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Old 04-22-2016, 12:37 AM   #81
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That frig will probably be using 25-50ah per day depending on weather and use.

Did we ever find out if the amp hour total was 195ah with two six volt batteries or 390ah with two big 12v batteries?
It is two 6V 190ah AGM Batteries
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:48 AM   #82
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I just checked the Safari website, which lists two 6v as standard, and didn't see any optional beyond that, so it is likely 195ah of 12v, which is not a lot if you are offgrid with a compressor frig, and want to stay within the (questionable, maybe) 50% discharge rule. A family of 5 is also going to use more power than one person or a couple.

The 270 watts of solar will probably get you 80-90 amp hours per day in good sun, closer to 1/2 that in the very low sun times, and maybe a quarter of that in the shade, so you would stand a chance on breaking even on good sun time, but wouldn't have much reserve for rainy periods, and would have to find shore power or run the engine after a day or two. It would be interesting to find out the wire size and breaker sizes in the cable from the alternator. The batteries would probably accept over 100 amps if pretty low, maybe 120 amps depending on the voltage drop from the engine. It could also be breakered at 80 amps so they could use 4ga wire, like many B's do.
It is small shop compare to all other big brand on the market, but they can be very flexible with the van specification, so, if I could change those battery for something else what I should go for ? 12v instead ? go "all in" with lithium ion ! ? Thanks again for all the info !!
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:52 AM   #83
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It is small shop compare to all other big brand on the market, but they can be very flexible with the van specification, so, if I could change those battery for something else what I should go for ? 12v instead ? go "all in" with lithium ion ! ? Thanks again for all the info !!
I didn't see any battery options on their site beyond what you are getting, but could have missed it. A call to them might be in order.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:02 AM   #84
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I didn't see any battery options on their site beyond what you are getting, but could have missed it. A call to them might be in order.
Actually it is not a standard option, but we can discuss with the van specialist and ask them 'custom' change, for exemple I talking to them now to add a flip down tv for the kids while driving.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:59 AM   #85
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Anybody who has a technical background will be frustrated by the Roadtrek strategy of treating all customers as if they were their average customers who just want to buy a van and use it without having to know anything about how it actually operates. I got slammed by Jim one time when I suggested that they should use actual valid engineering units in their brochures and specs instead of the phony units they are now using. He said that real units are too hard to understand for their customers.
In reading about your experience, to me the underlying issue is what appears to be a condescending attitude towards customers, technical or not. Them not using standard engineering units is only a symptom.

Other symptoms, IMHO, include overuse of unclear or similar-sounding marketing terms, such as "E-Trek" and "EcoTrek." One is an RV and I'm still not sure, but I think the other one is just a lithium battery. According to the site, EcoTrek is "available in 200, 400, 800 and 1600 modules." If I'm not mistaken, this means that they offer lithium batteries with a series of model numbers that sound suspiciously like their amperage but isn't. At least I think it isn't. I may be wrong.

Then there is "Warp Core" which sounds like something magical from Star Trek. This appears to be just a package of options, but again, I'm not sure.

Lastly, there's "Volt Start." I'm not an electrical engineer, but I remember buying a 12-volt car battery at Wal-Mart that had a big label that said how many starting amps it had. The more expensive ones had more amps, but they were all 12-volt. Again, I'm confused. I think that VoltStart is actually engine auto-start but once again, I'm not sure.

Instead of promoting the fact that RoadTrek has more experience than any RV builder with solar, they use confusing and misleading hype. What would happen if they used clear, concise and accurate language to describe their technology? Customers could compare the options RoadTrek offers with the options offered by AM Solar, for example. They would buy only what they really needed. In other words, the customers would have the real power.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:20 PM   #86
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Roadtrek sometimes even goes as far a mixing the terms within the same specification, it appears.

The last I looked, the Zion showed a "400 amp" standard AGM battery in the Zion with options of Ecotrek 200 and Ecotrek400 lithium batteries. As was mentioned earlier, the "400 amp" AGM is only 185 amp hours, while the lithium ones are in amp hours. It is no wonder Hammil thinks the common customer couldn't understand their specifications. Nobody could, they way they are written.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:42 PM   #87
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Roadtrek sometimes even goes as far a mixing the terms within the same specification, it appears.

The last I looked, the Zion showed a "400 amp" standard AGM battery in the Zion with options of Ecotrek 200 and Ecotrek400 lithium batteries. As was mentioned earlier, the "400 amp" AGM is only 185 amp hours, while the lithium ones are in amp hours. It is no wonder Hammil thinks the common customer couldn't understand their specifications. Nobody could, they way they are written.
The brochures and online specs are clearly written by non-technical people and then there is likely no review of the specs by technical people to verify the information, clearly there is no excuse for this. Two possible explanations, either the brochure writer just used the model designation for the battery and no one fixed it or they are intentionally trying to make it look like it has more capacity than it has. So, either shoddy work or devious marketing BS...

The Zion 12 volt AGM battery is a battery from Northstar and the model is SMS-AGM 400 with a Reserve Capacity of 400 min and 182 amp hr of capacity. Has pretty good deep cycle capability for a dual purpose marine type battery with a 900 cycle life at 50% discharge.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:07 PM   #88
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In the end, I don't think Roadtrek will start catering to the small minority of their customers who are technical geeks and are well represented here in the forum. The customers in the geek group are generally capable of cutting through the marketing baloney to find out the actual technical details and make informed trade offs of the options and select the right ones for their needs. Or, they buy something that can be modified to get what they want.

I do think the Hymer acquisition will result in the quality and customer service improvements that are needed which I think are the best places for them to focus at the moment. The improvements in customer service are already apparent and while actual quality improvements may take awhile they have been putting more resources on getting vans fixed that were delivered with initial quality problems. I think the new manufacturing plant will likely be up to Hymer quality standards and these processes will make their way across to the Roadtrek production also. The ship is slowly turning for the better...
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:40 PM   #89
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There is a well-established design pattern for sales brochures for complex devices of all kinds:

You start with big, glossy exuberant text with lots of pictures (in this case, of frolicking kids, smiling moms making dinner, middle-age couples sharing a bottle of wine, and lots of cut flowers in elegant vases). Not an SI unit to be found.

Then, at the end of the brochure there is a section labeled "Specifications", where there are many lines of tiny text that show each and every feature, along with its specification (dimensions, capacity...), all in proper engineering units. Optional features are marked with an asterisk.

Is that so hard?
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:28 PM   #90
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The cut flowers in elegant vases convinces me every time. I also like the carefully laid out cloth napkins.
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:59 PM   #91
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My favorite: The potted plants on the counter with views of the mountains or the beach out the windows. How the heck did they manage to drive there with an unsecured plant on the counter?
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:09 PM   #92
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My favorite: The potted plants on the counter with views of the mountains or the beach out the windows. How the heck did they manage to drive there with an unsecured plant on the counter?
Museum putty is what the Class A owners use to keep everything in place when they drive around. Seems to handle earthquakes also...

http://www.amazon.com/Quakehold-8811.../dp/B0002VA9NA
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #93
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Don't forget, the customer enjoying the product always looks like Ken and Barbie.

Never like the usual perps hanging around the campgrounds!
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