"Maximize Fuel Economy Without Sacrificing Power and Productivity"
Wag'n Tails has been awarded membership in the Sprinter Customer Assurance Program by Mercedes-Benz!
See Mercedes Sprinter website for list of approved Mercedes Sprinter Upfitters for mobile pet grooming: Mercedes Sprinter Website
At Wag'n Tails, we always do the right thing. The Endurance is no different! We went through the long and painstaking process of research and development to meet and exceed the rigid criteria put forth by Mercedes-Benz for inclusion as an approved converter in their prestigious Sprinter Customer Assurance Program. Was it easy to do? No. It takes a huge engineering and development effort. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Wag'n Tails continuously strives to improve everything we do. We do it because you, the customer, is always worth the extra effort to bring you the very best built and backed mobile grooming vans in the world, PERIOD!
How did the Endurance come about?
Wag’n Tails approached the Endurance Sprinter project with a clean sheet of paper. We threw out every preconceived notion of what a grooming van should be. What it should look like, how it should be powered, what size it should be, what type of engine it should have, what chassis manufacturer to build on, what source of electrical power generation it should employ, what kind of table it should have, how to heat and cool the grooming area, how to heat the water for bathing, and so on.
We looked at chassis from Ford, Freightliner/Mercedes, General Motors and all of the major imports. We looked at gas engines, diesel engines, flex fueled vehicles and even LP powered vans. We studied lighter weight vans to cut costs and save weight.
Every electrical generator option was intensely studied including gasoline, diesel and LP; plus we looked all the major manufacturers including Honda, Onan, Kohler and Generac to name a few.
We exhaustively reviewed and tested batteries of all types from lead/acid to glass mat to maintenance free and so on. Then we reviewed and tested inverter systems like Xantrex, Vector, Onan Equinox, Samlex and ProSine.
At every opportunity, and there were many, we talked to dozens of groomers about table preferences in terms of electric vs. manual, height, table top size, stationary vs. rotating, construction materials, ease of use, maintenance, weight capacity, etc.
Since it is so critically important, we spent hours evaluating heating and cooling the grooming area. We evaluated idling the van engine to heat and air condition the entire van, including the grooming area. We studied instantaneous or “flash” water heaters, systems that use the van engine to heat the water, water tank insulation materials, larger and smaller tanks, different tanks materials, LP gas and electric heaters and even one that was solar.
Out of all that research and development, came the Endurance. A mobile grooming system designed to provide plenty of power to groom all the pets you can every day without sacrificing productivity and doing so as economically as possible.
Below is what we decided and why we decided it.
Why are you using the Sprinter-don’t you guys always build on Fords?
Wag’n Tails chose the Sprinter for a number of reasons. It’s available in a heavy enough platform to fill our needs. The 3500 dual rear wheel 170” WB Sprinter chassis has the proper weight rating to support a grooming conversion. It’s not possible to go with a lighter chassis because things like a full-sized stainless steel tub and 50 gallons of water can’t be safely carried by a lesser chassis and be expected to last for years and years.
At Wag’n Tails, safety will never, ever be sacrificed for cost reduction. In addition, the long 170 “ wheelbase/high roof version we build on gives us the roomiest, most functional grooming van conversion on the market.
Why the diesel engine instead of gasoline?
This one was the easiest choice for us to make. We know you need to maximize your fuel economy and the diesel engine offered by the Sprinter is the most fuel efficient choice. When you add in the longevity and widely spaced maintenance intervals, it saves you money in maintenance costs over the long run too.
Why does this van have an inverter and a generator?
Depending on how you equip your van, you will have at least 4 and as many as 7 “inductive” electrical motors requiring high amperage electricity to operate them. Inverters are just not designed for that type of stress so we use the inverter to power the lower amperage appliances like lights, clippers, stereos, the table and the clipper vac. Also the Xantrex inverter is a pure sine wave inverter which means it won’t damage sensitive electronics like stereos, DVD and CD players, televisions, GPS systems, etc. as some “step” inverters can when battery voltage runs low.
During the approval process with Sprinter Engineering, Wag’n Tails, Sprinter engineers, Xantrex engineers and Onan engineers worked closely together to ensure our technologically advanced hybrid generator/inverter/battery system exceeded our stringent requirements. Areas reviewed included each of the components’ location in the van, mounting methodology, body structural integrity, generator exhaust location, generator cooling flow and serviceability.
Onan is the right choice because of their long history and vast experience in electrical power generation alone but when you combine that with a nationwide network of over 750 service centers, it makes total sense. If you ever have a problem, we can steer you to a qualified service center in or very near your own back yard.
We matched the inverter up with two Absorbed Glass Mat batteries that are completely sealed for safety and require zero maintenance. You won’t have to worry about filling them with distilled water, equalizing the charge across the entire battery bank, leaking acid or dangerous fumes.
The generator “auto start” will automatically power itself up to recharge the battery bank when their charge gets low and it will easily run all of your high amperage “inductive” motor appliances like the high velocity dryer and air conditioner when you need them. The diesel generator, like most other diesel engines, has the advantages of longevity, low maintenance and high dependability.
This system is really ideal considering that three of the four stages of the grooming process can occur with inverter/battery power alone! Clipping, bathing and finishing require no generator use at all so fuel economy is maximized. But when you want to quickly dry that Golden, power up the 17 amp K9II dryer and get it done. The Onan 8000 Quiet Diesel will let you go to town and if you want to operate a second dryer with it and the air conditioner at the same time, go for it!
Why did you stay with the roof mounted air conditioner and the LP gas furnace?
The only other viable alternative was to idle the engine of the van to heat and cool the van cab and the grooming area. It would have certainly been less costly to build the conversion if we relied on idling the Sprinter product for these basic necessities. When Wag’n Tails takes on a project of this magnitude, we study every detail because as the old saying goes, “the devil is in the details”. We have to protect you, our customer, and we will always do our due diligence to be sure that when we take on a totally new product, we do it right from the beginning. Wag’n Tails simply will not let you, our groomer customers, be the Guinea pig for a new product! It will be right from the first unit on.
We discovered an important detail while studying the idling issue that stopped any debate about engine idling dead cold in its tracks. Never mind that state after state and municipality after municipality has enacted, or is enacting laws outlawing engine idling in commercial vehicles.
Diesel engines are designed to operate at higher temperatures. Since they do not have spark plugs to ignite the fuel/air mixture like gasoline engines, high cylinder temperatures and high compression are relied upon to ignite the fuel/air mixture. Diesel engine manufacturers generally recommend idling for no more than 3 to 5 minutes at a time. Excessive idling can cause carbon build up on the pistons, piston rings, injector tips, valves, etc., engine slobbering and decreased engine oil life.
The diesel engine at idle will clog the Diesel Particulate Filter in the exhaust system over time. This can lead to replacing that part which is quite costly. The engine in the Sprinter needs to super heat that filter in a process called regeneration and burn off the particles it collects. Idling prevents that process of regeneration from occurring because the engine is not programmed to regenerate the Diesel Particulate Filter at idle speeds.
Regeneration occurs every 100-600 miles. It lasts between 10 and 40 minutes, and it will not occur under an idle. They also note that you should not park over papers, leaves, dry grass or other things that can burn. They further stated that if the engine does not get up to speed to start the regeneration process, the engine will shut itself down and require a tow to the dealer and that these are NOT warranty repairs.
Also, a recent conversation with the head of Sprinter engineering at Mercedes Benz, we were informed that they don’t recommend idling the engine unless it’s equipped with a high RPM idle control. This control runs the engine faster to keep it hot. He added that “even with a high idle system, the engine should never idle more than 30 minutes”.
Learn more about harmful effects excessive idling causes here http://sprinter-source.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-3468.html and http://www.scribd.com/doc/2170989/2008-Idle-Laws-by-State or just Google diesel engine idling and start reading!
Another big reason we chose the Sprinter was fuel economy. Which is more economical: idling a 6 cylinder, 3 liter engine all day or running a 3 cylinder, seven-tenths of a liter diesel generator engine a few hours per day when using high amperage equipment? I think the engine that is over 4 times the size and that runs more hours per day is going to use more fuel, don’t you? The Onan QD 8000 diesel generator averages less than ½ gallon per hour under the maximum load you will have to power in the Endurance.
What about heating water? Isn’t there anything new out there?
When it comes to efficiency, reliability, fast recovery and low maintenance the choice is to remain with what has and continues to serve our customers well. Since the Suburban uses LP gas to heat the water and an electrical heating element as a backup, we provide our customers with another redundant system to minimize the potential for downtime. The other more high tech alternatives couldn’t give us any significantly improved performance to justify the significantly increased cost so we kept our famously reliable unit we use in all of our other Wag’n Tails products.
What about the grooming table? Have you seen the latest models on the market?
What do you do when you can’t find a table that effectively meets all the needs of your customers? You design it yourself and find a top notch manufacturer to build it for you. The new 3-n-1 table by Wag’n Tails was conceived, designed and developed by none other than our own Dina Perry, our company founder and the only person ever to be named “Groomer of the Century” by the pet grooming industry. The 3-n-1 is electric and has a lifting capacity of 450 pounds. It has a built in bridge that slides out to the tub, allowing you to walk the dog from the table to the tub and back without breaking your back. The table top rotates 360 degrees and locks into position so you get the right angle for that perfect scissor finish every time. It elevates to a height of 44” so you aren’t bending over to trim the feet of even the smallest pooch. The top is big enough for the large breeds without giving them a playground to run around on while you complete the groom. It also lowers to a height of 18” to allow those larger breeds easy access to the table without any lifting.
It is my hope that this answers why we did what we did in building the Endurance on the Sprinter chassis. As always, Wag’n Tails is about making the mobile groomer the very best products possible, backing up our quality with unrivaled warranties and offering unmatched customer service to ensure success. That will never change. Ever.
For more information on the Endurance, Pet Stylist Elite or the Pet Pro Van, call us at 800-513-0304, visit us on the web at www.wagntails.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will be happy to answer your questions completely.