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Old 10-14-2018, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default Winnebago Travato 59KL (Lithium vs. generator)

Looking at this unit hard. Love the thought of not having a loud generator, but wanted to see what the issues so far have been with this system.

I'm more of a hit the road randomly type person that rarely plugs up to electricity in parks. I usually overnight park in truck stops, Cracker Barrels, etc. Would be using the AC and Heater frequently overnight and then hitting the road and charging the batteries the next day.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this unit with the Lithium package vs generator.

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Old 10-14-2018, 05:16 PM   #2
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Go to the Travato owners and wanna bes on Facebook. Plenty of info there.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:39 PM   #3
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Go to the Travato owners and wanna bes on Facebook. Plenty of info there.
Im not a fan of Facebook. I will keep looking. Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:32 PM   #4
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Im not a fan of Facebook. I will keep looking. Thanks.
That is my view too.

I wish the Travato group would let me join in without being forced to give up personal information.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:17 AM   #5
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That is my view too.

I wish the Travato group would let me join in without being forced to give up personal information.
Make something up. Lots of people don't use their real data on FB. If you already have a FB account with your real information that you use for family and friends, create a new one just for random groups.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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We have 400 Lithium batteries and no generator on our 2017 Agile. We rarely use AC but if we did you would need to be plugged in. The lithiums work great for everything else but they will not run your AC over night.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #7
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It is my understanding that the Volta system in the Travato L is sized such that it can run the AC. The engine may have to start to recharge if you try to run it all night long. I have heard reports that it can run 6ish hours on the battery. If you are driving each day, which is typical class B use, then the batteries would be easily charged up again with the second alternator. I would not expect that idling would need to happen very often with typical driving every day.

THe heat can still be run with the Truma on propane as well.

The big power draw is the AC. I think even a "1/2L" system would be sufficient for many folks that dont need the AC very much, just power for coffee, computer/charging, and microwave etc.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:13 PM   #8
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That is my view too.

I wish the Travato group would let me join in without being forced to give up personal information.
Agree also. Never was big on social media and don't plan on it. I'd rather log on to an informative forum...like here!
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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If the Travato has a system whereby you can run the AC, then that would get my nod.
The Hymer, with the eco-trek system with volt start, is really sweet on paper, but pretty expensive at about 7k. It also does not have proven reliability, being fairly new tech.
The Hymer also has a ridiculous shower. To call it one is a stretch. It is "wet" though. It's like standing in an upright coffin. If you can stand. At 6'1", I couldn't. Not about to sit to shower...on the pooper lol. Surprises me they didn't also put in a composting toilet so you could sit to pee too!
The spare tire is a deal breaker also. It's pretty heavy and you'll need to lower it to the ground to access the left rear door. I'm an old fart and my back isn't what it use to be.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:00 PM   #10
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If the Travato has a system whereby you can run the AC, then that would get my nod.
The Hymer, with the eco-trek system with volt start, is really sweet on paper, but pretty expensive at about 7k. It also does not have proven reliability, being fairly new tech.
The Hymer also has a ridiculous shower. To call it one is a stretch. It is "wet" though. It's like standing in an upright coffin. If you can stand. At 6'1", I couldn't. Not about to sit to shower...on the pooper lol. Surprises me they didn't also put in a composting toilet so you could sit to pee too!
The spare tire is a deal breaker also. It's pretty heavy and you'll need to lower it to the ground to access the left rear door. I'm an old fart and my back isn't what it use to be.
The Bs that will provide battery powered roof AC are the WGO Travato, the Coachmen Galleria and Crossfit and Midwest Automotive. Their battery capacities are fixed. However, the Roadtreks, (depending on the model), can be ordered with 400ah, 800ah or 1600ah. `Both the Xantrex and Volta systems seem to be well received with respect to capacity and reliability. The early Etreks had significant problems but Etrek design and quality control seems to have improved although there still is no metering providing the owner with the battery(s) state of charge.

Lowering the spare tire on the Continental to access the driver rear door shouldn't be physically taxing because if installed properly, it's spring loaded.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:18 PM   #11
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The Bs that will provide battery powered roof AC are the WGO Travato, the Coachmen Galleria and Crossfit and Midwest Automotive. Their battery capacities are fixed. However, the Roadtreks, (depending on the model), can be ordered with 400ah, 800ah or 1600ah. `Both the Xantrex and Volta systems seem to be well received with respect to capacity and reliability. The early Etreks had significant problems but Etrek design and quality control seems to have improved although there still is no metering providing the owner with the battery(s) state of charge.

Lowering the spare tire on the Continental to access the driver rear door shouldn't be physically taxing because if installed properly, it's spring loaded.
Our 2017 RT with 400 Lithiums show the state of charge.....do you mean it displays as % of full rather than let's say 13.6?

Although I don't like have a continental kit, I agree it is not difficult to so nor too heavy as the spring assists.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:42 PM   #12
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Our 2017 RT with 400 Lithiums show the state of charge.....do you mean it displays as % of full rather than let's say 13.6?
Roadtreks are curremtly equipped with a voltmeter, not a state of charge meter. For AGMs, the state of charge can be extrapolated with reasonable accuracy from voltage readings. But the discharge curve for lithium batteries is too flat to accurately determine a battery state of charge from voltage readings although with some practice it does permit SOC guestimating if the voltmeter has four digits which allows observing voltage changes of as little as 10 millivolts.

For systems that incorporate a single BMS, providing a shunt driven SOC meter is easily accomplished. However, the lithium Etreks use multiple battery management systems which makes implementing a SOC meter impractical. Even if equipped with multiple shunts, depending on which batteries are turned on or off, the meter would have to be continually re-calibrated to provide accurate SOC readings.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:46 PM   #13
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Roadtreks are curremtly equipped with a voltmeter, not a state of charge meter. For AGMs, the state of charge can be extrapolated with reasonable accuracy from voltage readings. But the discharge curve for lithium batteries is too flat to accurately determine a battery state of charge from voltage readings although with some practice it does permit SOC guestimating if the voltmeter has four digits which allows observing voltage changes of as little as 10 millivolts.

For systems that incorporate a single BMS, providing a shunt driven SOC meter is easily accomplished. However, the lithium Etreks use multiple battery management systems which makes implementing a SOC meter impractical. Even if equipped with multiple shunts, depending on which batteries are turned on or off, the meter would have to be continually re-calibrated to provide accurate SOC readings.
I use this little chart.......this isn't precise enough? Wish I understood this stuff better. :<
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:48 PM   #14
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Thx for the input on the rear passenger door "continental kit." Nice to know its not gravity operated! lol. I looked at a 2018 travato k at la mesa in san diego. It's spare tire was laying on the ground. The salesman told me that most people opt to use it as a table! pretty low table. I lifted it to vertical while catching the salesman's eyes getting bigger. He quickly added "stick the pin in." You all are right, there was something amiss. I can't imagine the damage caused by letting the tire fall over time
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:28 AM   #15
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Nice read, thanks enjoyed the information.
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HawkTX View Post
Looking at this unit hard. Love the thought of not having a loud generator, but wanted to see what the issues so far have been with this system.

I'm more of a hit the road randomly type person that rarely plugs up to electricity in parks. I usually overnight park in truck stops, Cracker Barrels, etc. Would be using the AC and Heater frequently overnight and then hitting the road and charging the batteries the next day.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this unit with the Lithium package vs generator.

It probably depends on where you expect to be camping. The Travato heater runs on propane or electrical, so either version of the Travato will be fine. The generator is noisy, but if it's not too hot we use the powered exhaust fan and crack open the windows near the bunks to create air flow in the RV that keeps us comfortable. I think if you are camping in the south in the summer and you stop for more than a 5-6 hours you are going to have to run the Travato engine, even if you have the Lithium version.

We have solved the summer heat problem by going to Canada in the summer. While parts of the US where baking in the heat, we were nice and comfortable in Newfoundland and Labrador.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:40 PM   #17
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The generator issue is also high on my list as I shop for a ProMaster-based Class B early next year. An Onan gas generator is much louder and higher maintenance than a modern Roadtrek or Winnebago-Volta lithium system with underhood generator and auto start. I have decided that I DO NOT want a separate generator in my next coach. Don't want to to crawl under the rear of my rig to mess with it; Don't want to "exercise" it every month, which usually amounts to more hours than from actual use. The chassis engine, which in most cases is under-utilized in RV applications, is the only one I wish to maintain, and I will do that well.

In addition to comparing the Travato 59K vs. 59KL, I also added the 21' Roadtrek Zion to the mix, equipped with Ecotrek 400, Underhood Generator and Voltstart. When equipped in such a way it's about the same sticker price as the 59K. Heck, if you wanted to save money on the Roadtrek you could get the Zion with AGM batteries and still add the Underhood Generator and Voltstart as options. At this time you can't order a Travato 59K this way. If an underhood generator has to start up during the night from Voltstart (autostart) to run the AC while you're sleeping, at least it's quieter and farther away from you than an Onan generator, which sits directly under your bed!

There are unique attributes with both the Travato 59KL and Zion that I really like, so I decided to put together a side-by-side analysis on a spreadsheet with a weighted, scored analysis of the key differences between the two. For my needs and preferences, the Zion is winning 25-15 on points.

A few considerations: While I really love the open floorpan of the 59K/KL, the way I would compensate for the more segmented layout in the Zion would be to order it with white "Ivory" cabinets, giving it a bright, open, modern feel inside. The bathroom on the Travato K/KL is nice and spacious for my 6'2" frame but I was surprised at how much extra space can be created when you get inside the Zion wet bath and close the doors in the expanded "teepee" position - I can do that... It's much better than the Hymer Activ bathroom! I would also order a Zion with the front facing rear couch (with 3-point seat belts) for better passenger comfort/safety and abundant storage below, accessed from the rear doors. The twin beds in the 59K/KL are more comfortable but that can be easily overcome in the Zion with a 2-3" memory foam topper. Price wise, the Travato 59KL is presently selling for a significant premium ($20-30k) over the 59K. The KL's Volta battery bank is probably more than I need. The Zion has had similar, albeit lesser technology since 2015, and since around 2017 it's been pretty well debugged. This opens up the used market for a buyer to save even more money on a Zion if desired.

Where the Zion really shines for me is the fact that it has safer, more comfortable seating for passengers beyond the 2 front cab positions, seating up to 5 and sleeping up to 3 - versus 4/2 on the 59K/KL. Additionally, I like facing my campsite when working in the kitchen and greatly appreciate the larger 5.0 cu ft high-mounted refrigerator, abundant storage and slide-out pantry - They are notable advantages over the Travato K/KL. Further, I love the ability to open the Zion's rear doors all the way with the screen kit installed, to lounge (or sleep) on those warm, breezy summer nights... And have gorgeous views out the back when you awaken!

While the Travato 59K, 59KL and Roadtrek Zion each have their unique advantages, I'm leaning strongly toward the Zion at this time.


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Originally Posted by HawkTX View Post
Looking at this unit hard. Love the thought of not having a loud generator, but wanted to see what the issues so far have been with this system.

I'm more of a hit the road randomly type person that rarely plugs up to electricity in parks. I usually overnight park in truck stops, Cracker Barrels, etc. Would be using the AC and Heater frequently overnight and then hitting the road and charging the batteries the next day.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this unit with the Lithium package vs generator.

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Old 10-21-2018, 10:59 PM   #18
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Wrong
The KL model will run your AC
Go to tou tube and watch Fit RV
They have a complete review of the Travato KL
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:13 PM   #19
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GigaGeek may want to read up a bit on the Roadtrek lithium packages and past/current problems that have been discussed here at length. This includes not only the batteries, but the supporting cast as well, such as the Magnum/Sensata inverter charger solar unit unit in the Volta system compared to low end Asian private label products in the Roadtrek. Also be aware that parasitic losses in the Roadtrek system are going to cost you nearly 100ah per day for each module that you have on, so if you have two on to cover AC overnight, you would lose essentially 1/2 the capacity of the battery bank in 24 hours to parasitic waste. You also have to control the modules on and off manually so they aren't constantly wasting power when you don't need them on.


We don't know much about the Volta reliability yet, but a lot of us are guessing, and hoping to be right, that it will be much more reliable than the Roadtrek setup has been.



If the other factors are even close to being equal or at least acceptable between the Travato and the Roadtreks, the 48volt, very rapid charging, higher capacity Volta would certainly make the difference for me.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:53 PM   #20
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The Volta is a $25k option that only the hard core early adaptors will be able to afford. They will be the Guinea pigs of the RV industry for the rest of us.
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