Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-13-2018, 02:34 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: bc
Posts: 2
Smile *Dilemma*

Hi all, I am new here so thank you for your patience if I screw up with this post

Dilemma: our 2018 Roadtrek Simplicity (Promaster platform) did not come with an under-hood gen or solar or lithium. We are exploring options to increase our boondocking power supply. Solar is not a viable option as we live on the wet-coast of BC, nor is retro-fitting an under-hood gen (cost prohibitive).
As I see it, we are left with 2 options
Option 1:
Simply purchasing a Honda 2000 gen would be the cheapest, easiest solution, but due to no external storage area, it would have to live in the coach in a sealed tote and kept outside while camped. This would obviously leave it open to theft. And I don’t relish having the gen always underfoot while traveling.
Option 2 (and my preferred):
I wanted to have my RT dealer install a 2nd battery and have it tied in to the existing system. This seemed like the best option, but my dealer informed me that there is no ‘off the rack’ option to install a 2nd battery. He thinks it could possibly be done, but places to put it are few, thus exposing it to hazards from the road. It would end up being more expensive than the Honda gen, and he thinks it may affect the warranty.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is there an inexpensive option for storing a small generator somewhere in the van? Or is there another power supply option I haven’t thought of?
__________________

crabbysteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:28 AM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: America's Seaplane City, FL
Posts: 419
Default

Are you only going to travel in Vancouver? Not meant to sound flip . I camped a few days in Lillooet last year and had plenty of sun.

Have you thought of a genny on a rear luggage carrier? You also may want to look at the Champion inverter genny. Almost as quiet as a Honda but also has a remote fob. Makes things a bunch more convenient. About 8- 900 in the States.
__________________

__________________
2000 Roadtrek Chevy 200 Versatile
Fun stuff:
'15 Kawasaki Versys650LT
'98 Kawasaki KLR650
SteveJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:39 AM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: bc
Posts: 2
Default

We are on the island, but will be doing some mainland trips too. I think we will go the genny route, just wasnt keen on having to add a storage box on the back of the rv. Thanks for the tip on the champion....will check it out ��
crabbysteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 01:31 PM   #4
GAH
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Georgia
Posts: 34
Default

Have you looked at Battle Born Lithium batteries? I believe they make one that you could drop in and replace your factory battery and have a lot more amperage without having to add a second battery.
GAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 01:47 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: League City, TX
Posts: 761
Default

Option 3: Pay a local welding hobbyist to create a custom hitch carrier for a portable generator to be carried outside, whether in use or not. That way you avoid the hassle of having it underfoot.

Our analogous dilemma had to do with hauling home-made frozen food for 5+ people to a far-off cottage destination which is a four hour round trip from the nearest real grocery store. We designed a minimalist hitch carrier that uses steel bars to lock down a Yeti cooler (instructions here if you are interested in taking a look at the project).

Visualize a generator receptacle on the left side of this:



The security issue is a very real concern. Both Yetis and portable generators are high-target theft items. We designed the hitch carrier itself to be secondarily secured to the chassis using a Pewag chain, which are extremely difficult to cut (nothing is ever 100% secure, but no casual thief can get through this):



In other words, we are not just relying on a hitch receiver locking pin for security (they are all easily defeated). It's been a couple of years now that we've had this assemblage in place, and nobody has been able to steal any part of it, even though we routinely leave our van unattended for long periods of time. Plus with this carrier, I gained a permanent step into the rear of our van (very convenient). Plus we can carry items other than the Yeti cooler when the occasion calls for it (a bike and a pressure washer being our two most common hauls). Sometimes I also use the Yeti to carry non-food items, such as the pump for our inflatable kayak, PFDs, etc. This was my second favorite van project ever (lithium and solar were my favorite).

Edit: I also made dirt covers for both the Yeti and the gas can that we need for our chain saw - that was added as a subsequent removable module (and you'd need such a thing for a generator). The chain saw we carry in the galley kitchen cabinet, under and behind the sink and stove.

InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 02:41 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,571
Default

Have you checked out what the FitRV has done with their Promaster with lithium ion batteries and underhood generator (second alternator)?

Our Generator-Free RV Lithium Battery, Solar, Alternator, and Inverter

I don't consider an Onan or Honda generator as a viable option for boondocking when you can charge your batteries better and faster while driving and have more power with lithium ion batteries in the same space. I've never understood the concept of a generator noise disturbing a pristine and quiet wooded site.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 03:05 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
markopolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 7,846
Default

Does the fridge in your 2018 Roadtrek Promaster Simplicity run on propane? If so, then you likely only need to idle the Promaster engine periodically to keep the battery usable. You'll likely need to drive to empty the tanks, get fresh water or get food every few days anyway.

My guess is that you're not too concerned about needing air conditioning on Vancouver Island. I recall it was typically one relatively short heat spell per summer from my years (two decades) there.
__________________
Two bikes on sliding cargo box: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/m...icture206.html & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...vana-5864.html
markopolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Virginia
Posts: 10
Default

Go back to the dealer and trade up for what you really need. It'll save money and aggravation over the long haul.
mls1919 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 07:02 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: ontario
Posts: 11
Default

To me this is the best option, will be doing this myself at some point. Very easy to install and maintain.

deekdeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 07:19 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by deekdeek View Post
To me this is the best option, will be doing this myself at some point. Very easy to install and maintain.

You can't just drop-in replacement batteries and call it a day. You have to change out your converter as well to one with a lithium profile, or you'll cook these in short order. If you have a solar controller, you'll need to do the same.

If mounted under the Promaster, then you have to consider freeze protection.

Frankly, if you go this route, I prefer the Stark Power batteries. They are in a bigger size (125 ah) and they now have a bluetooth connection so you can monitor the cells on your phone with an app.

FWIW, the guy in the video has real problems if his inverter is drawing 7 amps at idle! Does RT do any testing really? Appalling!
__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 08:24 PM   #11
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: RI
Posts: 22
Talking Look at Winnebago ERA Coach Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbysteve View Post
Hi all, I am new here so thank you for your patience if I screw up with this post

Dilemma: our 2018 Roadtrek Simplicity (Promaster platform) did not come with an under-hood gen or solar or lithium. We are exploring options to increase our boondocking power supply. Solar is not a viable option as we live on the wet-coast of BC, nor is retro-fitting an under-hood gen (cost prohibitive).
As I see it, we are left with 2 options
Option 1:
Simply purchasing a Honda 2000 gen would be the cheapest, easiest solution, but due to no external storage area, it would have to live in the coach in a sealed tote and kept outside while camped. This would obviously leave it open to theft. And I don’t relish having the gen always underfoot while traveling.
Option 2 (and my preferred):
I wanted to have my RT dealer install a 2nd battery and have it tied in to the existing system. This seemed like the best option, but my dealer informed me that there is no ‘off the rack’ option to install a 2nd battery. He thinks it could possibly be done, but places to put it are few, thus exposing it to hazards from the road. It would end up being more expensive than the Honda gen, and he thinks it may affect the warranty.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is there an inexpensive option for storing a small generator somewhere in the van? Or is there another power supply option I haven’t thought of?

I wanted to increase my capacity in the Winnebago 2012 ERA. There was a factory box mounted on the chassis right behind the rear wheels (stb). There is room on the exact opposite side (port). I purchased the battery box from Wine -bolted it in,
Added a pair of New Optima Yellow top 34 batteries. Wired in Parallel. Wired in an inverter and now can run Coffee maker and Microwave. Have not boondocked more that two days but so far have not needed to run genset to charge up. With two more batteries I might even air condition the thing for a hour or so
JPMcG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 09:03 PM   #12
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: ontario
Posts: 11
Default

I suppose its all how you use the battery, for me i don't really turn on the inverter that often in my simplicity so the the AMP draw from the inverter doesn't affect me much even thought yes 7 amps is high for idle....but the gentleman in the video has been running these for a while and speaks very highly of the batteries. I will have to look into the brand you mentioned if i do decide to go lithium.
deekdeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2018, 11:13 PM   #13
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: CA
Posts: 1,608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
FWIW, the guy in the video has real problems if his inverter is drawing 7 amps at idle! Does RT do any testing really? Appalling!
It's a problem, but a manageable one. There is some history here. When RT initially introduced the Powerstar inverter/converter, the remote had three positions: On, Off and Power Save. Power Save periodically interrogated the load line to see if there was a 120VAC demand. Except for this brief inquiry period, the inverter was essentially Off and involved no idle load. However, some owners complained that Power Save would periodically annoy their microwave oven. It could have been resolved with a local power down switch for the microwave but unfortunately RT elected to simply eliminate the Power Save mode, reducing the modes to On or Off. Consequently some owners leaving their inverter On when the coach was unattended would return to find their batteries deader than a door nail.

The Powerstar idle load is pretty steep but most inverters have some idle demand, so regardless of the level of the idle load, if there is no 120V demand, I think it's a good idea to keep a coach inverter shut down.
cruising7388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 12:51 PM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 5
Default Honda generator OK

We have a Honda 2000 generator that is used for our 1990 Roadtrek Independent. We have no solar (yet) and realize that many of our ventures take us to areas with trees or other coverage, so the sun is only an option on the road when the engine alternator is charging the battery already.

We find that the Honda 2000 is VERY quiet (run on ECO!) and we seldom use it. Running from battery is possible for several days, and with the charger we installed (Go Power! GPC-45-MAX 45 Amp 4-Stage Converter/Battery Charger) the battery recovers quickly.

As far as traveling with it, yes it is annoying to have underfoot. We have found that it is totally unnecessary to have a sealed container for the Honda. My wife is VERY sensitive to petrochemical smell, but with the cap vent turned off she has never any problems.

As far as security, we use a cable lock around the rear bumper at campsites, just to keep honest people honest, and try not to leave it outside in high risk situations.
tbroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 08:55 AM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Ontario
Posts: 5
Default Simplicity

We also have a Simplicity. The UHG is a factory option, I believe it's called the ambulance upgrade. Parts are available in the aftermarket to install, and I can't see how it would be that much more than one of those expensive Honda Generators.

We installed 300 watts of solar and a second battery on our Simplicity. The second battery box was ordered straight from Roadtrek. The solar issue could be solved with a portable panel that you plug in and place in the sun if it is heavily forested.

We are currently living full time in our van and have only had to run the UHG a handful of times with this setup, half of those was because we went to sleep with that damn power hungry inverter on.
Alex.sym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2018, 04:33 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Greer, South Carolina
Posts: 2,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex.sym View Post
We also have a Simplicity. The UHG is a factory option, I believe it's called the ambulance upgrade. Parts are available in the aftermarket to install, and I can't see how it would be that much more than one of those expensive Honda Generators.

We installed 300 watts of solar and a second battery on our Simplicity. The second battery box was ordered straight from Roadtrek. The solar issue could be solved with a portable panel that you plug in and place in the sun if it is heavily forested.

We are currently living full time in our van and have only had to run the UHG a handful of times with this setup, half of those was because we went to sleep with that damn power hungry inverter on.
They are not using any kind of factory option for the UHG. It's all aftermarket parts and includes a sophisticated voltage regulator.
__________________

__________________
2019 Winnebago Travato GL
Follow my blog: https://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com
Our Facebook group is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ClassBCamperVans/
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×