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Old 10-06-2015, 10:29 PM   #61
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I'd agree that you need to temper your expectations in an RV by the price point. My expectations for a Winnebago at $65-95k is alot different than it would be for an ARV at $175-200k+.

That is all I'm saying. You would expect alot more out of an RV that costs 2+ times as much.

My gripe with Roadtrek right now is that they are expecting you to pay 50+% more than a Winnebago for all this new tech, not question how it works, thank them for your trip to Canada to get it repaired - sounds like all of them so far don't even work! All this and no user manual for this tech or disclosure of the pieces/parts you are buying! And to boot, if you don't kiss their behind in the Facebook group you get booted. To me, this kind of business strategy is downright bizarre, and frankly, smacks of arrogance.

Further, the quality I saw on display at Hershey was appalling. Not even on par with Winnebago in many respects. I think they have a tough time justifying the price difference, and I think the market is in agreement with me.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:20 PM   #62
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I have no issues with your assessment of Roadtrek, not an unreasonable view of them. We may not agree on all the details but general agreement on the overall issues. As for being overpriced, that will be clear from how they do in the market. We are starting to see Roadtrek owners who bought at the high priced end of the models regretting that decision when they find out what Advanced RV can do for them at not much more in terms of price.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #63
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I think one has to carefully consider how much they spend on this tech right now. I'm sure that folks with a 2 year old E-trek might be feeling their very expensive coaches are now obsolete with the new Eco-Trek offerings out there.

I think maybe Pleasureway is on the right path - a little bit of advanced technology included at no extra cost - basically their lithium drop ins and lithium specific converter. Dipping their toe in, so to speak. You can get a bit of solar from them, it's not really attractively priced (their 100w setup is $1900!) but it's an option you could leave off. Will they offer the under-hood generator in a few years? Maybe rolling out this stuff one feature at a time instead of whole hog is the way to go.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:01 AM   #64
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In a couple of years this stuff will be standard, reliable and reasonably priced. I can wait since I get by just fine in my 08 RS with a low end Tripp-Lite inverter (High tech Roadtrek doesn't even include temperature correction for the battery charger) and the two wet cell batteries that refuse to die that came in it. Solar doesn't make sense since we usually camp under the trees, we run the Onan when needed to charge the batteries. Low tech and very reliable...
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:13 AM   #65
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The second alternator approach instead of an Onan generator should be the standard in a class B, IMO. It would be much more reliable, less weight, easier to maintain and give you flexibility for that space an Onan takes up.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:26 AM   #66
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I agree, doesn't make sense to have two internal combustion engines in a 20 ft RV when one can be set up to do both jobs. Most owners seem to put more hours on the Onan doing the monthly exercise than actual use. It has been highest cost item on our van in terms of repairs, a new voltage regulator was needed last year in Alaska, most of the cost was labor to drop the Onan and get it back in place.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:02 PM   #67
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The second alternator approach instead of an Onan generator should be the standard in a class B, IMO. It would be much more reliable, less weight, easier to maintain and give you flexibility for that space an Onan takes up.
I agree too. Hate using generators; especially the loud, clunky, Undependable onans that are standard in the rv world.But isn't most of the benefit of a dual alternator system only seen with the use of lithium batteries? I kind of surmised you would need lithium a to absorb all those charging amps fast enough.. Would it be prudent to let a gas van sit and idle to let batteries recharge if necessary? Is there a thread/link/site one could go to to learn more about a dual alternator system?
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:56 PM   #68
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But isn't most of the benefit of a dual alternator system only seen with the use of lithium batteries? I kind of surmised you would need lithium a to absorb all those charging amps fast enough.
Absolutely not. I recently added a second alternator to my 2014 Sprinter. It has 440Ah of AGM batteries. At 50% SOC it absorbs all 250amps of power. One of the best upgrades I've ever done. Details here:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post31941
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:14 PM   #69
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Thank you Avanti.
Well then, this really should be a game changer. Solar is great if you want to be in the Sun, or are driving, but if you are driving, your alternators are running anyway. These B's are so small that roof space for panels quickly becomes scarce. This seems like a no brainer and makes me wonder why manufacturers are not making better use of it. I saw retail prices for a second alt for the promaster at 1200.00 (which seemed ridiculous), but then again, retail prices for an Onan 2800 were more than DOUBLE that (which definitely IS ridiculous). So, if a dual alt set up can be done for 1/2 the price of a generator, why do you think Manufacturers are not using them? "Slapping on" a second alternator seems less costly, less complicated, and is not a new technology... There must be a reason...
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:48 PM   #70
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There must be a reason...
Of COURSE there's a reason. Here it is:

"Because that's the way we've always done it."

The RV industry is incredibly hide-bound. (That's why we shouldn't be too hard on RoadTrek for their stumbling efforts at technology--at least they are trying.)

And, don't just blame the upfitters. We customers are equally to blame. Do something too radical--no matter how rational--and it just won't sell. My favorite example is dump tanks. (my apologies to those who are sick of my raising this--I just mean it as an example). There is no rational argument for separate black and gray tanks--NONE (at least not if you have a sealed macerator). But just try to have the conversation, even around here. You get nothing but a combination of specious arguments and "eew, gross" comments. Dual tanks are so ingrained in people's thinking that progress is nearly impossible. (I repeat: just an example--there are many others).

My point is that while, yes, the upfitters are mostly a conservative lot, so are the purchasers.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:03 PM   #71
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To my knowledge there has only been one Advanced RV made with an Onan generator. The second alternator has always been standard with them.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:16 PM   #72
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I now have both! My dilemma is whether it is worth the trouble to pull the Onan, or to keep it "just in case". I guess I'll probably wait a year. If it hasn't been used by then...
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:17 PM   #73
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I expect they also stick with the Onan because it provides a simple way to run the AC when not plugged in, no need for larger inverter.

I can see how the auxiliary engine generator provides good bulk charging for AGM batteries but for absorption phase are most people relying on solar to top off the batteries?
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:22 PM   #74
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I expect they also stick with the Onan because it provides a simple way to run the AC when not plugged in, no need for larger inverter.
Well, there are engine generator systems available that produce 120VAC. (Great West was using them before they closed). Cost about as much as the Onan, though.

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I can see how the auxiliary engine generator provides good bulk charging for AGM batteries but for absorption phase are most people relying on solar to top off the batteries?
Our alternator uses a Balmar voltage regulator that does very good 3-stage charging, and is fully programmable. I'm sure that RT and ARV are doing the same. To my thinking, solar is mostly for maintenance during storage.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:33 PM   #75
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Well I have to disagree with you on combined tanks and macerators. I know there are alot of people who'd rather not have a macerator pump and certainly prefer separate tanks.

With separate tanks, you have the option of dumping your gray tank on the ground and not having an environmental catastrophy that a combined tank would create.

You may not agree with people doing that, but many do it.

But I do agree with your idea that much is held back by the customers. Generally I think they are a conservative lot, as well as price/value conscious.

It will be interesting to see if the manufacurers are getting alot of requests for underhood generators. I think the reality is most buyers are clueless about such things, so aren't really asking for it. Surely they want a "generator" of some kind, so if the price sheets says it has one, the box is checked and the conversation is over.

What may drive the decision though is if people want big battery banks. If there is desire for that, then the underfloor generator simply has to go, as there is not other place for big batteries. If you think about it, the extra alternator, wiring and inverter should be about a wash with the cost of the Onan, unless of course the big buyers (like Winnebago) are really getting steep discounts that we are not aware of, which I suspect is true.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:48 PM   #76
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Quote:
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Absolutely not. I recently added a second alternator to my 2014 Sprinter. It has 440Ah of AGM batteries. At 50% SOC it absorbs all 250amps of power. One of the best upgrades I've ever done. Details here:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post31941
When I go to this site Nations they show a replacement 270 amp alternator that just drops into the stock location.

Question: Why would I install a second alternator instead of just upgrading the stock one?
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:12 PM   #77
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With Mercedes Benz Sprinters the engine alternator is tied into its computer programming. The second alternator is freed from their constrictions and can be designed to satisfy house battery tasks independently.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:13 PM   #78
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That would be an interesting project Eric. I see they also have an option for upgraded wiring kit - says 2 AWG.

Wonder if that would be a truly drop in and you wouldn't need to change anything else and just get quicker recharging times on your existing batteries, or would further changes be needed.

I doubt it's enough power to drive an inverter and power the overhead air conditioner.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:23 PM   #79
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RVs commonly had one single waste tank back in the 70s. Two tanks black and grey make more sense to me because first in a B with underbody real estate restrictions you can fit more tank capacity and free up toilet design location. Secondly, with two stage dumping of black first and grey second you can clean your hoses more effectively with the mostly soapy grey water and the job is not as messy.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:51 PM   #80
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Well I have to disagree with you on combined tanks and macerators. I know there are alot of people who'd rather not have a macerator pump and certainly prefer separate tanks.

With separate tanks, you have the option of dumping your gray tank on the ground and not having an environmental catastrophy that a combined tank would create.

You may not agree with people doing that, but many do it.
I wouldn't argue too strongly with anyone who prefers gravity dump (although I personally can't see it). If we stipulate that, then I agree that two tanks make sense. My arguments assume a macerator. If you have one, there is no particular reason to "flush your hoses". Even then, the "bad stuff" dumps first, since it is denser.

Not sure what to say about dumping gray water on the ground. In this day and age I find it totally unacceptable. In any event it is illegal most places. (National Forests technically permit it, but only after straining and then require "wide dispersement". They are clearly talking about tent campers, not tank dumpers.)

As for tank placement, we have discussed that before. There is zero loss of flexibility. You could even have multiple interconnected tanks if you really wanted to. My old Airstream Interstate had a single tank. My current Legend sadly has two. They very easily could have been a single large tank, which would have saved space and money.

[I really didn't want to bring this up again, except as an example of the "conservatism" point. IMO, it served well for that purpose.]
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