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Old 05-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #121
Rok
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Default Re: Advanced RV

Hey Davydd,

Will your invertor handle the load of your microwave. Just heating a cup of water in our microwave pegs the inverter up into the yellow range and seems to drain the batteries something terrific (I think they recover after a while, though). The keurig seems to do better, but the two together are too much load. Just wondering if your SE allows microwaving with the inverter. We only have a little experience with our GW Legend SE. Can you share some of your experiences with us. BTW, we DO have the diesel hydronics system, so our rig is a little different than yours.

........Rocky

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Pattonsr,

My head swims when you talk electrical.

Looks like I've got some reading to do to understand all this. I do know one thing. I have 46,000 miles on my 2 house battery 2011 Great West Van Legend with quite a few lengthy trips and dry camping. Yet I have but 10.5 hours on our generator and I would bet the majority of those hours were in dry camping situations where we desired to brew a full pot of coffee to drink and fill our travel mugs. I could easily get by without a generator. I have a tendency to seek proper weather and probably could get by without an air-conditioner. So far once about 2 or 3 hours in south Texas in over 10 weeks traveling this spring. We rely more on the side screen door and back screen wall to keep our B cool. We have started using our microwave/convection oven as a convection oven but that is a luxury. We do rely heavily on propane. We use it to heat the B and water, we use it to boil water and pan cook and we run our refrigerator the majority of the time on it. Despite that use we went through only one tank in 8 weeks this spring that cost $21 to refill. The question is can batteries make up the difference of our propane use. Great West and Advanced have the diesel hydronic to address part of the propane use. Since we prefer camping in dense woods (northern Midwest and mountains) or seek out a treed campsite, how practical is solar charging in these scenarios?
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #122
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Rok

I thought I would share some experience with our last GW related to inverter performance. We had problems with the inverter powering the microwave when not on shore power. (We had our GW built without a generator for the reasons that David shared and because we didn't use our generator in our two previous Pleasureway Sprinters). I attributed the problem to the inverter wave form (not tru sin wave) and inverter size. On further investigation, we found that the motor home was wired so that the resistance heat for the ESPAR system was turned on whenever the inverter was turned on. The resistance heater used the capacity of the inverter and made operation of the microwave impossible. We changed the logic so the ESPAR resistance heater only came on with shore power and the microwave worked fine with the inverter.

If you have a GW with an ESPAR systme, this might be something to investigate.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #123
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These are thoughtful comments on Class B markets and business sustainability. I understand that there are between 1200 and 1500 Sprinter motor homes manufactured annually by about six major builders. My wife and I have traveled in or owned Sprinter motor homes from 4 of these manufacturers. Based on my experience, the Sprinter up-fitters are all good companies run by good people.

So, why did I start Advanced RV and why do I feel it can be a successful company? Success for me and my team is defined by the quality, comfort, and beauty of our product and the fulfillment we get from working together on this vision. Sustainability depends on good design, good quality, and good execution to a market that values the product and will pay a price that provides working capital, enables the hiring of excellent staff, and provides return on equity and reinvestment.

Our company is small and will remain small. At peak production, we will be making only 50 units per year, less than 4% of the Sprinter motor home market. Our success is based on the assumption that less than 4% of the Sprinter motor home market wants to personalize their motor home, with exceptional design and quality and can pay the associated costs. Our experience so far affirms this assumption. Another assumption is that we can execute. I have found and hired the best craftspeople available and together we are creating a culture of working together with clients and each other with honest, straightforward communication.

There is no way to assure that any business will be successful, especially a start-up. A good friend of mine who owns a very successful business always responds to “how’s business?’ with “business is fragile”. I have owned and started businesses for 40 years and feel I have made just about every mistake imaginable but have never had a business failure. I realize that sustainability is not easy and requires resilience, good people, and good systems.

I am pleased that there are Sprinter motor home manufacturers who are building higher production, lower priced motor homes. I think everyone who has an interest in this type of travel should have the opportunity. We are making a special product that meets the needs of a few. I feel there is room in the market for us all.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:29 AM   #124
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Thanks for the information, Miken. Yes, we have the ESPAR system, but we have a switch to turn on the electrical part of the "resistance heat". When the inverter is on an nothing else is working we don't get a reading on the inverter panel. We would get one if the espar unit was on, wouldn't we?

I just went out and checked it and with the inverter on there seems to be minimal load. With the inverter on and the electrical espar switch "on", there is quite a lot of load and certainly enough to preclude the microwave from being used. So, it looks as if whatever bug your unit had was isolated to that unit, or they have changed their electrical wiring if it wasn't.

Miken, when you were using the microwave in your GW, did it use like 70-80% of the inverter capacity? (I believe ours is a 2000 W pure sine wave inverter--whatever that means.)

..............Rocky
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:10 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rok
Hey Davydd,

Will your invertor handle the load of your microwave. Just heating a cup of water in our microwave pegs the inverter up into the yellow range and seems to drain the batteries something terrific (I think they recover after a while, though). The keurig seems to do better, but the two together are too much load. Just wondering if your SE allows microwaving with the inverter. We only have a little experience with our GW Legend SE. Can you share some of your experiences with us. BTW, we DO have the diesel hydronics system, so our rig is a little different than yours.

........Rocky
Rocky,

My GWVan is more conventional in that the only inverter I have is a 750W inverter mainly to power the TV on one duplex outlet. The microwave will only work with shore power or with the generator running. The coffee maker is a conventional 120V 10 cup drip that also only runs on shore power or the generator.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:40 AM   #126
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Rok

We sold the GW and I don't remember the draw of the microwave or the size of the inverter but the non convective microwave we use in the Advanced motor homes uses 1450 watts at the high power setting so if yours is similar it would use just under 75% of your inverter capacity.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #127
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Re: Advanced RV and start-up risks

When I first heard of Mike's plans I was worried for him. It's none of my business I know but I dislike seeing hard earned money put in harms way. I didn't see how he could differentiate his company from the competition.

Seeing the photos and videos and reading the specifications of the RV's Advanced RV are building has changed my opinion. Mike's company has basically looked at every piece of the Class B puzzle and made it better or optimized it. They've raised the bar on the standards for what makes a high end Class B. It shows through to the finished product that he uses a Class B RV.

Obviously the business still has risks but focusing on the highest of the high-end niche could be successful. High end doesn't always mean success. Look at Chinook, Islander, Bigfoot etc. I think debt load was what finally did them all in. Fewer people are willing to pay for high quality so focusing on those people might be the key to success.

One of the most fun things that I can imagine being a Class B enthusiast would be to phone up Mike one day and ask him "What can you create for me?" and send him the money. If you can afford the best and like Class B RV's then why not?

I'd like to see growth in the lower end also. I don't think Advanced RV should go there unless they really have the desire to. You get into brand dilution, extra tooling, marketing etc. I can see new players coming in to supply the lower - just above DIY - end of the market. I like to do a lot myself so that appeals to me.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:56 PM   #128
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Advanced RV June newsletter is up: http://www.advanced-rv.com/2013/06/

Space for two bikes in the back


and interesting to see the RV's what Advanced RV clients are selling; - a custom built Prevost Class A and a nearly new RS Adventurous.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #129
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Advanced RV June newsletter is up: http://www.advanced-rv.com/2013/06/

Space for two bikes in the back


and interesting to see the RV's what Advanced RV clients are selling; - a custom built Prevost Class A and a nearly new RS Adventurous.
I sure do wish we had the funds to consider Advanced, but oh well! It looks like they may be doing the couch forward when traveling to have room in back? If so, then the bikes would have to be outside when camped, like Great West does it.

The setup, along with the folding bike thread, brought up and interesting (?) thought. If you are OK with the outside storage of bikes when camped, you could do almost the same thing with a regular fold down sofa/bed. You would just lay the bikes on top of the bed with it folded down. If they had removable or folding pedals, it would be even easier. Folders that don't fit under the bed, and most don't on Roadtreks, would very easily travel that way.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:41 PM   #130
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Bycycles in the Advanced-rv Ocean one.

The Advanced-RV Ocean One with sofa bed, fixed single beds, or fixed "queen sized bed" has room in the back for two bikes. The bikes do not have to be moved when camping. The bikes can remain in place while the sofa is converted to a bed. There is room for two bikes behind the other permanant bed configurations as well. The Ocean One has a combination padded bed headboard and rear storage or bike separator that stays in place to separate bikes and gear from the "bed area" when traveling and camping.

The best way to fit the bikes is to take off the front wheels and store them under the sofa or bed in a wheel bag, and stow the bikes behind the bed in opposite directions. We have designed a pair of racks that support the back wheel of one bike and mount the front forks of the other using quick disconnect axle for the other bike.

Road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes fit with no problem. Bikes with large tires, fenders and other protrudences may be harder to fit.

It is so nice to have the bikes inside the motor home where they are safe, clean and don't get in the way of opening the rear doors. Bike clothes, pump, helmets and much more can be stored in the rear access upper storage area. It takes less than 10 minutes to open the rear doors, put on the front tires, make sure the tire pressure is good, pump them if needed and head down the bike trail. When "camping" at a truck stop or Wallmart, it is nice to be able to just brush teeth, push the bed button and go to bed without having to rearrange gear or secure bikes outdoors.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #131
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But of course the van is 24 ft long. You can find room to store a lot with a 24 ft van. It always comes down to compromises.

I would like to see Advanced RV come out with a short sprinter high end option. I would the it with the slide forward rear seat so you could at least carry a bike inside when traveling even if you couldn't fold down the seat with the bike inside.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #132
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Alternately, you could buy a couple of used "ugly" bikes that might appear less interesting to a thief, that are still in working condition, and drag them along on an external rack. I see them all the time on other people's RVs. Look bad, work well. I would consider this method, if I just wanted to be able to explore the surrounding area on pavement or packed trails, or to get to a nearby amenity and back without breaking camp.
Depending on how much they cost, you might even be less bothered if they were stolen, than if someone walked off with your $1000 bike. Or, if you go to a favorite place and plan to stay there for a while, it's been suggested that you rent or buy a used bike after you arrive. Play It Again Sports often has decent used stuff. There may be local bike/sporting goods shops that sell used.
Having said that, if you're planning on doing some serious trail riding, you might want your custom fitted bike along for more aggressive use.

re: theft. It happens. All the time, if you believe what you read on forums like this and others.
When we leave our van for any reason, we always try to bring only the most important stuff with us, like id and financial instruments, in our pockets or small waist packs. We figure you should only leave on or in your van, what you can reasonably afford to lose if you are robbed. You could probably put your (high tech, lightweight) bike inside temporarily, to minimize the chance of theft.

I guess we've just been lucky and haven't ever had to consider buying something that has the ability to carry a lot of extra "stuff" that we probably wouldn't use anyway. Our first 2 trips were like that. We took along everything (but not the kitchen sink) we thought we might use, and the van was pretty crammed with it all. When we got home and unpacked, we realized how much crap we had brought that we hadn't used at all. After that, we realized it was better to triage the stuff we really needed and always used, and leave the rest of it behind. If it turns out we do need something we didn't bring, we either get along without it and make a note to consider bringing it next time, or rent/buy it when necessary.
It's just my opinion, but when it gets to the point where people are adding racks and front end hitch receivers and storage containers on the rear end of their class B, or even pulling small trailers, they're probably bringing way too much stuff, unless it's all going to be put to use when you're out there. I'm sure there are some folks that actually do use it all, but I'm pretty sure they're more the exception than the rule. We recently bought something with more human space and amenities, which we found is more important to us than how much stuff it can carry. I guess hanging your stuff on the outside of your B might be a way to increase the inside space, but I still think it could mean there's a "hoarding" problem.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #133
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But of course the van is 24 ft long. You can find room to store a lot with a 24 ft van. It always comes down to compromises.

I would like to see Advanced RV come out with a short sprinter high end option. I would the it with the slide forward rear seat so you could at least carry a bike inside when traveling even if you couldn't fold down the seat with the bike inside.
The issue of bikes being stored inside to me is more of traveling and keeping them clean. One trip down a dusty gravel road would attest to the desire to have them inside. Some people do have external bike racks with covers but that doesn't allay the second concern of another 2-3 ft. tacked onto a 24 ft. B.

They do have the standard length Sprinter (22'-9") with the sofa seat that slides forward. There seems no technical reason why it couldn't be adapted to the 144" WB, 19'-6" Sprinter. Only two companies, GWVan and Advanced RV have sofas that can slide forward. With all the touting that you can get anything in a Sportsmobile, I've never seen anything from them that comes close. Not saying Sportsmobile couldn't provide it, but like the short Sprinter B, there has to be a market, demand or request for such a solution before it happens.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:56 PM   #134
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Maybe the majority of folks who buy Sportsmobiles don't visit this forum very often, to see what they should be ordering in the sleeping/storage areas and so on?
True that for the mass produced Bs, there probably has to be a demand for a certain design feature or piece of equipment, and perhaps the majority don't ask for the stuff we'd all like to see.
Different strokes?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #135
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Sportsmobile folks are around and I suspect since they have to participate in their own design they might do more research than the average person. However, the last time I looked Sportsmobile had nothing to offer like the trifold sofa Advanced RV has, thus would not be part of the Sportsmobile kit of parts design solution.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #136
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Is the Advanced RV sofa a tri-fold like the GW Van? Or is it something else?

I've never seen an Advanced RV. It's about the only one I haven't seen.

..........Rocky
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #137
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Is the Advanced RV sofa a tri-fold like the GW Van? Or is it something else?

I've never seen an Advanced RV. It's about the only one I haven't seen.

..........Rocky
Very similar. Same tri-fold operation on side rails. There are no ottomans and infill pads and boards like most others use with a bi-fold sofa.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #138
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Thanks Davydd,

IIRC, the Advanced is a 24' 1" Sprinter. On the GW Legend EX, which is based on the same length Sprinter there is an infill board and pad, isn't there? Do the Advanced units with the tri-fold couch also have that?

..........Rocky
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #139
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Yes, they have a tri-fold sofa and can either leave the gap in back for bikes inside or put in a filler cushion for a longer bed in the 24'-1" model. They also have the standard 22'-9" model without the gap behind the sofa. It is pretty much similar to Great West Van. Advanced RV has a more squared off cushion and is less bulbous than the Great West and seems to fold down flatter into a bed. As for comfort, I haven't tried an Advanced RV but have no problem sleeping without a mattress topper in my Great West.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #140
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Thanks again, Davydd.

.........Rocky
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