New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby Mike » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:13 pm

markopolo wrote:Yes, it is in front of the solar panel.


So, try to avoid parking near public park statues, and under trees, or freeway overpasses, or your solar performance might be diminished? :shock:

Speaking of that, how do you protect your panels from the corrosive effects of some bird droppings?
Could you cover them with something, which could be easily removed to clean?
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby markopolo » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:39 pm

Mike wrote:.............. your solar performance might be diminished.............


For optimal performance your panel would be angled to match the angle of the sun and would track the suns arc.
Solar panels on most RV's are installed flat on the roof so performance is affected.

And, as you mentioned, dirt and shade affect output. You'll still get some output though. My solar controller charging light comes on when my van is parked in the garage at night when the garage interior lights are on. In the garage, it would be minimal output though.

20 years seems to be a standard solar panel warranty so they are durable and resistant to damage from bird droppings and tree sap etc.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby Lee Lee » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:33 pm

Nice concept, and as usual, Roadtrek is ahead of the game with innovative ideas and concepts. However, based on my personal experience with their reluctance to honor warranty matters (or lately, even respond to my inquiries), good luck trying to get some of those high-tech components repaired if something goes wrong.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby markopolo » Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:11 pm

Lee Lee - if your concerns aren't being responded to in a reasonable time frame then contact Jim Hammill (Roadtrek President) on the Facebook Roadtrek Group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/72563760632/ Jim is on that group daily and seems genuinely interested in helping. It is an unprecedented opportunity.

Go through proper channels first. That's very important. First place would be to a Roadtrek dealer. Second would be Roadtrek service. Then you can escalate it if becomes necessary by getting Jim's help.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby Lee Lee » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:51 am

markopolo, thanks for your post. Unfortunately, without going into great detail, I have been experiencing an increasing degree of poor customer care when dealing with Roadtrek. When I initially bought my RV, they typically demonstrated an interest in addressing any issues that would arise concerning defective components, etc. However, for the past year or so, they have become much less interested in correcting problems, or honoring what is allegedly a "48,000/4 year warranty," even when presented with documentation about chronic defective systems.
I have repeatedly addressed my concerns through both my local Roadtrek dealer, as well as other executives with Roadtrek directly, and frequently have not even received a reply from them. I'm not on Facebook, but I am sure that Mr. Hammill was presumably made aware of the issues that I raised with his staff.
Overall, I am pleased with the purchase of this vehicle, and have been able to benefit from many miles of great travel with their product. However, due to my very negative experience with their customer relations, I would never recommend to anyone who approaches me about the vehicle (and there are many) to purchase one from this company.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby markopolo » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:49 am

You're welcome to start a new topic if you need any help with your Roadtrek. Lots of very knowledgeable people here.

We'll keep this thread on topic about the new Roadtrek RS E-Trek.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby booster » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:14 pm

It looks like the high output alternator thing is readily available in the aftermarket--using, of all things, GM parts!

http://www.nationsstarteralternator.com/Sprinter-Van-Dual-Alternator-Kit-p/sprinter-dk.htm

You might need an idle speed bumper, also, but those are also out there.

Without a non-electric heat source, it would get pretty useless for many folks. It takes somewhere in the 800 watts of heat to keep our C190P warm overnight when the temps hit the mid 30's F. That is over 65 amps, and would quickly take down the batteries. Personally, I would not want to run the van engine all night to stay warm, and certainly any neighbors wouldn't like the noise or smell.

That said, for as often as we use the generator, rarely and for short periods, the system would probably be fine for us, if it still had propane for furnace (or diesel heater). We would miss the propane for our grill, however, as the tiny bottles suck. Diesel heat and a built in small bottle like they use on Simplicity would be sweet. With those options, Onan could keep their noisy piece of generator!
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby markopolo » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:08 pm

booster wrote:It looks like the high output alternator thing is readily available in the aftermarket--using, of all things, GM parts!

http://www.nationsstarteralternator.com/Sprinter-Van-Dual-Alternator-Kit-p/sprinter-dk.htm

You might need an idle speed bumper, also, but those are also out there.

Without a non-electric heat source, it would get pretty useless for many folks. It takes somewhere in the 800 watts of heat to keep our C190P warm overnight when the temps hit the mid 30's F. That is over 65 amps, and would quickly take down the batteries. Personally, I would not want to run the van engine all night to stay warm, and certainly any neighbors wouldn't like the noise or smell.

That said, for as often as we use the generator, rarely and for short periods, the system would probably be fine for us, if it still had propane for furnace (or diesel heater). We would miss the propane for our grill, however, as the tiny bottles suck. Diesel heat and a built in small bottle like they use on Simplicity would be sweet. With those options, Onan could keep their noisy piece of generator!


My van fits that description; propane furnace, water heater and stove, no generator, use engine as a generator to run the rear and dash air conditioning simultaneously on those rare (for us) occasions when we need cooling without being plugged in. link: fast idle option in my GMC van: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2295#p12232

I did a lot of internet research when first considering extended idling. Upping the idle speed seems like a good idea to me. I've read of lot's of GM and Ford trucks idling through the night on work sites up north.

Sprinters can be ordered with a single speed fast idle or a variable speed fast idle from what I've read.

I read through this thread http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11031 (Idling and the near death of an '08 Sprinter) but wasn't entirely convinced that idling alone caused the incredibly expensive repairs.

If idling often and/or for long periods then an hour meter for engine run hours would be useful so that you know when to change the engine oil. No miles are being added to the odometer when idling so if you change oil based on mileage alone and you idle a lot then you are long overdue for an oil change.

In my van, the alternator can handle the needed output for the rear and dash air combined at normal idle but I think it is prudent to up the idle to around 1,000 rpms when doing that.

I wouldn't idle my engine all night either.... well maybe in an extremely cold emergency situation.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby booster » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:33 pm

How big an alternator and AC do you have in your van? I know GM does make some whopper alternators for their diesels!

I did a little reading on idling diesels, and it is pretty contradictory. Some tests show no problem, some do. The manufacturers don't like it, but say if you do idle a lot, you have to have an idle booster. Cummins claimed a 50% increase in wear at 700 rpm compared to 1200 rpm. They also talked a lot about soot buildup and the need to "blow them out" regularly by driving. I wonder what that will do with the DPF on the Sprinters, which IIRC are about a $3500 item. Hate to plug that up early.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby markopolo » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:42 pm

124 amp alternator and 5,200 btu rear a/c in my '97 GMC van. Not enough for some climates.
When combined with dash air cooling it might be. I haven't had the chance to test it in real hot temperatures.

Edit: Link to some of my data: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2286&start=8#p12016
With the van engine running at idle and the rear window air conditioner running off my inverter, my Scangauge reports .11 GPH (gallons per hour) fuel consumption and 634 RPM. 13.5 volts reported by the inverter.

With the van engine running at idle and the rear window air conditioner running off my inverter and the van dash air on "max air" blowing cold, my Scangauge reports .45 GPH (gallons per hour) fuel consumption and 651 RPM. Voltage shown by the inverter is still 13.5 volts.
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Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Postby Mike » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:52 pm

markopolo wrote:I did a lot of internet research when first considering extended idling. Upping the idle speed seems like a good idea to me. I've read of lot's of GM and Ford trucks idling through the night on work sites up north.

Spend an evening in any major truck stop's truck parking area. Can be noisy and smelly.

markopolo wrote:I wouldn't idle my engine all night either.... well maybe in an extremely cold emergency situation.

If the conditions warranted idling all night, and you were physically able to move your van, I would think driving to a safer overnight situation, be it a motel, or someplace where you could plug in, might be a better choice than idling. I would rather run a (quiet) propane furnace, if given the choice, and if the conditions required some sort of heating to keep the van and passengers safe and warm.
It's not a sprint(er) (unless you make it one), it's (hopefully) a marathon.
RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy)
TV - 2009 F150 XLT SuperCrew / Toad - 2003 Chevy Cavalier
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