteries and cables but they are broadening their horizons. They now sell waterproof bags, which are perfect for going on the motorbike or keeping kit dry on a day out in the van.
For 9.99UKP at the moment on amazon you get two in the box each of which include a lanyard.
The specs from them are listed as :
Waterproof: IPX8 rating offers complete waterproof protection in a wide range of environments. Keep your phone dry in 32 ft of water and shield against mud, dust, or even snow.
Effortless Use: High-clarity, ultra-sensitive PVC offers seamless use of your phone’s touchscreen and camera-even underwater.
Lock and Go: Simple snap and lock mechanism seals pouch securely to protect your phone, while neck strap offers convenient carrying.
Universal Compatibility: Designed to hold smartphones measuring up to 6 inches. Remove phone case for a better fit.
What’s In The Box: Anker Waterproof Phone Pouch x2, Neck Strap x2, our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
I found that the neck of the bag has a usable maximum width of around 9cm, although that depend son the thickness of what you want to put in it. It’ll easily fit a small to medium smartphone and the plastic allows you to control your phone through the side of the bag.
To use the bag there are two rotating clips at the top that allow you to undo the two black plastic pegs at the top of the bag that when closed up tight compress the bag top together and keep it waterproof.
I’ve found it handy on the motorbike to keep my essential kit waterproof in the current bad weather. I’m not sure how long the plastic clips at the top will last however given you get two in the box and the price these will certainly last a season.
Not entirely Sprinter related but again I’ve fitted one of these diesel air heaters to our van (kindly donated by a friend) so I’ve added the manuals including the service manual online here. it’s a great air heater for the money, reliable and easy to service.
Ours is currently mounted to the top of one of the rear wheel arches with the exhausts emerging in the when arch at the rear of the vehicle.
Well good news, the water heater gas system and auto igniter works just fine. Bad news, the boiler has rusted on the left side resulting in a gas leak at the end of the boiler which results in a flame where there shouldn’t be one.
Boilers (the rectangular stainless part with the gas jets in it) are around £50 and standard off the self spare parts. The entire brains of the system can be removed from the roadside and the boiler replaced easily.
The rust problem is due to heat, the proximity of water and exposure to the elements as this all faces the roadside. I am going to try a repair initially as the boiler box is not under any pressure, just heat. If the patch I am going to try with some exhaust epoxy and spare metal sheet doesn’t work I’ll bite the bullet and buy a new one.
The water tank needs to be pressure tested, the wax thermostat that acts as a safety preventing overheat also needs testing and then she needs a clean up and can be installed into the van side ready for the pipework.
I’ve hauled a Carver Cascade 2 water heater out from our donor caravan for our campervan build. These combination gas/mains water heaters have been common place in caravans for years and little has changed. Parts are pretty easy to obtain and the unit can be services and maintain. There’s a handy service guide for them on Practical Caravan.
Ours is in pretty good nick having examined it today; that said it will need to be test run on the bench outside first, then cleaned up before install. I see no sense in cutting a square out of the side of the van only to find I need to rework the install!
I found a handy resource for anyone looking to use a Carver Cascade heater online at Arc Systems. I’ve replicated the documents on the resource pages for anyone else that wants them and will add anything else that I find that’s relevant.
When you absolutely, positively have to have spare wheels with you; what’s better than a motorbike? Next up will no doubt be a bike tow/loft hitch for the back.
I needed a commuter I could park in the city and ended up buying a second hand BMW F650GS Dakar. Good news is that it is a great bike and gets me 70mpg on an average day, bad news is that it has distracted me from work on the van and updates here. For one I have a parasitic load on the starter that I need to cure, I am pretty sure that it’s coming from the split charge circuit having replaced the alternator regulator.
I may well add a few posts on here covering BMW single cylinder maintenance issues that I come across. Obviously she needed a service and a few repairs to make her suitable for the road, a clean up and some parts bolting on.
I thought I ought to keep note of the random blogs I’ve found covering individual van conversions, including this one called The Human Portrait Project. Why list it here? Well I might forget the link otherwise!
I was interested to see the build comments they made, specifically about silencing the interior of the vehicle and also rustproofing the outside with Rhino Liner; two things that I am planning on doing myself in very similar way for our vehicle.
In an effort to keep the inevitable Mercedes rust away I’ve been working my way around the van dealing with rust and preventing it where I can prior to respraying the bodywork.
A combination of a wire brush collection, Jelonite rust converter, Waxoy, Hammerite spray paint and a few other products have been used to clean up the areas around the drivetrain and also respraying our steel wheels black. Taking on a family member’s advice I’ve treated the brake lines with Waxoyl from front to back, especially around the supporting brackets. The exterior areas of the brake callipers have also had a quick coat of rust converter and paint as they were looking terrible.