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Old 03-13-2018, 03:10 PM   #21
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I think this is basically the heart of the whole thing. We don't live in the unbearable heat areas of the south, so we don't have to deal with it for the most part while camping. We do have to deal with half a year of too cold for camping (at least for most of us ) weather here. The solution for northerners is go south for winter trips, so to us it would seem logical that southerners would go north for summer trips, but that apparently doesn't happen as often.

As nice as the Volta system is, it will not eliminate the need for running the van engine regularly, which may or may not be permitted where you are camped. More and more idling rules are coming into affect all the time, along with no generator rules.

Personally, I don't think systems like the Volta will be truly usable for daily air conditioning until the the recharging of the batteries can be done silently in the background with something like the propane powered fuel cell in one of the other discussions, as the engine running to recharge is not going to be universally viable in the future.

A big system like the Volta would be great for those of us that wouldn't use it for AC, as we could stay offgrid and not driving for a long time with it, and not have to go very far at the next drive to refill, but it is a lot of cost to do that when you can get probably 95% of the same with lead acid system and at a fraction of the cost.
We got by fine with 220AH AGM in our Roadtrek but when we designed the new truck for full time travel we decided to set it up with capabilities for extended remote camping and went with 720AH lithium and 1000 watts solar. We went with a two burner induction cooktop (diesel cooktops are an option but give of too much heat to the cabin) and a countertop electric oven (we rarely use a microwave but we could have gone with a convection microwave). We have a rooftop AC which we use when we are plugged in visiting our daughter in FL but will rarely use except to cool off the cabin on occasion. Two electric bikes to keep charged. We have generator to use if needed to recharge and run the AC if we need it but expect to get enough solar to handle our typical daily power needs since we stick to cooler climates and avoid the heat.

Could we get by with less battery capacity or AGMs, sure, but when you plan to live full time in your RV it is convenient to not worry much about battery charging or AGM absorption charging time. I guess I am with Davydd on this, we leave the inverter on all the time and don’t worry about it (but it has a very low parasitic power draw).

Of course, if you buy a custom built expedition truck you are not attempting to save money on your RV...
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:26 PM   #22
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I will say one thing-after having been posting here awhile I always know beforehand how most people will post in reaction to anything.

1. 'Old is good and more dependable'. Not worth the money.
2. Sounds 'great' but too expensive.
3. Running out and 'buying tomorrow'.
4. 'Want it and have the money' just can't justify it.
5. "Lead me to an order form'.
6. 'A detailed explanation of pro's and cons' and why you won't buy it.
7. 'Why can't Roadtrek do this?'

Pick your response

Isn't this what a discussion forum is for?


Life is about agree to disagree.
or... your choice is good for you.

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Old 03-13-2018, 03:27 PM   #23
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We got by fine with 220AH AGM in our Roadtrek but when we designed the new truck for full time travel we decided to set it up with capabilities for extended remote camping and went with 720AH lithium and 1000 watts solar. We went with a two burner induction cooktop (diesel cooktops are an option but give of too much heat to the cabin) and a countertop electric oven (we rarely use a microwave but we could have gone with a convection microwave). We have a rooftop AC which we use when we are plugged in visiting our daughter in FL but will rarely use except to cool off the cabin on occasion. Two electric bikes to keep charged. We have generator to use if needed to recharge and run the AC if we need it but expect to get enough solar to handle our typical daily power needs since we stick to cooler climates and avoid the heat.

Could we get by with less battery capacity or AGMs, sure, but when you plan to live dull time in your RV it is convenient to not worry much about battery charging or AGM absorption charging time. I guess I am with Davydd on this, we leave the inverter on all the time and donít worry about it (but it has a very low parasitic power draw).

Of course, if you buy a custom built expedition truck you are not attempting to save money on your RV...
Greg-did you actually mean 'live DULL time in your rv'. Just wondering
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:33 PM   #24
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In gregmchugh's case, he is using the extra batteries to get more off grid time, which is what I was referring to as the second (after AC) reason folks would want the big battery pack, and lithium. The 1000 watts of solar is going to probably cover most of your use, and you have a generator, so you have everything covered. Plus you are in it full time, so you really are at home

My guess is that you rarely have to use the generator (would guess you have a big charger for battery recovery off of it), and probably never run the engine to charge, so a very different situation than a autostarting van for AC use.

Sure, with the huge RV size and load capacity, you could have done it with AGMs, and it would have worked fine, I think, with the solar capacity, but you chose not to and get a bit more convenience. If the cost is worth it to you to get the extra convenience, that is a valid choice. That is where the 95% of benefit with AGMs comment comes in, if it is worth the cost to get the 5% more convenience, nothing wrong with that, especially with it being a quite small amount % wise in an RV of that class.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:04 PM   #25
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Great system but that common RV A/C has got to go. There are efficient DC A/Cís that draw just 45 amps that you could actually use full time. Most upfitters are using Kingtec.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:29 PM   #26
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Greg-did you actually mean 'live DULL time in your rv'. Just wondering
Damn autocorrect in action...
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:37 PM   #27
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In gregmchugh's case, he is using the extra batteries to get more off grid time, which is what I was referring to as the second (after AC) reason folks would want the big battery pack, and lithium. The 1000 watts of solar is going to probably cover most of your use, and you have a generator, so you have everything covered. Plus you are in it full time, so you really are at home

My guess is that you rarely have to use the generator (would guess you have a big charger for battery recovery off of it), and probably never run the engine to charge, so a very different situation than a autostarting van for AC use.

Sure, with the huge RV size and load capacity, you could have done it with AGMs, and it would have worked fine, I think, with the solar capacity, but you chose not to and get a bit more convenience. If the cost is worth it to you to get the extra convenience, that is a valid choice. That is where the 95% of benefit with AGMs comment comes in, if it is worth the cost to get the 5% more convenience, nothing wrong with that, especially with it being a quite small amount % wise in an RV of that class.
We already told the kids that we were blowing their inheritance and they were not bothered by it. But, these vehicles do have a pretty good resale value without much depreciation compared to a standard RV. By the time you sell, the prices of new ones have gone up and there is always a long lead time to get one so used ones tend to sell for not much of a loss from what you paid for it but it can take awhile to find a buyer at the price they sell for.

Yes, the Mastervolt 4000 watt inverter has a 200 amp Battery charger so quick charging with the generator running when we need to do it.

The alternator on the Kenworth K370 is not that high power but there is a DC-DC battery charger to provide slow charging of the lithium’s while driving. Of course, you could just run the generator while driving to get a fast charge.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:26 AM   #28
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Just attended the FMCA rally in Perry, GA where I discovered that the Liberty conversion on a Prevost bus chassis is the top of the line amount multi-million dollar RV/Tour coaches. Then found this article on their use of the Volta system.
http://libertycoach.com/news/battery...power-systems/


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Old 03-19-2018, 01:44 AM   #29
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Just attended the FMCA rally in Perry, GA where I discovered that the Liberty conversion on a Prevost bus chassis is the top of the line amount multi-million dollar RV/Tour coaches. Then found this article on their use of the Volta system.
Battery Breakthrough: Q&A with Jack Johnson of Volta Power Systems - Custom Luxury Motorcoach


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With all the the manufacturers that are jumping in now to Volta, it will be interesting to see if they perform as expected. I think there is a high probability they will do pretty well.

If they do perform well, they will take away the only real major selling point that Roadtrek has, leaving them with just Rah-Rah and Koolaid, plus some substandard quality . It could be a rough go for them in the future.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:07 AM   #30
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Here is a video interview with Volta about the Liberty coach system that Gerry found...

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