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Couple of questions (leak/fridge/aux battery)
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wanderglobe
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Couple of questions (leak/fridge/aux battery) Reply with quote

Hey all.

Buddy of mine just bought a 1984 vanagon. Very nice ride. Everything works inside but we had a few questions. (I'll get him on here eventually)

Firstly, yesterday we filled up the gas tank and the attendant maxed it out, right to the top. After doing this there was seapage from two tubes directly underneath the passenger seat. The tubes run paralell to each other. They look easy enough to replace. Is this common? What are these tubes used for?

Secondly, the fridge runs on propane and we were wondering how long it will last and if you have any suggestions on operating the fridge. Should we turn down the thermostat when running on propane? Do you plug into shore power the night before leaving on a camping trip? That sort of thing. I search the forum and I know this has probably been flogged but I couldn't find anything.

Lastly, is there much work involved in adding an aux battery. My understanding is that one can be installed under the drivers seat. Do you have any suggestions on how to tackle this issue?

Here's an image of two, new, very happy campers.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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bucko
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you'll need to drop the tank (wait untill you burn off the gas in the tank), as those tubes you are refering to are to "vent" the tank fumes and to equalize the left and right side of the gas tank (there's a slight valley in the center of the Vanagon 2 wheel drive gas tank). Do a search on 'gas tank', you'll find many threads on this.

As to adding an aux battery, this comes up about 2 times a month on this forum. Again, do a search, you'll find several pics and schematics as well as kits you can buy from GoWesty, VanCafe', and others. Very easy to do.



Someday the moderators will at these two items to the 'stickies' at the top of this forum!

Here's one example:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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tikibus
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You most likely need to clean up the hand pump. You build air pressure by pumping and the igniting. The seal in the pump and line to the ignition chamber can go.

on the bottom left side of the fridge is a little "window" to view if you have lit the fridge. That can leakage from age.

The fridge will need to be pulled out and cleaned up, really fun if it is your first time, but easy to do. Gingerly pry off the screw caps, and a few screws from the vent ( good idea to change the exterior ones to Stainless), pull that puppy out. Really good time to remove the Yellow stinkin' moisture soaked sad exuse for insulation OUT!!! To test after all is said and done befor putting it in and it doesn't work, )buddy of mine has done this 4 times already and is about to throw the fridge across the shop floor!)

Get a short gas dryer hose at a harware store. If ya got a really cheap-o gas grill use the screw-in regulator. with some Yankie engineering this set up works with a 1lbs. tank.

The ignitor sits at the bottom of the two flues and this area can get clogged with stuff. clean out , test ignitor and put back together with some sealant to stop leaks.

There are threads here, just look up Dometic, slang for PITA.
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Last edited by tikibus on Thu May 31, 2007 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tds3pete
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In answer to your third question. The propane mode is efficient, it will run a long, long time on a tank. My last one month trip with propane running every night, used about three gallons in the month.

Yes, I would plug things in the night before and get your fridge cooled down. Also put cold food in it to start. Now when you hit the road, everyting is cold and even the 12 volt system can keep up.
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dljphoenix
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject: 3way fridge Reply with quote

I have had much experience with these and all the resposes are good advise. Do take it apart and thoroughly clean out the selaed unit (where flame and ignighter is) While it is apart check for electrical arc, just look while someone pushes piezeo /pump knob. If spark is weak or not there at all, check insulation on wire from piezo to terminal. Many times fridge wont light do to current leek with old insulation. To make matters worse the leek can be intermiten. Lastly you may need a new piezo, but of all the fridges I workede on this has never been necessary.
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wanderglobe
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the responses. I think there was a misunderstanding between the fridge and the gas leak. The actual gas leak portion of my question was with regards to fuel, benzine, juice, the stuff that's worth more than gold these days. When the gas tank was topped up there was seapage from two hoses under the passenger seat. The propane is fine and the fridge, stove, water pump all work fine. I was only asking about the fridge in regards to how much propane it will use while camping. Does it need to be refilled after a weekend of camping or will the propane last for a good amount of time while fueling the propane fridge.
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wanderglobe
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tds3pete wrote:
In answer to your third question. The propane mode is efficient, it will run a long, long time on a tank. My last one month trip with propane running every night, used about three gallons in the month.

Yes, I would plug things in the night before and get your fridge cooled down. Also put cold food in it to start. Now when you hit the road, everyting is cold and even the 12 volt system can keep up.


Thanks for the info. Smile
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1973 Bay Window Automatic
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Twitter: www.twitter.com/wanderglobe
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wanderglobe
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like you'll need to drop the tank (wait untill you burn off the gas in the tank), as those tubes you are refering to are to "vent" the tank fumes and to equalize the left and right side of the gas tank (there's a slight valley in the center of the Vanagon 2 wheel drive gas tank). Do a search on 'gas tank', you'll find many threads on this.


Thanks a million. Until he gets to that I'll tell him to avoid tanking it up all the way. My 73 has the same problem but it's a lot more work for me to get at the hoses. Once I'm in there though I'm putting steel in.

Quote:
As to adding an aux battery, this comes up about 2 times a month on this forum. Again, do a search, you'll find several pics and schematics as well as kits you can buy from GoWesty, VanCafe', and others. Very easy to do.


Thanks again and apologies for flogging, flailing and beating a dead horse.
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Owner of Dante the Hellrider
1973 Bay Window Automatic
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Jon_slider
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> asking about the fridge in regards to how much propane it will use while camping.

when I run my fridge on propane 24 hours a day, it lasts one week. I also use propane to cook, mostly boil water for tea and oatmeal..

there is no way to know how much propane you have left, until it runs out..

I have 2 Vanagons, both with the GoWesty second battery kit and the Odyssey 1200 Battery.. (you can save about $50 by sourcing the battery online instead of buying it from GoWesty)

The house battery that Go Westy sells, only has 44amp hours. It will NOT run my 800watt inverter unless the engine is running.

The house battery also will NOT charge my laptop thru a kensington DC power supply plugged into the cigarette lighter, UNLESS THE ENGINE IS RUNNING

the only good thing about a house battery, is I can run my house lights without draining my ingnition battery..

I have been very very dissapointed with the very poor power supply from the Odyssey 1200 battery.. but its the only one I know of that fits under the driver seat..

imho, to get realistic power from a house battery, you need at least 100amp hours, and that battery would fit under the rear seat, not under the driver seat..

congratulations on your new Van... thats a couple of happy campers in the picture Smile

Jonathan
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backcountrymedic
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Interstate MT41, which VW recommends as a starting battery, also fits under the passenger seat, and is what I'm using as my aux. battery. Seems to work just fine for me.

-Jared
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
there is no way to know how much propane you have left, until it runs out..


I don't have a Westy, I know the LP tank is horizontal, but can't you just reach down and feel where the cold line is? Any LP tank I've ever used, of any size, will have a sensible cold line at the liquid level whenever gas is being used. They even sell some fancy indicator strips that can be stuck to the outside of cylinders that visually show were the temp changes, but your fingers are just as good. If there's any humidity where you are, you can just look where the frost on the tank starts, and that's the liquid level.

Quote:
The house battery that Go Westy sells, only has 44amp hours. It will NOT run my 800watt inverter unless the engine is running.


What kind of load are you trying to use that it can't power? I'm curious, because I happen to have an 800w mod-square inverter around, and was thinking of getting the equivalent of the Odyssey 44ah as a cabin battery. You seem to be saying that that battery can't push 70 amps into a load. As an AGM battery, that's not so far-fetched, but I'd like more details, if you don't mind.

By the way, Jon, what ever happened with your Suby running problem? How about an update on that thread, if there's anything to report? I'd like to know, too, because I have a 2.2 Legacy.
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riceye
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The house battery that Go Westy sells, only has 44amp hours. It will NOT run my 800watt inverter unless the engine is running.

The house battery also will NOT charge my laptop thru a kensington DC power supply plugged into the cigarette lighter, UNLESS THE ENGINE IS RUNNING


I could understand the higher amp inverter causing enough draw to over-tax the AGM battery, but the battery should have no problem with the Kensington charger. I ran a 350 watt inverter powering my laptop and a cell phone charger, Westy flourescent light and a small 12V lighter socket fan for several hours (engine off) without dropping the battery enough for the inverter to shut down. Fact is, the inverter has an alarm in that event. I never heard it squeal to me.

I dunno. Something sounds funky.
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riceye
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops!
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There's gonna be some changes made.

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"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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