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Old 05-29-2014, 02:32 AM   #1
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Default The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

For those people that follow the Fit rv folks, they have a new video filmed at Advanced RV. They showed the underside of the rv and a tripod table that I really liked. They pointed out a lot of features that I haven't seen before.

[youtube:lbfo7jqq]FvjQ4vFdAlA[/youtube:lbfo7jqq]
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

We met James and Stephanie at the Advanced Fest. They reviewed Mzungo which is similar to the Advanced RV we are ordering in most all respects except for the bed, some other cabinetry redesign modifications and a V6. We also got to test drive that model and based on our test drive we decided to go with the VB Air Suspension and the V6. The main reason for the V6 is we already have one and know it well and felt after test driving with our Sprinter over the same course the acceleration onto a freeway ramp is better. Other than that I don't doubt the 4 cylinder would do the job, maybe better than 5 cylinder older Sprinters, and will get better fuel mileage than the V6. But we decided on the V6 as there was no way for us to test mountain driving conditions.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

After watching the video I came away with a few questions:

1. I was not sure I liked the tripod dining table. I wonder how wobbly the top is when actually used. And I am certain I would get tangled up with the legs over time.

2. I would like to add a small flip up table to access from the swiveled drivers seat. Perfect for a small laptop.

3. Given the penchant for Advanced RV to hide technical gear, I was a little surprised to see the Outback Solar Controller in the cabinet next to the refrigerator. There is no reason to look at the small screen at floor level when the remote screen is high up on the refrigerator side. I would have expected it to be hidden away. Usually solar controllers are closer to the battery bank. If this was a twin bed unit I would expect the Solar Controller to be near the Outback inverter/charger.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

That was a much better video than a lot of the sales versions you see a lot of.

Things that stood out to me.

The outside storage drawer looked very flimsy and appeared to have broken piece hanging from the bottom of it, maybe a torn seal?

Part of one of the solar panels was shaded under a vent, which, as I understand it could impact the entire panel's output, depending on how the bypass diodes are set up in the panels. I think Davyyd had mentioned they were getting 250 watts of solar, and that it was similar to Mzungo, but that appeared to have way more than 250 watts on it. It looked like it was at the max they could do for solar.

A manual adjusting passenger seat in something that spendy seems out of place. Is the driver seat full power?

I agree with Pattonsr about the tripod table. The legs on the floor level are bound to be tripped over when shuffling out of the tight fit in the rear. Don't know about the front. Nice that it can be used outside, though.

Personally, I would be as far as possible away from that interior color
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

Of course they don't go near the price either. Isn't that coach listed for $189k?
In my view this coach is too complex. They are building in the same type of systems as the big premium class A's and they are bound to have the very same issues those do.

Price is no guarantee of quality. I'd argue that complexity is the enemy of quality. It is pretty that's for sure.

How would I build it?

First, I'd winter-proof the entire underside - insulated tanks, etc. Ditch the hydro hot and heated floor. Ditch the computer control system. Keep the multiplex wiring. Install a propane system - propane water heater, propane range with oven, propane furnace. Diesel generator. Ditch the microwave altogether. Ditch the ridiculous coffee machine. Ducted roof AC. 4 battery bank AGM group 31's. 200w of solar with curved low-profile panels. 3-way fridge/freezer. Add additional ac/dc freezer chest somewhere in coach. Keep the air ride. Keep the contemporary interior. Dual pane windows. Keep the paint scheme, exterior storage, etc. Keep the wheels. Exterior TV (or viewable outside) and exterior speakers.

Simple setup, proven reliability, not crazy expensive, yet still a very nice style. Able to boondock for quite along time I'd guess. That's what I'd order.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

To adders a few issues. First, did you not hear Neundorfer say every B is tailored to the customer? There is no model year.

For starters, the tripod table is available but if you want floor mount you can have it. What you get is not set in stone like the other manufacturers who have standards and options and no choices other than that in the catalog. The tripod is sturdy enough, BTW. We rarely use a table but the portability is welcome and I definitely never want one of those trip over cone mounts again or even one of those flush mount dirt collectors and bare foot scrapers.

Flip up table for the turned around driver seat? Glad you asked. Already requested.

I believe the solar controller is all handled through the Silverleaf touch panel as is about everything else it seems. Don't quote me on that. I didn't pay attention to those details.

The outside storage drawer was not flimsy and will hold a lot. I liked the fact it was so concealed you could not detect it was there. For Sprinters my GWVan has a similar storage space in that location with a flip up door similar to the Advanced RV utility connection storage next to it with the piano hinge. I keep my 30 foot electrical cord and a second slinky hose with the permanent coupling attached for campsite sewers in mine. Advanced RV's will hold more in my estimation.

I believe Mzungo has 500 watts of solar panel on the roof. I'm guessing but everything is still in flux but I will probably only have the two front panels. To see one like that Whoopi Sky Moon posted a top view of her B in the Facebook BEE Social Group.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 042&type=1

Advance RV is working on a special AC cover to put more panels on top to boost the overall available wattage. True some panels could be shielded but would it still be better than no panels?

If you want a power seat you can get one. Again, it is up to the customer. Whatever M-B offers can be ordered.

Same with colors. Good or bad I spent considerable time selecting the upholstery type and color, the cabinets, the type and color of flooring, the dash trim panels, accent trim, type of counter and color, the curtains, the wall panel color, the ceiling panel color and the exterior color of any offered by M-B. I looked at cabinets being built for a couple from Oklahoma. Can you believe two tone red and cream?

Mzungo was a spec B driven by the Neundorfers to Florida and Arizona this year. Much will be incorporated, much was learned and some will be rejected. It has a raised floor in front. That is one idea I rejected. That cabinet in front behind the driver is also being modified by me as is the entire interior backend.

They have built and will continue to build seed Bs you can buy from them fairly quickly. I met a couple of people who went that route including the guy who had them rebuild the beds in the back to accommodate those dog kennels. I am looking at about 8 months from start to finish.

PS. Wincrasher, if that is what you want, they can build it for you. That's the point I am making. I didn't see two Advance RVs alike from the ones they had and the customers that came back for Advance Fest.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

One more thing about the video. The AGM batteries in the center basement compartment was in a standard length Sprinter. It may have had a generator which would be right forward of that underfloor box. The Sprinter with the four lithium ion batteries in three different boxes was on the 24 foot extended body Sprinter. Neither was Mzungo. Without a generator they can now put as many as seven batteries forward of that rear center storage box and also utilize those two side boxes for additional storage. That is the design I want.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

I love the idea of the tripod table that can be used outside as well as inside. I guess if concerned about wobble, can have floor mount and still use tripod outside. I also like the small safe, just large enough for laptop, passports and a few other valuables. There is a lot of complexity built in. But like well designed software, that complexity should lead to a simpler user experience, such as eliminating propane systems in favor of electric.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

I wonder how access is provided to the seven forward batteries if twin beds are specified? And adding dog crates would seem to make access even worse.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

They have been cantilevering beds so access is straightforward and unimpeded. On mine I've requested a clear height of 18 inches under the beds which would make it easy to get at them from the top. Also, I am going to have lots of storage under the beds as well as the "basement" boxes. But if you use lithium ion batteries there is nothing to service in theory and they will most likely last longer than I will have the B. There was some discussion of simply getting at them on a lift from underneath. They were test monitoring, not each battery, but each and every cell for voltage and temperature. I'll make the point again, if it is a concern they could simply install them in those basements you saw in the video.

Here is that twin bed dog kennel design with the cantilever achieved with steel in the head boards. As you can see it wasn't even evident until the back door was swung out and the side door slid forward.



Here is a view of the four lithium ion battery setup in one of the Bs under construction.

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Old 05-30-2014, 01:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
Of course they don't go near the price either. Isn't that coach listed for $189k?
In my view this coach is too complex. They are building in the same type of systems as the big premium class A's and they are bound to have the very same issues those do.

Price is no guarantee of quality. I'd argue that complexity is the enemy of quality. It is pretty that's for sure.

How would I build it?

First, I'd winter-proof the entire underside - insulated tanks, etc. Ditch the hydro hot and heated floor. Ditch the computer control system. Keep the multiplex wiring. Install a propane system - propane water heater, propane range with oven, propane furnace. Diesel generator. Ditch the microwave altogether. Ditch the ridiculous coffee machine. Ducted roof AC. 4 battery bank AGM group 31's. 200w of solar with curved low-profile panels. 3-way fridge/freezer. Add additional ac/dc freezer chest somewhere in coach. Keep the air ride. Keep the contemporary interior. Dual pane windows. Keep the paint scheme, exterior storage, etc. Keep the wheels. Exterior TV (or viewable outside) and exterior speakers.

Simple setup, proven reliability, not crazy expensive, yet still a very nice style. Able to boondock for quite along time I'd guess. That's what I'd order.
I have the same impression and similar needs. I think this video was of a rather dark and gloomy interior which doesnt help. The tripod idea is fine but I bought one from Walmart for my front seat useage in my older PW and I take it outside often or use it with my lap inside. I dont have any problems with rear floor socket/hole for table leg.

I believe when we see Davydd's version of an Advance RV unit it will be, as he notes, somewhat different. I have the same microwave as it is the best on the market right now. I do NOT like the bathroom at all. My one is much nicer with proper vanity/corian etc. One can argue that it isnt used much but since we use ours most of the time, a nicer one would be a priority.

I am leary of touch pads but the control unit should last for a few years before glitches crop up.
Solar and battery setup is impressive and hope it is reliable. Lithium batteries have improved greatly.

I do wonder about a price approaching 190K$ or more. I am arguing with myself about 100 to 110K$ right now!!

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Old 05-30-2014, 03:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

Several of the Advanced RV's have propane systems and generators. Even with the propane systems several manufacturers have ditched the Suburban propane hot water heater and that noisy Suburban propane forced air heater in favor of diesel systems. Even if you have the propane, I see that as an improvement. As far as the 3-way absorption fridge goes, that too is losing favor to the 2-way compressor type even with propane installed. I won't miss the 3-way. I gave up on its DC in my current B and I had a failed 3-way on my first B. With 7 cf refrigerator/freezers I have to wonder how efficient a 3-way could be. The older 3.8-4 cf boxes were pretty pizz poor, IMO. I will be getting a two door refrigerator and freezer much bigger than I have now. Our current freezer inside the fridge box is big enough to make some ice cubes and carry a couple of ice cream sandwich bars.

If you add multiple batteries, high capacity inverter and solar it starts to make less sense to use propane for those things. I like the idea all electrical outlets will work all the time.

We are going to get a portable induction electric cooktop and drop the idea of the two propane burner. We carry a Coleman two burner to use outside along with an electric crockpot we currently sometimes use while driving during the day through the 750 watt inverter installed for the TV.

If you can find a diesel generator that will fit under a Sprinter then go for it. Good luck finding one. I just look at my history of generator use and realize it is an expensive headache. Now 14 hours in 360+ camping nights and 63,000 miles driving. That includes boondocking easily 5 straight days in Glacier National Park for you weekend warriors and a 10,500 mile trip to Alaska and back for rugged types. I think I said this before. I have brains. You'll never find me camping in Arizona, Texas and Florida in the summer. For my experience I have no fear of the high idle, second alternator diesel generator idea even coupled with engine auto start for as much usage as I might anticipate.

With a compressor fridge you also eliminate those two ugly "Hey I am an RV!" vents on the side. With a diesel glycol heat exchanger you eliminate that 12" square box with vents off the side of your B. You eliminate the exhaust vent off the side. Advanced RV is basically eliminating all exterior visages of RVness. They managed to hide the water fill inside the lift up utility door. About the only indicator exposed on the sides is the electrical hookup and they are putting that too under the back bumper for one customer.

Almost all the manufacturers have sleeked up Sprinters with the continuous side windows to give them the look of a passenger van.

I built my house with electric radiant floor heat throughout. I love it. Why Advanced RV decided to do it I don't know. But if they are doing it as almost a throw in idea then I am all for it. The floor is insulated to a degree with the Hushmat system which is also on the walls and ceiling throughout along with the denim insulation in absolutely every nook and cranny. I don't know of any other converter doing that to that extent. Insulating under the van floor is not easy and I know for experience the spray systems don't do much good. Advanced RV is utilizing the waste heat from the diesel powered glycol heat exchanger. Having experience several times camping down to 20F with my past two Bs I consider this all just gravy.

Interiors are your choice with Advanced RV down to every item as I mentioned. The others, it's their choice for you to choose from, maybe three usually.

Exterior TV? I'm not going to poo poo it now that I have seen two examples recently but I don't want speakers on the outside of my van or want to sit outside and watch through a screen door keeping the mosquitoes out of the van and on the TV viewer. Not an important criteria. About the only time we ever watch TV is when we are forced inside the B because of weather or bugs.

I have a microwave/convection oven now. I might have agreed with the microwave bit because you really had to be connected to shore power or generator to use it. Consequently, we seldom used it. Then after two years we discovered the wonders of the convection oven part and we use that a lot to expand our menu choices. With our system we will be able to run it, at least the microwave part, at any time. I'm not sure baking for 45 minutes will cut it. Coffee is a no-brainer. We are going to have a coffee maker come hell or high water says my caffeinated wife. Our biggest bugaboo is we could not use it unless connected to shore power or ran the generator and we wanted coffee first thing in the morning during quiet hours. The electrical system we will install will do that.

You have your choice of wheels, aluminum alloy, hubcaps, full covers or even custom painted steel wheels. I'm still thinking about this.

I know Winnebago gives you a choice of exterior colors of white, silver or black. Most converters offer only that. Advanced RV says go ahead and choose from M-B's 24 exterior colors. I resisted Calcite Yellow and Flame Red but I understand one Advanced RV customer is getting Flame Red.

As far as quality goes, I've had two Bs, a Pleasure-way and a Great West Van. Both were about as good as you could get from the major converters at the time I bought them, a cut above Roadtrek and vastly better than Winnebago. The Advanced RV is above all of them without any doubt in my mind in every respect or measurement.

Complexity? If you want solar, big inverters, multiple batteries, etc. you are going to get complexity I guess. I don't want to add propane and propane generators to that mix. There is no way around complexity. Read Booster's threads on his efforts. It is not simple. What I do know is Advanced RV is not looking to cut its cost but to get it right. I don't know about Roadtrek. They could never get their facts straight on their E-Trek and continue to pass it off as trade secret mumbo jumbo. Winnebago couldn't even get the simple systems right by not putting in intelligent 4 stage charging in their ERAs. With those kind of mistakes you have to wonder what else was cut to the bone.

Price? No doubt I might break the B record the way I am going. I have no illusions about that. I think I am pushing the envelope enough with my requests that followers might benefit. Also, the bottom line is no other converter can or is prepared or willing to provide what I want, not even Sportsmobile.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

I think Davydd gave an excellent overview of the things he loves about his upcoming Advanced RV. I agree 100% with his thoughts. When I found out from Mike Ellis that a new startup was being formed, I sent Mike a long list of things I found missing from the Great West Legend EX.

Everything I asked for in a Class B has been done and much more. I love heated floors that high end Class A's have. I joke that the only thing missing from a Class A is a drawer dishwasher and stacked washer/dryer.

The only technical items that Advanced RV needs to further explain is the second alternator which uses I believe the MB factory brackets (available for 4 or 6 cylinder). It will be interesting to learn how voltage regulation is provided to control the charging of AGM or Lithium batteries. I know how the Outback inverter/charger does it but there is no documentation on how a custom voltage regulator will work.

Also I have questions on the type of solar panels that are shown. AMSolar has an ongoing experiment with flexible panels and what they report is not favorable. At this time I have no idea what flexible panels Advanced RV is trying out.

The best part is that every new customer provides new ideas for Advanced RV to implement.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

BTW, in checking my notes I believe they said the heated floor was set up to operate only when connected to shore power.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

The closest thing to a stock van to these custom ARVs is the Roadtrek CS Etrek, which specs out to a msrp of close to $150k with all the options. Considering its the larger van, various enhancements, quality and the ability to fully customize, that additional 20% price differential for the ARV is not unreasonable at all...
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:39 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

Except you'll negotiate 20% off the Roadtrek. Can the same be said for the ARV?


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Old 05-30-2014, 10:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Fit RV has a new video on YouTube

And the E-Treks have a 6-year Roadtrek warranty, which I've found comforting.
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