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Old 11-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Advanced RV has announced they are developing the 4x4 Mercedes Benz EcoRanger Class B. They have 20 vans reserved to guarantee they will be able to deliver models. The announcement is here.

http://www.advanced-rv.com/meet-ecoranger/
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Old 11-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

I would guess that 4x4 will be the default platform for ARV. The extra $8k is not much of an upcharge on a $200k or so van and provides a nice level of security for those that drive in snowy conditions.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

I wouldn't count on the 4x4 being the default platform. The 4 cylinder engine with 7 speed transmission is not available nor the super high roof. The super high roof might work out to provide a ducted air conditioning system which would make A/C much quieter.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Pattonsr,

The super high roof is not capable of carrying loads from what I understand. That would not allow an air conditioner for starters. I assume solar could be fastened to the gutter system but I am not sure about other things like skylights, Maxxfans, satellite dishes, etc. I'm not sure why one would want a super high roof since the interior height is 6'-3" already. Maybe a tall person but it certainly would not become a standard either.

The other thing I haven't investigated is the load capacity of the 4x4. I read it was less but don't know how much. Advanced RV is already anticipating this in lightening things up. Their stowable table for instance is being made from a lightweight composite material. They are developing optional running boards instead of the fiberglass skirts. I believe they will be lighter.

If it becomes a default platform it will be because that is what customers order. There technically is no default with Advanced RV other than they are dedicated to building on the Sprinter platform only at this time and have a basic plan (which I am modifying, BTW). I'm not so sure about popularity and I live in Minnesota but don't drive in the snow if I can help it. The whole idea of a Class B is to get away from the snow. If I knew more about the 4x4 and wasn't so already antsie for a new RV I might have waited and ordered one, regardless. My wife, not so much. She won.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Davydd,

I agree that the super high roof as it comes from the factory is not capable of carrying loads. The main reasons for a super high roof would be for very tall customers or someone like me who wants quiet Air Conditioning that won't drown out the TV or conversations.

I know A/C is not important to you since you live in Minnesota and can control trips to avoid hot weather, but to people in the South it is life support. The 6" of extra roof space would have to be reinforced and insulated to carry the loads and provide room for the A/C ducts. The insulated roof would make the Sprinter much cooler in 100 degree weather and eliminate the air distribution box that hangs down from the ceiling.

Just another engineering challenge for Advanced RV. I figure after conquering energy production and 4x4, they will need a new challenge.


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Old 11-17-2014, 11:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Another option would be to see what Roadtrek is up to. They have a couple of test RVs out that don't have rooftop air conditioning but air conditioning none the less. They haven't spilled the beans yet as to what it is but I suspect Advanced RV could figure out a system on their own if they had to. You might not be able to do air conditioning as economically as rooftop but who knows. It could be that it is just the way its done and never challenged. Of course space taken up on top of the roof is better than taken away inside a Class B.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
It could be that it is just the way its done and never challenged. Of course space taken up on top of the roof is better than taken away inside a Class B.
I am pretty sure that "thats just the way its done" is the correct interpretation. I have been looking carefully at mini-split systems. Like all roof-mounted ACs, the one in our rig is ridiculously noisy. I am seriously considering dumping it for a DIY system. A split system with the condenser mounted underneath would take up very little internal space. The evaporator could be mounted under the bed or roof-mounted in a much smaller space than the current setup. Some RVers have used very inexpensive Chinese mini-splits in their rigs with some success. There are also companies like ProAir who make purpose built 12 volt cab coolers for truckers (much more expensive). I can find no evidence that these alternatives don't work just fine and with at least equal efficiency, and they are certainly vastly quieter than those, those....THINGS that we all put on our roofs.

I haven't made a decision on this yet, and will probably wait to see exactly what RT is up to. But I am getting close. And, as a bonus, I would end up either with an extra skylight or another solar panel.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

It would be a nice spot for a skylight in being able to lay in bed and look up at the stars.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

people on the sportmobile forum say the underfloor AC(danhard ac) is very noisy. also a compressor under the van it is easily broken if it hits or brushes against something

although an underfloor AC sound great it does have some negatives
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advanced RV 4x4 EcoRanger Class B

Thanks for the pointer to Danhard. That one wasn't on my list. You are right, though, people do seem to think it is very loud. Some of the other alternatives are purported to be very quiet. Quiet is my main quest.

I am not particularly worried about damage of undercarriage-mounted compressors. Modern ones are not overly large and protection seems doable.
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