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Sprinter build thread

  1. #1026
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread


    Kind of fell into a rat-hole regarding lithium batteries for solar storage. Feels like it might fit here. Anybody followed this guy in CA called Jehu Garcia? He has a cool 60's VW microbus converted to EV and has a ton of cool videos on youtube of hacking lithium batteries, building out tesla like packs, etc. He sells DIY kits and resells used batteries as well. Recently he got ahold of a cache of used scooter packs. 40 Panasonic cells. 36V nominal pack. I've been following some of the FB and forum threads about "waking" the BMS on these packs up. Seems like they have started to figure out how to use these packs out of the box. People are talking about building powerwalls out of them. Garcia posted videos of getting a ~4kW config up and running on a bench. .. He's selling the packs for about $50/ea. That seems insane. Little over $100/kWh of battery. That's right about on par with deep cycle wet-cell batteries.

    I would be very tempted to tinker with these if I were building out another camper right now. Hell, I'm tempted to buy a couple packs to play with for shitsngiggles. (Because I need another project right now!)

    This threw me down a rat-hole watching videos and learning about DIY powerwall setups. We just installed solar on our roof at home and I'd frickin' love to be able to have a battery backup.. sell off that boat-anchor gas genny that takes up space in the garage.

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  2. #1027
    Lifer typeone's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Anybody followed this guy in CA called Jehu Garcia? This threw me down a rat-hole watching videos and learning about DIY powerwall setups.
    yes, been watching vids with Jehu involved over the past few months, mostly because i'm a vintage VW fruit (and EV West fan for a few years now) but ... yes also, because a recent smart home project of mine was to create a UI / experience for home energy management. super cool stuff + i / we dream of going off grid one day. one of my clients supplies complete microgrid configurations with critical load management ($$$!), and another is just getting into it on a larger scale (multi-family housing).

    batteries are so gross to me but whoever figures it out (true recycle) is going to win a big prize ... oh, hi, Tim Apple.

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  3. #1028
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Overdue status update. Ain't perfect, but good enough. No deep explanations, but ask away.

    Cabinets, power columns, paint, drawer/cabinet faces, garage, some trim. The end is in sight. Only need to figure out the section between the bench and bed.






















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  4. #1029
    Senior Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    I've been eyeing the Winnebago Revel. It's a $150K turnkey rig at Flagg RV near me. The 2021 is full lithium off the grid setup. Hard pressed not to sell my toyhauler and go that route for more stealthy travel for MTB, surfing and bumper hauling my 790. I don't see myself as handy enough to build something like you are doing.

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    Last edited by ducatirdr; 01-19-21 at 05:16 PM.
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  5. #1030
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ducatirdr View Post
    I've been eyeing the Winnebago Revel. It's a $150K turnkey rig at Flagg RV near me. The 2021 is full lithium off the grid setup. Hard pressed not to sell my toyhauler and go that route for more stealthy travel for MTB, surfing and bumper hauling my 790. I don't see myself as handy enough to build something like you are doing.
    I'd love a Revel. They're kind of the perfect sprinter. Not all that stealthy, but very sexy.

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    A man of many names...Jay, Gennaro, Gerry, etc.

  6. #1031
    Senior Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Compared to my Toyhauler it's stealthy. Also the 2021 paint is Mass State Police blue. Maybe have a few big STAY POLITE decals on it.


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    Last edited by ducatirdr; 01-19-21 at 05:38 PM.
    Send cash... I need a track day

  7. #1032
    Lifer burnham's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Awesome job! Curious of you put the van on a scale before and after the work?

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  8. #1033
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by burnham View Post
    Awesome job! Curious of you put the van on a scale before and after the work?
    I did not, but my fuel mileage has definitely dropped! I really wanted the 7 speed transmission which was only available in a 4 cyl diesel. It still moves fine, but it isn't getting any faster. The v6 diesel would have been nice.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 01-19-21 at 10:00 PM.
    A man of many names...Jay, Gennaro, Gerry, etc.

  9. #1034
    Member Zolden's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    I'd love a Revel. They're kind of the perfect sprinter. Not all that stealthy, but very sexy.
    Ha, pretty funny, I was eyeing that revel at Flagg before as weíve just gone mobile after bailing out of our place in NJ. We already made it to CA with my Silverado packed up with all the bikes and gear. But we may be full time mobile in 5 more months again.

    I came to the conclusion that it is a perfect solo adventure setup, but with a dog and wife there are more comforts needed so Iím eyeing something that at least has tanks rather than a cassette toilet and the like. Also I think the lithium upgrades Iíve seen people do to them are 12-18k. Amazing that itís already 150k but to make them truly utility driven they need a bit more money in upgrades.

    Back OT, amazing craftsmanship and Iím sure much cheaper than one of the out the door offerings I keep convincing myself to buy... as said I also wouldnít have the time or skills to fab one up. A man can dream though!


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  10. #1035
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolden View Post
    Ha, pretty funny, I was eyeing that revel at Flagg before as we’ve just gone mobile after bailing out of our place in NJ. We already made it to CA with my Silverado packed up with all the bikes and gear. But we may be full time mobile in 5 more months again.

    I came to the conclusion that it is a perfect solo adventure setup, but with a dog and wife there are more comforts needed so I’m eyeing something that at least has tanks rather than a cassette toilet and the like. Also I think the lithium upgrades I’ve seen people do to them are 12-18k. Amazing that it’s already 150k but to make them truly utility driven they need a bit more money in upgrades.

    Back OT, amazing craftsmanship and I’m sure much cheaper than one of the out the door offerings I keep convincing myself to buy... as said I also wouldn’t have the time or skills to fab one up. A man can dream though!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm around $50k including the cost of a 2016 Sprinter with 35k miles. So yes, a lot cheaper. The time spent definitely has a cost to it. I think I could probably sell it around $70k.
    Craftmanship is what you would expect from a Hobbyist. Good enough. Fun project. Even though this is my second, its taking much longer than I expected.
    The craftmanship on the pro ones is seriously top notch. Building yourself and knowing where everything is and how it was made is pretty priceless.

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  11. #1036
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    I gotta say Jay, I’ve been very impressed at the skills you’ve developed over the course of these projects. It’s not a easy to see something like this through and make it look good on the other side.

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

  12. #1037
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread-(Pictures are back!)

    The "craftsmanship" on a revel is pretty sorry. Not sure why but its flimsy.

    I agree that the revel is a one man van. We looked at it and passed because for 2 it's tiny. The travato is much better layout and the "craftsmanship" is definitely a few notches higher. No 4x4 or tough looks was the tradeoff.

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  13. #1038
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread-(Pictures are back!)

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    I gotta say Jay, Iíve been very impressed at the skills youíve developed over the course of these projects. Itís not a easy to see something like this through and make it look good on the other side.


    Well, like anything, its very good from far, far from very good. But its good all around. Truthfully, the only thing that is really pissing me off is the alignment on the drawers. It comes down to my drawer boxes. I can remake them in the future but not this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    The "craftsmanship" on a revel is pretty sorry. Not sure why but its flimsy.

    I agree that the revel is a one man van. We looked at it and passed because for 2 it's tiny. The travato is much better layout and the "craftsmanship" is definitely a few notches higher. No 4x4 or tough looks was the tradeoff.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Well I'll be. I've only ogled from a parking lot.
    Out here, they're absolutely everywhere. I see probably half a dozen every morning at the small beach. The big beach (with the real waves) has the dirt vans. Not a coincidence.

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    A man of many names...Jay, Gennaro, Gerry, etc.

  14. #1039
    Perpetual Amateur CEO's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    I love the grey wood ceiling with stark white walls and trim. Looks really sharp and inviting. And the work quality is obviously high.

    Separately, I see both Polar and LaCroix in one the photos?! wtf man, you gotta pick... I'm a polar guy.

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  15. #1040
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Sprinter build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CEO View Post
    I love the grey wood ceiling with stark white walls and trim. Looks really sharp and inviting. And the work quality is obviously high.

    Separately, I see both Polar and LaCroix in one the photos?! wtf man, you gotta pick... I'm a polar guy.


    I, too, am Polar. But Peach-Pear LaCroix is something special.
    I drink so much seltzer I usually buy what's on sale and just get sad when it something like Schweppes.

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    A man of many names...Jay, Gennaro, Gerry, etc.

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