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Old 07-18-2015, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default Travato 59K boondocking capability

To those who own Travato 59K, can you comment on the boondocking capability. Specifically I was wondering how the 2 battery setup was working with the electric only fridge. Has any one added a second solar
panel on the 59K's roof?
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:03 PM   #2
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compressor fridge 4 amps per hour. solar panel probably gives 4 amps per hour-for say 8 hours-thats 32 amps. i don't think just the fridge would be an issue
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:43 PM   #3
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You can always charge with the generator for an hour or so.

I'd be more concerned about the 13 gallon gray tank.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:46 AM   #4
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My biggest hesitation on making my purchase is how it will handle going off the pavement... Dirt roads that aren't well maintained.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:00 AM   #5
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i have a zion-ram promaster-this is not a deep into woods off road vehicle.

the travato is aok but it's not deep of road.

better of with a chevy based van for that
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:59 AM   #6
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I wouldn't worry about dirt/gravel roads unless they had deep wash-outs or big rocks poking up. But I'd have the same concern with any van except the 4x4.

You can always get a lift kit if you do rough roads often enough. Someone mentioned they lifted their Promaster 3 inches.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:06 AM   #7
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You can always get a lift kit if you do rough roads often enough. Someone mentioned they lifted their Promaster 3 inches.
What "lift kit" are you referring to? Please post this mention of a Promaster 3 inch lift.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:23 AM   #8
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i have a zion-ram promaster-this is not a deep into woods off road vehicle.

the travato is aok but it's not deep of road.

better of with a chevy based van for that
I really like the layout of the zion/59k, and I am 6'2, so the promaster makes the most sense for me. I just really don't want to be limited by paved roads all the time. However, I understand that the promaster isn't a sportsmobil by any means.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #9
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What "lift kit" are you referring to? Please post this mention of a Promaster 3 inch lift.
Couldn't find it using search, but I know someone made an off-hand mention of lifting their Promaster. Have no idea who.

A google search on lift kits comes up empty.

I did find something interesting though - the Timbren kit for Promaster. These are rubber helper springs that keep you from bottoming out. I've installed these on a Suburban and a Silverado, as heavy trailers would often bottom out their suspensions. What's nice about them, besides the easy DIY install and cheap price, is that the ride is uneffected until you put on a load big enough to compress them.

I don't have any bottoming out issues, but there is not much room between the axle and the flimsy stock bump stop. On a rough road, or under hard cornering, they may do some good. So I may get a set and install them, just for funzies.

Vehicle Suspension for 2015 Ram ProMaster 3500 - Timbren TFPR001
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:29 PM   #10
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as i said-i have a ram promaster van and it runs and drives great.

and i'm sure it will work on moderate dirt roads.

but it is not the van i would buy for deeper boondocking stuff.


since fords E series no longer made the only option i really see for this is chevy express.

sportsmobile has extended getting the e-series by putting shell on e-serries cutout.
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Old 07-19-2015, 02:43 PM   #11
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Supposedly the rhino lining and all terrain tires are now options on Travato. Seen one with a cow-catcher/police bumper with mounted lights on it for sale online. Think that was the show van. I suppose if you were going deep on the log-roads, you could get that and mount a winch, just in case.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:39 AM   #12
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compressor fridge 4 amps per hour. solar panel probably gives 4 amps per hour-for say 8 hours-thats 32 amps. i don't think just the fridge would be an issue
Gerry, 4 amps seems a little high. When we ran this same compressor in our sailboat, we found that it used about 2.4 - 2.7 amps an hour (running roughly 30 minutes each hour). Keep in mind this was in the Caribbean down in the Brittish Virgin Islands, using a top loading frig about the same size as what's in the 59K. Did fine with 150 watts of solar and a wind generator using halogen lights in the cabin and the frig running 24/7.

One thing to note, and I've mentioned this before elsewhere, the boat had been sitting in a boatyard on Tortola for 8 years before we bought it. I took one look at the rusty Danforth compressor (same as in the 59K) and said "that baby is toast". The Mechanic said "not so fast, these compressor are rock solid!". He replaced the positive wire and she fired right up. Ran that compressor for another 12 years!
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:58 AM   #13
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I think 4 amps when running is probably close. The frig is bigger (5?7?cf) than our 3.2cf and ours runs at about 3 amps when running. It won't be running continuously, so that calc looks high. It also changes at night.

Ours will use 17-40+ AH per day based on conditions, so I would expect the bigger unit to be maybe 20-50AH, but just a guess.

I would be careful comparing solar when on a boat to in an RV, as you will often find yourself in shade (if you like shade like we do), and that can knock the solar down huge. We found that 200 watts would keep up easily and with excess in good sun, but would lose battery SOC on cloudy, shady, rainy days of not driving.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:47 AM   #14
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Not only shade, but sun angle latitude compared to the Caribbean if you are using fixed horizontal solar panels.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:50 AM   #15
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I have decided to not go Travato after seeing one parked on short grass with the generator touching the grass. I need a little more clearance than that for my favorite Southern Utah spots.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:13 PM   #16
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I have decided to not go Travato after seeing one parked on short grass with the generator touching the grass. I need a little more clearance than that for my favorite Southern Utah spots.
You could always add a leaf, re-arch the leaf springs or add a spacer to lift the rear.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:17 PM   #17
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I have decided to not go Travato after seeing one parked on short grass with the generator touching the grass. I need a little more clearance than that for my favorite Southern Utah spots.

Has anyone compared the front and rear ride heights of a Travato and/or Zion to what the heights are on a stock Promaster?

That is what we did first thing when we started to look at raising our Chevy Roadtrek, and found that height would give us just about what we thought was right for extra clearance.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:10 PM   #18
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This is a good thread. I am having the same misgivings about the Travato I have on Order.

The Travato has everything I deem necessary for 99% of my travel, but the ride height and clearances are abysmal.

Id hate to go full 4x4 sportsmobile and give up the bath/shower and modern tech in the travato (I travel with a young family), but after a few weeks touring around out west in a suburban, I have found that the places i most frequent are off pavement.

Does anyone here think I could get some decent performance out of a larger mud/snow tire and some Timbren bump stops?... or am I putting lipstick on a Pig?
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:28 PM   #19
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I've been with a couple that drives their T1N, (first generation), Sprinter into some nasty trails/roads. They go as long as the rocks aren't too big. or there's no deep mud holes. That model Sprinter might be a bit higher than your Travato will be though.
I believe over on the Promaster forum, that a few have talked about larger, more aggressive tires, but I couldn't tell you size or brands. The selection on tires for the PM are limited because of the size & capacity issues.
The Timbrens would be an excellent idea with no negatives as far as I'm concerned.

It's all tradeoffs on the RV wish list, and how much $$$ you want to spend.

Here's what you need, but it's not available here, as yet???....

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Old 09-01-2015, 07:01 PM   #20
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I have 245/75/16 Hankook Dynapro ATM's on my Promaster. It's the largest tires that will fit the wheel wells with no rubbing. I gained .6" of ground clearance and they are well suited for my off road Baja plans. I would do larger tires and the Timbrens if you want more clearance.
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