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Old 04-21-2017, 05:13 PM   #31
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Regardless of 4 wheel drive, vans that are winter driven in salt areas are going to take a pretty bad beating. There are lots of things hanging under an RV that do not handle salt well, and will be severely corroded and damaged.
Are they all like this? Unprotected tanks on the underside of a chassis with extremely low ground clearance? Or is that just Roadtrek?

Not checking the RT forum, I don't "do" Facebook...
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:32 PM   #32
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I would reconsider 4WD. It adds complexity to the drive train, makes the cost of the vehicle significantly more and can reduce mileage.

I noticed your from Massachusetts, me too, and want to drive in the snow. Really think about how you will drive it in winter. Massachusetts and many other New England states do an excellent job of totally clearing snow down to the pavement by using road salt and chemicals. Also the interstates are usually in good shape. So, if you are actually going to drive when it is snowing or right after a storm when the snow is still deep, then 4WD may be useful. But 4WD without 4 dedicated snow tires is a compromise. Snow tires give a real benefit because the rubber compound is suited for cold temperatures and the thread pattern is made for traction in snow. However, once you get over approximelely 6 inches of snow and you attempt to drive, you are really in an extreme driving condition. In addition to the limited visibility and potential white-out conditions, do you really want to try to break tracks in unplowed snow that is deeper that 6 inches or deeper (now you have to worry about ground clearance)? RVs are top heavy and trying to steer an 8000 pound plus vehicle around a corner is both tricky and scary (this is one area that 4WD will help)

So evaluate how much you will drive in actual, deep snow. Otherwise, just get 4 snow tires. That is much cheaper that full time 4WD.

Remember, nature will always win. When there is a raging blizzard, stay home or park the RV and wait it out, after all it is a house on wheels, just don't use the wheels part during the storm!
Joe, some of us appreciate extra traction control (like in my daily commuter car with 4wd / Awd / whatever the kids are calling it these days) even when it's only raining.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:42 PM   #33
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Are they all like this? Unprotected tanks on the underside of a chassis with extremely low ground clearance? Or is that just Roadtrek?

Not checking the RT forum, I don't "do" Facebook...
Yes, pretty much all of them... unless you get into an Earthroamer. I'm amazed at the post about the Advanced RV coach. That's impressive. I'd like to know what they do. Generally, for example in Bigfoot and Arctic Fox, the tanks are sealed in, insulated, and forced air heat ducted to them. They're still not all that wonderful below freezing when you're on the road and the furnace isn't running.

The other problem with sub-freezing temps, of course, is finding a place to be able to dump your tanks... and then how to clean your sewer hose without running water available as most of the dump sites are also winterized.

And you probably should understand that AWD and 4WD are very different... not merely different names for the same system. My Honda Element was AWD, my Jeep Rubicon is 4WD. Chevy vans come from the factory with AWD. Quigley does 4WD conversions for 2WD vans.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:18 PM   #34
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Joe, some of us appreciate extra traction control (like in my daily commuter car with 4wd / Awd / whatever the kids are calling it these days) even when it's only raining.
Jean

That is generally true and it is an advantage. However in everyday driving and in most conditions it is a minor advantage. Dirt roads, slush or high speed corners- more advantage. Again, the tire choice also plays major role in traction.

But given today's tires and assuming they are inflated properly, the traction control systems, the built in understeer of most cars and weight distribution, especially in a front wheel drive car it is difficult to spin out in the rain unless you really are pushing the limit. In rain, snow or fog, one should drive a speed that matches the road condition, not the speed limit. Being aware of the dynamics of how your car handles and matching speed with road conditions will go much farther that whatever extra drive system a car has. Thinking technology is going to allow you to push the limits of physics in everyday cars or RVs is not wise. There are drive systems and electronic traction control settings that can just about defy the limits, but now we are describing some of the new breed of high end sports cars and luxury models.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:25 AM   #35
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Yes, pretty much all of them... unless you get into an Earthroamer. I'm amazed at the post about the Advanced RV coach. That's impressive. I'd like to know what they do. Generally, for example in Bigfoot and Arctic Fox, the tanks are sealed in, insulated, and forced air heat ducted to them. They're still not all that wonderful below freezing when you're on the road and the furnace isn't running.

The other problem with sub-freezing temps, of course, is finding a place to be able to dump your tanks... and then how to clean your sewer hose without running water available as most of the dump sites are also winterized.

And you probably should understand that AWD and 4WD are very different... not merely different names for the same system. My Honda Element was AWD, my Jeep Rubicon is 4WD. Chevy vans come from the factory with AWD. Quigley does 4WD conversions for 2WD vans.
ARV uses the return lines from the Espar hydronic heat/hot water system to heat the tanks and water lines.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:28 AM   #36
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ARV uses the return lines from the Espar hydronic heat/hot water system to heat the tanks and water lines.
Interesting. Is there a belly skin/insulation for the tanks or are they exposed?
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:28 AM   #37
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ARV uses the return lines from the Espar hydronic heat/hot water system to heat the tanks and water lines.
And they'll add electric heat strips as well, if you want them.
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Old 04-22-2017, 02:09 AM   #38
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Interesting. Is there a belly skin/insulation for the tanks or are they exposed?
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Old 04-22-2017, 12:49 PM   #39
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That Advanced RV video is demonstrating Alvar, our RV.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:54 PM   #40
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I shamelessly stole ARV's idea of using the Espar glycol loop bundled with the fresh and sewer pipes and tanks to prevent freezing. I also built a small enclosed (effectively heated) area under the van that contains the Espar, the macerator, and a few pipes. Finally, I used a few small heat strips to heat the external compartments where the dump hose and outside shower are stored.

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If you have a sealed macerator pump, there is no need to rinse out the hose. I do usually keep some antifreeze in the waste tanks, just in case.
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