One of the concerns expressed frequently is the occasional lack of plug in power. Energy management is a good thing to master, regardless of where you camp.
There are two electrical systems in our RV’s.
The first system is a 12V Direct Current (DC) system that powers the interior lights, the refrigerator, the propane furnace, the entertainment center, the water pump, and the exhaust fans, and the energy for that is stored in the batteries. Stock batteries have the lowest energy storage capacity, and lithium batteries have the highest. The batteries are charged by the RV engine alternator, solar panels if installed, and the coach generator. Read more “Electrical Management”
By Don Paul
October 2, 2021
I just replaced our 8 year old original Mercedes (Varta) chassis battery in our 11VK with a $149.76 Platinum EverStart H8 AGM 5-year warranty battery from Walmart and learned a several things… So I’m posting a STEP-BY-STEP installation procedure to save others time & frustration:
- Walmart’s website shows “This item does not fit your 2011 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500″… but it is WRONG. It fits perfectly. What’s really wonky is when you click their “Find Items that fit” link it shows their EverStart Maxx LEAD ACID (non-AGM) batteries “fit”… but these lead acid batteries NEED open air venting which our Sprinter’s battery compartments don’t have. DUH. They’ve got it BACKWARDS… Our V/Ns need AGM batteries !!!
- SAVE YOUR RECEIPT !!! You’ll need it if you have a warranty claim. I suggest taking a picture of your receipt and saving it on your phone… AND taping the receipt completely covered in clear packing tape to your battery compartment lid where you’ll be able to find it years from now IF you need it.
- Extracting the existing battery was a bit tricky since the positive cable/terminal has a bank of fuses attached to it which took some doing to finesse this fuse bank out of the way to get the existing battery out. YouTube video helped
- WAIT 10 to 30 minutes after you’ve turned your Sprinter OFF and removed the key to prevent getting a CEL (“Check Engine Light”) after you’ve installed your new battery
- Disconnect your chassis battery from the Sprinter chassis by pulling the plug next to the accelerator pedal. ALL your chassis lights should go out.
- Remove the (3) T25 bolts holding down the plastic L-shaped piece with a battery icon stamped on top. Don’t drop the bolts on the ground… You may never find them again.
- Remove the molded grey rubber floor mat. Yes it can get hung up but it does just pull out
- Loosen (no need to remove) the (4) Torx bolts (T25) holding down the metal lid of the battery compartment. Slide it aft to remove the lid.
- Remove the Red plastic cover over the Positive (+) battery terminal
- Loosen the 10mm nut on the Negative (-) terminal and remove the cable from the terminal. You may need to twist the cable to get is “unstuck” from the battery terminal.
- Unplug the existing AGM battery vent from the front of the battery. It just pops right out.
- Locate the black plastic handle for the battery hold down at the front of the battery bay. PAY ATTENTION TO WHICH WAY IT IS ORIENTED so you know which way it goes back in. (50% chance of re-inserting it incorrectly = 100% frustration… Think USB plug insertion frustration)
- Remove the battery hold down by completely loosening the bolts from their threaded sockets. The bolts should stay in the battery hold down. I needed a ~ 10″ extension on my 10mm socket and task lighting to remove the 2 battery bolts at the bottom front of the dark battery compartment. They came out easily and pulling the handle for the hold down lifts it up and out of the way with the bolts attached.
- Remove both the Positive (+) cable from the battery post by loosening the 10mm nut on each hold down, then twisting the battery cables up… and move them out of the way of your battery.
- Push the old battery forward FIRST to remove it since there’s a fixed hold down on bottom the aft part of the battery compartment. Again hard to see since this compartment has Black parts on Black compartment with poor natural light (chassis lights are off because the battery is dead / disconnected)
- You need to be flexible and strong to remove the ~ 60 lb. battery since the steering wheel is above the battery and the driver’s seat & base are in the way too. I’m 64 years young and fit (thanks mountain biking) so not a problem for me… but others may want to have Walmart or someone else install it for you. Walmart will probably charge since this installation is another Mercedes over-engineered PITA that takes time AND skill. IF you have someone else install it, be SURE they put the Red plastic plug in the aft vent hole (see below)
- Remove the new new battery’s Black plastic cap from the Negative (-) terminal and the Red plastic cover from the Positive (+) terminal. DON’T TOSS THE RED COVER AWAY… it has a small Red plastic plug you need to insert in the vent hole in the aft (+) end of the battery. This isn’t obvious unless you RTFM which is a TINY 1″x1″ yellow square taped to the side of the battery with print so tiny you’ll need a magnifier to literally “read the fine print”. LOVE my iPhone’s built-in Magnifier feature for tasks like this!
- Lower the new battery into the compartment. Mine wasn’t easy doing it solo since the vent tube kept flopping into the battery compartment in the front BELOW the battery as did the fuse block on the Positive cable in the back. Helpful to have another set of hands or secure these out of the way before inserting the battery… or Yoga move to tip the battery in the hole with one hand then grab the vent tube with the other while lowering the battery in. Who needs a Yoga workout or lift weights when Mercedes provided a Home Workout ??? LOL
- Move the battery forward to connect the Positive terminal / fuse bank.
- Push the battery aft to insert it under the fixed aft battery hold down.
- Reattach the Red Mercedes (not EverStart battery) plastic cover over the Positive (+) terminal / cables
- Connect the vent tube to the vent hole at the center of the forward (Negative terminal) side of the battery. Confirm the tiny Red plug is still in place on the aft (Positive terminal) side of the battery.
- Reinstall the battery hold down by FIRST finding the 2 battery hold down bolt holes and the centering gizmo at the bottom of the dark battery compartment. Then lower the hold down bracket into the compartment lining up the bolts with the black bolt holes on the floor of the poorly lit black battery compartment. Yoga helps since the driver’s seat base has a sharp corner which loves to poke ribs (I have a bruise to prove it LOL). Hand tighten the hold down bolts… and check your new battery won’t move
- Reattach the Negative (-) terminal.
- Recheck BOTH the Negative (-) and Positive (+) terminals are securely attached. Re-tighten just to be sure… You’re connecting a powerful 900 CCA diesel battery !!!
- Reconnect the Negative battery cable to the terminal by the accelerator pedal. Your Sprinter should lights come on. WINNING !!!
- Replace the metal battery cover by sliding the holes over bolts… then pushing it forward so the bolt heads are above the bolt slots. You may need to move the black (+) and red (-) cables to get it to go back on smoothly. Check to make sure none of your battery / chassis cables are going to be crimped when you tighten the Torx bolts to the cover.
- Replace the grey rubber floor mat. You may need to push it forward to get it to fit correctly in the back so you can…
- Replace the L-shaped piece with a battery icon stamped on top and reinsert the (3) T25 bolts holding it down. Don’t drop the bolts on the ground… You may never find them again.
- Celebrate / Medicate for a job well done.
HOPEFULLY I didn’t leave any steps out… and I make no representations that I didn’t AND/OR these are the same steps you need to replace your Sprinter’s chassis battery. YMMV. If you’re not sure have a professional install it for you.
By Bob Swor
March 31, 2010
My fellow travelers have been complaining about my partially burned out LED upper brake light for two years. An OEM replacement for just one side was $40. I located two lamps on Amazon, and went with the two for $20 route. Thanks for the tips from Bob Kelly and Kent Gardam. The bonus with the new light is that has bright & less bright capability. This means I could add the turn signal function to the lamp. The extra red wire (turn) on the new light gets fished down the aluminum corner channel and connected to the amber turn signal light in the bumper. Read more “Upper Brake Light Replacement”
By Leonard Casella – November 2019
Compressor refrigerator owners – DE-0061 and DC-0061.
The DC version only has the 12VDC connection, it does not have the 120AC connection – that appears to be the only difference.
Why doesn’t your refrigerator work when voltage drops to 12.2 volts or lower?
Answer, it’s designed that way! Read more “Compressor Refrigerator”
By Bob Kelly, November 2019
“Which generator should I look for when selecting an RV?” is a question often asked. The answer to that question really depends upon the type of camping you do. If you have occasional generator use, the propane generator is cheaper to buy, the cost of the propane is minimal, and availability of propane doesn’t actually matter.
If you boondock, or dry camp all the time, it depends upon what you want to run. Running the generator in the morning for coffee or a skillet, and in the evening for the microwave, you still have low 120V consumption, the propane will be OK.
If you have Solar on the roof to charge the batteries, it will diminish the need to recharge the house batteries if you stay in one place, don’t drive, for an extended period. My 300W of solar kept my batteries charged all summer (The Cole Hershee relay for charging was broken). Read more “Generator Choice, Propane or Diesel?”
For those of you interested in installing the Trik-L-Start I put together (with assistance of Bob, Leonard and Kent) a picture that will help with installation. The Image is from my 08VH, the newer units should be very similar.
By Bob Swor, November 2019
Prepared by Edwin E. Irving (email@example.com)
September 2, 2010
I want to thank Elden DuRand for preparing the CAD drawing which is part of this description and for helping me to better understand operation of the major components. Thanks too to Byron for his patient responses to my questions requiring detailed explanations of the electrical component operations. I also derived editorial information from Capt. “Ed” and Ed Von Gehr; and from others who have added helpful input during the many discussions of this subject over the years. Introduction: Read more “View/Navion Power Systems – Major Components”
Installing GC2 (Golf Cart 6 Volt) Batteries in Views and Navions
- Disconnect batteries using disconnect switch
- Remove the ground Cable off the existing batteries.
- Remove the remaining cables
- Remove the Batteries
- You will need one of the short jumpers that went between the two batteries (red)
Installing new batteries: Read more “Installing GC2 (Golf Cart 6 Volt) Batteries in Views and Navions”