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Old 07-18-2005, 11:01 AM   #1
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I've been intrigued for some time now by the capabilities of electronic monitoring systems for diesel engines. In particular, I've been following the Silverleaf brand products for a couple years now and have been interested in their model VMS 200 Recently at the National Rally, I had the chance to see a VMS 200 installed and operating in a motorhome. I was hooked and had to have one for myself.

One potential problem I saw with the system though was that on our Journey there just isn't a convenient place to install the system. Ive been postponing buying one solely for the reason of not having a satisfactory place to install it but after seeing one in operation, I knew I had to find a way to get one in our coach.

Last week I took the dash of the Journey apart and spent several hours looking at various installation options. I finally ended up deciding to replace the Winnebago dash stereo as well since we've not been thrilled with its operation. Although touted as being designed for RV'ers, we've never liked it as it isn't backlit unless turned on, and for some reason, our clock never seemed accurate on it.

In the following pictures you can see the VMS 200 mounted in place of the radio, and the new radio installed in a semi-vacant area of the dash. I did have to relocate the compass/thermometer to the side of the dash facing the passenger and the front entry door to get the new radio installed. The location of the thermometer is actually nicer there as I can walk in from outside and see the temperature from the steps.

I'm anxious to drive the motorhome with the VMS 200 installed and I'll post some opinions on it after our first trip. I'll also try to snap some pictures of the screens showing various data the unit can monitor.

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Old 07-18-2005, 11:01 AM   #2
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I've been intrigued for some time now by the capabilities of electronic monitoring systems for diesel engines. In particular, I've been following the Silverleaf brand products for a couple years now and have been interested in their model VMS 200 Recently at the National Rally, I had the chance to see a VMS 200 installed and operating in a motorhome. I was hooked and had to have one for myself.

One potential problem I saw with the system though was that on our Journey there just isn't a convenient place to install the system. Ive been postponing buying one solely for the reason of not having a satisfactory place to install it but after seeing one in operation, I knew I had to find a way to get one in our coach.

Last week I took the dash of the Journey apart and spent several hours looking at various installation options. I finally ended up deciding to replace the Winnebago dash stereo as well since we've not been thrilled with its operation. Although touted as being designed for RV'ers, we've never liked it as it isn't backlit unless turned on, and for some reason, our clock never seemed accurate on it.

In the following pictures you can see the VMS 200 mounted in place of the radio, and the new radio installed in a semi-vacant area of the dash. I did have to relocate the compass/thermometer to the side of the dash facing the passenger and the front entry door to get the new radio installed. The location of the thermometer is actually nicer there as I can walk in from outside and see the temperature from the steps.

I'm anxious to drive the motorhome with the VMS 200 installed and I'll post some opinions on it after our first trip. I'll also try to snap some pictures of the screens showing various data the unit can monitor.

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Old 07-18-2005, 11:14 AM   #3
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Well what is a VMS200 and what is it supposed to do?
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:50 AM   #4
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The VMS systems are electronic engine monitoring and display systems. Think of it as a digital dash that can display any parameter the engine and transmission measure. The electronics in our engines and transmissions monitor and store dozens of pieces of data which unfortunately aren't presented to us as drivers. There is quite a bit of data that the engine collects that I'm interested in when driving but I don't have a gauge for. The VMS simply records and displays that data.

As a partial list from my owners manual the system will display the following; Accelerator position, Battery voltage, Cruise control set speed, Coolant temperature, Engine load, Fuel rate, Horsepower output, Instantaneous MPG, Intake manifold temperature, Power factor, Rolling MPG, Speed, Tachometer, Torque converter status, Torque output, Transmission temperature, Transmission mode, Turbo boost pressure, Oil pressure, Fuel injection pressure and a bunch more.

In addition to monitoring, the system also detects and reads out fault codes which would normally just set a check engine light. Having a display of the detected failure while logging other data that occured which triggered the defect can be valuable. I'm really anxious to try the system out on a trip we're planning this week where we'll be climbing some steep hills in West Virginia. It will be interesting to monitor the engine, transmission, and turbo temperatures while watching boost pressure and torque output of the engine while climbing. Of course, not as important, but still interesting would be watching fuel delivery flow and average MPG fluctuate with the amount of boost supplied to the engine. Toys for boys I suppose

I haven't had a chance to use the system yet on a trip, but there are a whole group of trip related features also available such as monitoring fuel usage, average speed, running time, average MPG, estimated fuel required, ETA, etc.

After we get back from our trip, I'll post again how the system has performed.
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Old 07-18-2005, 05:44 PM   #5
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Toby, the VMS200 is a product from Silverleaf Electronics and I believe their web site is http://www.silverleaf. com. In addition to the 200 which is a stand alone they also have a VMS-PC system which is much less expensive and it ties to your laptop. I understand that the VMS-PC can be used concurrently with a GPS via a split screen. Check the Silverleaf site for a virtual demoKen,'04 DSDP....
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