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Old 05-27-2015, 04:22 PM   #21
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The Silverleaf is not a controller. It is more an interactive reporter that can communicate back to other controllers and management systems to turn things on and off. I know the lithium ion battery energy management system comes fro Elite Power Systems. They have a computer chip connected each Individual battery cell. Thefitrv.com posted a video discussing the batteries. I've learned first hand the battery bank will not accept charging if the batteries drop below freezing. It is also controlled to shut down power arbitrarily at 20% without a hard charge reset. The user can increase that for a soft reset with Autogen. I haven't got close to my arbitrary setting of of 25% but others have. Charging input can come simultaneously from shore, solar and alternator. At about 90% the charge rate starts to progressively slow down to float at 99%.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:45 PM   #22
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I wish i could be like my wife. she has absolutely no interest except for the end result.Ignorance is bliss is a true saying-at least in some cases.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:04 PM   #23
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The Silverleaf is not a controller.
I realize that it is not the PRIMARY controller for the major systems. But (and maybe I'm wrong here), I have been assuming that a lot of the rule-based behaviors are executed via the Silvereleaf. For example, I have seen videos in which air temperature set-points are controlled on the Silverleaf touchscreen. I assume that it has direct control of the Espar (as opposed to communicating with a separate thermostat. No?

Similarly, I have assumed that the Silverleaf is the guy who decides to start the engine if the batteries get low--using inputs that it gets from the battery-monitoring system (is this right?). The power of systems like Silverleaf comes not just as a fancy display and multiplexer of signals, but also with the ability to execute rules that tie various systems together.

I am not at all being argumentative--just trying to understand exactly what design decisions ARV made.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:48 PM   #24
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I can auto start and stop my engine keyless on the Silverleaf touchscreen, through a programmed setting (if, when, etc.) using Silverleaf to access the settings, my iPhone through two different apps and through the standard MB key fob and a separate Compustar security key fob. The intelligence obviously lies elsewhere. Silverleaf is just an access tool to coordinate and report the many functions going on in the B. All the various companies including Advanced RV have to coordinate with Silverleaf to make it happen as there is some programming involved. Silverleaf said Advanced RV is the only B doing this, there are no Type Cs and just mostly high end Type A RVs. Behind the Silverleaf touchscreen module you can lift up the cabinet panel and see the Outback inverter controller and all kinds of other switches, breakers, fuses and buttons, and behind that panel are more. It seems daunting but starts to come together after a while. It is nice to be able to control settings in one spot. Still have to turn the refrigerator knob to change the coldness setting but can look at the temperature tapping the SIlverleaf screen.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:37 AM   #25
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That Promaster Classic doesn't seem to have much storage. I wonder why they didn't use the extended model. And why block the rear cargo access? The price seems sky high too. All of the essentials are options. The fit and finish looks really sketchy. Lots of uneven surfaces.

This thing looks like a big dud. And with a handful of national dealers, good luck. Seriously, who would buy this over a Travato?
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:26 AM   #26
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That Promaster Classic doesn't seem to have much storage. I wonder why they didn't use the extended model. And why block the rear cargo access? The price seems sky high too. All of the essentials are options. The fit and finish looks really sketchy. Lots of uneven surfaces.

This thing looks like a big dud. And with a handful of national dealers, good luck. Seriously, who would buy this over a Travato?
My thoughts exactly. What's more is a Travato can be purchased for around $30k less than its competitors.
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:36 AM   #27
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They are the only company with 2 beds in the back allowing the front to remain set-up for travel but the shorter van unusual. Perhaps it is conceived as a 2nd family vehicle but that extra foot could really come in handy.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:23 AM   #28
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They are using both the short and long Promaster. The rear bathroom model is on the long unit, the rear dinette is on the short (but not the shortest). Everything at Sterling with the Promaster is open to purchaser wants and needs.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:47 AM   #29
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Great West needs to post some videos ASAP. If its ready for your website, you should have some videos to go with it.
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Old 05-29-2015, 01:50 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jostalli
What's more is a Travato can be purchased for around $30k less than its competitors.
Hmmm.
From winnebagoind.com:



From greatwestvans.com:



Or, are we comparing street price with list price?
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File Type: jpg Travato.jpg (23.9 KB, 225 views)
File Type: jpg Classic.jpg (57.1 KB, 225 views)
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:54 AM   #31
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Great West needs to post some videos ASAP. If its ready for your website, you should have some videos to go with it.
That presumes that you have someone on staff with both the time... and the ability - right now they may have neither. I suspect that posting videos on their new website (that took over a year to get up) is well down their list of priorities.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:06 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jostalli
What's more is a Travato can be purchased for around $30k less than its competitors.
Hmmm.
From winnebagoind.com:



From greatwestvans.com:



Or, are we comparing street price with list price?
La Mesa RV had a sticker in the window of a new 2015 Travato for $59k.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:48 PM   #33
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"That presumes that you have someone on staff with both the time... and the ability - right now they may have neither. I suspect that posting videos on their new website (that took over a year to get up) is well down their list of priorities". Doesn't anyone there know a teenager with a GoPro and some extra time? Videos on YouTube are not rocket science.There are literally millions.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:30 PM   #34
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Dave DeBraga has made some videos and you can find them on YouTube. They just haven't been added to the website that I can find. Videos are good, but the Great West Van website lacks much detail in their offerings and I even question how accurate the sparse information is. Example: I know they were using the 6800 NovaKool refrigerator/freezer but the description doesn't match that one (6.3 cubic foot 2-way Auto Switching Fridge) and the photo is not the NovaKool they were using. What does 2-way mean? 120v and Propane? 120v and 12v? 12v and Propane? Heck, absorption or compressor? Lot of questions are unanswered on the website. The MEPS system is big but there is no info especially how it integrates and operates. As I asked before, is it essentially a direct substitution for an Onan generator in functionality or does it work more like the second alternators some converters are installing?

I think they are taking the approach that you have to contact them directly or go through a dealer for information. They evidently aren't going to put it out their for shoppers to compare and cherry pick features, quality and detail with checklists. That is not a bad thing if you have specific desires and goals and they have something you need and no one else offers, and you desire to make modifications. It is a big investment. You should deal directly to make a decision. With so few dealers there isn't a lot of choice anyway. They have one big plus over Roadtrek and Winnebago. They are willing to discuss options and not give you a take it or leave it approach.
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:38 PM   #35
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I agree with almost all of what Davydd says. One correction, though: GWV never offered NovaKool fridges as a standard offering. The one in our van was on my special request--they were still using absorption units when I ordered. I think they are using Norcold compressor units now--more or less the same as NovaKool. The "2-way" refers to 120VAC and 12VDC.

The fact is that their move to Alabama was basically a crisis action--unplanned and very sudden (I can attest that the "frozen pipe" story is true, and it was more than just an excuse for the move). The whole thing was a very big shock to a pretty small organization. From what I can see, they are systematically working their way out of a pretty deep hole, and they have to pick their battles in the short run. It is easy to say "make some videos", but I suspect that their list of such items is pretty long.

I strongly agree that they fill an important niche in the B-van market. In addition to the flexibility that DavyDD summarized, the fact is that their build quality greatly exceeds RT, Airstream or Winnebago. When we started shopping for a replacement for our Interstate, I had barely even heard of Great West. But given my basically awful experience with Airstream build quality I was hypersensitive to the "bones" of the various choices. Winnebago offers good value for the money, but we were looking for a higher level of finish. RT looks great on the surface but fails on "behind the panels" inspections. Given the price tag, Airstream is not even worthy of comment. We were pleased with the quality of LTV, but ultimately decided that we needed more customization than is possible with them. In the end, GWV was by far the best choice for us. They build very good vans. It may be that some dodgy units were shipped immediately after the move. If so, they had better watch out. You can spoil a stellar reputation in no time. But, our unit was very solid, and I am betting that they are back on track, and preparing for some pretty interesting innovations in the next few years. I hope so, anyway.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:19 AM   #36
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Avanti,

They must have taken your lead for awhile with the NovaKool as I have seen some subsequent Legends with it. The Norcold sounds like what Roadtrek is putting in.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:12 PM   #37
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I had been discussing a conversion with them and pointed them to a Novacool unit that I think is a great RV option (RFS-6100 - Dave agreed), but then he said that this is a Canadian company and the units are problematic for them to get in Alabama and pushed me towards the brands easier to get in the US.

(I've decided to wait for Promasters to get more settled as to their parts suppliers and service.)
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:55 AM   #38
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This definitely makes the "engine generator" of the Roadtrek series pretty much obsolete, since the 120VAC coming from the MEPS device directly powers one rail, and the RV converter (which has to be there anyway for charging batteries from shore power) can easily turn 120 volts into 12 volts and feed it to the batteries at the best voltage/amperage.

The ironic thing is that the whole-van inverter system I drew out for the Transit upfit, going 120 volts for another input would be more of a liability than an asset. Skinnier wires are useful, but I would need two transfer switches, one to switch between MEPS and generator power, and one for the output of the first and shore power, as opposed to 12 volts coming from the alternator to the batteries.

To me, an onboard generator is still a must with of the setup I have, because it fires up the genset when the house batteries get to 60% SoC. I don't know of any vehicle engine autostart that would do that for house batteries, and wiring one up may void the van's warranty. It also would interfere with the vehicle's antitheft system, which isn't a good thing.

Of course, if someone lives in a northern climate and doesn't require A/C, has a good battery system, the MEPS system may be the ideal thing, although there is something about running a vehicle's engine and putting idle hours on that. Replacing an engine is expensive even compared to a $7000 PowerTech generator.
That expresses my concerns about using an aux alternator to charge house batteries except in an emergency. We are surrounded by prohibitions for running our rv engines for more than a few minutes! Good summation.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:55 PM   #39
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That expresses my concerns about using an aux alternator to charge house batteries except in an emergency. We are surrounded by prohibitions for running our rv engines for more than a few minutes! Good summation.
I would agree that this is the case in a lot of places, and also from a personal choice of not wanting to idle the engine a lot (or a generator). We are hoping that leaving the van running on 12 volts for nearly everything, keeping use reasonable, having the inverter off 99% of the time, and having solar, will allow the engine recharging to only be needed if driving to do the major recoveries, if needed, or to help the solar have enough time for e 100% full recharge (once a week or so).
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