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Old 08-16-2017, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default Entry level Class B power and gas

I promise this is my last Class B forum thread topic. For today anyway.

Continuing on the theme of where in tarnation is the information about some new Class B solutions, here is what I have learned so far about electrical power and propane gas while trying to figure out what two new van RV's do-do in this department.

CARADO Axion and CAMPING WORLD Sunshine Van One (aka V1) have the same electrical setup. They differ greatly in the gas department. And none of this is marketed well so bear with me on my interpretations which may be flawed but you guys will hopefully help flush this out.

Axion and S V1 (name too long on the CAMPING WORLD van) have typical battery charging solutions in their default configurations. You can add Solar. And you can add the Underhood Generator like a Roadtrek or a Hymer Activ. But maybe not quite the same.

The secondary, 280 amp alternator added to the vehicle engine is a neat way to get away from carrying an onboard generator. Since space is at an extreme premium on any Class B chassis, dumping the noisy and somewhat maintenance prone classic generator is terrific. In fact in the default configuration of these two RV's, there is no supplementary power generation beyond the primary engine alternator. You have to get the solar option to assist. Or the underhood generator. Or both. These RV's do come with shore power plug in.

What might be differente about the underhood generator solution on these two RV's is whether or not they also have the "Voltstart" feature. I think they do not and this is not necessarily a bad thing. These are after all, entry level Class B's. If you want the kitchen sink too (oops, bad choice), you buy up. Sales people everywhere CARADO's and CW S V1's will love the upsell path if they are smart and play nice with the prospective customer.

Voltstart is a feature that will AUTOMATICALLY determine if the batteries are played out and time to charge them, and still power the things you want to leave turned on. Like the Air conditioner while you go into the restaurant and Fido has to stay in the coach. Voltstart will automatically start the Pro Masters engine and that secondary alternator will send power to the Inverter/charger to pump your batteries back to full power while keeping the AC or other gizmos running. Without this feature, you turn your start your engine to run the underhood generator until you or someone else shuts of the engine.

Nowhere in the brochures of these two RV's or anywhere else online do they elaborate on what your getting with the underhood generator option. I get it that in the entry level, you keep it simple. It might be time to let a seasoned marketing person make some adjustments to their plan here. You can leave the brochure simple but please work with engineering and give the person that puts together the web site more product info to post online. And while your at it, see if you can begin to grow a support page on the web sites where people can download owners manuals and at least locate some rudimentary replacement part numbers. FAQ section would be good too.

Solar option: Not much to explain here. Except off the grid campers will want more details. Like can you easily plug in/wire in additional panel(s) on the roof? Or who to contact on how to add wiring to plug in a portable panel you can put in the sun while the RV is parked in the shade. We should find all this kind of information in the downloadable PDF copy of the Owners Manual. Oops. Ok maybe just growing pains but how hard is this to do in concert with the product launch?

Propane: This is where the two RV's differ the most. After some digging, the Axion has a nifty ALDE heater/hot water system. The short story is the ALDE has under floor radiators for heating the van. At least that is what an ALDE system usually has. Can you find any sort of marketing poop-scoop on the CARADO site. Nicth. Nada. Nope. Or my apologies for being blind.

Anyway, a cool, err hot setup I think. Some folk think it is better than the TRUMA Combi approach. Maybe a Chevy/Ford thing but I think I agree here.

Unfortunately CW decided to go cheaper which I do understand their marketing approach here. But maybe to cheap. Again there is ZERO information so far about the details of well, just about everything about these two RV's but from what I can tell, the CW approach was to stuff a conventional propane heater into the S V1. Isn't that like putting a rotary dial telephone into service today? And geez guys, there is only a wee little 6-something gallon propane tank onboard. Overnight camp, then drive to town to find a filler upper station, then camp another day and so on and so forth. Ok I know it depends on a bunch of factors how long your propane will last but you get the picture. Use Sterno to cook your food and cuddle with your partner under a pile of blankets. Or I suppose your dog if said partner is not available.

The noisier heater-propane solution in the CW S V1 is not wrong and certainly part of why the S V1 is cheaper. It just that I had to dig for the information. Gee, that PDF copy of the Owners Manual coming soon to Internet access everywhere sure will be swell.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:11 AM   #2
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I can add a bit more information based on my discussions with my regional Hymer rep. While the brochures and website shows various options for both the Axion and the V-1, the fact is that what you see on the lot is what you get. You can't order either of them at this time.

My interpretation of that fact is that this is an experiment... to see what the market will buy... or not buy. I think the market for the Axion is very limited... and Camping World will have no other Hymer product according to Jim Hammill... and I wonder if they will even continue to have the V-1 after this current batch are sold.

For instance, I don't believe that you will find any of either of these choices with AGMs... supposedly the base models. All of them have the EcoTreks. I haven't noticed any V-1 with solar... and any purchaser will have to look into getting installed after purchase somewhere.

BTW, I don't believe that this Alde includes the floor heating. Many of the Roadtrekkers that have it have had lots of issues with keeping up the glycol levels. Check this website for info about the system: Alde - USA

You know... it might have been more helpful if you had put all of this information into one thread instead of many threads. It is more helpful when people are doing research.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:56 AM   #3
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.

I heard that a number of V-1 were sent back to the factory.
I don't know why, or whatever happened to them since.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:26 PM   #4
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It was a rumor that one saw here, but there was no confirmation... that it happened at all... or what happened to any units recalled.
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