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Keeping Warm

An Early Morning Chill Run your van's engine, and the van's heater will warm the Sportsmobile. At the same time, the van's alternator will charge your batteries.

If You Have A 110V Hookup or Generator A small portable electric heater will keep you very comfortable. Ceramic models work best.

Propane Furnace (O) It's compact and installs under a seat/bed or in the bottom of a cabinet. It's very efficient and has been proven over the decades. A wall thermostat lights the furnace electronically. The furnace uses propane from the standard equipment propane tank. It's vented to the outside. If your tank has a 7.9 gallon capacity, it will run the furnace around 57 hours.

Diesel Air Heater (O) uses diesel from the van's fuel tank. Very fuel efficient.

Keeping Cool

Sportsmobiles Are Well Insulated Throughout. However, the van body is steel, so it tends to heat up when it's hot. Here are some ways to help keep your Sportsmobile cool.

Attic Fan (O) We highly recommend this 12V fan. It's a powerful 12" 10-blade rotary fan that pulls fresh air through open windows. Very quiet, 3 speeds, pulls 3 amps on high with 920 CFM. Reversible. Made of tough Lexan. Deluxe model, shown right, includes a thermostat and rain sensor to close and reopen vent when it rains. Install front, center or rear on roof. Increases roof height 9".

Windshield & Cab Doors Screen (O)
Blocks up to 70% of sun’s rays, solar heat gain. Also provides daytime privacy and cab door window ventilation. White, vinyl coated nylon, rolls up for storage.

Rear Door Screen (O) provides lots of bug-free ventilation. Zips open. It is necessary to remove the screen when you close the rear doors. A rear screen can also be made to fit a specific area as shown lower right.

Cab Door Screens (O), top right, permit partial opening of cab windows.

Artic Cab Window Panels now standard. This is the best way to insulate your cab windows and windshield to help keep the heat out in summer and inside in winter. The bubble foil is laminated and sewn to the fabric. The panels “pop-in” to the side door windows and windshield. Roll up for storage.

Air Conditioners

Roof-Mount 110V Air Conditioner (0)

Low profile for good looks. Better height clearance and fuel economy.

Sportsmobile uses the low-profile A/C with 13,500 BTU. It can be located front, center or rear of van. Increases roof height 11". The A/C shroud is white. It can be painted to match van color (O).


The Danhard Internal Mount A/C is popular for owners that have a Sportsmobile with the Penthouse expandable Top, because a roof mount A/C cannot be used, or the owner does not want to add height to the van with the roof mount.


With a 2000 watt inverter and a 200 amp auxiliary battery, you can normally run the A/C for one hour with van's engine OFF, provided the auxiliary battery system is fully charged. To lengthen this time, start the van's engine, then the van's alternator will add charge to the auxiliary batteries. This will add two hours or more of running time. If engine is ON, you can also run the van's dash A/C.

When running A/C with pets in the van, we highly recommend the optional temperature paging system.

Running Your Air Conditioner — When Parked or Driving

rev. 9/11

When Parked – Engine Off

Requires a 110V hook-up at a campsite, a friend’s driveway, etc.

Or a generator (o).

Running Roof or Danhard A/C with engine off and no 110V hook-up or generator You can run the roof A/C about 1 hour, then you will need to turn off the A/C as your two auxiliary batteries will be depleted. To recharge the batteries, plug into a 110V hook-up for about 12 hours or drive your Sprinter for about 6 hours at 1,500+ RPMs (approximately 40 MPH). Note there are variables, and these figures are estimated.

You will need:

  • Sportsmobile’s 2000 Watt Inverter to convert 12V power to 110V. Now included with Sportsmobile's Standard Equipment Package.

When Parked - Engine On to Run A/C

The Sprinter's cab or Danhard A/C can run for hours when parked with the engine at normal idle of 600 RPMs with factory high-capacity alternator — amperage will vary. The cab A/C will keep only the cab area cool. Note: it is against some state laws to run your van's engine unattended.


You can run your roof 110V A/C for about 3 hours when parked with your engine at normal idle –  600 RPM with an inverter. After about 3 hours you would need to turn the roof A/C off so that the auxiliary batteries can recharge. See above for recharging. The Sprinter van's starting battery is isolated with Sportsmobile's battery separator. Note: in some states it is illegal to leave your engine running in an unoccupied vehicle.

To increase your run time at idle we recommend you order Sprinter's hi-idle option when you order your Sprinter — about $560. Note this option cannot be installed by a dealer.


To run your roof A/C for long periods of time you will need:

  • 2000W Inverter. Now standard.
  • Sprinter’s "high" engine idle control. About $560.

To run your roof A/C:

  • Turn engine on.
  • Set emergency brake so that the high engine idle control will function.
  • Set idle control for maximum output of the 220 amp alternator and provide maximum charge for your auxiliary batteries and the van's starting battery, recommend 1500 RPMs. When driving at highway speed, the RPMs will be about 2500. When driving around town, keep in mind that when driving slow or stopped for signal lights your RPMs will drop below 1500 and you will not be charging your batteries at full capacity.
  • Turn on Inverter and then roof top A/C. For a faster cool-down, also turn your cab A/C on.
  • Note – the 2000 Watt inverter will run only one high-amp 110V item at a time, such as the A/C, 110V water heater or microwave.

You will also have enough amps to keep your batteries charged and run a 600 W microwave or a 1200 W microwave if you turn the A/C off. Plus other 110V appliances.

Fuel Consumption. The diesel engine will use about 1.25 gallons per hour idling at 1500 RPMs. The Sprinter’s fuel capacity is 26.5 gallons. Example: 10 gallons will run your roof A/C continually for about 8 hours. Sprinter’s Maintenance Monitor System, included with all Sprinters ordered by Sportsmobile, will advise you when to change the engine oil. The Sprinter’s engine is actually a little quieter than a diesel generator.

When Driving

If you will only need to keep the Sprinter's interior cool when driving you will not need the “high engine idle control.”

Your Sprinter’s cab A/C will keep the cab area cool. It will also keep the interior comfortable for most people, unless it's quite hot. There are variables.


To use your roof or Danhard A/C, you will need the same options as above — except for the high engine idle control

To run your roof A/C, simply turn your inverter and roof A/C on. Most customers say they usually run both their dash A/C and A/C for the first hour or so when driving. They then turn the roof-top A/C off, as the dash A/C will then usually keep the Sprinter’s interior cool.

When driving over 40 mph, your RPMs will be about 2500. The Sprinter's 220 Amp Alternator will keep your auxiliary batteries charged. Your roof A/C will be running off the 110 volts supplied by the Inverter. Plus your can run a 600 watt microwave, computer, etc. If you will need more amps for a 1200 watt microwave, etc., you will need to run your A/C off.

When driving below 40 mph and/or stop-and-go driving, your alternator will not be fully charging your auxiliary batteries.