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Old 03-13-2018, 01:59 PM   #11
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In my opinion-and this is just an opinion-it's always about money OR the thought of wasting money even when you have it.

I have a 2015 zion with agm. I am thinking about a travato 59kl with its super battery.

the wife and i can easily afford the upgrade difference. And know we have a better idea what we want-at least she does.

However just thinking about how many years i would get out of it at our age causes a pause.

Just an opinion
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:28 PM   #12
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.

Most of the things in life are emotional-purchases (incl RV).

If every one of us is an accountant, life would be boring.
We would amortize every purchase
and ended up not buying most of the stuff
and the economy would go dead.

Lithium upgrade is a good example.
If we amortize the cost over every piece of toast we make or coffee we drink,
we would be shocked, dismayed, appalled, and horrified by the price.
But damn that hi-tech new toy is fun, and I must have it.

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Old 03-13-2018, 02:45 PM   #13
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.

Most of the things in life are emotional-purchases (incl RV).

If every one of us is an accountant, life would be boring.
We would amortize every purchase
and ended up not buying most of the stuff
and the economy would go dead.

Lithium upgrade is a good example.
If we amortize the cost over every piece of toast we make or coffee we drink,
we would be shocked, dismayed, appalled, and horrified by the price.
But damn that hi-tech new toy is fun, and I must have it.

surprisingly enough it's not JUST the lithium battery. It's the 59kl floorplan and NO Onan. My wife did camping in the past-before me. She kept thinking of her past-when we got the zion. she makes complaints about now that the younger her wouldn't contemplate. Also both of our cats who we found out hated car/van travel have died in the last 6 months. they were both over 16 years old . They both exhibited end of life symptoms before we put them down. We are not ogres=lol. When we get another cat-which we will-we will make sure it has no travel issues and the 59k floorplan will make that easier also
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:42 PM   #14
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The great thing about Class B camper vans today is that there are so many choices.

It hasn't been that long ago that the choices were fewer and options were scant. Today, more of us can enjoy a small motorhome and find the model that best accommodates our individual needs. One size, one package fits all is a thing of the past. Technology is a good thing and we can take it or leave it depending on our personal needs. We all can be accommodated because of all the models, options, manufacturers that are now participating in the market place.
It has taken ten years from the 2008 debacle, the aging of the Boomers and very low financing rates to provide us all of those choices.

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Old 03-13-2018, 04:08 PM   #15
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Over the years, I am in the KISS group myself. I don't like items like multiplexed wiring, because it is convenient, but if I have to replace the A/C with a different brand, I likely lose the ability to control the A/C through that. Similar with furnaces and water heaters.

On the other hand, there are some appliances which are must haves and more useful overall. The Truma Combi water heater/furnace comes to mind, just because it adds more space to the van by having one less appliance, and can run on electric or gas. In the past, absorption fridges that you manually lit were in this category, but with all new fridges requiring 12 volts for their control board, might as well go with two AGM batteries, 300+ watts of solar. At least with a solid electrical system, if/when the fridge dies, it isn't too tough to replace, and there are some brands of electric fridges (Truckfridge) which have a reputation for sterling reliability.

Van-wise, the Euro vans have been around a while in Europe, so seem to be pretty solid. The ProMaster especially, since the Ducato has been that style for a number of years. The Transit has also been a solid performer as well. I like the Transit since I can get a dual alternator kit for it, and the second alternator would be positioned higher than the first, unlike the kits for the ProMaster, so there is no worry about a pothole trashing that. Plus, with a Balmer MC614H regulator, I have the same multi-stage charging as I would with a converter... except with 200 amps straight off the crankshaft.

With alternators becoming the norm for class "B" power, coupled with the latest generation of hard-start capacitors and inverters, so the generator doesn't have to deal with the 60+ locked rotor amps from the A/C's compressor, even what I considered a must have (the Onan genset) could be tossed completely, with a 2200 watt Honda generator for long camping trips. Yes, one would have to have space for the generator, but it means one less hard to service component to worry about. Onan generators are nice, but they are tough to get to on a "B".

Over the years, the biggest thing for me in a van build is modularity. If the A/C goes, I want to be able to replace it without affecting any other components. If the fridge dies, it can be replaced by a similar or even a different model. This way, I am not reliant on magic pixie dust only available from a dealer, and if worse comes to worst, I can fix subsystems by myself.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:28 PM   #16
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A key attribute driving my DIY design was reliability, especially in a motorhome without an extra vehicle in case of troubles in the boonies. Keeping our design simple using reasonably common appliances will increase reliance on self-repairs or at least closeness to repair know how folks. The decision to use water and space diesel heating was my venture to not commonly use appliances but I know how to fix them, they are simple, and there are many trucking places with repair capability and parts inventory.

A few days ago, we camp near Bandon OR, I had the Fiamma awning out, wind picked up so decided to close it. The cranking force required to close felt higher than usual and I noticed a tree cone has landed inside the cranking mechanism. With the neighbor help we removed a cone and realized that higher cranking force was due to my new and smaller crank; but get stuck black scenarios were flowing through my head, and this was just an awning.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:40 PM   #17
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My wading into the high tech with being one of the first people with the lithiums from Roadtrek... which never worked... successfully pushed me back to the tried and true. My options for a new rig are very small since I need to be under 20' which leaves me with only Roadtrek/Hymer.

My order for a new rig is for the last Roadtrek with all the good old dependable stuff... Suburban furnace and water heater... no power steps... unpainted bumpers. That is the Simplicity SRT. I definitely love the ease of compressor fridges (and 5 cf )because I find leveling a total PIA. If I don't fall out of bed, it is good. It comes with both a macerator and gravity dump, so you have the ease of the macerator with the gravity for backup.

Between the dealer and Roadtrek we are updating with what simplifies my life. We are adding 270w solar panel, upgrading the battery and adding a second. And what with my hatred and loathing of Onan generators, the underhood generator.

And this year the Simplicity is on the same chassis as the Zion, so it has the u-connect, steering wheel controls, and back-up sensors which weren't on the Simplicity in the past.

I think this gives me the perfect combination of old and new tech.
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
Over the years, I am in the KISS group myself. I don't like items like multiplexed wiring, because it is convenient, but if I have to replace the A/C with a different brand, I likely lose the ability to control the A/C through that. Similar with furnaces and water heaters.

On the other hand, there are some appliances which are must haves and more useful overall. The Truma Combi water heater/furnace comes to mind, just because it adds more space to the van by having one less appliance, and can run on electric or gas. In the past, absorption fridges that you manually lit were in this category, but with all new fridges requiring 12 volts for their control board, might as well go with two AGM batteries, 300+ watts of solar. At least with a solid electrical system, if/when the fridge dies, it isn't too tough to replace, and there are some brands of electric fridges (Truckfridge) which have a reputation for sterling reliability.

Van-wise, the Euro vans have been around a while in Europe, so seem to be pretty solid. The ProMaster especially, since the Ducato has been that style for a number of years. The Transit has also been a solid performer as well. I like the Transit since I can get a dual alternator kit for it, and the second alternator would be positioned higher than the first, unlike the kits for the ProMaster, so there is no worry about a pothole trashing that. Plus, with a Balmer MC614H regulator, I have the same multi-stage charging as I would with a converter... except with 200 amps straight off the crankshaft.

With alternators becoming the norm for class "B" power, coupled with the latest generation of hard-start capacitors and inverters, so the generator doesn't have to deal with the 60+ locked rotor amps from the A/C's compressor, even what I considered a must have (the Onan genset) could be tossed completely, with a 2200 watt Honda generator for long camping trips. Yes, one would have to have space for the generator, but it means one less hard to service component to worry about. Onan generators are nice, but they are tough to get to on a "B".

Over the years, the biggest thing for me in a van build is modularity. If the A/C goes, I want to be able to replace it without affecting any other components. If the fridge dies, it can be replaced by a similar or even a different model. This way, I am not reliant on magic pixie dust only available from a dealer, and if worse comes to worst, I can fix subsystems by myself.

mlts22- i have been reading your posts on several sites for several years. Have you ever bought a b in this time?.. I seem to be understanding your posts as a no
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:18 PM   #19
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mlts22- i have been reading your posts on several sites for several years. Have you ever bought a b in this time?.. I seem to be understanding your posts as a no
Unfortunately, due to job stuff and life, I've not been able to get one yet. What put a crimp on things was a place I was working at, that failed to make payroll for several months in a row (and I eventually just walked off the job), where I had to use my class "B" deposit fund to keep my mortgage going. Otherwise, I would definitely have a whole saga on the build here and YouTube by now.

I know it has been a while, but I don't want to risk going overboard financially, so am looking to have at least a good chunk ready as a down payment, so if something does happen (I work in the IT sector, where oftentimes you get your "notice" that you were laid off when your badge doesn't work in the door), I can be out from under it quickly.

Good news is that I'm out of the private sector... I earn less, but at least I will have some warning of layoffs ahead of time. It may be a year or two before I have enough to confidently spring for a "B" with a down payment that is large enough to cover depreciation, but that's life, and I don't want to hurry things.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
Unfortunately, due to job stuff and life, I've not been able to get one yet. What put a crimp on things was a place I was working at, that failed to make payroll for several months in a row (and I eventually just walked off the job), where I had to use my class "B" deposit fund to keep my mortgage going. Otherwise, I would definitely have a whole saga on the build here and YouTube by now.

I know it has been a while, but I don't want to risk going overboard financially, so am looking to have at least a good chunk ready as a down payment, so if something does happen (I work in the IT sector, where oftentimes you get your "notice" that you were laid off when your badge doesn't work in the door), I can be out from under it quickly.

Good news is that I'm out of the private sector... I earn less, but at least I will have some warning of layoffs ahead of time. It may be a year or two before I have enough to confidently spring for a "B" with a down payment that is large enough to cover depreciation, but that's life, and I don't want to hurry things.
wern't you l looking at sportsmobiles once?
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